The Vault: Pac-Man

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Remember Space Jam? Remember Star Fox? Remember those treasures locked away in a dusty vault of nostalgia? Well we’re here to pull them out again, because let’s face it some of us college students are poor and can’t afford the new game or movie ticket.

Mary Jones
Columnist
mej102@lhup.edu

Photo courtesy of smashbros.com
Photo courtesy of smashbros.com

Within the dark recesses of the vault, behind the excellence that is Japanese games, is the amazing game that is known as “Pac-Man”.

Originally released on May 22, 1980 in Japan, then in October of the same year in the United States, “Pac-Man” was published by Namco in Japan and Midway Games in the United States. “Pac-Man” started out as an arcade game and succeeded in making a new genre in a video game world full of space shooters, such as “Space Invaders”, and sports games, such as “PONG”.

The goal is to get Pac-Man to eat all of the pellets before being caught by one of the four ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. If one of the ghosts catch Pac-Man, he dies, and the player looses one of their four lives. But what is it about this game that makes it a must-play? I’m here to tell you why.

A Simple Game

Photo courtesy of wifflegif.com
Photo courtesy of wifflegif.com

Because there is no story to “Pac-Man”, and the only goal is to avoid the ghosts, “Pac-Man” is a simple time killer for any student who is between classes, or waiting for their room mate to get lunch. The only difference between levels is the speed at which the ghosts move. “Pac-Man” is also a great way to de-stress and take that much needed five minutes away from studying or doing homework. Just be careful! “Pac-Man” can be a little distracting. Don’t loose track of time!

The Graphics

On screen, there is a blue maze full of pellets. There is a center box that is the “home” for the ghosts, which are blue, red, pink, and orange. Your character, Pac-Man, is an yellow circle with an eye and mouth, and there are fruits in full color. Even if this is extremely simple compared to the games made currently, it was a leap forward for the time that it was released. Before “Pac-Man”, games were only in black and white, or with one or two other colors. “Pac-Man” has more then seven different colors, not counting black and white, as well as circles. “Pac-Man” was one of the games that helped the industry make a leap into the right direction.

Photo courtesy of emilines.com
Photo courtesy of emilines.com

It’s “PAC-MAN”

Photo courtesy of giphy.com
Photo courtesy of giphy.com

The character, Pac-Man, as well as the ghosts who are out to get him, are some of the most recognized video game characters in the history of video games. Pac-Man appears in well over 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, many other games (“Super Smash Brothers” for the Wii U) many different movies (“Wreck-It-Ralph”, anyone?), as well as a number of un-official games, imitations, and boot-legs. Even people who do not play video games recognize the characters. “Pac-Man” became a classic in the video game medium, and will continue to be one.

If you would like to play “Pac-Man” as it was originally released, you can find it here!

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