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Galaga '88 is the sequel to Namco's Arcade classic Galaga. Players can move their ship left or right along the bottom of the screen, and must shoot down invading hordes of alien insects that will shoot missiles and even dive at the ship. One type of alien also has the ability to capture the player's ship. When this alien type is destroyed, players can collect the captured ship and add it to their current ship for more firepower.
The game has three basic types of stages. The first involves streams of alien insects flying into the stage with circular or square patterns, then aligning themselves at the top of the screen. All of the aliens in the stage must be shot down to proceed. The second uses a vertically scrolling screen, with occasionally static screens for enemy boss encounters. The third is the galactic dancing stage. Alien insects fly around the screen to waltz music doing a sort of dance, but will not attack the player ship.
Players begin the game with three ships, and can choose to use a single or double ship configuration. The single ship only shoots one shot, but with this configuration players have two lives left. The double ship can shoot two shots simultaneously, but is a bigger target and also leaves players with only one life. Triple ships with three simultaneous shots can be acquired through red power-up units or by recapturing stolen ships. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide