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Galaga Galaga - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Galaga - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


As a spaceship moving left to right at the bottom of the screen, shoot up at enemies as they enter, assemble in formation and fly down at you. If you allowed an alien to capture one of your ships in its tractor beam, you could shoot the foe later and double your fire power!

Galaga was produced by Namco in 1981.

Namco released 310 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1977. Namco was based in Japan.

Other machines made by Namco during the time period Galaga was produced include: Pac-Man, Navarone, SOS, Puck Man, Galaxian, King And Balloon, New Rally-X, Tank Battalion, Warp & Warp, and Batting Chance


Name Galaga
Developer Namco (Japan)
Released by

Namco - Japan (January 1981), Ireland (October 1981)

Bally Midway - United States (October 01 1981)

Year 1981
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 7881
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
Conversion Class Namco Galaga
Dipswitch Settings

Galaga (Namco rev. B) Dipswitch Settings (MAME)

Galaga (Namco) Dipswitch Settings (MAME)

Galaga (Midway set 1) Dipswitch Settings (MAME)

Galaga (Midway set 2) Dipswitch Settings (MAME)

Galaga (Midway set 1 with fast shoot hack) Dipswitch Settings (MAME)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Joystick: 2-way (left, right)
  • Buttons: 1 - Fire
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Cabaret/Mini
  • Cocktail
Bezel Galaga Bezel Image
Control Panel Galaga Control Panel Image
PCB Galaga PCB Image

Game Play

Moving along the bottom of the screen, you shoot at the enemies either in formation or as they fly about. Most enemies are destroyed by one hit, but the Galagas take two hits they turn blue when hit once. You must avoid being hit by enemies and their fire. You must also be aware of the Galaga's tractor beam, which can capture your ship a captured ship turns red. To free the captured ship, you must destroy the captor Galaga while it is attacking you, otherwise the captured ship will be destroyed. When you free a captured ship, it will dock alongside your current ship, thus creating a dual ship.

Ships are lost when you are hit by enemies. Dual ships are destroyed individually.

Galaga KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 4.13 (56 votes)

Fun Factor: 4.32

Overall Like 4.48
Fun (Social) 3.91
Fun (Solo) 4.33
Collector Desire 4.26

Technical Rating: 4.04

Gameplay 4.45
Graphics 4.20
Originality 3.70
Sound/Music 4.00

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

TRICK: If a Galaga's tractor beam starts pulling you in, you will spin about, but you will still be able to shoot at enemies. If you happen to end up shooting upward and destroy the Galaga before you are captured, you will just drop back into play.

TRICK: If you happen to lose a ship to a Galaga and then shoot the Galaga while it is still in formation, the captive ship will remain under enemy control. However, it will only make one attack at you before disappearing. If you allow it to escape, it will return in the next stage unless it's a Challenge Stage with another Galaga, giving you another shot at freeing the ship.

CHEAT: There is a well-known cheat that causes enemy units to stop firing. It works on most, but not all, machines.

  • On the first stage, kill everything but the two bees in the bottom left corner. Then just wait, dodging the bees' shots, until the bee no longer drops any shots towards you.
  • After the bees stop firing, let it pass for five more trips or so and then kill them.
  • For the rest of the game, the enemies will not drop shots. It will take approximately 15 minutes for the bees to quit shooting at you, so this trick requires a lot of patience.

Some people have reported that this trick also works with two bees from the RIGHT side of the screen. Note that in a two-player game, only one person has to do the cheat for both players to benefit.

TRICK: The "Player 1" score counter in Galaga is six digits, but the "Player 2" counter is seven digits. Therefore, most good players start a two-player game and play exclusively on the Player 2 side so their score will not "roll over" at 999990. Challenging stages are easier if the high score numbers are used to refine your aim.

TRICKS: These tips assume a six-digit high score:

  • On the first two challenging stages, aim your ships so that your left set of bullets falls between the second and third numbers in the high score list. On subsequent challenging stages, aim one set of bullets between the first and second numbers in the high score list if the units come from the left or between the last and next-to-last numbers if the units come from the right. This will allow you to hit descending enemies at the highest possible point value.
  • If you have more than seven extra men, the marker for the screen will only show 7 1/2 men remaining. Additional extra men will still be credited, even though they will not show on the screen.
  • Galaga "rolls over" after stage 255. After finishing the 255th level, the screen says "Stage 0" and the machine locks up. I have heard unconfirmed reports in the past that the "Stage 0" problem can be circumvented if the last two numbers in your score at the end of level 255 are ?? 80 is what I remember, but it may be something else.
  • After the 1000000 mark, new ships are no longer awarded.

BUG: A bug exists in Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga Namco Galaga, some Midway Galaga, Gallag bootleg and Nebulous Bee bootleg - Class of '81 that allows a player to play during the Galaga demo screen and even reset the game. The demos are the same for both Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga - Class of '81, and the bug works the same way, but the result is a little different between the two Galagas.

During the Galaga demo, the Galaga character comes down and tries to tractor-beam up the player's ship. As soon as that tractor-beam starts, the player can take control of the ship in the demo. The player has two choices here and this will effect how the game handles this bug:

  • If the player allows himself to be captured, the demo will continue as normal and he has the option of controlling the player ship or not. The player can choose whether to save the captured ship, try to complete the level, etc. The demo mode will complete after 30 seconds and the high-score screen will appear.
  • If the player takes control of the ship and destroys the Galaga with the tractor beam, he will be able to continue playing until the "normal" demo would have completed. At this point the game will do one of two things depending on whether the person is playing an original Galaga or Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga - Class of '81:
    • Galaga: Some of the characters on the screen will freeze while others are still moving and doing what they are suppose to be doing. This will last 15-20 seconds, then the game will go to the high score screen.
    • Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga - The game will make a loud buzz sound, blank the screen and then show a diagnostics screen with the version number of the games, a RAM and ROM test, etc. This screen will stay for approximately ten seconds before returning to the high score screen. If someone needs to know the version of software on their boardset, this can be a handy way of finding out without opening the cabinet.


  • Beer-Aga - Changes the characters into beer bottles.
  • Buglaxian users Galaga graphics in a Galaxian game.
  • Galaga '99 - Changes the graphics to make them look better.
  • Galaga X - Uses Galaga graphics in the game 1942
  • Galagalaxian - Changes the graphics to make them look more like Galaxian.
  • Galapede - Changes the graphics to make them more like those of Centipede.
  • Swarm - Adds a time limit to make the game harder.



One of the first games with a bonus stage.

Along with Pac-Man and Pong, this game shares the curse of being one of the most bootlegged games of all time.

This game can be seen being played in several scenes of the movie War Games by the character David Lightman (Matthew Broderick).

Cabinet Information

Namco also produced very small versions of these games, about the size of a 17-inch monitor, for buses and airplanes.


BOOTLEG: Nebulous Bee

This game was licensed to Bally Midway for US manufacture and distribution.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Galaga Census

There are 14,958 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,547 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,359 machines (6,939 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 1,257 known instances of this machine owned by Galaga collectors who are active members. Of these, 986 of them are original dedicated machines. 70 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 192 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 39 active VAPS members with a Galaga machines for sale. There are 9 active VAPS members with a Galaga circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 85 active VAPS members currently looking for Galaga. There are 2 active VAPS members looking for Galaga boards sets.

This game ranks a 96 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 88 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



The game uses three Z80 microprocessors and a Namco 3-channel PSG for sounds.


  1. Galaxian
  2. Galaga
  3. Gaplus
  4. Galaga '88
  5. Galaxian 3
  6. Attack Of The Zolgear


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade Treasures Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X) Page: 110; Color photo
  2. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 72; Color photo
  3. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 110; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Upright
  2. 3D Model (External): Reproduction arts
  3. 3D Model (External): Upright

See the game at:

This game is available at the following public arcades, bars or museums:

Name Location State Country Details Check-ins
8-Bit Beans 100 Brock St South, Whitby Ontario Canada 0
Bartari 101 Adams Ave, Scranton Pennsylvania United States Arcade Bar (Classic Videogame and Pinball)
Children: Only in daytime
Focus: Classic & Modern Games
Food: Yes
Alcohol: Yes
Payment Method: Coins
Level One Bar + Arcade 130 Hutchinson Ave, Columbus Ohio United States 0
PinBar 501 17 Ave SW, Calgary AB Canada Arcade (Classic Videogame)
Status: Verified

Focus: Classic Games
Food: Yes
Alcohol: Yes
Payment Method: Coins
Sting Rays Bar And Grill 3112 East State Road 60, Valrico Florida United States 0
Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum 109A West Trade St, Simpsonville South Carolina United States Arcade (Classic Videogame)
Children: Allowed
Focus: Classic Games
Food: No
Alcohol: No
Payment Method: Admission Charge

eBay Listings

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Official Galaga / Zig Zag Video Arcade Game (2 CPU) Working

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Arcade1up Ms Pac-Man Galaga Class of 81' Deluxe Arcade Game - Blue

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Arcade1Up 2 Games-In-One Galaga Galaxian CounterCade Brand New Sealed

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Arcade Classics Galaga Retro Mini Arcade Game 09622 - Tested

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Galaxian/Galaga joystick with wiring harness, buttons

Auction ends in: 2 weeks, 3 days


Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2016 12 575.00 551.04
2017 9 354.00 523.78
2018 2 1,003.00 1,003.00
All Years 23 575.00 579.67


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