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An intro to Pac-Man

What is Pac-Man?

the pac-man maze

Pac-man is an arcade game, originally released in 1989. It was designed by Toru Iwatani, a Japanese game developer. Pac-Man is the best-selling arcade game of all time, with over 350,000 units sold. It also spawned several sequels, including the popular Ms. Pac-Man, which offered updated graphics and slightly tweaked gameplay mechanics.

How is it played?

The original game is played with a joystick. The player manuevers Pac-man around a maze, trying to eat as many pellets as possible while avoiding the ghosts. If Pac-Man touches a ghost, he loses a life. However, if Pac-Man eats one of the blinking pellets, (called Power Pellets), the ghosts turn blue and Pac-Man can eat them for points. The more ghosts Pac-Man eats before they turn back to their regular colors, the more points the player gets. Once a stage is cleared of dots, a new one begins. After every few levels, there is an intermission cutscene.

What are the characters?

Pac-Man has several characters:
  1. pac-man Pac-Man is the main character of the game. Although it is often said that Pac-Man's body is modelled after a slice of pizza, this is not strictly true. Iwatani, the creator, said that the design is also based on the Japanese character for the word "mouth".

  2. pac-man Blinky is the red ghost, and the most dangerous. He increases greatly in speed once a certain number of dots are eaten. The higher the level, the sooner this happens. The accelerated Blinky is unofficially referred to as Cruise Elroy, which may be a reference to Elroy Jetson. Apart from Blinky, the ghost speeds are equal and constant.

  3. pac-man Pinky is the pink ghost. She is a tasteful shade of lavender.

  4. pac-man Inky is the blue ghost. He is rather dashing.

  5. pac-man Clyde is the orange ghost. In Pac-Man, he is just like all of the other ghosts, but in Ms. Pac-Man, he seems to be a bit of a klutz.

How do I score points?

Most Pac-Man players try to get the high score. There are several ways of scoring points in Pac-Man:

Fruit Tables

Name Image Points
Cherry cherry 100
Strawberry strawberry 300
Peach peach 500
Apple apple 700
Grapes grapes 1000
Galaxian galaxian 2000
Bell bell 3000
Key key 5000
Hover over the image
of the fruit to enlarge!

Note: background color changed for printing.