I'm sure everyone who reads this article will have heard of Pac-Man, whose 1980 arcade game virtually revolutionized video games forever, and is one of, if not the most iconic video game character in the world. Similarly, just about everyone has heard about Ms. Pac-Man, and probably even Jr. Pac-Man (and maybe even Baby Pac-Man), but these other members of the Pac-family might not come from where you think they do!
Let's start with some history. The Pac-Man arcade game was made by Namco, and Midway was liscenced to make the arcade cabinets for it (as well as a few other Namco arcade games of the time such as Galaga). After this, Namco had begun work on their sequel to Pac-Man: Super Pac-Man, which came out near the end of 1982. The year before Super Pac-Man's release, however, Midway was getting impatient waiting for Namco's next Pac-Man game, especially with the success of the first game. They wanted the next big game! Interestingly enough, that same year, a small company called General Computer Corporation (GCC) had been working on a hacked version of Pac-Man and making it into its own new arcade game. This game was known as Crazy Otto. In this game, they changed the colors, graphics, and sounds, as well as changing many of the game mechanics. They gave the characters legs, for instance (Otto himself looks like Pac-Man with legs, and not like the Pac-Man you see in artwork. Otto looks like the in-game Pac-Man, with stick legs drawn on). They made the gameplay more randomized, and they made several different maze layouts as opposed to the single one in Pac-Man. Crazy Otto came very close to becoming a released arcade game, even going so far as to appear in an advertisement in Time Magazine!