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Dig Dug (universe)

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Dig Dug (universe)
Dig Dug logo.png
Developer(s) Namco
Creature Labs
Hamster Corporation
Publisher(s) Namco
Hamster Corporation
Designer(s) Masahisa Ikegami
Shigeru Yokoyama
Genre(s) Maze
Console/platform of origin Arcade
First installment Dig Dug (1982)
Latest installment Dig Dug: Digging Strike (2005)

The Dig Dug universe ( ディグダグ , Dig Dug) is a series of digging-based maze games. The objective is to navigate the protagonist (originally called Dig Dug, later named Taizo Hori) through an underground maze while defeating all the monsters on the board. Enemies, usually consisting of tomato-shaped Pookas and dragon-like Fygars, are dispatched through use of an air pump. Other obstacles include boulders that fall when dug beneath, and fruit that can be collected for bonus points. In addition to spawning the spin-off puzzle series Mr. Driller, elements from Dig Dug have appeared in numerous other games, such as cameos in some Pac-Man games.

Franchise Description[edit]

The original Dig Dug was created to be in contrast with the original Pac-Man. While that game tasked players with navigating through pre-made mazes, this new game allowed players to make their own mazes. This manifested in the player digging holes both vertically and horizontally, dodging obstacles and flanking enemies. When an enemy is in the right position, the player can use their air pump to burst them. If an enemy gets too close, the player can also use the pump to briefly stun them and make a retreat. The game released on February 20, 1982, on the Galaga arcade board to critical and commercial success, being the second best-selling video game of the year behind Pole Position.

The game received a sequel in 1985. Titled Dig Dug II and released on the Super Pac-Man arcade board, the game adopts a top down perspective and involves the player activate fault lines in the ground to sink portions of the map and drown enemies with out accidentally drowning themselves. The game received a mixed reception and significantly lower sales than its predecessor. These disappointing sales are often credited to the game’s vast departure from the first game and overall more restrictive and less strategic gameplay.

A pseudo sequel released in 1996 as part of Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2 titled Dig Dug Arrangement. While fundamentally similar to the original, the game includes new enemies, power-ups, boss fights, and 2 player co-op play. A full 3D remake of the original was released in 2001 titled Dig Dug Deeper. A proper sequel released in 2006 for Nintendo DS titled Dig Dug: Digging Strike, which combined elements of the first two arcade games with a bigger emphasis on story. An MMO version of the game titled Dig Dug Island released as an adaptation of Dig Dug II where many players can play the game online simultaneously. Servers shut down less than a year later in 2009 due to poor player numbers.

The character of Dig Dug has also made appearances in many other games, usually as cameos alongside other characters from the game such as Pooka. Other instances include several slot machines in 2003, multiple webcomics, and Dig Dug music remixes being used in other games. A particularly notable appearance is in the Mr. Driller series. Dig Dug, now officially renamed Taizo Hori, is the canonical father of protagonist Susumu Hori, who he had with his now divorced wife Masuyo “Kissy” Tobi from the Baraduke series.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Various elements from Dig Dug appear in Super Smash Bros. 4, most notably the Pooka enemies in Smash Run.


  • Pooka: The famous enemy from Dig Dug, as well as several Pac-Man games, appears in the 3DS-exclusive mode, Smash Run. Just like in the original game, it inflates when struck, and can be defeated by rapidly attacking until it pops.


The level start, main theme, and level complete music from Dig Dug appear in Namco Arcade '80s Retro Medley 1.


In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]


The level start, main theme, and level complete music from Dig Dug appear in Namco Arcade '80s Retro Medley 1.