Namco Galaxian

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This article is a generic description about Namco's 8-bit "Galaxian" hardware. For the specific arcade game, see Galaxian.

The Namco Galaxian was an 8-bit arcade game system board, which was first used by Namco in 1979; it was the first board from the company to use the Zilog Z80 microprocessor (as opposed to the older Intel 8080). It used specialized graphics hardware supporting RGB color, multi-colored sprites and tilemap backgrounds.[1] The Galaxian hardware was widely used by other game companies during the golden age of arcade video games,[2] including Centuri, Gremlin, Irem, Konami, Midway, Nichibutsu, Sega, and Taito, as well as bootleg manufacturers.[3]

Namco Galaxian specifications[edit]


King & Balloon[edit]

King & Balloon(1980) adds the following audio upgrades:

  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 2.5 MHz[2] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 364,000 instructions per second)[5]
  • Second sound chip: Namco custom DAC[6]
  • Audio capabilities: Speech synthesis[6]

Ghostmuncher Galaxian[edit]

Ghostmuncher Galaxian is a Pac-Man clone running on Namco Galaxian bootleg hardware. It adds the following upgrade to the color palette:

  • Colors on screen: 64[2]

Konami Scramble[edit]

The Konami Scramble hardware, originally created for Konami's The End (1980) and Scramble (1981), was used from 1980 to 1984.[10] It is based on the Namco Galaxian hardware,[11] and is part of the Galaxian hardware family.[12] Konami Scramble includes the following upgrades:

  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 1.78975 MHz[10] (8-bit & 16-bit instructions @ 260,000 instructions per second)[5]
  • Sound chips: 2x AY8910 @ 1.78975 MHz[10] (6 square wave channels & 2 noise channels combined), 6x Konami custom RC @ 1.78975 MHz,[13] DAC[14]
  • Color palette: 224[1] to 288[14]
  • Colors on screen: 98 to 99[14]
  • Graphical capabilities: Side-scrolling[13]

An upgraded version of Konami Scramble was the Super Cobra hardware. Originally created by Konami for Super Cobra (1981), it was used from 1981 to 1984.[15][10] It added the following color palette upgrades:

  • Color palette: 288[14] to 354[15]
  • Colors on screen: 99 to 354[15]

List of Namco Galaxian arcade games[edit]


  • Galaxian (1979) - Namco's first big hit
  • King & Balloon (1980) - one of the first games to feature synthesized voices



The following Konami games were running on the Galaxian-derived Konami Scramble hardware:[14][10]



Other companies[edit]


  • Galaxian Part 4 (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Galaxian Part X (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Galaxian Turbo (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Space Invaders Galactica (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Super Galaxians (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Swarm (1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Zero Time (Petaco SA, 1979) - hack of Galaxian
  • Fantazia (1980) - bootleg of Moon Cresta
  • Space Battle (1980) - bootleg of Gingateikoku no Gyakushu
  • Sky Raiders (1980) - bootleg of Gingateikoku no Gyakushu
  • Batman Part 2 (1981) - bootleg of Phoenix
  • Frog (1981) - bootleg of Frogger
  • Ghostmuncher Galaxian (1981) - bootleg of Pac-Man and Galaxian
  • Video Pool (1981) - bootleg of Video Hustler
  • Zig Zag (LAX, 1982) - bootleg of Dig Dug; another version also exists on Namco Galaga hardware
  • Omega (undated) - bootleg of The End

Bootlegs of Valadon Automation's Bagman, Nintendo's Donkey Kong Junior, Konami's Scramble and Universal's Lady Bug also exist using this system board.


External links[edit]