Life Force (NES)
Also known as: Salamander (JP), Life Force: Salamander (EU)
This game has regional differences.
This game has a prerelease article
Life Force is a spin-off of the Gradius series. Unlike Gradius, this game has a cooperative mode: Player 1 controls Vic Viper, while Player 2 is Lord British (not to be confused with the Lord British of the Ultima series).
- The stars in the background on stage 5 are animated in Salamander.
- In Salamander, you can get a maximum of three options. This was dropped to two for Life Force.
- In Salamander, a "blop!" sound effect plays before the Tetran boss fight. It was removed in Life Force.
- Life Force makes use of a code on the title screen, which increases the number of lives from 3 to 30, but it is not the Konami code, it's only part of it (Up, Up, Down, Down, B, A), but the program will ignore Left or Right pressings, so you could press any amount of them in any order, so the full Konami code for example will be accepted as well.
The Japanese title screen is a lot more interesting than the completely static US/European version, featuring a starfield effect and animated fireball circling around the logo. Also note the "NINTEND" typo in the US version, which was fixed in the European and 3DS Virtual Console releases.
In Salamander, the Power Meter is similar to those featured in the Gradius games. The HUD is organized into three rows: Player 1's Power Meter on top, the scores in the middle, and Player 2's Power Meter on the bottom. A ship icon is also used for denoting a player's lives.
In Life Force, the Power Meter is smaller and different. There are only two rows of information, with each player's score on the top row and the Power Meters on the bottom row. The Power Meters are condensed: the six options are shown as small boxes with the current selection drawn with a box around it, and a box on the right shows the text for the current option, a layout very similar to the MSX version of the game. The ship icon is also gone. Despite all of this, the setup from Salamander is still seen in pictures for the box and manual.
Salamander has three endings, each of which has credits on the right side and a different picture on the left, depending on how many continues are used. If 3+ continues are used, the pilot's helmet is shown; if 1-2 are used, the Vic Viper is shown; if no continues are used, the pilot is shown.
Life Force has only one ending, skipping the entire staff roll and showing only the Konami logo.
The Gradius series
|Arcade||Nemesis • Vulcan Venture • Gradius III|
|NES||Gradius • Gradius II|
|Game Boy||Nemesis • Gradius: The Interstellar Assault|
|Sharp X68000||Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou|
|Sega Saturn||Gradius Deluxe Pack|
|PlayStation||Gradius Deluxe Pack|
|Game Boy Advance||Gradius Galaxies|
|PlayStation 2||Gradius V|