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What's The Deal With Gaplus?

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#1 Butt_Rogers OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 2:53 PM

A lot of people feel that Galaxian was rendered completely obsolete by Galaga. Why play Galaxian when you can play Galaga? It has so many more features, so much more action, it's so much faster paced, the enemies come in so many different patterns.

Personally I disagree that Galaxian was rendered obsolete by Galaga. Galaxian is a slower game and you can only have one missile on the screen at a time, but this makes accuracy an imperative and accurately timing your shots is a much bigger deal than in Galaga. I get different things out of both games and enjoy them both.

I do understand how most people might prefer Galaga though. It's just so much more fast paced. It's Galaxian on steroids. Galaxian with fuel injection.

But ok, if your average person thinks Galaga rendered Galaxian obsolete, then how come Gaplus hasn't rendered Galaga obsolete?

I can predict some of the answers. "Well, Galaga came out in 1981, and for 1981 it was groundbreaking. Gaplus came out in 1984, and for 1984 it wasn't groundbreaking, so it never caught on." To me this explains why Gaplus wasn't a huge hit back in the day. The arcades had moved away from the classic fixed shooters to more exciting pastures.

But these days people are playing these arcade games at barcades, on Namco Museum game collections on various consoles, or on MAME. I get that many people grew up with Galaga and are going to be nostalgic for it and prefer it on principle. But it seems like a lot of people who didn't grow up with any of these games still only talk about Galaga. If nostalgia isn't what's going on, then what is? Gaplus has a lot more going on than Galaga, as evidenced by this flyer.

rC9XMAw.jpg

Unless I'm missing something, Gaplus exceeds Galaga by every metric. So what's the deal?

I will say that Gaplus can be cryptic... In Galaga it's pretty straightforward how to get the double-ship. You allow yourself to be captured, sacrifice a life, then retrieve the stolen ship. Not too complicated. In Gaplus you can get the "Hypership", the upside down U shaped ship seen on the title screen, allegedly by shooting the shooting star (literally a yellow star that appears and shoots at you) multiple times. However, I've tried this again and again and again, and every time the shooting star simply disappears after a number of shots. I've managed to shoot it 5 times or so and I never got the Hypership.

Apparently there is a way to cheat.

"At the start of the first stage, the player must move the ship up the screen until it stops and just let it sit there without shooting anything until all forty-three of the aliens have taken their place in the formation. After the shooting star appears, the player must shoot the second Zako from the left in the bottom row of the formation without hitting any other enemies. A Rally-X Special Flag will then appear, and when the King flies down, the player must crash into him (but not the "blaster head" that he is yielding) and your regular ship will turn into a "Hypership" that can fire three shots on the screen at a time instead of just two. However, if you fail to do this correctly, you will not have any other chances to do this in the game. Firing enough shots on the shooting star that appears if you don't shoot any enemies on the first stage is rumored to also grant the hypership."

This does indeed work. But it seems like a cheap trick. So far that's my only complaint with Gaplus. The title screen teases that you can get this cool mysterious ship, but I can't imagine ever figuring out how to get it if I couldn't look it up. It doesn't seem like something someone could ever stumble upon. Most websites simply say that shooting the shooting star can grant the Hypership, but if that's true, I can't figure out how to do it.

Pardon the long post.

Too long didn't read:
1.) Why isn't Gaplus more popular? Why does Gaplus seem to be the black sheep of the Galaxian/Galaga/Gaplus trilogy?
2.) How the heck are you actually supposed to get the Hypership?



#2 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 3:09 PM

It's an overwhelming jumble of ideas that don't work together as a cohesive whole. Galaga had just the right amount of new play mechanics to make it an improvement over its predecessor. If Galaxian was a plain hot dog and Galaga was a hot dog served with mustard, catsup, and relish, Gaplus was that same hot dog buried under whipped cream, anchovies, capers, and orange marmalade.

#3 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 3:52 PM

Galaga added some new stuff over and above Galaxian, sure, but in 2019, let's face it: both games are ridiculously basic in the realm of video games and it's silly to treat Galaxian as "obsolete" simply because Galaga exists.    

 

I guess what I'm saying is, Galaga and Galaxian are just different games that require different techniques, play at a different pace, etc.  I'm not crazy about either game and I rarely ever play them, but I enjoy Galaxian more.  

 

I agree that Gaplus is a bit of a swing-and-a-miss.  Just didn't click with me.  



#4 Trinity OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 5, 2019 9:23 AM

When I first saw Galaxian I was just blown away by the color. :cool:



#5 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 4:00 AM

I like them all but Galaxian is my favorite! 

 

Tough to nail down why so I'll say the impact of nostalgia and 80's arcade games has a lot to do with it...Also because it's so different and seems newer to me, I probably prefer Gaplus to Galaga...So yeah

 

1. Galaxian

2. Gaplus

3. Galaga

 

I'm sure my preferences seem contrarian to most people...

 

 

 

P.S. Despite my list,  it just depends on what I'm in the mood for on a given day...



#6 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 4:28 AM

When I first saw Galaxian I was just blown away by the color. :cool:

 

Very true!

 

Maybe not here (on AtariAge I mean) but elsewhere people discounting Galaxian are forgetting the effect it had when it was placed right next to Space Invaders (Or it was before their time)....And maybe that's why it's special to me,   Without Space Invaders and Galaxian, it always seemed to me that we wouldn't have had Phoenix, Space Firebird, New York,New York, Centipede, Astro Blaster, Zero Hour, Moon Cresta, Gorf, Galaga, Gaplus, and the list goes on and on...

 

I equate it with a bunch of '80s arcade games and many great memories.   I realize this is just how I see it and I'm not trying to change opinions...

 

 

Hell, I still remember back in my metal days, someone telling me I surely must love Led Zeppelin if I like heavy metal..I said "No, not really..." they said "Without Zeppelin there'd be no heavy metal!"   I never agreed with that statement as I'm sure Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, or Iron Maiden etc., would have given us Heavy Metal's genesis with or without a Zeppelin ... Though I appreciated their point (even if I didn't agree with it) ...Someone out there probably sees my Galaxian Evolutionary theory with regard to 80's Space Shooters in the same light haha



#7 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 5:47 AM

First off, Led Zepplin rocks. They were also huge Tolkien fans decades before it was fashionable to be a Tolkein fan. They weren't afraid to experiment with ideas with each new album. IMO, rock in general took a turn for the worst in the 90s. They got soft (alternative) or too hard with ridiculous amounts of distortion (grunge). Sure good bands existed. Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers were good examples of alternative. But gone were the intricate riffs and rock ballads of old.

 

Moving on. Galaxian was a spiritual sequel to Space Invaders. No shields, enemies still move back and forth, but instead of slowly descending, they dive bomb mercilessly like Kamikazes. And despite the game's slow pace, it is mercilessly hard. You get very little points unless you hit enemies while in formation. I rarely survive past the first wave or two on my 1up arcade, and still haven't gotten the 7000 point score threshold.

  

Galaga was by and large perfection. The dance like formations evoke symmetry and order, yet the dive bombing insects evoke pure chaos. Bonus rounds are icing on the cake. The double ship was a revolutionary concept. Not only does it eat a life, but you get double the fire power whilst also being a larger target. The gameplay is balanced, predictable yet surprising, and lots of stage variety. The challenge ramps up but I don't feel like I've wasted my credit when I die. My top score is over 100k.

 

Gaplus is a frustrating mess. One of the very last Virtual Console games I downloaded for Wii. Most stages I don't even make it past the intro. And unlike Galaga, you start over to the beginning of the formation if you don't survive until all enemies are in position. It's like playing Gyruss (itself a spiritual successor to Tempest) on one side of the screen without being able to fly around full circle. A frustrating mess. No wonder they came back with a reboot of Galaga in '88.



#8 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 7:30 AM

Gaplus -> Led Zep - > Tolkien. The wonders of human brain :D

 

I must be a bit weird coz I don't really like the "X was made obsolete by Y" nor the "without X we wouldn't have Y" angles.  I guess it can be fun as long as it's being kept in a lighthearted tone but some folks take it too seriously and then it's getting kinda tedious, seeing as it's not really some scientific fact but just a bunch of opinions.

 

I like to keep it simple: love retro games and the more the merrier. Numerous Gal-clones? Bring it on.

 

The only "problem" is I always read Gaplus as GalPlus and envision some anime-inspired shenanigans.


Edited by youxia, Sun Jan 6, 2019 7:31 AM.


#9 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 8:43 AM

And despite the game's slow pace, it is mercilessly hard. You get very little points unless you hit enemies while in formation. I rarely survive past the first wave or two on my 1up arcade, and still haven't gotten the 7000 point score threshold.

 

That is because you are playing the very difficult version of Galaxian where the yellow ship + escorts attack almost immediately and things get intense very quickly into the FIRST round. :lol:  I'm not sure how this version of Galaxian became to be known today as "Galaxian.zip" in mame (and thus is the set included in the arcade1up cab).. but it is not the Galaxian I know with the much more relaxed difficulty curve. For that one, play "galaxiana.zip" also known as "Namco Set  2"  attached below and see the difference. It's a split rom so you might need the original galaxian.zip files.

 

-------------------------

 

As far as Gaplus.. The timing made a difference. The early arcade scene that Galaga was released was a far different world than when Gaplus came out. By Gaplus' time there were already awesome looking games like Sinistar, Xevious, Crystal Castles, Star Wars, Laser Disc games, etc. so Gaplus looked and felt pretty dated by comparison. It was a far cry from when Galaga came out and was the new hotness.  :)

 

I remember when it came out. I did not realize at all it was the third in the Galaxian/Galaga series so I did not have that initial preferential bias had I known it was the next Galaga. It didn't click with me at all either.. and I think it was because of the sound. The sound was just too sing-songy. it's kind of hard to explain. But it was dominant at one arcade and is embedded in my brain and it evokes absolutely zero nostalgia but rather annoyance. :lol:  I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but that's my old impression of Gaplus.

Attached Files



#10 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 1:53 PM

First off, Led Zepplin rocks. They were also huge Tolkien fans decades before it was fashionable to be a Tolkein fan. They weren't afraid to experiment with ideas with each new album. ..

 

Don't ya hate it when you're about to clarify an existing post?  haha...Not to go round and round, but I feel like adding this...

 

 

I really like Zeppelin  ...That is to say I really like Zeppelin NOW, but I didn't like them so much THEN...I've always loved Tolkien,...Man's a Genius as far as I'm concerned;  Also it was harder back then to get your head out of the space of WWII and its impact, so for him to climb deep into his fantasy world, and tell his story, his way, was awesome!,  Also I agree wholeheartedly that Zep referencing Tolkien is pretty amazing for it's time and is part of their charm :)  but I digress...

 

I think the whole point was I knew I was being somewhat hypocritical by bringing up Galaxian as part of an evolutionary chain,  because i didn't like that when others have done that to me in the past (the Zep statement was merely an example...)...

 

Anyhow...A better way to phrase it may have been to say I like Galaxian,...Brings back memories...I also like Gaplus cuz it seemed old school at a time when most had moved on...



#11 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 3:50 PM

That is because you are playing the very difficult version of Galaxian where the yellow ship + escorts attack almost immediately and things get intense very quickly into the FIRST round. :lol:  I'm not sure how this version of Galaxian became to be known today as "Galaxian.zip" in mame (and thus is the set included in the arcade1up cab).. but it is not the Galaxian I know with the much more relaxed difficulty curve. For that one, play "galaxiana.zip" also known as "Namco Set  2"  attached below and see the difference. It's a split rom so you might need the original galaxian.zip files.

Honestly I'd rather just play NES Galaxian on my tiny 6 inch My Arcade cab than the 4 foot 1UP. There are no "dip switch" options to speak of. Even botique recreations like the $200 quarter scale Pacman cabs got the options wrong with 5 lives and 15000 pts extra man. I seriously doubt there's any way to replace the ROMs on these cabs. And modding them into a glorified PiMame machine by hijacking the monitor inputs defeats the purpose of buying a legit licensed cab to begin with.

Everytime I try to knock out the diving Galaxian formations, I get spammed by up to six missiles (two per ship). In order to get the 800 point bonus, I gotta hit them in order (Galaxian last) and not miss. Miss the Galaxian or hit it first, and you get a puny bonus. And the points awarded by picking them off one by one in formation (ala Space Invaders) and simply avoiding the divers altogether is paltry in comparison. Going for the 800 pt bonus is basically suicide. I keep thinking I can make it out of the way if I don't clear them, but get spamjed with the bullet spreads.

Despite the action being faster and more frantic in Galaga, I am making it past the third bonus round (dragonflies, stage 11) fairly frequently. And I'm often able to nap the big bonus for killing triple enemies in the higher rounds. It does not feel unfair as in Galaxian, or like I'm entering a deathtrap. I nearly beat stage 18 when I hit my top score of 111k. Another time I got perfect twice on the first to bonus stages but only made it to 101k. Didn't make it quite as far that time.

I've been working on a series of video clips which I am going to stitch into a detailed review of the 1up machine, as well as mods to upgrade the controls and varnish the overlay. Holidays have been hectic with full time job, fiance, shopping, hobbies, so the editing got put on the backburner. Most youtube guys gloss over Galaxian altogether like it doesn't matter, so I will be sure to mention the brutal difficulty.

#12 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 5:04 PM

Yeah there's no dip switch settings in Galaxian that I'm aware of. You just have to play the right romset. When it comes to the "proper" Galaxian there's the easier version (which get plenty hard eventually), and the difficult version like galaxian.zip in Mame, or the one put in the Arcade1up. 

 

It's kind of like Pengo.. did you ever play the hard version of Pengo? :lol: It's crazy how the snowbees make a beeline directly to you. I feel sorry for people trying to check Pengo out for the first time and unknowingly staring up that version first. Ditto for Galaxian. :)



#13 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 6:14 PM

Yeah there's no dip switch settings in Galaxian that I'm aware of. You just have to play the right romset. When it comes to the "proper" Galaxian there's the easier version (which get plenty hard eventually), and the difficult version like galaxian.zip in Mame, or the one put in the Arcade1up. 
 
It's kind of like Pengo.. did you ever play the hard version of Pengo? :lol: It's crazy how the snowbees make a beeline directly to you. I feel sorry for people trying to check Pengo out for the first time and unknowingly staring up that version first. Ditto for Galaxian. :)

Never played Pengo but despite I feel confident in my Galaga abilities, it seems so strange that I can suck so hard at Galaxian which has simpler mechanics and slower gameplay by all metrics. If I ever get off my ass and fix my Porta Pi Mame, I'll fire up the alt version sometime.

I wonder if Namco, Atari, et al actually provided the original ROMs to 1Up Arcade, or if they just grabbed them from pirated repositories. Even Nintendo used iNES headers in their VC ROMs. Assuming the "hard" versions of ROMs were real, and could not be adjusted with DIP switches, which arcades had them? I imagine it would confuse gamers to kick ass in one arcade and get ass kicked in another arcade, playing the same game. Then again, bootleg cabs and unlicensed conversions were everywhere. Maybe the hard version had shady origin?

Companies releasing these product need to figure their sh*t out so we don't have to for them. I am glad for one Nintendo lets gamers choose USA or Japan for stage layout in Donkey Kong Switch for instance.

#14 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 6:19 PM

Play the Super Galaxian ROMs and you'll think the "very hard" version is a cakewalk...

 

 

That is because you are playing the very difficult version of Galaxian where the yellow ship + escorts attack almost immediately and things get intense very quickly into the FIRST round. :lol:  I'm not sure how this version of Galaxian became to be known today as "Galaxian.zip" in mame (and thus is the set included in the arcade1up cab).. but it is not the Galaxian I know with the much more relaxed difficulty curve. For that one, play "galaxiana.zip" also known as "Namco Set  2"  attached below and see the difference. It's a split rom so you might need the original galaxian.zip files.

 



#15 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 6:29 PM

Negative -1 did a write up on the cabinet.

It's really not bad with a new stick, fire button, and a fresh coat of Polyurethane to protect the control panel. Honestly all of the marquees could use a protectorant layer, but I ain't disassembling it again.

#16 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 7:14 PM

Play the Super Galaxian ROMs and you'll think the "very hard" version is a cakewalk...

I would like the "lite" version then, please... :dunce:

#17 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 7:44 PM

Play the Super Galaxian ROMs and you'll think the "very hard" version is a cakewalk...

 

 

Aah yes but then we're beyond original "Galaxian" proper aren't we.. Heck, I remember Galaxians later where entire friggin ROWS would attack in formation.. or is that Super Galaxian? 



#18 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:11 PM

One reason I don't like Gaplus is the freaking bonus round .. I mean GALACTIC DANCING round was pretty annoying. It was hard as hell for me to keep the aliens on the screen.



#19 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:23 PM

 

Aah yes but then we're beyond original "Galaxian" proper aren't we.. Heck, I remember Galaxians later where entire friggin ROWS would attack in formation.. or is that Super Galaxian? 

Yes that is Super Galaxian, and there's a second formation with EIGHT flagships, and Escorts would materialize outta thin air with them even if you blasted all of them away.



#20 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:17 AM

And...What's the deal with Ovaltine?



#21 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 1, 2019 2:33 AM

It isn't shaped like an oval



#22 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 4, 2019 10:28 AM

It's an overwhelming jumble of ideas that don't work together as a cohesive whole. Galaga had just the right amount of new play mechanics to make it an improvement over its predecessor. If Galaxian was a plain hot dog and Galaga was a hot dog served with mustard, catsup, and relish, Gaplus was that same hot dog buried under whipped cream, anchovies, capers, and orange marmalade.

 

Yep - this above

 

Also, the name is really bad.  I mean, I know we are all "woke" in 2019, but to name a game something that nobody knows how to pronounce but probably sounds like "ghey-plus" is a terrible choice.  Arcade rats don't want to play "gay" games or games that remind them of babies (ga ga plus?).  Terrible name.  It would have been better to call it Galaxian 3 or Galaga 2.  



#23 jhd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 4, 2019 2:24 PM

Did Gaplus receive wide distribution?

 

I was an avid teenage arcade-goer in the mid-1980s, yet I never saw it. I did play Galaxian and Galaga (at multiple places).



#24 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 4, 2019 3:41 PM

 It would have been better to call it Galaxian 3 or Galaga 2.  

 

Well yeah to be fair, they eventually renamed it to Galaga 3 via a conversion kit. But... too little too late.

 

galaga3.png







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