This article comes from the WeChat public account: Geek Choice (ID: GeekChoice) , author: Liu Diudiu, title figure from: “Pac-man”

On May 22, 1980, Nanmeng Palace released the first game in the “Pac-Man” series. It first landed on an arcade, and it was very popular because of its cute round face image and simple operation. Forty years later, Pac-Man has become a symbolic presence in video games, appearing in various derivative works and film and television dramas.

This game seems a little simple today, in fact, there are many advanced designs. For example, the ghosts of the four colors follow their respective laws of motion, which is one of the earliest game AI. The various sequels and adaptations derived from the image of Pac-Man are “gaming IP” in today’s words. The high-score competition for Pac-Man games also indirectly affected the birth of e-sports.

On the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man, let ’s review the stories behind this classic game together.

Women’s game with the theme of “eating”

Following the pace of “Space Invaders”, a group of games with the theme of cosmic shooting emerged in the arcade hall at that time. They were often simple and exciting, which most attracted male players. Home consoles were still very luxurious products at the time, and only a small number of families owned them, so the arcade hall became the favorite place for these young people.

Because male players are predominant, smoking, keyboard smashing, and shouting are all normal in arcade halls, so it has also become a degenerate place in the eyes of mainstream society and adults, and video games are regarded as psychotropic drugs (Today, some people still think so) . Against this background, Nanmeng Palace decided to develop a puzzle game more suitable for the general public, especially to win the love of female players.

The Pac-Man development team is a 9-person team headed by Iwatani. It started development in early 1979 and took one year and five months to complete. At that time, it was a long development cycle.

From the perspective of women, Iwatani decided to use “eating” as the theme of the game. The image of Pac-Man comes from a slice of pizza. Of course, this was the official statement of Nanmeng Palace and Iwatani later, probably for the North American market. Iwatani has another explanation in an interview that the image of Pac-Man comes from the distortion of the Chinese character “口”.

Invincible setting comes from “Dali Sailor”

The images of the four ghost enemies come from “Ghost Horse Elf” and “Q Taro”. At that time, the high-level officials also believed that the color of the enemy should be unified into red to avoid player mistakes. However, there were still more color supporters in the subsequent ballots, so it was today’s setting.

The ghosts of the four colors have “different personalities”: red tracks Pac-Man’s position; pink will judge the direction of Pac-Man and wait for an ambush; cyan will actively set a trap between Pac-Man and beans; Beanman.

Players can temporarily become invincible by eating “Dali Pill”, chasing ghosts in the reverse direction. This setting is spinach from “Dali Mariner”. As the level progresses, the speed of ghosts will become faster and faster, and the invincibility time of Dali Maru will be shortened until it becomes invalid. >. These settings are the earliest game AI, and now popular IO games, to some extent, also draw on the reverse game of Pac-Man.

Indirect culprit of the “Atari Incident”

The name of Pac-Man is also very interesting. It was originally called Puck Man, and Puck means chew in Japanese. However, in English, if you change P to F, it is easy to be misunderstood, so the production team later changed its name, and we saw the current Pac-Man.

The Pac-Man is even more popular in the North American market than in Japan. There is a special episode in Friends that tells the protagonists to fight for high scores. In 2005, Guinness named it “the most successful arcade game.”

After the game is hot, it naturally cannot avoid following the trend. One of the most well-known derivative works is “Pac-Man Miss”, which adds a bow and long legs to the Pac-Man as female characters. However, this game was not produced by Nanmeng Palace and was later recovered after a copyright struggle. In current terms, the image of Pac-Man can be said to be the earliest game IP. Both “Kamen Rider” and “Pixel Wars” have Pac-Man characters added. What is interesting is thatAll as villains.

The successful Pac-Man series also has a “stain”. When the game overlord Atari wanted to transplant it to a home machine, the imperfect version was sold directly to the player because of the haste. The version of Pac-Man The poor experience caused the players’ dissatisfaction and indirectly caused the later “Atari incident”.

Create the first interactive Doodle with Google

Of course, the later Pac-Man series appeared on almost all game platforms. On the thirtieth anniversary of 2010, Google and Bandai Namco created the first interactive Doodle, which ported this classic game to the web. It retains classic elements such as music and gameplay, and even has a coin-operated system full of rituals. Even two clicks will trigger the appearance of the Pac-Man Miss Egg and play a two-player game.

Playing to level 256 will trigger a garbled bug, which is also a stalk, an integer overflow from the era of 8-bit computers.

On the eve of April Fools ’Day in 2015, Bandai Namco announced the opening of copyrights to 17 classic games such as its Pac-Man, followed by April Fools’ Day and Google ’s cooperation again. They moved the Pac-Man game to Google Maps, the players became Pac-Man, the streets were covered with beans, and eating Dali Pill also had the opportunity to track ghosts.

Last year, KFC and Bandai Namco moved three classic games “Pac-Man”, “Little Bee” and “Tank Wars” to WeChat mini-games. On the fortieth anniversary today, Bandai Namco and Amazon Games launched the commemorative game “PAC-MAN LIVE STUDIO”, which can be played online for free on the Twitch platform and supports homemade levels.

Due to technical limitations, video games at that time were very simple in gameplay, but creativity often became a “pointing pen”, creating a type of gameplay with simple settings. The history of Pac-Man is almost the history of the entire video game. The meaning behind it has exceeded the game. Pac-Man is one of the symbols of video games and popular culture itself.

This article comes from the WeChat public account: Geek ’s Choice ( ID: GeekChoice) , author: Liu Diudiu