Galaxian (ARC)

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Galaxian
Galaxian - ARC - Cabinet - USA.jpg
Platform: Arcade
Year: 1979
Developer: Namco Limited

Galaxian is a very early space shooter game developed by Namco. Its premise is summarized in two sentences during the attract mode: "We are the Galaxians. Mission: destroy aliens." Its gameplay is not much more complex than that: the player's ship shoots down a series of aliens, all of which start in formation but begin heading down individually to shoot at you. "Flagships" (always at the top of the screen) are worth the most point and always come down with two escort ships: you can get bonus points by shooting all three of them.

As simple as it seems, the game was a commercial success, becoming the second highest-earning arcade game of the year in Japan (just below Space Invaders (ARC), a very similar game which impacted Galaxian's development).

Screenshots

Galaxian - ARC - Opening Screen.png

The attract mode explains the premise and scoring values.
(The flagship is worth a variant amount of points.)

Galaxian - ARC - Credit Inserted.png

Inserting a credit...

Galaxian - ARC - Game Start.png

...and beginning a new game.

Galaxian - ARC - Gameplay 1.png

The aliens start in formation...

Galaxian - ARC - Gameplay 2.png

...but break out to attack you at closer range.

Galaxian - ARC - Gameplay 3.png

Flagships are always accompanied by two escorts.

Music

The game only has one real song, a short jingle played when a new game begins. During gameplay, the only "music" is a pulsing series of notes that amps up the tension.

Recording

The song title below is derived from the album Namco Arcade 80's.

# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Game Start Toshio KaiToshio Kai 0:03
Download

Credits

(Sources: The Untold History of Japan Game Developers Volume 2, "Untold Stories of the Creation of PAC-MAN - Part 1")

The game lacks credits, but outside sources have given insight into the people responsible for its sound.

One chapter of The Untold History of Japan Game Developers Volume 2 is dedicated to an interview with former Namco employee Yoshihiro Kishimoto, which includes a spreadsheet giving credits for various early Namco games. Galaxian's entry there credits Shigeichi Ishimura for its sound. However, an official Namco interview from 2021 mentions in passing that Toshio Kai was responsible for the game's music. Since both men worked on Pac-Man (ARC), which was released a year later, it can be inferred that their contributions to Galaxian follow a similar pattern: Kai handled the music while Ishimura worked on sound effects.

Albums

Namco Arcade 80's

Namco Arcade 80's front cover.jpg

2003-05-21

Game Rip

Format

Download

UNK.png

N/A


There is currently no available rip for the original arcade version of Galaxian, as it uses discrete sound and not a (known) specialized chip.

Audio Devices

The game's hardware has a unique portion dedicated to playing sound.

Releases

  Japan.svg   Japan
Galaxian - ARC - Cabinet - Japan.jpg
Title: ギャラクシアン (Galaxian)
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1979-09-15
Publisher: Namco Limited
  USA.svg   USA
Galaxian - ARC - Cabinet - USA.jpg
Title: Galaxian
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1979-11-??
Publisher: Midway Manufacturing Co.
  EU.svg   EU
Galaxian - ARC - Flyer - EU.jpg
Title: Galaxian
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1979-11-??
Publisher: Namco Limited

Links