Salamander (沙羅曼蛇 / サラマンダ Saramanda), retitled Life Force (ライフフォース Raifu Fōsu) in North America and in the Japanese arcade re-release, is a scrolling shooter arcade game by Konami. Released in 1986 as a spin-off of Gradius, Salamander introduced a simplified power-up system, two-player cooperative gameplay and both horizontally and vertically scrolling stages. Some of these later became the norm for future Gradius games.
Salamander was ported to the Family Computer in Japan in 1987. Instead of being a direct port of Salamander, elements were taken from the original Salamander and the Japanese Life Force re-release, and some elements, such as levels and bosses, were removed to make way for new content. Most of the background graphics and enemy sprites from Salamander, however, are used in favor of those used in Life Force, though the Gradius-style power bar is used in place of the original instant pick-up system. The same year, North America received a port as well for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES version is practically identical to its Famicom equivalent, other than not having the multiple endings, having two option power ups instead of three, and being titled Life Force. The North America version was later re-released for the Virtual Console on February 16, 2009 for the Wii, on January 23, 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS and August 21, 2014 for the Wii U. The European version was entitled Life Force: Salamander on its cover and was released on November 22, 1989. The NES version makes use of the Konami Code, which increases the number of lives from three to 30. The first two levels of Life Force were profiled in the second issue of Nintendo Power, issued in 1988. Several issues later the entire game was re-profiled.
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- Nintendo Wii
- Konami, SPS
- Konami, Sharp, Imagine Software
- NA Release Date
- February 16, 2009
- JP Release Date
- September 11, 2007
- MVGL User Score
- Miki Higashino, Hidenori Maezawa, Shinya Sakamoto, Satoe Terashima, Atsushi Fujio