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Dot-Gobbler!: Unknown Facts About Pac-Man

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Pac-Man, everybody's favorite dot-muncher besides yours truly (I'm a sucker for Dippin' Dots!), has always been a riddle wrapped inside a mystery wrapped inside a giant mouthy exterior. That is, until now. Game-creator Toru Iwatani has finally opened up about the toothless glutton (should've brushed and floss, yo!). Five little-know facts:

The point of the game was to attract girls


"The reason I created Pac-Man was because we wanted to attract female gamers..."

Each ghost had specific orders

...it's only Blinky, the red ghost, who doggedly pursues you throughout the game. Pinky, the pink ghost (naturally), simply wants to position itself at a point that's 32 pixels in front of Pac-Man's mouth. The blue ghost, Inky, is seeking to position itself at a similar fixed spot. And Clyde, the orange ghost, moves completely at random.

What, exactly, does Pac-Man mean?

In Japanese, "puck puck" is akin to the U.S. saying "munch munch". So the original name - Puck-Man - translated as "Munch man". (A savvy Midway Games official changed it to Pac-Man when the game hit the U.S. to discourage vandals from shaving off part of the "P," thereby creating an obscene word.)

The missing puzzle piece

...at the time, there was one more thing he wanted to add to the game.

"I wanted to have a shelter and it would move up and down," he says. "When the ghost comes, the ghost would be pinched by the shelter which would disfigure the ghost."

The ghosts were almost just one color

The president of Namco ordered him to make the ghosts a single color - red, to be precise - since she believed players would be confused that some ghosts, perhaps, were Pac-Man's ally.

Iwatani refused the order and on questionnaires to the game's testers, asked if they would prefer a single color ghost or four. Not a single person wanted the single-color option. That ultimately convinced the president she was wrong.

Well, did you learn something interesting? I thought the part about the ghost's particular orders was the most interesting. Just kidding, it was the part about the president of Namco in 1980 being a woman.

Five things you never knew about Pac-Man [yahoogames]

Thanks to me.vicky, Alan and Mary, who once played Pac-Man at the arcade all day and didn't pay a dime quarter. Haha, the ol' washer-on-a-string trick! F***ing classic.

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