''Galaga'' ([[ItsPronouncedTropay pronounced GAL-a-gah]], per WordOfGod) is a fixed shooter arcade game and the sequel to ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}''. It was released by Namco in 1981; the US version was released the same year under license to Midway (and later ported to the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem to Bandai (now merged with Namco to form ''Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment'') and the UsefulNotes/GameBoy game systems (under license to ''Creator/{{Nintendo}}'') along with ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}'').

The objective of ''Galaga'' is to score as many points as possible by destroying insect-like enemies. The player controls a fighter spaceship that can move left and right along the bottom of the playfield. Enemies fly in groups into a formation near the top of the screen, then begin flying down toward the player, firing bombs at and attempting to collide with the fighter. Occasionally, a "boss Galaga" attempts to capture the player's fighter using a {{tractor beam}}. If successful, the fighter joins the formation and must be freed by the player (using another ship and costing him/her a life), enabling him/her to control two ships simultaneously and doubling the players' firepower. ''Galaga '88'' even allowed the player to do the same with a ''[[UpToEleven third]]'' ship. The game is over when the player's last ship is destroyed or captured.

''Galaga'' introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}''. Among these are a realistic explosion sound that occurs when the player loses a life, a count of the player's "hit/miss ratio" at the end of the game, and a bonus "Challenging Stage" that occurs every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player.

Galaga is one of the few classic arcade games to still be profitable. It was released in a combination arcade game with ''Ms. Pac-Man'' and ''VideoGame/PacMan'' in 2001.

The series has also been given a downloadable title in the same vein as Pac-Man Championship Edition: VideoGame/GalagaLegions on Xbox Live Arcade in 2008, with a Deluxe version released as part of the Namco Generations line on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network in 2011.

If you want to ruin your productivity for the day, [[http://www.galagagame.net/galaga.php the game is playable here]]. [[http://www.shiftylook.com/comics/galaga Now there's a webcomic based on it written by]] [[Webcomic/DinosaurComics Ryan North]], as part of ''Website/ShiftyLook''.

2016 saw the series returns to the arcades in the form of ''Galaga Assault'' which HD the graphics and can now be played for tickets.

!!''Galaga'' has examples of:
* AttractMode: Like every arcade cabinet.
* BlandNameProduct: At least one bootleg version is called "Gallag".
* BonusStage: The Challenging Stages that show up every few stages. You can't die in them, and they just serve as a way of getting extra points, with a bonus awarded if you kill every target. Getting a dual ship beforehand makes them significantly easier to beat.
* BugWar: Several of the enemies bear resemblance to insects.
* ChainReactionDestruction: The final boss in ''Galaga '88'' is chain-explosive.
* DifficultButAwesome: Dual ships (and triple ships [[UrbanLegendOfZelda in '88 only]]) have wider shots that are easier to land on targets, averting OneBulletAtATime, but it also effectively doubles your hitbox making it harder to dodge.
* DifficultyByAcceleration: Enemies get faster and their bullets get harder to dodge as you get further into the game. [[RammingAlwaysWorks Others will also try to kamikaze you.]]
* EndGameResultsScreen: At the end of the game, the screen displays the number of shots you fired, the number of shots that hit targets, and your hit-miss ratio.
* EndlessGame: Until ''Galaga '88'', there is no ending.
* FasterThanLightTravel: Used in ''Galaga '88'' to move between stages. You can also move to other dimensions after the Challenging Stage by collectng two blue crystals.
* FlawlessVictory: Destroy all 40 enemies during a Challenging Stage and the game will play a celebratory jingle, followed by giving you a 10,000-point bonus.
* [[spoiler:HappilyEverAfter]]: The GoldenEnding to ''88''.
* HostageSpiritLink: Subverted. If you hit a captured fighter, nothing happens other than a point bonus, because you already got punished by losing one life.
* KillScreen: After stage 255, except on the highest difficulty level.
* MookChivalry: If you free a captured ship, the enemies will let up for a few seconds to allow your ships to combine. That's about the only break you'll be getting in this game.
* MovingTargetBonus: Hitting an enemy while it was attacking scores more points than hitting it while it was in formation. Also, hitting a boss Galaga while one or two red Galagas are attacking with it scores even more points.
* NintendoHard: On the lower end of the scale compared to other arcade games, but this is still a tough game to get through. Even the Dual Ship will only help you so much by the time you get to later levels, where the enemies don't let up and get much harder to dodge.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Fans were split for years on whether the title its pronounced "Gah-Lag-Uh" or "Gal-Uh-Guh". [[WordOfGod A Midway staffer]] [[http://triosdevelopers.com/jason.eckert/blog/Entries/2012/7/14_Entry_1.html confirmed]] that its pronounced the former way.
* NonstandardGameOver: Getting your last ship captured instead of destroyed.
* OneHitPointWonder: Your default ship. Getting a Dual Ship adds an extra hit point, though.
* ShootEmUp: Everything that moves.
* TractorBeam: With a side of EverythingsBetterWithSpinning. You can shoot while you're spinning, possibly hitting an enemy (including the boss capturing you; destroying it releases your ship).
* TurnsRed: The boss Galagas take two hits to destroy, turning darker colors after the first.
* UpdatedRerelease: The game has been given two Arrangement versions with updated graphics, music, and slightly altered gameplay: one in Arcades in 1996, and another on PSP in 2006.
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: Before you get your ship captured so you can get the double ship (or triple in ''[='=]88''), '''check your life counter.''' If you have no lives left, [[GameOver you WON'T be getting your upgraded ship]].