Things I Love: Galaga

Every Thursday, I post about the things that I love, and God only knows what those things might be.

GalagaGrowing up in the 70’s, I got to witness the beginning of the video game revolution first hand. I played Pong when it came out thinking that this floating white square might be the coolest thing I had ever seen. I owned an original Atari and had those little hand held video games that were made entirely of little blinking red LED lights.

I went to the corner store to play Asteroids (badly) and, ultimately, poured quarters (and tokens when the arcades got smart enough to force you to use the whole dollar) into games at the arcade.

I played a lot of games at that arcade – Defender, Centipede, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Stargate, Dig Dug, Missile Command, the list is long. On most, I was average, but there was one game in which I excelled: Galaga.

Last year, I went down to Joystix on a Friday night to get re-acquainted with some old friends (no, not vodka). Shining back at me like a beacon in the bleary night was a beautiful Galaga arcade game. For years, I’ve sworn that one day I’m going to own an original Galaga upright video game just because.

I needed only a single quarter to hit the high score and I hadn’t played Galaga in at least 5 or 6 years.

By the time I was done, my forearm was cramping. Being out of video game shape is very similar to being out of game shape in pro sports except that instead of rock hard abs, endurance and, you know, talent, you need a forearm like Popeye and a stomach lining made of lead to endure the hours of shitty nachos, stale popcorn and flat fountain drinks you’ll consume while destroying your vision in a dark, dank arcade. It’s like being a super hero and your power is social awkwardness.

Sure, your hand eye coordination will improve, but not for anything other than pretty lights on a screen. This might come in handy if you need to swat at a fly that lands on your television screen. Otherwise, it’s pretty useless, but it doesn’t matter because Galaga is awesome and you can suck my Challenge Stage with two ships if you don’t like it.

A little Galaga humor to end my post. Hope you enjoyed it and, if you did, I really wouldn’t admit it to the general public.

  6 Replies to “Things I Love: Galaga”

  1. March 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Galaga was and still is awesome! Other favs were Missile Command and Joust. Loved Joust! Great post and thanks for bringing back some great memories!

  2. BigLance
    March 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Galaga is awesome. Thank goodness for emulators that we can enjoy these at home without dumping quarters, but it’s just not the same.
    I remember playing tons of Donkey Kong on a machine at the burger joint in Alvin that my mom worked at.
    The best though, was when we hooked up the Atari 2600 up to their projection TV after closing and played Kaboom. That was the ultimate in awesome back then.

  3. March 5, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I STILL love this game and have it for my XBOX 360. I too, played a whole bunch of Galaga as a kid and recently at Joystix too!

    So do you pronounce it GUH-LAY-GUH or GAL-UH-GUH?

  4. Jeff
    March 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    @Jason You’re welcome. 🙂

    @BigLance – Agreed. I love the big arcade games.

    @groovehouse – GAL-UH-GUH, definitely.

  5. March 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Galaga was one of my favorites too. If you know it, I’m just curious what your approximate personal best score is (with settings if you remember those as well)?

  6. March 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

    “It’s like being a super hero and your power is social awkwardness.” Jeff, you’re a hero to us all.

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