While longtime fans of the series will know Mrs. Pac-Man is Mr. Pac-Man’s wife, she appeared as such in the 1984 film Side-scroller. Back Landa new re-release of the game had the problem of changing the character.
Here’s Mrs. Pac-Man as she appears in most titles, in her red bow and red shoes:
This is what Ms. Pac-Man looks like in the original text Back Landappearing alongside Baby Pac-Man:
Here, though, is what the pair looks like in the new Arcade Archives game release (Spotted and shared by Nick C), which will be released this week:
This is a different character! one, it seems, It’s called Buck Mom. She wears pink instead of red, a hat instead of a bow and heels instead of tall boots. The baby was also changed, the pacifier was replaced with a rattle, and the bow was replaced with a flower.
I have questions. Is this Pac-Man’s mother? Perhaps, but it’s a slight modification of a character who was originally meant to be his wife. Why does the child match? Is Mrs. Pac-Man divorced and this is a timidn continent? So there is a chance This is actually Pac-Man’s mother-in-law, given the visual similarities. Who knows!
What a stranger The thing to do, especially for a somewhat famous character like Mrs. Pac-Man, and without explanation. It turns out there’s a very likely cause; as ribbed TransferBandai Namco has a unique payout setup for the character, due to the fact that it’s not actually created by the company, but By a group of Americans for the game began its life as a backman The Ministry of Defense and finally got the blessing of Namco.
This arrangement means that every time the character is used, Bandai Namco has to pay royalties. And this is where it gets really weird. The original Mrs. Pac-Man creators went bankrupt a long time ago, but these royalty benefits were later bought out by another company: AtGames, the makers of that Genesis throwback console from a few years ago.
So it’s been widely speculated (although we’ve contacted Namco Bandai to confirm) that the character change in this re-release is simply the result of the publisher’s unwillingness to pay those royalties, especially since this is the first time Mrs. In a new version nearly a decade ago.
It’s all incredibly silly for fans and every company involved, but far from being absurd in this case, there’s also another reminder that Publishers can’t be relied on to maintain their games properly either.