Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade game and the sequel to Galaxian. It was released by Namco in 1981; the US version was released the same year under license to Midway.


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/her a life), enabling him/her to control two ships simultaneously. The game is over when the player's last ship is destroyed or captured.

Galaga introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, Galaxian. Among these are a realistic explosion sound that occurs when the player loses a life, a count of the player's "hit/miss ratio" at the end of the game, and a bonus "Challenging Stage" that occurs every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player.

Release history

Galaxian series

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

Ports and re-releases

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

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

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

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. This version has been released both in the arcade and 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.


Although Galaga was never officially released for the Commodore 64, a game called Galaxy, released by Kingsoft, was an almost exact clone. Gameplay was somewhat slower, but the tractor beam and tandem fire features were included.

A remake of the game was created by Edgar Vigdal in the early nineties for the Amiga called Deluxe Galaga. He also released a Windows compatible version called Warblade.

Galaga in popular culture

  • The TV series Lost included a submarine named Galaga, in honor of the arcade game. Writers of the series would often play the game between writing sessions.
  • In 1982, MGM sent a Galaga machine to Matthew Broderick for him to practice prior to shooting the movie WarGames. He practiced for two months and the Galaga arcade unit makes two appearances in the film.

Further reading

  • Sellers, John (2001). Arcade Fever: The Fan's Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games. Running Press. ISBN 0-7624-0937-1.


External links

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