|Release date(s):|| May 22, 1980|
|Arcade system||Namco Pac-Man|
|Number of players||One or two players|
|Input methods||4 way joystick|
Pac-Man (known as Puck-Man in Japan) is a popular game in the USA and Japan. It was first created by Toru Iwatani and released by Namco/Midway. It consists of a yellow partial-pizza-shaped Pac-Man who eats dots inside a blue maze.
Pac-Man is an arcade game created by Toru Iwatani and released by Namco in May 22, 1980 under the name "Puck-Man". The name of the game was later changed to "Pac-Man" due to vandalism of the "P" in "Puck" into an offensive word. The game wasn't intended to be too popular at first, but when released, the game was a huge success. This resulted in many sequels of the game including Ms. Pac-Man. The game has been cloned innumerable times, and re-released in many compilations.
The player controls a circular character which has a pie wedge shaped mouth to eat pellets through a maze, eating Pac-Dots. When all dots are eaten, Pac-Man is taken to the next stage. Four ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde roam the maze, trying to catch Pac-Man. If a ghost touches Pac-Man, a life is lost. When all lives have been lost, the game ends. Pac-Man is awarded a single bonus life at 10,000 points by default—DIP switches inside the machine can change the required points or disable the bonus life altogether.
Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as Power Pellets, provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the ghosts. The ghosts turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly when Pac-Man eats one. When a ghost is eaten, its eyes return to the ghost home where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue ghosts flash white before they become dangerous again and the amount of time the ghosts remain vulnerable varies from one board to the next, but the time period generally becomes shorter as the game progresses. In later stages, the ghosts don't change colors at all, but still reverse direction when a power pellet is eaten.In addition to Pac-Dots and Power Pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruits) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Sometimes, items can appear several times. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2, which has a giant Pac-Man chasing a blue Blinky) between Pac-Man and Blinky.
- Pac-Dot - 10 points.
- Power Pellet - 50 points.
- Vulnerable Ghosts:
- #1 in succession - 200 points.
- #2 in succession - 400 points.
- #3 in succession - 800 points.
- #4 in succession - 1600 points.
- Cherry: 100 points.
- Strawberry: 300 points
- Orange: 500 points
- Apple: 700 points
- Melon: 1000 points
- Galxian Boss: 2000 points
- Bell: 3000 points
- Key: 5000 points
Each ghost has its own unique personality. Once each ghosts' personality is fully learned, they can be easily manipulated by the player to get a very high score.
Main article: Blinky
Blinky is considered the leader of the ghosts. As pointed out by his nickname, Pac-Man will have a hard time getting him off his tail once he gets in close. He's probably the easiest ghost to manipulate thanks to how he acts, but is still very dangerous for the same reason. When Pac-Man has devoured a certain amount of Pac-Dots, Blinky will become Cruise Elroy, an alter-ego in which he'll get faster (3 times) and chase Pac-Man through "scatter" mode. In the "Plug-and-Play!" edition of Pac-Man, Blinky remains unchanged, but here, he will always go to "scatter" mode.
"Speedy" - Pinky
Main article: Pinky
Pinky is the only female ghost in the group as of this game. Though Blinky is actually potentially the fastest ghost, Pinky is almost always the first to get to Pac-Man. Pinky is positioned 4 Pac-Dots ahead of Pac-Man, and as such is always the first to get to Pac-Man's location. Though Pinky can be a bit predictable at times, when teamed up with Blinky, the deadly duo will often be able to trap Pac-Man, since Pinky tends to go to the opposite side of a block when chasing Pac-Man with Blinky.
"Bashful" - Inky
Main article: Inky
Inky is like a six-sided die. Given the same options and conditions, Inky's decisions may be different. This is due to him taking the distance from Blinky to the space of two Pac-Dots ahead of Pac-Man and then doubling it to make his target. Complex it may seem, it simply means he will chase Pac-Man when Blinky is near him, and keep a long-ranged pursuit when Blinky isn't. In most remakes of Pac-Man, namely the Namco Museum ones, Inky's A.I. was redesigned so that it would simply target Blinky.
"Pokey" - Clyde
Main article: Clyde
Clyde is not exactly a "team player". He moves based on Pac-Man's location, but when he gets in close, he never tries to interfere with him. He's overall not very dangerous, and will only catch Pac-Man about 25% of the time he's given the option to, but when Pac-Man is within an 8-dot proximity of Clyde, his movement is more or less random, so he still shouldn't be underestimated. In the "Plug-and-Play!" edition of Pac-Man, Clyde straight-forwardly pursues Pac-Man, but is nowhere near as fast as Blinky.
When the player gets to the 256th level, the right side of the maze becomes a garbled mess of code, therefore making the level impossible. The right side has some Pac-Dots too, but only 9. The right side of the screen also traps the ghosts and can make Pac-Man go off the screen. The left side of the maze remains fine though. If one uses a hack to skip the level, then the game goes back to the first level. Because of this bug, a perfect game only counts the first 255 levels. This is more commonly known as a kill screen.
Pac-Man first appeared on home consoles in 1981. The game has been released for the following systems and devices.
1981 - Atari 2600, Atari 800
1982 – Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit
1983 – Apple II, Intellivision
1984 – Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX
1990 – Game Boy
1991 – Game Gear
1999 – Neo Geo Pocket Color, Game Boy Color
2003 – Mobile
2006 – Xbox Live Arcade, iPod Classic
2007 – Virtual Console
2010 – Windows Phone 7
In other games
As well as being included in several compilations, the first Pac-Man is also featured in some newer games in the series. The following Pac-Man games contain the original arcade version.
- Pac-Man is a very popular video game, thus it appears in many television shows such as iCarly appearing as "Pak-Rat".
- The game has inspired many unofficial clones and remakes. Both amateurs and commerical game designers have created unauthorised Pac-Man games and even characters named Pac-Man.
- He in person or the game has appeared in Family Guy, The Simpsons, Futarama, Robot Chicken, and more.
- The original design for the American Pac-Man characters were rather deformed looking and very different from the characters seen today. The original design had no arms or hands - they were launched in the United States but were replaced shortly after the launch-date.
- There is a game, 3-Demon, which is obviously a rip off of Pac-Man, where the player eats dots and a power pellet turns all the ghosts (who are red) green.
- In Jak 3, Daxter gets teleported to the Matrix where he is in a Pac-Man styled game.
- For the game's 30th anniversary, Google briefly updated their homepage on May 21, 2010 for 48 hours to allow players to play Pac-Man in a maze based off of the Google Logo. This version plays exactly like the original (including Ghost A.I.), but with the following differences:
- If "Insert Coin" is clicked after the game has started, the Ms. Pac-Man theme plays and two players may then play cooperatively as Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. The two play exactly the same except for sound effects made when munching dots.
- The maze, as aforementioned, is derived from the Google logo, and it is no longer symmetrical.
- There are five power pellets instead of four.
- The Google version of Pac-Man has been made permanently available here.
- Toru Iwatani states in a Yahoo Article , that the ghosts were all almost the same color, red. All the ghosts were red in Pac-Man's appearance in Futrama however. Toru refused the order and on questionnaires to the game testers asking if they would want a single-colored ghost instead of one, none wanted a single-color.
- A pattern in a Saturn moon called Mimas's daytime temperatures takes the shape of Pac-Man in a NASA picture.
- In Hungama (an Indian television channel), there is a game called Hungamaze in which Hungaman is Pac-Man and the Villains are Ghosts.
- There is a rare glitch where Pac-Man can surprisingly go through ghosts.