A Dig Dug unit appears in the 1983 movie “WarGames”.
The actual name of the protagonist is Taizo Hori, and is the father of Susumu Hori, the main character in the Mr. Driller series. Many American gamers learned of his real name via the (Japan-only) PlayStation 2 game Namco x Capcom and 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 DigDug Incident” (in Japan, he is also the “Hero of the South Island incident,” A.K.A Dig Dug II), and is the honorary chairman of the Driller Council whom most of the characters answer to. This contrasts greatly with the PC remake Dig Dug Deeper, where the hero is simply named Dig Dug, and is likely an American; as this game was made by Infogrames and not Namco, however, it is not considered canon. His name is a pun on the Japanese phrase “Horitai zo” or “I want to dig!”
Pooka has had many cameos in Namco games. The creature will be playable for the first time in the upcoming game, Pac-Man World Rally, as will Fygar.
Pooka appears as a recurring enemy in the Pac-Man World series.
In R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, a racing team has this sponsor. The blue “Dig Racing Team” was used in this game as an “expert team” as well as Ridge Racer 64.
A Dig Dug character, Pooka, makes a cameo appearance in the game Ridge Racer 64, but the game requires you to go into Time Attack mode on stage 7 or 8 and beat the record. No confirmation is given once you do this. You can even drive as this character.
In the summer of 2000 inline hockey teams honoring Dig Dug sprung throughout the Chicagoland area.
Dig Dug briefly appears in episode 3 of season 5 of The X-Files.
In the Drawn Together episode “The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II”, Wooldoor Sockbat, after being accidentally buried alive, escapes from his coffin and makes his way back to the surface; the animation for this sequence is designed to resemble gameplay from Dig Dug, with a sprite of Wooldoor replacing that of the game’s protagonist. A flashback to this sequence takes place in “A Tale of Two Cows”, only this time featuring both Wooldoor and Live Action Cow.
It has been said that the music for the game show Starcade was inspired from the music for Dig Dug.