Game Center CX #7 “Galaga” Namco


In this episode, Arino sneaks into Namco, the company that has produced many famous shooters.

The interview with legendary creator Masanobu Endo and Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani is a must-see.

In the challenge corner, Arino challenges a shooting game he is not good at.

Will he be able to overcome his weakness?


point worthy of note

It’s a highlight to learn about the thinking of the legendary creator of Xebius, Masanobu Endo, who gave birth to Xebius.

The story of Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, is also a must-see.

In the challenge corner, Arino, who is not good at shooting, challenges Galaga.

Will he be able to clear the challenge?


Creator’s Interview

Zebius challenge.

This time, Arino challenged Xevious at the Game Center before the interview.

Zebius (1983)

A game that has become a legend and is a cornerstone of shooting games.

A story with a unique worldview.
A colorful frame and a wealth of characters.
Numerous hidden elements that tickle the fancy of enthusiasts.

Everything is new and fresh, and has shocked and excited many people.

You can’t talk about shooting without this game.


Arino plays with a sense of nostalgia. But…



Then, here comes a character.

He is Masanobu Endo, the creator of Zebius.

Masanobu Endo

Born in Tokyo in 1959, he joined NAMCO and was mainly involved in the production of Zebius in 1983.
After joining Namco, he was mainly involved in the production of XEVIOUS in 1983.

He also worked on “Tower of Druaga” and “Resurrection of Isiter”.

In 1985, he set up his own game studio, and worked as a director and producer.

He continued to work as a director and producer.

Before the interview, Endo also got to play Xevious.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since he’s played the game.

Then came Andor Genesis.

He defeated it without difficulty and with great skill.

We then moved to a different location and began our interview with Endo.

Why the initial X?

XEVIOUS is written as “XEVIOUS” as a notation in the game.

Why was the initial “ze” an “X” instead of a “Z”?

At the time, Xerox, a manufacturer of photocopiers and other products, and Xenon, a manufacturer of pinball machines, began with the letter X. Endo wanted to incorporate that into his own branding, so he began with the letter X.

Produced by a new employee.

Quite surprisingly, Zebius was, to my surprise, the first game Endo had created as a new employee.

Arino was quite surprised, but of course the company would never entrust a new employee with a major project.

The game’s content was already set, and Endo’s job was to turn it into an actual game.

Endo put every ounce of energy he had at his disposal to create the world of Xebius.

What is Zebius?

The setting was based on the Grand Cross.

The Grand Cross is a state in which the planets of the solar system form a giant cross with the sun at the top and the earth at the center.

They got the name Zebius from the name of the fourth star.

By the way, Solvalu was meant to be the bird of the sun.

What was important in the production

When creating the game, Endo decided to take care of the culture within the game.
The most easily understood culture is the language, so he created the Zebi language.

He also made the world view in the game more profound.

Quite a few Zebi words were also created, and there was even a Zebi dictionary in the company.

What inspired me to create the game?

“I want to play, but it’s not out there yet and no one else is going to make it, so I’m going to make it myself.

Endo replied that this idea was the reason why he decided to make the game.

It’s very simple, but it’s not something that can be done easily.

Why are you going to Namco?

Endo originally thought Galaxian and Pac-Man were good games, but when he found out that the company making them was Namco, he decided to join the company.

Monorail for training

At the time, apparently, Namco’s training included driving a monorail on the roof of a department store.

Endo, the man himself, also drove the monorail.

The reason for this training was that the company had grown from the president’s previous role in rooftop sales at department stores.

Endo says that the training was an important part of the company’s training because it allowed him to feel a direct connection with the customers by offering them money, greeting them and giving them a ride, and thanking them when they left.

So, Arino asked, “You joined the company because you wanted to make games, but what did you actually think about that kind of training? When I asked him, “That was actually interesting,” Endo replied.

I learned a lot from driving the monorail.

From there, he began to think about how to please the people who play his games.

Whenever his own game was completed and released in the market, Endo would go to see it.

With Xebius, Endo said he almost cried when he went to the arcade and saw people trying their best to play the game with a stack of 100 yen coins.

The steel plate can be destroyed!

“Is the rumor true that 256 rounds can destroy a steel plate? Arino asked Endo.

Well, first of all, Endo cut him off, saying that he didn’t think he could shoot 256 rounds.

Then he clarified that it wouldn’t actually break even if he fired 256 rounds.

Rather than being physically unable to make it in time for 256 rounds, Endo said that the program had been set up so that it wouldn’t break no matter how many rounds it fired.

The truth about hidden characters.

Endo also gave us a detailed history of the hidden characters.

Sol, for example.

One of Zebius’ main features is a system that lights up the ground with a sighting system.

When that sight illuminates, it’s a sign that Sol is hiding.

Then, if you fire a blaster at it, the hidden character Sol will appear.

From a realist perspective, it’s impossible for the sight to be projected onto the ground.

Endo wondered if it would be possible to make an interesting game out of this.

The system blinks when the enemy is in focus, but it seems that people who notice the flashing lights sometimes, even when there are no enemies in the area, will be amused by the fact that Sol appears when they shoot at it. This was the strategy behind the system.

The Truth About Special Flags

Special flags, unlike sols, are a really sudden and hidden element.

I’ve heard that Arino is more common along the river? I asked Endo from the rule of thumb.

Then he said that he wanted to make a rumor that he was going to be at the water’s edge.

Endo thought that if he made a few rumors, people would be more likely to shoot at the water’s edge.

Seeing the players actually shooting at the water, Endo was happy to see it.

Zebius’ goal.

Arino asked Endo if Zebius had a goal, or an ending.

He was told that there was no end to the game.

However, apparently there was a bug in the game that once the game reached 9,960,000 points, the number of machines would begin to increase every time the number of points was raised.

That’s because at the initial launch stage, they thought that no player would ever exceed 10 million points.

However, contrary to that expectation, more than 10 million points were scored by players.

Endo says he was surprised to receive a video of a player playing for six hours straight on a arcade cabinet machine.

It apparently cost him several thousand yen to play it.

The most important thing.

Thinking that it would be boring if you spent 100 yen to play and got beaten right away, Endo says that he set the game to be gentle for those who are not good at it and difficult for those who are good at it.

The audience and Arino must have been haters.

In fact, the AI was already in place at that time.

Today, the word “AI” has finally developed and the word “AI” has come up a lot, but the fact that they were thinking about it at the time is amazing.

The game had a built-in setting that changed the difficulty level based on the game’s progress and scores.

Endo has kept the foundation of the game in his possession to this day.

Name of the score screen

The game’s early rankings already have names in them, but whose names are they, exactly? Arino asked.

Then he found out that it was the name of Endo himself or his wife or someone else close to him.

At the time, the most common way to include a name in game rankings was to use three letters of the alphabet.

Three letters were considered boring, so the name of the president, “M. Nakamura,” would have been 10 letters, so they decided to use 10 letters.

Incidentally, the president’s name comes first, his wife’s (then girlfriend’s) name comes second, and Endo’s own name comes third.

Endo is also famous for the Tower of Druaga.

Tower of Druaga

The Tower of Druaga has captivated game lovers around the world with its treasure hunt.

The main character, Gil, battles his way through a 60-story maze while battling enemies and rescuing his trapped lover, Kai, in this RPG-style action game.

The solving of the riddles in the treasure chest has created a lot of buzz in this masterpiece.

Where does the name come from?

What does Druaga mean, Arino asked.

It turns out that Druaga is the name of a Mesopotamian demon.

The main character’s name, Gil, came from Gilgamesh, also a Mesopotamian hero’s name.

Did I put the slime in a bad position?

Druaga is said to be the first RPG in Japan.

Endo says that the appearance of a monster called “Slime” was the catalyst for Slime’s decline in Japan.

Slime, which was born in the West, is said to be a very strong specter that cannot be cut by a sword.

Because of their cute, pudgy movements and the fact that Gil was able to kill them easily, they came to be recognized as weak enemies.

This is where Dragon Quest comes in.

Slime is synonymous with the first weak enemy that appears in the game.

In this way, the position of slime as a weak enemy was established in Japan before we knew it.

Why the 60th floor setting?

The reason for the 60th floor is simply because Sunshine 60 was famous as the tallest building at the time.

How to get the treasure chest out

In the Tower of Druaga, there were times when players had to use unusual methods to bring up treasure chests.

The innovative and unreasonable way of getting the treasure chest out of the tower became a hot topic of conversation as many enthusiasts played with it.

According to Endo, after doing various things, he decided to do something that hadn’t been done before and added such a difficult method to the game.

Relationship with Iwatani

He said that he and Iwatani, his senior at Namco, used to have a friendly rivalry.

They really fought all the time during work, but it seems they would go out drinking after work.

Iwatani was also involved in the development of Xevious, but Endo says that his biggest achievement was mainly in saying that he wanted to incorporate Nazca’s ground art and Grand Cross.

What do game creators need to do?

He says it’s important to study many things.

Endo, who never forgets to take on new challenges, surprised Arino by telling him that he had tried snowboarding in his 40s.

What does the game mean to Endo?

“Games are the best form of entertainment.

For Endo, games are both a hobby and a job.

Toru Iwatani

The creator of Pac-Man.


A worldwide popular action game that is now the face of Namco.

With its cute characters and easy controls with a single lever, it has become a huge hit and is popular with a wide range of players.

The story behind the birth of the classic Pac-Man.

About Toru Iwatani

Born in Tokyo in 1955.

In 1977, he joined Nakamura Manufacturing (later to become Namco Co., Ltd.), where he created the first original video game, G.B. He was also involved in the production of Pac-Man and Livreblebleble, and was responsible for managing new businesses.

Later, he worked on Pac-Man and Ribbleblebleble, as well as managing new businesses.

The inspiration behind the creation of Pac-Man

At the time, home consoles such as the Famicom were not yet mainstream.
Games were still considered to be played in game centers.

This all started with a plan to attract female customers to the game centers.

At the time, game centers were a place where men went.

If women started coming to the arcades, the number of customers would simply double.

So what is a game that is a hit with women? When I thought about this, the idea of “eating” was the key word that came up.

There are a lot of games about defeating something, but if it’s a game about eating something, I thought it would be easier for women to enjoy. This is why he started the concept with a focus on food.

One time, Iwatani was having lunch.

The food he was eating was pizza.

When he took a round piece of pizza, it looked like a face with its mouth open.

The idea of using this as a character in a game where the player has to eat something was the inspiration for Pac-Man.

Incidentally, the reason why Pac-Man is yellow is because of the impressive pizza he was eating.

Setting up Pac-Man

They say that what Pac-Man is eating is bait, but it’s really cookies.

The game’s setting was that Pac-Man and his ghosts, who love cookies, would fight over them.

Incidentally, the fruit that sometimes appears in the game was prepared as a dessert.

Develop colorful monsters.

During the development stage, when the game was being presented to the president for him to play, he saw the colorful monsters and complained that the colors were so jumbled up that he couldn’t tell which were the enemies.

So, the president ordered that the enemies should be all red.

Iwatani was frustrated because he wanted to use a colorful color, but he decided that there was no point in arguing on the spot, so he gave it some thought and backed down.

Iwatani was not satisfied with the decision, so he conducted a survey of the entire development department that day.

When the results of the survey came out 40 to 0 in favor of colorful monsters, Iwatani requested another meeting with the president the next day and confronted him with the results.

To his surprise, he was able to convince the president to release the colorful monster in the market.

Monster Characteristics

Each colorful monster had its own characteristics.

They were designed to surround Pac-Man by setting up the fast ones, the slow ones and the ones that go around him.

The Big Monster Picture Book

Red “Akaike Akabae

A monster relentlessly chasing after Pac-Man.

Pink “Matibuse Pinkie

The monster that always gets ahead of you and ambushes Pac-Man.

Light blue “Kimagure Aosuke

A monster whose movements are completely unpredictable.

Yellow “Otoboke Guzta

He moves slowly. But there is something irresistible about this monster.

The hardest thing to do.

I considered the game to be somewhat complete, but not thrilling and somewhat frustrating.

Pac-Man was originally a much slower game.

He said that when he played it at a higher speed to improve efficiency in the work of investigating certain things in the program, he found this one more interesting and it was twice as fast as it was originally.

What’s the secret to your success?

In fact, it was an unexpected hit, and that was the secret to its success.

The one that drew women into the arcade, as originally planned, was a success.

But more importantly, the game exploded in popularity in the US and Europe.

The first game I played, known as My First Game, became the kind of game that would be answered by the Japanese at the time as Invader and Pac-Man in the US.

How was Pacland born?

When Pac-Man became a hit in the US, it was made into an anime.

The content of the show was that Pac-Man was a hero and his enemies, the monsters, and the slapstick drama that ensued.

Surprisingly, it became such a popular show that it earned the highest ratings of 56%.

The character created at that time was incorporated into the game, and Pac-Man with arms and legs was born.

The History of Pac-Man


The original Pac-Man, which is still made up of only yellow without a single expression.


Pac-Man with arms and legs running around in Pac Land, which was a huge hit in the arcades.


Pacmania, where the pseudo-3D version of the game allows you to jump and jump over monsters.

Pacman World 20th Anniversary

Pacman World, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pacman’s birth, is a fully 3D representation of the world.

rejected project

There were some games that were 90% complete, but were rejected.

Just as they were about to release the game to the market, another company released a game with the exact same content.

Iwatani stubbornly refused to tell them about the game, but they said it was a sports game.

However, he did tell us that it was a sports game.

When he saw a game from another company, he crumbled on the spot.

Did you try to pull him out?

At the time, there were many people pulling out of the company.

Iwatani explains why he didn’t take up the offer, saying that he was allowed to make the games he wanted to make freely at Namco.

No matter how much he was invited to join the company because of the increased remuneration that would be offered by the pullout process, Iwatani says he was not at all attracted to the idea.

Arino and Iwatani’s Pac-Man showdown.

They took turns playing Pac-Man and competing on their scores.

Arino made a smart play, attracting his foes to eat the power bait.

He got off to a good start, but the game was over shortly thereafter.

Iwatani was the next player to take on the challenge.

How good is he?

Unexpectedly, Iwatani made a simple mistake and Arino cleared the front page first.

Finally, Iwatani also cleared the first side of the game.

After that, Arino and Iwatani continued to play, and both Arino and Iwatani cleared the second stage of the game.

Iwatani’s seemingly easy victory turned out to be a 50-50 game.

Who would win the game?

We both have one plane left.

Arino first.

At this point, Arino has the upper hand.

Will Iwatani turn the tables?

Iwatani clears three sides and reverses the game.

Iwatani, who now has some leeway, shows a secret technique.

In fact, he has a secret technique: a safe zone.

However, he moves a little and the monster reacts, and the game is over.

However, the game ended with Iwatani’s victory.

What does the game mean to Iwatani?

The game is all about service.

He told Iwata that it is a medium that allows him to show his own service spirit.

Other Interviews

Gallagher challenge.


This time the challenge is the classic shooting game Galaga.

This shooting game was popular in the arcades and was later released on the NES and PlayStation.

Many game fans were surprised by the groundbreaking content of this game, which surpassed its predecessor Galaxian, which was considered a masterpiece, with its challenging stages, which could be considered the beginning of the bonus stages, and dual fighters that combine with a captured machine to power up your ship.

If you complete all three challenging stages without missing any enemies, you’ll receive a 10,000-point bonus.

This time, the bonus is challenged at the Namco Museum on PlayStation.

However, right after the challenge starts.

He was beaten on the first stage without a second thought.

It seems that Arino is not so good at shooting.

After that, he finally moved on to the challenging stage of the third stage.

As a result, he managed to get 26 of them by missing many enemies.

It’s far from the perfect 40 animals.

Arino realized the reality of the situation, and that’s when…

Arino thinks of a plan.

The plan is to dare to get caught by Boss Galaga, become a dual fighter, and challenge the challenge stage with a twin attack that is easier to hit.

Will it work?

However, he suddenly misses it.

But we missed it.

His twin attack was in vain, and the result was 35 fish.

After that, Arino continued to try.

However, he failed again and again.

Arino raised his voice as soon as possible.

And then another tragedy happened to Arino…

The game is over because he was captured even though he doesn’t have his own ship.

After an hour from the start of the challenge, Arino had a chance.

However, by a simple mistake of pushing the wrong button, Arino missed one fish.

However, he seemed to have gotten the hang of it.

And after 32 times of trying, Arino got his wish for 10,000 fish.

Arino’s longed-for 10,000 points bonus was achieved.


He’s a hell of a do-it-yourself kid.

Namco Masterpiece Collection

Namco’s works (1)

1984 “Mappy” NES

An action game in which you control the energetic rookie policeman, Mappy, to retrieve the items that Meowmko and his friends have taken to the mansion.

The game’s clear game balance, rhythmic music, and cute characters attracted a lot of attention at the time.

1985 “Dig Dug” NES

Strategic hole-digging action game in which you control the protagonist, Dig Dug, to exterminate underground enemies called Figher and Pooka.

The attack methods are comical and unique, such as using a pump to burst them or dropping rocks to crush them.

1986 “Super Chinese” NES

Jackie and Lee, two kung fu masters, return from their journey of training to take down the Yokai Army to recover Princess Ming Ming, Princess of Chinese Land, and her 10 treasures.

The two-player co-op game offers an even more intense gameplay experience.

1986 “The Adventures of Valkyrie” (NES)

An action RPG in which the main character, Valkyrie, tries to recover the key to time from the Demon King Zona and defeats his enemies by using sword and magic.

Unusually for an RPG, there is no dialogue at all, so you have to solve all the riddles by yourself.

However, the hardcore elements of the game are what has captivated many game fans.

1986 “Sky Kid” NES

Baron and Max are airplane guys who work well together.

Their mission is to board their plane and bomb enemy battleships and fortresses.

The memorable, light music was the talk of the town at the time, and it was used at elementary school athletic meets.

1986 “Professional Baseball Family Stadium” NES

Famista, a game synonymous with baseball games, has been a source of excitement not only for young baseball players, but for boys across the country.

Each player, such as the fast-footed Pino, who was able to safely bunt with ease, had his own unique characteristics, and the game was played out in front of the TVs in every home.


Playing the same team

Enter the password “6663” in the game

Namco’s Masterpieces (2)

1987 “Dragon Buster

An action RPG in which the main character, Clovis, sets out on a journey to rescue Princess Celia, the Princess of Lawrence, who has been taken hostage by a dragon.

It introduces a novel vitality system not seen in previous arcade games.

A variety of moves, including a two-step jump, a helmet splitting and a vertical slash, are part of the game’s appeal.

1988 “Yokai Michi no Michi-ki” PC Engine

An action game in which the main character Tarosuke, a prankster who was sent to hell by God, aims for the heavenly realm.

The game attracted attention for its multi-ending system, which was extremely rare at the time, where the ending changes depending on the number of enemies defeated and the amount of money acquired.


Start on page 5.

On the title screen, press Run while holding the I and II buttons and select on Bud.

On the staff information board, enter “S.62.08.22”.

The message “Anytime from the 5-sides to Sutato” will appear and reset the game.

1990 “Genpei Uzumaden” PC Engine

A purely Japanese game that recreates the beauty of Japan with the theme of revenge for the Taira family’s destruction at Dannoura in 1192.

In order to defeat Minamoto Yoritomo, the devil’s boss, the protagonist, Taira Kagekiyo, comes back from hell and heads for Kamakura.

You can enjoy three modes: a horizontal mode that requires controller handling, a big mode in which the characters grow in size, and a flat mode in which the game is a diagonal maze.

1988 “Kaikyu Monogatari” (NES)

A fantasy RPG in which the main character, a boy summoned from modern society to another world, and three shellfish, Babu Kupikpi Pooyong, set out on a journey to defeat the Demon King.

The innovative idea of controlling the four protagonists, who start in different places, was included in the game.

1987 “Quinty” NES

An action puzzle game in which enemies are knocked down by sliding panels and hitting the wall.

This is the brilliant debut work of current game freaks such as Satoshi Tajiri.

The game became popular for its adorable characters and deep game content.

Namco’s Masterpieces (3)

1990 “Splatter House” PC Engine

An action game in which the protagonist, Rick, rescues his lover who has been kidnapped and attempts to escape from a mysterious Western-style house.

The frightening BGM and sound effects create a sense of fear.

The game is always tense with a sense of urgency.


Round select and sound test screen

Bring up the title screen and press the run button once and the select button three times.


1994 “Ridge Racer” PS

A port of the hugely popular arcade racing game to the PlayStation with its stunning scenery and exuberant drift turns.

The exhilarating techno music used in the background music is considered to be one of the most popular masterpieces in game music history.


Miller Course

It doesn’t matter which course you choose, you’ll do a reverse run at the start.

Drive into the concrete blocks behind you at 100km/h or more.

2003 ‘Taiko no Tatsujin Appare 3rd Generation’ PS2

The easy-to-use controls and rhythmic action make this taiko rhythm action game very popular with everyone from children to the elderly.

Creator Quotes

Masanobu Endo

“Games are the best form of entertainment.

Toru Iwatani

The game is all about service.

How to watch the video?

DVD/CDの宅配レンタル【TSUTAYA DISCAS】 今なら無料でお試し!「ゲオ宅配レンタル」



Today I met with Endo-san from Xevious and Iwatani-san from Pac-Man.

Mr. Iwatani-san was successful with Pac-Man, and afterwards, he told Endo-san to include Grand Cross and Nazca ground art.

It was fun to see how Endo cried and cried to get them in.

Endo said he started snowboarding because he’s still working on absorbing things as a creator, but I wouldn’t be able to do it.