Galaga is a classic arcade game that was released by Namco in 1981

Galaga Golden Age Video Game

Galaga is a classic arcade game that was released by Namco in 1981.

It is a sequel to the earlier game Galaxian and is considered one of the best arcade games of all time. Galaga is a fixed shooter game, in which the player controls a spaceship and must destroy waves of enemy aliens that fly in formation across the screen.



The game is divided into stages, each of which is comprised of several waves of aliens. The aliens move in predetermined patterns, but become increasingly more difficult to defeat as the game progresses. The player's spaceship is equipped with a laser cannon that can fire single shots or rapid bursts, and can also be moved left and right across the bottom of the screen.

The gameplay of Galaga is notable for its unique feature, the "Challenging Stage".

Galaga Gameplay

After every two regular stages, the player is presented with a bonus stage in which enemy aliens fly onto the screen in formation and the player must destroy as many as possible before the time runs out. If the player manages to destroy all of the aliens, they are rewarded with a bonus score and an additional life.



Throughout the game, the player can collect power-ups that enhance their firepower and abilities. These power-ups include a "double ship" that allows the player to control two ships at once, a "triple shot" that fires three lasers at once, and a "tractor beam" that can capture the player's ship and temporarily immobilize it. If the player loses a life, they lose any collected power-ups and must start over with basic abilities.



Scoring in Galaga is based on the number of aliens destroyed, with different values assigned to different types of aliens. Shooting certain aliens in specific patterns can also trigger bonus scores, and the player can earn additional points by clearing waves of aliens without losing a life.

About the Creator:


The creator of Galaga is Masanobu Endo, a Japanese video game designer who worked for Namco (now Bandai Namco) during the golden age of arcade games in the 1980s. Endo was born on May 20, 1955, in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Yokohama National University. He joined Namco in 1977 as a programmer and worked on a number of arcade games, including Galaxian, the predecessor to Galaga.

Endo is credited with designing Galaga, which was released in 1981 and went on to become one of the most successful arcade games of all time. His innovative design and gameplay mechanics, including the "Challenging Stage" and power-ups, helped make Galaga a beloved classic of the video game industry.

After Galaga, Endo continued to work in the video game industry and designed several other games, including Gaplus, Warp & Warp, and Blazer. He left Namco in the late 1980s and went on to work for other game development companies, including Toaplan and CAVE. In 2015, Endo was awarded the Pioneer Award at the Game Developers Conference, in recognition of his contributions to the video game industry.

Today, Endo is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of arcade games, and his innovative designs and gameplay mechanics continue to influence game development today. Galaga remains a beloved classic of the video game industry and a testament to Endo's talent and creativity.


The Galaga arcade machine was built using hardware similar to other arcade machines of the era. Here are the specifications for the Galaga arcade machine:

CPU: The Galaga arcade machine was powered by a Zilog Z80 microprocessor, which was a common CPU used in arcade machines of the time. The Z80 ran at a clock speed of 3.072 MHz.

Memory: The Galaga arcade machine had 32KB of ROM for the game code, and 1KB of RAM for the game's data and variables. This was enough to store the game code and data, as well as keep track of the player's score, lives, and other game elements.

Graphics: The Galaga arcade machine used a CRT monitor to display the game's graphics. The monitor had a resolution of 224 x 288 pixels, with a refresh rate of 60Hz. The graphics were displayed in color using a color palette of 16 colors.

Sound: The Galaga arcade machine had a mono speaker for sound output. The sound was generated using a custom sound chip, which was able to produce a variety of sound effects and music for the game.

Controls: The Galaga arcade machine had a joystick and two buttons for controls. The joystick was used to move the player's spaceship left and right, while the buttons were used to fire the laser cannon and activate power-ups.

Power: The Galaga arcade machine required 120 volts AC power to operate, and consumed approximately 185 watts of power during gameplay.


Galaga Cocktail table and upright arcade cabinets

The Galaga arcade machine was housed in a standard arcade cabinet, which was made of wood and had a painted finish. The cabinet featured artwork depicting the game's characters and gameplay, and had a marquee at the top of the cabinet that displayed the game's title.

Overall, the Galaga arcade machine was a typical arcade machine of the early 1980s. It used standard hardware components and was designed to be durable and reliable for long periods of use in arcade settings. Despite its relatively simple specifications by today's standards, the Galaga arcade machine remains a beloved classic of the video game industry, and continues to be enjoyed by fans and collectors around the world.


Galaga was a massive success and remains one of the most beloved arcade games of all time. It was ported to a variety of home consoles and personal computers, and inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs. The game's distinctive alien designs, music, and sound effects have become iconic, and its gameplay has been imitated and emulated by countless other games.

In popular culture, Galaga has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, and other media. It was famously featured in the 1997 film "The Fifth Element", in which the main character plays a virtual reality version of the game. The game has also been referenced in songs, such as the hit single "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia.



Galaga marquee panel as seen in 1980's arcade machines
Galaga is a classic arcade game that has stood the test of time. Its fast-paced gameplay, challenging stages, and unique power-ups have kept players coming back for more for over four decades. With its iconic design and enduring popularity, Galaga remains a beloved classic of the video game industry.

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