North American arcade flyer
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Cabinet||Standard, cocktail, cabaret|
|Arcade system||Namco Phozon|
There are few known ports of this game. It appears on some multi-game cartridges, which were released long after its arcade release. It was released on the PlayStation in 1996 as one of the games featured in Namco Museum Volume 2, using its original name "Gaplus". It was released on mobile phones with its "Galaga 3" title. It is part of Namco Museum Remix for the Wii, which was released in 2007. The original version was re-released under its original name, for the Wii Virtual Console Arcade on March 25, 2009, at a cost of 500 Wii Points.
Along with Galaxian, Galaga, and Galaga '88, Gaplus was "redesigned and modernized" for an iPhone app compilation called the Galaga 30th Anniversary Collection, released in commemoration of the event by Namco Bandai.
Gaplus is a sequel to Galaga and has similar gameplay. The player controls a spaceship, that can now move vertically (limited to halfway up the screen) as well as horizontally, and shoots at swarms of incoming insect-like aliens which fly in formation above it and swoop down to bomb it in a kamikaze-like dive. In this sequel, the level starts over if the player is killed before all the enemies have come in. When all enemies are destroyed, the player moves on to the next level. By obtaining certain power-ups, it is possible to shoot 60 bullets per screen, the most any Galaga related game has.
The game differs from its predecessor in several ways:
- By shooting at a shooting star that occasionally appears, the player can get a ship with new graphics that can have three shots on screen instead of two. After this, shooting the star will make a special flag appear from the Namco game Rally-X that awards an extra life when collected. A similar "triple" ship would reappear in Galaga '88.
- On certain levels (referred to as parsecs in the game), the motion of the starfield changes: instead of scrolling from the top to the bottom of the playfield, it either moves from bottom-to-top or side-to-side. This is accompanied by enemies attacking in waves, leaving the playfield if not shot. After this, a small force appears in formation as in a normal stage.
- The challenging stages are different from those in Galaga. Enemies are juggled by shooting them, each hit slowly spelling out (in order as the game progresses) "Bonus", "Gaplus", "Double", "Triple", "Good!!", "Lucky", "Bye Bye", and "Extend"; shots that hit enemies after the word has been spelled out each award an extra 200 points. It is most effective to use the red and blue powerups to repeatedly hit them.
- Some challenging stages have an additional bonus awarded after the word has been spelled and the bonus calculated. For example, on a challenging stage where 'Gaplus' is spelled out, the player is instructed to press the fire button for an additional bonus; the award is between 10,000 and 50,000 points in multiples of 10,000. On the level where 'Lucky" is spelled, another bonus ship piece is awarded; on the 'Bye Bye' level, a bonus ship piece is taken away.
- The "Boss Galaga" from Galaga returns as the Queen Gaplus, a single enemy that sits at the top of the alien formation. It typically carries an item which can be obtained when it is destroyed before it leaves the screen. One type of item is a series of ship upgrades called "Blaster Heads", which are as follows: the red Phalanx captures enemies with a tractor beam where each one provides another shot; the blue Hyper gives wider and faster shots, an upgraded version of the "dual" ship from Galaga; the green Cyclone captures enemies in a tractor beam that can then be shot for bonus points; the purple Elephant is temporary and slows all enemies down, but not their bullets; the grey Sidewinder allows you to direct your shots left and right as they move; finally, the rare yellow Stardust is temporary and turns enemy bullets into harmless stars. All of these powerups may be stacked on top of one another, greatly increasing the player's maximum firepower. If the Queen does not have one of these powerups, she may instead carry one of three parts to the player's ship. When obtained, these parts are placed in the lower-right of the screen; an extra life is awarded when all three are collected.
Gaplus can be played by a single player or by two players alternating turns. The factory settings start the player out with three lives, a bonus life at 30,000 points, 70,000 points, and every 70,000 thereafter on the easiest level of play. These settings can be changed via DIP switches on the game's motherboard.
- Gaplus at the Killer List of Videogames
- Gaplus at the Arcade History database
- Gaplus guide at StrategyWiki
- A site with in-depth details on Gaplus (Japanese)