Last night, I placed the names into the baby bath of fortune™ – and drew one out.
To celebrate Phil Day’s historic World Record, and the uploading of our exclusive article “Fighter Captured – The Phil Day story“… we imported one of Justin Whitlock’s fantastic baby Galaga cabs, and asked Phil to sign it.
(Tip: Click on the photo below to ZOOM IN)
How AWESOME would that look on top of your monitor?
Here’s how to enter….
In part 2, we followed Phil’s climb up the score table for Galaga: Tournament in 2009. By late August, he’d claimed the world number 1, but was gutted, when the score was rejected. Eventually, he began training again, and now, as we start the thrilling conclusion…. his confidence had returned…
Friday October 2 was the last day of the school term. Phil was feeling pretty relaxed, so he decided to set up his new camera for a Friday night recording session. As always, he began by filming the inside of his cabinet, to show the dip switches were set to the correct ‘tournament’ settings. He waited for the machine to boot up, then put the camera on the tripod. He grabbed his next ‘lucky 20c coin’– marked ‘number IV’ and put it in the slot.
He hadn’t progressed far before two friends dropped in, asking if he’d like to drive to Canberra to catch a movie. He told them he’d be “up for it” – so they went home to get ready. As Phil approached the 1 million point mark, he asked his wife to call the friends, telling them that he was on a ‘good game’. Soon, at 1.1 million, he lost two of his five lives. He lost another spaceship at 1.7 million. Two lives remaining. “You reach a point of playfulness that is relaxing and no longer a struggle with the game.” he explains. “Then again, maybe I only get a good score when I’m in that mental state.” Phil’s friends returned, hoping the game was over. But the sound of digital warfare were still coming down the hallway. Phil had just entered another ‘challenging stage’. He felt bad for his friends, and promised that if he broke the World Record, he’d ‘shout’ them the night at the movies. It wasn’t long before the outcome was decided.
In part 1, we traced Phil Day’s history with Galaga… through childhood, adolescence, his university years… Until a chance conversation led him to start competing for the world record. In part 2, he makes his claim for the number 1 spot, but things don’t go always to plan…
Once Phil had achieved world number 3 in Galaga, the word spread at Braidwood Central School. Some students thought playing such an ancient game was a bit dorky, but more & more started to think it was “pretty cool”. They’d leave messages on his Facebook page. Michael left this one: “Make me a Galaga shirt/badge, I don’t care what, just make it and I’ll wear it.” At this time, he’d taken Phil’s lead, and started some competitive retrogaming of his own. He was playing The Pit on MAME and soon managed world-class scores. The Pit is a pretty obscure title. It came out in 1981 – just like Galaga – and it’s the predecessor to games like Dig Dug, Mr Do and Boulder Dash. Phil calls it “The most difficult video game ever.”
Back in August, you may have heard about an Aussie getting the unofficial World Record for Galaga. His name is Phil Day, and there’s much, much more to the story. But first, we have to go right back to the very beginning in Goulburn… a city two hours southwest of Sydney…
One day in 1979… Anthony Day & his friends went to play at the local squash courts. Accompanying them was Anthony’s younger brother Phil, aged 5. Whomp, Whomp, Whomp. What was that new machine against the wall? Space Invaders. This was the era when pinball was king, and videogames had only been around a few years. But Space Invaders was far more detailed than anything they’d seen before. And – far more addictive. Five year old master Day happily watched the older boys, as they took turns obliterating the black & white aliens… Whomp, Whomp, Whomp…
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Australia… has a new champion.
NSW resident Phil Day is now the unofficial world record holder on Galaga. His score, of 3.44 million points is well ahead of the previous record, 2.7 million by American Andrew Laidlaw. Phil’s score has yet to be verified by Twin Galaxies.