Caterpillar builds huge Pac-Man maze to celebrate game’s 40th anniversary

Pac-Man - What you need to know

PEORIA, Ill. — After 40 years, Pac-Man still plays in Peoria. In a big way.

The Peoria, Illinois-based construction equipment manufacturer released a video that showcased the company’s products while paying tribute to the 1980s dot-gobbling arcade craze.

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Caterpillar constructed a larger-than-life Pac-Man board and released a video that shows Caterpillar vehicles negotiating the 151-corner Pac-Man game board, the Journal Star of Peoria reported,

Caterpillar employees needed more than a week to construct the maze, moving 5,000 tons of dirt, the newspaper reported. The maze measures 162 feet wide and 180 feet long, with interior walls standing 4 feet tall. The lanes were 12 feet wide, and a 1% grade from the top right of the “board” to the lower left, allowed for drainage in the event of rain, according to the Journal Star.

“We brought two iconic yellow brands together in a way probably no one else could,” Archie Lyons, a Caterpillar creative director, told the newspaper. “I think we got about 99% accuracy in rebuilding the iconic game board."

The maze was built in an area west of Peoria.

″(We) hear from customers all the time about what they want and what they need from Caterpillar," Lyons told the Journal Star. “We meshed all the ideas and figured maybe we should be using a maze. The best maze known to man is Pac-Man.”

In videos and photos released by Caterpillar, the company uses automated technology to play a game of Pac-Man with remote-controlled skid steers, WEEK-TV reported.

The video, part of the company’s Cat Trial series, also celebrates Caterpillar’s 95th anniversary, the television station reported.

“These trials are designed to surprise and delight our customers and prospects, as well as people outside our industry,” Victoria Keese Morrissey, global marketing and brand director for Caterpillar, said in a news release. “Challenges the ghosts pose to Pac-Man strike a unique metaphor for obstacles lurking around each corner of the jobsite. Power pellets represent the role Cat dealer services play in helping our customers overcome these challenges.”

Caterpillar received permission and cooperation of Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., the Japanese-based Pac-Man developer, the Journal Star reported.

Caterpillar 236D3 remote-controlled skid-steer loaders represented Pac-Man and the four “ghosts” that chased it, the newspaper reported.

“We laughed, because we kept watching planes fly overhead,” Lyons said about the shoot. “People looking out the windows, they’ve got to be like, ‘That looks like Pac-Man. What are they doing?’”

Lyons said the entire production was an in-house effort.

“While it may have been an adverse year, we pulled together and created something that is so cool and will surprise and delight our customers in a new and different way,” Lyons told the Journal Star. “I would put this video up against any major agency, even some of the stuff the networks do in Hollywood. And the people all live and work right here in Peoria.”