The Many Incarnations of Rock Stars

This article is part of a series I call “The Many Incarnations of… ”, a column which will chronicle the different game titles that have been released over the years featuring a central character or theme. Pac-Man is here to provide “color commentary,” and Professor Pac-Man is on hand with interesting tidbits of trivia about each game!

1974
Wizard!

It's a good thing I have Ms. Pac-Man to play with, because I could get myself into a lot of trouble taking a chomp with Ann-Margret! Wocka! Wocka!


From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Wizard' was inspired by the 1975 Hollywood movie 'Tommy' and included likenesses of Roger Daltry and Ann-Margret on the backglass. This was the last Bally Electro-Mechanical game to have its knocker located in the lower cabinet. It was moved to the backbox in subsequent Electro-Mechanical games.

1978
KISS

The Demon, Starchild, Space Ace, and The Catman; faces only a mother could love. Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: KISS is regarded as one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all-time. Their career milestones are staggering. KISS holds honors as one of America’s top gold record champions, recording 36 albums over 32 years selling over 75 million albums worldwide. Over thirty years of record-breaking tours around the globe include high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and most recently, the 2005 Rockin’ The Corps concert dedicated to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1979
Rolling Stones

 
 

Rolling Stone – Pinball; I guess there really is not that much difference. Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Little did the Rolling Stones know how apt their name - inspired by the title of a Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone” - would turn out to be. Formed in 1962, they are the longest-lived continuously active group in rock and roll history. They are also, according to a slogan that is supported by critical and popular consensus, “the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Throughout four decades of shifting tastes in the arena of popular music, the Stones have kept rolling, adapting to the latest sounds and styles without straying too far from their origins as a blues-loving, guitar-based rock and roll band. In all aspects, theirs has been a remarkable career - and one with no apparent end in sight. 


1981

Iron Maiden

 

 

Well, I think that backglass could prove to be just a little bit distracting - that is unless you're a happily married pac like myself. Keep your eyes on the ball, keep your eyes on the ball... Wocka! Wocka!
From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Iron Maiden is an English heavy metal band from Leyton in the East End of London. The band was formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris, formerly a member of Gypsy's Kiss and Smiler. Iron Maiden are one of the most successful and influential bands in the heavy metal genre, having sold over 100 million albums worldwide without mainstream or radio support. 

1983
Journey


After playing this game I decided to write my own song: ♪ Don't start believin', it's not worth your quarter! ♪ Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Journey is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1973.The band has gone through several phases since its inception by former members of Santana. The band's greatest commercial success came in the late 1970s through the early 1980s with a series of power ballads and songs such as "Don't Stop Believing", "Any Way You Want It", "Faithfully", "Open Arms", "Separate Ways", and "Wheel in the Sky." 

1990
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker

 

What's so special about moon walking? Have you ever watched how smooth I glide across the maze? Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958), often referred to as MJ and The King of Pop, is an American musician and entertainer. The seventh child of the Jackson family, Michael Jackson debuted on the professional music scene at the age of ten as a member of the Jackson 5, and went on to become a pop icon as a solo artist. His successful career and controversial, enigmatic personal life have been a part of pop culture for almost four decades. 

1994
The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard



♪ He ain't got no distractions, Can't hear those buzzers and bells, Don't see lights a flashin', Plays by sense of smell ♪  Okay, would somebody tell me what a pinball smells like? Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: The Who are an English rock band that first formed in 1964 and grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential bands in the world. They are also famed for their prowess as a live band - winning awards and being described as "possibly the greatest live band ever." The primary lineup consisted of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. 

Revolution X



♪ Ms. Pac knew what she was doin' and I knew her love was here to stay when she told me to Chomp this way, Chomp this way; Chomp this way, Chomp this way ♪ Sing it with me now. Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man:
Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their unique style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, has also come to incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, glam, and R&B, which has inspired legions of rock artists that came after them. They are the bestselling American hard rock band of all time, having sold 150 million albums worldwide, including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. 

Guns N' Roses



Now here's an easy re-write. Here's how we're going to sing it: ♪ Welcome to the arcade, we've got fun 'n' games, we got every game you want, honey, we know the names ♪ Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man:
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. The band, led by frontman and co-founder Axl Rose, has gone through numerous line-up changes and controversy since its formation. Guns N' Roses have released five studio albums, two EPs, one live album, and three music video DVDs within its career. Guns N' Roses have sold an estimated 90 million albums worldwide, including 39 million in the United States. The band's 1987 major label debut album, entitled Appetite for Destruction, has sold 27 million copies worldwide and reached number one on the United States Billboard 200. 


2004
Elvis®

Elvis may be the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, but I am the undisputed King of Chomp! Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Elvis Presley is the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. He rose from humble circumstances to launch the rock and roll revolution with his commanding voice and charismatic stage presence. In the words of the historical marker that stands outside the house where he was born: “Presley’s career as a singer and entertainer redefined popular music.” 

Have you noticed how many bands are regarded as the “most influential” and the “world's greatest band”? All I can say is if there's one thing we pac-people know how to do it's Rock n' Roll! Wocka! Wocka!

* This article is only a listing of known unique game titles. It does not cover clones of released titles, nor will it list the various platforms the titles have appeared on. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive reference listing, and should be viewed only as the recreational offering it was intended to be. Game descriptions, game titles and registered trademarks mentioned herein are properties of their respective owners.

First Published May 2008