Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
34 Theme Songs of Christmas
Theme - Pac-Man (NES)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 02, 2012   |   Episode 11 (Show Archive)  

It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeks straight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
[ Company: Namco | Year: 1993 | Console: NES ]
Synopsis: Ever wonder who infected all of those innocent people with Pac-Man Fever back in the early 1980s? As it turns out, it was this fat yellow dude named Pac-Man. Just in case this is the first video game article you've ever read, Pac-Man was a super popular arcade game. You drove our hero around a maze, dodging ghosts and eating white dots. Pac-Man looked a little like a pizza. Also, he gave everybody Pac-Man Fever and that negatively affected the economy or something. Either way, this theme song is perfectly safe to listen to.

Short and sweet. At around five seconds in length, I guarantee that this Pac-Man theme will be the shortest song we review this year. As you can imagine, there's not much here. There are barely twenty notes through the whole song. But I like that. It doesn't overstay its welcome. It gives you just enough of a jingle to prep you for the cat and mouse game you'll play with a group of colorful ghosts. Just imagine how motivating it would be to hear a little jingle right before you give a big presentation at work, tell your family big news or bed that significant other. On second thought, at that point we're only one step away from using the Final Fantasy victory music every time we climax. Trust me, nobody wants that. I respect this theme, but it's simply too short to be a real contender.

I'm not sure what hardware limitations Pac-Man had, but this theme is so short I'm not sure I could call it more than a jingle. This is the only piece of music in Pac-Man, and it lasts maybe six or seven seconds. The repeating part of the jingle goes from C Major to Db Major, back to C Major, then ends with a staggered walk from G up to C. For being such a short tune, it is at least fairly busy, and it is certainly memorable as being one of the first video game themes ever. That said, I'm more likely to think of the wakka-wakka-wakka sound effect when I think of Pac-Man.

What's Next? I know I put my identity around here somewhere. I'm sure it will show up sooner or later. Maybe if I think really hard I'll have one of those flashback things. I could also rotoscope the answer for you.



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