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Galaxian for Atari 8-bit Computers FAQ

by BHodges

Version  1.0
Created  12/13/09

This document Copyright 2009 by Brian Hodges.  It may not be placed on any
web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. 

Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is 
strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

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Table of Contents

I.     Introduction
II.    Getting Started
III.   Gameplay
         A.  Controls
         B.  Basic Gameplay
         C.  Strategies
IV.    Enemies/Scoring
         A.  Drones (Blue)
         B.  Emissaries (Purple)
         C.  Hornets (Red)
         D.  Commanders (Yellow)
V.     My Top Score
VI.    Game Review
VII.   Version History
VIII.  Contact Information

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I.     Introduction

This is a FAQ for the Atari 8-bit Computer game Galaxian.  It contains
information on how to play the game and a mini-review.

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II.    Getting Started

While on the Title Screen, press the OPTION key to toggle between a one/two
player game.  

Use the SELECT key to choose the difficulty level (0-9 or B).  The higher the 
number, the harder the game.  In the Beginner level (B), the enemies will not
shoot back until Wave 17.

When you are ready to play, press START.

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III.   Gameplay

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A.  Controls

Joystick       Move you ship left/right
Button         Fire (can only fire one shot at a time)
Spacebar       Pause the game
OPTION/SELECT  Quit your game and return to the Title Screen

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B.  Basic Gameplay

The object of the game is to shoot as many enemies as possible.  You can only
fire a single shot at a time.  Being shot or colliding with an enemy will cost
you a life, lose all of your lives and your game is over.

The game is broken up into waves.  Each wave starts with four rows of enemies
at the top of the screen.  The enemies will then begin divebombing towards the
bottom of the screen, if they make it all the way to the bottom, they'll
reappear at the top of the screen and return to their original position in
the formation.  Once there are only a few enemies left, they'll no longer
rejoin their formation and will instead continuously attack.  If you manage
to destroy all the enemies, you'll move onto the next wave.

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C.  Strategies

-  You will earn an extra life when you score 5,000 points.

-  I like to clear the enemies on the far right first, then make my way left.
   That way I can dart left, pop off a few shots, then dart right to safety.

-  Shooting Commanders (yellow enemies) while they are attacking will cause the
   rest of the enemies to cease firing for a short while.

-  If an enemy comes in contact with your missile while it is still attached
   to your ship, it will be destroyed as if you shot it.

-  To get really good, bump up the difficulty to 9 and play for a while.  When
   you go back to the lower difficulty levels, the enemies will seem like they
   are moving in slow motion!

-  Game B (Beginner Mode) is perfect for little ones who want to play.

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IV.    Enemies/Scoring

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A.  Drones (Blue)

Drones are the blue enemies that occupy the first two rows of the Galaxian
formation.

Stationary  30 pts
In Flight   60 pts

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B.  Emissaries (Purple)

Emissaries are the purple enemies that occupy the third row.

Stationary  40 pts
In Flight   80 pts

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C.  Hornets (Red)

Hornets are the red enemies that occupy the fourth row.

Stationary   50 pts
In Flight   100 pts

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D.  Commanders (Yellow)

Commanders are the yellow enemies that occupy the top row.  Commanders will
usually attack with two Hornets acting as escorts.  Shooting a Commander in
flight will cause the other enemies to cease fire for a short time.

Stationary   60 points
In Flight   150 points

You will earn extra points for shooting a Commander that has escorts.

1 Escort            200 points
2 Escorts           300 points
Shoot both escorts 
then the Commander  800 points

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V.     My Top Scores

Game B  35,060 points 
Game 0   9,220 points 
Game 1   7,580 points 
Game 2   7,020 points
Game 3   3,230 points
Game 4   6,150 points
Game 5   3,850 points
Game 6   3,250 points
Game 7   5,530 points
Game 8   3,330 points
Game 9   2,960 points 

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VI.    Game Review

Galaxian may have been overshadowed by its much more successful sequel, Galaga,
but it is an incredible game in its own right.  Not only was it the first true
RGB arcade game, it was one of the first games where strategy could be used.
Due to the fact that you could only fire one shot at a time, you couldn't just
fire blindly, but needed to aim at your target.  Waiting until an enemy began
attacking before firing yields bonus points, and taking down a Commander in
mid-attack would cause the rest of the enemies to cease fire for a short while.

The Atari 8-bit version of Galaxian is a fantastic port and a must-own for any
fan of the Atari 8-bit Computer platform.  Now if only Atari had released a
port of Galaga...

Pros

+  Excellent port of the arcade classic.
+  Great graphics.
+  Challenging.

Cons

-  The sound effects are annoying.

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VII.   Version History

1.0   12/13/09   Completed FAQ.

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VIII.  Contact Information

You can contact me at Bhodges080@aol.com

I would appreciate hearing what you thought of this guide and any thoughts
you have for improving it.  Be sure to let me know if I have missed anything.

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End