Pac-Land is an arcade proto-platformer based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon based on the arcade maze game Pac-Man.
Developer Easter Egg
Enter Service Mode, then press Left or Right to change the sound effect until it's 18. Press the Service Button to display the screen calibration test grid, then press Right (×4), Left, Right, Left (×6), Jump.
If you enter your name as one of the following on the high-score list, the name will flash red and yellow for 12.8 seconds when you finish entering it:
|High Score Entry
|Yoshihiro Kishimoto (programmer)
Yuriko Keino (composer)
While the game was always based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Midway saw it fit to make that connection more obvious when localizing the game for America and altered the sprites of the Pac-Man family to appear more closer to the cartoon. None of these changes made it into the European version. The Namco Arcade port of the game notably uses the sprites from the Midway version while using the speed of the Japanese version.
On the "PLAYER READY ǃ" screen, Namco's version features the fairies that come out of Pac-Man's hat at the end of the levels, flying across the screen: the female fairy for odd trips and the male one for even trips. In the Midway version, they were replaced with Chomp-Chomp and Sour Puss, Pac-Man's pets from the cartoon, respectively. All other fairy appearances were left intact so as to not mess up the story. The Namco Arcade version uses the fairies and does not use Chomp-Chomp or Sour Puss' sprites.
In the Namco version, Pac-Man uses his classic Japanese artwork design, though he's now sporting a spiffy new hat original to this game. Meanwhile, the Midway version uses his design from the cartoon, changing the design of his eyes, nose and hat. A missing outline on his gloves was also corrected, and the lower portion of his torso was moved up by a pixel.
Ms. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man, who appear in the end-of-trip cutscene, were also redrawn to match their cartoon counterparts (Pepper Pac-Man and Pac-Baby). The cutscene now also features Chomp-Chomp and Sour Puss running around. Chomp-Chomp and Sour Puss are not retained in the Namco Arcade version.
The Midway version is much faster-paced than Namco's version, nearly doubling the overall speed of the gameplay, though all non-gameplay screens remain at their original speed.
Later Midway Versions
Later releases of Midway's version changed the "BREAK TIME" background, removing the cross from on top of the church, which was also present in Namco's version. Interestingly, the Arcade Archives and Pac-Man Museum+ re-releases of the game also omit the cross in all regions despite being otherwise based on the Japanese version.
Namco Museum Vol. 4
|Namco Museum Vol. 4
In the Namco version of the game included in Namco Museum Vol. 4 for the PlayStation, Pac-Man's nose was shortened, similar to the Midway version, in order to match his modern design. Later ports and compilations revert this.
Arcade Archives/Pac-Man Museum+
The revision of Pac-Land used for the Arcade Archives release of the game changes the sprites of Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Baby, replacing the characters with new characters Pac-Mom and Pac-Sis, both created for Pac-Man Museum+ (the compilation, which would release a month later following the Arcade Archives release, also features the same sprite edits). This is due to legal issues surrounding the royalty rights to Ms. Pac-Man, which are best explained here.
The revision of Pac-Land in Pac-Man Museum+, retaining the changes made in the Arcade Archives release, also revises the sprites of the cars that Clyde, Pinky, Inky, and Blinky drive. The tiles of the rotating car wheels are changed to be more consistent in appearance and presumably remove the tires' resemblance to a Swastika.