Pac-Man is one of gaming's first mascots, appearing in 1980 and quickly becoming a break-out hit that changed the landscape of video games forever. In an environment flooded with Asteroids and Space Invaders clones, this charming and challenging game swept arcades the world over, introducing a higher focus on character-based adventures and new, progressively more original concepts in game design. Arguably, Pac-Man had much to do with the invention of later mascots like Mario and Sonic. This was only the beginning, though, as Pac-Man went on to have an uncountable amount of spin-offs, cameos, merchandise and has a huge amount of notoriety, in popular culture especially [link]. Now that we know Super Smash Bros. 4 is in development at a Namco-Bandai house [link], it seems likely that Pac-Man will appear as the Namco representative before any other third-party character - they have the access, the IP is owned by Namco-Bandai. He is commonly top of popularity polls as well, and even a game that came out as recently as 2010 [link] has sustained a Metacritic score of 93/100, proving he has staying power. Support the Pac today!
Thanks to the awesome members in this thread and collected by Rosaline suporter, here's a bunch of content on Pac-Man!
Pac-Man Re-Colors by Onyx Oblivian:
Music Suggestions by CrophMaruMariolu2W0vol41PEeeeeek:
World 1 - Pac-Man Arrangement (Whether or not Pac-Man gets in, I'd love to hear this song in Smash. It always got me pumped up when playing Arrangment)
World 2 - Pac-Man Arrangement
Pac-Man's Park - Pac-Mania
Sandbox Land - Pac-Mania
Puzzle Fever - Pac-Attack (This song plays when the blocks are almost at the top. It would be funny if it plays when the timer's running out for a Pac-Man stage)
Whale on a Sub Pac-Man World 2
Moveset by Neanderthal, Image by Professor Fandango @ DeviantART:
Chomp: Like Toad waaaaaay back when I started this project, Chomp requires Wario to change his standard special (or they could just have to same one) due to a cool little idea I had a while ago (and will hopefully draw at come point.) It works pretty much the same way.
Rev Roll: What is this, Sonic the Hedgehog? This little manoeuvre is just like Yoshi's Egg Roll, or possibly Jigglypuff's Rollout. It involves rolling, is what I'm saying.
Dot Chain: For this move you don't actually control Pac himself, but a chain of dots which he follows. They begin by moving upwards but you can control them - only at right angles - until they run out, seven to ten of them, I'm thinking.
Butt Bounce: What is this, Super Mario? Not unlike the Yoshi Bomb and Bowser Bomb, but Pac-Man actually bounces, allowing the chance to chain them. I know some of these moves are a bit straightforward and/or derivative but I think it makes for a simple, accessible moveset.
Power Pellet: Throwing a glowing orb down his gullet (?) causes Pac-Man to grow to several times his size, lose his limbs and features and go back to that classic cheese/pizza/trivial pursuit shape everybody knows him for. Fully controllable but again only at right angles, Pac has to chase down his opponents in an effort to eat them. Not sure which is more balanced, biting them for big damage (a la Ultimate Chimera) or swallowing them for and instant knock out (a la Balloon Fight Fish) but either way maybe your enemies will turn blue for this technique?
By Professor Fandango @ DevientArt
Pac-Man History by Rosalina Suporter:
(Pac-Attack - 1993, Super Nintendo Entertainment System-1994 Game Boy,2008 Wii).
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures 1994 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System).
Pac-In-Time – 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System.)
Pac-Man Fever 2002 – Nintendo GameCube.)
Pac-Man World 2 2002 – Nintendo GameCube.)
Pac-Man Vs. 2003 – Nintendo GameCube,2007 - Nintendo DS.)
Pac-Man World 2004 – Game Boy Advance.)
Pac-Pix 2005 – Nintendo DS.)
Pac-Man Pinball Advance 2005 – Game Boy Advance.)
Pac 'n Roll 2005 – Nintendo DS.)
Pac-Man World 3 2005 – Nintendo GameCube,Nintendo DS.)
Pac-Man World Rally 2005 - Nintendo GameCube.)
Pac-Man Party 2010 – Wii, Nintendo DS.)
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Wii U And 3DS Coming Soon Fall 2013.
Pac-Man Collection 2001 – Game Boy Advance.)
Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions-2011 – Nintendo 3DS included are the original Pac-Man, Pac-Man Championship Edition, and Pac-Man Tilt (a game that's new to this compilation). The collection also includes three games in the Galaga series.
Namco Museum 64 1999 – Nintendo 64.)
Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary 2005 – GameCube, Game Boy Advance.)
Namco Museum Remix 2007 – Wii.)
Namco Museum DS 2007 – Nintendo DS.)
Racing game's developed jointly by Namco and Nintendo,Includes Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky as playable characters.
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2005 – Arcade.)
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 2007 – Arcade.)
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX 2013 – Arcade.)
Ever since it was revealed that Namco-Bandai would be assisting in the development of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, there has been both rampant support and opposition toward the inclusion of Pac-Man. While every possible newcomer has their good and bad points, the most common arguments used against Pac-Man are dubious at best, if not outright fallacious. This section will attempt to refute these arguments.
(Huge credit to BridgesWithTurtles for all of this below section)
"Pac-Man has no limbs and can't fight."
While the pizza-shaped sprite in his first appearance was technically intended to represent the character, just like other arcade games of the time, cabinet art depicting a very different character representation accompanied it. From the very first release of Puck-Man in Japan, Pac-Man was depicted in an anthropomorphic form on the arcade machine's exterior.
This is no different from what happened to other characters, such as Mario, whose original sprite was designed to accurately portray the character, but had commissioned cabinet art anyway that depicted him much differently. Over time, Namco adopted the cabinet design to represent Pac-Man in his actual in-game form. There has never been a time where Pac-Man hasn't been illustrated with limbs.
"Fine, you've got me there. But Pac-Man's anthropomorphic design isn't iconic or recognizable."
Again, Pac-Man has always appeared in his anthropomorphic form on the arcade cabinet art. Almost anyone who knows the pie chart-shaped Pac-Man from playing his game in an arcade has assumably noticed the cabinet art on the machines they've played on. From Pac-Man World in 1999 up until the release of Pac-Man Party in 2010, Pac-Man appeared as a 3D representation of his original arcade art. Anyone who's played a Pac-Man cabinet machine would have surely recognized him in his home console appearances; it's the same design. Thus, it would be foolish to assume that his limbed portrayal is not recognizable.
And why does that even matter? in Brawl, Pit was introduced with a completely new design that had never been seen before, not the classic look his fans would have more readily recognized. If Pit was still identifiable despite his severe change in character design, there's no reason why those who haven't seen Pac-Man in his more modern incarnation wouldn't be able to identify him; he's still a yellow ball with a big mouth, and his shoes even feature his old-school sprite appearance, giving away his identity rather bluntly.
"Even so, he doesn't have any iconic moves that make for an interesting moveset / His moves would all be cloned from other characters / He has no moveset potential."
This set of arguments applies to many characters, not just Pac-Man. Moveset potential in general is a weak argument for any character, as vastly source-limited characters such as the Ice Climbers and ROB have been given unique, inspired playstyles and movesets.
Pac-Man specifically doesn't even suffer from this kind of severe lack of abilities. In the Pac-Man World games, he has access to a plummeting bound called the Butt Bounce (different in function from Yoshi and Bowser's similar moves), a rolling technique known as the Rev Roll (which functions more as an attack than a movement technique, unlike Sonic's Spin Dash), the ability to become metallic, the ability to fly while eating a trail of dots, and the power to control electricity. He is also able to punch and kick in these appearances, proving that he has direct combat ability. Pac-Man 2 bestowed Pac-Man with a slingshot and a hang-glider. In Pac-Land, Pac-Man is able to use magical boots to walk on air, something no other character in Smash does. This isn't just a forgotten spin-off either; Namco references Pac-Land on a regular basis, and the game served to provide the canon for the franchise's Hanna-Barbera cartoon adaptation. Pac-Man's new cartoon and upcoming game, both titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, also bestow him with a wide variety of abilities, including power over ice and the ability to change his size, among many other examples.
To say any of these abilities is too similar to other fighters already in Smash is a flawed observation; Marth and Ike are completely unique despite relying on the same types of abilities to fight with, and no one calls Captain Falcon dull for having a slow punch for his neutral special when DK already has one. Any similarities that Pac-Man's abilities share with other characters could easily be differentiated.
To say any of Pac-Man's more recently-introduced abilities are not iconic is also a poor observation. The Rev Roll is featured in some form in many of his more recent games, such as Pac n' Roll. His ability to fly while eating dots is literally a 3D representation of what he does in his original arcade game. Any of Pac-Man's moves which may not be iconic are still closely tied to the character in-universe, and precedent shows that not all of a character's attacks need to be iconic to be integrated into their moveset. Donkey Kong's Spinning Kong and Headbutt are completely made up. Pikachu's Thunder Jolt is also a made-up move, and Skull Bash is hardly associated with the character, as it can only learn the move in Red/Blue, and it's a poor move choice for the Pokémon anyway. The vast majority of every character's moveset references absolutely nothing from their home series, so even if Pac-Man's newer abilities aren't iconic yet still make up his moveset, it's not breaking any rule that has ever dictated anything in Smash.
Drawing just from his arcade-style maze game appearances, Pac-Man has plenty to work with. While he is best known for chomping, only Wario and possibly Yoshi have a similar technique in Smash Bros, and Pac-Man's chomping could easily be incorporated into standard attacks rather than a special move or grab. Pac-Man has also on occasion allied himself with his ghostly enemies, giving him potential to summon them in his possible moveset. In Pac-Man Championship Edition, he could use bombs that reoriented enemies and slowed down time, and those could be incorporated into his moveset as well. Simply drawing from the mechanics of his maze game appearances can go far in constructing a coherent moveset and playstyle for the character. Pac-Man could be entirely unique without even tapping into his post-arcade appearances; making use of all of Pac-Man's games yields a surplus of possibilites for him.
"Pac-Man isn't relevant to modern gaming."
This argument assumes that characters need to be relevant to modern gaming in order to be considered to begin with. Many of Nintendo's characters and franchises featured in Smash are largely irrelevant in the modern gaming world; Ice Climbers, R.O.B., Mr. Game & Watch, and possibly even Captain Falcon are some examples of fighters with no current contribution to the industry. Pac-Man has been far more active in recent years than many other represented franchises, including Kid Icarus, Star Fox, and Megaman. Pac-Man Championship Edition and its sequel, both critical and commercial successes, have showcased the possible quality and success in downloadable game software. While it's too early to fairly judge its overall quality, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, while lukewarm in reception, has certainly attempted to bring the public conscious of the television and animation industry to awareness of the video game medium.
Additionally, Smash Bros has never defined itself as a crossover about modern gaming. Pac-Man's original arcade game is a keystone in gaming history, and has left a larger impact than many modern gamesbecause it is so old. It has had time to develop a legacy and leave a trace for itself, impacting other games and developers over the years. While it didn't introduce such features, Pac-Man helped popularize cut-scenes, plot, and character in video games. Pac-Man was also among the first games to find a large player base among women – it was targeted at them. It was one of the first games to prove such a success that it was accepted by and integrated into broader pop culture, helping create the industry's success and the modern gaming culture as we know it.
[collapse=Toru Iwatani, creator of Pac-Man]One point of differentiation was to target women gamers. The second point was the design — the character design and the graphic design were very appropriate for women, who thought it was very cute. Even if the character was an enemy, they wouldn’t be able to hate it. The colors of the maze walls are muted, so you can see the character designs. I think there was some recognition that this was the future of videogames, because this was the first character that was introduced at the time.[/collapse]
The simple but ambitious goal of the original Pac-Man, as told by its creator, helped foster a long-lasting influence on the world of gaming. Pac-Man helped create the concept of recognizable, iconic video game characters; the very basis of Smash Bros can be attributed to what Pac-Man was created to pioneer. The lasting impact of the original Pac-Man can still be seen in plain view, with the game being available for download on just about every media service and device.
Even if relevance to modern gaming were important, Pac-Man has more going for him than a lot of other characters; while Pac-Man's recent titles haven't changed the face of gaming forever, there's a lot more to say about them than other represented franchises.
"He only had one good game, over 30 years ago."
This argument's flaws lay in subjectivity. There is little to no way to define “good” when concerning most anything, including video games. If game quality is measured in reception and/or sales, however, then this argument is definitely false. While the original game is what Pac-Man is undoubtedly most known and remembered for, the character has starred in a number of well-received games since then. Of notable mention is Ms. Pac-Man, an unauthorized successor to the original game which proved to be even more successful and popular than its predecessor, and was officially adopted by Namco for that reason.
Pac-Man's other outings have also fared generally well in reception. Games such as Pac-Man 2 and the Pac-Man World series have all received average to above-average professional scores; Pac-Man World 2 notably became a Greatest Hits title on all three home consoles it was released for. Recently, Pac-Man Championship Edition and Championship Edition DX have received impressive scores from critics, and are positively recepted by gamers. They are generally considered to be massive improvements over the arcade original, proving that the series is able to find success in evolving past its original hit, and that Namco isn't only relying on nostalgia and coasting off of the first game's success (though it undoubtedly does happen).
"He has nothing to do with Nintendo."
Wrong. The Pac-Man franchise has at least 17 standalone games available for Nintendo consoles, not including the myriad of compilation software. As a premier character in gaming, Pac has accompanied Nintendo at every turn throughout the development and evolution of the industry since Nintendo entered the hardware business. While the game wasn't as well-received as its arcade version, the original Pac-Man was among the first third-party support releases on the NES. A Pac-Man game was one of the few dedicated titles that helped support Nintendo's hardware approach during the GameCube period. The character was loaned out to Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto (who credits Pac-Man as his favorite video game character and the inspiration behind his own creations) for Pac-Man Vs. on the GameCube. With Mario serving as the game's announcer, it marked a major point in the relationship between Nintendo and Namco. The game made use of the GameCube-Game Boy Advance link cable, requiring the set-up for gameplay, and testing the waters for assymetric, dual-system linked games that would become integral with the DS, Wii, 3DS, and especially Wii U years later.
Pac-Man and Namco hooked up with Nintendo again for the Mario Kart Arcade GP arcade game, released in 2005. The series has seen steady releases since then, and have proven to be a major hit in arcades. A third game is in the process of being released. Also in 2005, Pac-Pix was released on the Nintendo DS, an early title for the handheld which made an excellent example of its touch screen functionality by having players draw Pac-Man and guide him with the stylus.
Comparing Pac-Man's relationship with Nintendo to other third-party franchises already accepted into Smash shows that he more than qualifies. While Sonic spent the first half of his history competing with Nintendo and Snake has had very few and far between appearances on Nintendo consoles, Pac-Man has been with and stayed with Nintendo from the beginning. Obviously, having a strong relationship with Nintendo is not a requirement for guest fighters, and even if it were, Pac-Man would certainly meet the standard.
"Pac-Man is a boring character / People care about the game, not the character."
This is another subjective argument, as different people have their own opinions of what they consider to be boring. Whether or not one considers Pac-Man boring, however, this argument carries very little weight. Smash Bros has featured many characters who, if Pac-Man's “boring” credentials are considered, are also boring. Pac-Man is often stated to be boring because of his undefined personality, undeveloped universe, “generic abilities” (see the above argument about moveset potential), and lack of character development. In addition, the argument that nobody cares about Pac-Man as a character, even if possibly true to a large extent, holds no ground for the basis of his exclusion. Other characters, defined as “boring” by the aforementioned criteria, have already been included (R.O.B., Ice Climbers, etc). Other characters still, such as Pokémon Trainer, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer also hail from games where the majority of players would likely describe themselves as caring more about the game than the characters they play as. In these cases, these character choices are likely chosen for what they represent, not for what they actually are. There is no reason to assume Pac-Man would not be considered as a similar case by Sakurai, should he be deemed "boring" to begin with.
"Sakurai said that Namco won't get special treatment."
In a recent IGN interview, Richard George discussed third-party characters with Sakurai, who did indeed say that Namco-Bandai would not have any type of special priority because of their involvement with the game.
[collapse=Masahiro Sakurai]Just because the game is being cooperatively developed with Namco Bandai involved, that doesn’t at all mean that they’d be given any special consideration for having characters in the game...Smash Bros. can still be considered as an all-star collection of Nintendo characters. Just like with Mega Man or any other third-party character, it would have to be a very special situation.[/collapse]
However, many have taken Sakurai's words to mean that Namco will surely not receive any guest character. This, of course, is simply a result of wishful thinking, poor comprehension skills, a pre-emptive jump to conclusions, or some combination thereof. Nowhere in his response did Sakurai say that Namco would not receive a character. Rather, he clearly stated that Namco would not be given any special consideration, and that any third-party character would be included in a “very special situation.” This means that Namco will not receive a character because they are working on the game. However, their characters can be fairly judged just as any other third-party candidate, and if it is decided that one of their characters is fitting for inclusion, they can be considered a “special situation”. Pac-Man (and every other Namco character) is absolutely fair game, and definitely has a shot; not because Namco is entitled to a character, but because Pac-Man has the credentials to get included besides that fact. In short, he could be considered whether or not Namco had anything to do with the game's development.
"Pac-Man doesn't fit Sakurai's criteria."
When discussing Megaman, Sakurai spelled out a list of four criteria that he follows when narrowing down character additions. Let's see if Pac-Man lives up to his standards.
"What is the uniqueness of this character?''
Detractors argue that Pac-Man is generic, and thus, not unique. As pointed out far above, however, this is not necessarily the case, as not only does Pac-Man have his own set of abilities, but any character can be made unique. Pac-Man, for example, is a very mobile character with many ways to zip around, which could make him a unique, mobility-based character that Smash is certainly not overly familiar with.
"What does this character bring into the Smash Bros. universe?''
As previously addressed, many feel that Pac-Man's world is undeveloped and has nothing interesting to contribute to Smash Bros. However, Pac-Man actually has plenty to bring with him. His home stage would almost certainly be a maze, a type of layout we haven't seen before. He could also bring a plethora of content hailing from other Namco arcade classics, ranging from space shooters like Galaga to rhythm games like Taiko Drum Master, which his franchise is often associated with. Pac-Man would also have the ability to bring new fans and players to the real world Smash Bros universe, as his image alone has the potential to prove inviting to more casual or older gamers (or even non-gamers).
''What do they have that other characters don't?”
Again, it is often commonly argued that Pac-Man's moves would resemble other characters'. Pac-Man does have things that other characters don't, however. He has the ability to bounce indefinitely, which no other fighter does. He can levitate above the ground, and walk in the air. He has access to more source material than most other characters, due to his ties to other Namco IPs and long series history.
''How do they complement or contrast other characters?"
This criterion is a bit more difficult to address, as we're not entirely sure what Sakurai means by this statement. If we simply look at the context, it is likely that he means that it is important how characters interact, and possibly how balanced they must be among the entire cast. He may also be alluding to how well characters blend in with the others. Considering Pac-Man has appeared next to Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Wario, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong in three games, it can be said that he is already considered to blend well with the extended Mario cast. His colorful, simplistic, chipper design would make him fit right at home with other Nintendo characters. Considering the realistic, M-rated Snake appeared in Brawl, there's no precedent that shows Pac-Man would be deemed aesthetically unfitting. In terms of gameplay comparison, there's no way to tell how Pac-Man would complement or contrast other characters, so there's really no reason in arguing a point.
Sakurai also provided a list of four other criteria before his current list. Let's briefly run through that.
The character's inclusion must make people want to buy the game.
Pac-Man has the potential to bring in older or more casual gamers and non-gamers. Due to his recognizability outside of the core gaming community, anyone with Pac-Man on their mobile devices will still be able to recognize him and possibly give the game a try because of that. He might even increase sales among the female demographic, as he was created to do in the first place.
The character must be unique
We've been over this, haven't we? Besides his potential moveset, he's also an anthromorphic yellow ball personifying the action of eating. No other character in the cast looks anything like him.
The character must fit into the style of Super Smash Bros.
Everything from his character design and art style to his accompanying music and stage would fit perfectly into the whimsical world of Smash Bros. He'd stick in like an in-grown toenail.
They must contribute to the game balance.
Basically, the character can't break the game. Pac-Man is simple enough to be easily balanced, and his animations would not prove too difficult to work with and develop. He certainly wouldn't have an overly complex, game-breaking playstyle. If characters like Olimar and Ice Climbers can be unique while keeping the game balance in check, Pac-Man should provide absolutely no problem.
"I'd rather have another Namco character, like Lloyd Irving or Klonoa. Nobody wants Pac-Man."
And you're allowed to prefer another character. This isn't really an argument, but it's sometimes seemingly used as one. As for nobody wanting Pac-Man, that doesn't say too much about his chances. At the end of the day, the decision is ultimately up to what Namco wants, and it's more likely that they'll want to advertise their recently rebooted mascot than characters they haven't worked with in years, or who aren't as iconic or representative of the company. It should also be noted that the popularity of characters on message board communities comprised of core gamers isn't necessarily indicative of what the much larger general population - and the targeted "casual" demographic - would like to see.