Raise a glass to the gaming hero who can’t stop eating.

Every worthy video game star has some kind of power that serves them on their path to becoming a hero. Mario jumps with intuitive precision and can shoot fire from his hands. Sonic runs so fast his legs become a blur, and in the right conditions can travel through time.

And Pac-Man the original video game hero? Well, he just eats. Even his name is inspired by the Japanese phrase paku paku, meaning to munch or chomp.

But to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man’s arcade release, the focus is shifting from eating to drinking, with the release of a line of Pac-Man sake.

Pac-Man game developer Namco started out making coin-operated rides for little kids, like the ones you see outside supermarkets or drug stores, and it’s since merged with toymaker Bandai. But since their diverse product mixes don’t include alcoholic beverage production, the Pac-Man Nihonshu Series (Nihonshu being the Japanese word for what we call “sake” in English) is a joint effort with sake brewery Sempuku, which has been in the sake business for over 100 years.

The Pac-Man offerings are the newest additions to Sempuku’s Game Legends Sake Series, following previous tie-ups with Sega. Naturally, the Pac-Man lineup consists of five bottles: one for Pac-Man himself, and one each for ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde.

The Pac-Man sake is a junmai genshu brew, meaning it’s made with nothing but rice and the fermentation agent, and without any diluting. That gives it the highest alcohol content of the set, at 17.5 percent. The red Blinky sake, bearing the likeness of the unofficial leader of the ghost group, checks in at number two in strength with a 16-percent-alcohol junmaishu (sake made with only rice and the fermentation agent, but diluted for a smoother taste or softer kick). The remaining ghosts, Clyde, Pinky, and Inky, contain an identical 15.5-percent-alcohol junmaishu.

▼ Inky’s deeper-than-on-screen shade of blue sort of makes it look like he’s about to get eaten.

Each bottle is priced at 3,300 yen (US$31), but there’s also a bundle that gets you all five, plus a bonus sixth bottle with a label featuring Pac-Man and a pixelated portrait of Japanese enka singer Takashi Hosokawa, for some reason.

We haven’t been able to sample any of the brews yet, but with Sempuku located in the town of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, odds are they’ll have the smooth flavor and crisp yet slightly sweet finish sake breweries from that region of Japan are known for. The Pac-Man Nihonshu Series officially goes on sale July 4 at retailers in Japan, but pre-orders are already being taken through Sempuku’s online store here.

Sources: Sempuku, Pac-Man official website via Japaaan
Top image: Pac-Man official website
Insert images: Sempuku
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