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Salamander [Model RC821]

Nintendo Famicom cart. published 37 years ago by Konami Industry Co., Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Salamander [Model RC821] screenshot

Salamander © 1987 Konami Industry Company, Limited.

Salamander is an horizontal shooter and conversion of their own arcade game originally released in 1986.

The galactic entity Zelos is dangerously approaching planet Latis. The space monster's appetite is growing and he is devouring everything on its path. The player on board the Vic Viper and a partner on board the Lord British star fighter fly to Zelos's lair in an attempts to destroy the invader.

This port of Salamander borrows its weapon system from Gradius - unlike the original arcade game which featured a more traditional and straightforward power-up system (except Japanese release of LifeForce which had a power bar inspired by Gradius). A power bar at the bottom of the screen displays available weapons and power capsules must be collected to activate them. There are 6 types of upgrades - speed up, missiles, ripple gun, laser, options (up to 3) and force field.

Options are at the core of the gameplay and mimic the ship's motion and attacks - they are also invulnerable and can withstand enemy bullets. However, losing a life also means losing all the painfully accumulated upgrades. The game features 6 zones and alternates between horizontal and vertical scrolling levels - they all end with intense boss battles in the most venerable shooting traditions.

Goodies for Salamander [Model RC821]
Click to enlarge
(members only)

BARCODE: 4988602529418

Players: Up to 2 (simultaneous)
Controls: d-pad 8 ways
Buttons: 2
=> [B] = shoot missile and front gun, [A] = accept highlighted power-up


Salamander for Famicom was released on September 25, 1987 in Japan.

This Famicom port of Salamander is different than the original arcade game. It is a mix of both the Japanese Salamander and the American Life Force topped with exclusive content.

This is the first and only game to use the VRC3 mapper. It can generate IRQs.

The Konami code wasn't implemented into this game, so every game begins with 3 lives.

Player #1 controls Vic Viper and player #2 - Lord British.

'Character design' is misspelled in the staff roll as 'charactor design'.
A pilot is discovered to be a female just after the staff roll (only when completed with no continues). When you continued once or twice, you'll see Vic Viper, but when you continued 3 or more times, you'll see just a helmet.

Export releases:
[US] "Life Force [Model NES-LF-USA]"
[EU] "Life Force Salamander [Model NES-LF-EEC]"
[KO] "Life Force Salamander"

Goodies for Salamander [Model RC821]
Click to see more
(members only)

* You can use only one type of upgraded frontal weapon - either a ripple gun or laser.

* First 3 stages contain extra life pick-up (flashing blue alternated by red) and 5000 point bonuses.

* Highlight the last bar (force field) as soon as it goes down. If it's already highlighted, don't take red pick-ups, let the force field go down and quickly accept this power-up.

* After you accepted the laser for the first time, you need to accept it again as the first laser is slow.

* When you collect too many speedups, you'll lose control over your ship.

* Complete the game with no continues for the best ending.


Programmed by: S. Umezaki, T. Danjyo, H. Hori, H. Yanagisawa
Character design: S. Muraki, Y. Yoshimoto, C. Ozawa, J. Maruo
Music by: S. Sakamoto, S. Terashima, H. Maezawa, A. Fujito
Visual design: K. Shimoide, N. Satoh
Special thanks: H. Machiguchi
Directed by: S. Umechan, Osetsusan


japan Nintendo Wii [Virtual Console] (Dec 24, 2008) [Model FENJ]
japan Nintendo Wii U [Virtual Console] (Oct 8, 2014) [Model FC9J]

japan Nintendo 3DS [Virtual Console] (Feb 20, 2013) [Model TBZJ]


See Goodies section.
Game's ROM.
Game's description by Laurent Kermel;