shmups.system11.org

Shmups Forum
 
* FAQ    * Search
 * Register  * Login 
It is currently Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:00 am View unanswered posts
View active topics



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Confused about Lifeforce <-> Salamander differences..
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:11 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I've always been confused about the difference between these 2 games, and last night after playing Salamander Deluxe Pack, I'm even more confused.

What I've always thought was...Salamander was the original arcade game...and Lifeforce was the name of the American NES port.

And then I played Lifeforce on SDP and realized the huge differences...a Gradius-like power up system...different backgrounds, different music...it's almost like a whole new game! :shock:

SO what's going on? Is the Lifeforce on SDP really Salamander 1.5?


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:18 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 996
Location: Flenceburg
There are three different games called Life Force.

Salamander (Arcade) - the original arcade game with ports everywhere, including the deluxe pack. When released in arcades outside of Japan it was called Life Force, setting the stage for major confusion later.

Life Force (Arcade) - For some reason Konami redid Salamander with the Gradius power up system and replaced mechanical enemies with more organic ones, and called this new mess "Life Force" even though the name had already been taken (by non-Japanese arcade versions of Salamander, see above.) This game was only released in Japan and it's the "Life Force" you'll find on the Salamander Deluxe Pack.

Salamander (FC/NES) - The Famicom title by this name is a sort of hybrid of the two Japanese arcade games (mix of organic and mechanical levels like Salamander, Gradius power bar like Life Force) though it more closely resembles Salamander. For maximum confusion, yes, it was renamed "Life Force" for its North American release. :?

Salamander (MSX) - The MSX game is a whole other ball of wax entirely, but at least it was never released anywhere as "Life Force" to my knowledge. :)
_________________
My FAQs: http://arcanelore.net/


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:31 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Wow...I got confused just reading that....

Thanks for clearing it up though. :P


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:56 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7626
Location: MD
The US arcade Life Force has some differences from the Japanese arcade Salamander. It has some added voice bytes (that are also in the Japanese arcade Life Force) and, supposedly, some levels were changed to look more organic. The power up system is the same as Salamander, though.


Last edited by BrianC on Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:57 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 874
Location: American Ninja
There's actually only 2 different versions of Life Force: Life Force Nes and Life Force Arcade (which is Salamander International).
_________________
http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonseyes/


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:01 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7626
Location: MD
Nemo wrote:
There's actually only 2 different versions of Life Force: Life Force Nes and Life Force Arcade (which is Salamander International).


That's not correct. There is the US arcade Life Force, the Japanese arcade Life Force, and the NES Life Force. They were described in previous posts.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:05 am 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 996
Location: Flenceburg
BrianC wrote:
The US arcade Life Force has some differences from the Japanese arcade Salamander. It has some added voice bytes (that are also in the Japanese arcade Life Force) and, supposedly, some levels were changed to look more organic.


The only graphic difference is that the "web" background in stage 1 never goes away (except for level 4 and maybe 6, I forget) and changes color every level. (Starts out brown instead of blue as well.)
_________________
My FAQs: http://arcanelore.net/


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:05 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 220
Zach Keene wrote:
Salamander (FC/NES) - The Famicom title by this name is a sort of hybrid of the two Japanese arcade games (mix of organic and mechanical levels like Salamander, Gradius power bar like Life Force) though it more closely resembles Salamander. For maximum confusion, yes, it was renamed "Life Force" for its North American release. :?


Don't forget that, as with the FC Gradius II and the SFC Gradius III, the stages were rearranged and modified somewhat. FC Salamander doesn't have the arcade version's stage 2 or stage 5. The FC stage 2 is the arcade stage 4 with the stage 2 boss tacked onto the end, and the FC stage 4 and 5 are original stages.

Also, most of the music in FC Salamander is from the arcade Salamander, but one tune from Life Force snuck in.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:57 am 


User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7626
Location: MD
AWJ wrote:
Zach Keene wrote:
Salamander (FC/NES) - The Famicom title by this name is a sort of hybrid of the two Japanese arcade games (mix of organic and mechanical levels like Salamander, Gradius power bar like Life Force) though it more closely resembles Salamander. For maximum confusion, yes, it was renamed "Life Force" for its North American release. :?


Don't forget that, as with the FC Gradius II and the SFC Gradius III, the stages were rearranged and modified somewhat. FC Salamander doesn't have the arcade version's stage 2 or stage 5. The FC stage 2 is the arcade stage 4 with the stage 2 boss tacked onto the end, and the FC stage 4 and 5 are original stages.

Also, most of the music in FC Salamander is from the arcade Salamander, but one tune from Life Force snuck in.


Yeah, I like how Konami does that rearranging thing with the home ports. The MSX version of Salamander is even more arranged than the FC Salamander/NES Lifeforce. The first stage in the MSX Salamander actually has a vertically scrolling part ala Thunder Force III.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:12 am 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 996
Location: Flenceburg
Another Salamander fun fact: there are actually a few differences between Salamander FC and Life Force NES. The most major one is that you can have up to three options in the FC version, but there are also occasional minor graphic differences (the FC version's power bar taking up the whole bottom of the screen is probably the most noticable.) The FC version also has a credit scroll instead of the bland "presented by Konami" you get at the end of the NES version.

I suspect these are due to Nintendo of America's issue with custom memory mapper chips (Castlevania III being another well-known victim of this.)
_________________
My FAQs: http://arcanelore.net/


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:34 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 220
Zach Keene wrote:
Another Salamander fun fact: there are actually a few differences between Salamander FC and Life Force NES. The most major one is that you can have up to three options in the FC version, but there are also occasional minor graphic differences (the FC version's power bar taking up the whole bottom of the screen is probably the most noticable.) The FC version also has a credit scroll instead of the bland "presented by Konami" you get at the end of the NES version.

I suspect these are due to Nintendo of America's issue with custom memory mapper chips (Castlevania III being another well-known victim of this.)


The reduction from three to two options probably had more to do with Nintendo of America's quality control policies. With a fully powered-up ship (three options, missiles and laser) your firepower on its own is enough to make the game slow down, even without any enemies onscreen. I imagine Nintendo would have had some kind of guideline as to how much slowdown was acceptable in a game, and Salamander crossed the line.

The change in design of the status bar IS hardware-related, though. Notice that the FC version's status bar has three lines of text squeezed into a space where the NES version fits only two--i.e. the dead zone between the bottom of the play area and the first line of the status bar is thicker in the NES version. This is because the FC version splits the screen using a timed interrupt generated by its custom VRC chip, while the NES version lacks this chip and instead uses the NES' collision detection to determine where to split the screen. If you look at the lower-left corner of the play area in Life Force during a vertical stage, you'll see a tiny horizontal blue line (in horizontal stages there's a solid line across the bottom of the play area that hides it from view). The game waits for the NES to detect the collision between this sprite and the background scenery, and then switches the screen over to the status bar. This method is less precise than an interrupt and therefore requires leaving more empty space between the scrolling and non-scrolling parts of the screen.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:08 am 


User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Woah...how the heck do you guys know all this stuff? It's a bit sscary.... :shock:


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:44 am 



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 244
Location: West Palm, FL
the Famicom Gradius II was really impressive for the time. it uses Konami's VRC4 chip. this chip was more powerful than most of the MMC chips used in American NES games from what I read. Gradius II Famicom had, surprisingly decent voice samples and great graphics for an 8-Bit machine. some of the things it did graphically were usually only found in 16-bit games.
Famicom Gradius II never made its way to American shores for the NES.


Image

Image

Image

unless I am mistaken, Gradius II was never officially released in the U.S. on any home platforms. X68000 stayed in Japan so its Gradius II of course stayed there too. the PC Engine CD-ROM Gradius II never made it to TurboGrafx CD or Duo. Gradius Deluxe Pack for Saturn, PS1 and Win95 PC also never made it to the U.S.

the U.S. just can't get a legit Gradius II. except maybe arcade, but i am not even sure about that.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:00 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 1775
Location: Colin's Bargain Basement. Everything must go.
gigadrive32 wrote:
the U.S. just can't get a legit Gradius II. except maybe arcade, but i am not even sure about that.
Vulcan Venture?
_________________
The biggest unanswered question is where is the money?

1CCS


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:28 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 950
Location: Glossop, UK
so are the screenshots on the back of my pal nes life force box taken from the fc salamander then?


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:55 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 996
Location: Flenceburg
AWJ wrote:
If you look at the lower-left corner of the play area in Life Force during a vertical stage, you'll see a tiny horizontal blue line


Huh. I hadn't noticed that in the over 15 years I've been playing this, but now it's going to drive me nuts. :)

theevilfunkster wrote:
so are the screenshots on the back of my pal nes life force box taken from the fc salamander then?


If the power bar in the box shots looks like the one in the Gradius 2 FC screens gigadrive32 just posted, then yes. (Assuming the PAL version looks like the NA version, anyway.)
_________________
My FAQs: http://arcanelore.net/


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:43 pm 


Quote:
the U.S. just can't get a legit Gradius II. except maybe arcade, but i am not even sure about that.


MAME? o_O

Don't you just hate it when that happens? The first Darius never made it to a US console release either, though you can track down the Japanese PC Engine versions which can be played on Duo.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:56 pm 



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 244
Location: West Palm, FL
Sly Cherry Chunks wrote:
gigadrive32 wrote:
the U.S. just can't get a legit Gradius II. except maybe arcade, but i am not even sure about that.
Vulcan Venture?


Europe yes, I know. Vulcan Venture. but was it out in the U.S. also ?


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:57 pm 



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 244
Location: West Palm, FL
Dark Saibot wrote:
Quote:
the U.S. just can't get a legit Gradius II. except maybe arcade, but i am not even sure about that.


MAME? o_O

Don't you just hate it when that happens? The first Darius never made it to a US console release either, though you can track down the Japanese PC Engine versions which can be played on Duo.


of course MAME. hehe. plus anyone can import any of the console or computer Gradius II ports, or conversions.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ebbo, Ixmucane2 and 16 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Space Pilot 3K template by Jakob Persson
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group