The 80s were a strange time. We loved the hell out of anything neon, and gaming was finally hitting its stride in the mainstream media. And by mainstream media, I mean cartoons. Mario, Zelda, Pitfall, Pac-Man and even a damn Rubicks cube got some spotlight. As with all cartoons growing up, you know they had to have that special Christmas episode. One of the best (or just plain weirdest) was Christmas Comes to Pac-Land. It made little sense but it gave us some damn enjoyable WTF moments in gaming history.
It starts off with Santa, because it sure as hell isn’t a Christmas special without him and just as you’d imagine Santa once again finds himself in trouble.
Pac-Man and his Pac family are out enjoying the cool holiday weather and throwing snowballs at each other when the classic Pac-Man ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky, Clyde, and Sue show up. Wait a minute… Sue? Who the hell is Sue? Apparently Namco felt the need to add a new ghost and her name is Sue. Sadly, she only exists in Ms. Pac-Man and actually was nothing more than a re-skin of Clyde. Why is this is anyone’s guess. Personally, I feel that Sue deserves to be in more Pac-Man titles.
The ghosts like anything else in the world of Pac-Man is are about cannibalistic tendencies. Seriously, the entire premise of the show is who can eat who first. The ghosts are constantly trying to chomp Pac-Man and his family, while Pac-Man is constantly tricking them and biting them. Which really doesn’t amount to much. All that happens is that Sue and the fellas have to fly back home and get some new sheets.
Anyways, Pac-Man being the hero of the series tricks the ghosts and chomps them. Just in time to have their floating eyes swing by and scare the ever loving shit out of Santa and his reindeer, causing Santa to wreck his ride. Pac-Man and the fam then come to the rescue and bring Santa inside to enjoy some hot cocoa and explain exactly what the hell is Christmas, because you know — he doesn’t have better things to do like get back on his sleigh and deliver presents.
Santa sadly can’t deliver the gifts because while he was busy sitting on his ass drinking cocoa, the ghosts snagged Santa’s bag of gifts. It’s then up to Pac-Man to get some power pellets to give the reindeer a boost in the ass and snag Santa’s gifts from the ghosts. As you’d expect, everything ties up wonderfully by the end and makes zero sense. But being as it was the 80s and it was a cartoon based on a Pac-Man it really didn’t need to. I’m just ashamed of Santa. Seriously man, stop losing your shit and taking a break every 20 mins on Christmas Eve. You know you got toys to deliver; stop having Pac-Man or even worse Fred Flinstone have to save Christmas every other year.
Christmas Comes to Pac-Land wasn’t the worst of the classic gaming inspired Christmas specials out there and thankfully is only about 22 minutes long, which you can actually peep for yourself above. As gaming Christmas specials go, I’d guess any of the Super Mario Bros. specials is the gold standard. Again, that’s not saying a hell of a lot (Well, excuse me princess!).
By: Mike T.