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Life Force is a ported version of Salamander which had many updates in both design and plot. It saw a release on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1988.

Life Force was in many ways an updated Salamander; some elements, such as levels and bosses, were removed to make space for new content. Interestingly, most of the level graphics and enemy sprites from Salamander were used in favor of the ones used in Life Force, and it uses the Gradius power-up bar. The game was practically identical to the NES port of Life Force, other than being titled Salamander and featuring an expanded Gradius-like power-up bar. These ports make use of the Konami code, which in this instance increases the number of lives from 3 to 30.

Differences

Life Force changes the plot from Salamander by adding an opening text which establishes the game to be set inside a giant alien life-form infected by a strain of bacteria. Stages which featured star field backgrounds had them changed with the web background from Stage 1 to maintain consistency with the organic setting of the plot. The power-ups are also given different names too:

  • "Speed-Up" to "Hyper Speed"
  • "Missile" to "Destruct Missile"
  • "Ripple Laser" to "Pulse Laser"
  • "Force Field" to "Shield"

NES

Konami later released an enhanced version of Salamander in Japan bearing the American title of Life Force, which further fleshes out the organic motif. All of the backgrounds and mechanical enemies are completely redrawn and given organic appearances. The power-up system was also modified, with the Japanese Life Force using the same power-up gauge as the original Gradius. Some music tracks have also been completely changed for this release. The power-up gauge is arranged differently for both players as well.

Both the original Japanese version and the enhanced Life Force release are included in the compilation Salamander Deluxe Pack for the PlayStation and Saturn, as well as in Salamander Portable for the PlayStation Portable.

Stages

Arcade
  • Stage 1: Stomach Muscle Zone
  • Stage 2: Kidney Zone
  • Stage 3: Stomach Inner Chamber
  • Stage 4: Liver Zone
  • Stage 5: Lung Zone
  • Stage 6: Brain Area
NES

Bosses

Arcade
NES

Gallery

Trivia

  • Interestingly, Life Force takes place in Gradius year 6842, two years after Gradius III.
  • The Garden of Time in 2004 anime Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha somewhat resembles the Life Force (Fortress)
Salamander
Ships Vic ViperLord BritishSabel Tiger (Iggy Rock) • Thrasher (Zowie Scott) • Super Cobra
Salamander stages Bionic GermMeteorite SpaceRatisVolcano AreaSalamander Planetoid
Salamander (MSX) stages Top Flight Speed to LatisConduct to Space Station ZotSet the Crush Blow System - Planet EioneusSet the Crush Blow System - Planet LaviniaSet the Crush Blow System - Planet KierkeWrath of VenomCrush Salamander
Life Force-only stages Organic Speed ZoneTemple Zone
Salamander 2 stages Organic SkyArtificial SunsResident EvilBattleship ArmadaRuins of Final BaseCrystal AsteroidsDoom Fortress
Salamander bosses Brain GolemTetranIntruderCenter CoreDeathBig Core X3Jumping MoaiZelos Force
Port exclusive bosses ZylomGauInvaderGigaTutanhamanattackDead EndEnigmaTrue VenomMetal SlaveZelos Barrier
Salamander 2 bosses BiterHydraAbadonTenny RopPlate CoreCerberusDoom
Gradius Video Games
Gradius series GradiusGradius IIGradius IIIGradius GaidenGradius IVGradius GalaxiesGradius VGradius ReBirthGradius: The Interstellar AssaultGradius NEOGradius NEO ImperialGradius Arc
Spin-offs Salamander (Life Force) (MSX ver.)• Salamander 2Nemesis (MSX)Nemesis 2 (Nemesis '90 Kai) • Nemesis 3Nemesis (Game Boy)Cosmic WarsSolar Assault
Parody games ParodiusParodius Da!Gokujō Parodius!Jikkyō Oshaberi ParodiusSexy ParodiusParo WarsOtomedius (Otomedius Gorgeous) • Otomedius X: Excellent!
TwinBee TwinBeeStingerTwinBee 3: Poko Poko DaimaōTwinBee Da!!Detana!! TwinBeePop n' TwinbeeTwinBee: Rainbow Bell AdventureTwinBee Yahoo!TwinBee Taisen Puzzle DamaTwinBee RPGTwinBee DungeonPastel Jan
Other games ScrambleFlak AttackA-JAXFalsionThunder CrossThunder Cross IISpace ManbowQuarthTrigonCrisis ForceXexex

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