Have you ever seen this picture? I have, lots of times. The graphic is called The Madness of Mission Six. From desktop wallpapers to t-shirts, it has been around for quite a while on the internet. In fact, the design was originally made for a t-shirt company called "Threadless" around 2005 or so by a designer named Colie Travis Pitts. Yes, it is a alt-art version of the popular game "Pac-Man."
But then the internet got its shifty, greasy claws on it and had to build a crazy back story behind both the t-shirt design and the video game itself.
The Copy Pasta
In 1976, Cosmonaut Nikolai Peckmann was sent alone to an orbiting space station for what would be called Mission Six- to study the radiation levels and strange circumstances that killed all four crewmen of the last research mission.
By the third day, Peckmann’s broken transmissions were coming back to ground control filled with increasing paranoia and delusion. He claimed that the spirits of the dead cosmonauts were coming to claim him, and that he had to keep moving to evade them. He shouted that if he could capture consume these spirits himself while he still had strength, he could move to the next level of consciousness…Truly the rantings of an insane man.
Indeed, video recovered later would show Peckmann running around the confined but maze-like station, downing emergency sedatives like a madman… pausing in a corner momentarily, only to throw back vitamin pills and give chase to his invisible demons.
He had exhausted the entire cargo of vitamins, pills, and fresh fruit well ahead of schedule. There was no way another crew could be assembled to rescue him before he starved. After one rather violently garbled transmission, the static cleared and the last live image on record is that of Peckmann’s empty, wilted spacesuit on the cabin floor.
It was determined that another mission to recover any remains or gather any more research would be a waste of the people’s money, and the station was allowed to drift out of orbit and into space- a failure never to be mentioned again. It was ordered and assumed that all video and paper evidence had been destroyed.
Then, at the dawn of the eighties, a fledgling arcade game company called NAMCO would stumble across the transcripts of these events, and the rest -as they say- is history.
It's fake and the backstory for both the video game and the graphic design were made up. Here is the true story of Pac-Man:
The Madness of Mission Six
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