Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan and published by Midway in North America in 1981. It is the sequel to Galaxian, released in 1979. The gameplay of Galaga puts the player in control of a space ship which is situated on the bottom of the screen. At the beginning of each stage, the area is empty, but over time, enemy aliens

A screenshot of the original game.

fly in formation, and once all of the enemies arrive on screen, they will come down at the player's ship in formations of one or more and may either shoot it or collide with it. During the entire stage, the player may fire upon the enemies, and once all enemies are vanquished, the player moves onto the next stage.

Galaga has proven very successful. The arcade version of it has been ported to many consoles, and it has had several sequels, most recently Galaga Legions for the Xbox Live Arcade service.


Galaga introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, Galaxian. Among these are an explosion sound that occurs when the player loses a life, the ability to fire more than one bullet at a time, a count of the player's "hit/miss ratio" at the end of the game, and a bonus "Challenging Stage" that occurs at level three, and from then onwards every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player's ship or trying to crash into it. These stages award a large point bonus if the player manages to destroy every enemy.The objective of Galaga is to score as many points as possible by destroying insect-like enemies. The player controls a fighter spaceship that can move left and right along the bottom of the playfield. Enemies fly in groups into a formation near the top of the screen, then begin flying down toward the player, firing bombs at and attempting to collide with the fighter. Occasionally, a "boss Galaga" attempts to capture the player's fighter using a tractor beam – if successful, the fighter joins the formation and must be freed by the player (using another ship and costing him a life), enabling him to control two ships simultaneously. If the boss is destroyed while still in formation with a captured fighter, the fighter will disappear after leaving formation and then will appear again on the next level attached to another boss Galaga. If the fighter is shot by the player, it is destroyed and does not return. The game is over when the player's last ship is destroyed or captured.

Galaga has an exploitable bug that can cause the attackers to stop firing bullets at the player, due to a coding error. In addition, similar to the famous "Split-Screen bug" in Pac-Man, a bug exists in Galaga in which the game "rolls over" from Level 255 to Level 0. Depending on the difficulty setting of the machine, this can cause the game to stall, requiring that the machine be reset or power-cycled in order to start a new game.

Release History

Galaxian seriesEdit

  1. Galaxian (1979)
  2. Galaga (1981);)
  3. Gaplus/Galaga 3 (1984)
  4. Galaga '88 (1987)
  5. Galaga Legions (2008)
  6. Galaga Wars (2016)

Ports and re-releasesEdit

The original arcade version of Galaga has been ported to several systems. These include:

  • Atari 7800
  • Game Boy (bundled with its direct predecessor, Galaxian)
  • GameTap
  • MSX
  • NES (distributed by Bandai America)
  • Sega SG-1000
  • TurboGrafx-16
  • Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer (as a clone named Galagon by Spectral Associates)
  • PS4

The game has been re-released on the following systems:Edit

  • Virtual Console – NES port released in North America on April 9, 2007; Arcade version released in Japan on November 24, 2009.
  • Xbox Live Arcade – Released July 26, 2006.
  • iPhone (Galaga REMIX, includes original) – Released March 31, 2009.
  • PlayStation Network - Released July 16, 2009 in North America; April 1st, 2010 in Australia and Europe.

Galaga has also been released as part of the Namco Museum series of collections across several platforms:Edit

  • Nintendo 64 (Namco Museum 64)
  • Nintendo DS (Namco Museum DS)
  • PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance (Namco Museum)
  • PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Microsoft Windows (Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection)
  • PlayStation Portable (Namco Museum Battle Collection)
  • PlayStation (as part of Namco Museum Volume 1)
  • Dreamcast (Namco Museum)
  • Xbox 360 (Namco Museum Virtual Arcade)
  • PlayStation 3 (Namco Museum Essentials)

In 2001 Namco released a "20 Year Reunion / Class of 1981" arcade unit which contained the original Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga games. Some of the original game's bugs are still present in this version, including the ability to stop all enemies from firing at the player. This version added a continue feature, once the player's lives are exhausted, the player can choose to continue or start over.

Namco most recently released Galaga on mobile platforms, starting in 2004. The game is available for play on most game-enabled cell phones, Palm devices and Pocket PCs. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the game, Sprint is also offering their wireless subscribers the chance to start the game in Dual Fighter Mode.


In 1995, Namco re-released Galaga along with an enhanced remake titled Galaga Arrangement, which features a number of graphical enhancements and gameplay differences from the original. Galaga Arrangement has subsequently been published as part of the Namco Museum compilation on several home video game consoles. Another remake, Galaga: Destination Earth, was released in 1998 for Windows, the Sony PlayStation, and the Game Boy Color.

A "Galaga Remix" game was part of the 2007 Wii compilation Namco Museum Remix, but its gameplay completely unlike that of the original – the Wii remote is used as a gun, and players must "protect Pac-Man as he rolls through space, and quickly shoot down invading forces before they attack him."



When the player has the starfighter shoot at enemies, it is very hard to rapidfire. To rapidfire at an enemy, the fire button must be pressed repeatedly, not held down like real weapons or in current video games. Shooting at enemies also makes a different type of starfighter make a certain noise.

Moving and Agility Edit

When moving in this game, the player can only move from left to right or right to left depending on which

Popularity Edit

Galaga is well-known and popular in many countries, namely Japan, the USA and UK. In Japan at the time of Galaga's release, arcade space shooters such as Space Invaders were very successful. Players who enjoy Galaga are able to learn fast reflexes, hand-eye coordination skills and logic/planning scenarios.

Cabinet for the game.

Cabinet Design Edit

The cabinet of the arcade game was black with a Galaga logo on the top part of the front. It has artwork of a Space Bug on the bottom part of the front. You see the controls and the screen on the front, and the sides are other artworks of a Space Bug. The cabinet was the box thing

Glitches Edit

  • In Galaga, there are a few notable glitches. One is where when the Yellow Minion is turning into a bonus ship, as its wings turn red, if you die the next time you come back up the wings will stay red until you kill the ship. (It works better in 2 player mode, because it's amusing to see it after someone else plays for a while.)
  • Occasionally, a ship may turn into something the shape of a barcode, possibly, but this has to do with a bug in the series.
  • In the very beginning, you can shoot 2 ships at a time, and then with out killing anymore, let them kill you. You will get 200% out of 100% for firing 1 shot hitting 2 ships.
  • If you kill all but the two leftmost (or rightmost) blue ships and then dodge for 5 to 10 minutes before killing these last two ships, all ships will stop dropping missiles for all levels throughout the rest of the game. For this trick to work you need to keep dodging the last two blue ships until they stop dropping missiles. This trick doesn't work on all versions of the arcade version of Galaga (it does work on the first Midway release, but reportedly not on the "Namco rev b" release). The trick has been reported to work when done on either the 1st or 2nd levels and has also been reported to work when doging only one last blue ship (but it might take longer before it stops dropping missiles).
  • There are a total of 255 stages, if you finish the last stage, it adds an extra stage naming it stage 0. In a few seconds the game will crash and you have to reset it.

Other games in the series Edit

Main article: Galaga (series)

  • Galaxian (1979)
  • Galaga (1981)
  • Gaplus (1984)
  • Galaga Arangement (1986)
  • Galaga '88 (1987)
  • Galaga Legions (2008)
  • Galaga Remix (2009)


Trivia Edit

  • When the red ships are destroyed, they make a "wakka" noise. This is possibly a reference to Pac-Man.
  • The Gyaraga fighter of Galaga makes an appearance in Xeno Fighters EX-R as a selectable fighter with a high power rating, speed, and bomb.
  • In Galaga Remix, you are able to see "Star Bits" from the Nintendo game Super Mario Galaxy.
  • The NES version of Galaga is renamed Galaga: Demons of Death.
  • There are a total of 255 stages in Galaga. But there is a glitch that adds one more, making it stage 0.
  • Boss Galaga appears as an item in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. Also, the Star Fighter appears in Pac-Man's up taunt in both games.