"Are you afraid of ghosts?"
The Ghosts (also known as Monsters or Ghost Monsters) are the main enemies of the Pac-Man series and have antagonized Pac-Man and all of Pac-Land in their appearances. The most notable ghosts are the four members of the Ghost Gang - Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde - who have appeared throughout the series as both antagonists and protagonists.
Despite ghosts often being cruel and mischievous, some have been shown to be nice, but most have rejoiced in antagonizing Pac-Man. They have to be careful though, because Pac-Man has a chance of swallowing them whole, usually when a Power Pellet is obtained. They are spectral beings that dwell in Ghost Land and will sometimes travel to Pac-Land to cause havoc and mischief.
In the original games and cartoon, the Ghosts were originally portrayed as monsters that wore cloaks and are considered being tangible, as well as having feet that can only be seen visibly under their cloak. However, they had a few ghostly traits such as being able to levitate.
In the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures animated series and games, the Ghosts are portrayed as spectral ectoplasmic entities with the common ghostly traits of being semi-intangible, being able to levitate and can leave trails of ectoplasm on living beings. They also do not appear to have a very good diet, with much of their "food" appearing to be made up mostly of inedible and gross muck like garbage, worms, body parts and other unidentifiable substances and slimy goo, however, due to being spiritual entities without organs, these substances do no permanent harm to them. The fact that they have things such as sewers and sewage implies they still need to expel bodily waste products like Pac-People. Blinky has even admitted to passing gas on one occasion, which, sad to say, dramatically improved the smell of their food. With proper seasoning, their food can be made edible to Pac-People.
It appears that the majority of ghosts are former Pac-People, but usually bare no resemblance to their living selves, and apparently they come in a wide variety of colors and types apart from the usual standard ghostly appearance, with some appearing gigantic, cycloptic, octopus-like or etc, and it appears that they may be able to freely change between these forms depending on their moods and personalities, a likely benefit of no longer being restricted by physical forms. However, ghostly animals appear to still somewhat resemble their living animal forms unlike Ghostly Pac-People.
In the original games and cartoon, their main weakness is the Power Pellet, which can be eaten by almost any type of Pac-Being, such as Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, other Pac-People and Pac-Animals. When eaten, Pac-People posses the ability to eat them and it causes them to turn blue with fear. Once eaten, their empty bodies will return to a chamber in the center of a maze where Pac-Man has no access and return to their original forms to continue chasing him.
In the newer games and animated series, Pac-Man is the only one capable of eating them due to his status as a "Yellow One" and can do so even without berries in certain games while in others it is required. Power Pellets have also been replaced with Power Berries which simply act as empowering items that can give Pac-Man unique abilities that can defeat Ghosts more easily, but are still not required for eating Ghosts.
In Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Ghosts, especially the Ghosts of Pac-People, come in a wide variety of shapes and forms but the majority usually appear to resemble the most common appearance of ghosts with round heads and ghostly tails but with a wide assortment of colors.
- Alien Ghosts - a species of extraterrestrial ghosts that has a symbiotic relationship with Ghosteroids. they protect the ghosteroid and in return, the ghosteroid shelters them
- Aqua Ghosts - ghosts that can travel effectively in water
- Cyclops Ghosts - The second largest species of ghosts even dwarfing some monsters in the Netherworld.
- Drill Bit Ghosts - ghosts forced to be uses as the tip of huge drills.
- Fire Ghosts - a species of ghost that conjures fire. Lord Betrayus is the most notable one.
- Green Ghosts - ghosts that can attack with slime more effectively than others.
- Ghosteroids - The largest species of ghosts, they are a species of extraterrestrial ghosts that has a symbiotic relationship with Alien Ghosts, the Ghosteroid shelters the alien ghosts and in return, the alien ghosts protect it.
- Ghost Sharks - Ghosts of deceased Pac-Sharks. can also fly too.
- Guardian Ghosts - Royal guards of the Netherworld.
- Ice Ghosts - a species of ghost that conjures ice.
- Lightning Ghosts - a species of ghost that conjures electricity.
- Tentacle Ghosts - a ghost that resembles a squid and/or octopus.
- Vulnerable Ghosts - a form ghosts take when they start panicking.
The Ghost Gang refers to the original antagonists of the first Pac-Man game, who return in most of the other games in the Pac-Man series. The group is comprised of four ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. In some appearances, they are joined by a fifth member named Sue, who originated from Ms. Pac-Man in place of Clyde.
Their roles in the series have mostly varied; they were originally portrayed as villainous, but are friendly in some later appearances. However, most of their solo villainous efforts usually consist of them just teasing or chasing Pac-Man (and family), while in others they take on a more antagonistic role due to being ordered to do so by their superiors (e.g. Spooky or the Ghost Witch). Nonetheless, it appears they usually antagonize others simply for the fun and joy of scaring and pranking them, rather than genuine hate or malicious intent.
Throughout the series, the roles and names of Blinky and Clyde are often mixed up; this has been commonly referred to by fans as the Clyde and Blinky error.
- Color: Red
- Character: Bad-tempered, crude, bossy, bully, fast, bratty, grouchy, dangerous, mean, sarcastic, greedy, mostly aggressive, he's the responsible leader of the four and the arch-nemesis of Pac-Man.
- Color: Cyan (or sometimes blue)
- Character: Goofy, shy, unpredictable, wacky, shattered-brained, a little reckless, dizzy, can also sometimes chase Pac-Man aggressively like Blinky.
- Color: Pink (or sometimes magenta)
- Character: Mischievous, persistent, tricky, cute, adorable, beautiful, happy, lovely, has a big crush on Pac-Man from time to time. In the original arcade game, she's the only female ghost.
- Color: Orange
- Character: Cowardly, lazy, stupid, brainless, hopeless, seemingly dumb, but may be smarter than he lets on and doesn't really care about chasing Pac-Man. He always distracts himself.
- Color: Purple (originally orange in Ms. Pac-Man)
- Character: Annoying, Powerful, Slow.
Other Notable Ghosts
Throughout the many spin-offs of Pac-Man, other ghosts have been added.
- Pac-Man TV Series (1982)
- Miru (Pac & Pal, 1983)
- Jr. Pacman (1983)
- Pac-Mania (1987)
- Kinky, when fusing with members of the original Ghost Gang, transform into various Kinky Mutation (Pac-Man Arrangement,1996)
- Pac-Man World (1999)
- Chef Ghost
- DJ Ghost
- Pac-Man World 2 (2002)
- Wandy (Pac-Man All-Stars, 2002)
- Pac-Pix (2005)
- Golvis (Pac 'n Roll, 2005)
- Spectral Monsters (Pac-Man World 3, 2005)
- Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (2013)
- Glitchy (Pac-Man 256, 2015)
- Pac-Store (2016)
- Punky (The Sandbox Evolution, 2017)
- Winky (Pac-Man Pop!, 2017)
Ghosts are limited by not being able to turn unless they reach an intersection. Each ghost will behave differently once it has reached an intersection. Some will move randomly, while others focus on chasing Pac-Man or ambushing him. Other times, the ghosts will revert to scatter mode where they try to spread themselves among the four corners of the maze.
- The Pac-Man ghosts were originally known as, and were intended to be, monsters. They were renamed to ghosts later on; this was mainly popularized by the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man.
- Pac-Man series creator, Toru Iwatani, has cited that Obake no Q-Tarō ("Little Ghost Q-Taro") was a source of inspiration for the Pac-Man ghosts.