Join our Discord to chat with fellow friendly gamers and our knowledgeable contributors!

atari kombinera


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 Watch out for flames!
Life Force Sharp X68000 Stage 1
Life Force Commodore 64 The walls grow outward in this passageway

Promo Images

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

Alternate Titles

  • "アーケードアーカイブス 沙羅曼蛇" -- Japanese Nintendo Switch / PS4 spelling
  • "沙羅曼蛇" -- Japanese / Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "沙罗曼蛇" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Salamander (Life Force)" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Salamander" -- Japanese Arcade/MSX title
  • "Salamander" -- European title
  • "Life Force Salamander" -- European NES title
  • "Lifeforce" -- NES title screen
  • "Arcade Archives: Salamander" -- European & Japanese Nintendo Switch / PS4 title
  • "Arcade Archives: Life Force" -- Nintendo Switch / PS4 title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An average, but still enjoyable and fun space shooter. NES Bregalad (969)

Critic Reviews Commodore 64 Apr 20, 2008 10 out of 10 100
Joystick (French) NES Apr, 1990 95 out of 100 95
Total! (Germany) NES Sep, 1994 2 out of 6 80
Retro Archives NES Aug 24, 2020 16 out of 20 80
Video Chums PlayStation 4 Mar 30, 2016 7.2 out of 10 72
RetroGame Man NES Feb 17, 2017 7 out of 10 70
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Oct, 1990 65 out of 100 65
Retro Archives ZX Spectrum Aug 24, 2020 9 out of 20 45
Retro Archives Amstrad CPC Aug 24, 2020 8.5 out of 20 42
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Feb, 1988 4 out of 10 40


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 (76843), Michael Cassidy (21113), Rik Hideto (456880), Sciere (772087), Martin Smith (78234), NewRisingSun (971), gamewarrior (5042), Terok Nor (32112) and Servo (57355)
atari aquaventure