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Pac-Man (Arcade)

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Title Screen


Also known as: Puckman (JP)
Developer: Namco
Publishers: Namco (JP), Midway Manufacturing (US)
Platform: Arcade (Namco Pac-Man)
Released in JP: May 22, 1980
Released in US: October 26, 1980

CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

Pac-Man is the story of a yellow circle that runs from ghosts and eats dots, fruit, and keys(!) in 255 identical mazes. The game quickly became extremely popular, being ported to dozens of systems including, most infamously, the Atari 2600.

Unused Graphics

A recreation of the sprite from Namco Museum Vol. 1

An unused explosion present with the rest of the graphics. It was removed in Pac-Man Plus and replaced with the 3200-point score sprite.

Namco Museum Vol. 1

The graphic is present with what may be its correct palette in the Character Slideshow of Namco Museum Vol. 1, under the name "Blast". However, this palette is not present within Pac-Man itself. Jr. Pac-Man would be the only game in the series to ever use the explosion, albeit with two different palettes and several flipped rotations.

Easter Egg

Who could tell?

Enter Service Mode, then quickly toggle it off and on. A video alignment grid will appear on the screen. Hold P1 START and P2 START and toggle Service Mode off and on again. If you've done it right, the grid will stay onscreen. Using the joystick, press Up (×4), Left (×4), Right (×4), Down (×4).

The words "MADE BY NAMCO" should appear on the screen in red Power Pellets. This also appears in Pac-Man Plus, except the pellets are yellow.

(Source: The Pac-Man Dossier)

Version Differences

Pac-Man Plus

Pac-Man Pac-Man Plus
Pac-Man Comparable Sprite Sheet.png Pac-Man Plus Comparable Sprite Sheet.png

An "official" conversion kit released by Bally Midway in 1982. While the fliers for Plus claimed it to be "A whole new game of surprises!", in reality it's just a small variation of the original Namco code.

  • Vulnerable ghosts are now shorter and have a leaf sticking out of their heads(?).
  • When moving horizontally, the Ghosts' eyes are one pixel closer together- a change also present in Pac & Pal
  • Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man's sprites are touched up, resulting in smoother and cleaner mouths.
  • Most of the bonus items (barring the Galaxian Boss) have been redrawn to resemble different foods. For example, the first bonus item resembles a Coca-Cola can.
  • The maze is teal green instead of blue.
  • The point values of eating an edible ghost are yellow instead of blue, and a "3200" graphic was added (see above).
  • Ghosts are faster and more aggressive, increasing the difficulty right off the bat.
  • Eating a bonus item causes ghosts to turn both edible and invisible. Invisible ghosts are worth double the normal point values (starting at 400 and ending at 3,200) and their vulnerability time lasts longer than a Power Pellet.
  • Eating a Power Pellet is unpredictable, causing one of the following events to occur:
    • All four ghosts turn edible, as in the original game.
    • Only three ghosts will turn edible, with the fourth changing direction.
    • The maze walls turn invisible for the duration of the Pellet or item.
    • The maze walls and all remaining dots turn invisible for the duration of the Pellet or item.
    • The ghosts turn edible and invisible, like with the bonus items.
(Source: The Arcade Flyer Archive, StrategyWiki)

Regional Differences

Ghost Names

The ghost's names are different in the North American version:

Japan North America
PacManArcadeJPNames.png Pac-Man (Arcade)-title.png

Alternate Ghost Names

There is a DIP Switch in the game, called "Alternate Ghost Names". In the Japanese version, this would change the ghost's names to a different set, but in the North American version, this switch is still present, but the alternate names are dummied out and replaced by one-unique-letter strings in alphabetical order.

Japan North America
PacManArcadeJPAltNames.png PacManArcadeAltNames.png