Who is Pac Man?[edit | edit source]
As always, the chattering classes of Board 8 have managed to completely overlook the utter simplistic brilliance of the ultimate video game classic, Pac-Man. This yellow crusader made obesity acceptable years before Mario came onto the scene. Pac-Man brought unconditional acceptance to gamers of all body shapes and masses. Do your friends mock you because life as a couch potato has left you rotund and helpless to do anything but roll around? Is your entire body stained with grease and yellow food coloring? Pac-Man allows you to kid yourself that you too can make a difference in a fantasy world where one wrong move spells death.
The board itself is a masterpiece of subtle imagery, with Masonic imagery filling the narrow confines of the screen in Pac-Man's search for enlightenment. You play the role of an ADD drug addict on the run from the law, aided by a brilliant performance by four demon possessed umbrellas. In what may be the most cutting satire of all, these "good cop" "bad cop" "fast cop" "mad cop" characters are given nicknames reminiscent of the three stooges and shemp, whimsically commenting upon the degradation of American intellect through fluoridation and the prevalence of slapstick comedy. These teletubbie predecessors are as lively as they are despicable, and in many ways they represent the true heroes of the Pac-Man saga, in their tragic confused effort for a cause they can neither comprehend nor justify. Sexual tensions abound between the four, and the prevalence of pinky/clyde fanfiction alone implies that there may have been more going on in the back allies of the arena then the creators were willing to admit.
Pac-Man is in a race against time and the forces of order themselves, in his madcap attempt to fulfill every hippie's fantasy. A slave to his addiction, Pac-Man must consume all drugs on the screen before fleeing the scene of the crime, as reality itself warps around him, sending him hurtling from one corner of the screen to another. With the add of power pellets, the first TRUE product placement in a commercialized video game, Pac-Man is able to call upon all the powers of repressed male sexuality and send the heterophobic "ghost" characters running. But in the greatest irony of all, true evil can never be defeated, only briefly assuaged, as the recently violated members of law will only be back for more.
The apocalyptic scenario our hero finds himself in only grows worse as he is forced to consume all that lies within his path. Policemen, fruit, keys, even small children fall victim to Pac-Man, eater of worlds. His insatiable hunger grows with every level, forcing the player himself to choose between sacrificing Pac-Man's drug-addled soul, or pressing onwards in a futile quest against a system set up to torture the iconoclastic into submission.
In the end, Pac-Man, like Jesus, must sacrifice himself to end the cycle of violence that is tearing his world apart. His tiny form is inverted upon itself as he literally eats his own tail... only to be reincarnated at the touch of a button. Pac-Man raises even deeper questions about the nature of death, salvation, and a belief in an existence beyond the twisting nether. The misunderstood savior continues his Pavlovian quest after a fulfillment that is denied to him by the forces of bigotry and hate. It is impossible to leave Pac-Man's symmetric dystopia without reflecting upon the futility of pleasure and search for higher meaning we must all face.
Pac-Man is the template from which all true video games were wrought. Unlike the sell-out Pong, it gave us a new genre which pushed the limits of the level of violence that would be acceptable for an American audience. We are all Pac-Man on the inside. It gave us a second look at a world we too often hide away, and let us in on the deepest mazes and ghost filled caverns of our own souls.
Pac-Man died for your sins. A vote for Pac-Man is a vote for God.
"Know your roots, bitch." - Villainous Magus
(writeup courtesy of Villainous Magus)
Pac Man's Contest History[edit | edit source]
Win-Loss Record: 4-7
Summer 2002 Contest - South Division - 1 Seed
- Southern Round 1 --- Defeated (16) Goemon, 41150 [72.21%] - 15839 [27.79%]
- Southern Quarterfinal --- Defeated (9) Kyo Kusanagi, 32607 [62.84%] - 19282 [37.16%]
- Southern Semifinal --- Lost to (5) Scorpion, 28936 [42.26%] - 39539 [57.74%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 29th Place [20.3%]
Summer 2003 Contest - South Division - 5 Seed
- Southern Round 1 --- Lost to (12) Kefka, 45905 [49.05%] - 47678 [50.95%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 54th Place [15.27%]
Summer 2004 Contest - Hyrule Division - 13 Seed
- Hyrule Round 1 --- Lost to (4) Luigi, 24299 [32.27%] - 51008 [67.73%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 51st Place [14.82%]
Few characters have seen a more dramatic fall from grace than Pac Man. In 2002, he was a 1 seed in the contest and flying high because of his status. No one expected Pac Man to actually make it out of his own division (Link was the 2 seed), but no one really expected him to lose before his match with Link, either. Pac Man got past his first two matches alright, but it was the third match of that contest that would change Pac Man forever as we knew him. In that match, Pac Man lost to Scorpion. No, not an underseeded elite character. Scorpion. And Pac Man barely broke 43%, no less.
Pac Man would never again be 1 seed material, but he at least got a chance at redemption in the 2003 contest when he was given a 5 seed and Lettuce Kefka in the first round. Kefka was expected to roll over Pac Man with ease, but one look at the match picture could tell anyone that Kefka was in for a world of problems when it came to him being the board favorite in the match. Not only that, but Kefka's 12 seed would likely hurt him as well. But despite facing a character who literally had nothing but name recognition to go on, Pac Man still managed to lose.
Pac Man was never the same after either loss. He has since been reduced to being given low seeds, and thus, being fed to upper tier characters as if he were mere fodder. But considering that Pac Man's actual contest strength warrants him a 12 seed at best, this current status fits him well. It's unfortunate, but the fanbase of GameFAQs doesn't care much for old school appeal or status symbols alone. If Pac Man keeps up this trend, he may very well never see the contest again.
Summer 2005 Contest - 20XX Division - 7 Seed
- 20XX Round 1 --- Defeated (2) Revolver Ocelot, 46343 [51.25%] - 44075 [48.75%]
- 20XX Semifinal --- Lost to (3) Yoshi, 22893 [27.17%] - 61377 [72.83%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 42nd Place [20.42%]
Is any character more prone to SFF than Pac Man? There hasn't been a decent reading on where he belongs since 2002, and who cares about 2002 data anymore?
Pac Man in 2005 was similar to Ness. Sure he took an SFF beating, but take a step back. Only 3 people in the BOP managed to pick Pac Man to beat Ocelot. No one else did, because Pac Man over Ocelot was not supposed to be a lock.
Yet after a minor push that saw Ocelot take a negligible lead, Pac Man used the morning vote to bury Ocelot in arguably the funniest upset of all time. Here we had Ocelot, fresh off of a rather good Spring 2005 performance, losing to a character who has been nothing but fodder since 2002. Ocelot's picture can be somewhat blamed for this, but the fact that Pac even got this close is alarming in its own right. This match is proof positive of Pac Man being behind SFF in every set of stats since 2002 (and is still behind it in these stats, come to think of it).
As for whether or not Pac will ever see another winnable match, time will tell. At the very least, Pac might have saved himself from being removed from the field as a result of his little upset.
Summer 2007 Contest - Division 3 - Third Group
- Division 3 Round 1 --- 3rd place, 13289 [10.11%] - Mario, 76130 [57.91%] - Big Boss, 30234 [23.00%] - Wander, 11819 [8.99%]
If you put someone other than Mario in this fourpack, perhaps Pac-Man manages to advance. After seeing what Luigi and Yoshi did to him, he didn't really stand much of a chance. This was an old school SFF beatdown if ever there was one. People thought Pac-Man might be at a disadvantage, but they didn't expect it to be quite THIS bad. He struggled to beat Wander, a guy from a cultish game whose name is never said in the game, which is always a recipe for bottom-feeding fodder. This performance was nothing short of embarrassing for the video game legend. Pac-Man is a character everyone knows, and he struggled to beat a character few people know.
Summer 2008 Contest - Division 6 - Fourth Group
- Division 6 Round 1 --- 2nd place, 31487 [25.09%] - Mewtwo, 52487 [42.83%] - Ness, 22971 [18.31%] - Travis Touchdown, 18532 [14.77%]
- Division 6 Round 2 --- 4th place, 16959 [13.44%] - Cloud Strife, 67497 [53.49%] - Mewtwo, 21342 [16.91%] - Midna, 20386 [16.16%]
Pac-Man snuck into round two because of the LFF Mewtwo was giving to Ness but unfortunately he ran into Cloud Strife and a Zelda character. Pac-Man may be an icon without any new games coming out, there isn't much hope for his future.
Pac-Man made the Winter 2010 Contest vote-in but was unable to get enough to make the contest.
Summer 2013 Contest - Division 6 - 24 Seed
- Division 6 Round 1 --- 2nd place, 8974 [38.80%] - (4) Nathan Drake, 9667 [41.80%] - (15) Steve, 4488 [19.40%]
Pac-Man was given a chance at an upset by the board, but with Uncharted 3 it was deemed unlikely. Despite the odds Pac-Man was able to keep close for the entire match, but he never truly threatened to make a comeback.
Fall 2018 Contest - Division 3 - 12 Seed
- Division 3 Round 1 --- Defeated (5) Sans, 21380 [71.38%] - 8571 [28.62%]
- Division 3 Round 2 --- Lost to (4) Bayonetta, 14082 [47.93%] - 15299 [52.07%]
As if his presence in the latest Smash Bros. games didn't already help, a contest where you had to vote on all matches for them to count probably brought more support to Pac-Man than expected, given that when you don't care about either character, you vote for the one you actually know. And in the first round, there was a repeat of 2005 as the Pac killed an overhyped character - only this time it was an actual slaughter, a near-tripling that was Pac-Man's strongest performance since 2002, while also bringing justice for those who disliked Undertale's rally to victory in 2015, as the game's representative turned out to be absolute fodder. He also managed to keep himself close to Bayonetta (yet another case of SSF against him, due to her appearance in Smash Bros.; not counting her loyal fanbase and TJF), in what would hardly happen with the old days vote total, but at least Pac-Man left the contest showing icons still have a chance to shine.