Life Force NES Game Cartridge
Life Force was released for the NES in 1987 and was originally an arcade game named Salamander released in 1986. The arcade versions that were released in Europe and Japan kept the original title Salamander while the North American version was released under the title Life Force. It is a spinoff game of Gradius that introduced two player co-op gameplay, vertically and horizontally scrolling stages, and a more simple power up system. Some of the changes became normal for later Gradius games. Player one will take control of Vic Viper while player two will take control the new ship Lord British, sometimes know as Road British because of translation. The game has six levels that will switch between vertical and horizontal scrolling.
The player can continue where they died in the game rather than using checkpoints like the Gradius games. Single player does not have continues but two players will have two continues. The amount of continues can be altered with DIP switches. Power ups are gained when a capsule is obtained from specific enemies that drop them, which is different from the power up bar that was used in the other Gradius games. The Japan version keeps the power up bar. Many power ups can be mixed. An example is an option firing a second or third flurry of lasers or missiles, if they have been optioned. The laser and ripple are shared exclusively. Options are the power ups that survive when the player’s ship is destroyed. When destroyed, the options will float for a short period of time before they disappear. The ship can get them if they are collected before they disappear.
Instead of the game being directly ported from Salamander, there were some elements of the game taken out form the original, such as bosses and levels. They were removed to make room for newer content. Most graphics in the background and the enemy sprites from the Salamander version are used instead of the Life Force version. The Gradius style bar for powering up is used instead of the pick up system in the arcade version. The NES version of Life Force is almost identical to the Famicon version. The main difference is there are no multiple endings, only having two options instead of the three, and the title. The Europe version was titled Life Force: Salamander. The NES game uses the Konami code, increasing the amount of lives to 30. Nintendo Power also profiled the first couple of levels in Life Force in issue two in 1988. Many issues later, the rest of the game was profiled.
Region: NTSC (North America)