Galaga was originally a Namco game that was distributed by Midway in the USA (1981). It was a faster paced sequel to the arcade game called Galaxian (1979). Galaga was one of the most popular arcade games to come out of the 1980’s, and continues to be a favorite. Back in the day, if you had even a little bit of talent, your quarter would last a long time on this game. For those who don’t know, the premise of Galaga was simple: Destroy the alien-insects to earn points and move to the next stage. In the game, the player controlled a starship at the bottom of the screen, which could fire missiles and could be moved left or right. At the beginning of each stage, the alien-insects swarm in formation, and skillfully placed, rapid fire shots could eliminate most of them before the stage officially began. There was a bonus “challenging stage” as well, where the player would try to score as many points as possibly by hitting as many alien-insects in formation as possible. Many of you will remember that one of the tricks of the game was to allow your ship to be captured by an enemy tractor beam, whereby you could rescue it and add it to your current ship to make a double shooter.
There were a number of arcade sequels, including 1984’s Gaplus (also known as Galaga 3), and Galaga ’88 (1987). Although Galaga was not released on the Atari 2600, it was released on the Atari 7800, NES, Game Boy, and later on compilation discs for systems like the Wii, Xbox, PlayStation, and even the Jakk’s Pacific handheld TV unit. There have been a number of enhanced remakes, such as Galaga Arrangement (1995) and Galaga: Destination Earth (1998).