Pac-Land arcadeflyer
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco


Series: Pac-Man series
Genres: Platform, Adventure,
Release date(s): 1984
Arcade system Namco Pac-Land
Number of players One player
Input methods 3 buttons (left, right, jump)
Platforms Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari Lynx, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Famicom, MSX, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum

Pac-Land (パックランド?) is an entry in the Pac-Man series of arcade video games, released into arcades by Namco, and its American distributor Bally Midway (now Midway Games), in 1984. It was the first Namco arcade game to use the then-new arcade system later titled as Namco Pac-Land. It was also one of the earlier side-scrolling platform games in video game history, preceding the better-known Super Mario Bros. by Nintendo. Pac-Land features parallax scrolling for some of the background elements, a feature that would not become commonplace until the 16-bit console era began much later.

In the American release of Pac-Land by Bally Midway, the characters' appearances are based on the designs from the Pac-Man animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, to promote the animated series, as well as the video game series. In the Japanese release by Namco, the Pac-Man sprite is closer in appearance to Namco's official artwork of the character with a longer nose, Pac-Man shaped eyes, and (for this game) a feathercap. In addition, both versions feature the main BGM and "jingles" from the aforementioned series; however, the rights to the main BGM in the game belong to Hanna-Barbera, not Namco.


Pacland gameplay

Pac-Man strolling through Pac-Land.

Pac-Land itself is split into trips. In each of these trips the objective is to get the fairy (that is kept under Pac-man's hat) to Fairyland and also to return back home to Pac-Man's house. The majority of the trip involves moving from left to right avoiding various obstacles such as the enemy ghosts, water spurts and quicksand traps. Each trip is divided into a number of rounds, the end of which provides Pac-man with bonus points depending on how much time he has left and also his position in jumping at the end of each round. The penultimate round of a trip ends with Pac-Man entering Fairyland and returning the fairy under his hat to the Fairy Queen. In return the Fairy Queen gives Pac-man magic boots. For the final round of the trip, Pac-Man has to travel from right to left back home. For assistance he uses the magic boots, which allow him to jump repeatedly while in mid-air. Once Pac-Man completes the trip, he is greeted by Ms. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man. In the US release of the game, Pac-Man's cat and dog in the cartoon series, Sourpuss and Chomp-Chomp, are also there to welcome Pac-Man home. Pac-Man then begins his next trip following the same objectives as before, although the difficulty increases.


Pac-Land was released to several home consoles and computers, including the Commodore 64, the Commodore Amiga, the Atari Lynx, the Atari ST, the TurboGrafx-16, the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC, the MSX and the Famicom (Japan-only). Pac-Land remained a fixture in many video arcades through the mid-1990s, and was republished in 1996 as part of Namco Museum Volume 4 for the PlayStation. A board game and a handheld LCD game of Pac-Land were also produced.

A hidden item (sometimes accidentally dropped by the ghosts) is a Flagship from Galaxian, which rewards 7650 points when collected (a reference to Namco's goroawase number of 765). The Galaxian Flagship is a long running cameo that appears in the Namco-made Pac-Man games.

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