In 1978, Japan's 100-yen coins were diverted away from the usual pachinko parlors to a little phenomenon known as Space Invaders. Meanwhile, the manufacturing company known as Namco was experiencing their own success distributing arcade machines. They decided that not only could they make a Space Invaders-type game, they could expand and improve upon the formula. And so in 1979, Galaxian arrived, and succeeded in stealing away some of the yen from Space Invaders thanks to its improvement in color technology and increased complexity. It was the first game from Namco to run on a Zilog Z80 processor.

Galaxian is officially the first video arcade game to produce true RGB color. All color arcade games prior to Galaxian faked the color by applying colored strips to the screen of a black and white display. Galaxian expanded on Space Invaders by allowing aliens to break away from the formation and go on bombing runs directed at the player. This resulted in far less predictable game play that required an element of skill in addition to strategy, and would spawn a total of four arcade sequels by 1995.

Arcade MegaWing Controls

Game Function Physical Interface Image
Move Up Joystick Up
Move Left Joystick Left
Move Right Joystick Right
Move Down Joystick Down

Game Play

  • Each round begins with a fresh Galaxian formation falling in to place from the top of the screen. In order to finish each round, your goal is to completely eliminate every Galaxian in sight.
  • Your ship will remain a set distance from the formation. You can move left and right, but never up or down. You can fire exactly one bullet at a time. As soon as the bullet hits an enemy or rises off of the top of the screen, another bullet becomes available for you to fire.
  • After a short while, Galaxians will peel off from the formation and begin bombing raids on your ship. It is necessary to eliminate them with fire, or avoid them when they reach your level of the playfield. Once they fly off the screen (the bottom or either of the sides,) they will reappear at the top a few seconds later and typically return to their place in the formation.
  • As the Galaxians descend, they fire a few bullets of their own at you. The bullets are only nominally faster than they are, but collision with either one is equally deadly. If you do not feel that you can safely eliminate the Galaxian in flight, it is best to head towards the corner that is farthest from the direction that the Galaxian is heading in. Be sure to account for who may be coming behind the Galaxian closest to you.
  • As you eliminate more and more Galaxians, the intensity of the bombing raids will increase, with more numbers of Galaxians breaking from the formation to attack you. As you progress through each round, the intensity and the frequency of the attacks also increases.
  • Towards the end of a round, every Galaxian will break formation and fly at you continuously. They will not even stop to return to their formation. If a Flagship is one of the Galaxians left remaining by the end of the round, it will attempt to escape. If it succeeds, it will return with the next formation, resulting in a third Flagship at the top instead of the usual two.


The game is made for the Galaxian hardware and it's available to run on the Papilio One.

a Papilio One 500 with Arcade Megawing is needed to play the game.


Some text on this page comes directly from Strategy Wiki and is reposted under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Some images on this page comes directly from Namedb and are reposted under the name of namedb.


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