Life Force

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In a distant part of the universe, an alien creature called Zelos was born. As he grew so did his appetite, and soon he began devouring galaxies, planets, and stars by the hundreds. Now your planet has appeared in Zelos' path, and it is up to you and a partner to fly into battle to save your world.

Life Force is an action-packed shooter where there are six levels which alternate between side and vertical scrolling, each of them ending with a powerful guardian. Throughout the game, destroying certain enemies will release power ups which can be used to equip your ship with more powerful weapons, extra speed, and shields. Gameplay is for one player or two players simultaneously.


Life Force Amstrad CPC Beginning a game
Life Force Amstrad CPC Lasers are useful for destroy numerous enemies quickly
Life Force Amstrad CPC Level one boss
Life Force MSX Use your weapon systems

Alternate Titles

  • "沙羅曼蛇" -- Japanese spelling
  • "沙羅曼蛇" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Salamander (Life Force)" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Salamander" -- Japanese Arcade/MSX title
  • "Life Force Salamander" -- European NES title
  • "Lifeforce" -- NES title screen

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An average, but still enjoyable and fun space shooter. NES Bregalad (929)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic NES Apr 26, 2000 A 100
Top Secret NES Jan, 1994 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100 Commodore 64 Apr 20, 2008 10 out of 10 100
Commodore Force Commodore 64 Aug, 1993 91 out of 100 91
The Games Machine (UK) MSX Jun, 1988 82 out of 100 82
HonestGamers NES Jan 31, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Nintendo Life Wii Feb 17, 2009 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80
NES Archives NES Jul 30, 2006 B 75
Power Play Commodore 64 Oct, 1988 72 out of 100 72
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Aug, 1988 6 out of 10 60


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Salamander appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


There was an Anime based on Life Force. It was called Salamander, made in 1988, and only released in Japan and the U.K. Sadly, all three episodes are out of print in both countries.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #90 “Readers' Top 100”
  • Commodore Format
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Shoot-'em-ups (Check 'em out)

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Contributed to by GTramp (43604), Michael Cassidy (13932), Martin Smith (63031), NewRisingSun (865), gamewarrior (5062), Terok Nor (20763) and Servo (55759)