Retro Videogame Mystery Minis - Dig Dug reviews

Funko Friday

Following the Earth-shattering success of Pac-Man, Namco was looking for more game concepts - way to not simply rest on your laurels, Namco! Still, the designers didn't stray far from what had worked: in fact, all they did was turn it around. So Pac-Man had a standard, pre-set maze? The concept for Dig Dug began with letting players make their own mazes instead. From there it was just a question of deciding what medium the mazes would be made in (dirt) who would be in that medium (digger) and coming up with a name (Galaxian). (Okay no, just kidding, Dig Dug.)

Although the player character was originally just named "Dig Dug," it was eventually revealed that was just a nickname, and his real identity was Taizo Hori, a pun on the Japanese phrase "ほりたい ぞ" (horitai zo), which translates as "I want to dig." While the original game sprite was a little blue-skinned guy in a white suit armed with a red spear, the art on the arcade cabinet imagined him in a white utility suit with a red V stripe on the chest, red caps over his ears, red boots, blue gloves, and a blue fin on top of his helmet. This Mystery Mini gives him pink skin instead of white, but keeps the angry eyebrows and the blush lines on his cheeks. The inverted-V mouth is the way they used to draw his nose, funnily.

Taizo's weapon in the first game was half harpoon gun, half bicycle pump: you'd shoot it out at the enemies, then inflate them until they exploded. Ouch! Or maybe "oooh," depending on your kinks. We're not here to judge. This figure is molded holding his green pump, though it's lacking any kind of hose coming out of it. "Good thing there are no enemies lurking around," he said, foreshadowingly...

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