As seen in: Dig Dug (Arcade)
Also in: Mr. Driller: Drill Land (GameCube)
Distinguishing feature: Weapon forged from the unholy union of a high-voltage stun gun and a bicycle pump.
Strengths: Inflating fire-breathing Fygars until they pop; drilling; procreating.
Weaknesses: Subterranean rocks; marriage; parenting.

Profile by Luke Osterritter? | January 29, 2010

The star of arcade favorite Dig Dug is known by most people simply by the name of his game, "Dig Dug." Which is like calling Charlie Brown "Peanuts." Sure, that may have passed for the hero's arcade debut, but in the age where every state, group, and dotcom has its own unnecessarily thorough backstory, Namco decided to flesh out Taizo's persona in their Dig Dug spin-off series, Mr. Driller.

You see, Taizo Hori (a Japanese pun equating more or less to the phrase "I want to dig") is actually the father of Susumu Hori, known more simply as the Mr. Driller. Legend has it that Mr. Driller actually started life as a game called Dig Dug 3; somewhere during development, Taizo was replaced by his son and an army of garish blocks to be the new titular star.

Of course, the rabbit hole doesn't stop there; according to Driller lore, Taizo has two other sons. The eldest, Ataru Hori, ran away from home before the game's events due to a fight with his father over, one assumes, drilling etiquette. The youngest son, name of Taiyo Toby, takes his surname from his mother and Taizo's ex-wife, Masuyo "Kissy" Toby, one of Taizo's 8-bit contemporaries and star of Namco's arcade shooter Baraduke, which someone somewhere has probably played.

While Taizo did find time between bouts of digging and drilling to woo a space marine and start a family, becoming the "Hero of the Dig Dug Incident" left little time to foster nuptials. It stands to reason; a man whose very nature led him to split continents in twain served only to separate in all facets of life. Behind every popped Pooka is the sad tale of a loveless marriage and a broken home.

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