Video Game: Pac-Man World

Those smiles hide a dark secret...

Just as Mario jumped to the third dimension during the fifth generation of video gaming, so did Pac-Man. The first game, Pac-Man World, was released on the Sony PlayStation on his 20th anniversary. Instead of the maze game he was most known for, this game was a rather standard Platform Game incorporating many Pac-Man motifs in new ways such as fruit to unlock doors and pellets which could be shot as lasers. However, mazes were incorporated into the levels and there's even a mode featuring them exclusively. Though this game isn't anywhere near as prominent or influential as the iconic arcade game or Super Mario 64, it retains a cult fanbase and even spawned two sequels and a kart-racing spinoff in the sixth generation.

The games provide examples of:

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    Tropes for the first game 
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: The game's plot takes place on Pac-Man's 20th birthday.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The fourth world, Funhouse.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The final world, Mansion. Appropriate considering Pac-Man's main enemies are ghosts.
  • Blackout Basement: Crisis Cavern has a few sections in which the lighting dims considerably.
  • Canon Immigrant: Professor Pac-Man (from an unauthorized game from Bally Midway) finally makes his appearance in an official Pac-Man game. Sourpuss (from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon) makes his cameo in this game, too.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory:
    • Clown Prix. Forget about pressing X in order to accelerate. That button is used to brake here. Okay, Chocobo Racing did it too, but at least it had the decency to use another button, the square (no pun intended) - arguably even worse given most games use the square to brake.
    • But the worst offender is the pause menu, where choosing "resume" with X results also in a perceived pression of the button outside the menu, and therefore Pac-Man will jump. And given the abundance of the Bottomless Pits, that would not be a good thing.
  • Damsel in Distress: The entirety of Pac-Man's family, and his little dog too (oh yeah, and Pooka), are held as hostages in each level, requiring a key to free them. They support Pac-Man with health in the final battle.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: All of the things that happened in the story, which include Pac's house getting destroyed, his family getting kidnapped, many various foes trying to kill Pac-Man, and an Evil Knockoff attempting to pass himself off as the real Pac-Man, can all be tied to Orson, the ghost that created and operated Toc-Man and the ultimate mastermind behind the plot only because the ghosts are despised by Pac-People and other living creatures, and that Orson himself has never had a friend before. Pac responds appropriately by taking out a Power Pellet and eating him.
  • Eternal Engine: The fifth world, Factory.
  • Evil Knockoff: Toc-Man, notch.
  • Fake Difficulty
    • Camera Screw: The camera is suited just fine for a 2D side-scroller, but given that a lot of level segments require Pac-Man to move not only left and right, but forth and back as well, it can make many jumps much harder to accurately judge. Most notably, are some of those wheels in Spin Dizzy far away, or just really small?
    • Checkpoint Starvation: The game is normally good about giving you checkpoints. The one glaring exception to the rule is, again, Spin Dizzy.
    • Hitbox Dissonance: By the dev team's own admission; apparently they ran out of time when they were beta testing. It gets especially bad in Anubis Rex.
  • Game Over Man: Lose all your lives and the game's title gets changed from Pac-Man World to Toc-Man World and Toc-Man stands next to the title laughing.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The first world, Pirate. The boss happens to be an actual pirate ship.
  • Go for the Eye: The King Galaxian has four giant red eyes. Guess where you need to shoot it.
  • Ground Pound: Known as the "butt bounce", it is treated like a Double Jump.
  • Heroic Mime: Pac-Man, though at the beginning he yells when he sees that his friends and family have been kidnapped.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: If you beat the game at least once, you'll unlock a set of outtakes that are pretty funny.
  • It's All About Me: Toc-Man, if the final cutscene prior to facing him is any indication.
    Toc-Man: Look, here I am! Love me!
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Much of the game is finding the right fruit to unlock doors to progress or find secrets.
  • Meaningless Lives: This game may be Nintendo Hard in many respects, but let it never be denied that it is ridiculously easy to amass a life count in the hundreds. Getting three Galaxians at the end-level slot machine nets you three extra lives, and on average you can play the slot machine five to ten times per level. Memorizing the order of the slots is easy, because all three use the same pattern; in fact, if you regularly play in earshot of others, they might start to be convinced that "apple-cherry-peach-cherry-STOP!" is your new Madness Mantra.
  • Mirror Boss: Toc-Man, the Big Bad of the game, who utilizes one of Pac-Man's techniques in each of its attack phases.
  • Nintendo Hard: And HOW!
  • Recurring Riff: Nearly every tune in the game is a remix of the music from either Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Toc-Man" is a reversal of Namco's (now discontinued) home console division, Namcot.
  • Shout-Out: The Galaxian flagship appears as a "fruit" unlocking the mazes in the first game. In addition, there is an entire boss level directly inspired by the game.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Done by Pac-Man when he devours a stunned Orson after the later reveals himself from the wreckage of Toc-Man and begins sobbing at his defeat.
  • Space Zone: The third world, Space. And yes, Pac-Man can breathe in space.
  • Underground Level: The second world, Ruins. Temple of Doom is another theme.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Two of the boss stages. Apart from the aforementioned King Galaxian, Clown Prix is a Racing Minigame.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The H.M.S. Windbag.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Orson, the pale green ghost that pilots Toc-Man; the one behind the kidnappings of Pac-Man's entire family and attempting to steal Pac-Man's own identity is only doing so because according to him, "No one loves a ghost".

    Tropes for the second game 
  • Arc Words: Pac-Man is often told that everyone in Pac-Land is counting on him.
  • Bottomless Pits: The farther you go in the game, the more terrain becomes composed of nothing but thin lines and platforms surrounded by deadly elements such as pits, lava and freezing or grimy water. It's a huge part of how this game can be so difficult.
  • Camera Screw: The camera will often refuse to turn at certain moments, even when it obstructs the next platform you need to get on.
  • Chainsaw Good: Treewood Forest and to a lesser extent Butane Pain has circular saw blades as common obstacles.
  • Every 10,000 Points: An extra life is awarded for achieving 25,000 points in a level. This becomes a Game Breaker in some levels (Haunted Boardwalk being one of them), since doing well in mazes can easily lead to a total of more than that amount, and the points are added to the score every time you respawn at the maze checkpoint. In other words, if you surpass 25,000 points after a maze, you will never lose a life until you either beat the level or stop at another checkpoint.
  • Game Within a Game: The arcade games in Pac-Village (all vintage Pac-Man arcade games from The Eighties!) are treated as such.
  • Go for the Eye: A variation on the one above; to defeat the big submarine in "Whale on a Sub," Pac-Man has to shoot the four stern propellers - while avoiding the mines the sub "poops" in your general direction.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first world, a meadow region referred to inexplicably in the manual as the "Forest."
  • Guide Dang It: Some fruits/tokens are hidden in really obscure places you wouldn't think of looking, but Night Crawling in particular has an egregious example, one of the apples is hidden inside a bat hovering around hellevator platforms over a bottomless pit, most people wouldn't be crazy enough to try and kill that particular bat(trying to flip-kick them is a real pain in the ass)
  • Heroic Mime: Pac-Man again, except in some versions where he comments on the bosses' weaknesses.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: Inky and "Clyde" are defeated this way. Pinky also has a glass hitbox that shows cracks and deformation as she takes damage, but the player can't actually reach it.
  • Infinite 1-Ups:
    • Many checkpoint sections have more than one extra life for which the surplus can be abused, but the best one is the secret area in Butane Pain, which can give eight one-ups for the price of one!
    • Blade Mountain is incredibly generous on lives. Not so much the first time through, but normally when a token is collected on one visit, every revisit will replace it with a health wedge. Blade Mountain has a few crates that hang in mid air, but instead of being replaced with health wedges, they're replaced with LIVES. You're forced to open most of these crates too, so you can potentially gain thirteen lives on one visit. Very few are hidden for the most part.
  • Law of 100: For every 50 Pac-Dots you collect, you regain a health wedge.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Played straight with the whale-shaped ocean boss, but inverted earlier on; Blinky, Inky, and Pinky all pilot giant robots shaped like ghosts. Clyde pilots a giant robotic frog.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Fruit chests are nowhere near as prevalent as fruit doors from the previous game, but they serve the same purpose.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Overlaps with Underground Level.
  • The Maze: Ghost Bayou. It is also the longest level in the game.
  • Mad Marble Maze: Magma Opus has a section like this near the end of the level.
  • Nintendo Hard: 100% Completion requires very skilled platforming to collect everything compounded by the screwy camera, the precise jumps required, and one-way levels such as Blade Mountain. In addition, Time Trials have strict upper limits for the Bonus Token reward and of course, dying at any point is an instant failure. Of course, the requirement for unlocking Ms. Pac-Man is nearly every token, which means you have to complete most of the challenges to play it in the game.
    • If you had a release that was pre-Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits/Player's Choice, the game was even harder. The ghosts killed you in one hit, the platforming was more dangerous, and the power-ups didn't last as long. Games do go through revisions from time to time, but very few are this notably different from each other.
  • Plot Coupon: The five Golden Fruit.
  • Recurring Riff: The intro to the Pac-Village theme often shows up as part of the rest of the music tracks.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Volcanic Panic has a short section at the end that is like this.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Spooky.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: So slippery you'll temporarily lose control of Pac-Man if you jump onto or butt-bounce on it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The track for Pinky's Revenge starts off way too cheerful for a boss fight, but then the Psycho Sampling starts up....
  • Stalker with a Crush: Pinky, despite the fact Pac-Man is already married. Though keep in mind she will NOT hesitate to kill you.
    Pinky: If I Can't Have You...Nobody will!
  • Timed Mission: A sidequest for each non-boss level, available once you beat the level normally. All checkpoints disappear, but you don't lose extra lives for dying. Also fruit and extra life pickups are replaced with clock that freeze the timer for two and four seconds, respectively.
    • Flawless Victory: Blade Mountain's time-to-beat is 62 seconds. The only way to achieve 61 seconds is by collecting virtually every clock and never taking damage once.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: "Yellow Pac-Marine" and the Whale Sub boss are both rail shooters.
    • Heck, the entire ocean world is made of forced scrolling levels.
  • Yandere: Again, Pinky. Either Pac-Man will be with her, or she'll outright kill him. Or she'll try, anyway.

    Tropes for the third game 
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Ancients, who built many of the ruins that a few levels take place in. They were destroyed when their lust for power drove them to try and siphon energy from the Spectral Realm. Erwin's big plan? Do it right this time.
  • Bash Brothers: Pac and Clyde(Blinky) towards the game's end, full-stop. While it starts as obvious Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, the two end up manning the same mecha to take down a literal army and generally spending the rest of the adventure tagging out with each other to dish out punishment.
  • Character Development: It took a while, but this game finally provided a defined personality for Pac-Man - it turns out he's quite the Deadpan Snarker.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the rest of the trilogy. The levels have a much more gritty feel in this game, and Erwin is the most evil Pac-Man villain to date, with the fate of both Pac-World and the Spectral Realm hanging in the balance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pac-Man.
  • Distressed Dude: Inky and Blinky are captured and held captive by Erwin thoughout the game.
  • End of the World as We Know It: What will happen if Pac-Man doesn't stop Erwin's Energy Syphons in time, for both Pac-World and the Spectral Realm.
  • Enemy Mine: Pac-Man has to work together with the ghosts he fights in every other game in order to stop Erwin's plan. Once the mission's complete and Pac is returned home, the brief alliance is finally over and Pac-Man decides to have the ghosts for dinner.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Details of my sector's energy are between me and Ms. Pac, thank you very much!"
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Pac finally puts those boxing gloves he's been wearing for twenty-five years to proper use.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The trading cards. One can be found in each level, and you can get another by collecting all of one type of fruit in a level. Unlike World 2, however, Pac-Dots just add to your score and are not required.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Orson has reformed since his last appearance in Pac-Man World, and now serves as Pac-Man's Mission Control. It is unknown what happens to Orson's alliance with Pac-Man following Erwin's defeat.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Orson manages to simplify hacking into Erwin's Energy Syphons by turning it into a classic-style Pac-Man maze.
  • Mad Scientist: Erwin, who smells of clams and hates kittens.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Clyde can use a sonic scream to attack enemies in the segments where you control him.
  • Mini-Mecha: The new Toc-Man, described by Orson as being "15 tons of the most state-of-the-art bad guy-smushing technology ever balanced on legs". When Clyde's in the copilot seat, it gains a sonic scream cannon.
  • Mission Control: Orson. A few other characters join in on occasion.
  • Mordor: The Spectral Realm, although there are hints that it looks different to everybody.
  • Retcon: In the first two games, the ghosts live on Ghost Island. Here, it is stated that they live in the Spectral Realm.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Pac's Butt-Bounce is upgraded to have one of these every third bounce. As well, a certain powerup gives a greatly-amplified version.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Pac-Man.
  • Take Your Time: With the exception of the Timed Mission, you can go through the game at whatever pace you want despite the fabric of space collapsing around you.
  • Timed Mission: The end of the second Gogekka level.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Level ten has Pac-Man and Clyde fighting off Erwin's forces invading Orson's base in the new Toc-Man mecha.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Pinky appears to have completely gotten over her crush on Pac-Man since the last game.