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Video Game / Pac-Guy

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Pac-Guy, later known as Pea-Guy, is a parody of Pac-Man developed by Astral Entertainment in Multimedia Fusion. It tells the tales of the title character and his misadventures to combat evil and save the world, taking Random Events Plot to the fullest, with many shout outs scattered about. The series started as Pac-Guy in 1996, was changed to Pea-Guy in 2001, and is on indefinite hiatus as of 2005.

The game series consists of the following:

  • Pac-Guy: The original. Received an Updated Re-release known as Pac-Guy: Resurrection with a different intro, slightly enhanced visuals, and a Final Boss replacing the Cliffhanger of the original.
  • Pac-Guy: Atomic Edition: A Gaiden Game with a BFG.
  • Pac-Guy: Christmas Edition: The Christmas Special.
  • Pac-Guy 2: The first episode of the sequel, also known as Pac-Guy 2: First Contact.
  • Pac-Guy 2, Part 2: Pagoon: The second episode of the sequel.
  • Pac Pack: A Compilation Re-release published by ValuSoft. The older version only contains installments from Resurrection to Pagoon as well as the shareware version of Pacula's Curse, but free add ons can be downloaded from the official website - Pac-Gal (a female Pac-Guy), Pac-Guy Original Edition (the original Pac-Guy), Pixel-Guy (a spinoff with smaller, pixelated graphics), Pac-Guy 2: The Lost Levels (leftover content), and Pac-Guy Scrambler (a remix of the original game, Atomic Edition, Christmas Edition, and the first part of Pac-Guy 2). The newer release contains the add ons already in the disc.
  • Pac-Guy 2, Part 3: Pacula's Curse: The third episode of the sequel and the only entry not included in the Pac Pack.
  • Pea-Guy: Vengeance or Bust: A direct continuation of Pacula's Curse that rebrands the series. It is actually three games in one - Pea-Guy 3: Ultimeneinasenshun, Pea-Guy 3: Arena, and Pea-Guy 3, Part 2: The Escape from Castle Ernie.
  • A-Sock-Ellipse Now!: Another three-in-one title featuring contest-winning ideas - The Magic Land (a tactical RPG), The Secret of Coolness (a puzzle-based 3D third-person shooter), and Defeating Dr. Robotica (an action-based 3D third-person shooter). Also includes a 7½ minute mini-movie called The Search For Kodoe along with an In-Character Commentary.
  • R.I.Pea-Guy: A disc containing bonus content such as source files and a promo for a Radio Drama (which never materialized).

The following tropes appear in the series:

  • A Winner Is You: Beating the Christmas Edition simply gives you a "THE END" screen.
  • Absurdly Short Level: The first of The Lost Levels is simply Pac-Guy literally walking over some mountains, with no enemies in sight.
  • Affectionate Parody: Obviously one of Pac-Man. It also acts as such for pretty much anything the developers happened to be fans of.
  • All There in the Manual: The series' official website gave intel on many of the characters featured within, most of which isn't detailed in the games themselves.
  • Art Evolution: Early Pac-Guy games had a great reliance on stock assets and only a small snippet of hand-made, non-preset sprites. As the series continued and soon evolved into Pea-Guy, the original graphics improved while the use of stock assets lessened.
    • This can be seen as early as Resurrection, which changed Pac-Guy's eyes from simple Black Bead Eyes to more detailed eyes with both irises and sclera. The shading on his sprite also improved between the original game and the remake.
  • Bag of Spilling: Once you beat a level, any leftover ammunition or other secret pickups is lost.
  • Bee Afraid: In one maze of Pac-Guy 2 Part 3, Pac-Guy is forced to awaken a hive of bees to hit a switch. The Power Pellets are honey jars dumped onto the ground to distract the bees.
  • BFG: Pac-Guy’s weapon in Atomic Edition.
  • Big Eater: Pac-Guy, being a Pac-Man clone, naturally eats lots of colorful pellets in his adventures. Averted once the series became Pea-Guy, replacing the pellets with buttons that must be pressed to finish the level.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The climax of Pac-Guy 2 Part 3: While Pacula is defeated and most of the land has been restored by the Gia, Pac-Guy's Uncle Patches is frozen in carbonate and Pac-Guy himself is sent falling off a cliff after being stunned by the Mysterious Nasty Lord, resulting in a Cliffhanger that, if you hadn't known about Pea-Guy, you may not have even known was ever followed up on.
  • Blue with Shock: Noticeably averted. Instead of turning enemies blue, Power Pellets instead give Pac-Guy ammo to shoot and remove enemies with. Played straight with Pac-Guy 2 Part 1’s fourth level, which has a hidden item that permanently turns all the enemies blue.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The first game has two levels where you gain infinite ammo: Levels 4 and 12. in the former, it is a secret item, and in the latter, it is available out in the open and is required to beat the level.
    • The third and final level of Christmas Edition awards infinite ammo immediately. It too, is necessary.
    • The final boss against Pacula in Pac-Guy 2 Part 3 provides infinite ammo.
  • Breath Weapon: Except for Atomic Edition and Escape from Castle Ernie where he's shown with actual firearms, Pac-Guy fires bullets accumulated in the level from the center of his sprite where his mouth would be.
  • Bullfight Boss: Professor Test Tube in Pea-Guy: Ultimeneinasenshun starts his boss fight by using a tractor beam to drain all your ammunition, forcing you to damage him using the spiked test tubes in his lab when he charges at you.
  • Celebrity Paradox: At the end of Pac-Guy 2 Part 1, Pac-Guy finds a black-colored Pac-Man while he is stranded in outer space who says a few lines of dialogue and disappears. In some versions, Pac-Man is his original yellow instead.
  • Continuing is Painful: You automatically use a continue if you lose all your lives- and get sent back to the previous level.
  • Cool Shades: At the start of Ultimeneinasenshun, Pea-Guy puts on a pair of sunglasses before beginning the escape. The shades remained as part of his design for the rest of the series. In the Secret of Coolness, Witchy Witch steals the sunglasses, believing them to be what makes Pea-Guy so cool.
  • Covers Always Lie: The packaging for both versions of Pac Pack show Pac-Man characters, including Pac-Man with his traditional pie-shaped eyes and ghosts trailing behind. The series itself has no ghost enemies outside of the third part of the second game (which aren't the classic bedsheet-styled ghosts Pac-Man is known for) and Pac-Guy has noticeably different facial features than Pac-Man.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Bord King at the end of Pac-Guy 2 Part 1.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Because only Pac-Guy's position is reset upon death, it is possible for an enemy to creep up on his starting position and steadily kill off the rest of the player's lives. Mostly averted in some of the later installments thanks to their improved enemy pathing and AI.
  • Digitized Sprites: Pea-Guy: Escape from Castle Ernie experiments with a faux-3D graphic style and is the first installment since Atomic Edition to render the main character with a weapon. A-Sock-Ellipse Now! continues this trend.
  • Every 10,000 Points: In every game in the series, an extra life is awarded at every 1,000 points, though in the earlier games this resets your score afterwards.
  • Expy:
    • Pac-Guy himself is one to Pac-Man- as they are both spherical, yellow-colored creatures.
    • Kan is an expy of Khan Noonien Singh. In addition, the “BORD” are expies of the Borg.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The official site of the series revealed that the purple Pac-Kid rescued in First Contact ended up becoming Ultimeneinasenshun.
  • Game-Over Man
    • The game over screen of Pagoon shows Kan’s outline as he cackles.
    • Getting a game over in Ultimeneinasenshun shows the titular villain sing a song mocking Pea-Guy and his demise.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Until the player finishes Level 12, Kan makes no appearances whatsoever. Only when the player reaches Level 13 does he show up, shoot down Pac-Guy, declare Pac-Guy as "his old nemesis", and announce that he is going to kill him- setting up the stage for the final boss fight. Similarly, he has no relevance in Pac-Guy 2's plot until the Cliffhanger ending of the first part.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The first era of Pac-Guy titles preceding Pac-Guy 2 Episode 1 all continuously recycle graphics (both original and stock Clickteam/Multimedia Fusion assets) and sound effects.
  • Nintendo Hard: Some stages in the game can become this as (without finding secrets) you're given only enough ammunition to kill each enemy in the maze with no spare ammo or room for error, potentially creating un-winnable scenarios and forcing a Game Over if you miss or waste a shot. Most of the smaller enemies having no clear movement path and the levels being dangerously linear with very few if any branching paths or dead ends only makes this harder.
  • Orphaned Series: At the current state of affairs, Pac-Guy/Pea-Guy has dealt with six Nasty Lords (Pacula, Ultimeneinasenshun, Ernie Smellur, Magico, WitchyWitch, and Dr. Robotica); however, it has been mentioned that there are twelve total, leaving a whopping half undefeated, not to mention that Kan is still out there.
  • Poison Mushroom: Levels 8, 9, and 10 of the original game have fake Power Pellets that blow up when you step close to them. They are only slightly off-color from the real power pellets, making them rather hard to distinguish from one another. An explosive pellet also appears in Level 2 of Christmas Edition.
  • Random Events Plot: The first Pac-Guy game doesn't develop any sort of constant story till much later in the game. Until then, he's mostly just exploring different areas until he has to go into space, recite Return of the Jedi, and escape from Kan.
  • Run or Die: In the final level of Resurrection, Pac-Guy is given no means of fighting Kan directly while he's eating all the pellets on his ship; thus he has no choice but to evade all his attacks.
  • Sequel Series: Pea-Guy can be considered this to Pac-Guy. In reality, after Hasbro Interactive (licensors of Pac-Man games on PC at the time) took legal action against 3D Maze Man and released Ultimate Pac-Pack (which included three official Pac-Man installments), Astral Entertainment was worried of facing a lawsuit due to the certain likeness, so Pac-Guy was renamed to Pea-Guy and had a palette change. In-universe, Ultimeneinasenshun had Pac-Guy's name legally changed to Pea-Guy between games, although there is no explanation why his color was changed from yellow to green. Pac-Gal was also replaced with Pea-Gal, although Uncle Patches remained the same color.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • In Pac-Guy 2 Part 3, Pac-Guy's dialogue is given voice acting. This continues into the Pea-Guy series.
    • Inverted in the case of Kan: He has a voice in Resurrection, but doesn't in 2 Part 1.
  • Take That!: In Scrambler, it’s mentioned that one of the effects of Kan’s dictatorship is that the only show allowed to air on TV is Pac-e-mon. (In the Pea-Guy version featured on R.I.Pea Guy, it’s replaced with Pea-Gi-Oh)
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Levels 8 and 12 of 2 Part 1 are a driving and a Unexpected Shmup Level respectively.
    • Level 3 in 2 Part 3 is a tube shooter.
  • Villain Song
    • Pacula sings one before his boss battle, the song being a parody of Gangsta's Paradise. He even gets details related to it listed in the corner of the screen, like in a real music video.
    • Ultimeneinasenshun has two of these, one that serves as his battle theme, again a parody of another song, Stayin' Alive, and one that he sings to celebrate if Pea-Guy is killed.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
  • Wire Dilemma: In 2 Part 3, Pac-Guy winds up in this scenario at the end of one maze in Pacula's basement. He cuts the wrong one.