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Pac-Man (Arcade)

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Title Screen


Also known as: Puckman (JP)
Developer: Namco
Publishers: Namco (JP), Nintendo (AU), Midway Manufacturing (US), Sega (EU), Atari, Inc. (KR)
Platform: Arcade (Namco Pac-Man hardware)
Released in JP: May 22, 1980
Released in US: October 26, 1980
Released in EU: November 17, 1980
Released in AU: June 22, 1980
Released in KR: December 15, 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.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
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, infamously, the Atari 2600).


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Read about notable bugs and errors in this game.

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.

Pacman namcoarcade blast.png

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.


Present in the graphics data are three types of dots: the regular ones, the Power Pellets, and an unused medium-sized type in between. The medium dots also appear in the code of Pac-Man Plus and Ms. Pac-Man, but go unused there as well. They were later incorporated into Jr. Pac-Man for when a bonus item runs over a regular dot.

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 (yellow in Pac-Man Plus).

(Source: The Pac-Man Dossier)

Version Differences

Pac-Man Plus


An "official" conversion kit released by Bally Midway in 1982. While 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.

Pac-Man Pac-Man Plus
Pac-Man Comparable Sprite Sheet.png Pac-Man Plus Comparable Sprite Sheet.png
  • 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). The sprites of the ghosts moving upwards also had their eyes moved down by 1 pixel.
  • Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man's sprites are touched up, resulting in smoother and cleaner mouths.
  • Most of the bonus items (barring the Apple and 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 is added (see below for why).
  • 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 (400-800-1,600-3,200) 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)

Revisional Differences

The version of Plus found on Arcade1Up machines changes the logo on the Coca-Cola can to "PAC", while the Legacy Edition cabinets simply feature a blank coke can. This was likely done to avoid legal issues with Coca-Cola.

Original Arcade1Up Arcade1Up
(Legacy Edition)
Pac-Man Plus Coke Can Original.png Pac-Man Plus Coke Can Arcade1Up.png Pac-Man Plus Coke Can Arcade1Up (Legacy Edition).png

Regional Differences

Ghost Names

In the Japanese version, the ghosts' character names are Oikake (おいかけ, chase), Machibuse (まちぶせ, ambush), Kimagure (きまぐれ, fickle), and Otoboke (おとぼけ, playing dumb), fitting their behavior. They are also given nicknames: Akabei from aka (赤, red), Pinky from pinku (ピンク, pink), Aosuke from ao (青, blue), and Guzuta from guzuguzu (ぐずぐず , adjective meaning "slow" or "languid"). Their names are different in the American version, though the pink ghost's nickname was unchanged. The formatting on the names were also changed, with the character names now being preceded by a dash, the nicknames being left aligned and the names no longer having dashes between them.

On a related note, the Japanese version features Namco's classic logo on the attract mode screens, while the American version has a more standard copyright string for Midway in its place. Future rereleases of the American arcade version use the Japanese logo.

Japan US
PacManArcadeJPNames.png Pac-Man (Arcade)-title.png

Alternate Ghost Names

The board has a DIP switch called "Alternate Ghost Names". In the Japanese version, this would change the ghosts' character names and nicknames to a different set, presumably intended for export versions due to being written in English. In the American version, the alternate set is dummied out and replaced by one-unique-letter strings in alphabetical order. Interestingly, the Japanese alternate character names are used in all versions of Pac-Man Arrangement (1995).

Japan US
PacManArcadeJPAltNames.png PacManArcadeAltNames.png