The History and Origin of Galaga

Video games have come a long way since their beginning in the late 70s, but some of the most popular titles still have a place in today's gaming culture. Galaga is one of those old games. A Space Invaders-style adventure, this classic arcade favorite featured 255 levels and full color graphics. It was originally available on the Atari, but has been released on a variety of consoles over the decades. It is often found as part of a collection or bundle for newer systems, including PS3 and Wii, and is a bonus feature in some recent releases. You can also enjoy the hit on Xbox Live Arcade and as an app for iPhone.

Although it was released in 1981, the origin of Galaga begins a year earlier with the debut of Galaxian. This sequel title boosts the excitement by allowing ships to fire multiple bullets at the enemy vessels dropping from above. The object is to eliminate all of the enemies while keeping your ship safe. You will lose a life if an enemy ship captures your vessel, but you'll have the opportunity to recover it if you can take out the captor. This will give you two ships for double fire power, making it easier to gain a spot on the leader board. This version also awards bonus points each time you clear one of the 255 levels. While it was a step up from the original title, more recent renditions incorporate quite a few additional features.

Sometimes referred to as Gaplus, the third title in the Galaxian series is much more complex than its predecessor. The ship can move to the middle of the screen and must battle the queen ship as it fires high-power beams and lasers to destroy you. There's also a shooting star bonus that rewards you with a more powerful ship and power-ups that allow you to fire faster. The latest version, Galaga Legions, is still quite similar to the old game that inspired it, but offers more modern 3D graphics along with some new challenges. Instead of occasional dive bombers, enemy ships cascade downward in rows, making it almost impossible to avoid capture. This classic arcade series is likely to live on forever.