|Preceded by||Galaga '88|
|Followed by||Attack of the Zolgear (6-player laserdisc)|
Galaxian³ is a first-person shooter arcade booth that was released by Namco in 1990. The game inside runs on the company's System 21 hardware, with a pair of synchronized laserdisc players generating the background imagery, was their first game of the 1990s, and is the fifth title in the Galaxian series. It was also the first of only two Namco games to allow up to six players to play simultaneously in the same booth (Final Lap and Four Trax, which were released in 1987 and 1989 respectively, allowed six players to play simultaneously when three two-player cabinets were linked together) - and the other one was its immediate sequel, Attack of the Zolgear, which was also a first-person shooter arcade booth and was released four years after it in 1994.
The players are seated in front of three projection screens inside the booth, and use an analog joystick with a trigger for firing and a thumb button for bombing, to direct a crosshair around the screen; they can also choose to take different paths through the game if they wish. The virtual ship is always moving forward, and Namco's subsequent first-person shooters of the early 1990s (Steel Gunner, Starblade, Solvalou, and Steel Gunner 2) reused this concept - however, the first and last of these four games used a lightgun rather than an analog joystick to direct the crosshair around the screen, and needed to be calibrated after the cabinet had been turned on for the first time in service mode (like the guns from Namco's electro-mechanical/video-game hybrid, Golly! Ghost!). All six players share the virtual ship life bar between them, and once depleted, the game is over.