Pac-Man turns 35 this month, and in honor of our favorite hungry yellow circle, we've dug up 11 surprising bits of video game trivia.
1. Pac-Man's shape was inspired by a pizza.
"Pac-Man" creator Toru Iwatani says he thought a partially-eaten pizza pie looked like it could become a character. He told Time Magazine he also felt like the word "eat" appealed to both men and women.
2. Pac-Man was originally going to be named Puck-Man.
But the developers had a feeling that could go badly in the hands of arcade vandals.
3. It was created for women.
Iwatani says he created the game to make arcades less male-dominated spaces. Time says Iwatani explained, "People had to go to the arcade center to play games. That was a playground for boys. It was dirty and smelly."
4. The ghosts have names and personalities.
Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde have different tactics for hunting down Pac-Man. Blinky and Pinky chase him directly, Inky uses strategic ambush tactics, and Clyde behaves completely randomly.
5. Mario was originally going to carry a gun.
According to Nintendo, early designs for the game include Mario being armed, and riding a rocket instead of jumping on clouds.
6. Super mushrooms make Mario grow for a reason.
Mario's super mushrooms are references to magic mushrooms, which give users the sense that they're growing. These mushrooms have the same effect on Alice from "Alice in Wonderland."
7. Mario's inspiration was Nintendo's landlord.
Mario Segale owned the warehouse that housed Nintendo's American headquarters. Designers renamed the "Jumpman" character from "Donkey Kong" after him.
8. A court had to rule "Donkey Kong" and "King Kong" aren't the same.
"Donkey Kong" was actually based more on "Popeye" than the building-scaling gorilla. According to Mental Floss, Nintendo couldn't get the rights to "Popeye," so they had to design a new character based on him.
9. Nintendo had low expectations for "Donkey Kong."
In fact, producers had a tough time getting bars to buy machines. That quickly changed when bar owners realized it was getting unprecedentedly high play rates within the first week.
10. "Mortal Kombat" was inspired by Jean-Claude Van Damme.
It was initially going to be based on the film "Universal Soldier," but the game's producers wanted to model it more on "Bloodsport."
11. "Mortal Kombat" inspired the modern rating system.
The game's violence drew huge backlash, especially from politicians who claimed it would condition children to tolerate more violence.
(H/T: Did You Know Gaming)
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