This article is about the character. For information on the game, see Pac-Man (game).

"Did someone say cake?"
— Pac-Man, Pac-Man World 3

Mr. Pac-Man (Japanese: ミスターパックマン Misutā Pakkuman), also known as Sr. Pac-Man (or Pacster in the reboot), is the protagonist of the Pac-Man series. He is Namco's famed mascot and was created by Toru Iwatani. Since his first appearance in 1980, Pac-Man has become a legendary video game icon and is one of the most recognizable video game characters in the world.[1]



Pac-Man's origin is a confusing mystery, with two unique claims that contradict each other, neither of which can be 100% proven true or false.

Pac-Man's first appearance was not in the original arcade game; unknown to many, the series originated as a line of toys by Tomy in 1974, six years prior to the game. The first of these was a toy bank, in which Pac-Man (also referred to as "Je Je" on some models) would munch down coins by flipping them into his mouth via a lever. Subsequent toys include a board game and a water game, both of which were released overseas as "Mr. Mouth".

The three Pac-Man toys released in the 1970s

The arcade game, originally called Puckman in Japan, was created by Namco employee Toru Iwatani. Some inspiration was clearly drawn from the toy line (although the gameplay premise itself was unique). The exact details of Tomy's relationship with Namco are unknown, but it is likely that the usage of Pac-Man was initially unauthorized.

What is known is that Tomy worked out a licensing deal with Namco, becoming the only company to sell Pac-Man merchandise in Japan. Tomy also likely made Namco change the name from "puck" to "pac" on subsequent releases. Namco, to this day, takes heavy proceedings to try and deny the existence of the toy line.

Pac-Man's original Japanese artwork.

According to more commonly cited reports, Pac-Man was based on a pizza with the first quarter of it cut out, which inspired Toru Iwatani to create the character. Sources also state the name change was due to the fear of the name "puck" closely resembling an obscenity, and the possibility of people from other countries defacing the machine. This story sounds suspiciously like a cover-up, but still cannot be completely disproven.

Popularity in Japan and Overseas


International artwork.

Like other video game franchises. Pac-Man was developed in Japan and quickly became wildly popular. However, his debut in the United States of America proved even more successful, and Pac-Man became the most popular arcade game at the time of its release.

For unknown reasons, an alternate design of Pac-Man was made for international release which bore little to no resemblance to his original design.

Atari's recreation

In 1981, the game company Atari released a new Pac-Man video game for its 2600 video game system. In what is now widely regarded as one of the biggest mistakes in home console history, Atari produced twelve million cartridges, even though it had only sold ten million home console units. They had hoped people who did not already own the system would buy it just to play Pac-Man. The game was universally panned by critics and fans alike for its flickering ghosts and slow moving character. Only five million cartridges sold, leaving Atari stuck with around seven million unsold cartridges. The future of Atari financially was placed in severe jeopardy.

After an even more disastrous debacle with their last ditch attempt to recover sales, the infamous Atari 2600 E.T. game, Atari crushed and dumped over ten million unsold Pac-Man and E.T. cartridges in a landfill in Almo Gordo, New Mexico. A large amount of concrete was poured over the burial site to prevent children and other scavengers from digging them up. This marked the death of Atari and the first era of home console gaming in general until the later half of the 1980's.

Extended family

After the huge success of the first Pac-Man game, the American distributors (Midway Games), made several unofficial sequels (some of which were not licensed by Namco) starring supposed family members of Pac-Man. The first game being Ms. Pac-Man which starred his wife and featured a larger challenge than the previous game, and after it proved successful Namco chose to license it. Namco would then go on to create an official sequel called Super Pac-Man which proved highly successful.

After Midway Games realized the huge success of the first two sequels, they created several more unofficial sequels without Namco's consent such as Prof. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Jr. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man which would prove highly unsuccessful unlike Ms. Pac-Man and would lead to Namco terminating Midway Game's rights to distribute Pac-Man.

The Pac-Man Animated Series


Pac-Man from the television show.

In 1982, Hanna-Barbera produced the animated television series, Pac-Man which featured the misadventures of Pac-Man and his family in Pac-Land. Pac-Man is seen in the show taking care of his family, going to work guarding the Power Pellet Forest, or defeating ghosts when he needs to. The Ghosts have a leader in this show, a pale green-skinned humanoid named Mezmaron, who wanted to defeat Pac-Man and seize the Power Pellets for a reason that was never specified.

Pac-Man was often addressed as "Packy" by his wife Ms. Pac-Man, who he would address as "Pepper". Pac-Man himself was voiced by veteran comedian and writer Marty Ingalls.

It is possible that this show's unique setting would inspire the creation of the game Pac-Land, which was the first game to feature Pac-Man's home world in full detail and when released in the US the graphics were altered to resemble the cartoon.

3D Era

Pac man

Pac-Man's appearance since Pac-Man World.

Pac-Man reached practically unparalleled fame by the 1990's. Figures and games were constantly being released. After the release of numerous successful games that came out at the time, Namco decided to create a game that would cater to the popularity of 3D platformers. That's when Pac-Man World was released. The game featured a three-dimensional Pac-Man fighting three-dimensional enemies for the first time. Pac-Man reached higher fame once this game was released in the United States and proved very successful. Many of the games that came out in the 90's starting with Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures and Pac-Man World marked the first appearance of Pac-Man's entire family together who were previously unofficial characters created by Midway Games. Throughout the next several years, many original Pac-Man games continued to be released, although with reception varying heavily from mixed to positive or sometimes negative between them, and only remakes of the arcade games receiving critical acclaim.

Reboot and Re-Design

Pac-Man character art - The Adventure Begins

Pac-Man's current appearance from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures onward.

For his 30th anniversary, Pac-Man received a complete reboot, now having a younger design, updated attire and more filled out eyes. This Pac-Man is made to be far younger than his previous incarnation and as such his Midway family appears to have become retconned or replaced. To commemorate the 30th anniversary and his new look, Pac-Man was given a new game titled Pac-Man Party featuring him alongside a whole new cast of friends and updated versions of Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. Pacster/Pac-Man was also given a new animated series titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures featuring a now more futuristic-looking Pac-Land and a whole new array of characters. Several games released after the animated series would feature designs and elements from the new cartoon, however more recent titles have featured Pac-Man sporting his classic design but with the Ghost Gang still retaining their new look (although with a few altered traits). Also of note is that since the reboot, Pac-Man has been featured in a wide array of crossover material with other video game characters as a way to introduce him to a new and wider audience.


Pac-Man Arcade series


Main article: Pac-Man (game)

"Wakka, wakka, wakka!" - Pac-Man eating in the original video game

Pac-Man's first adventure chronologically took place in Pac-Man, wherein he had to fight off a group of Ghosts consisting of Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde while trying to escape an immense maze. As mentioned before, this game was inspired by a pizza with a quarter of it taken out.

Ms. Pac-Man

Main article: Ms. Pac-Man (game)

In the game Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man fell in love with Ms. Pac-Man. Pac-Man mostly appeared in cutscenes and was not playable, however this would be the first game where Pac-Man Junior is seen as he was shown being delivered to the new couple during a cutscene.

Super Pac-Man

Main article: Super Pac-Man

Pac-Man Plus

Main article: Pac-Man Plus



Pac-Man, as he appears in Pac-Land

Sometime later in the game Pac-Land, after having escaped the mazes Pac-Man must travel through his homeland of Pac-Land to save the fairies who have been taken by the mischievous Ghosts.


Main article: Pac-Mania



Main article: Pac-Attack

Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures

Main article: Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures


Main article: Pac-In-Time

Pac-Man World series

Pac-Man World

"Oh, no! They're gone!"

- Pac-Man's expression to the kidnapping of his family and friends


Pacman, finding Professor Pacman's gift

His next adventure took place in Pac-Man World. On the day of his 20th birthday, Pac-Man's Family was planning a big surprise party for him, but at the same time an impostor named Toc-Man wanted the real Pac-Man gone so he could take his place, so he sent out his minions to kidnap him but instead they kidnapped members of his family thinking they were him as they could not tell them apart. When Pac-Man arrived home from work he saw that his house was destroyed and that his family was gone; worried for their safety he set out to look for them but as soon as he stepped outside fliers started raining down from the sky which were announcing Toc-Man's awesome party on Ghost Island which would be featuring "Pac-Man" as a special guest. Pac-Man having suspected that the party was connected to his family's kidnapping went to the island to search for them.

Pac-Man World 2

In Pac-Man World 2 one night while the Pac-Village was asleep, the Ghost Gang sneaked into the Pac-Village to do some mischief. While messing around they unwittingly picked the Golden fruit off the tree in the center of the village releasing Spooky, an ancient ghost imprisoned underneath the tree. So Pac-Man must travel from Pac-Land to Ghost Island to reclaim the Golden Fruit and stop the Ghost Gang and Spooky.

Pac-Man World 3

On his 25th birthday Pac-Man arrived at his house and talked to Ms. Pac-Man who had a cake for him. He expressed his feelings that he was getting old. Suddenly Pac-Man is teleported all around the village and into a waste dump. The one responsible was a scientist named Orson who desperately needs Pac-Man's help.

Pac-Man World Rally

Main article: Pac-Man World Rally

In the racing game presented by Namco/Bandai, Pac-Man World Rally, Pac-Man appears as one of the playable characters. Pac-Man's vehicle is "light" and he drives a four-wheeler of the color blue. Pac-Man is a fast character in the game and does not need to be earned by beating several cups.

Pac 'n Roll

Main article: Pac 'n Roll


"I wanna train, Pac-Master!" - Pac-Man to Pac-Master


Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man in their youth.

Pac-Man's first adventure prior to the reboot canonically began in the DS game Pac 'n Roll. In his youth Pac-Man trained under the mighty Pac-Master during his summer vacation. He taught Pac-Man all about fighting and power pellets, so he could help in defending Pac-Land from the many Ghosts that plagued it. During his training he grew close to Pac-Master's family, he especially grew close to Pac-Master's beautiful daughter who would one day become his future sweetheart, Ms. Pac-Man. Sadly the joy would not last for long as a young group of Ghosts (Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde) were planning to summon a powerful Ghost named Golvis, (who had been banished to the far reaches of space long ago), to defeat Pac-Master and destroy the power pellet harvest. On the day of the Power Pellet Harvest Festival Golvis and the Ghosts began their assault, and Pac-Master attempted to confront Golvis but sadly the large Ghost was almost immune to the affects of power pellets as only his tail turned blue, and with him having the advantage he used his magic guitar Jack to turn every Pac-Person into limbless orbs thus making them unable to move, he then used Jack to blow them all away, luckily the guardian spirit of Pac-Land Krystal temporarily defeated Golvis, however she was only capable of saving the young Pac-Man. She then convinces Pac-Man to help her save Pac-Land as he is the only one left. After traveling throughout all of Pac-Land they finally reach Golvis' home base where, with their combined forces finally defeat Golvis, thus restoring the bodies of all the Pac-People and saving Pac-Master and his family.

Namco Museum Remix

Main article: Namco Museum Remix

Pac-Man Party

Main article: Pac-Man Party

Pac-Man Tilt

Main article: Pac-Man Tilt

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (video game)

Main article: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (video game)

Pac-Man Dash

Main article: Pac-Man Dash!

Pac-Man Monsters

Main article: Pac-Man Monsters

After a new evil comes to Pac-Land, Pac-Man must travel far and wide defeating and recruiting all manner of Ghosts and Monsters while gaining more power to combat the new evil.

Pac-Man 256

Main article: Pac-Man 256

A game seemingly taking place right after the original Pac-Man, in which Pac-Man must continue to survive against the ghosts in the maze while also trying to escape from the evil Glitch destroying everything.



Mario and Pac-Man

Kick / Kick Man

Pac-Man's very first video game guest shot was in another Williams Electronics title, the 1981 arcade game Kick. To further capitalize on the success of Pac-Man, the game was soon renemed "Kick Man" to further connect the game.

Mario Kart

Pac-Man has starred in the arcade racing game, Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 alongside the famous plumber Mario and all his friends.

Rally X


Pac-Man in Namco's Rally X.

Pac-Man appears as a playable character in Namco Remix for practically every game, one of which being Rally X.

Street Fighter X Tekken

830px-Dynamic duo

Pac-Man and "Bad Box Art" Megaman ready to fight in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Pac-Man (in a similar appearance as his Ghostly Adventures adaption) appears in Street Fighter X Tekken as an exclusive guest character for the PlayStation 3/PlayStation Vita versions, and to represent Namco (the other being Megaman (his appearance based on the North American box art and representing Capcom). In battle, he pilots a Mokujin-like mech. Here, Pac-Man has few lines, so little is known about his personality save his immense hunger. In his story, he seeks the box known as Pandora. In his ending it make him grow 50ft Tall and he is seen devouring trees in a city. The view slowly moves above him, showing the city to appear like one of the arcade games.

Wreck-It Ralph

Pacman wreck-it ralph

Pac-Man's cameo appearance in Wreck-It Ralph.

Pac-Man also makes a cameo appearance in Disney's 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph, where he was shown at Fix-It Felix Jr.'s Penthouse party commemorating his game's 30th Anniversary and munching down on the buffet. Later, Ralph loses his temper and accidentally wrecks a cake, pelting Pac-Man with bits of it, and Pac-Man does a jaw drop at Ralph's behavior. Here, Pac-Man's appearance here shows him resembling his in-game sprite rather than any of his official artwork designs by Namco, likely due to the focus of the movie being on arcade games.

This also marks the first time Pac-Man is seen alongside fellow video game mascot Sonic the Hedgehog, who was also attending the party.

Everybody's Golf / Hot Shots Golf

Pac-Man HotShotsGolf

Pac-Man holding his signature golf club.

Pac-Man appears in the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 game Everybody's Golf 6 (known as Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational in North America) as a playable guest golfer via DLC. He was made available to purchase on August 22, 2013 through the Japanese PlayStation Store. Pac-Man's a Novice player, and unlike the other golfers in the game, he starts off with MAX loyalty. He also comes with his own gear set which increases the player's power and the number of power shots that can be used during a round. As with the other DLC golfers, Pac-Man comes with his own lobby parts as well. 

The DLC's release dates for the American and European versions have yet to be announced.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U


Pac-Man's Artwork for Super Smash Bros.

Pac-Man appears as a third party character, along with Sonic and Mega Man, in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, reverting to his previous incarnation from Pac-Land and the Pac-Man World series, before his redesign in Pac-Man Party.

His moveset includes moves like Bonus Fruit, his neutral special which has him use the fruits and items from the arcade game, each with different effects, being able to summon 8-bit versions of classic Namco characters, such as the Ghosts, Mappy, and Galaga, using a fire hydrant from Pac-Land, and changing into his classic eyeless, limbless form as his dash attack, down throw, neutral aerial attack, side special (which utilizes the Power Pellet), up special, rolling dodge, and as his Final Smash, where he becomes a giant variation of his 2D form (a nod to Super Pac-Man).  

The game contains two stages based off of Pac-Man games: a Wii U stage based off of Pac-Land, and a 3DS stage based off of the classic Pac-Man Maze. 


Pacman Pixels

Pac-Man in Pixels.

Pac-Man appeared as an antagonist in the 2015 film Pixels as one of the arcade invaders attacking New York City. When confronted by the films protagonists, Toru Iwatani is among them and tries to reason with his creation, even calling him his son. However his touching words have no affect on the alien Pac-Man who proceeds to bite off Iwatani's hand and continue rampaging through the city.

While eating everything in his path, Pac-Man is then chased by the heroes in their souped-up ghost cars which they use to tackle Pac-Man with fields of energy which KO him on impact. After several chases throughout the city and three hits, Pac-Man is seemingly destroyed and the city saved. At the end of the film, Iwatani's hand is restored by the aliens after their defeat.

Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Rider


Dr. Pac-Man, the main antagonist of the film.


Pac-Man is attacking Kamen Rider Ghost and Kamen Rider Ex-Aid.

This film is the eighth of a series of Kamen Rider crossover films called Movie Wars. Much like in Pixels, Pac-Man is an antagonist, but isn't actually at fault as his likeness was used by the main villain to infect the world with a virus of his likeness.

A Pac-Man game themed item, known as the Pac Adventure Gashat, is given to Kamen Rider Ex-Aid in a spin-off YouTube Special. Numerous references are made to the original game with this power-up (such as Ex-Aid needing to obtain a 'Power Cookie', based on the Power Pellet, to be able to successfully damage his foe).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Starlord as PacMan

Peter Quill/Star-Lord as Pac-Man in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Pac-Man also has a small cameo in the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The main protagonist, Star-Lord, conjured up a Pac-Man form to fight against the main antagonist Ego.



Pac-Man's voracious appetite.

Pac-Man loves to eat. His regular meal includes Pac-Dots and fruits such as strawberries, green grapes, cherries, oranges, peaches, bananas, pears, apples, Power Pellets and ghosts. He also seems very good at mazes, due to his extensive time in them.

In the 1980's cartoon and the later games of Pac-Man (before the "Ghostly Adventures" Era), Pac-Man was a fairly easygoing sort and a dedicated father and husband. While he would often get perplexed by most situations he found himself in, he would always come out on top of them.

In the newer show/spinoff, he is shown to love making jokes and puns about the powers the berries give him, such as when he eats an ice berry, he often says "Cool". Other then that, there was not much to his character other than his appetite, as Namco redid the character, with a very confusing background.


World series

Pac-Man has different abilities as well as those received from Power Ups found in the Pac-Man World games.

Butt Bounce

This attack can be used by jumping with the X button, then pressing it again while in air. There is a rare power-up where if the player touches it, Pac-Man gains the ability to do a Super Butt Bounce where if the player does the control for a normal butt bounce, a huge explosion will occur and any enemies in a certain radius will be terminated. It can only be used once per power-up.

Rev Roll

Pac-Man will run in place at a high speed and releasing the button will have him roll into a ball in any direction in which he is pointed. Using the Rev Roll on a ramp will send him high into the air. It can be used to destroy most enemies. It is similar to Sonic's Spin Dash.

Pac-Dot Shoot

If Pac-Man has at least one Pac-Dot he can shoot one from his hand like a bullet and damage enemies. It is similar to Mega Buster from Mega Man series.

Super Pac-Dot Shoot

This attack is a stronger form of the previous attack. To use this attack, hold down the O button and Pac-Man will do the exact same thing, except he will spin around and then shoot a huge blast of Pac-Dots from his hand. There is also a requirement for this attack. Pac-Man must have at least 10 Pac-Dots to use it.


If Pac-Man enters water, he instantly floats on the water. To go underwater, press and hold the triangle button. To go back to the surface, press and hold the X button. Pac-Man can do a dolphin flip if you jump out of the water while holding the X button.

Flip Kick

By jumping in the air, and pressing the Square or X buttons, Pac-Man jumps in the air, and flips with his foot extended. This can be used to smash high up boxes.

Steel Body

Steel Pac power

Pac-Man's steel body from the Steel Ball Power Up.

Using the Steel Ball Power Up, Pac-Man's body will become steel and he can hardly be damaged. He can stand on fire and walk across lava.

Tiny Pac/Shrink Pellet

Using the Shrink Pellet Pac-Man will shrink in size and will be able to go through small doors. But enemies can squish him like a bug. Pac-Man is very good at using this ability. It is very uncommon for him to be attacked when he is very small.


Using the O or B button, Pac-Man can punch at enemies.

Electro Shock

Electric shock

Pac-Man giving Armalopes a zap.

With the Electro-Shock Power Pellet, Pac-Man can also perform an Electric Shock with the same button command. Pac-Man will be able to shoot electricity from his hands and can damage or stun enemies.

Triple Butt Bounce

If you hit the X or A button 4 times, Pac-Man will preform a Triple Butt Bounce. A small shockwave comes out of Pac-Man.It can kill up to 2 enemies at a time.

Ribbon Ring Power

Ribbon power

The afterimage will close in on enemies when formed into a ring.

Using the Red Ribbon Power Pellet Pac-Man's body will glow. When running a red afterimage will follow behind him. If he creates a ring around enemies the ring will close and do damage to them.



  • This character gave an alias to a famous athlete
  • Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has stated that Pac-Man is his favorite video game character.
  • After a portion is cut out, a pizza looks very similar to the original Pac-Man.
  • Due to his popularity, Pac-Man appears or is referenced in a wide range of media, such as movies, TV shows, cartoons and is even referenced in other games. Although sometimes using different names to avoid copyright infringement.
    • In the soap opera "Days of Our Lives" sounds from Atari's ill-fated adaptation of Pac-Man are usually dubbed in when kids play video games. The death sound effect from the same game was also incorporated into the theme for Lord Crump, a villain from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • In the early 1980's, a Dick Tracy storyline featured a plot point that centered around two video games named "Pac-Rat" and "Kongy-Donk".
    • Pac-Man even made a cameo appearance in the original TRON movie. A graphic bearing an identical likeness to him could be seen briefly on a map screen in front of the film's secondary villain, Sark, as he directs tank in pursuit of protagonists Flynn and Tron. You could even hear Pac-Man's signature eating sound. Sark's map screen bore similarities to a Pac-Man maze, complete with dots, Power Pellets, and pair of red dots that resemble cherries.
    • In a parody of Time Magazine's annual "Man of the Year" issue, MAD Magazine did a cover featuring Pac-Man as "Man of the Year". For the sole purpose of the cover he was given the name "Irving Pac"./
    • In the 2010 film "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" The titular character, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) was playing arcade games with his friend Knives Chau, and was telling her about Pac-Man's original name "Puck-Man" and how people would vandalize the name. He even says it in front of his girlfriend Ramona Flowers.
      • Some of the sound effects from the original game, such as the sound Pac-Man makes when he eats the ghosts, and the movement sounds of the ghosts, are in the film as well, showing how the world of Scott Pilgrim is like a gigantic video-game.
  • Pac-Man and Mario share a prominent yet friendly rivalry. The names however have a big comparison as Mario was originally known as "Jumpman" sounding similar to "Pac-Man".
  • Pac-Man was the main mascot for the children's play area "Pac-Man Land" which came out in 1983 in Six Flags Over Texas. It was changed to "Looney Tunes Land" in 1985.
  • Some Pac-Man fans would sometimes describe the character as a "Pizza-Puck".
  • Pac-Man makes a cameo in two of the stages from the Tekken series.
    • First appearance: His arcade version of himself appears on the left of the "Welcome To The Final Frontier" sign in the Final Frontier stage from Tekken 5.
    • Second appearance: His regular form with the eyes, arms and legs appears on a little girl's shirt in the Coastline Sunset stage from Tekken Tag Tournament 2.


  1. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man and Mario have the highest brand awareness of any video game characters among consumers. Davie Brown Celebrity Index: Mario, Pac-Man Most Appealing Video Game Characters Among Consumers - PR Newswire.

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