This month in Sound Design we take a look at Galaga by Namco. We have debunked a few of the legendary classic sounds from arguably the best fixed shooter arcade game in history.
Galaga first hit American arcades back in 1981 as a fixed shooter arcade game sequel to Galaxian, which was released 2 years prior in 1979. It was released by Midway Manufacturing, however, it was developed and published by Japanese entertainment company Namco. It has spawned numerous versions, hacks, and bootlegs all over the world and it continues to grow in popularity over 40 years after its release.
A lot of the arcade game sound effects from the late 70s and throughout the 1980s were actually very simple music melodies. These melodies were sped up sometimes 10x times faster than the original in order to give it the desired effect. Galaga is no exception to this approach. The sounds themselves are simple analog waveforms such as sine, square and sawtooth waves. Some sounds only use one oscillator while others may use as many as 3 oscillators.