Welcome to another installment of a column dedicated exclusively to Old School Gamers and Old School Games from the Golden Age of gaming. These gamers, back in the day, had to physically use a coin or token to start a video game. The earning of these coins was mostly accomplished after some form of work, usually the hard or difficult variety. After earnings were paid to the gamer, there was the trip to the ARCADE. ARCADE is written in ALL CAPS because it is the Old School Gamer’s origin and sanctuary. It was, and shall always be remembered, as a hallowed place. Respect your origins. -Joel West (arcade legend and column originator) R.I.P.

The follow up to Namco’s first major arcade hit,Galaxian (1979), the initial development of Galaga(1981) was in response to an excess number ofGalaxian circuit boards. On task, Shigeru Yokoyama and his team switched gears and got to dream big when Namco’s hardware research and devel- opment group convinced them to use their new enhanced board. The outcome: an arcade classic that’s still going strong, with an unquenchable thirst for Washington’s head. With over a dozen nostalgic throwback adaptations, including the popular Arcade1UP home arcade, the Galaga craze is being passed down throughout the generations.

Released by Midway Games in North America 1981, the object of Galaga is to survive as long as

possible by destroying as many ships as possible while avoiding their attacks. As you eliminate a convoy of Galaga forces, the next wave of Grunts, Guards, and Galaga Bosses will be tougher than the last. Enemy ships equipped with tractor beams can capture your ship, taking a life. If you have addi- tional ships, the seized starfighter can be rescued to fight by your side, doubling your firepower.

Galaga’s arcade settings allow for several different playing formats: Tournament Settings(TGTS) (5 Lives, No Extra Ships, Rank D hardest setting), Marathon (3 Lives, Extra Ship @ 20k, 70kand every 70k thereafter, Rank D), and Rapid Fire(same as marathon settings with the addition ofrapid fire). Rapid Fire is a fun way to blast alien foes out of the sky, but the highest honors amongst the community is given to those who can slay underMarathon or Tournament Settings (TGTS).

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