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Video Game / Pac-Man
aka: Ms Pac Man

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Don't lie: you're hearing the music right now.

"Computer games don't affect kids. If Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills, and listening to repetitive music."
Marcus Brigstocke

A well-known game developed by Namco (now Bandai Namco Entertainment) and created by Tōru Iwatani, who created him to bring joy to all the people of the world, from The Golden Age of Video Games, and one of the most popular games ever, Pac-Man was the first really successful Maze Game, and one of the first games to be popular across gender demographics. It sparked a pop-culture phenomenon, and helped drive the early-1980s video game craze. Ironically, its poorly implemented Atari 2600 port helped turn Pac Man Fever into Pac-Man Cancer. It also was the first video game to get an Animated Adaptation, with a reluctant Marty Ingels in the lead role.

The game depicts an abstract round yellow character vaguely reminiscent of a head with a mouth opening and closing to gobble up nearby objects. The player must steer the character around a maze and "eat" all of the dots and four special power pellets (originally "energizers"). Four ghosts (originally "monsters") pursue the character, and their touch is fatal unless Pac-Man recently ate a power pellet.


The original game famously had no random number generator: The ghosts moved through the maze in a completely predictable pattern. It is said that the ghosts were given different colors to enable the programmers to give each a different "personality" or movement pattern. Top players could develop and memorize specific patterns to clear levels without losing lives. However, the ghosts prove an equal challenge if run on a random AI.

A sequel, Ms. Pac-Man, was even more popular than the original in Western territories, and featured more complex mazes and semi-randomized play. It started life as a bootleg hack of the original Pac-Man called Crazy Otto, which featured the player character as a Pac-Man head with legs. GCC, who created that hack, thought this game could be successful and brought the game to Bally/Midway, Namco's American distributor. Midway was impressed; together with the hackers, they edited the sprites back into Pac-Man–style sprites, and with Namco's blessing, they released it as a Pac-Man sequel in America.


Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were known for having lots of bootleg versions, many with altered mazes and graphics. They also had unofficial "speed-up kits" that, added to a legitimate machine, made the game faster and presumably harder- but for players that mastered it, it became ultimately easier as being out-sped by Ghosts was no longer an issue.

The franchise continued through an endless array of sequels, including two Pinball machines (Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man Pinball and Baby Pac-Man) and lots of console adaptations. One of the most notable of these is Pac-Man Championship Edition, released for the Xbox Live Arcade and iPhone — notable because it is one of the few sequels to have been designed by Pac-Man's original creator, Tōru Iwatani, and it’s also much faster and more intense than the original Pac-Man.

There's also a special version of the game, Pac-Man VS. for the Nintendo GameCube, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and bundled with the Game Boy Advance link cable (as well as several other Namco games, and it was even given away for free at stores!). One of the few multiplayer entries in the series, the game allows up to three players to take control of the ghosts on the TV screen, while a fourth player controls Pac-Man himself on a linked Game Boy Advance, passing systems and controllers among one another between rounds. It also features Mario as an announcer, for some reason, and makes a great party game.

Another notable sequel is Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures, for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This game was an adventure game, except instead of controlling Pac-Man, you were an off-screen helper who suggested things to Pac (who had a mind of his own and was prone to moods which affected how he would respond), either by directing him to look in a general direction or by shooting things with a slingshot. You could also give him power pellets, of which you had only three but could find more around the levels. This game also included a full version of the original Pac-Man, and either Ms. Pac-Man (SNES) or the exclusive Pac Jr. (Genesis). Pac-Man 2 was largely forgotten but still has a cult following.

Fun fact: It is one of the few games from the Golden Age to still make money in arcades in some form. Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Pac-Man were released as a multiple game arcade machine in 2001, with Pac-Man being hidden or not depending on the version of the machine. There is also a "Penny Falls" gambling machine called Pac-Man Ball that's notable for featuring a screen with a video game mechanic reminiscent of Puzzle Bobble. It actually pays out rather generously, so play it if you find one.

Did you know the game was originally released in Japan as "Puck-Man"? It was changed for the North American release when marketing noticed how easy and tempting it would be to blot out a bit of the P to undesirably retitle the game. Either version of the name is based on the Japanese sound "paku-paku", for eating.

For the series' 30th anniversary, Google made a new version of the game using a custom map with their name on it. No, really, the map is their name. It's awesome to play, by the way (and the mechanics are scarily accurate to the arcade game, right down to the Kill Screen). For April Fools Day 2015, the game became playable on Google Maps, so players could chomp pellets from all over the world.

A battle royale version called Pac-Man 99 was released on the Nintendo Switch Online service on April 7, 2021.

Pac-man appeared as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and also makes an appearance in Super Robot Wars DD.

This page should have anything you ever wanted to know about the gameplay.

It's also possible to enable a Pac-Man progress bar in Arch Linux and its derivatives (as they use the Pacman package manager).

See also Pac Man Fever.

The franchise has contributed the following works:

    open/close all folders 

    Arcade Games 
  • Pac-Man May, 1980
  • Ms. Pac-Man 1981 (Made by Bally/Midway without Namco's authorization, as well as:)
    • Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man Pinball 1982
    • Pac-Man Plus 1982
    • Baby Pac-Man 1982
    • Professor Pac-Man 1983
    • Jr. Pac-Man 1983 (This game and Professor Pac-Man eventually led to the separation of Namco and Bally Midway in 1984.)
  • Super Pac-Man 1982
  • Pac & Pal 1983 (There is an alternate version called "Pac-Man and Chomp Chomp,"note ; it was only ever test-marketed in Europe)
  • Pac-Land 1984 (A Recursive Adaptation based on Hanna-Barbera's animated seriesnote )
  • Pac-Mania 1987
  • Pac-Man Arrangement 1996note 
  • Pac-Man VR 1996
  • Pac 'N Party 2000
  • Pac-Man Battle Royale 2010
  • World's Largest Pac-Man 2016
  • Athletic VR: Pac-Man Challenge 2019
  • スピード錯覚アトラクション Pac-Man Racer 2020

    Home Console / Computer Games 
  • Pac-Attack 1993 (Mega Drive, SNES - A Pac-Man reskinning of the Japan-only arcade and SNES game Cosmo Gang: The Puzzle)
  • Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures 1994 (SNES, Mega Drive)
  • Pac-In-Time 1994 (SNES, DOS, Game Boy - The DOS and Game Boy versions are a Pac-Man reskinning of the Amiga and DOS game Fury of the Furries)
  • Pac-Man World 1999 (PlayStation)
  • Pac-Man no Desktop Daisakusen 1999 (Windows PC)
  • Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness 2000 (PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast)
  • Pac-Man: Adventures in Time 2000 (Windows PC)
  • Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze 2001 (Windows PC)
  • Pac-Man All-Stars 2002 (Windows PC)
  • Pac-Man Fever 2002 (Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2)
    • Pac-Man Fever Trading Card Hunt 2002 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man Vs. 2003 (Nintendo GameCube)
  • Pac-Pix 2005 (Nintendo DS)
  • Pac-Man Pinball Advance 2005 (Game Boy Advance)
  • Pac 'n Roll 2005 (Nintendo DS)
  • Namco Museum Remix 2007 (Nintendo Wii) - Pac-Man is playable and/or featured in all Remix minigames
    • Namco Museum Megamix 2010 (Nintendo Wii)
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2007 (Xbox Live Arcade)
    • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX 2010 (Xbox Live Arcade, Play Station Network, Windows PC)
    • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 2016 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC/Steam, and Nintendo Switch)
    • Pac-Man Championship Edition NES demake 2020 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC/Steam, and Nintendo Switch)
  • Pac-Man Party 2010 (Wii, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Pac-Match Party 2010 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man Pizza Parlor 2010 (Windows PC)
  • World's Biggest Pac-Man 2011 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions 2011 (Nintendo 3DS)
  • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2013 (PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Windows PC, Nintendo 3DS)
    • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 2014 (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3)
  • Pac-Man 256 2016 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC/Steam)
  • Pac-Man 99 2021 (Nintendo Switch)

    Mobile Games 
  • Pac-Match 2001 (J 2 ME)
    • Pac-Match Party 2010 (iOS)
  • Pac-Man Crisis 2002 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Casino (J 2 ME)
    • Card Game Pack
    • Slots Pack
  • Pac-Man Pinball 2003 (J 2 ME)
    • Pac-Man Pinball 2 2008 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Puzzle 2004 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Bowling 2004 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man's Arcade Corner 2005 (J 2 ME)
  • Space Invaders × Pac-Man 2005 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Arcade Golf 2006 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Party 2010 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Reborn 2010 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac 'n Twit 2010 (iOS)
  • Pac-Chain 2010 (iOS)
    • Pac-Chain Compact 2010 (iOS)
  • Letter Labyrinth: Pac-Man Edition 2010 (iOS)
  • Pac-Man Kart Rally 2010 (J 2 ME, Windows Phone, Android)
  • Pac'n Jump 2011 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Chomp 2011 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man SP 2011 (J 2 ME)
  • Pac-Man Games 2012 (iOS)
  • Pac-Man Dash 2013 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man + Tournaments 2013 (iOS, Android - Renamed to just Pac-Man in later updates; also called Pac-Man for Mobile in the game's official Facebook page) note 
  • Pac Man Monsters 2014 (iOS, Android) (Discontinued)
  • Pac-Man Friends 2014 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Bounce 2015 (iOS, Android)
  • Dodge and Dash Pac-Man 2015 (iOS, Android)
  • Mobile eSports with Pac-Man 2015 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Slots 2015 (Android)
  • Pac-Man 256 2015 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Hats 2016 (iOS, Android)
    • Pac-Man Hats 2 2017 (iOS, Android) (Beta) note 
  • Pac-Man Puzzle Tour 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Mega Run Meets Pac-Man 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Trace It Pac-Man 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Milbox Touch VR Pac-Man 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Tune 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Mogpac 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Intense! Pac-Man Fantasy Tower 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Pop 2016 (iOS, Android)
  • The Card: Respectable Pac-Man 2017 (iOS, Android)
  • Gachi Escape: Serious Escape Pac-Man 2017 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Pong 2017 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Note: Escape From the Page 2017 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Maker 2017 (iOS - only in Canada)
  • Pac-Man: Ralph Breaks the Maze 2018 (iOS, Android) - a crossover with Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Pac-Man's Nippon Journey 2018 (iOS, Android)
  • Pac-Man Geo 2020 (iOS, Android - a fully-fledged implementation of a 2015 Google Maps April Fools game)

    Cross-Platform Games 
Games that can be played across both PC and mobile devices.
  • Google Pac-Man 2010 (Web browser)
  • とびだせ Pac-Man Run 2016 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man Mini 2017 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man Shanghai Mahjong 2017 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man Ghost & Stage Maker 2017 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Run 2017 (Web browser)
  • 2018 (Web browser) - Open beta by Miniclip
  • Million x Pac-Man 2019 (Web browser)
  • One Piece Pac-Man Stampede Ver. 2019 (Web browser) - a crossover with One Piece Stampede
  • Pac-Man Party Royale 2019 (Apple Arcade)
  • Morinaga Pac-Man Mini 2020 (Web browser)
  • TenSura x Pac-Man 2020 (Web browser)
  • Pac-Man: Mega Tunnel Battle 2020 (Google Stadia)

    Other Games 
Non-Pac-Man games which feature Pac-Man.
  • Kick 1981 (Arcade)
  • Family Pinball 1990 (Famicom) - Released in the USA as Rock 'n Ball without Pac-Man elements.
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2005 (Arcade)
    • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 2007 (Arcade)
    • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX 2013 (Arcade)
  • Honeycomb Rock 2006 (J 2 ME)
  • Namco Arcade Golf 2007 (J 2 ME) - Essentially a rebranded version of Pac-Man Arcade Golf
  • Minecraft 2009 - A 2020 Pac-Man DLC for Bedrock Edition features ten mazes, a maze builder, and unlockable characters.
  • Body and Brain Connection 2010 (Xbox 360)
  • =10 2011 (iOS, Android)
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational 2011 (Playstation Vita, PlayStation 3)
  • Street Fighter X Tekken 2012 (PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions only)
  • Namco High 2013 (Web Browser)
  • Sonic Dash 2013 (iOS, Android) - Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were introduced as limited event unlockable characters during February-March 2018
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Crossy Road 2014 (iOS, Android)
  • Family Stadium / Famista
    • Famista Dream Match 2014 (iOS)
    • Famista Evolution 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
    • Pro Yakyuu Famista 2020 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Disney Tsum Tsum 2014 (iOS, Android) - Pac-Man and Blinky were introduced as limited event Tsums classified under the Wreck-It Ralph series in 2019
    • Disney Tsum Tsum Festival 2019 (Nintendo Switch) - Pac-Man was a DLC character until January 2020
  • Pixel Super Stars 2015 (iOS, Android)
  • Pixel Runners 2018 (iOS, Android)
  • Super Robot Wars DD 2019 (iOS, Android) - Pac-Man joined the roster in 2021, piloting his Super Robot Chogokin toy.

    Non-Video Game Adaptations 
Pac-Man games and media that are not of the video variety.
  • Pac-Man 1981 (card game)
  • Pac-Man 1982 (board game)
  • Pac-Man 1982 (Hanna-Barbera animated adaptation)
  • Ms. Pac-Man 1983 (board game)
  • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2013 (CGI animated series which spawned video games based on this series)
  • Pac-Man Stories 2018 (Amazon Alexa)
  • Pac-Man: The Board Game 2019
  • Monopoly Arcade: Pac-Man 2020 (board game)
  • Pac-Man: The Card Game 2020

    Appearances in Other Media 
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Clyde (voiced by Disney animation employee Kevin Deters) hosts the villain support group in a Pac-Man arcade machine, and Pac-Man is a guest at Felix's anniversary party.
  • When aliens attack with retro game characters in Pixels, Pac-Man is one of their main weapons. The heroes use Mini Coopers to take the role of the ghosts, and Pac-Man's creator Toru Iwatani also appears (played by Denis Akiyama, but the real Iwatani does make his own Creator Cameo as a background scientist).
  • The antagonist in the Kamen Rider Ex-Aid movie Kamen Rider Heisei Generations is "Doctor Pac-Man", who wears a warped Pac-Man mask and spreads a bio-digital Pac-Man virus that manifests physically as both a swarm of Pac-Men and as a giant demonic-looking Pac-Man. While it seems odd for Pac-Man to appear in Kamen Rider, It Makes Sense in Context as he fulfills the role of a Crossover Combo Villain: Ex-Aid is video game-themed and the heroes fight game viruses like these all the time, while the film's main co-star Kamen Rider Ghost has, well, ghost powers, which the Pac-Man virus naturally fears and targets him for. And Namco Bandai has some control over the show as the toy manufacturer, so there's that.
    • In a series of web videos set after the movie, another character takes on the identity of Dr. Pac-Man and loans Ex-Aid and his allies powerups based on Namco games, with Ex-Aid using a Pac-Man-themed one.

Pac-Man provides examples of:

  • 1 Million B.C.: The Prehistoric Age, set in Adventures in Time as one of the time zones Pac-Man has to travel through.
  • 100% Completion: Required to fight the Final Boss in Adventure Mode of Championship Edition 2.
  • Absentee Actor: Pac-Man himself doesn't appear at all in Ms. Pac-Man Quest for the Golden Maze.
  • Action Bomb: The Bomb power in 256 causes Pac-Man to turn red. If he comes into contact with a ghost or the power-up expires, Pac-Man detonates and kills all ghosts within a set radius around him.
  • Action Girl: Ms. Pac-Man.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The Tengen version of Ms. Pac-Man features new mazes, different maze sizes, and the ability to move faster. These are carried over for the Genesis and SNES ports. The Atari Lynx version likewise has its own set of large mazes.
    • Pac-Man for Mobile has a bunch of unique mazes (bought with gained tokens or real money) that serve as mini gauntlets. The weekly tournaments feature the new mazes. Later updates add elements from Pac-Man Hats which includes new powerups and events with multiple mazes and goals.
  • Adrenaline Time: In Championship Edition DX and Pac-Man Geo, it's something to help you so the time slows down when you're in a dangerous situation.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The Glitch in Pac-Man 256.
  • Aerith and Bob: The ghosts are mainly known as Blinky, Pinky, Inky and... Clyde (Or Sue... or Tim).
  • Alertness Blink: When sleeping ghosts are woken up in Championship Edition DX, they'll do this with the ! thing over their head and a chirp sound effect.
  • Ancient Egypt:
    • One of the worlds in Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness and the overall setting of Quest for the Golden Maze
    • One of the time zones in Adventures in Time.
  • Animated Adaptation: Hanna-Barbera produced one in the early 1980s. And after that was a second one on Disney XD.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Championship Edition 2, normally when Pac-Man jumps back to the spawn point after his "jumps up to eat the last ghost train present" animation, he still needs to move down slightly (thus using up a small amount of time) to eat the fruit that then spawns (if the fruit meter is filled up enough to spawn it). However, if the timer hits 0 in the middle of the animation, you can still grab the fruit; only when you jump to the next maze will the game immediately end.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • The original Pac-Man — for the time, at least. Because the game doesn't have a random number generator, the ghosts' moves were deterministic, but they were each given different tendencies. In "Chase" mode, Blinky (Red) targets Pac-Man, Pinky (Pink) targets 4 spaces ahead of Pac-Mannote , Clyde (Orange) targets Pac-Man when far away and the lower-left corner when close, and Inky (Light Blue)... wow. Draw a line from Blinky to two spaces in front of Pac-Mannote . Now keep drawing this line past this space until it's twice as long. The end of the line is where Inky targets. Detailed on this page of the Pac-Man Dossier.
    • When not in "Chase" mode, the ghosts go into "Scatter" mode, where they target squares off the grid instead (Blinky targets the upper-right corner, Pinky the upper-left, Inky the lower-right, and Clyde the lower-left, the same corner he targets when Pac-Man gets too close in Chase mode). The ghosts start off in Scatter mode, and then switch back and forth (staying longer in Chase than Scatter) until going permanently into Chase mode.
    • Ms. Pac-Man mixed things up by making the ghosts move pseudo-randomly when in Scatter mode instead of targeting the corners. The upside is that you can't memorize paths this time around, the downside is that finishing a level quickly (or "perfectly") now relies on luck.
  • Art Evolution: Pac-Man has changed a lot in design over the years; from this to this and now this. He and his friends got a complete design overall for Pac-Man Party, and many games since adopted various styles of their own.
  • Ascended Glitch: Pac-Man 256 is based off the original game's Kill Screen.
    • Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle uses the 256 glitch as a means of teleporting gateways and the mazes around.
  • Beat: The ghosts in Super Pac-Man and Pac & Pal occasionally stop in their tracks, quickly shift in place, and move along forward. This is in contrast to most Pac-Man games, in which they'll instantaneously turn around when switching between chase and scatter mode.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Downplayed with Ms. Pac-Man, as far as her original appearance is concerned; Pac-Man blinks out of existence when he loses a life, while Ms. Pac-Man spins wildly in place.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Although the intermissions in the original game suggest they have some kind of body under there. The arcade game calls them "monsters".
  • Big Eater: Guess who.
  • Blow You Away: The Tornado and Twinado powers in 256 summon a tornado that chases and destroys ghosts. Twinado summons two tornadoes, not just one.
  • Blue with Shock:
    • The monsters/ghosts, when an energizer/power pellet is eaten.
    • In Pac-Man Battle Royale, a player's Pac-Man becomes this if an opponent has eaten a Power Pill but the player hasn't.
    • In the first game, due to a bug, getting killed by a ghost under certain (very rare) circumstances (right as their vulnerability time wears off) causes all four ghosts to turn bright orangenote .
  • Bold Inflation: Pac-Man is referred to as PAC-MAN in modern game descriptions.
  • Bonus Stage:
    • Super Pac-Man has occasional rounds where Pac-Man is in his super state and he must eat all the food before the bonus points run out.
    • Pac & Pal has Pac-Man flip over all the cards without revealing Blinky prematurely.
    • The minigames in Pac-Man Adventures in Time
    • Some maze sets in Pac-Man for Mobile have a stage where Pac-Man must eat all the fruit in time.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man's themes comes from their respective debut game's intro and intermission. Pac & Pal is unique as it has its own theme song that hasn't been used since.
  • Brand X: The Cola fruit in Pac-Man Plus bears an obvious resemblance to a Coca-Cola can. The version found in the Arcade1Up cabinet edits it into a red can with the word PAC on the side.
  • Breath Weapon: The Pac and Pal game doesn't have standard energizers and never enables Pac-Man to eat ghosts; instead, it has non-fruit items that vary by level and that, if Pac-Man eats them, turn Pac-Man cyan and grant Pac-Man a breath weapon that stuns ghosts for a limited amount of time. You still get 200, 400, 800, and 1600 points for stunning ghosts, though.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Sue and Funky & Spunky, last seen from Pac-Attack and Pac-Mania, respectively, return for Pac-Man 256.
      • They also appeared in The Sandbox Evolution as part of the Pac-Man assets. An update even added Tim from Jr. Pac-Man.
    • Professor Pac was added as a tutorial NPC in an update for Pac-Man Pop
    • Professor Pac, Mr. Cookie, Super Pac-Man, Miru, and Pac-Ranger all appear as unlockable characters in the Pac-Man DLC pack for Minecraft.
  • Call-Back: Spunky in Pac-Man 256, which starts off asleep but wakes up and aggressively chases after Pac-Man after he passes by them, mirror the behavior of the ghosts in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. The game also includes themes based off the original game, Championship Edition DX, and Pac-Mania.
  • Cameo: Mario is the announcer in Pac-Man Vs.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The Smart Bomb counter icons in Championship Edition DX certainly look like these.
  • Catching Some Z's:
    • Pac-Man during the loading screen for Pac-Village in Pac-Man World 2
    • Sleeping ghosts in Pac Man: Championship Edition DX and Spunky/Grey Common in Pac-Man 256.
  • Crossover:
    • Did one with Hello Kitty in the mobile app. This maze pack was later released as its own Tiny Arcade handheld game.
      • A similar collab was done with Red Bull; this maze pack was made into a fully fledged arcade machine.
    • Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog appeared in each other's apps in 2018.
    • An individual app for Ralph Breaks the Internet features various characters in the film running around and helping Pac-Man.
    • The cast of the Pac-Man games appeared in the Namco-developed Mario Kart Arcade games.
    • Many Pac-Man games made for Internet browsers served as crossovers. Some of these include Morinaga, Million, and anime franchise That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.
  • Collision Damage:
    • If Pac-Man / Ms. Pac-Man touches a ghost that's not under the effect of a power pellet, it's lights out for them. Downplayed in Championship Edition 2, where Pac can harmlessly bump off of ghosts, but if he hits a specific ghost train too many times, or just once in Extreme, the leader ghost whose train he hit will temporarily turn angry and will be lethal on contact to Pac-Man as usual.
    • Eating a power pellet turns this against the enemies; any ghost under its effect that makes contact with Pac-Man (even if he's not facing the ghost) will be eaten and return to the respawn box.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • Pac-Man Arrangement and World's Largest Pac-Man have this. Player 1 is the normal Pacman while Player 2 is a green one.
    • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 has a blue Pac-Man for the second player.
    • Pac-Man Battle Royale has a yellow, pink, blue, and red Pac-Man.
  • Confusion Fu: Inky's behavior is somewhat unpredictable. It's based on the relative positions of both Pac-Man and Blinky, and there's a bug involved as well (normally "ahead of Pac-Man" means two tiles ahead in the direction he's moving, but when Pac-Man is moving up, the game thinks that ahead is two tiles up and two tiles left).
  • Cowardly Mooks:
    • The ghosts once Pac-Man eats a power pellet.
    • Clyde is programmed to be cowardly, targeting his scatter mode corner whenever Pac-Man comes near him. Due to this, the area near his corner is the only spot where Clyde can catch Pac-Man on his own.
  • Cutscenes: Speaking of which, are therefore Older Than They Think.
  • Determinator:
    • Blinky always chases after Pac-Man. Once only a few pellets remain, Blinky starts moving faster than anyone else.
    • In Pac-Mania, Sue does not have a scatter mode, so she's always on Pac-Man's feet. Even then, Blinky outruns her.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The difficulty selections in Pac-Man Adventures in Time affect the duration of the stamina meter for jumping. This can affect players' abilities to expect when to jump.
    • Pac-Man for Mobile includes lots of mazes with dead ends. In any other version of Pac-Man that happens to include dead ends (including Champ Ms. Pac-Em, Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze, numerous mazes in World's Biggest Pac-Man, and the Google maze), they will teach you that they are extremely dangerous unless they contain a Power Pellet at the end thanks to a lone Ghost being all it takes to trap you and costing you a life. In Pac-Man for Mobile, on the other hand, ghosts are programmed to never enter (most) dead ends, thus turning them into safety nets to temporarily escape the Ghosts' onslaught. Pac-Man Hats distinguishes these safety gaps with deep clouds that Ghosts can't see through.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: In 256, the Power Pellet is one of the most inefficient power ups in terms of ghost-killing, and can never be upgraded due to being a default power. However, due to its unique multiplicative scoring properties, you will always score higher with a Power Pellet than with other power ups if you eat multiple ghosts in one Pellet.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: Until the game eventually crashes.
  • Difficulty Levels: Most of the games just make the game faster with higher difficulty levels, but Championship Edition 2 goes out of its way to make the three difficulty levels stand out:
    • Single Train — There is only one train (Blinky's) and the other three lead ghosts are just "bumper" ghosts that cannot kill you. It has the slowest speeds and the most 1-Ups.
    • Regular — The other three lead ghosts also start to get their own trains as the stage progresses. At high fruit counts, fruits and Power Pills start trying to avoid you. Game speed is faster and there are less 1-Ups.
    • ExtremeGhosts get angry after just one collision. Fruits and power pills always try to avoid you. Game speed is at its fastest and there are no extra lives at all.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Ms. Pac-Man
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Sue in Ms. Pac-Man is basically Clyde. The cartoon series includes both as separate characters and changed Sue's color to purple. She is further evolved in Pac-Land and Pac-Mania where her characteristic is actively pursuing Pac-Man regardless of what the other ghosts are doing.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Ms. Pac-Man, technically, sort of. Originally, the game was a Game Mod for Pac-Man titled Crazy Otto. Midway, which wanted a sequel to Pac-Man and couldn't wait for Namco to make one, bought the rights to Crazy Otto, and changed it to Ms. Pac-Man.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • An interesting version, as not only were the original Japanese names for the ghosts (understandably) changed for the American market, but so were the descriptors cluing in the player to each ghost's particular movement style. They were:
      • Akabei/Blinky - Chaser/"Shadow"
      • Pinky - Ambusher/"Speedy"
      • Aosuke/Inky - Whimsical/"Bashful"
      • Guzuta/Clyde/Sue/Tim - Playing dumb/"Pokey"
    • This could potentially be considered a Dub-Induced Plot Hole, as the new descriptors for the latter three ghosts don't really match their movements. In fact, despite Pinky being called "Speedy" in the localized version, it's actually Blinky who is the quickest of the ghosts, increasing his chase speed at various stages of progress through the maze.
    • A booklet published not long after the game was released, called How to Win at Pac-Man, took the name "Bashful" literally, based on the fact that Pac-Man can sometimes go through him without harm, and other alleged quirks such as their claim that he tends to run away from Pac-Man. In fact, the pass-through ability is a glitch in the game's collision detection and not unique to Inky, and the other "quirks" have been disputed.
    • For the other ghosts in the series, there is:
      • Green Common/Funky
      • Gray Common/Spunky
      • Hinekure/????? - "Kinzo"/"Kinky"
    • According to the trailer for Pac-Man Museum+, Miru's American name is apparently "Mil".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Going by the maze games alone, Super Pac-Man and Pac & Pal are oddities. Unlike Midway's sequels that expanded on Pac-Man's dot eating gameplay, Namco's sequels added gates & keys onto the mazes, bonus stages, largely altered the ghost movements, and dots were now fruit. Later Namco games largely forego most of these elements.
  • Eating the Enemy: Pac-Man gains the ability to eat the ghosts after devouring a "power pellet".
  • Edible Collectible: The Trope Maker for bonus fruits, though after the eighth board the fruits are replaced by non-food items, such as the Galaxian ship (or the Atari "fuji" symbol in the Atari 5200 and 8-bit computer version). Of course, Pac-Man's goal in each stage is to eat all the dots, and the energizers let him chomp on the ghosts for more bonus points.
  • Endless Game: As planned, but there's a Kill Screen after 255 mazes. However, every maze past 20 is exactly the same.
  • Energy Weapon: The Laser and Optic powers in 256 cause Pac-Man to emit a continuous beam in front of him that destroys ghosts on contact. Optics takes it a step further and causes the beam to turn corners.
  • Eternal Engine: World 5/Ghost's Secret Base in Pac-Man Arrangement.
  • Every 10,000 Points: Despite the trope name, only the first 10,000 points nets an extra life. Pac-Man for Mobile does use this system but only for the new mazes.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Besides pellets, power pellets, and ghosts, Pac-Man can eat fruit, Galaxian flagships, bells, keys, and much more. The port for Atari 8-Bit Computers substitutes an Atari logo for the Galaxian ship.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Whenever Pac-Man eats a ghost, their bodies are consumed, with only leaves their eyeballs remaining. The eyes then fly back to the ghost box to regenerate the ghost's body.
  • Fan Remake: These do exist, whenever they be in small or large numbers. Champ Pac-Em is one of the earliest known that attempted to replicate and expand the original game.
  • Forced Tutorial: Championship Edition 2 requires you to play the first half of the tutorial before you can play any other modes. Championship Edition 2 Plus does away with this trope entirely.
  • Freemium:
    • The mobile version of 256 follows the Crossy Road model, allowing you to purchase additional Themes for $0.99 apiece if you don't want to save the coins to buy them. Unlike the former game, Themes costs 2048 coins, making them significantly more time-consuming to grind coins for. Watching the ads and completing missions helps in this regard. The home console/PC version of the same game, being not a free game, has all the themes unlocked on the get-go.
    • Pac-Man for Mobile has a boat load of new maze sets that each cost a varying number of Tokens to unlock. Completing a maze set, finishing the daily missions, and logging in each day gives the player Tokens, or one can go the faster route and pay for Tokens. The aversion is the Classic maze which is free, and Tokens can be used to continue from a Game Over.
  • The Future: Set in Adventures in Time, the last stage of Quest Mode.
  • Game Gourmet: The Championship Edition's bonus roster was greatly expanded to include not only fruits, but golden fruits, pastries, vegetables, meats, candies, drinks, ice creams, and even plenty of different non-food items. All on display here.
  • Game Mod:
    • Besides Ms. Pac-Man, there was Hangly-Man, Piranha, and quite a few others that popped up in the arcades.
    • The Atari 2600 version of Ms. Pac-Man got a mod in the form of Pac-Man Arcade, in effect being the reverse of how arcade Ms. Pac-Man came into being.
    • The Atari 7800 version of Ms. Pac-Man got modded into Pac-Man Collection, which features Pac-Man and some other game mods.
  • Gameplay Grading:
    • In Championship Edition DX, many stages give you ranks based on your leaderboard percentiles.
    • Championship Edition 2 eschews percentile-based grading in favor of fixed point-based thresholds.
    • Several mobile games give the player a rating out of three stars per completion of a level.
  • Gender Flip: Pinky, who became female as of Pac-Man World and has remained so ever since.
  • Ghastly Ghost: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are a quartet of ghosts who serve as the main enemies. Their motive is to prevent Pac-Man from eating all the Pac-Dots that send him to the next level, and if they touch Pac-Man, he loses a life.
  • Goroawase Number: 765 is the number for Namco. Certain games give out 7650 points after maintaining a large combo.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Rather radical example. In the cabinet art, Pac Man is drawn with legs and eyes. In-game, he's very stylized so only a pie chart remains. This image soon stuck with the audience.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: In Championship Edition 2, ghosts can be safely bumped into at first, but hit a train too many times in a short period of time and its leader will get angry, gaining the power to actually kill Pac-Man. On Extreme difficulty, however, hitting a train angers its leader immediately.
  • Hat of Power: The hats in Pac-Man Hats activate their powers when a certain amount of pellets are eaten.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Pac-Man's hitbox is usually smaller than it looks, allowing him to dodge the ghosts more easily. In rare cases, Pac-Man can even pass right through a ghost (if he and the ghost "switch tiles" at the same time).
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: What happens to the ghosts when Pac-Man eats a power pill. (Mr. Burns even quotes the Trope by name while playing Ms. Pac Man in an episode of The Simpsons.)
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • Tengen's Ms. Pac-Man has their difficulty sorted as: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Crazy.
    • The new mazes in Pac-Man for Mobile have their difficulty categorized from Relaxed, Challenging, and Elite. Averted for the Classic Maze, it's simply Easy, Medium, and Hard.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One of the ways to defeat an opponent in Pac-Man Battle Royale and Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle is to grab a Power Pellet and eat them.
  • Indy Escape: In Adventures in Time, Pac-Man ends up escaping a whole bunch. One instance is from a giant boulder.
  • In Medias Res: The Plug-N-Play version of Pac-Man 256 starts the game in the 255th stage. Beating it leads to the Kill Screen.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Power pellets.
  • Kid Hero: Jr. in Junior Pac-Man.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Fire and Pyro powers in 256 cause Pac-Man to leave behind a flaming trail that kills ghosts on contact. Pyro additionally spreads to adjacent paths and gets those ghosts too.
  • Kill Screen:
    • Perhaps the most famous example. It makes an in-game appearance as the Advancing Wall of Doom in Pac-Man 256.
    • As part of a marketing gimmick, one of the games in the 35th Anniversary Plug-N-Play lets the player access the Kill Screen without playing over 254 stages.
    • Pac-Man for Mobile doesn't have a Kill Screen; the final 256th stage is actually beatable. Completing all stages earns an achievement.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Mazes have traditionally been taller than they are wide due to the games being designed for vertically-oriented monitors. Even in games for consumer platforms, the games still often still do this, shrinking the mazes down to fit on a horizonally-oriented screen and simply using the unused space for the game's HUD. The Championship Edition games and Battle Royale do away with this, instead having mazes designed explicitly for 16:9 screens.
  • Lead the Target: Pinky doesn't target Pac-Man's actual position, but rather four spaces in front of him.
  • The Lost Woods: World 3/Green World in Pac-Man Arrangement.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The Game Boy Advance version of Pac-Man World 2 has a lot of these.
    • World's Biggest Pac-Man, which strings thousands of different user-generated mazes into one gi-freaking-gantic mega-maze. Good luck completing it in your lifetime.
  • The Middle Ages: One of the time zones in Adventures in Time. Expect it to be somewhere in the middle of the game.
  • Me's a Crowd: The Pac-Men power in 256 summons miniature Pac-Mans that chase ghosts and destroy them, much like the Tornado.
  • Mickey Mousing: The life symbols and the bomb counter in Championship Edition 2 are shown to dance to the beat of whatever track you pick for the stage.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: While containing new mazes and some graphical updates, Ms. Pac Man was otherwise the exact same game as the original Pac Man.
  • Mood Whiplash: Jungly Steps in Pac-Mania uses an unsettling theme for its level, compared to the rest of the game's cheerful music. In the 23rd and final round, this theme is mixed in with a bright pink maze.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Inverted for Kinky, where he had a name in the Japanese version (Hinekure) but is reduced to question marks internationally.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Along with Ms. Pac-Man, starting with the 19th level, where eating a power pellet does nothing to faze the ghost monsters. The monsters will reverse direction, but Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man must avoid their pursuers at all costs.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Jr. Pac-Man, with double-width scrolling mazes, bonus items that will mutate dots into larger dots that slow you down (and will even destroy power pellets if Jr. doesn't eat them) and long corridors.
    • Baby Pac-Man, with more aggressive ghosts, laser-guided AI, and no power pellets to start off with... until you (hopefully) gain some in the pinball portion of the game.
    • Pac-Mania, being a late 80s arcade game, cranks up the difficulty as you play through the mazes after beating "Jungly Steps".
    • Adventures in Time, eventually in some of the later mazes and difficulty levels. The ghosts might end up just as fast as Pac-Man on some levels, and the jump meter refills more slowly on harder settings.
    • Championship Edition 2 is perhaps one of the hardest games that use modernized gameplay mechanics, thanks to high movement speeds without any way to mitigate them and weakened ghost trains actively trying to avoid you, and you can only eat a train by eating the head of it (if you run into the side, you'll just bounce off). Plus, in harder difficulties, the Power Pellet and the fruit also try to avoid you too!
  • No Ending: Most Pac-Man arcade games go on until the Kill Screen. Pac-Mania can be ended by using DIP switches (causing it to end after two "laps", one lap, or go on indefinitely) and Pac-Man Arrangement has a final boss after World 5. Oddly, the Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2 version of Pac-Man ends at the 21st level note  and any left over lives are counted as points.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The original game really had none: You send this little yellow guy around the maze to eat all the dots while avoiding the monsters, and you could eat the monsters if you ate a power pellet. Then again, there were those cut-scenes. Still, popular to the point of addictive.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • As said above, Pac-Man is known as "Puck-Man", but nonetheless is almost always depicted with a spherical body.
    • Some of the Bonus Fruit aren't fruit and others are not even food at all (keys, bells, etc.).
    • Ms. Pac-Man should be called Mrs. since she's married.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: There are three sequels to Pac-Man: the official Super Pac-Man, the unofficial bootleg turned canon Ms. Pac-Man, or the 16-bit point and click action game Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures.
  • Nostalgia Level: The original maze pops up in almost every game in the series in some form.
  • Odd Name Out: Most of the ghosts follow a Theme Naming, except for the orange one.
    • In the English version, we have Inky (red), Blinky (blue), Pinky (pink), and... Clyde (or "Sue" in Ms. Pac-Man, and "Tim" in Jr. Pac-Man).
    • The original Japanese names of the ghosts were "Akabei" (from "Akai", Japanese for "Red"), Pinky (the only one who never went through a Dub Name Change), "Aosuke" (from "Aoi", Japanese for "Blue"), and Guzuta (from "guzuguzu", an onomatopoeia for sluggishness, and referencing the fact that he's always the last one to leave the ghost pen at the start of each level). Even here, Guzuta is still the Odd Name Out due to breaking the Colorful Theme Naming of the three others.
  • Older Than the NES: Pac-Man was born in 1980, a year before Mario even existed. He's one of the oldest video game mascots in the videogame industry, and still going.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: One of the most famous.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Most of the ghosts.
  • "Open!" Says Me: In Super Pac-Man, Pac-Man eats keys to open doors, or he can use a Super Pellet and burst right through them.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Or possibly not ghosts at all.
  • Pie-Eyed: When shown with arms, legs and a face, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man have eyes like these. Appropriate since their pupils are shaped like they are.
  • Pinball Spin-Off:
    • First was Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man Pinball. It was a more conventional Pinball game, with a five-by-five bank of lights in the playfield. During the game, the player could move Pac-Man (represented by a yellow light) by tapping flipper buttons for direction/movement to avoid the ghost (represented by a red light).
    • Five months later came Baby Pac-Man, which combined a Pac-Man video game with a pinball table, in a video-game-sized cabinet. Unfortunately, the small playfield was a challenge for most players, and the maze game was Nintendo Hard to the point where finishing the first maze was an accomplishment.
    • 1990 saw Family Pinball for Famicom. It wasn't primarily a Pac-Man game, but it did feature Pac-Man as a playable character, and there was a Pac-Man-themed table.
    • Pac-Man Pinball Advance was released in 2005 for, you guessed it, Game Boy Advance. It received unenthusiastic reviews.
      • There was a Pac-Man Pinball series for mobile devices; the first game came out in 2003, and the second followed in 2008.
    • A competitive multiplayer pinball game debuted in Japan in 2019 named Pac-Man Panic. It eventually came to the USA at the beginning of 2020.
  • Poison Mushroom: Power Pellets in Pac-Man Plus have a random chance of making the maze invisible, or having one of the ghosts remain unaffected by the pellet.
  • Powder Trail: In Maze Madness, in Pac Ping Harbor, the Ghosts carry barrels of gunpowder, dropping the gunpowder onto the floor below them. There are certain areas where you'll need to trick the Ghosts into making a powder trail towards One-Hit Kill crates, then trick a dragon into lighting the trail with his fire breath to destroy the crates. Be careful not to stand in the trail as it is lit, or you'll get hit.
  • Power-Up Food: Power Pellets aside, Pac-Man Plus's Bonus Fruits turn the ghosts edible (and invisible) and are worth double points.
  • Power Up Motif: The Bonus Fruits.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • The Tengen versions of Ms. Pac-Man have the original Pac-Man as the 2nd player when playing a co-op game.
    • Multiplayer modes of games like Adventures in Time and Maze Madness let players control Pac-Jr. and Professor Pac.
  • Retcon:
    • Namco hasn't made very many mentions of Ms. Pac-Man since the 30th anniversary of the original arcade game. It hasn't been in any Namco Museums since Virtual Arcade, and Pac-Man Museum, a compilation based on Pac-Man, does not include Ms. Pac-Man. It probably doesn't help that Ms. Pac-Man was developed by Midway rather than Namco. Then again, Namco did buy the full rights to the game and character. It should be noted that Ms. Pac-Man is available in Pac-Man Museum as Downloadable Content and Ms. Pac-Man herself cameos in Super Smash Bros for Wii U (which Namco co-created alongside Hal Labs and Sora Ltd.).
    • There is also strong evidence that Pac-Man's other family members (Pac-Jr, Baby Pac, Professor Pac) were retconned out of the series after Pac-Man World 3.
    • Unrelated to the last three: Blinky and Clyde had their names switched in Pac-Man Arrangement and the Pac-Man World series. Their naming scheme returned to normal after Pac-Man World 3.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Pac-Man Championship Edition was intended to go back to the simple roots of the original arcade game, while updating it at the same time to appeal to current gaming sensibilities. It was even designed by Pac-Man creator, Toru Iwatani (being the last game he had any involvement with before retiring).
  • Rhyme Theme Naming: The red, blue and pink ghosts are given rhyming names in the English translation of the game: Inky, Blinky and Pinky.
  • Score Multiplier: Present in Pac-Man for Mobile but only in the new mazes. The multiplier increases whenever Pac-Man eats a fruit or eats two or more Ghosts under one Power Pellet. A larger score bonus is given if Pac-Man clears the maze without dying.
  • Scoring Points: Eating ghosts in succession usually follow the 200, 400, 800, 1600 model. Certain power ups and combo systems allow this point combo to increase up to 3200 or 7650 points.
  • Screen Crunch:
    • The Game Boy version—on top of being impossible to tell which ghost is who (without understanding their individual A.I.) thanks to the lack of colors—has a giant, unnecessary gray border on the right side of the screen that eats up nearly 1/3 of the resolution.
    • The GBA port, Pac-Man Collection, was an interesting case. In Pac-Man & Pac-Man Arrangement, only one half of the maze can be on screen at once, though using the shoulder buttons will allow you to see the other half. Pac-Mania on the other hand wasn't so lucky—due to the big sprites you can't even see so much as a fourth of the maze, making it incredibly difficult to play.
    • The Atari ST version of Pac-Mania has half of the screen taken up by the HUD.
    • Perhaps because of all of this, the Championship Edition games instead have mazes designed specifically for 16:9 screens, rather than the traditional taller-than-is-wide mazes.
  • Shown Their Work: The playable Google doodle for Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. While the maze is obviously different, the game mechanics are accurate to the original to an absurd degree. Everything from the ghost behavior to the infamous "pass-through" glitch to even the Kill Screen at level 256 (though unlike the original, the game simply ends at that point) is replicated to near pixel perfection.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: A primary difference between Championship Edition and Championship Edition DX. In CE, there is more focus on the player plotting their own path throgh the dots and trying to bait ghosts into an optimal path for chain-eating them. In CE DX, stages often have linear paths of dots and sleeping ghosts, putting more emphasis on following an intended line over figuring out one's path for themselves.
  • Smart Bomb: You can use these in Championship Edition DX at the cost of an opportunity to score higher, forcing all of the ghosts back into the spawn box. In Championship Edition 2, bombs simply jump Pac-Man back to the Respawn Point.
  • Socialization Bonus: Pac Man vs., originally bundled with Pac-Man World 2, is only playable in multiplayer and requires one GBA and the special cable. The Nintendo Switch version requires a second console with a separate app, however three players can play a solo console mode where they only capture Pac-Man for points.
  • Something Person: Pac-Man, natch.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Pac-Jr.'s relationship with Blinky's daughter Yum-Yum in Jr. Pac-Man. Blinky clearly objects the bond, chasing Jr. whenever he tries to go near her to the point that Ms. Pac-Man has to jump in on both occasions to prevent Blinky from catching and potentially killing her son.
  • Stock Food Depictions: The bonus fruits, where applicable, take on stock appearances to make their appearances obvious within graphical limitations. Even when graphics were no longer an issue, their appearances remain faithful to the original.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The Atari 2600 version's sound effects were used extensively well into the mid-90's to depict "video game sounds".
  • Sturgeon's Law: In full effect with the web game World's Biggest Pac-Man; for every genuinely good maze you come across, there are hundreds that either go above and beyond Fake Difficulty by throwing you into a maze with very little or no walls and a field of Pac-Dots, giving you very little means of protecting yourself from ghosts, or a series of straight linear path(s) littered with the occasional dead end, giving ghosts plenty of opportunities to trap and corner the player.
  • Sudden Eye Colour: Pac-Man went from Pie-Eyed to having blue eyes starting with Pac-Man Party. Later redesigns would go back to the him-shaped eyes.
  • Super Empowering:
    • In Pac-Man Arrangement from Namco Classics Collection Volume 2, a fifth ghost named Kinky who could fuse with one of the four other ghosts to give them special powers fitting their personalities: Blinky gains a dashing headbutt, Pinky gains the ability to jump to and from any location in the maze, Inky gains a Doppelgänger Attack, and Clyde gains the ability to lay down Pac dots in empty portions of the maze (forcing you to revisit those sections). Initially, the ghost house will only spawn one Kinky, but later levels will have it spawn more copies, until the final world which will spawn Kinky until every ghost is transformed.
    • The official Namco sequel to the original Pac-Man was "Super Pac-Man".note  It includes the original four energizers in the corners, but also two new Super energizers in the middle of the maze, which transforms Pac-Man into a giant (supposedly he's flying above the maze, but he's still constrained by the maze's paths), makes him immune to the monsters, and gives him super-speed and the ability to eat through doors that normally require a key to open. The Super pellet's duration is short, but it can be refreshed by eating an energizer.
    • In Pac & Pal, eating a special symbol doesn't turn the monsters blue, but instead makes Pac-Man slightly larger and turns him bright gray, and gives him the ability to shoot a short-range projectile to stun the monsters. The exact projectile depends on the special symbol.
  • Support Party Member: Kinky in Pac-Man Arrangement from Namco Classics Collection Volume 2. He's the only ghost that cannot harm Pac-Man directly at all, as he's always vulnerable. However, he acts as support by powering up the other Ghosts to give them much more dangerous abilities.
    • Quest for the Golden Maze features Baby Ghost, who functions similarly to Kinky but grants powerups if collected.
  • Temple of Doom: World 4/Ancient Ruins World in Pac-Man Arrangement.
  • Timed Mission: The Championship Edition games focus on modes where you try to earn as many points as you can within a 5- or 10-minute time limit.
  • Timed Power-Up: The Power Pellet. In 256, this includes all of the other powers.
  • Title Confusion: There's a lot of this.
    • The arcade game is Junior Pac-Man; the unlockable game in the Genesis version of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is Pac-Man, Jr. They are not the same game.
      • Adding to that, there are unrelated handheld LCD games named Pac Man 2 and Pac-Junior
    • Pac-Man Panic is not the same thing as Pac-Panic
    • Pac-Man Pinball Advance is completely different from the Pac-Man Pinball on mobile devices.
    • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is known as Pac-World in Japan, in no relation to Pac-Man World.
    • Two games released under the Catalog IP project label are Pac-Run and Pac-Man Run. They are from separate development teams.
  • Toy Time: World 0/Toy Box World in Pac-Man Arrangement.
  • Turns Red:
    • Well... Blinky is already red to begin with, but when a certain number of dots remain (20 in the first level, up to 120 in later levels), he moves faster and becomes even more of a Determinator. And once you've eaten half that number of dots, he'll speed up even more. Fans have dubbed this behaviour "Cruise Elroy".
    • In Pac-Mania, the player is given a visual indication when Blinky goes "Cruise Elroy" — he gains angry eyes. Later, Namco Classics Collection Volume 2's version of Pac-Man Arrangement kept this for Blinky (unless he is in his fused form), as well as raising his arms.
      • To add to this, as a timeout mechanic in Arrangement, all of the ghosts would become angry and gain Blinky's AI.note 
  • Under the Sea: World 2/Water World in Pac-Man Arrangement.
  • Updated Re-release
    • Pac-Man Plus (created by Bally Midway) is a more difficult version of the original with the Power Pellet having different effects depending on the stage.
    • The 2005 version of Pac-Man Arrangement received a PSP-exclusive re-release that gives the game a coat of Namco fanservice.
    • World's Largest Pac-Man is the original game on an enormous LCD screen. Gameplay differences include: simultaneous 2-player co-op, the bonus fruits move similar to Ms. Pac-Man, gameplay keeps moving even if Pac-Man dies, the ability to continue the game at a Game Over rather than starting over, and shifting maze colors.
  • Ur-Example: The original arcade game was the first game to feature enemy AI rather than enemies that move in a set pattern.
  • Version-Exclusive Content:
    • Pac-Man for Mobile is full of this
    • There are many subtle differences between the various versions of Championship Edition. Namely, the time limit may be shorter, or the achievement list may have been tweaked. The Nintendo 3DS version is the only one that adds achievements without taking any away.
    • Championship Edition 2 Plus has Co-Op mode. In that version's single player, the Forced Tutorial is done away with, every mode is unlocked, and more cosmetics and soundtracks are introduced.
  • Video Game Remake: Pac-Man Arrangement in Namco Classics Collection Volume 2 featured two-player co-op play, new power-ups, new stage elements such as dash arrows and jump panels, and a fifth ghost that could give the four other ghosts special powers. It is available in Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance and Namco Museum for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox.
  • Villain Teleportation: Glitchy, a ghost exclusive to 256, tends to teleport around the map every several seconds.
  • The Wild West: One of the time zones in Adventures in Time.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The ghosts are not above attacking Ms. Pac Man. Also, you can eat Pinky and Sue.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The ghosts are not above attacking Pac Man Jr.
    • Baby Ghost in Quest for the Golden Maze is edible without eating a Power Pellet.

Alternative Title(s): Ms Pac Man, Pac Man Plus, Pac Mania, Professor Pac Man, Jr Pac Man, Super Pac Man, Pac And Pal, Pac Man Arrangement, Ms Pac Man Maze Madness, Pac Man Adventures In Time, Ms Pac Man Quest For The Golden Maze, Pac Man Fever, Pac N Roll


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