Not an American user?


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 TurboGrafx-16 The orange one is the 'sweet spot' to shoot
Life Force Arcade Moai in Stage 6
Life Force Sharp X68000 Another vertical stage
Life Force NES Due to the many obstacles, the game has an insane difficulty.

Promo Images

Life Force Screenshot
Life Force Screenshot
Life Force Screenshot
Life Force Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "沙羅曼蛇" -- Japanese / Chinese (simplified) spelling
  • "Salamander (Life Force)" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Salamander" -- Japanese Arcade/MSX title
  • "Life Force Salamander" -- European NES title
  • "Lifeforce" -- NES title screen
  • "Arcade Archives: Life Force" -- PS4 title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An average, but still enjoyable and fun space shooter. NES Bregalad (963)

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) TurboGrafx-16 May, 1992 92 out of 100 92
Commodore Force Commodore 64 Aug, 1993 91 out of 100 91
Retro Game Age NES Feb 15, 2012 9 out of 10 90
Tilt NES Jun, 1990 17 out of 20 85
Defunct Games NES Feb 07, 2013 B+ 83
HonestGamers NES Jan 31, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Commodore User Commodore 64 Jul, 1988 8 out of 10 80
NES Archives NES Jul 30, 2006 B 75
Power Play Commodore 64 Oct, 1988 72 out of 100 72
RetroGame Man NES Feb 17, 2017 7 out of 10 70


There are currently no topics for this game.


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)

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by GTramp (58550), Michael Cassidy (20698), Sciere (506105), Martin Smith (66859), NewRisingSun (970), gamewarrior (5113), Terok Nor (26287) and Servo (57415)