The Ghosts are the recurring antagonists in the Pac-Man franchise.
The enemies in Pac-Man are known variously as "ghosts," "goblins," and "monsters". Despite the seemingly random nature of the enemies, their movements are strictly deterministic, which players have used to their advantage. In an interview, creator Toru Iwatani stated that he had designed each enemy with its own distinct personality in order to keep the game from becoming impossibly difficult or boring to play. More recently, Iwatani described the enemy behaviors in more detail at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. He stated that the red enemy chases Pac-Man, and the pink and blue enemies try to position themselves in front of Pac-Man's mouth. Although he claimed that the orange enemy's behavior is random, a careful analysis of the game's code reveals that it actually chases Pac-Man most of the time, but also moves toward the lower-left corner of the maze when it gets too close to Pac-Man.
In the Pac-Man cartoon, with the male Ghost Monsters wearing various styles of hats and partnered with Sue (who wore earrings), the Ghost Monsters work for Mezmaron who assigns them the job of finding the Power Pellet Forest. Just as Pac-Man could "chomp" the Ghost Monsters to devour their "suits" after gulping down a power pellet and thusly turning the Ghost Monsters blue — with their disembodied "eyes" floating back to Mezmaron's lair — the Ghost Monsters themselves, whenever Pac-Man hadn't been able to consume a power pellet for a time, could likewise "chomp" Pac-Man to defeat him. The episodes "Chomp-Out at the O.K. Corral" and "The Greatest Show in Pacland" featured the Ghost Monsters' 3-year-old cousin named Dinky who was bratty, which greatly annoyed all the male ghost monsters.
In the 2013 TV series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the four Ghosts come from the Netherworld. Though they are ruled by Lord Betrayus, they are actually good-natured spirits and often supply Pac-Man with information about Lord Betrayus' plots. There were also some Ghosts that were exclusive to the TV series like Cyclops Ghosts (a race of heavyset, horned Ghosts with one eye), Fire Ghosts (a race of orange Ghosts who can emit fire from their body), Tentacle Ghosts (a race of 4-eyed purple-black Ghosts who look similar to jellyfish), Guardian Ghosts (a race of large Ghosts who guard the Netherworld), and Aqua Ghosts (a race of light blue Ghosts with fins on their head).
Below is the description of each Ghost.
|Enemy Color||Original Puck Man||American Pac-Man|
|Red||Oikake (追いかけ)||Chaser||Akabei (赤ベイ)||Red guy||Urchin||Macky||Shadow||Blinky|
|Pink||Machibuse (待ち伏せ)||Ambusher||Pinky (ピンキー)||Pink guy||Romp||Micky||Bashful||Pinky|
|Cyan||Kimagure (気まぐれ)||Fickle||Aosuke (青助)||Blue guy||Stylist||Mucky||Speedy||Inky|
|Orange||Otoboke (お惚け)||Stupid||Guzuta (愚図た)||Slow guy||Crybaby||Mocky||Pokey||Clyde|
Blinky is a Red Ghost that is Bad-Tempered and bossy. In the Pac-Man world games this ghost is instead Clyde.
In the Pac-Man cartoon, Blinky (voiced by Chuck McCann) is slow-witted and cowardly with grammar problems.
In Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Blinky (voiced by Ian James Corlett in the TV series and by Lucien Dodge in the video game) is the default leader of the Ghost Gang Family and tends to help the winning side.
Inky is a Cyan Ghost that is Goofy, Shy, and Unpredictable.
In the Pac-Man cartoon, Inky (voiced by Barry Gordon) is depicted as dim and loony.
In Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Inky (voiced by Lee Tockar in the TV series and by Bryce Papenbrook in the video game) is the youngest member. Though the smartest, he lacks focus most of the time.
In Pac-Man, Inky Likes to appear in front of Pac-Man's face.
Pinky is a Pink Ghost that is Mischievous, Persistent, and Tricky.
In the Pac-Man cartoon, Pinky (voiced by Chuck McCann) is depicted as male dimwitted shape shifter.
In recent games, and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Pinky (voiced by Ashleigh Ball in the TV series and by Julie Kliewer in the video game) is depicted as a female with a crush on Pac-Man, which often puts her at odds with Cylindria.
In the animated series, Clyde (voiced by Neil Ross) is the leader of the group.
In recent games and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Clyde (voiced by Brian Drummond in the TV series and by Orion Acaba in the video game) is depicted as a large ghost who is simple and has an appetite equal to Pac-Man's.
In the Pac-Man World games, Clyde and Blinky's roles are reversed.
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With the release of further Pac-Man games, more ghosts have been added.
Kinky is a yellow Ghost that only appeared in Pac-Man Arrangement. He is also called Kinzo. Kinky is the scientist of the Ghosts who has the ability to combine with other Ghosts. When he combines with Clyde (note: in Pac-Man Arrangement, Clyde was the red ghost and Blinky was orange), Kinky becomes a bull-like ghost named Urchin that can charge after Pac-Man. When he combines with Inky, Kinky's glasses appear on Inky's body and grant this new combined ghost (named Stylist) the ability to split in two. Stylist's reflection will mirror Stylist's movements on the other half of the map (about the vertical axis). When Kinky combines with Pinky, the resulting ghost is rabbit-like and named Romp. Romp can hop to any part of the map, usually very close to Pac-Man's position. The combination of Kinky and Blinky (who is orange in Pac-Man Arrangement) results in Crybaby, a chubbier version of Blinky who adds 20-point Pac-Dots to the maze.
Orson is a greenish-gray intellectual Ghost who has reformed and is now an ally of Pac-Man.
Spooky is a dark gray Ghost in gray armor that is the King of the Ghosts in ancient times until he was sealed under Pac-Ville's largest tree by Sir Pac-A-Lot.
Funky is a jumping green Ghost that debuted in Pac-Mania. He has an interest in Sue.
A jumping iron gray Ghost that debuted in Pac-Mania. She is a counterpart of Funky.
Sue is a female Ghost who assumes Clyde's role as the orange ghost in Ms. Pac-Man. In later Pac-Man games, Sue is a violet Ghost.
In the Pac-Man series, Sue (voiced by Susan Silo) is featured as Clyde's second-in-command.
Tim is an orange Ghost that appeared exclusively as Clyde's replacement in Jr. Pac-Man.
Yum-Yum is a female red Ghost that debuted in Jr. Pac-Man. She is a relative of Blinky and has a romantic relationship with Jr. Pac-Man. Yum-Yum appears exclusively in Jr. Pac-Man's cutscenes.
In other media
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Gang Busters," Buster Bunny & Plucky Duck play Pac-Man using their eyeballs as the characters & Buster plays as the ghosts.
- The ghosts appear in The Simpsons episode "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass," where they are seen at Pac-Man's wedding. They also appear in the episode "I Married Marge," where Mr. Burns was playing Ms. Pac-Man and laughs when he eats the ghosts.
- The Ghosts appear in the Family Guy episode "Stuck Together, Torn Apart" were they try to cheer up Pac-Man after Ms. Pac-Man left him. When they are unable to cheer Pac-Man up, they leave to visit Q*bert. They are seen again in "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story" were Stewie Griffin and Brian Griffin were playing Pac-Man. Brian tells Stewie to get the fruit, but Stewie says that there is a ghost in the way. In "Meet the Quagmires" the ghosts appear in the game Menstrual Ms. Pac-Man that Peter Griffin was playing. Ms. Pac-Man yells at the ghost for chasing her & the Ghosts start complaining and swearing at her.
- The Ghosts appear in the South Park trilogy "Imaginationland."
- The ghosts appear in the Annoying Orange episodes "Pac-Mania" and "TV OF TERROR".
- The Ghosts appear in the Robot Chicken episode "Tubba Bubba's Now Hubba-Hubba." In a segment that parodies Pac-Man with The Matrix, Pac-Man is seen fighting Inky and Pinky while in the Matrix and is shot. In "The Core, The Thief, His Wife, and His Lover," a segment parodying Ghost has Sam Wheat about to kiss Molly Jensen until he is eaten by Pac-Man. In "Fool's Goldfinger," the Ghosts appear with Pac-Man in a segment that details gay video game characters. In "Butchered in Burbank," the Ghosts appear with Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man gets mad at them when they flirt with her.
- Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde appear in Wreck-It Ralph. While Blinky, Inky, and Pinky appear in Game Central Station, Clyde (voiced by Kevin Deters) is shown to be the head of Bad-Anon (a support group for video game villains) where the members have been meeting in the Pac-Man game once a week. When Wreck-It Ralph comments on how he doesn't want to be a villain anymore, Clyde is among the villains that react to this as he turns blue. After Wreck-It Ralph states how no villain gets any respect from the characters in the game that they are from, Clyde gets how he feels, but says that he'll have to accept who he is.
- The Ghosts appear in the MAD segments "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Icarus" (where they were shown chasing Pac-Man) and "ParaMorgan" (where they were shown with other popular fictional ghosts).
- The Ghosts appear in secret levels in Wolfenstein 3D.
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- "Monster Characters".