Galaxian was released in October 1979 in Japan.
Galaxian was the first video game to be released with 100 percent of its graphics displayed in true R.G.B. color.
Space battles of all kinds played a major role during the golden age of video games. With the introduction of Galaxian, players were transported to the most colorful and challenging space battle yet.
A place in video game history : "Galaxian captivated the minds of quite a few arcade enthusiasts," said Chris Lindsey, director of the National Video Game and Coin-Op Museum in St. Louis. "It was a relatively early entry in the golden age of video games, and it capitalized on the enthusiasm created by the earlier video game classic, "Space Invaders", while providing a more colorful, enjoyable, and demanding gaming experience.
Galaxian had smarter bad guys than "Space Invaders", and it demanded that the player really pay attention to what was going on. And there were no shields, like many games have today. You really had to stay on the ball. Galaxian also had great sound and used elements that have since become standard -- such as flags and other symbols to mark the player's progression through different levels of game play.".
The great 25-cent escape : "Galaxian definitely gets an enthusiastic response," Lindsey said. "In fact, I deliberately position the game near the entrance of the museum. Often it's the first game people go to." Lindsey often sees parents trying to convey to their child the excitement of these great games. "It is funny for me when I see a father trying to explain a game to his kid. Junior really just wants to get on the game and figure it out, and Dad wants to do a demo. Dad starts instructing Junior while Junior is sort of looking around, wondering how he can get away. But Dad continues, busily explaining the nuances of the game, which he knows Junior can't get on the first play. This all shows the enthusiasm that a certain generation still has for these terrific games."
With or without a parent's help, Lindsey sees a younger generation embracing the classic arcade games. "Kids by themselves will actually do quite well on these games," Lindsey said. "I'm somewhat surprised when I see how good kids are at picking up games. I sort of think that because I'm older, I should be able to play better, and that's not always the case with video games. That's a lesson an entire generation has had to learn.".
Namco notes : Galaxian was one of Namco's first video games, and engineers throughout the company were gathered into a special team. As the game neared completion, the engineers suspected they had created a good game because other Namco employees were extremely "excited and crazy about the game." Once Galaxian was released, they knew they had a winner because, as one Namco engineer reported, "People [at the arcades] piled their coins onto the game cabinets to keep playing, and those who were waiting were very irritated because their turn never came. There were huge lines of people around each machine.".
The Galaxian Flagship became a trademark of Namco as it makes cameo appearances in other Namco classics :
" (1980) and "Pac-Man Plus
" (1982) : The flagship makes an appearance as the bonus fruit in rounds 9 and 10, and is worth 2,000 points if Pac-Man eats it.
" (1981) : The flagship makes an appearance as one of the "transform" ships. It splits into 2, then 3 clones of itself. They are worth 160 points each, and killing all 3 scores a bonus of 3,000 points.
" (1982) : The flagship makes an appearance as the bonus vegetable in rounds 16 and 17, and is worth 7,000 points if Dig Dug picks it up.
" (1982) : All regular edible items on rounds 15, 31, 47, and 63 are flagships, and they are worth 150 points each. Starting from their second appearance, Round 31, they are 160 points instead.
"Pac & Pal
" (1983) : The flagship makes an appearance as one of the "special items" that make Pac-Man turn blue when eaten, and allows him to stun the ghosts for a short while by shooting a Galaga-style tractor beam. It is worth 1,000 points if Pac-Man eats it or intercepts it from Miru.
" (1984) : The ghosts in airplanes sometimes drop flagships and they are worth 7,650 points (765 being Namco's goroawase number in Japanese) if eaten.
" (1984) : The flagship makes an appearance in a silver form and as an enemy, and sometimes several of them attack at once. They are worth 300 points each.
" (1987) : In Round 5, the bricks form a Galaxian Flagship.
" (1987) : The flagship makes a 3-D appearance as a special item and in two forms as well, the other one being the silver form from "Super Xevious
". The regular one and the silver one are worth 7,650 points if eaten.
"Pistol Daimyo no Bouken" (1990) : The flagship makes an appearance as an enemy along with the other Galaxian characters, and they attempt to hit Pistol Daimyo with their fire.
" (1993) : The flagship also makes an appearance with the other Galaxian characters, but this time they appear as bonus items. It is worth 800 points if collected.
" (1994 - Arcade, 1995 - PlayStation) and "Tekken 2
" (1995 - Arcade, 1996 - PlayStation) : Winning at least seven rounds in Arcade Vs. mode will reveal the Galaxian flagship on the lower left (or right) hand corner of the screen. In order for this to work, "Number of Wins Shown By" must be set to Fruit.
"Namco Classic Collection Vol.1" (1995) : The flagship makes an appearance in "Galaga Arrangement" as a Challenging Stage enemy in Space-Plant Zone (Stage 20) and normally in Space-Flower Zone (Stage 26). If killed normally, they are worth 150 points. If killed in Challenging Stage, they are worth 300 points.
"Namco Classic Collection Vol.2" (1996) : The flagship appears in both "Pac-Man Arrangement" and "Dig Dug Arrangement". In "Pac-Man Arrangement", it makes its appearance in World 4-1 and 4-2 and is worth 5,000 points if Pac-Man eats it. In "Dig Dug Arrangement", it appears in Stages 17 and 18 and is worth 7,000 points if Dig Dug picks it up.
"Pac-Man World" (1999) : The flagship appears again in a Pac-Man game. This time, the item must be collected in order to access the mazes.
"Pac-Man World 2
" (2002) and "Pac-Man World 3 (2005) : The flagship teleports Pac-Man to mazes. The point value will be the same as the points earned in the maze (if completed), plus 2000.
"Namco Museum Battle Collection" (2005) : The arrangement versions of "Pac-Man
" and "Dig Dug
", later called "Pac-Man Remix" and "Dig Dug Remix" in the iOS version, feature the flagship. "Pac-Man Remix" features both the flagship, worth 3,200 points, and the red drone, worth 2,800 points, as fruit items, while on "Dig Dug Remix", the flagship is a vegetable item and is worth 7,000 points.
"Dig Dug - Digging Strike" (2005) : Just like the first "Dig Dug
", the flagship appears as a vegetable on stage 13, except it's worth 6,000 points.
"Pac-Man Championship Edition" (2007) and "Pac-Man Championship Edition DX" (2010) : The flagship reappears, but is this time joined by the Galaga Boss, Queen Gaplus, and two drones, one each from "Galaga
" and Galaxian.
Gary Whelan holds the official record for this game with 1,114,550 points, achieved August 24, 2006 at Dukinfield in the UK.
The game can be played while the main game loads in the Sony PlayStation's port of "Ridge Racer".