Dig Dug is an arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware, and was later published outside of Japan by Atari, Inc.. A popular game based on a simple concept, it was also released as a video game on many consoles.
The objective of Dig Dug is to eliminate underground-dwelling monsters by either inflating them with an air pump until they explode, or by dropping rocks on them. There are two kinds of enemies in the game: 'Pookas' (a race of round red monsters, said to be modeled after tomatoes, that wear yellow goggles), and 'Fygars' (a race of green dragons that can breathe fire while their wings flash).
The player's character is the eponymous Dig Dug, dressed in white and blue and able to dig tunnels through destructible environments. Dig Dug will be killed if he is caught by either a Pooka or a Fygar, burned by a Fygar's fire, or crushed by a rock he has loosened.
A partially inflated monster will gradually deflate and recover after a few seconds, during which time Dig Dug can pass safely through it. The monsters normally crawl through the tunnels in the dirt but can turn into ghostly eyes and travel slowly through the dirt. The last enemy in a round will try to escape off the top left of the screen - and if he succeeds, the potential points are lost.
More points will be awarded for exploding an enemy further down in the dirt (the levels are color-coded). Additionally, Fygars are worth double points if exploded horizontally, since they can only breathe fire horizontally in the direction they are facing. Extra points are also awarded for dropping rocks on enemies in order to eliminate them rather than inflating them. If one enemy is killed by the rock, it is worth 1000 points. The next two add 1500 points each, and any after that, add 2000. The act of digging is itself worth points - giving 10 points for each block dug, so some players will do as much of it as possible while the threat from the remaining monsters is minimal.
After the player drops two rocks, fruits and vegetables and other edible bonus items, such as Galaxian flagships, appear in the center of the play field, and can be collected for points if the player is able to reach them before they disappear. These edible bonus items will appear even if the rocks fail to crush any enemies. In the original arcade version, the most points attainable from a single bonus fruit (or vegetable) is 8000 from the pineapple, which appears in every round of the game from the seventeenth round onwards.
If the player should drop a rock on an enemy at the same time he or she explodes him, a glitch will occur whereupon all enemies will promptly disappear, but the game will not progress and the player will be free to dig through all dirt. Attaining the next level of play will then remain impossible, but the glitch can be resolved by forcing a rock to drop (unless, of course, there are no rocks remaining).
The round numbers are represented by flowers in the top right of the screen, and each new round is noted at the beginning of each round. After every fourth round, the color of the dirt will alternate. In successive rounds more monsters appear on each screen, and they move quicker. A round is completed successfully when the last monster is dispatched or succeeds in fleeing. In the original Namco version, the game will end on round 256 (round zero), since the board is essentially an unplayable kill screen; at the start of the round, a Pooka will be placed directly on top of Dig Dug with no way to kill him. Therefore, the game will basically be over at this point, regardless of how many lives a player may have remaining - but the Atari version corrects this problem.
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