Created by Tohru Iwatani, this was the game
which, to coin a phrase, started it all. The hero was named
"Puckman" evidently due to his shape. Before its release in
the United States, the title was changed to "Pac-man" because
"Puckman" was an easy target for vandals to convert into a
vulgarity. It introduced the yellow hero along with the four
The monsters' original movements were
pre-defined at first. People racked up ridiculous scores when
their movements were memorized, so a later version of the game
gave the monsters more random movement, each with their own
The Red monster is Oikake, "Chaser."
This is the monster players will most often find on their tail
throughout the game. Nicknamed Akabei, "aka" being Japanese
for "red." Also known as Shadow or Inky in the US.
Blue monster is Machibuse, "Ambusher." His strategy is to head
toward the opposite end of whatever tunnel Pac is going
through. Nicknamed Aosuke, "ao" being Japanese for "blue."
Also known as Bashful or Blinky in the US.
monster is Kimagure, "Whimsy." His US name is Speedy, though
he's not the fastest monster (Akabei is). He just goes in the
general direction Pac is located. Nicknamed "Pinky" in both
Japan and the US.
The Orange monster is Otoboke, "Plays
dumb." He goes in random directions that tend to gravitate
toward Pac. Nicknamed Guzuta, "gu" being Japanese for
"stupid." Also known as Pokey or Clyde in the
Obviously, the Orange monster was originally meant
to be the dumbest of the four, and the Red one was the
smartest. The Hanna Barbera producers obviously didn't notice
this, making Clyde the LEADER of the four in their
The original design for Pac-man outside the
game is pretty much the same as it is now, except he had a
really large Pinnochio-like nose. This was the Japanese
design, of course. The US design was COMPLETELY puzzling. I'm
not sure how the artists at Midway managed to picture Pac as a
little yellow guy with two big feet and a deranged grin on his
Probably one of the most infamous arcade
translations ever. The 2600 was 4 years old at the time yet
this game must have made use of 1% of its abilities. Atari
obviously rushed this out as fast as they could to make money
off the Pac-man craze. They didn't even give him more than two
directions to face.
Owned by: Namco (acquired the
rights in 1982)
Because Namco has owned the
rights to this game since a year after its initial release, a
lot of people make the mistake of thinking they had anything
to do with its production other than making the original game
engine. Nope... not only was this sequel developed in the US,
it was originally created as a hack of the original Pac-man
game, named Crazy Otto. Thing is, unlike other Pac-man hacks,
this one did not suck ass, so the programmers racked up the
courage to show it to Midway. Midway liked it, bought it, made
some changes, and the result was Ms. Pac-man.
what was said in the Wayne's World movie, there were more
upgrades other than the bow added to the top of Pac's head.
They also added an eye AND a mole. =) Plus there are 4 new
maze layouts, each with their own color scheme. There are also
different fruits, all of which are now able to move around the
maze. Finally, there's some new music and some new
intermissions. Also, the monsters start going solely by their
US nicknames at this point, and after some surgery, Clyde is
now known as "Sue."
Baby Pac-man is introduced in one of
the intermissions, who would eventually star in his own
Midway did not get Namco's permission
to release this game. In the end, they decided to give up the
rights of this game to Namco to avoid a potential lawsuit. Of
course, Midway continued to make unauthorized Pac-man sequels
after this, and while none were particularly successful, it
did strain the companies' relationship enough for Namco to
switch to Atari as its US partner by 1987.
Of Pac-man's many spinoffs and
sequels, none have been nearly as successful as this one. It's
one of the two classic machines that can still be found in
almost all of today's arcades, Galaga being the other.
Unlike its predecessor, Ms. Pac was decently
This was a half-assed "upgrade" to Pac-man
offered to arcades by Midway as they waited for Super Pac-man
to come in. Essentially the same as Pac-man but with a
different color scheme, faster monsters, different fruit,
stupid random effects like the maze dissapearing when Pac eats
the fruit, and power pellets that didn't work as well as they
The game was a big mistake. It wasn't
really needed, because people were still playing Ms. Pac, and
the gameplay was a step down in just about all respects.
Didn't do too well. Most arcade owners restored their
"upgrades" back to the original Pac machine pretty
This is one of the few classic arcade games that
still is not available on the net in emulated form.
Apparently, no one finds this game worth emulating, even for
the sake of nostalgia.
The only thing I know of that
comes close to experiencing this game at home is via a hidden
mode in Jess's Pac-mon game. =)
Developer/US publisher: Atari
Atari systems that followed the 2600 never did too well, but
the arcade translations on these machines WERE pretty
top-notch for the time...
Super Pac-man is the first
"True" Pac sequel in the sense that it's the first one to be
developed by its original creator. Namco gave Pac a more
complicated playfield where he had to eat keys to unlock
certain parts of the maze. But they also gave him a new power
up that turns him into Super Pac-man.
The Super Pellet
appears to make Pac grow to a huge size, but Namco's actual
intention was to have him FLY above the maze (because he's
Super!). Thus while he appears to be moving through the
monsters in his Super state, he's actually flying above them.
Of course, one has to wonder why he doesn't fly above all the
edible items as well...
This game was pretty
dissappointing overall, with only one maze to navigate and a
design that made the first 6 levels too easy and the rest too
hard. Plus the whole concept of Pac eating anything but
pellets didn't seem right. Most Pac players enjoyed this for a
couple weeks, then went back to playing Ms.
Mr. & Ms.
Midway continued their attempt to
milk Pac for all he's worth by having their Bally partner
release a pinball title based on the yellow guy.
publisher: Bally Midway
This was one of 2
pinball/console combo games released by Bally Midway. On the
console you have the typical pac game where Baby Pac is pitted
against the monsters, but the power pellets are missing! Baby
Pac can only get these by going through the escape tunnels at
the bottom and unlocking pellets via the pinball
Not a particularly popular game, but kind of a
neat concept that was never really tried again until 1999 when
Williams kicked off something sort of similar with its Pinball
2000 series of games.