Greetings, Fellow Arcaders!
I have been waiting almost 40 YEARS for this to Start!
So- as you may have noticed, we did a little redecorating here at the Archives! It’s a birthday celebration for a character, a family, and a series of games that re- defined the arcade industry from the moment he arrived on the scene.
He- is Pac- Man.
And if you don’t know who Pac- Man is…
You need to leave your official Arcader Badge at the door.
He. Changed. Everything.
Wanna see? Ok.
Lets take a trip back to the 1970s.
Video arcade games were in their infancy. Pixels were just beginning to define simple shapes. Shapes like this…
Some games had static backgrounds to enhance the games-
Or colored jells to give the games color in specific places…
Now- don’t get me wrong- I PLAYED those games when they were new. And I loved every moment. But- Times were a’ changing, and the first change was… COLOR.
Pac-Man wasn’t the first game in color… That title would go to another Namco game a year earlier- Galaxian.
And- what a difference it made. The colors defined each rank of fighter! It also made the star field sparkle like never before!
And it was color and the state of the arcade industry that made one Namco employee start to think…
That Namco employee was Toru Iwatani.
Toru had grown disappointed in the video game industry, thinking that the market only appealed to men through its usage of violent “war” games, such as Space Invaders, and sports games reminiscent of Pong.
Toru started at Namco in 1977. He loved pinball machines- and his first games truly reflected that.
Gee Bee was started shortly before he started- but his “Cute” pinball aesthetics shine through. It was the first game made in- house by Namco. It was released in 1978.
While it did ok… it didnt wow the industry. Next came Bomb Bee.
Now- this one was in color. But… it was more of the same. Next was Cutie Q.
This one is interesting. you can see some Pac- Man shine through. But… still nothing.
…But that would all change one day at lunch. and it was pizza day…
Now- are you ready for Pac-Man month? I am.
This is gonna be fun!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s- 1980…