On this day in 1980: Popular arcade game 'Pac-Man' released in Japan

Video game came to North America in October 1980


TOKYO – The wildly popular arcade game "Pac-Man" debuted 39 years ago on May 22, 1980 in Japan.

It hit Japanese markets under the name "Puck Man," but its original name was Pakkuman, which comes from an onomatopoeic Japanese slang term, paku-paku taberu. The term is used to describe the sound a mouth makes when opening and closing. Apparently the game is all about eating, as the game was inspired by pizza.

When it came to North America in October of the same year, the name was changed to what it's known as. More than 100,000 units were sold in the first year alone.

In 1981, Ms. Pac-Man joined the franchise.

According to the "Pac-Man" website, the game has 255 levels. The 256th level is unbeatable due to a glitch. A player can obtain a maximum score of 3,333,360.

Each level contains 240 dots, and each level of the original game had four power pellets.

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