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Planning to see 'Wreck-It Ralph'? Brush up on classic video game characters

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 2:55 p.m. MDT

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Disney
At a time when most arcades were inundated with space shooters and “Pong” clones, Namco’s “Pakku-Man” — which, in the U.S., was re-titled “Pac-Man” — offered a new type of game play.

Released in the states by Midway, "Pac-Man" went on to become the most popular arcade game of all time, selling more than 300,000 units worldwide and starting a pop culture phenomenon. At the height of “Pac-Mania,” Namco’s ghost-chomping hero was licensed for everything from a cartoon to a hit song (“Pac-Man Fever”) and even a line of Chef Boyardee pastas. Pac-Man earned a spot in history books, though, as arguably the first real character in video games.

In 1982, Midway released its own Pac-Man follow-up, the independently produced “Ms. Pac-Man.” With new maze maps and faster game play, it sold an additional 100,000 units, making it the most successful American arcade game of all time.
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