9 Things You (Other than Hardcore Gamers) Might not Have Known About Pac-Man


Pac-Man is without question one of my favorite games of all time.  Granted it’s not nearly as high tech and interactive as your XBox and Playstation games of today.  But its simplicity is what makes it so great.  Just grab as many pills as you can as much food as you can before one of those ghosts gets ya.

Personally I think Ms. Pac-Man was a little better because it was quicker.  But bottom line, it’s a Pac-Man which is all that matters.  However there are some things about the game that I was never aware of that I thought would be interesting to share.

Here are 9 things you may not have known about Pac-Man.


1. Original Name

The name of the game was originally called Pakku Man which wa  inspired by the Japanese onomatopoeicphrase paku-paku taberu.  That describes (the sound of) the mouth movement when widely opened and then closed in succession.  Eventually that lead to the game adding a maze and changing the name to Puck Man.  The U.S. is who made the name Pac-Man.

2.  Why it was changed to Pac Man  

For the North American market, the name was changed from Puck Man to Pac-Man, as it was thought that vandals would be likely to change the P in Puck to an F, forming a word we all know and love.  Puck Man machines can be found throughout Europe.

3.  Actual Image

While Pac-Man is generally depicted in manual and cover art with arms and legs attached directly to his face, Atari represented him with a stick-figure-like torso for their 400/800 version

4. Google search

The correct spelling is Pac-Man. Yet, if you search for Pac-Man on Google, it will inevitably come up Pacman.  Strange.


5.  One of the Ghosts as a nickname for its accelerated character

As many of you may know the ghosts names (in America) are Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.    However Blinky, the red ghost, speeds up after a certain number of dots are eaten (this number gets lower in higher levels).  The accelerated Blinky is unofficially called Cruise Elroy.

6.  No Ending, but a Split Screen


Pac-Man technically has no ending – as long as the player keeps at least one life, he or she should be able to continue playing indefinitely. However, because of a bug in the routine that draws the fruit, the right side of the 256th board becomes a garbled mess of text and symbols, rendering the level impossible to pass by legitimate means.

7.  High Score – In case you think you’re good

The first person to achieve the maximum possible score (3,333,360 points) was Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida, who performed the feat in about six hours.

8.  Ms Pac-Man

Was originally called Crazy Otto.

9. Consumer Awareness

According to the Davie Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them.  94 percent!  Unreal.

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  1. There’s a great documentary on Billy Mitchell and the Donkey Kong world record called “King of Kong.” You should check it out; it’s great. He’s a total dick.

  2. “The correct spelling is Pac-Man. Yet, if you search for Pac-Man on Google, it will inevitably come up Pacman. Strange.”

    No mystery there: Google strips punctuation. “pac-man” minus ‘-‘ equals “pacman”.

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