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An intro to Pac-Man
What is Pac-Man?
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:
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".
is the red
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.
is the pink
ghost. She is a
tasteful shade of lavender.
is the blue
He is rather dashing.
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:
- Eating dots. The more dots the player eats, the higher the score.
For each dot that Pac-Man eats, he makes a distinctive "wokka wokka"
- Eating ghosts. If Pac-Man eats a Power Pellet, all of the ghosts
While the ghosts are vulnerable, each blue ghost nets the
400 extra points. Thus, the first ghost is worth 400 points, the second
800, the third 1200, and the forth 1600. The ghosts are only vulnerable
for a limited period of time, however, and if they are eaten they will
return to their pen and start hunting the player again.
- Eating fruit. After a certain amount of time, a piece of fruit will
appear in the middle of the level. Each piece of fruit is worth a set
number of points. It will disappear if the player takes too long to eat
it. The higher the level, the better the point value of the fruit. Below
is a table with the point values for different kinds of fruits.
Note that in Ms. Pac-Man, the fruit moves around the level until it disappears
|Name ||Image ||Points
Hover over the image
of the fruit to enlarge!
Note: background color changed for printing.