Welcome to PAC-MAN Museum

The Pac-Man museum is officially opened since 22th of May 2009 to commemorate the birthday of Pac-Man. Any informations, inputs, contributions or anything related to Pac-Man will be greatly appreciated - please contact us.

When Toru Iwatani hungrily stared into his pizza box, he removed a slice of pizza and the idea for one of the greatest arcade games was born. At 27 years, the Japanese game designer came up with the idea for Pac-Man - a game that became legend, and spawned numerous sequels and clones.

At the time, electronic gaming was a business with few success stories. Games like Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pong, and Break-out were all great games, but none of them were popular with main stream society. A year after the idea was conceived, the game was finally finished by Toru Iwatani (Game Designer), Hideyuki Mokajima (Programmer) and Toshio Kai (Music & Sound) and two other developers. Pac-Man was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. The American rights were to go to Atari originally, but they turned them down, saying the game was too easy. It was then licensed by Milton/Bradly for the US market. Pac-Man took the world by storm and soon became a household name.

Pac-Man by Namco Ltd, Japan

Pac-Man was first introduced to the arcades around May of 1980 and immediately captured the hearts and imaginations of the public like no other game before it, and few since. It is still regarded as the hallmark of the 'golden age' of video games. Midway first released the Pac-Man arcade in 1980 as both an upright and cocktail table model. Two variations of the upright were made: the standard arcade model had art on the sides and below the coin slots, and the Mini-Myte model had a woodgrain pattern in those areas. Pac-Man was licensed to Midway for US manufacture and distribution (ATARI did not want it...). 96,000 units were produced in the U.S.A. - According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them.

Waka-waka-waka-waka-bwok-bwok - developed by Namco in 1980,

the original Japanese release was called "Puckman" but, due to the West's predilection with changing words to vulgarities by scratching part of the word off (in this case, changing the word 'Puck' to something rather less socially acceptable by scratching off part of the letter 'P'), was changed to 'Pac-Man'. The name Pac-Man is derived from the Japanese slang term 'paku-paku', which describes the motion of the mouth opening and closing during eating and translates in English as 'to eat'.

In Brazil, the game was unofficially named by the children as 'Come-Come' (lit. he eats-he eats, in Portuguese). Also an onomatopoeic, from the sound the character does when walking/eating. In Italy, the same sound is referred as a meaningless 'Gabo Gabo'. In Spain it was called 'Comecocos' (coconut-eater). Pac-Man's ghosts have names and nicknames which were: Shadow (Blinky), Speedy (Pinky), Bashful (Inky), and Pokey (Clyde). In the original "Puckman", the ghosts were named Oikake (Akabei), Machibuse (Pinky), Kimagure (Aosuke), and Otoboke (Guzuta). Puckman also had a DIP switch for alternate ghost names : Urchin (Macky), Romp (Micky), Stylist (Mucky), and Crybaby (Mocky). Initially, Pac-Man's enemies were referred to as monsters on the arcade cabinet, but soon became colloquially known as ghosts.

The ghosts are bound by the maze in the same way as Pac-Man, but generally move slightly faster than the player, although they slow down when turning corners and slow down significantly while passing through the tunnels on the sides of the maze (Pac-Man passes through these tunnels unhindered). Pac-Man slows down slightly while eating dots, potentially allowing a chasing ghost to catch him. Blinky, the red ghost, also speeds up after a certain number of dots are eaten (this number gets lower in higher levels).

Startscreen of Pac-Man - 240 dots to eat

Pac-Man Gameplay

The seminal and hugely influential arcade game in which the player guides the legendary Pac-Man around a single-screen maze eating dots. Pac-Man is constantly pursued in his task by four ghosts - Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (blue) and Clyde (orange). Each ghost has its own unique personality and behavioral patterns and a single touch from any of the ghosts results in Pac-Man losing a life.

Four 'Power Pills' are situated in each corner of the rectangular mazes and eating one of these makes Pac-Man temporarily invincible; the four ghosts also change to dark blue in color and can now be eaten by Pac-Man. These 'Skinned' ghosts, now visible as a pair of eyes only, will then return to the den in the middle of the maze, regenerate into their former selves, and return to the maze to continue their pursuit of Pac-Man. Each maze contains 240 dots and 4 Power Pills, and all must be eaten to complete the level; whereupon the entire sequence begins again with an increased level of difficulty. Read more about the scoring.

Twice in every level, a bonus fruit or prize item will temporarily appear in the middle of the maze below the ghosts' den. Pac-Man can eat these bonus items to receive extra points. Also, there is an escape tunnel on the left and right hand side of the maze that Pac-Man can use to escape any ghosts that are currently closing in on him. The ghosts can also use the tunnel, but take longer to pass through it than Pac-Man, making escape a little easier.

Cheating... Need a breather? Just park yourself in the spot immediately and to the right of where you start, and make sure that no monsters are "looking" at you when you do it. The monsters will run all over the maze, but they'll never find you. Go to the bathroom in peace.

Over the years, Pac-Man's popularity called for more diversity and gameplay. Society cried for something new and fresh. Like most success stories, the creators decided to expand on the original idea. Like many marketing preach, "When you have a great idea, just make it better." This theory gave rise to Ms. Pac-Man the following year, in 1982. Ms. Pac-Man was similar to the original, but put a fresh face on the main character. In 1983, Jr. Pac-Man was introduced, this time adding a larger play area, where the user would "scroll" between areas. From there came Pac-land, a platform scroller, and then Pac-Mania, placing Pac-Man in 3D. From there a whole field of Pac-Man games grew without limit. Pac-Man 2, Pac-Man VR, Pac-In-Time, Pac-Man 3D, etc. Namco re-released the arcade version in 1996 as part of the Namco Classics Vol. 2, which includes an "updated arrangement" of Pac-Man.

Pac-Man Cartoon Intro - click the play button

Pac-Man Cartoons - The Animated Series

Pac-Man: The Animated Series, is an animated TV series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and based upon the popular Pac-Man arcade game by Namco, which aired on ABC from September 25, 1982 to September 1, 1984.

The arcade game Pac-Land was based entirely on the cartoon, and Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures drew significant influence from it as well. Also, the Tengen release of the original Pac-Man arcade game for the Nintendo Entertainment System features box art based on the cartoon.

Pac-Man follows the adventures of the title character Pac-Man (voiced by Marty Ingels), his wife Mrs. Pepper Pac-Man (voiced by Barbara Minkus), and their child Pac-Baby (voiced by Russi Taylor). They also had two pets, Chomp-Chomp the Dog (voiced by Frank Welker) & Sour Puss the Cat (voiced by Peter Cullen). The family lives in Pac-Land, a place in which the geography and architecture seem to revolve primarily around spheres and sphere-like shapes.

Last but not least, the name 'Pac-Man' has been given to a nebula, cataloged as NGC 281. The Pac-Man Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It includes or is near the open cluster IC 1590, the double star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. The shape of the nebula resembles the famous video game icon, Pac-Man. It is visible in amateur telescopes from dark sky locations.


Related Links and sources

wikipedia.org/Pac-Man (TV_series)

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