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Life Force (NES)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
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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 NES Title screen
Life Force NES The volcanic stage
Life Force NES The pathway gets narrower
Life Force NES The final boss

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. Bregalad (916) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

The Press Says

The Video Game Critic Apr 26, 2000 A 100
Joystick (French) Apr, 1990 95 out of 100 95
NES Times Feb 07, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Feb, 1990 87 out of 100 87
Mean Machines Oct, 1990 86 out of 100 86
Tilt Jun, 1990 17 out of 20 85
Power Play Mar, 1989 81 out of 100 81
Video Games Mar, 1991 81 out of 100 81
Total! (Germany) Sep, 1994 2 out of 6 80
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) May, 1990 740 out of 1000 74


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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)

Related Web Sites

Servo (55922) added Life Force (NES) on Sep 27, 2002
Other platforms contributed by GTramp (32229), Martin Smith (63154), NewRisingSun (827), gamewarrior (5065) and Terok Nor (18404)