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30 Years of Pac-Man Fever

On May 22, 1980, Namco unleashed a little yellow disk on the world, and video gaming and pop culture were never the same. Here's a look back at the ghost eating guy's greatest hits.

Pac-Man Championship Edition

Pac-Man, or Puck Man as the game was originally called, was released by Namco Bandai in Japan on May 22, 1980. Over the last 30 years, the game became an international smash hit. It's one of the best-selling Japanese video games of all time, and the release of an iPad game proves the little yellow guy is still well loved.

Namco Bandai

Super Pac-Man Arcade Machine

The iconic yellow Pac Man figure gracing Namco's arcade machine quickly became a staple of movie theaters and video game parlors across the country. 

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Pasta

In 1982, Namco released the sequel Super Pac-Man in Japan. That year also saw the release of a cartoon was released in the U.S. created by Hanna-Barbera productions. It ran during prime-time on ABC. Buckner & Garcia released first the song "Pac-Man Fever" and later the full album. The single ranked 9th on the Billboard HOT 100. The album ranked 24th.

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Car

Incredibly, over 400 different types of PAC-MAN-related merchandise were also released -- not counting this promotional VW. The popularity of "PAC-MAN" in the United States made him a social phenomenon, resulting in both a popular animated television series and a hit disco record ("PAC-MAN Fever" by Buckner & Garcia).

Namco Bandai

Extra Mode

When playing Championship Pac-Man, you'll stumble upon some unusual levels, including Extra Mode, where the walls of the maze you're in keep changing around. Survive 10 minutes to beat the level. 

Namco Bandai

Super Pac-Man

The game even introduced a new legal term called the "Pac-Man defense" where a company that is threatened by a hostile takeover defends itself by acquiring its would-be buyer. The term is derived from the gameplay in "Pac-Man," wherein retaliation against the enemy ghosts is possible by eating a power pellet.

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Game

In 2005 Pac-Man received the Guinness World Records award for "Most Successful Coin-Operated Game."

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Pinball

Ms. Pac-Man was born in the U.S. in 1981. By tying a bow on the yellow disk, Namco somehow distinguished male from female. It became one of the biggest hits ever for the video game company, quickly outperforming Pac-Man himself.

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Claw Machine

Looking for a stuffed animal? How about a Pac-Man?

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Golf

Namco quickly built a franchise from the yellow disk, including such classics as Pac-Man Golf. Ms. Pac-Man nevertheless remained the favorite among gamers.

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Cereal

A breakfast cereal? Really? Yep. And how is that more unusual than Booberry or Frankeberry, anyway?

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Bowling

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Arcade Game

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man

Namco Bandai

Ms. Pac-Man Game

Namco Bandai

Pac-Man Boxing

Namco Bandai

The Original Ms. Pac-Man

Namco Bandai

Ghosts of Pac-Man

Namco Bandai

Ghost Eater

Namco Bandai

Championship Mode

Namco Bandai

30 Years of Pac-Man Fever

On May 22, 1980, Namco unleashed a little yellow disk on the world, and video gaming and pop culture were never the same. Here's a look back at the ghost eating guy's greatest hits.

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