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The Secrets and Strategies of Deluxe Galaga

One of the biggest draws to this game are the many secrets and mysteries that surround the game. From hidden weaponry powerups to special bonuses from nowhere this game has it all. WARNING: Reading these secrets and learning the strategies might ruin some of the game for you. Don't blame me if you read on.

Strategies

There are many strategies that will improve your end score - and will certainly help you have a more fun game. This area will grow over time as I get around to putting more strategies.

Strategy 1 - Ship Movement and Location

On earlier levels the far right or left hand side of the screen are fairly safe places to hang out when aliens are coming onto the screen (especially until you learn their habits). It is tempting to use the edges as safety zones during game play - but remember that the 'big' sub-boss aliens on various levels specialize in lateral shots and they aim specifically for the corners. They also 'track-shoot' (i.e. they aim ahead of your current pattern) so keep moving back and forth to throw them off.

Strategy 2 - Firepower

When deciding on firepower, consider a few things.

Overall, DOUBLE SHOT is probably the most useful when you don't have the cash to buy the SUPER WEAPON or better. DOUBLE SHOT is fast and you can have a LOT of them on the screen (with EXTRA BULLET options). You can also get a nice even spread with it - especially with AUTO-FIRE bonus. It is also easier to target your enemy (great for taking out the HURRY UP ship).

TRIPLE and QUAD SHOT have great spreads, but they fire too slow for anything really practical. These weapons are, however, most useful in the WARP MALFUNCTION levels.

Of the 'upscale weapons' - FIREBALLS are the most bang for the buck. Since you can't 'catch' one of these, you'll have to buy it. It ain't cheap, but it is cheaper than most and gives great firepower.

Remember, when it comes to EXTRA BULLETs, one or two levels can make a great difference. Know where your favorite weapon 'peaks out' and keep mental track of its current 'level' of EXTRA BULLET while playing.

Adding AUTO-FIRE to a maxed out weapon makes you quite powerful.

Strategy 3 - Maximum Points and Cash

There are many ways to increase your score and financial portfolio. A few things you might NOT realize are ...

First, gems are worth points. Sometimes a LOT of points. Don't dismiss the idea of wasting the whole alien fleet with a GEM BOMB - those gems really add up.

While it is easy to dismiss a RANK MARKER that you already have, grabbing it will give you points in leiu of the rank stripe.

A great deal of points (money too) can be made in the METEOR STORM - so NEVER pass up a free ride (you can't die in the storm so it is a win-win scenario). If you make it through the storm, prepare for serious rewards.

The MEMORY STATION can also be instrumental in your success - know what you want when you go into it (I always look for an EXTRA LIFE).

Enemies you would rather avoid (like the THIEF SHIP and the LASER SHIP) can be worth big points if you take them down. Other 'secret' ships (like the MONEY SHIP - buy GAME SECRETS to learn about him) can offer you TONS of cash.

Keep your eye out for the BONUS MULTIPLIERS (x2 and x5). They can really change things.

Lastly, there are BIG points to be made on the KAMAKAZE LEVELs. While it might be easier to simply avoid the baddies and take a 'passive' role during these deadly stages, by wiping out each full wave in turn gives you a supreme point value (which doubles for each set you destroy). The point value for a 'completely killed' wave is displayed briefly. Wipe out full waves during the kamakaze attacks and see how many points they are worth collectively! You can do the same thing with the individual levels, if you are powerful enough to destroy the whole wave as they come in.

Strategy 4 - Playing the Mini-Games

There are two mini-games within Deluxe Galaga. Both are engaged by catching a bonus dropped by a dead alien. The games are METEOR STORM and MEMORY STATION.

METEOR STORM is a very basic 'dodge the rocks' and stay alive until you make it all the way through (progress is shown on the little radar on the right). Naturally, the further you make it, the harder it gets (faster, more rocks, etc). You are racking up points the whole time you are in the mini-game. Catch rocks with numbers on them and get points. Catch boxes with numbers on them and get money. Get hit by anything else, and you're done (you do not die - just continue in the regular game). To my knowledge, there is no 'safe' place to hang out. But I can tell you some tricks to make it easier.

Unless you have about a level 2 EXTRA SPEED, forget about being able to make it through the whole storm. I just don't think it is physically possible.

Going through together with a buddy will also lower your chances of success (seems easier with one person). Here is the best tip: use your fire button to accelerate through the storm (if two people are going through at the same time, BOTH fire buttons have to be pressed at the same time. I know what you are thinking: "WHY!!??" During the first 1/3 or so of the storm, there are very few meteors to dodge. Acceleration will get you through FASTER. It also gets your reflexes ready for later on in the storm when things really DO move fast. Try it - you'll agree with me.

Try throttling your speed up and down (to catch the goodies).

The MEMORY STATION is your simple timed version of Concentration - uncovering boxes 2 at a time to try and find a match.

Goodies you can win in this game are: money, points, E-X-T-R-A letters, an EXTRA LIFE, xC (which is a free credit to let you 'continue game' another time), BONUS MULTIPLIERS (x2, x5), RANK MARKERs, EXTRA TIME (adds a few seconds onto your evolution), and the dreaded Skull and Crossbones that will immediately end your MEMORY STATION experience.

This is mostly a game of chance, folks. There isn't much strategy behind the original Concentration either. What I will tell you is this.

Know what you want before you go in.

If you want an EXTRA LIFE (always my goal - and happens to be possible about 25% of the time) then start the mini-game looking for it. Uncover as many boxes as possible. You'll have time to get to them all - so score what you want, don't just 'go for matches' because half the time the matches are RANK MARKERs, E-X-T-R-A letters, or things you nay not really need (if you do, knowing what you want is key to success).

As a secondary, I go for cash (the green numbered goodies). Anything else I get out of it is a benny. If there is a Skull and Crossbones, chances are you are gonna get it anyway - so no use tiptoeing around.

Strategy 5 - Level Preparation

Just like with the original Galaga, you should think ahead to different levels. In the original Galaga, you would always want to make sure you had two ships before hitting the 'challenging stage'. With Deluxe Galaga, there are several levels you should 'prepare' for.

The KAMAKAZE LEVEL is probably the most useful to be prepared on (see FIREPOWER above for more).

Other levels include the 'big boss'es (you can't have enough lives or firepower for those levels - a few levels of SHIP ARMOUR doesn't hurt either), the BONUS LEVEL (similar in may ways to the 'challenging level' of the original Galaga - have at least a DOUBLE SHOT with some EXTRA BULLETs).

Lastly, know when you are going to go through a WARP. WARPing happens just prior to entering the shop where you can spend your dough. It is always nice to have some bucks to spend, but unfortunately you don't always have control over this.

Next, prepare yourself for a WARP MALFUNCTION.

These seemingly random events will hurdle your ship out of WARP and into a 'nothing but sub-bosses' level where death is easy to come by - since they all shoot laterally.

Various types of aliens appear on these levels (all of them are the same each instance, though) and it various as to how many there are.

Like the sub-bosses of the regular levels, dealing a death blow to these aliens will always render you a RANK MARKER - although it should be noted that more times than not, it is one you already have. You get a lot of points in the WARP MALFUNCTION levels though.

I haven't figured out a way to trigger one while WARPing, but I am sure there is a way.

You return to the WARP after killing them all, and you can have multiple WARP MALFUNCTIONs (we've seen 4 in a row as the maximum). Downright gruesome.

The last thing about level preparation is knowing where the aliens will enter the screen from. This makes good sense and seems like a rhetorical strategy, but when you reach higher levels, you will BEG to know where they are gonna come out from.

Strategy 6 - The Deadly (Random?) Alien Ships

There are at least three ships that seemingly appear randomly during the game - the HURRY UP ship, the LAZER SHIP, and the ever-dreaded THIEF SHIP (which can actually be disabled in configuration).

The HURRY UP ship isn't really random - he appears when you take too long to finish a level.

He randomly drops 'semi-guided' rockets down on the players which are naturally deadly to the touch. Fortunately, he simply passes over the top of the screen and vanishes (always to come back, even if destroyed).

Destroying the HURRY UP SHIP drops a RANK MARKER (a good thing - as you'll learn later) and lowers the level of rockets that fly down at you.

While some folks say you can destroy the rockets by shooting them, I simply don't find that true. The best (and really only way) to save your own ass is to position yourself RIGHT in their path until they get close to you, then quickly move to one side or the other. The rocket will normally fly past you (out of sight, but still there - so get clear) and go into a dead loop pattern and blow up. There are times when there is NOTHING you can do about it - just suck it up - but you will learn how to play the rockets off as often as possible.

The LAZER SHIP is a random ship that comes out from time to time and shoots a hardcore laser beam at the players.

The beam is big, fast, and deadly. While I seem to recall killing him at one time, I haven't been able to prove to myself that I can, so take that under advisement.

The THIEF SHIP is the nemesis of the game. Sometime at random, this goon will fly onto the screen and suck all your money from your ship (the effect is cool anyway).

He'll give you some chances to blast him (and I imagine he has some good cash on him) - but like the LAZER SHIP, I have been unable to whack him (unloading QUAD SHOT continuously wasn't enough) but maybe with a good weapon you can kill him.

The LAZER SHIP you can dodge, the THIEF SHIP you cannot avoid.

Finally, there is a MONEY SHIP in the game.

It is very difficult to get to, hard to kill, but will rain riches down on you from the heavens when you kill it.

There is a way to make the MONEY SHIP come, but I won't tell you how to do it, but you can buy GAME SECRETS to tell you (or cheat and look at the area below the Strategies - all the GAME SECRETS are available on this site).

Strategy 7 - The Miscellaneous Stuff

RANK MARKERs are a good thing.

They increase your 'end of the game' extra points.

They also can be used (another GAME SECRET) to net you a cool one million points.

SHIP ARMOUR is the only permanent 'protection' you have in this game, plus it is cummulative. They are fairly frequent during the game and cost MORE than an EXTRA LIFE so don't make light of them.

The SHIELD bonus is only temporary and tends to run out just when you need it the most. Shield + KAMAKAZE LEVEL = BIG POINTS.

There is a MIRROR MODE bonus - very rare - that will give you TWO ships that run in 'mirror' to each other. It is far to easy to lose track of which of the ships is your REAL one. Keep them close together and enjoy the extra firepower. The MYSTERY BONUS (the little question mark) can give you just about anything in the game that can be 'caught' including money, points, EXTRA BULLET, EXTRA SPEED, and just about anything else. You may get a DRUNK MODE bonus from the MYSTERY BONUS too, which will temporarily reverse your controls (cool huh?). It is short lived, so stay out of harm's way until it wears off - since it usually wears off just as you are getting used to it (plunging you into the hands of the enemy). Learn the value of a dollar. BLUE COINs are worth the most at $200 - if you get a MONEY BOMB or shoot down the MONEY SHIP, be sure you go for the concentration of the most valuable coins. Seems like another rhetorical strategy, but you would be amazed.

The Secrets

Secrets. Things we all want to know, but sometimes shouldn't know. Within Deluxe Galaga, you can 'purchase' many secrets (at quite a premium) - 14 total that I know of. I'm offering these secrets to my visitors, but I highly recommend earning and buying them instead. Just to keep 'honest people honest', you will have to click a button to read each secret.

Thanks to Ivan Wheelwright