Galaga ’88 Cheats & Cheat Codes for Game Gear, TurboGrafx-16, and More

Enemies in Galaga '88.

Galaga ’88 Cheats & Cheat Codes for Game Gear, TurboGrafx-16, and More

Galaga ’88 is a continuation of Namco’s arcade shooter series, which started with Galaxian in 1979. It further evolved into Galaga a few years later. This fourth iteration of the fixed arcade shooter was launched in 1987, bringing new features to a series loved by fans. While it retains the core mechanics of its predecessors, it also introduces much-improved visuals and additional gameplay elements. It is considered an important part of the arcade shooter scene, although its commercial success in the Western hemisphere was left wanting. Galaxy ’88 was made available across multiple platforms, including the TurboGrafx-16 and Game Gear. It has also been featured in various Namco compilations on more modern platforms. Here we’ll dive into the historical arcade shooter Galaga ’88 and the cheats supported by the game.

Galaga ’88 Premise

Galaga ‘88 is a classic fixed shooter, which not only brings addictive precision shooting but also an underlying narrative. As another game in the Galaxian and Galaga series after the initial Galaga and Galaplus, the game also includes major gameplay and graphical advancements. The gameplay is reminiscent of the iconic Space Invaders, but features added complexity.

In the game, players embark on a mission with the Blast Fighter starship to annihilate the Galaga forces and their planet. The game is structured around shooting incoming aliens, who form attack patterns from the playfield’s edge. The enemy forces either aim to collide with or shoot down the player. The addition of more complex Galaga enemies is unique to this newest iteration in the series. This includes larger threats that require multiple hits to destroy, introducing an important variety to the gameplay. 

Formations in Galaga '88.
The enemies come in various formations that keep the players on their toes.

©Screenshot for Galaga ’88

To progress through the game’s levels, which are packaged in five worlds, players need to destroy all the enemies on the screen or live long enough for them to disappear. Each world concludes with a bonus stage, which allows players to rack up additional points. Players can also gain new and improved weapons that will improve their chances against the more advanced formations and enemies.

Galaga ’88 Characters

In the universe of Galaga ’88, characters don’t play as pivotal a role as it does in other types of games. There is a loose narrative, where the player embarks on a journey to fight hostile enemies. However, the game is designed with action primarily in mind. The player’s Blast Fighter spaceship takes on an array of unnamed enemy units with distinct formations and shooting patterns. In addition to regular enemies, the game also introduces bosses and enemies with tractor beams.

  • Blast Fighter: The player’s starship, tasked with the mission of defeating the Galaga forces. It’s capable of upgrading to a dual or triple fighter for increased firepower.
  • Bosses: A formidable enemy that attacks the player at the end of certain stages. Unlike most enemies in the game, these cannot be beaten with just one or two attacks. They are also much larger than regular enemies.
  • Tractor Beam Enemies: These small but powerful enemies have a unique ability to capture the player’s ship. If the player enters the tractor beam, the enemy will capture the ship. However, players can destroy the tractor beam enemy to get the ship back.
Ship in Galaga '88.
Players can upgrade the ship in the game to gain more powerful attacks.

©Screenshot for Galaga ’88

Games in the Series

Galaga ’88 is a popular installment in Namco’s arcade series, known for its engaging shoot-’em-up gameplay. This series began with Galaxian nearly 10 years before the release of Gaga ’88. Alongside legendary Space Invaders, Galaxian laid the foundation for the fixed space shooter genre. Galaga ’88, as the third sequel, brought significant additions to the franchise in terms of gameplay and graphics. It was not only released for various home consoles at the time but also rereleased for more modern platforms as a part of game collections.

  • Galaxian (1979)
  • Galaga (1981)
  • Gaplus (1984)
  • Galaga ’88 (1987)
  • Galaxian3: Project Dragoon (1990)

Galaga ’88 Cheats

Cheats in Galaga ’88 offer players fun ways to change their gaming experience, ranging from additional bonus points to harder game modes and ship power-ups. These cheats and tips are all fairly easy to perform, so, without further ado, here they are.

Hard Mode

To activate hard mode for TurboGrafx-16, simply hold Up and press Run at the title screen.

Super Bonus

In the Galactic Dancing bonus round, just stay still and do not shoot. If this is done correctly, the player receives a bonus ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 points.

Super Ship

Once you’ve acquired the double ship, allow the tractor beam to capture you. Then simply destroy the tractor beam enemy, which will send a blue ship down towards you. Secure the blue ship and you will upgrade to a larger ship equipped with triple missiles.

Red Capsule

In some levels towards the latter half of the game, the final enemy will attempt to escape. Successfully defeating it before it flees might result in a red capsule dropping. If you collect this capsule, your current ship will immediately upgrade to a triple ship.


How do I rescue a captured ship?

Shoot the Galaga ship that captured your ship. This will not only rescue your captured ship but also upgrade your firepower.

Is there an end to Galaga ’88?

There is. However, the ending depends on in which dimension the players destroy the last boss. There are five separate possible endings to the game.

To top