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What game is this arcade marquee from? Pac Man? Popeye? 'Pop-Man'?


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I remember when our annual Church carnival featured a game room tent and everyone was excited. Every game in there was a freaky abortion like that and all were in popular cabinets; although, most were spray painted black right over the original artwork which you could still easily see. Go up to a cab thinking you're going to play Ms. Pac and it contains some unplayable hack of the original. There wasn't a single licensed game in there and needless to say, it was a flop.

This was also in 1982 when those original games should have been raking in big money! I'm guessing they were all stolen from location and had the original boards removed and sold and then hacks put in to squeeze a few more dollars out of them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Popeye-Pacman? Wow, someone was definitely taking large amounts of drugs for something like this to appear. Strangely enough I kind of want one of these cabinets. But chances are it's not going to happen, but a cabinet exists! Take a look:


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Wow, I can't believe I'm actually seeing this marquee again. number six is correct about this being from that bootleg Pac-Man with the Popeye head sprite. There was actually one of those machines in a grocery store where I grew up (West Portsmouth, Ohio). It was the weirdest machine. It's totally Pac-Man, but with Popeye's head instead of Pac. There's no reason for Popeye to be in it at all, even the ghosts are normal Pac-Man ghosts. And that marquee! No title, no explanation of WTF this game is, just a weird disembodied Popeye head and crude looking ghosts. That marquee has haunted the edge of my memories for 30 years now. I am just in awe seeing it again. It's not often I get to freshly reconnect with a game from my past now, having been into retro gaming since 1994, but this did it. Thanks for posting!


If anyone's curious about the Popeye game, it's a really odd bootleg that must have made the rounds in the Midwest region. Mine was in Ohio, and it's been reported to have been in Indiana and Arkansas too. It seemed to turn up in out of the way places like grocery stores. Mine was in a 2nd-tier grocery called Foodland, which served poorer neighborhoods. I don't really remember the cabinet, but have a vague memory of it having just plain woodgrain sides. My memory of the game is that it played basically the same as Pac-Man but was slightly harder. Popeye's head seemed bigger than the Pac-Man sprite, meaning that sometimes near brushes with the ghosts would get Popeye when they would have missed Pac-Man. I know there is a MAME ROM available of it if if you're really curious.


At age 7 or so, I don't think I really knew what a bootleg was, but I think I knew it had to be some kind of ripoff game. I liked real Pac-Man better.

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