Almost every adult remembers the “Golden Age” of Video Gaming. Most would say this included arcade games from 1978 to 1983. If you were to ask someone what the five most popular games of that era were, Galaga would always be mentioned. It was, and is, one of the most popular games created in arcade industry. In 1981, Galaga was published by Namco in Japan and by Midway in North America.

It is considered a sequel to the less popular game, “Galaxian”. In Galaga, you control a space ship at the bottom of the screen, scrolling left and right in order to avoid oncoming bombs and kamikaze attacks from alien invaders, and to fire your own missiles to fight back. The blue, yellow, and red alien insects are bees. The white, orange, and blue ones are butterflies. Sometimes the bees are referred to as hornets or wasps and the butterflies are referred to as moths. There are hundreds of stages to progress through. In Stage 1, the enemies do not drop bombs as they fly onto the screen, however, they do so in most of the later stages. As players progress through each screen, the speed and

number of alien attacks increases. Alien formations also become more complex, making the aliens harder to shoot. Every third level is a “challenge stage” in which you have a free chance to shoot as many aliens as possible and rack up bonus points. The object is to shoot as many of them as possible before they leave the play area. You receive bonus points when you destroy an entire formation of eight Galagans. If all forty aliens are destroyed, players are awarded a special bonus of 10,000 points. Certain aliens have tractor beams they can use to capture one of your ships. If that wasn’t your last “life,” you can try to shoot that alien down and recapture your ship, giving you two ships at once and doubling your firepower. The two-ship advantage is key to a longer game.

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Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (391 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.