Thursday, 7 July 2011

Life Force (NES)

A.k.a. Salamander. It's a conversion of the Gradius spin-off/sequel released in arcades a year earlier, so I'll be very surprised if I don't find myself flying to the right and shooting aliens.

So far it seems very Gradius. Lines of enemies keep appearing, and if I shoot the entire wave I get a power up. Though I barely manage to get any because I'm crap.

One power up item highlights speed up, two would highlight missiles etc. Once I've reached the one I want, I press the button and spend my power ups to buy it, putting the bar back to zero. And if I accidentally collect seven power ups without spending them, it loops back around to 'speed', which is kind of a dick move.

I've never got why extra weapon pods are called 'options' in the Gradius games.

Hmm, I think I can figure out where the weak point is on this guy...

Shame I figured it out a second too late to actually kill him. Never mind, I'll get the next one for certain.

Whoa, what the fuck? The purple stuff around the ground and ceiling just started to grow! I was lucky not to get hit by it.

And then the path suddenly closes off in front of me, leaving me nowhere to go. I guess I was supposed to go the top way.

And then I'm back. Though they've taken my power ups from me so I'm crawling around with the starting weapon.

I may have failed to kill the first arm, but these no way I'm going to screw up this time. Except I can't kill it because pink stuff has grown around the weak point.

Okay how the fuck is that fair? If I attempt to kill the arms I get trapped behind this pink wall. Fortunately I just respawn on the other side after I explode, but I'm not that keen on losing lives.

Was the original arcade game this cruel?

Life Force (Arcade)
Weirdly it seems that it's not so cruel. Or at least not yet.

Instead of having to save up my power ups to activate better stuff, I can pick up upgrades and weapons straight from my fallen foes. So I'm flying around with a squadron of option pods already.

You'd think giant teeth springing out of the walls would be a problem, but these things seem easy enough to dodge after those arms and pink walls.

I've just got to decide how much I want to risk swooping down there and trying to kill that orange squiggle for a power up.

What, are these grey rock things invulnerable or something? Blow up already! I don't have anywhere else to go!

Oh thank fuck I made it through! And then I immediately crashed into a wall.


I restarted the level, only this time I know where the walls are going to appear so I was able to make it through unharmed. Until I was murdered by an array of turrets.

I'm sure there's no reason for me to be concerned here. Probably. All I have to do is keep moving forward as fast as this stuff grows back.

Ah, at last I meet the boss for this level. I think. He seems to be taking his time showing up.


Eventually the purple stuff dissolved revealing an evil brain with an evil eye. He's pretty harmless as long as I can stay clear of his arms, and I think I can figure out where his weak point might be.

Though I haven't had much luck with arms and weak points so far to be honest.

Laser in the eye. Bosses always hate that.

Just goes to show, when you have a brain vs a spaceship, the spaceship will win every time.

Whoa, the next level has switched perspective! Now I'm flying upwards. I was not expecting that.

Fortunately there's no pink crap on this level, so hopefully I'll have less to worry about coming from the walls.

Oh, suddenly the walls are volcanoes, spitting out a dozen rocks into my face.


The game was nice enough to let me continue on the same level, though I didn't get far before I got another face full of surprise rocks.

Surprise invulnerable rocks falling from the top of the screen! Yeah, I think I'm done here.

ACTUALLY, I'm going to try this again from the start. Only this time I'm going to get hold of the force field power up and see if that makes a difference.

Force field doesn't protect against walls. In my heart I knew it wouldn't, but still I had hope.

I've got zero interest in replaying levels and memorising all the traps, so I'm finished with this now. Next game.


  1. A quick glance at image #3 gave me the impression that you play as a member of the SPEED MISSILE RIPPLE LASER OPTION FORCE.

    I am going to continue to believe that this is the case.

  2. Too much dedication in this game for you to enjoy, huh.

    1. It's been five years since I played the game and I can't remember a thing about it now, so I dunno... maybe?


Semi-Random Game Box