In this video from four years ago, top-level Galaga player Jordan Dorrington gives us advice for how to get far into the venerable arcade classic.
Some of the tips given:
- On the first level, enemies never shoot as they enter. Shoot as many of the bugs as you can as they enter the screen.
- Boss Galagas never try to capture your ship if there’s only one remaining.
- On the first two Challenging Stages, if a double ship is positioned exactly in the center of the screen, you can stay there to shoot the bugs fairly easily and get an easy Perfect.
- Starting from Stage 4, some extra will be among the ones that will swoop around entering formation, and will leave the attacking ranks to rush you.
- After the first three stages, the game settles into a pattern of four stages. The first three stages of each set have distinct patterns, followed by a Challenging Stage.
- The first stage in each set of four has the bugs entering in two mirrored processions from the sides of the screen. The second stage has them entering from one side in double rows. On the third stage they enter from the side in one long string.
- Galaga kill screens are difficulty dependent. There’s a game-ending screen on difficulty levels (or “ranks”) A and C. The other difficulty levels loop and continue indefinitely
- Basic strategy for cleaning up the remaining bugs is to start at one edge of the screen, and as they fly down at your ship, to move towards the other side a tiny bit at a time, to avoid the shots coming at you, and shooting to eliminate as many of the bugs as you can in the process.
- If you survive a long time on a single wave, there’s a well-documented bug in the code that causes the enemies to shoot less and less, and eventually cease firing completely. In casual play that’s great, but Twin Galaxies rules are that you cannot take advantage of this bug intentionally.
- If you get really good at Galaga, it’s best to play as Player 2, as the first player’s score rolls over after six digits, but the second player’s score records seven digits.
- The game’s difficulty stops increasing at Stage 31.
- If you’re playing on a difficulty without a kill screen, after Stage 255 you’ll progress to Stage 0. It throws many players off in that the bugs travel at the slowest speed, but their shots are extremely rapid.
- The hardest part of the game is recovering from losing a double ship. The game is much harder in single ship play.
Galaga Strategy Tips from Pro Player Jordan Dorrington (Youtube, 14 minutes, from Tim’s Tiny Arcade)