The Galaxian Flagship: Going Turbo Before Turbo Was Cool

Wreck-It Ralph may just have put a new term into our already overcrowded video game vernacular.

“Going Turbo” is a term coined in the film with the backstory of Turbo, the star of a fictional classic racing game called TurboTime, getting upset at a newer racing game and breaking the code by travelling over to it.  The character and artwork on TurboTime are clearly based on Namco’s 1980 title Rally-X, which makes it ironic, as another Namco star was “going turbo” around the time Rally-X was originally released.

The flagship in Galaxian was perhaps the first video game character to go turbo, and he didn’t wait long.  After appearing in 1979 hit Galaxian he quickly made sure he stayed relevant by entering a number of other Namco arcade titles.  He first showed up in Pac-Man, sacrificing himself to the almighty yellow hungry man as a bonus item.

After Pac-Man became a hit, the Galaxian Flagship sought out other cameos.  He brought his buddies with him in GORF, taking over an entire level.  He then wore a disguise in Galaga, the sequel to Galaxian, showing up as one of the transforming divebombers.  He then burrowed down deep as a Dig Dug bonus item, a Super Pac-Man item, a Pac-Man Plus bonus fruit and more, continuing his habit of going turbo into Tekken and beyond.

While he might not have screamed “TurboTastic” when appearing on screen, the Galaxian flagship deserves props for starting the trend.