Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Galaga (Namco rev. B)

Galaga (c) 09/1981 Namco.

A sequel to "Galaxian" - itself an answer to Taito's legendary "Space Invaders" - Galaga improves on its predecessor in a number of ways. The graphics are a little sharper and smoother, for example, but the real improvements are in the game-play. The alien movement patterns are more dynamic than those in Galaxian, with kamikaze dives being not only more frequent, but perceptively more aggressive.

Another new addition to the game-play comes in the form of the 'Tractor Beam'; if the player allows an alien to capture one of their ships in its tractor beam, it's possible to shoot the offending alien, thus releasing the ship, which will then 'dock' alongside the player's current ship and double their firepower. To free the captured ship, the player must destroy the captor Galaga while it is attacking, otherwise the captured ship will be destroyed. This allowed for skilled players to deliberately allow one of their ships to be captured, giving them the opportunity to upgrade their firepower. Ships are lost when hit by enemies, while Dual ships are destroyed individually.

The third stage and every fourth stage afterwards is a challenging stage where the enemies don't attack. 5 sets of 8 enemies (40 total) fly in formations for several seconds before exiting the screen. The player must shoot as many enemies as he or she can to earn bonus points, with 10,000 points awarded if ALL 40 aliens are destroyed.


Galaga machines came in four formats (not counting bootlegs, which were all different) :

* Upright machines were the most common, and accounted for the vast majority of all Galaga machines. They were in cabinets that were identical to the "Pac-Man"/"Galaxian" design, and most of them were black (although a few white ones were made as well. White Galagas, if they are factory made, are usually converted "Bosconians". Bosconian never sold well, but Galaga did). The sideart consisted of a large oval shaped sticker with an image of one of the buglike enemy ships. Two different marquees exist. The common one is a green 'Galaga' logo on a black background, while the alternate one is a (totally different) gold 'Galaga' logo on a white background. The control panel features blue graphics and a single 2-Way joystick, a fire button, and start buttons. Most machines also have a large sticker on the kickplate (front panel), that is another picture of the same bug ship that adorns the side of the machine (this sticker is also available as a repro, but Namco doesn't have any more originals left).

* The mini cabinet is a much smaller copy of the basic upright design (about a foot shorter, a foot shallower, and 6 inches narrower). These are finished in woodgrain and black, and seldom have any sideart. The marquee and control panel graphics match those of the upright.

* The cocktail cabinet is a standard woodgrain Namco cocktail with a small control panel on each end, and some subtle 'Galaga' labels underneath the glass (most cocktail tables look very similar to one another, and this one is no exception). These are generally the most valuable of all the Galaga machines (mainly due to the fact that they don't require a truck to haul, and look smaller in the eyes of the significant other, even though they technically eat a lot more floor space, as they need chairs on both ends.

Namco also produced a 'portable' in very limited numbers. These used smaller screens and were similar in appearance to the little pay televisions that you might encounter in a bus station. They were designed for use on buses and airplanes, although very few of them ever saw service in that way.

Game ID : GG

Main CPU : Z80 (x3), MB88xx

Sound Chips : Namco 3-channel WSG, discrete circuitry (for the ship explosion sound)

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 288 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 32 (16 colors for tiles + 16 colors for sprites)

Players : 2

Control : 2-way joystick

Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


Licensed to Bally Midway for US manufacture and distribution (12/1981).

Although Galaga was a superior game, it didn't sell the large numbers that its predecessor did. One of the first games with a bonus stage.

The game 'rolls over' at 999,990 points. The player 1 score counter is six digits, but the player 2 counter is seven digits. Therefore, most good players start a 2 players game and play exclusively on the player 2 side so their score won't 'roll over' at 999,990. After the 1,000,000 mark, new ships are no longer awarded.

After finishing the 255th stage, the next level is displayed as 'Stage 0' but no more enemies ever appear. The player can continue to move the ship and fire, but there is no way to advance to the next level or to die. To play again, the machine must be reset.

If you have more than 7 extra men, the marker for the screen will only show 7 1/2 (!) men remaining. Additional extra men will still be credited, even though they won't show on the screen.

Stephen Krogman holds the official record for this game with 15,999,990 points.

A bootleg of this game is called "Gallag". A hack is known as "GATsBEe".

A Galaga unit appears in the 1983 movie 'WarGames', in the in 1983 movie 'Spring Break' (being played by one of the main characters), in the 1984 movie 'The Karate Kid', and in the 1987 movie 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'.


Blue/yellow bug ship : 50 points in formation or 80 points in flight.

Red/white bug ship : 80 points in formation or 160 points in flight.

Boss Galaga : 150 points in formation or 400 points in flight.

Boss Galaga : 800 points in flight with one wingman.

Boss Galaga : 1,600 points in flight with two wingmen.

Light blue attacking bug ship : 160 points each, 1000 points for destroying all 3.

Light green attacking bug ship : 160 points each, 2000 points for destroying all 3.

Galaxian attacking bug ship : 160 points each, 3000 points for destroying all 3.

Challenging Stage : 100 points per ship destroyed if less than 40.

Challenging Stage : 10,000 points for destroying all 40 ships (perfect).

Challenging Stage : 1000, 1500, 2000 or 3000 points for destroying a complete formation of 8 ships depending on the stage.


* Easter Egg :

1) Enter service mode.

2) Keep B1 pressed and enter the following sequence : Right(x5), Left(x6), Right(x3), Left(x7). '(c) 1981 NAMCO LTD.' will be added at the bottom of the screen.

* Enemy Stop Shooting : on the first stage, kill everything but the two bees in the bottom left corner. Then just wait, dodging the bees' shots, until the bee no longer drops any shots towards you. After the bees stop firing, let it pass for 2 more trips and then kill them. For the rest of the game, the enemies will not drop shots. It will take approximately 15 minutes for the bees to quit shooting at you, so this trick requires a lot of patience. Note : in a 2-player game, only one person has to do the cheat for both players to benefit. But as soon as 1 of the players game is over the bees begin shooting again.

* (BUG) Take The Control Of The Ship For Free : during the Galaga demo, the Galaga character comes down and tries to tractor-beam up the player's ship. As soon as that tractor-beam starts, the player can take control of the ship in the demo. The player has two choices here and this will effect how the game handles this bug : If the player allows himself to be captured, the demo will continue as normal and he has the option of controlling the player ship or not. The player can choose whether to save the captured ship, try to complete the level, etc. The demo mode will complete after 30 seconds and the high-score screen will appear. If the player takes control of the ship and destroys the Galaga with the tractor beam, some of the characters on the screen will freeze while others are still moving and doing what they are suppose to be doing. This will last 15-20 seconds, then the game will go to the high score screen.

* Challenging stages are easier if the high score numbers are used to refine your aim. These tips assume a 6-digit high score :

1) On the first 2 challenging stages, aim your ships so that your left set of bullets falls between the second and third numbers in the high score list.

2) On subsequent challenging stages, aim one set of your bullets between the first and second numbers in the high score list (if the units come from the left) or between the last and next-to-last numbers (if the units come from the right). This will allow you to hit descending enemies at the highest possible point.

* Here Is A neat (and useless) Galaga Trick : it is possible to end the game with a 200% ratio. The 200% hit-miss ratio trick can only be done with your first shot of the game. When the game starts, don't move, and fire only one shot. If you time it correctly, two enemies will be killed at once. Let your remaining ships be destroyed, and presto : a better-than-perfect result.


1. Galaxian (1979)

2. Galaga (1981)

3. Gaplus (1984) also known as "Galaga 3".

4. Galaga '88 (1987)

5. Galaxian3 (1990)

6. Galaxian3 Theatre 6 : Project Dragoon (1990)

7. Galaxian3 Theatre 6 J2 : Attack Of The Zolgear (1994)

8. Galaga - Destination Earth (2000, Nintendo Game Boy Color, PC CD-ROM and Sony PlayStation)


Music by : Nobuyuki Ohnogi


* Consoles :

Atari 7800 (1984)

Nintendo Famicom (1988)

Nintendo Famicom Disk (1990)

Nintendo Game Boy (1995, "Galaga & Galaxian")

Sony PlayStation (1995, "Namco Museum Vol.1")

Sony PlayStation (1995, "Tekken") : you can play the game while the main game loads. Only the challenging stages are included.

Nintendo 64 (1999, "Namco Museum 64")

Sega Dreamcast (1999, "Namco Museum")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2001, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo GameCube (2002, "Namco Museum")

Microsoft XBOX (2002, "Namco Museum")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Nintendo GameCube (2005,"Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Sony PSP (2005, "Namco Museum Battle Collection") : a brand new "Arrangement" version unique to this port is also featured.

Microsoft XBOX 360 (2006, as a downloadable Live Arcade game)

* Computers :

Commodore C64 (1982)

Tandy Color Computer (1984, "Galagon")

MSX (1984)

Fujitsu FM-7 (1985)

Fujitsu FM-77 (1985)

Sharp MZ2500

PC [MS-DOS] (1997, "Champ Galagon" - CHAMProgramming)

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

* Others :

Arcade (1995, "Namco Classics Collection Vol.1")

Mobile Phones (2004)

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game (2004 - Jakk's Pacific)

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game Wireless Version (2005 - Jakk's Pacific)