Also Known As
Number of Players
Release Date


  • US Aug 1988
  • JP 25th Sep 1987
  • EU 22nd Nov 1989

Wii (Wii Shop)

  • US 16th Feb 2009, 500 points
  • JP 24th Dec 2008, 500 points

3DS (3DS eShop)

  • JP 20th Feb 2013, ¥500

3DS eShop

  • EU 19th Dec 2013, £4.49
  • US 23rd Jan 2014, $4.99

Wii U eShop

  • US 21st Aug 2014, $4.99
  • EU 18th Sep 2014, £3.49


  • Review Life Force (Wii U eShop / NES)

    Forcefully fun

    Konami's 1985 hit Gradius is one of the most influential scrolling shooters of all time, so it was pretty tough to follow up. Rather than make Gradius II right away, the company decided to create a spin-off; Life Force — originally known in Japan as Salamander — hit arcades in 1986 and the NES two years later. Space shooters were...

  • Review Life Force (3DS eShop / NES)

    A force to be reckoned with

    The space shooter is a genre that has somewhat faded into obscurity in recent years, both due to advances in technology rendering their limited scope obsolete and their typically gruelling difficulty proving unpalatable to some gamers. The NES port of Life Force, (or Salamander, as it was originally known on Eastern...

  • Review Life Force (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Use the force!

    For those not in the know, Life Force started out life known as Salamander in Japan and was renamed for Western audiences. The Salamander series is a spin off to Konami’s famous Gradius franchise of shooters; the main differences in Salamander are the introduction of a simultaneous 2 player mode, vertically scrolling stages in...

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Life Force News

About The Game

This classic shooter, originally ported to the NES in August 1988, is a spin-off of the seminal Gradius series.

Pilot the Vic Viper through six stages of intense action, alternating between horizontally and vertically scrolling environments, and take on wave after wave of enemies. Destroy particular enemies throughout the game (which takes place within the body of an enormous alien) to release power-up capsules and equip your ship with your choice of more powerful weapons, extra speed and shields.

Utilize the power-ups carefully, though, as a fearsome guardian lurks at the end of each stage and won't be easily defeated. You can go it alone or bring along a friend to take on the challenge simultaneously. Do you have what it takes to save your planet?