Pac-Man (JP) is a character created by the company Namco as their mascot. Back in the 1980s, his first game became one of the top Arcade games of all time along with Donkey Kong. Pac-Man is a Pac-Person who is often saving his home from danger of the Ghost Gang and other villains. The main inspiration for Pac-Man came from a pizza lacking a slice.

Vastly recognized as a videogame industry icon, the shape of the character also became a Geek and Pop Culture symbol in many ways. He has starred over 120 games, is a key franchise for Bandai Namco Games and is one of the most valuable for them.

Most of the titles in the PAC-MAN series are Maze games (as it started) or Platform adventure games. The character appeared in many Nintendo systems and had multiple portrayals in these. Notable, one his most recent appearances as a guest fighter in the 4th title in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, and as the rest of the playable cast, having his own amiibo.

Story and Character Development

Pac-Man was originally conceived only as a charismatic figure to be the mascot of his company, Namco. The simplistic design was reminiscent of silent cartoons and consequently made him always very expressive in art. His in-game appearance as a yellow circle with a single triangular cut, though, didn't live up the design in artworks.

Over the years, and with the release of more games in his franchise, Pac-Man was gaining more consistency in his universe; Midway, which was responsible for the western distribution of the Arcade games of the series in 80's, created without the consent of NAMCO, characters (like Ms. Pac-Man) which became the Pac-Man family. After a long process of legal disputes, the rights of these new concepts were passed on to the official retainers of the franchise, and established Pac-Man as a family man.

The Hanna-Barbera TV Show in 1982 solidified the structure of the Pac-Man family, with the games that followed reflecting it.

In 2009, however, the series underwent a drastic reboot, discarding a lot of characters and all his universe, towards to targeting a younger audience of the current generation, also giving the character a redesign. The reboot passed through a transitional phase where the character was seen alone on some titles, already carrying elements of his modern look, and games which was not assigned any connection to a solid universe; and finally, with the launch of the new TV Show in 2013, new friends and a story were established once again, this animated series generated games and later appearances with his final and current design.

Pac-Man is now the hero of Pac-World, and his real name is Pacster; With the help of his friends Cylindria and Spiral, constantly fights against the evil forces of Lord Betrayus and his Ghost Army.

Physical appearance and Personality

Pac-Man, in early promotional art in Japan.

From the original game release in Arcades until the GameCube era, Pac-Man was always portrayed in very distinct Japanese art, with sharp points in his eyebrows and elbows, a big nose and very thick outlines. Some of the art for Western and European releases for the games, were done by multiple artists.

Pac-Man from the Pac-Man World cover art.

After his debut in 3D in 1999, his previous design was refined, was given a smaller nose and a more friendly and soft look in the edges of bent limbs and eyebrows; This design in particular was used in almost every game art from Pac-Man Collection to Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. As a throwback, it was also how he looks in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.

Pac-Man as seen in Pac-Man Party.

In 2009, Pac-Man suffered his first big redesign, gaining blue eyes, a more realistic looking sneakers and overall a more playful and youthful behavior. It was used for the transition between his current and classic look.

Pac-Man (Pacster) as he currently looks.

Finally, on the 2013 TV Show, Pac-Man received a bigger nose once again, separated fingers in his hands , and he has apparent teeth for certain expressions. He is known to be brave, but has teenage faults like laziness and brashness. He was also seen multiple alternative designs in minor spin-offs, but rarely used more than once.

List of games on Nintendo systems