Salamander (arcade game)

From Academic Kids

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Salamander is a scrolling shooter video games developed by Konami. It is very similar to Gradius although it introduced vertical-scrolling levels and dual play. Versions were released for the NES, MSX and the Arcade, sometimes known as Life Force.



The MSX cartridge is 128kB ROM cartridge and has an on-board SCC sound chip. Here are some tips.


  • Operation 1
    • Stage 1: The Planet Latis
  • Operation 2
    • Stage 2: Asteroid Belt
  • Operation 3
    • Stage 3: The Planet Eioneus
    • Stage 4: The Planet Lavina
    • Stage 5: The Planet Kierke
  • Operation 3+
    • Extra Stage: Crush Venom
  • Operation 4:
    • Stage 6: The Planet Odysseus

After operation 2 (stage 2) you have to choose which stage to do next. You are provided with rader information on enemy numbers. If there are few enemies, the stage is relatively easy. After each stage, more enemies will appear in the stages you still have to do. If you do choose the easiest each time, by the time you get to the last one it is almost impossible. If you do not decide within the timelimit you'll go to the worst option (the least enemies).

There is a prediction chapter in stage 3 through 6. The predictions will help you with the boss. The prediction chapter say something about a nucleus with a certain colour. This means that you have to shoot at that nucleus; the other coloured ones have no effect.

If you put Gradius 2 (known as Nemesis 2 in Europe) in another cartridge slot you can find an item called the Crystal Breeze in stage 3, 4 or 5. If you find it, there'll be an extra stage called Operation 3+ (crush venom). The stage is much like the last stage of Nemesis 2, though it'll have an extra enemy at the end. Only if you have made it through this stage will the game come to an end. This is one of the many cartridge combos.


Power Capsule 
(orange and white) Same as in all Gradius games: changes weapon select indicator.
Energy Capsule 
(yellow and red) Collect 15 of them and you'll get an extra weapon, see below. They appear after you destroy an enemy pod.
Scroll Stop 
(green) Stops scrolling for a while. Can only be found in stage 1.
(yellow) This item only appears on the Lavina planet. When the screen goes dark, you can get this item to put the light on again.
Option Hold 
Your options are now on a fixed position. Handy item!
Option Chain 
This item only appears in dual mode. The options of both players are chained together.
Combination Item 
This item only appears in dual mode. The two players can merge into one ship. One player controls its movement, the other firing and weapons.

Extra Weapons

Hawk Wind 
This missile can also move up when it is on terrain.
Meteo Laser 
Wide Laser. It is the only weapon that can destroy the blue stones on Eioneus.
Screw Laser 
Very wide laser.
Homing Missile 
This missile "homes" to enemies. It can be quite useless, as it also homes in on enemy remains.

The last three might be something for dual play, in single play they don't seem to appear in the weapons bar. If you have all of these, you start getting extra lives in stead of weapons.

[JASPER: I know the Twin an Triple are extentions to the 'Ripple' weapon, they will only show up if you first choose this weapon]

Dual Play

One of the nicest features of Salamander is that you can play with two players similtaneously. You can change to dual play from 1 player game or exchange mode by pressing <F1> and then <F5>. This is not possible if you have an item (e.g. option hold).

You can also abuse the dual player mode. First of all, if player one has option hold and the other dies, the option hold will last until player one dies. But you can't go to two player mode when you have the item, so just before you grab it, press <F1> - <F5>. Player two will die and you'll have your option hold.

A suicidal friend can also be of great help. If you loose a life, you lose all your energy items, but if your fellow player dies, you keep them. Thus you can collect as many energy items as you want in stage 1, if your friend kills himself after you get your energy items.

Using The Game Masters

If you use the Game Master 1, you won't be able to save the game to disk. You might be able to save it to tape on some MSX models. If you use the Game Master 2, you can save the game to disk.

If you change the stage, you won't be able to complete the game. If you wish to change the number of lifes of player 2, set the stage to 1 explicitly and set the number of lifes to the desidered amount. Player 1 and 2 will have the same amount of lifes.ja:沙羅曼蛇


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