Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Galaga '88

Galaga '88 (c) 12/1987 Namco.

Galaga '88 features similar game-play to its legendary prequels, but incorporates new, somewhat 'cuter' sprites, as well as introducing several new game-play additions to the series; such as triple ship, choice of starting mode, warps and other tricks discovered through game-play.

The game plays much like the original, but players can now opt to start the game with either a single or dual ship (choosing dual means having one less ship as a spare). In either case, enemies fly into their usual formations and can be attacked as they enter the screen. Some waves will have escorts that can be destroyed and some have extra enemies that will fly directly at the player instead of heading into formation.

New types of enemies will appear depending on the position of the player's ship. In addition to escorts, loopers, divers, and Galagas, players encounter balloon-like enemies, puffers that burst into numerous smaller versions of themselves, enemies with shot-proof armor, and more. The loopers are still able to mutate into small enemy formations while the divers can now merge two-to-one and create giant versions of themselves.

The Galagas will attempt to capture the players' ships as before, and this time they can capture duals. If the player frees the dual, all three ships combine to create a super fighter that shoots three big shots at a time. Player ships are lost when hit by an enemy: triples will become duals, duals become singles, and singles just blow up. Singles and duals can also be lost to the Galagas, and to free them players must destroy the captor Galaga during its attack flight, otherwise the captured ship(s) will be destroyed.

In later stages, obstacles will block the player's shots. Destroying these obstacles releases warp capsules that can be used to eventually warp the player's ship to newer, tougher dimensions.

In stage three and during every fourth space stage thereafter (NOT counting the ice planet stages), players enter the Galactic Dancin' Challenge Stage. Like in the original, players attempt to shoot waves of enemies (including a number of Galagas) that fly in a variety of tricky formations that make them hard to hit. After each Challenge Stage, providing the player has collected two Warp Capsules earlier, a dimensional rift will be blown open that transports players into a different and more difficult dimension.


This title was usually sold as a conversion kit (most games were back in 1988). It used the standard JAMMA harness. The marquee showed a gold 'Galaga '88' logo on a field of red teardrops. The side-art had the same picture as the marquee, but without the background. The control panel featured a single 2-Way joystick and a fire button on either side (along with start buttons and game instructions). Many of these machines will have 8-Way joysticks instead of the original 2-Way ones, they are interchangeable as far as this game is concerned.

Namco System 1 hardware

Game ID : G8

Main CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)

Sub CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)

Sound CPU : 6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)

MCU: HD63701 (@ 1.536 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2151 (3.57958 Mhz), Namco advanced 8-channel stereo WSG, stereo DAC

Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 288 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 24-bit RGB palette

Players : 2

Control : 2-way joystick

Buttons : 1 (FIRE)


Licensed to Atari for US distribution.

An homage to "Bosconian" is paid in stages 15-17 (dimension 4) with the green hexagonal space stations in the background, as well as the mines which are used as scenery objects.

Challenging Stage 2 from Dimension 1 is used as a loading game in "Ridge Racer Revolution".

Stephen Krogman holds the official record for this game with 1,575,490 points.

A Galaga '88 machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


* Perfect Bonus : shoot all 40 enemies in the 'That's Galactic Dancin' bonus stages to receive a 'Perfect' bonus just like the challenging stages in the original "Galaga". Initially this bonus is 10,000 points but it increases on later 'That's Galactic Dancin' stages.

* Secret Bonus : during the 'That's Galactic Dancin' bonus stage, don't touch anything : don't shoot and don't move (simply don't touch the joystick); at the end of the dance and after getting ZERO hits and ZERO points, you'll receive a 10,000 points 'Secret Bonus'.

* Pick up two blue items to get a bonus and go to the next harder dimension after completing a 'That's Galactic Dancin' stage. This bonus is also initially 10,000 points but increases each time you achieve it.

* Pick up a purple item which appears on later stages to immediately get a triple firepower ship.


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)


Sound composed by : Hiroyuki Kawada


* Consoles :

NEC PC-Engine (1988)

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

Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary") : initially locked.

Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary") : initially locked.

Nintendo GameCube (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary") : initially locked.

* Computers :

Sharp X68000 (1990)

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