Galaga: Demons of Death (NES)

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Galaga: Demons of Death
Galaga - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1985
Developer: Namco
For other games in the series, see Galaga.

Galaga: Demons of Death (released in Japan and Europe simply as Galaga) is a port of the arcade game of the same name. It was developed by Namco and published by Bandai, ironic seeing as the two would later merge together as Bandai Namco Games.

The game plays a bit similar to Taito's Space Invaders (ARC). In the game, the players take control of what is called a Fighter; a spacecraft at the bottom of the screen. Alien lifeforms appear and start floating in fixed positions on the top of the screen. After all the enemies for the stage appear, groups start descending the screen in attempt to dispatch the player, as they die in one hit. Most of the aliens die in one hit, but the Boss Galagas and other aliens found later in the game take more hits to dispatch. After the first few stages, a "triple formation" can occur, in which one alien splits up into three new aliens. The Boss Galagas have a special ability; sometimes when they attack the player, they'll deploy their tractor beam. If the player's Fighter is caught in the tractor beam, it is captured and the player must rescue it. If the player successfully hits the Boss Galaga and not the ship, rather than earn an extra life, the rescued Fighter will align alongside the player's Fighter and will act as a double shot. However, this can also be destroyed in one hit.

Every few stages, the player is introduced to a bonus stage. Here, 40 enemies fly in a pattern and fly off screen, and the player must dispatch as many as possible to attain a high score, thus netting extra lives.

The NES version is about on par with the arcade original, though it suffered the usual setbacks in audio and graphics, but most players and critics found it enjoyable and good enough compared to the arcade version. The game was later released for the Wii Virtual Console, but most would prefer just playing the arcade version on a modern console.


Galaga - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Galaga - NES - Gameplay.png

Shooting with two Fighter jets.

Galaga - NES - Capture Music.png

A Fighter has been captured by the Boss Galaga's tractor beam!

Galaga - NES - Rescue Music.png

Rescuing my Fighter.

Galaga - NES - Challenging Stage Perfect.png

Perfect score on the Challenging Stage!

Galaga - NES - Result.png

The end of the game.


Galaga's music is taken from the arcade game by Nobuyuki Ohnogi. Fortunately, Ohnogi returned to port his arcade soundtrack to the NES, ensuring for an accurate sound, at least compared to what the 2A03 could offer at the time. Most of the music and sound effects are note-for-note.

The game's soundtrack consists entirely of short fanfares and jingles. The song titles are taken from the iTunes release by Bandai Namco Games. However, the songs and sounds aren't clearly identified, and so we have added the tracks deemed by the page (see below) as music. Credit Sound is not used in the game, as no credits are required to play the game. Also, the 1st place Name Entry theme is missing from the arcade version; only the 2nd~5th place theme is present, which plays at the Results screen when the game is over. This track loops two times before abruptly stopping, and doesn't loop endlessly like the arcade version. Also, the track "In-Game Ambience" from the aforementioned soundtrack is actually two separate alternating sound effects in the NES version, so both are recorded below.

Ohnogi wrote the music in 6502 assembly using a sound driver written by himself and Fukashi Ohmorita.


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Credit Sound Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:01
02 Start Music Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:07
03 In-Game Ambience 1 Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:04
04 In-Game Ambience 2 Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:04
05 Capture Music Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:04
06 Rescue Music Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:04
07 Mistake Music Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:03
08 Challenging Stage (Start) Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:02
09 Challenging Stage (Perfect) Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:07
10 Challenging Stage (Clear) Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:07
11 Name Entry (2nd~5th Place) Nobuyuki Ohnogi 0:20


(Source: Various sources, including verification from composer; Game lacks credits)

Like most Namco games at the time, the game lacks credits. The entire development team of the original arcade version of Galaga has been revealed by several online sources. Before his unfortunate passing, we had received verification from Fukashi Ohmorita that Ohnogi ported his own music to the NES. Ohmorita also explained that he helped compress Ohnogi's sound driver to use less memory.


Game Rip




Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Galaga - FC - Japan.jpg
Title: ギャラガ (Galaga)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1985-02-15
Publisher: Namco
  USA.svg   USA
Galaga - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Galaga: Demons of Death
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-09-??
Publisher: Bandai
  EU.svg   EU
Galaga - NES - Europe.jpg
Title: Galaga
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-??-??
Publisher: Bandai
  Japan.svg   Japan
Title: ギャラガ (Galaga)
Platform: Famicom Disk System
Released: 1990-06-22
Publisher: Namco