Gaplus © 1984 Namco.
The third game in Namco's classic "Galaxian" series, Gaplus picks up where 1981's "Galaga" left off. While maintaining the same classic 'look' of its predecessor, Gaplus's graphics are a definite improvement over those of "Galaga"; the game's increased color palette and subtle use of shading making the attacking aliens look rather more solid.
Another enhancement over its prequel is in the addition of a player-acquired 'Tractor Beam'. In "Galaga", only the enemies had access to the beam; enabling them to capture one of the player's 'Fighter' ships (the player then had to shoot the captor to release the Fighter). For the sequel, however, the player can now acquire the Tractor Beam. This is achieved by shooting one of the alien formation's 'generals' - a visibly more colourful alien than its comrades. The Tractor Beam will then activate for a limited time and any aliens the players captures (up to a maximum of six) will dock alongside the player's ship for enhanced firepower.
One final yet important addition is in the movement of the player's ship. In previous installments, the ship could only move left and right along the bottom of the screen; in Gaplus, however, the ship can now move UP the screen - although only to the halfway point. This is important as the alien's aggressive attack patterns will often see enemy craft swirling around the bottom of the play area.
As with "Galaga", Gaplus features regular 'Challenging Stages', with benign aliens swooping across the screen for the player to shoot as many times as possible, in order to try and spell out a word and earn extra bonus points.
Gaplus machines came in an upright dedicated cabinet that was similar in appearance to the cabinet used on the original "Galaga". These machines were black and were decorated with multi-color stripes, and sticker sideart with a realistically drawn scene from the game. There were several different marquees made. The American Gaplus marquee had a blue 'Gaplus' logo surrounded by a scary looking bee. The 'World' version had a green 'Gaplus' logo. Finally, many machines in the USA will be labeled "Galaga 3" on the marquee, but will have 'Gaplus' sideart and ROM chips (lots of lazy operators who didn't bother to install the whole name change kit, made these common). All machines are decorated with red T molding. The control panel has a single 8-way joystick mounted in the center, with 'Fire' buttons on either side. This panel was not decorated at all, it was simply black. The monitor bezel had a few game instructions on it, but was not overly decorated either. The game itself was displayed on a 19" Electrohome open frame monitor that was mounted vertically. This title uses the same wiring harness as "Galaga", and the two titles can be interchanged very easily. Many other games (such as "Dig Dug") use this same harness as well.
Game ID : GP
Main CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sub CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sound CPU : Motorola M6809 (@ 1.536 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Namco 8-channel WSG, discrete circuits (for the ship explosion sound)
Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1 (FIRE)
Gaplus was released in April 1984 in Japan.
This game is also known in the USA as "Galaga 3" (October 1984).
Dennis Gori holds the official record for this game with 1,393,200 points.
* These tips are all variations on the same theme :
1) On Parsec 1, allow all of the enemies to appear and fly into formation without shooting any of them. After the boss alien appears (the one that carries the tractor beam attachment), you'll see a pulsar similar to the ones the aliens appear from fly from just above the boss alien to the middle-right of the screen. Once it's gone by, shoot only the second alien from the left in the bottom row of the formation. A 'Special' flag will appear just below where it was; pick it up and you'll get a bonus ship.
2) In Parsec 1, go up to the very front and wait for all the bugs to come out. Then kill the 2nd bug from the left in the bottom row to make the special flag appear. Now, when the boss is coming down, move your ship and kill yourself by touching it. Don't touch the blaster head, just the boss. Your ship is turned into the blue one, and go get the special flag.
* Another Approach To The Same Situation : At the start of the Parsec 1, push straight up until you stop. DON'T shoot! Just sit there and let all the bugs form. Right after the last row of bugs get into formation, a star will shoot from the top left side of the screen to the bottom right. If you time this right you can get up to five shots on it. After about ten hits on the star (it will come out at random times during the game) it will transform your ship into a new ship that can shoot three shots on the screen (three shots vertically in a row) instead of just two.
* Easter Egg :
1) Enter service mode.
2) Keep Start and Button 1 pressed, move joystick Left until sound reaches 19. '(c) 1984 NAMCO' will appear on the screen.
* Secret message:
In the high score entry of Gaplus, you have to enter a name, age, and blood type. There are two codes which can be entered here, but cannot be entered in the international versions of the game.
This makes a hidden message appear onscreen that will not disappear until the game is power-cycled. Here is the translation from Japanese:
"You have beaten Gaplus. In commemoration, we send you this message. Send a letter to Kojima at Namco, and he'll give something to the first 10 respondents. Sorry, but turn off the power now."
1. Galaxian (1979)
2. Galaga (1981)
3. Gaplus (1984) : also known in the USA as "Galaga 3"
4. Galaga '88 (1987)
5. Galaxian 3 Theatre 6 - Project Dragoon (1990)
6. Galaxian 3 Theatre 6 J2 - Attack Of The Zolgear (1994)
7. Galaga Arrangement (1995) : part of "Namco Classics Collection Vol.1"
8. Galaga - Destination Earth (2000, GBA, PC CD-ROM and PlayStation)
9. Galaga Arrangement (2005, PSP) : part of "Namco Museum Battle Collection"
10. Galaga Remix (2007, Wii) : part of "Namco Museum Remix"
11. Galaga Legions (2008, XBLA)
12. Galaga Legions DX (2010, PSN, XBLA)
13. Galaga 3D Impact (2011, Nintendo 3DS) : part of "Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions"
Music by : Junko Ozawa
NOTE : For ports released in the USA, please see the Midway "Gaplus" entry.
[AU] Sony PlayStation (1996) "Namco Museum Vol.2 [Model SCES-00267]"
[JP] Sony PlayStation (feb.9, 1996) "Namco Museum Vol.2 [Model SLPS-00210]"
[EU] Sony PlayStation (nov.1996) "Namco Museum Vol.2 [Model SCES-00267]"
[JP] Nintendo Wii (dec.6, 2007) "Minna de Asobou! Namco Carnival" [Model RVL-RNWJ-JPN]"
[EU] Nintendo Wii (apr.18, 2008) "Namco Museum Remix [Model RVL-RN2P]"
[KO] Nintendo Wii (apr.26, 2008) "Namco Museum Remix [Model RVL-RNWK-KOR]"
[AU] Nintendo Wii (may.1, 2008) "Namco Museum Remix [Model RVL-RN2P]")
Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console Arcade] [JP] [AU] [EU] (mar.26, 2009)
[JP] NEC PC-9801 (dec.1985) "Gaplus" by Carry Lab
[EU] Commodore C64 (1989)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] [JP] (dec.24, 1998) "Namco History Vol.4"
Let's! TV play classic series - Namco Nostalgia 2 [JP]