[Updated with Tiger widget!] As Pac Man turns 25 this week, there’s sadly no mention of the game’s signature sound and music. (And PLEASE don’t mention that awful song Pac Man Fever again!)


Not only was Pac Man (aka Puckman in 1980; see the game’s history) the first game that inspired mainstream gaming, but it was the first game to feature the kind of gaming sound we now take for granted. There’s something Pavlovian about the strange, iconic sounds of the original Pac Man, with a sound and music score created by Namco’s Toshio Kai. (Note that Pavlov inspired his dogs with bells, not graphics or even, as one might assume with dogs, smell. Sound is a powerful trigger.)


Let’s see . . . there’s the endless siren noise going in the background, increasing your stress level . . . that alien sound that I assume is supposed to be “munching” . . . the satisfying blips and variations as you pick up power pellets and fruit . . . the whimsical melody that introduces each level . . . and the “death” sound, a dizzying downward spiral. Pac Man is one of those games whose sound effects alone you never forget. But enough of me talking about: go relive it:

Play Pac Man online


Great remix at VGMix by “Golden Yoshi”; more remixes at OverClocked Remix


Pac Man widget for Dashboard (OS X Tiger), including sound


Namco Classic Collection Techno Maniax CD at GameMusic.com



Wanted – History Tips: Since information is so scarce, has anyone got any more information on the history of the Pac Man sound and music and creator Toshio Kai? (Send other links if you’ve got them, too!)

  • http://www.myspace.com alan

    weres da music