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Video Game / Pac-Man World

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It's Pac-Man in 3D.

Just as Mario jumped to the third dimension during the fifth generation of video gaming, so did Pac-Man (though the games themselves play more like Crash Bandicoot). The first game, Pac-Man World, was released on the Sony PlayStation on his 20th anniversary.note  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, a spinoff starring Ms. Pac-Man, and a kart-racing spinoff all in the sixth generation.


One of the more trivial details of the game is that, like Pac-Man Arrangement before them, the three platformers consistently mix up Blinky and Clyde, with the orange ghost becoming Blinky and the red one becoming Clyde (a mistake that World Rally fixed). To avoid any further confusion, they will be referred to by the incorrect names given in these games, rather than the proper ones that the rest of the franchise uses.


Games in this series include:

The games provide examples of:

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    Pac-Man World 
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: The game's plot takes place on Pac-Man's 20th birthday.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Anubis Rex from the pyramid stage is a "Run First, Fight Later" example, pursuing Pac-Man down a corridor full of booby traps (including spears coming out of floors and descending portcullises), where Pac can only run like crazy until he reaches the exit. Once he makes it out of the pyramid, Anubis Rex then takes over the Sphinx and activates its weapons...
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The fourth world, Funhouse.
  • Big Bad: Toc-Man, a robotic version of Pac-Man piloted by the ghost Orson, is the one who kidnaps Pac-Man’s family.
  • 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.
  • Boss Remix: King Galaxian's boss theme is actually a more intense version of the Galaga title theme.
  • Camera Screw: The camera is suited just fine for a 2½D 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?
  • 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.
  • Creepy Circus Music: In the level "Clown Prix", you race some evil clowns. Fittingly, the level has some frantic, minor-key carnival music.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Clown Prix. In almost every other PlayStation game with car controls, X is accelerate. In Pac-Man World it's the brake.
    • But the worst offender is the pause menu. For whatever reason, when you close the menu with the X button (as opposed to the Start button) it sends the command both to the menu (to close it) and to the freshly-unpaused game engine. The result is that 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 world, requiring a key to free them. They support Pac-Man with health in the final battle.
  • Dem Bones: Pirate skeletons are the first non-ghost enemy Pac-Man can encounter, and also The Goomba due to how weak they are, easily destroyable by a Goomba Stomp or a rolling tackle. Later on the Haunted House stage will throw in fire-breathing skeletons, which are slightly harder (but not really by much).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: King Galaxian.
  • Giant Spider: Oversized purple arachnids are a recurring enemy in the underground caverns, usually seen crawling around, although sometimes they will descend from ceilings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hostile Show Take Over: Toc-Man changes the name of the game to Toc-Man World if you get a Game Over. It doesn't last though as if you wait long enough on the Game Over screen the "Toc" falls off the title and the title will revert back to Pac-Man World as soon as you go back to the title screen.
  • 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!
  • Kill and Replace: Toc-Man's ultimate goal is to destroy Pac-Man and steal his identity.
  • "Kiss the Cook" Apron: A ghost emerges from a kitchen wearing an apron which reads "Chomp the Cook".
  • Laser Hallway: Corridors with laser fences are recurring obstacles in the Space levels. To bypass, you'll need to bounce on selected switches to disable the lasers and sometimes redirect the laser's energy sources to activate bridges and platforms instead.
  • 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.
  • Mummy: They serve as Elite Mooks in the underground caverns area. Mummies usually attack either one or two at a time, cannot be taken down with a Goomba Stomp because of their pointy headgear (trying to do that and Pac-Man will suffer damage instead) and are only vulnerable from behind via rolling tackle or using Pac-dots.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: Both opening cutscenes, both ending cutscenes, and the bonus Animated Outtakes are all pre-rendered.
  • Pushy Mooks: There is an enemy that uses a light shield to push you into Bottomless Pits.
  • 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!: When Toc-Man collapses in a heap and Orson crawls from the wreckage and begins crying, Pac-Man isn't phased by the sob-story and pulls out a power pellet, chomping down on the ghost who kidnapped his family.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Pac-Land.
  • Space Zone: The third world, Space. And yes, Pac-Man can breathe in space.
  • Tennis Boss: The first boss, HMS Windbag, attacks by firing its cannons on Pac-Man... and is fought in an arena containing buttons which can deflect cannons with each press. Being a Warm-Up Boss, his cannons are predictable enough and he goes down in four hits rather easily.
  • 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.
  • Unique Enemy: You'll run into four Pac-Neanderthals in one area of the underground level (near the waterfalls), and absolutely nowhere else.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss, H.M.S. Windbag. His projectiles are easy to time and deflect, and he goes down in just a few hits.
  • Weaponized Landmark: Anubis Rex converts a Sphinx statue into a killing machine capable of dropping fireballs all over the area. It's forehead jewel can shoot lasers.
  • 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".

    Pac-Man World 2 
  • Arc Words: Pac-Man is often told that everyone in Pac-Land is counting on him.
  • Big Bad: Spooky orders the four ghosts around and steals the Golden Fruit keeping him sealed away so he can take over Pac-Land.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Your reward in the arcade for getting nearly all of the tokens (180 out of 189, which is extremely Nintendo Hard considering you have to nab all the collectible tokens in nearly every level and finish the rest with 100% Completion or do a time trial) is... being able to play Ms. Pac-Man. Keep in mind, you unlock the original arcade game at a measly ten tokens. It doesn't feel the least bit fitting for all your efforts for what amounts to a Mission-Pack Sequel for the original game, and it's not like it's a game you have to go out of your way to be able to play, considering it's littered across Namco Museum collections and several online console stores, and is usually a game of choice on the rare places that still have an arcade machine in operation. Unlocking it is practically a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • 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, have circular saw blades as common obstacles.
  • Company Cameo: Each of the 189 collectible tokens has Namco's logo on one side of them.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Notwithstanding the gas burners at Butane Pain and other gimmicks between the aforementioned levels, they share similar geometry, just at different locations.
  • Demoted to Extra: Helivators were a major platforming element that were littered all over the first game, showing up at least once a stage; in this game, they make a grand total of two appearances, across the same level in the same proximity no less!
  • The Dreaded: Pac-Man. In the opening cutscene, Blinky flees from a shadow that he thought was Pac-Man.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Subverted. In the cutscene just before the final boss, Pac-Man returns the golden fruits to the tree, causing him to turn gold himself...but his color is the only thing that actually changes, and the boss fight plays exactly like if he wasn't gold.
  • Every 10,000 Points: An extra life is awarded for achieving 25,000 points in a level.
  • 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.
  • Game Within a Game: There are classic Pac-Man arcade games in Pac-Village.
  • 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 tosses in your general direction.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first world, a meadow region referred to inexplicably in the manual as the "Forest", while the game refers to it as Paradise Meadows.
  • 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 helivator 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; Clyde, Inky, and Pinky all pilot giant robots shaped like ghosts. Blinky 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.
  • Meaningless Lives: Basically any slightly difficult section in the game will have an extra life at the beginning that will respawn every time you die.
  • 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.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: In addition to regular Bottomless Pits, the game has a special code check in the level "Butane Pain": falling for about six seconds instantly kills you, even if there's ground underneath you. Using a Butt-Bounce speeds your fall, allowing you to reach that ground before your six seconds are up.
  • One-Hit Kill: Ghosts in the original release (Pre-Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits/Player's Choice). Later releases Nerfed them to only taking off a health point if you touched them, which greatly reduces the difficulty in some areas especially in the last world where they no longer pose much of a threat.
  • Plot Coupon: The five Golden Fruit.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Clyde, taking note of the other ghosts mistakes, made the metal for his Humongous Mecha out of sturdier stuff (i.e. metal that won't crumble with a few rev rolls), so the only place you can hit him is the cockpit, which is really hard to hit, mind you.
  • Recurring Boss: Three out of the main four ghosts use an identical-looking (aside from color) machine shaped like a giant ghost that spits out projectiles.
  • 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 is sealed within the Golden Fruit tree.
  • Shout-Out: "Whale on a Sub" is a pun on "Wheels on the Bus." Yellow Pac-Marine is, of course...
  • 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. In the opening cutscene, shes even seen peering into Pac-Man's window as he sleeps while picking at a flower.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the Pac-Village, you can actually butt bounce on all of the inhabitants who happen to be standing in the open (Professor Pac, Handy Pac, and Sue in the arcade), and they will react to it too!
  • Villainous Crush: Pinky has one on Pac-Man, to rather disturbing degrees.
  • Yandere: Again, Pinky. Either Pac-Man will be with her, or she'll outright kill him. Or she'll try, anyway.

    Pac-Man World 3 
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: As with the first game, its story takes place on Pac-Man's birthday. This time, it's his 25th.
  • Aborted Arc: Pinky appears to have completely gotten over her crush on Pac-Man since the last 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.
  • Big Bad: Erwin is the Evil Genius behind the plot to siphon energy from Pac-Land and the Spectral Realm to fuel his conquests.
  • Bash Brothers: Pac and Clyde towards the game's end. 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.
  • Continuity Nod: When Orson's initial attempts to teleport Pac-Man in instead send him all over the town, Pac-Man grumbles that at least it was still better than his 20th birthday.
  • 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.
    • Somewhat more subtly, the sound effects (or at least the ones that aren't traditionally in every Pac-Man game) are less cartoonish. Compare the "butt-bounce" sound in this game to the one from Pac-Man World 2.
    • Also, the game's art style is noticeably bleaker and more realistic than the colorful, cartoony style of the first two games.
  • 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...literally.
  • Expy: Since the ghosts are working with Pac, the role of "enemy that is invincible until you eat a Power Pellet" is filled by even more ethereal creatures simply called Spectrals.
  • 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 and chocolate.
  • 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, after many years of being a Heroic Mime, is finally given a voice for this game.
  • 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.
  • Thin Dimensional Barrier: A new Big Bad named Erwin is creating energy siphons to drain energy from the Spectral Realm. In theory, these siphons can be set up anywhere, but one particular area where he'd set up a siphon is later explained by Mission Control as making a kind of sense, as the barrier between dimensions was thin there. This doesn't seem to have any effect other than to make the siphon's operation easier for Erwin, though.
  • Timed Mission: The end of the second Gogekka level, which has an enormous bomb that needs to be defused before it blows up the whole tower.
  • 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.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: Pac-Man tells Erwin he should have used his "death machines, world conquest plans and rampaging insanity" for good instead of evil.

Alternative Title(s): Pac Man World 2, Pac Man World 3