Dig Dug: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Dig Dug was first released in 1982 in Japan. Namco is the original developer, but Dig Dug was later picked up by Atari. Up to two players can play Dig Dug, with the second player’s turn starting only when the first loses a life. Dig Dug was first made available as a standard arcade game, but several versions were also released for the PC, the Nintendo and other home based video game consoles.

Dig Dug 2, Mr. Driller Drill Spirits and Mr. Drill are the names of the spin-offs and sequels that emerged after the wild success of the original Dig Dug. Most recently, a new version of Dig Dug was released for the Nintendo Wii.



Players dig tunnels, avoiding falling objects and enemies with special abilities. The main character is equipped with an air pump and dons goggles as he makes his way through solid rock and a series of underground chambers. His official name is Taizo Hori, but he is more commonly known as Dig Dug.

There are only two types of enemies in Dig Dug, but they are equally formidable. Green dragons called Fygars stay within small underground caverns, breathing fire and defeating Dig Dug if he comes too close. Pookas don’t have any special abilities.

One unique feature of Dig Dug is that defeated opponents are not completely eliminated from the game. After Dig Dug uses his air pump to inflate and blow up Pookas and Fygars, they explode. Rocks can also be dropped on opponents. However, they take the form of ghosts and continue to float around. If Dig Dug makes contact with any one of these ghosts, he will lose a life.

All Pookas and Fygars have to be defeated before Dig Dug can move onto the next round. The number of enemies that appear on each level is preset.

Special Features

Dig Dug is awarded with achievements and food items that yield bonus points. All achievements are based on defeating two or more enemies with a rock. For instance, Dig Dug will have the ability to pick up the mushroom bonus if he crushes at least two opponents on the second level.

Rocks can squash an unlimited number of enemies if Dig Dug drills under them carefully. Rocks can also squash the main character if he gets caught in their downward path. A distinctive sound and the sight of a rock shaking will alert you to move out of the way before it drops.


Pookas – This type of enemy is small, round and red.

Fygars – These small dragons breathe fire.

Food – Fruit, vegetables will appear on the screen and reward Dig Dug with points after he has unlocked their coordinating achievements.

Rocks – Multiple rocks are present on each stage, giving Dig Dug multiple ways to take out his foes.

Dig Dug – The iconic main character.

How to Play Dig Dug

In earlier versions of Dig Dug, the game ends at the completion of the 256th round. There is no game over screen. Instead, the game automatically resets to the beginning. Other later versions of Dig Dug offer truly unlimited play.

The first 12 rounds of this game are distinctively unique. Each round has a set number of Pookas and Fygars, which are stationed in small tunnels underground. The objective is to destroy all enemies on each stage with rocks or Dig Dug’s air pump. When Dig Dug attacks an enemy with the air pump, the action key must be struck repeatedly until the monster blows up. Failing to do this will result in the enemy deflating, leaving Dig Dug vulnerable to a counter attack.

Stage 1

Dig Dug faces four monsters on stage one. Three Pookas and one Fygar will patrol their own individual tunnels, making it much easier for players to complete this level. You can either take out each monster one at a time, or you can use the rocks positioned overhead to destroy them. Destroying two or more enemies with a rock on stage one will give you a carrot, which is worth 400 extra points.

Stage 2

On this stage, there are five enemies to defeat. Although Dig Dug still has the ability to crush or blow up his enemies one by one, he has a great chance of accidentally drilling through the monsters’ chambers. This is because there is less space between the tunnels. Crush at least two of your opponents with a rock to receive the turnip achievement valued at 600 points.

Stage 3

There is exactly the same number of monsters on stage two as stage three; two Fygars
and three Pookas. To get the 800 point mushroom bonus, two rocks have to be drilled.

Stage 4

Six enemies await on stage four. Two fire breathing Fygars and four Pookas will be packed in four underground tunnels. You will need to drill at the far end of the tunnel holding the two Pookas, and quickly dispatch the first approaching enemy before the second is able to touch you. The reward for dislodging two rocks on stage four is the cucumber bonus, which is worth 1,000 points.

Stage 5

Stage five contains a total of six monsters, with an even number of Pookas and Fygars. There are six tunnels that each holds a single enemy. You will need to pay close attention to the ghosts of your defeated enemies as they will float and drift in your general direction. If you can manage to drop two rocks on this board, you will have access to another cucumber.

Stage 6

For the first time, there will be a greater number of Fygars present than Pookas. Additionally, there will be multiple Fygars placed in a single tunnel. Dig Dug will need to create a series of winding tunnels so that he has ample time to defeat the Fygars that emerge. You should reserve your rocks and drop them only when you think that you can squash multiple Fygars. Dropping two rocks on this stage gives players the eggplant, worth 2,000 bonus points.

Stage 7

Seven opponents patrol the underground caverns on level seven. Make sure that you do not dig a straight path as you approach the monsters. You will likely have to do a lot of running as enemies pursue you, but you can easily blow them up or crush them as you dig beneath rocks. The eggplant achievement bonus is also available on stage seven.

Stage 8

This board also has an even number of Pookas and Fygars, for a grand total of eight enemies. The pepper bonus is 3,000 points, and it can only be earned if you squash monsters with at least two rocks.

Stage 9

Beat stage nine by defeating the four Pookas first. At the very bottom of the screen, three more Fygars are stuck within two small tunnels. A large green pepper icon will appear on the screen if you are able to drop two rocks, at minimum.

Stage 10

Since there are eight opponents on level 10, you should make use of your rocks first. Attack the remaining monsters with the air pump, then retreat to your freshly dug tunnels. There will be plenty of monster ghosts for you to avoid, but if you are successful, the 4,000 point tomato achievement will be yours.

Stage 11

The bottom portion of the screen will be free of monsters, so you can dig some pretty complex tunnels on this board. There are four Fygars and three Pookas to eliminate. Take your time, draw your opponents out and use rocks to get rid of the bulk of your enemies. The tomato bonus is the reward for dropping two rocks or more.

Stage 12

The 12th stage is the last original level that you will see in Dig Dug. After this, stages eight to 12 will be replayed indefinitely. Again, four Pookas and four Fygars are present. Your enemies will also move much faster on this stage.

The garlic bonus will make its first appearance on this level. Collect it and receive 5,000 points.

Hints and Tips

You can dig an endless number of tunnels in Dig Dug, but if you are overzealous, you will just start to create large buried chambers. Give yourself more wiggle room by snaking your tunnels back and forth.

After stage 12 is over, there are still a few other bonuses that pop up. The watermelon, pineapple and the Galaxian icon appear through stage 18.

More points are awarded the further that you dig into the round. Killing monsters at the lower levels of the screen will also yield more points.

Dig Dug does not have to approach monsters directly to take them out. You can use the air pump to drill into Fygars and Pookas from above and below, but you won’t earn the same amount of points.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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