Pac-Man is created by Toru Iwatani for the japanese firm Namco. The game is launched in the Japanese arcades in the autumn of 1979, under the title Puck Man. The name is derived from the Japanese word ”pakupaku” which refers to the action of opening and closing the mouth. It’s hugely successful; it is then marketed in the US and in the rest of the world in 1980. Pac-Man’s non-violent nature is the origin of its success among children. The change from Puck Man to Pac-Man is to avoid pranksters changing the letter P into an F; you can imagine the rest … Pac-Man is subsequently adapted on many computers consoles such as the Atari 2600, ColecoVision on the NES, the Apple II, Commodore 64, etc.
Pac-Man is, without a doubt, the icon of video games. He is round shaped, yellow and has a mouth. He must eat the dots, the fruit shaped power pellets, and the key, all of this in a maze haunted by four ghosts. Four special dots make the ghosts vulnerable for a short amount of time when Pac-Man can eat them. When vulnerable, the ghosts become blue and display an expression of fear. The game was considered to have no end, but in reality it has 255 levels because the 256th is impossible to complete due to a bug that fills the right side of the screen with symbols. This bug is due to the fact that the levels are coded on one byte.