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Japanese arcade flyer of Pac-Land.
Japanese arcade flyer of Pac-Land (1984)
Developer(s)Namco (original)
Grandslam Entertainment
Mr. Micro
Designer(s)Tsukasa Negoro
Programmer(s)Yoshihiro Kishimoto
Artist(s)Hiroshi Ono
Composer(s)Yuriko Keino
Platform(s)Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Lynx, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Famicom, iOS, MSX, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Virtual Console, X68000, ZX Spectrum
Genre(s)Platform game
Mode(s)Up to 2 players, alternating turns
CabinetUpright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade systemNamco Pac-Land
CPU1x Motorola M6809 @ 1.536 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63701 @ 1.538461 MHz
Sound1x Namco WSG @ 1.536 MHz
DisplayHorizontal orientation, raster, 288 x 224 resolution

Pac-Land (パックランド, Pakku-Rando) is an entry in the Pac-Man series of arcade video games, released into arcades by Namco, and its American distributor Bally Midway (later Midway Games), in August 1984.[1] It was the first Namco arcade game to use the then-new hardware later labeled Namco Pac-Land.

Diverging from previous Pac-Man titles, Pac-Land is a side-scrolling platform game with large characters and colorful backgrounds, and is closer in gameplay style to Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. (which would be released the following year). It includes parallax scrolling.


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 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. If the player runs out of time before finishing the round, Sue, the purple ghost, will speed up rapidly.

The final 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, Sour Puss 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.

As in the original Pac-Man, there are fruit which appear to eat for bonus points and power pellets to turn the ghosts blue and vulnerable. 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 Bandai Namco-made Pac-Man games. There are also hidden bonuses in the game, eating ghosts in a certain order will give extra time and pushing a fire hydrant in the opposite direction can give extra lives, invincibility, and balloons to collect for points and warps.


The arcade cabinet version of the game was unique, in that instead of a joystick, it had six plastic buttons, three for each player, although two players would alternate turns in a two-player game. Two buttons moved Pac-Man right and left, while the third made him jump. Pictographs on the cabinet showed images of Pac-Man moving right and left and jumping. The TurboGrafx-16 version of the game made an attempt to emulate this by offering a "Type-B" control scheme which switched Pac-Man's movements to the buttons on the controller rather than the thumb-pad. Also, the Famicom version uses A and B to run and the D-pad to jump. This is contrast with the majority of Famicom games, which use the D-pad to run, A to jump and B to attack.


In the Japanese release by Namco, the Pac-Man sprite resembles the official artwork of the character with a longer nose, Pac-Man-shaped eyes, and (for this game) a Tyrolean hat with a feather. 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 addition, both versions feature the main background music and "jingles" from the aforementioned series. Midway's version also features faster game play than Namco's.


Pac-Land was ported to the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari Lynx, Atari ST, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, and Nintendo Entertainment System.


A board game and a handheld LCD game of Pac-Land were also produced.[citation needed]

Pac-Land republished in 1996 as part of Namco Museum Volume 4 for the PlayStation. In 2012, Namco released Pac-Land on the Namco Arcade app for the iPhone and iPad. Pac-Land is one of the games included in Pac-Man Museum. All of the ports to home consoles and computers released inside and outside Japan are based on Namco's version of the game, but the Namco Arcade application version of the game is based on the Midway version in non-Japanese versions of the application and the Namco version in the Japanese version.

Pac-Land was released for the Wii U Virtual Console.

The game also appeared as a stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Rob Swan reviewed the Atari Lynx version in the August 1991 issue of CVG Magazine. He gave the game a score of 80 out of 100.[2] Robert A. Jung also reviewed the Lynx version giving it a score of 7 out of 10.[3] Raze Magazine reviewed the Lynx version also and gave a score of 74%[4]


  1. ^ "Pac-Land : The Arcade Video Game PCB by NAMCO, Ltd". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  2. ^ Rob Swan (August 1991). "Lynx Lowdown". No. 117. Computer Videogame Magazine. p. 37.
  3. ^ Robert A. Jung (6 June 1999). "Pac-Land review". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Pac-Land". Raze Magazine. September 1991. p. 39. Retrieved 20 August 2018 – via

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