Dig Dug: Wikis


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Dig Dug
Dig Dug Screenshot
Screenshot of Stage 1
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco (JPN)
Atari, Inc. (NA)
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1982 X-Box 360 10/11/2006
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 4-way Joystick; button
Cabinet Upright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade system Namco Galaga

Dig Dug (ディグダグ?) is an arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982 for Namco Galaga hardware. It was later published outside of Japan by Atari. 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. This can be done by inflating them until they pop or by dropping rocks on them. There are two kinds of enemies in the game: Pookas, round red monsters (said to be modeled after tomatoes) who wear yellow goggles, and Fygars, green dragons who can breathe fire. The player's character is Dig Dug, dressed in white and blue, and able to dig tunnels. Dig Dug is killed if he is caught by either Pooka or Fygar, burned by a Fygar's fire, or crushed by a rock.

It takes four 'pumps' with the player's action button to inflate a monster until it bursts. If left partially inflated, the monster will deflate and recover after a few seconds, but half-inflating is a useful way to stun an enemy for a few moments, especially to make sure it remains in the path of a falling rock. The player can also pass through the enemy while it is deflating.

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 on a level will try to escape off the top left of the screen.

More points are awarded for eliminating an enemy further down in the dirt (the levels are color coded), and the Fygar is worth more points if it is inflated horizontally facing the player rather than inflated horizontally opposing the player or inflated vertically (because it only breathes fire horizontally). More 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 they add 2000. The act of digging is itself worth points, giving ten points for each block dug, so some players do as much of it as possible in situations where 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 hit any enemies. In some versions of the game, the most points attainable from a single bonus fruit is 8,000 from the pineapple.

If the player drops a rock on a foe at the same time he pumps it to death, 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.

Level numbers are represented by flowers in the top right of the screen and each new level is noted at the beginning of each stage on the bottom right (as seen in this article's screenshot graphic). In successive levels more monsters appear on each screen and they move quicker. A level is completed successfully when the last monster is dispatched or succeeds in fleeing.

In the coin-operated version the game ends on round 256 (round 0), since this board is essentially an unplayable kill screen. At the start of the level a Pooka is placed directly on top of where the player starts, with no way to kill it.

Dig Dug Arrangement

In 1996, Namco packaged both this game and a remake and re-released it in arcades with the title Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2. The remake was called Dig Dug Arrangement, with one or two-player modes, as in the original. Out of the five created Arrangement games, this version has the least amount of changes. The graphics are updated and the levels are different. There are also new features such as giant rocks (that can crush multiple enemies at a time) and special power-up items.

Dig Dug Arrangement was re-released alongside this game and ten others in the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox versions of Namco Museum.

Mobile game

In 2005, Namco Networks released a version of Dig Dug for cell phones and Palm OS/Windows Mobile devices that is authentic to the arcade original in terms of graphics and controls, even though the levels are as they are in the NES version of Dig Dug. Unlike the arcade version there is no kill screen at level 256, but rather the levels go on past 500.


Although Namco has officially given the character of the original Dig Dug the name Dig Dug, in other games where he makes an appearance, the protagonist goes by the name Taizo Hori, and is the father of Susumu Hori, the main character in the Mr. Driller series. He is also the ex-husband of Toby "Kissy" Masuyo, the heroine of Baraduke. His name is a pun on the Japanese phrase "Horitai zo" (掘りたいぞ) or "I want to dig!" Many American gamers learned of his real name via the Nintendo DS game Mr. Driller Drill Spirits, where he is also a playable character. He is additionally featured in an unlockable gallery of Mr. Driller items in Mr. Driller 2. In the Mr. Driller series, Hori is known as the "Hero of the Dig Dug Incident". In Japan, he is also the Hero of the South Island incident and is the honorary chairman of the Driller Council to whom most of the characters answer. This contrasts greatly with the PC remake Dig Dug Deeper, where the hero is simply named Dig Dug.

Versions and ports

Atari obtained the license for home versions of Dig Dug, and then released it for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Intellivision, Apple II, Atari 400/800, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, IBM PC, and Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. Namco ported Dig Dug to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, but it was not released in North America. A Gameboy version was released in 1992.

This arcade version has also scheduled for a release on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on October 20, 2009, along with its sequel, Dig Dug II. The NES version for the Virtual Console was released in 2008, but as an import for Western reigons.

Xbox 360

In October 2006, a version of Dig-Dug was released on the Xbox Live Arcade.


A 1985 sequel to this game, the overhead-view oriented Dig Dug II, was much less common and met with less success in the arcades. Another sequel, Dig Dug: Digging Strike, was released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. This combined the side-view play of the original with the overhead play of the sequel and added a narrative link to the Mr. Driller series. A 3D remake of the original, entitled Dig Dug Deeper, was released for PC in 2001 by Infogrames. The original Dig Dug was released for the Xbox 360 console via Xbox Live Arcade on October 11, 2006. The original Dig Dug is also available for play via the GameTap subscription gaming service, and was shown in one of the television commercials for the Gametap website in 2005. [1] It was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in North America on June 9, 2008 and in Europe on August 29, 2008, at a cost of 600 Wii Points.[1] On April 30, 2009 Namco released Dig Dug Remix for iPhone OS, which allowed players to play the original game along with a remake with big boss battles and enhanced graphics among other features.[2]

Dig Dug was rated the sixth most popular coin-operated video game of all time by the Killer List of Video Games website.[3]

It has been said that the music for the game show Starcade was inspired from the music for Dig Dug.[4]

In the video for the song "We Are All Made of Stars" from electronic musician Moby, a scene is depicted where a sprite of Moby himself, dressed as an astronaut, is in the middle of a Dig Dug session.


Some bootleg arcade versions of Dig Dug were made, under the name Zig Zag. One version looked exactly like the original,[5] and the other changed both the sounds and colors, as well as adding a pickaxe power-up that made the player move faster.[6]

The character Pooka has had many cameos in Namco games, most often as an enemy in Namco games such as the Pac-Man World series. Pooka was playable for the first time in the game Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness as an unlockable character for the multiplayer modes. He is also available to play as in Pac-Man World Rally, as well as Fygar. Pooka also appeared in the Namco arcade game Pole Position on a roadside billboard.

In R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, there is an American racing team with Dig Dug artwork on its hauler and is named the "Dig Racing Team", run by manager Robert Chrisman. It is the "expert" team of the game. Also in R4, the track "Phantomile" has a giant statue of Pooka alongside Pac-Man on the left hand side of the finishing straight. The "Pooka Line" track, which is the first in the game, has a giant screen with a Pooka and Fygar chasing Dig Dug's protagonist in arcade-style graphics, which changes to him inflating a Pooka when the player takes the lead. In Ridge Racer 64, however, "Dig Racing Team" has to be unlocked by winning all the tracks in Stage 3 in first place - and waiting for the credits to roll, then defeating the car on the "Renegade Expert" track in Car Attack mode.

The Dig Dug universe and some of its characters appear in the Mr. Driller games, starring Taizo Hori's son, Susumu.

In Sold Out: A Threevening with Kevin Smith Kevin expresses his joy at Bruce Willis wanting to work with him, and unable to find a film to suit his jokes about Bruce Willis as Dig Dug.

In Noby Noby Boy, you can sometimes play on maps with Dig Dugs and pookas.

Highest score

Ken House, of Oregon, USA, scored a world record high score on Dig Dug of 5,136,150 points on November 4, 2009.[7]


External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Dig Dug
Box artwork for Dig Dug.
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco (JP), Atari (US)
Japanese title ディグダグ
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit, Intellivision, Commodore 64/128, Commodore VIC-20, Apple II, Famicom Disk System, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, ColecoVision, TI-99/4A, Xbox Live Arcade, Wii Virtual Console, Mobile
Players 1-2
Series Dig Dug
This is the first game in the Dig Dug series. For other games in the series see the Dig Dug category.
Dig Dug marquee

Dig Dug is a fondly-remembered game from the early days of the arcade. The game featured bright colorful animation, and a catchy tune that only played as long as Dig Dug was still in motion. After creating an international sensation with Pac-Man, Namco tried to cash in on other maze game concepts, but none of the succeeded quite as well as the original. As an alternative take on the genre, Dig Dug examines how much fun it might be to allow the player to make his or her own mazes. It turned out that many people thought it was a lot of fun.

Another more imaginative aspects of the game was the way in which Dig Dug eliminates his enemies. He attaches a pump to the body of an enemy and pumps them full of air until they pop. Dig Dug has recently been reinvented by Namco due to the popularity of the Mr. Driller series, casting Dig Dug as Taizo Hori, the father of Mr. Driller. But it is yellow goggle wearing tomato character named Pooka that has received the lion's share of popularity in Japan, with cameos and guest appearances in several other Namco games.

To bring this game from Japan to the United States, Namco turned to Atari instead of Bally Midway to whom Namco had licensed the rights to distribute Pac-Man. Atari did a good job promoting the game as one of the highlights in their library, and they brought the game home to several systems to answer the considerable demand.


Dig Dug's vegetable garden is being invaded by mutant mushrooms and fire breathing dragons. He must dig underneath the garden's surface and pump the troublemakers full of air with his trusty pump, and exterminate all of the nuisances before moving on to the next patch.

Table of Contents

Gameplay summary

  • You control Dig Dug through the underground with the joystick.
  • You must avoid contact with Pooka and Fygar, as well as their ghosts, and Fygar's fire.
  • You must destroy every Pooka and Fygar to advance to the next stage.
  • Press the pump button to connect to an enemy and pump them full of air until they pop.
  • Enemies that are full of air, but didn't pop, begin to deflate. They are safe to pass through.
  • Drop rocks on enemies to crush them for extra points, but don't get crushed by the rock as well.
  • After dropping two rocks, a vegetable appears in the center of the screen. Collect it for bonus points.
  • When one enemy remains, it will try to escape the stage through the left side above ground.


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Dig Dug

Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Atari
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Engine Converted Galaga
Release date Arcade:
1982 (NA)
Atari 2600:
1983 (NA)
1987 (NA)
Genre Maze
Mode(s) Single player
1-2 players alternating
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Platform(s) Arcade
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Input Arcade:
4-Way Joystick, Button
Atari 2600 Joystick
Intellivision Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Dig Dug is an arcade game released by Namco in 1982. The game was later ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, and Intellivision.


The game has an amusing cast of characters. The two enemies are Pooka and Fygar. Pookas are animated red tomatoes with yellow sunglasses and Fygars are green dragons who can breathe fire. The player character is Dig Dug, a blue and white robot equipped with a shovel and a pump.

The object of the game is to dig tunnels underground and use an air pump to inflate and blow-up your enemies. You can also drop rocks on your foes. Dislodge two rocks and a bonus fruit or vegetable will appear in the center of the screen. A level ends when all the enemies have been destroyed.

If you want to be extra greedy and get more points, eat all the dirt on the level. Leave only two enemies (because they will speed up, and three is too hard to handle). You do not need to eat every little bit of dirt (you can leave long passageways to slow down the enemies). Also leave only Pookas, since the Fygars can burn you through the dirt. After level 12, the screens repeat in waves of four. There are patterns for these levels. Also, after level 36, all the enemies will speed up. You will have to use new patterns for all the other levels again.

This game does not award extra man after 900,000 points. The score will flip over at 1,000,000. It is very easy to get a score of 999,990 by eating dirt for ten points per section.

At level 256, the game begins with a Pooka on top of the player character. Since there is no way to escape, your game is basically over, no matter how many lives you have left.


A prototype version of this game was developed by Atari for the ColecoVision, but it was never completely finished or released.


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Simple English

Dig Dug
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Atari
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 4-way Joystick; button
Cabinet Upright, cabaret, and cocktail
Arcade system Namco Galaga

Dig Dug is an game made by Namco in 1982. A well known game based on a simple concept. It was also released as a video game on many consoles.

Dig Dug was rated the sixth most popular coin-operated video game of all time by the Killer List of Video Games website.[1]

It has been said that the music for the game show Starcade was taken from the music for Dig Dug.[2]

In the video for the song "We Are All Made of Stars" from electronic musician Moby, a scene is shown where a person of Moby himself, dressed as an astronaut, is in the middle of a Dig Dug game.


  1. McLemore, Greg. "The Top Coin-Operated Videogames of All Time". Killer List of Videogames. http://www.klov.com/TOP100.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  2. "Starcade". www.illustriousgameshowpage.com. http://illustriousgameshowpage.com/starcade.html. 

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