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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 and doubling the players' firepower. Galaga '88 even allowed the player to do the same with a third ship. 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.
Galaga is one of the few classic arcade games to still be profitable. It was released in a combination arcade game with Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man in 2001.
Galaga has examples of:
- Attract Mode
- Bonus Stage
- Breather Level: Several levels have enemies that do not fire until they are in formation.
- Bug War
- Bullet Hell: The Game Boy port of Galaga: Destination Earth does this, but only with the bullet speed rather than through bullet spam.
- Chain-Reaction Destruction: The final boss in Galaga '88 is chain-explosive.
- Difficulty by Acceleration
- Easter Egg
- Endless Game: Until Galaga '88, there was no ending.
- The Eighties
- Hostage Spirit Link: Subverted. If you hit a captured fighter, nothing happens other than a point bonus, because you already got punished by losing one life.
- Kill Screen: Except on the highest difficulty level.
- Multiple Endings: In Galaga '88.
- Nintendo Hard: Gaplus and Galaga'88.
- Shoot'Em Up
- Urban Legend of Zelda: The triple ship legend. However, it was finally made possible in Galaga '88.
- Word Puree Title