Galaga: Wikis


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Galaga flyer.jpg
North American arcade flyer
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Midway
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1981
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 2-way Joystick; button
Cabinet Upright, cocktail, cabaret
Arcade system Namco Galaga
CPU 3x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound 1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz
1x Namco 54xx @ 1.536 MHz

Galaga (ギャラガ Gyaraga?) is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan and published by Midway in North America in 1981. It is the sequel to Galaxian, released in 1979. The gameplay of Galaga puts the player in control of a space ship which is situated on the bottom of the screen. At the beginning of each stage, the area is empty, but over time, enemy aliens fly in formation, and once all of the enemies arrive on screen, they will come down at the player's ship in formations of one or more and may either shoot it or collide with it. During the entire stage, the player may fire upon the enemies, and once all enemies are vanquished, the player moves onto the next stage.

Galaga has proven very successful. The arcade version of it has been ported to many consoles, and it has had several sequels, most recently Galaga Legions for the Xbox Live Arcade service.



Gameplay screenshot

The objective of Galaga is to score as many points as possible by destroying insect-like enemies. The player controls a fighter spaceship that can move left and right along the bottom of the playfield. Enemies fly in groups into a formation near the top of the screen, then begin flying down toward the player, firing bombs at and attempting to collide with the fighter. Occasionally, a "boss Galaga" attempts to capture the player's fighter using a tractor beam – if successful, the fighter joins the formation and must be freed by the player (using another ship and costing him a life), enabling him to control two ships simultaneously. If the boss is destroyed while still in formation with a captured fighter, the fighter will disappear after leaving formation and then will appear again on the next level attached to another boss Galaga. If the fighter is shot by the player, it is destroyed and does not return. The game is over when the player's last ship is destroyed or captured.[1][2]

Galaga introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, Galaxian. Among these are an explosion sound that occurs when the player loses a life, the ability to fire more than one bullet at a time, a count of the player's "hit/miss ratio" at the end of the game, and a bonus "Challenging Stage" that occurs at level three, and from then onwards every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player.[1]

Similar to the famous "Split-Screen bug" in Pac-Man, a bug exists in Galaga in which the game "rolls over" from Level 255 to Level 0. Depending on the difficulty setting of the machine, this can cause the game to stall, requiring that the machine be reset or power-cycled in order to start a new game.

Release history

Galaxian series

  1. Galaxian (1979)
  2. Galaga (1981)
  3. Gaplus/Galaga 3 (1984)
  4. Galaga '88 (1987)
  5. Galaga Legions (2008)

Ports and re-releases

Galaga on the Atari 7800

The original arcade version of Galaga has been ported to several systems. These include:

The game has been re-released on the following systems:

  • Virtual Console – NES port released in North America on April 9, 2007; Arcade version released in Japan on November 24, 2009.
  • Xbox Live Arcade – Released July 26, 2006.
  • iPhone (Galaga REMIX, includes original) – Released March 31, 2009.

Galaga has also been released as part of the Namco Museum series of collections across several platforms:

In 2001 Namco released a "20 Year Reunion / Class of 1981" arcade unit which contained the original Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga games. Some of the original game's bugs are still present in this version, including the ability to stop all enemies from firing at the player. This version added a continue feature, once the player's lives are exhausted, the player can choose to continue or start over.

Namco most recently released Galaga on mobile platforms, starting in 2004. The game is available for play on most game-enabled cell phones, Palm devices and Pocket PCs.[3] In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the game, Sprint is also offering their wireless subscribers the chance to start the game in Dual Fighter Mode.[4]


In 1995, Namco re-released Galaga along with an enhanced remake titled Galaga Arrangement, which features a number of graphical enhancements and gameplay differences from the original. Galaga Arrangement has subsequently been published as part of the Namco Museum compilation on several home video game consoles. Another remake, Galaga: Destination Earth, was released in 1998 for Windows, the Sony PlayStation, and the Game Boy Color.

A "Galaga Remix" game was part of the 2007 Wii compilation Namco Museum Remix, but its gameplay completely unlike that of the original – the Wii remote is used as a gun, and players must "protect Pac-Man as he rolls through space, and quickly shoot down invading forces before they attack him." [5]

Galaga in popular culture

Galaga Christmas tree ornament

In 1982, shortly after Galaga was released in the United States, MGM sent a Galaga machine to Matthew Broderick for him to practice prior to shooting the movie WarGames. He practiced for two months and the Galaga arcade unit makes two appearances in the film.[6] More recently, the ABC TV series Lost included a submarine named Galaga, in honor of the arcade game. Writers of the series would often play the game between writing sessions.[7]

In 2009, the Hallmark greeting card company released a Christmas tree ornament shaped like a Galaga arcade machine, complete with sound clips from the game.

Further reading

  • Sellers, John (2001). Arcade Fever: The Fan's Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games. Running Press. pp. 160 pages. ISBN 0-7624-0937-1. 


External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Galaga.
Developer(s) Namco
Japanese title ギャラガ
Release date(s)
Xbox Live Arcade
Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s) Shooter
System(s) Arcade, Atari 7800, MSX, NES, NEC PC-9801, Fujitsu FM-7, Sharp MZ-1500, Sharp MZ-2500, Sharp X1, Sega SG-1000, Casio PV-2000, Xbox Live Arcade, GameTap, Mobile, Wii Virtual Console
Players 1-2
CERO: All ages
ESRB: Everyone
PEGI: Ages 3+
OFLC: General
Galaga marquee

Galaga is a spiritual successor to Galaxian. Building on the formula established by Galaxian, Galaga introduces several new concepts to the fixed vertical shooting genre that made it incredibly popular in the arcades. It can still be found in arcades to this day, and performs rather well next to more modern day offerings.

The most notable new feature of Galaga is the chance to increase your fire power by intentionally allowing one of the Boss Galagas to capture your Fighter, and rescue it with your next Fighter, returning the original Fighter to your side. Upon rescuing your ship, you are granted side-by-side double fire power, albeit with an increase in size, and therefore, vulnerability. Another popular feature of Galaga was its presentation of Bonus Rounds (dubbed "Challenging Stages") between the action which offered large point awards for perfection.

Galaga seems to represent something of a "sweet spot" in game design, having performed better than either its predecessor or its successor, Gaplus. However, despite its incredible popularity in the arcade, it saw comparatively few official home conversions in the United States. Several homebrew programmers supplied alternate versions stateside, while Japan saw an incredible number of conversions for popular computer models only available in the land of the rising sun.


There is no official story to Galaga. You are simply the only pilot capable of staving off the invasion of the Galaga army, a collection of giant sized insect looking aliens.

Table of Contents

Gameplay summary

Title screen.
  • You control the Fighter at the bottom with the joystick. Press the fire button to fire up at the Galaga formation.
  • The Galaga formation will fly on to the screen in parts until the formation is assembled.
  • You must destroy every enemy in the formation to advance to the next stage.
  • You must avoid contact with every enemy and their bullets.
  • Diving enemies are worth more points than those in formation.
  • The more escorts that a Boss Galaga dives with, the more points it's worth.
  • Occasionally, Boss Galagas will hover in midair and emit a tractor beam. Enter the tractor beam to get captured.
  • Once a Fighter is captured, rescue it (but don't shoot it) from a diving Boss Galaga (not in formation) to have it rejoin you for double fire power.
  • Challenging Stages test your accuracy. Earn more bonus points for more enemies destroyed.


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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


Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Release date 1981
Genre Shmup
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) Arcade
Atari 7800
Game Boy (as part of Arcade Classic 3: Galaga / Galaxian)
Media Cartridge or CD-Rom usually
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Galaga was an extremely popular and successful arcade game created by Namco. The gameplay borrowed from Space Invaders by pitting a single human controlled ship against a fleet of what could quite possibly be alien space ships who "Increase speed, drop down, and reverse direction." The game is a sequel to the highly successful arcade game Galaxian and is followed by both the less successful Gaplus and the highly innovative Galaga '88.

What made it unique from Space Invaders besides the colorful interface was the use of bonus stages and the way enemy ships would fly in at a round swooping formation, a staple of most Shmup games since. Since it became an arcade classic, Galaga has been ported to the NES, Atari 7800, Game Boy, and Mobile phones.


Galaga is similar in gameplay to Galaxian in that the player controls a ship at the bottom of the screen, shooting at an arrangement of aliens at the top. However, it deviates from Galaxian in the following aspects:

  • The aliens no longer simply materialize at the top of the screen; instead, they make a swirling path entrance from the sides of the screen in five groups of eight and enter their positions in formation.
  • One of the aliens, the Galaga Flagship, requires two hits to be destroyed. Also, on occasion, one of them will stop in midflight and hover over the bottom of the screen while emitting a tractor beam which, if the player's ship is caught in it, will beam it toward the flagship and fly in tandem with it, changing from white to red. If the player shoots the flagship that has the captured ship while they are attacking together, the captured ship will change back to white and then hook up to the player's current ship, forming a doubleship that gives the player increased range and firepower. However, the doubleship also becomes a bigger target for the divebombing aliens, since either or both ships can be lost at the same time.
  • On Stages 3,7,11,15,19, and every 4th stage thereafter, the player enters a Challenge Stage where five groups of eight aliens move around in swirling paths on the screen and then disappear without threatening the player. During this time, the player can destroy as many aliens as he can until the stage ends. When it ends, the player is awarded 100 points for every alien destroyed. If all 40 aliens are destroyed, the player earns a 10,000 point bonus.
  • From Stage 4 onward, one of the lower-rung aliens will split into a trio of aliens that, if all three are destroyed, will earn the player bonus points. One of the forms of that the alien trio takes is that of the Galaxian flagship.

This article uses material from the "Galaga" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Galaga is a sci-fi arcade game released by Namco in 1981.

More Reading

  • Sellers, John (2001). Arcade Fever: The Fan's Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games. Running Press, 160 pages. ISBN 0-7624-0937-1.

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