Codex Gamicus

King & Balloon is a fixed shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1980. It runs on Namco Galaxian hardware but with an extra Z80 processor to drive a DAC for speech; the King speaks when he is captured ("HELP!"), when he is rescued ("Thank you"), and when he is carried away ("BYE BYE!"). Additionally, the balloons make the same "droning" sound as the ships in Galaxian, which was released the previous year. The player's shots also have the same sound effect as the player ship in said game.

The game was released in the United States by GamePlan. This version features a more "English" sounding voice for the King; in the original Japanese version, the king can be heard "Japanicizing" the words, saying "herupu" ("help"), and "sankyuu" ("thank you").

It was later featured in Namco Museum Encore for the original PlayStation, which was a Japan only release. It made its North American console debut on Namco Museum Battle Collection for the PSP, in which the player could choose the King's voice after unlocking the manic settings. It also appears in Namco Museum Virtual Arcade for the Xbox 360.


The player controls two green men (likely soldiers in the king's army) with an orange cannon that fires at squads of descending balloons. You must protect the king and prevent him from being captured and carried away by one of the balloons. Unlike most shooter games, the player's cannon can be hit and destroyed any number of times; it is the king that must be protected. The game ends when the king is carried away three or four times, depending on if the player won a 1up.

The game only goes up to round 48. If the players completes round 48, the game will say the player is still on round 48. The level select in Namco Museum Battle Collection still goes higher than 48. If a higher level than 48 is selected, the player is brought back to the attract mode, but gameplay music is heard, and the START button is active,

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