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Galaxian - Atari - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   



  • To insert your 5200 game cartridge, hold the cartridge so that the name on the label faces you and reads right-side-up. Then carefully insert the cartridge into the slot in the center of the console. Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated, but do not force it. The POWER ON/OFF switch is located on the bottom right side of the ATARI 5200. Press this switch to turn the power on AFTER inserting your game cartridge. See your Owners Manual for further information.



    1. The Galaxian Invasion
    2. Game Objective
    3. Using The 5200 Controllers
    4. Trak-Ball Option
    5. Scoring
    6. Skill Levels
    7. Game Strategy



  • What an induction! You no sooner join the Intergalactic Warrior Fleet than the explosion hits. Suddenly the planet is under attack. Without prior training, you have to complete your first mission-- defending the planet. On the job combat is the only way to learn, so you have to go out there and do your duty. Shaking in your boots, you accept the assignment and board your intergalactic command ship.

  • You soon find out that this invasion has something to do with a centuries-old interstellar war. As a result of this war, the Galaxian government lost many planets. Now they are fighting to reclaim their lost territories. Knowing they have no right to your planet, you're ready to put your life on the line and fight to the bitter end.

  • The Galaxian invasion starts off with a bang. Instantly, an entire fleet of invaders descends toward the planet. The command ship suddenly becomes the target of a missile ambush. The Galaxian fleet is fast and strong. They attack in waves, approaching faster and faster with each wave. They swoop downward, firing laser cannons. The majority of them charge in single file; others blitz in groups.

  • Flagships never fly alone, for they are always flanked by protective Escorts. Their colorful uniforms make their ranking order easy to identify. Drones, the lowest rank, wear blue; Emissaries wear purple; Hornets are outfitted in red; and Flagship Commanders, the highest rank of all, wear yellow.

  • The Galaxian fleet is smart and experienced in battle. They have special radar that enables them to dodge intergalactic missiles. Their warfare includes tricks to divert attention. The Galaxian ability to pull off unexpected surprises forces you to use foresight and caution, plus cunning and skill.

  • Nevertheless, the initial attack is thwarted. But the battle isn't over yet. They'll be back, stronger than ever. Next time, you'll be manning the command ship, again waiting courageously to defend the planet and defeat the Galaxian fleet. Use your accurate aim and quick reflexes, as well as strategy and forethought. A foolish move could cost you the battle and the planet.


  • Your game objective is to destroy the Galaxian fleet before it destroys you. In doing so, you score points--the player with the most points wins. Galaxian battle strategy is to attack in a succession of accelerating waves; each wave fiercer than the last. Waves are depicted with flags at the top, right corner of the screen (see Figure 1 for flags). One flag appears during the first wave, two flags during the second wave, and so on. There is a total of 32 waves in the GALAXIAN game; if you survive beyond wave 16, you're a real pro.

  • You start the game with three intergalactic command ships--one at the line of battle and two reserves at the top, center of the screen as shown in Figure 1. Slide your command ship right and left to dodge Galaxian fire. At the same time, fire intergalactic missiles to protect your command ship. You lose a command ship each time it is hit by either a Galaxian missile or a collision with a Galaxian. When all three command ships have been destroyed, the game is over.

  • The Galaxian fleet lines up in ranking order before individually plunging down, bombarding your ship, and then flying back to the lineup. That is, if you don't shoot them first! These creatures are cagey, they'll tease you, diving down, firing, and then dodging your intergalactic fire. The excitement builds as the battle gets tougher. This game requires some quick evasive action and lots of planned strategy. The longer you survive, the more surprises you're in for. You never know what the Galaxian fleet has up their sleeves. Be on the lookout for just about anything.

    Figure 1


  • Use your 5200 controllers with this ATARI game cartridge. Be sure to plug the controller cables firmly into the jacks at the front of the 5200 console. Plug the controller into jack 1 for one-player games; use jacks 1 and 2 for two-player games, or let both players use the same controller. To share a controller, simply pass the controller between turns.

  • Before starting your first game, initiate the Galaxian fleet by pushing the joystick all the way to the right and left.

    [Photo of the 5200 controller.]
    Figure 2


  • For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this game. Slip the tabs into the slots above and below the keypad on the controller. See your 5200 Owner's Manual for further details.
          1           2           3
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
          4           5           6
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
          7           8           9
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
         EASY         0       1-2 PLAYERS
       --------    --------    --------
      |        |  |        |  |        |
      |        |  |        |  |        |
       --------    --------    --------
    Figure 3

  • Press the # controller button to choose a one-player game or a two-player game. Your choice is displayed in the center of the screen as shown in Figure 4.

  • Press the * controller button to play the easiest version, a yellow 0 appears in the upper left corner of the screen. This easy game variation may be helpful for children or first-time GALAXIAN players. Game play begins immediately after the button is pressed.

  • Keypad buttons 0 through 9 indicate skill levels--0 for novice and 9 for expert. Press the appropriate button to choose the level that is right for you (see SKILL LEVELS, Section 6). After the game number is displayed on the upper, left corner of the screen (see Figure 4), the game will begin immediately.

    [Screenshot with "ONE PLAYER" in the middle of the playfield.]
    Figure 4

  • Use the joystick to guide the command ship right and left across the screen. Push the joystick right to move right; push it left to move left. Press the bottom, right or bottom, left fire button to shoot intergalactic missiles. The top, fire buttons are not used. See Figure 5 for controller use.

    [Diagram showing which directions you need to push the stick to move the ship left or right. You can probably figure it out without benefit of the actual figure.]
    Figure 5

  • Press the START button to start a game at level 0 or to restart a game that has just ended.

  • Press RESET to reset the game.

  • Press PAUSE any time during game play to freeze the action. Press PAUSE again to release the freeze.

    4. TRAK-BALL OPTION (Future Accessory)

  • This GALAXIAN game cartridge offers a TRAK-BALL option. An ATARI TRAK-BALL may be purchased separately. To play a GALAXIAN game with a TRAK-BALL, plug the TRAK-BALL into jack 1 at the front of the 5200 console. To select the number of players and game level, follow the instructions in Section 3, USING THE 5200 CONTROLLERS. You do not need a separate TRAK-BALL for each player. Simply pass the TRAK-BALL from player to player as each turn comes up.

    5. SCORING

  • Point scoring depends upon the military rank of each Galaxian you destroy (see Figure 6 and POINT VALUES TABLE). You start the game with three command ships. A bonus command ship is earned after the first 5000 points you score. When it is your turn, your score appears at the top, center of the screen. Your opponent's score moves to the bottom, right corner of the screen.

    [Screenshot. No clue why it's included.]
    Figure 6
    Point Values Table
      Flagships   60 Points
      Hornets     50 Points
      Emissaries  40 Points
      Drones      30 Points
    Destroying a Flagship in flight earns you 
    bonus points as follows:
      Flagship with no Escorts     150 Points
      Flagship with one Escort     200 Points
      Flagship with two Escorts    300 Points
      Destroy Both Escorts then    800 Points
         the Flagship
  • In one-player games your score is displayed at the top, center of the screen. The highest score is displayed at the bottom, left corner of the screen, and remains on the screen until the power on the 5200 console is turned off.

  • As your skill improves and you survive beyond wave 10, the Galaxian fleet may surprise you with some special screen graphics. We won't tell you what to expect, just that GALAXIAN is full of surprises!


  • The GALAXIAN game includes 10 skill levels, 0 through 9, and one easy version for beginners.

  • The easy version allows you to destroy the Galaxian fleet without them firing back at you. The only way you can lose a turn in this version is by head-on collision with a Galaxian.

  • Games 0 through 9 offer varying degrees of challenge; Game 0 is relatively easy and Game 9 is very difficult. The Galaxian fleet fires at you throughout these games. In the harder games they fire faster with more missiles. In some games they fire in a noticeable pattern, while in others they fire randomly.

  • All GALAXIAN games may be played by one or two players, each taking turns until their command ship is destroyed. In the case of a two-player game using two 5200 controllers, the player using jack 1 is player 1. In two-player games with one 5200 controller or a TRAK-BALL, simply pass the controller between turns.


    * In Games 0 through 9, when a Flagship is destroyed in flight, the rest of the fleet stops firing for a few seconds of mourning. This is your big chance to get the escorts and any other warriors that you can. This may be the only time that they aren't firing at you.

    * It's a good idea to play a few games at the easy (the * button) level when you're just learning to play GALAXIAN. This will help you develop skill and strategy.

    * Always have a strategical escape planned to avoid patterns of missile attacks. Think fast and scan the screen for methods of outsmarting the Galaxian fleet.

    * Some members of the Galaxian fleet are incredibly difficult to destroy, but with practice you'll even outsmart them!


    Typed by Jay Tilton

    for Atari Gaming Headquarters

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters