FeaturesNESWarp Zone

Famicom Fridays: Pac-Man

Pac-Man is easily one of the most-played arcade games of all time. As such, he is one of the most recognizable video game characters ever created. It’s no surprise that gamers can’t get enough of Pac-Man and want to play it in the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, so far the home versions of the game have been pretty awful, at least in America. If you travel to Japan and pick up the game on the Famicom, you’re in for a treat as it’s the most arcade-faithful port of the game available on a video game system. Take a look at the comparison shots below:

We went from the amazing original arcade game…
To this disaster of a port on the Atari 2600…
To the Famicom version of Pac-Man – which looks remarkably close to the arcade original.

Pac-Man came out for the Famicom back on November 2, 1984. It was published by Namcot, (Namco Home Entertainment) the original makers of the arcade game. This is no doubt how the Famicom version looks so close to it when so many other ports have fallen short. So far there haven’t been any other publishers announced for the U.S. market, so it is unknown if Pac-Man will make its way overseas to the NES. Given his popularity over the years, it would seem like a no-brainer.

Namcot’s Pac-Man on the Famicom.

My guess is that Namcot is simply waiting for the NES to launch nationwide before deciding to bring it over. They have been one of the biggest supporters of the Famicom so far, with a whopping thirteen games already released. Some of them are instantly familiar, such as: Galaxian, Xevious, Galaga, Dig Dug, and BurgerTime. With other arcade games from Nintendo (Popeye, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros.) scheduled to release by mid-year, it seems that Namcot’s arsenal of arcade hits would be right at home on the NES.

Namco Famicom Games
The first 4 games released from Namcot on the Famicom. Photo Credit: Famicomblog.
Namco Famicom Games2
The Famicom boxes are so much more colorful than our solid black NES boxes. Photo Credit: Famicomblog.

Pac-Man Arcade Version

Pac-Man Atari 2600 Version

Pac-Man Famicom Version


[Famicom Boxes Source: Famicomblog]

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

Join The Conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.