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Just as Mario jumped to the third dimension during the fifth generation of video gaming, so did Pac-Man. The first game, Pac-Man World, was released on the Sony Play Station on his 20th Anniversary. Instead of the maze game he was most known for, this game was a rather standard Platform Game incorporating many Pac-Man motifs in new ways such as fruit to unlock doors and pellets which could be shot as lasers. However, mazes were incorporated into the levels and there's even a mode featuring them exclusively. Though this game isn't anywhere near as prominent or influential as the iconic arcade game, it retains a cult fanbase and even spawned two sequels and a kart-racing spinoff in the sixth generation.


Pac-Man World contains examples of:

  • Amusement Park of Doom: The fourth world, Funhouse.
  • ~Big Boo's Haunt~: The final world, Mansion. Appropriate considering Pac-Man's main enemies are ghosts.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Clown Prix. Forget about pressing X in order to accelerate. That button is used to brake here. Okay, another game did it too, but at least it had the decency to use another button, the square (no pun intended) - arguably even worse given most games use the square to brake. Anyway, the worst offender is the pause menu, where choosing "resume" with X results also in a perceived pression of the button outside the menu, and therefore Pac-Man will jump. And given the abundance of the Bottomless Pits, that would not be a good thing.
  • Distressed Damsel: The entirety of Pac-Man's family (and his little dog too) are held as hostages in each level, requiring a key to free them. They support Pac-Man with health in the final battle.
  • Eternal Engine: The fifth world, Factory.
  • Gang Plank Galleon: The first world, Pirate. The boss happens to be an actual pirate ship.
  • Go for the Eye: The King Galaxian has four giant red eyes. Guess where you need to shoot it.
  • Ground Pound: Known as the "butt bounce", it is treated like a Double Jump.
  • Heroic Mime: Pac-Man, though at the beginning he yells when he sees that his friends and family have been kidnapped.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Much of the game is finding the right fruit to unlock doors to progress or find secrets.
  • Milestone Celebration: Pac-Man World was released on the 20th anniversary of the arcade game, and the third game on the 25th. In fact, the first game's plot revolves around Pac-Man's friends getting abducted right before his birthday party.
  • Mirror Boss: Toc-Man, the Big Bad of the game, who utilizes one of Pac-Man's techniques in each of its attack phases.
  • Nintendo Hard: And HOW!
  • Shout-Out: The Galaxian flagship appears as a "fruit" unlocking the mazes in the first game. In addition, there is an entire boss level directly inspired by the game.
  • Space Zone: The third world, Space. And yes, Pac-Man can breathe in space.
  • Underground Level: The second world, Ruins. Temple of Doom is another theme.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Two of the boss stages. Apart from the aforementioned King Galaxian, Clown Prix is a Racing Mini Game.
  • Warmup Boss: The H.M.S. Windbag.

Pac-Man World 2 contains examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Everyone in Pac-Land is counting on you."
  • Camera Screw: The camera will often refuse to turn at certain moments, even when it obstructs the next platform you need to get on.
  • Chainsaw Good: Treewood Forest and to a lesser extent Butane Pain has circular saw blades as common obstacles..
  • The First Of These Is Not Like The Others: Clyde, Inky, and Pinky all pilot giant robots shaped like ghosts. Blinky pilots a giant robotic frog.
  • Game Within A Game: The arcade games in Pac-Village are treated as such.
  • Green Hill Zone
  • Heroic Mime: Pac-Man again, except in some versions where he comments on the bosses' weaknesses.
  • Infinite One Ups: Many checkpoint sections have more than one extra life for which the surplus can be abused, but the best one is the secret area in Butane Pain, which can give eight one-ups for the price of one!
  • Every Ten Thousand Points: An extra life is awarded for achieving 25,000 points in a level. This becomes a Game Breaker in some levels (Haunted Boardwalk being one of them), since doing well in mazes can easily lead to a total of more than that amount, and the points are added to the score every time you respawn at the maze checkpoint. In other words, if you surpass 25,000 points after a maze, you will never lose a life until you either beat the level or stop at another checkpoint.
  • Law of One Hundred: For every 50 Pac-Dots you collect, you regain a health wedge.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Fruit chests are nowhere near as prevalent as fruit doors from the previous game, but they serve the same purpose.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Overlaps with Underground Level.
  • The Maze: Ghost Bayou. It is also the longest level in the game.
  • Nintendo Hard: Hundred-Percent Completion requires very skilled platforming to collect everything compounded by the screwy camera, the precise jumps required, and one-way levels such as Blade Mountain. In addition, Time Trials have strict upper limits for the Bonus Token reward and of course, dying at any point is an instant failure. Of course, the requirement for unlocking Ms. Pac-Man is nearly every token, which means you have to complete most of the challenges to play it in the game.
  • Plot Coupon: The five Golden Fruit.
  • Recurring Riff: The intro to the Pac-Village theme often shows up as part of the rest of the music tracks.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Volcanic Panic has a short section at the end that is like this.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Spooky.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: So slippery you'll temporarily lose control of Pac-Man if you jump onto or butt-bounce on it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The track for Pinky's Revenge starts off way too cheerful for a boss fight, but then the Psycho Sampling starts up....
  • Stalker with a Crush: Pinky, despite the fact Pac-Man is already married. Though keep in mind she will NOT hesitate to kill you.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: "Yellow Pac-Marine" and the Whale Sub boss are both rail shooters.
    • Heck, the entire ocean world is made of forced scrolling levels.

Pac-Man World 3 contains examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Ancients, who built many of the ruins that a few levels take place in. They were destroyed when their lust for power drove them to try and siphon energy from the Spectral Realm. Erwin's big plan? Do it right this time.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the rest of the trilogy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pac-Man.
  • Endofthe World As We Know It: What will happen if Pac-Man doesn't stop Erwin's Energy Syphons in time, for both Pac-World and the Spectral Realm.
  • Enemy Mine: Pac-Man has to work together with the ghosts he fights in every other game in order to stop Erwin's plan.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Details of my sector's energy are between me and Ms. Pac, thank you very much!"
  • Giant Mecha: The new Toc-Man.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: The trading cards. One can be found in each level, and you can get another by collecting all of one type of fruit in a level. Unlike World 2, however, Pac-Dots just add to your score and are not required.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Orson manages to simplify hacking into Erwin's Energy Syphons by turning it into a classic-style Pac-Man maze.
  • Mad Scientist: Erwin, who smells of clams.
  • Milestone Celebration: Like how the first Pac-Man World celebrates Pac-Man's 20th birthday, this game features Pac-Man celebrating his 25th.
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