Pac-Man Character Across Various Media

Pac-Man may not have been the most monumental or personality-filled character from the retro video game lineup that has become a household name for decades.

Still, the video game series that has introduced the character has certainly been one of the most simple, memorable, and addictive, with no plans of stopping, with the most recent release from the franchise being a remaster of the hit adventure platform rendition of Pac-Man, Pac-Man World, retitled, Pac-Man World: Re-Pac. However, Pac-Man has appeared much further than just the original video game series and the newest remaster, as Pac-Man has also had television series, appeared in other video games and media, and more, such as the likeliness of a live-action rendition of our favorite, hungry, yellow pellet muncher. Below, we’ve detailed Pac-Man as a character and the multiple appearances across various media in which the character has appeared.

Credit: Pac-Man

Pac-Man Origins

The first appearance of the simple yet easily memorable character started with the release of Pac-Man, a game with the simple concept of clearing the screen of all pellets across the maze that made each level harder and unique to itself while collecting powerups mainly in the form of fruits, and while also avoiding the Ghosts that inhabit each maze, and more intelligently attack Pac-Man as the levels increase. Pac-Man was released worldwide in December of 1980 and since has seen sequels, spinoffs, and so much more to add to the now giant and game-filled franchise. Since the release of Pac-Man, other characters have also been released, and the franchise has explored different genres. After Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man was released to continue appealing to the female fanbase attracted to the original Pac-Man. Pac-Man Plus became the third entry in the series that included the basic gameplay and elements from the original game before the franchise officially expanded genres.

Hannah-Barbera

Credit: Pac-Man

Pac-Man Television Series

The original Pac-Man video game series launched in 1980, and in about two years, a Hannah-Barbera-produced animated series was created that aired on ABC for two seasons from 1982 to 1983. The video games undoubtedly more inspired the series than it followed them as a story device, as the show made no actual reference to the events of the video game but featured the Ghosts as the enemies of Pac-Man and his family, as well as the entire city, which was powered by pellets and was also the food source for the inhabitants. The series later introduced elements from future games, such as Pac-Man Jr. and Super Pac-Man, which only added to the limitations of inspiration from the video game series to the television series as only characters were used between the two, and the rest was original to the television series. After the initial Pac-Man television series, the character was brought back to television screens through a Disney XD series called Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, which was also highly original. Although it followed a young teenager, Pac-Man, aged 13-14, was more closely connected and related to the video game series with Pac-Man eating the Ghosts that threaten his world, except he has befriended his standard enemies from the video game series, Blinky, Pinkly, Inky, and Clyde.

Pac-Man Pixels

Credit: Pixels

Pac-Man Live-Action Possibility

The character of Pac-Man has appeared in various media, including live-action. Still, unlike the animated appearances of the character, the live-action appearances have all been cameos of sorts and not a true live-action debut or full-length feature of Pac-Man. Possibly the most popular live-action rendition of Pac-Man has been the character’s appearance in the Adam Sandler-Kevin James starred Pixels, which saw a giant version of the character come to life and devour real-life buildings and objects. Pixels also saw the creator of Pac-Man as the lead character of the story, portrayed by Denis Akiyama. At the same time, the man himself, Toru Iwatani, cameoed as an arcade technician early in the film. Pac-Man also appeared in and was referenced in the Disney arcade and video game-themed animated movie Wreck-It-Ralph, in which Pac-Man and the Ghosts appear, as well as the sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet and other media such as Ready Player One. Overall, Pac-Man may have been a simple game, but while the simplicity was addicting, it caused the character to skyrocket and appear and be referenced in anime films, used as inspiration for films, and more. The most likely incarnation of a true live-action Pac-Man would likely be in the character’s film, much like the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Movie from Illumination, the apparent Duke Nukem movie, or the Sonic the Hedgehog films series, which have been doing unique enough that a Pac-Man film will likely come next, out of the household name classic video game icons. Films like Relaxer used Pac-Man as the film’s general premise and its main character, while franchises like Guardians of the Galaxy have mentioned Pac-Man numerous times. At the same time, the earlier mentioned Ready Player One compared Pac-Man to a deeper psychological and mathematical theory.

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