DescriptionGalaxian is a shoot 'em up in which the player is at the bottom of the screen, with an arrangement of aliens at the top. The player moves left and right to aim at an alien, then shoots a bullet up the screen, and the alien it hits is killed. The aliens are classed as Drones, Emissaries, Hornets and Commanders, with those higher up the screen scoring more points when destroyed. At set intervals an enemy will move down the screen towards you, escorting a bomber, which is a moment of high danger. Clear a wave and another is generated.
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1001 Video GamesThe Arcade version of Galaxian appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
DevelopmentAtari 2600 programmer Mark Ackerman, at the time working in Atari's "think-tank" GCC, was granted a patent for his technique invented for the 2600 port of Galaxian, allowing eight sprites to be displayed in one row.
ExtrasAtari's 2600 release of Galaxian came with the comic book Atari Force #5. Here is that comic at AtariAge.com
GraphicsGalaxian (and its clone, Cosmic Crusader) get away with relatively high framerates on the original 4.77MHz PC because they don't use the entire screen for a playfield; the right fifth of the screen (64 pixels) is unused. Another side-effect of shortening the playfield to a width of 256 pixels is the optimization of game calculations, stemming from the fact that horizontal coordinates fit in a single byte instead of two.
Re-releaseWas later re-released under the Thunder Mountain label. What makes this trivia? Usually only Mindscape games were released under Thunder Mountain... Galaxian was originally licensed to Atari.
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #49 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Related Web Sites
- Galaxian - Wikipedia (Here you can find all sorts of info about the game.)
- The International Arcade Museum (Extensive information about the arcade game machine.)