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Pac-Man: Ten Things You Didn’t Know
After 30 years, ghosts still tremble at the mere mention of his name.
March 8, 2011 — — He’s pursued night and day by supernatural forces, fends them off by growing several times his original size and yet despite a jaundiced complexion and an obvious compulsive eating disorder, 30 years later Pac-Man is still one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous video game characters of all time.
With new versions of the game having recently hit video game arcades and home game consoles, and famed movie producer Avi Arad (responsible for such films as “Spider-Man” and “X-Men”) working on a 3D animated television show, it would appear that “Pac-Man Fever” remains a worldwide epidemic.
In honor of the legend, Namco/Bandai has given ABCNews.com a list of 10 deep, dark secrets, some of which not even the hardest of die-hard fans may know about the mysterious and reclusive Pac-Man.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pac-Man
1. There were only three core people involved in the development of the original Pac-Man. The planning and designs were done by Toru Iwatani, and there was one additional person who worked on programming development, and one focused on music.
2. Within 15 months of its U.S. release, Namco/Bandai sold more than 100,000 arcade units and fans spent more than $1 billion in quarters to spark the pop-culture phenomenon.
3. First released as “Puck-Man,” the name was later changed to Pac-Man. The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning “chomp.” Given the closeness to a certain explicit four-letter English word, a lot of arcade operators at the time were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, “Pac” was suggested as an alternate name. Hence the name “Pac-Man” came to be.
4. Pac-Man’s favorite snack pellets — the tiny dots he munches as he moves around the video game board — were originally cookies. The “power cookies” are now the larger pellets he uses to eat the ghosts.
5. Each of the four ghosts in the game has both Japanese and English names. In Japan they started as Fickle, Chaser, Ambusher and Stupid. Their English names are Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde.
6. Due to the game’s wild success, Pac-Man became an economic term. When a company that is about to be acquired instead takes over the hostile company that was attempting to acquire it, it’s called the “Pac-Man” defense. The name was coined after the role reversal that occurs when Pac-Man eats power cookies.
Pac-Man Is Most Recognized Video Game Character
7. Pac-Man was created as a “cute” game designed to have both good and bad characters that were colorful and endearing. This was one of the first games to appeal to an audience beyond the traditional male audience.
8. Initially, the ghosts were referred to as monsters on the original arcade cabinets. It was not until later that they were known as ghosts. Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde were each created with their own distinct personalities so that the game would never get boring yet would have behaviors that players could learn. For instance, Blinky has a chaser personality while Pinky likes to ambush Pac-Man.
9. The 2010 Edition of the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition named Pac-Man the Most Recognized Video Game Character at 94 percent of Americans recognizing the distinctive yellow ghost gobbler.
10. In 2005 Pac-Man received the Guinness World Records award for being the “Most Successful Coin-Operated Game”.
The Ghosts are the main antagonists of the Pac-Man franchise. They chase Pac-Man around a maze to keep him from eating all of the dots. It was the player’s objective to avoid the ghosts and collect all of the dots.
Power Pellets are the ghosts’ ultimate weakness. When Pac-Man eats one, the ghosts turn blue, and Pac-Man can eat them.
- One Ghost eaten – 200 pts.
- Two Ghosts eaten – 400 pts.
- Three Ghosts eaten – 800 pts.
- Four Ghosts eaten – 1600 pts.
In the original Pac-Man, there were four ghosts (referred to as the Ghost Gang), each member having their own unique personalities:
- Blinky – Red, chases Pac-Man relentlessly.
- Pinky – Pink, strategically ambushes Pac-Man.
- Inky – Cyan, scares Pac-Man into making the wrong move.
- Clyde (Sue in Ms. Pac-Man and Tim in Jr. Pac-Man) – Orange, not very smart.
In the Pac-Man cartoon series from 1982 to 1984, the Ghost Gang work for Mezmeron and help him try to find the Power Pellet Forest and often call Pac-Man names such as “Pac-Fink”.
In the TV series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the Ghost Gang work for Lord Betrayus but secretly they help Pac-Man foil Betrayus’ plans and hopefully get their bodies back.
The Ghosts (also known as Monsters or Ghost Monsters) are the main enemies of the Pac-Man series and have antagonized Pac-Man and all of Pac-Land in their appearances. The most notable ghosts are the four members of the Ghost Gang – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde – who have appeared throughout the series as both antagonists and protagonists.
Despite ghosts often being cruel and mischievous, some have been shown to be nice, but most have rejoiced in antagonizing Pac-Man. They have to be careful though, because Pac-Man has a chance of swallowing them whole, usually when a Power Pellet is obtained. They are spectral beings that dwell in Ghost Land and will sometimes travel to Pac-Land to cause havoc and mischief.
In the original games and cartoon, the Ghosts were originally portrayed as monsters that wore cloaks and are considered being tangible, as well as having feet that can only be seen visibly under their cloak. However, they had a few ghostly traits such as being able to levitate.
what are all the pacman ghosts called.
In the newer games and animated series, the Ghosts are portrayed as spectral ectoplasmic entities with the common ghostly traits of being semi-intangible, being able to levitate and can leave trails of ectoplasm on living beings.
They also do not appear to have a very good diet, with much of their “food” appearing to be made up mostly of inedible and gross muck like garbage, worms, body parts and other unidentifiable substances and slimy goo, however, due to being spiritual entities without organs, these substances do no permanent harm to them. The fact that they have things such as sewers and sewage implies they still need to expel bodily waste products like Pac-People. Blinky has even admitted to passing gas on one occasion, which, sad to say, dramatically improved the smell of their food. With proper seasoning, their food can be made edible to Pac-People.
In the original games and cartoon, their main weakness is the Power Pellet, which can be eaten by almost any type of Pac-Being, such as Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, other Pac-People and Pac-Animals. When eaten, Pac-People posses the ability to eat them and it causes them to turn blue with fear. Once eaten, their empty bodies will return to a chamber in the center of a maze where Pac-Man has no access and return to their original forms to continue chasing him.