Galaxian is a 1979 fixed shooter arcade video game developed and published by Namco. The player assumes control of the Galaxip starfighter in its mission to protect Earth from waves of aliens. Gameplay involves destroying each formation of aliens, who dive down towards the player in an attempt to hit them.
Designed by company engineer Kazunori Sawano, Galaxian was Namco's answer to Space Invaders, a similar space shooter released the previous year by rival developer Taito. Space Invaders was a sensation in Japan, and Namco wanted a game that could compete against it. Sawano strove to make the game simplistic and easy to understand.
Galaxian - NES version
He was inspired by the cinematic space combat scenes in Star Wars, with enemies originally being in the shape of the film's TIE Fighters. Galaxian is one of the first video games to feature RGB color graphics and the first ever to use a tile-based hardware system, which was capable of animated multi-color sprites as well as scrolling, though the latter was limited to the starfield background while the game itself remained a fixed shooter.
Galaxian was Namco's first major arcade video game hit. It was the second highest-grossing arcade video game of 1979 and 1980 in Japan and the second highest-grossing of 1980 in the United States, where it became one of the best-selling arcade games of all time with 50,000 arcade units sold by 1982. The game was celebrated for its gameplay and usage of true color graphics. In retrospect, it has gained fame for its historical importance and technological accomplishments. Its success led to several sequels and reimaginings; most notable of these is Galaga, which usurped the original in popularity. Galaxian has also been ported to many home systems and is included in numerous Namco compilations.
Galaxian is a space-themed fixed shooter. The player controls a starship called the 'Galaxip', the objective being to clear each round of aliens. The enemies appear in formation towards the top of the screen, with two escort ships, labeled the 'Galaxian Flagship' or 'Galboss'. Enemies will make a divebomb towards the bottom of the screen while shooting projectiles in an attempt to hit the player. The Galaxip can only fire a single shot at a time, and the player must wait for it to either hit an enemy or the top of the screen before being able to fire another, due to limitations of the hardware.
Flagships will make a divebomb with two red escort ships - shooting all three of these will award the player bonus points, with extra points awarded to the destruction of the flagship. Enemy movement will increase as the game progresses alongside the number of shots that the enemies fire. Rounds are indicated by small flags at the bottom of the screen. The game's attract mode featured a slim scenario, reading 'WE ARE THE GALAXIANS. MISSION: DESTROY ALIENS'.
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The NES version of Galaxian was originally controlled via the NES controller with a cross-shaped joypad and two action buttons. The basic description of game controls is summarized in the table below. Detailed description of how to play this game can be found a in the attached game manual. Please note that individual
gamepad buttons are emulated by different keys on your PC keyboard depending on the settings of your online emulator (see the table next to the game).
Use the D-pad to direct the ship along the bottom of the screen. Push left to move the ship to the left, and right to move the ship to the right. Your ship can not pass beyond the side of the screen.
Press A or B button to send one missile directly above your position. You can only send one missile out at a time, but you have an unlimited supply of them.
Same function as button A.
Press Select on the title screen menu to select between a one or two player game.
Use to start the game. Press during play to pause. Press again to resume play.
This version of Galaxian was designed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was an eight-bit video game console manufactured
by Nintendo in the years 1983 - 2003. In that time, it was the best-selling video game console for which more than 700 licensed games and a number of non-licensed
games were created. Worldwide, approximately 62 million units of this console were sold at approximately price $ 100 per unit. More information about the
NES console can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
6 different online emulators are available for Galaxian. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Galaxian are summarized in the following table:
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