Here's a custom Pac-Man level. Pac-Man is to do what Pac-Man always does: eat, eat, eat! Wait, where are the pac-dots?

Pac-Man Paths Puzzle


There are 3 hidden phrases representing otherworldly items in this special maze. One uncovers them by collecting numbered "dots" (not actual dots, just numbers, for increased visibility) following 3 paths that have the below names and main clues.

  1. Classic path: original eatables
  2. Sweetheart path: treats for her
  3. Indigestible path: none of the above

Mission: Find and decrypt the 3 path phrases from each set of numbers encountered along the path.

Bonus mission: Figure out the sources of each path phrase.

Navigational clues:

  • Within each path, Pac-Man aims for the high score, going for the better target that adheres to his current path's clue within his line of sight.
  • He generally doesn't change direction unless he hits a wall or spots something tasty.
  • Strangely, numbers are neither tasty nor have point values.
  • Normal Pac-Man travelling rules apply: he eats or collects everything along his path, and he doesn't go through anything that remains uneaten or uncollected.
  • Fearing ghosts would notice where he's been, he doesn't backtrack.
  • Each path starts from where he is now; restart the level to try a different path.
  • Each path ends when he reaches the last applicable item.

Cheat codes:

Note: It's the developer's first custom level, done as a quick share. There may be errors. It may be too easy. It may be too messily complex. She'll determine what works and what doesn't from observing the players and any feedback. If the above aren't gimmes enough, she can provide further clues here.

The maze is small enough so that one can figure out the paths through trial and error, but because this puzzle was built around some basic Pac-Man knowledge, here is its Wikipedia article. Just this and one other linked article would be helpful. (Maybe I'll link both after the answer.)

  • $\begingroup$ Umm, how's pac-man supposed to get to both that bottom-center cherry(next to pink ghost) and the top left one (between the pink and orange ghosts) if he can't back-track? -Getting both cherries isn't possible without back-tracking OR passing through a ghost. Or are we just meant to find the path that goes through as many cherries as possible? $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Spacemonkey There are extra cherries. Some are filler; some as path diverters. Pac-Man doesn't eat everything. $\endgroup$
    – Mythi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


Based on the following paths, and appending the nth letter of the alphabet as you pass by it...

Part 1

= Mushroomenter image description here

Part 2

= Liar Cakeenter image description here

Part 3

= Nuka-Colaenter image description here So, references are based on Mario, Portal, and Fall-out Games.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the edit. Could not get that second pic to hide.... $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't intend for the items to be from the same world(s) but acknowledge that they could exist in multiple (hence the bonus). Both items are correct nevertheless. Great start! $\endgroup$
    – Mythi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ I'm currently on a network that blocks imgur so I don't know how the images are showing. Hope you got it figured out. I see you got the third! I'm going to wait a bit to check things out at home but you basically got it. $\endgroup$
    – Mythi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:52

Pac-man is suffering from: mushroom cake nuka-cola indigestion
explanation at the end

Go straight for that left cherry, then down. Follow:
13-21-19-8-18-15-15-13 and end at that green thingy.
It spells out Mushroom. (and I'm thinking Mario obviously)

If you start out through the top, you get Liar Cake (portal)
12-9-1-18-3-1-11-5 (but it keeps going) -(1)
14-21-11-1-3-15-12-1 (a) Nuka-Cola - fallout
I'm unsure if those are 2 different lines or the same, also you could tie the mushroom after the liar cake by going through the bottom middle but that last bit does 'end' at a key so maybe those are simply the three. Mario, Portal, Fallout.

or maybe someone baked a particular nasty cake, and people are now suffering from mushroom cake fallout instead of yellow (uranium) cake fallout (which could explain the liar part) ... but I think that might be getting a bit far-fetched :P

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the encouragement and for getting 1 out of 3 so far $\endgroup$
    – Mythi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Agree with the Fallout ref. So maybe the sources are 3 different games... $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, great. I see you got it, too. Now I'm not sure who got all the answers first. I'm apparently slow at reading updates and in writing comments. I'm checking to see if there any areas that need clarification so I can improve upon this for personal use. Maybe I need a bigger maze. $\endgroup$
    – Mythi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Mythi. I think Spacemonkey got it first. I was putzing around in Paint on the images when he posted the answers... $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Oct 14, 2015 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ But I decided to got bat-crazy with my answer so feel free to give the answer to whoever fits most what you were looking for (+ APrough has fancy pictures :P ) $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 20:03

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