By Doug Trueman
We've compiled a list of facts you probably never knew about Pac-Man. Some of these are
also included later in this feature, but we thought it would be best if we assembled them
into a list of small, bite-sized pieces.
- Pac-Man is the best-selling coin-operated game in history. Forget Street Fighter 2 and
Tetris. In the game's debut year alone, over 100,000 Pac-Man machines were made and sold
around the world.
- Namco estimates that the original Pac-Man arcade title has been played more than ten billion
times in its 20-year history. Namco's total Pac-Man revenues have reached $100 million...
one quarter at a time.
- Pac-Man was inspired by a pizza with a slice missing. Namco designer Tohru Iwatani went
out for the evening with some friends and then dove for dinner. The rest is history.
- 1982 saw the debut of ABC's animated cartoon, The Pac-Man Show. It ran for two years as
Pac-Man tried to save his friends and Pac-Land from the evil Mezmaron.
- Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia spoofed Ted Nugent's song Cat Scratch Fever and turned it
into Pac-Man Fever. The song hit number nine. For its lyrics, click
- Dozens of hacked versions of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man exist. These games give the Pac
character a speed bonus with the push of a button or more challenging mazes with complex
series of turns.
- It took eight people 15 months to complete the original Pac-Man arcade title. Four
worked on the hardware, four worked on the software.
- Pac-Man and his fellow Pacs travel 20 percent faster through mazes that have been
cleared of dots than when they're eating. If you've got a ghost on your tail, head for
- Pac-Man has been licensed to more than 250 companies for over 400 products. There are
Pac-Man air fresheners, cereal boxes, flip phones, costumes, record books, and even a hot
- The business world has co-opted Pac-Man's name as a technique to protect against a
hostile takeover. The defending company would instead swallow the larger company in a move
known as the Pac-Man defense.
- In July of 1999, Florida resident and die-hard Pac-Man fan Billy Mitchell achieved the
first perfect score in Pac-Man (3,333,360) after playing for six hours straight. He beat
all 256 screens eating every dot, fruit, and ghost (all four ghosts were eaten with each
power pellet) - using only one Pac-Man!
- The author of this article has a huge Pac-Man pillow on his sofa. He also inexplicably
gained 50 pounds over the course of writing this feature.