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Salamander is a scrolling shooter game developed and published by Konami in 1987 for the MSX home computers. Despite sharing the name and a few key elements with the Arcade game, it is a completely new adventure.

Notable differences

New to this port is a graphical introduction that introduces human pilots for each ship, as well as names for each stage. The levels are notably longer than the arcade original, and the player(s) is(are) forced to start from a pre-defined checkpoint upon death of either pilot, instead of starting where he left off. After level two, the player can choose the order of the next three stages. In addition, the player can collect "E" capsules by destroying certain enemies. Collecting fifteen will permanently upgrade one of the available weapons on the power-up bar. Also, the ships can combine to create a more powerful ship that also uses some of these extra weapons. This port also introduced two entirely new ships. Instead of the Vic Viper and the Lord British Space Destroyer, they were replaced by ships known as the Sabel Tiger and Thrasher; piloted by human characters named Iggy Rock and Zowie Scott. The game also made use of "Konami Combos", where if certain Konami games were inserted into the second slot, extra effects will happen. One needed to have Nemesis 2 in Slot 2 and get all of the Predictions and the item called Crystal Breeze in order to get the true ending.

Story

"I am Van Landroth Frehley, head of the Imperial Space Archaeology Institute on the planet Nemesis. Our home planet, Latis, is in the grip of a terrible danger."

The planet Latis, where life first began 120 million years ago, is located in the middle of the Telsa galaxy. Surrounding Latis are four other planets called Eioneus, Lavina, Kierke and Odysseus. These are called the Latis planets.

These planets are the stars of civilization, and their history has taken shape together with the prosperity of the second or modern Latis civilization. The first civilization was ancient Latis, which flourished around 100 million years ago. The Ancient Latis people who built this civilization were masters of a form of psycho-power known as the 'crush below power', something which was beyond our imagination.

They used this power to prophesize the future. It is said that they could see more than 100 million years into the future, and they what they prophesied was the destruction of their descendants. In other words, us.

They inscribed all that they prophesied on metal and stone tablets, which have become known as 'The Prediction'. So far only the preface and the first chapter have been found. My personal theory is that the other are hidden in underground ruins on the other planets.

In the Prediction Preface they wrote:

Since the time when the red sun sank into oblivion we knew that it was our fate to go into extinction before very long. We make this prophesy of the world to come, as we see it, to save our descendants. We write about the catastrophe to come in these six chapters of the prediction.

Analysis: The red sun refers to the time the Ancient sun of Latis was extinguished.

Chapter One read:

When the giant devil who lives in the sea of flames awakens, an insane force will appear and heaven and earth will be swallowed up in darkness. The devil will be reborn with green skin and five eyes and will bring about two catastrophes.

Analysis: This is considered to be predicting the invasion of Latis by the Salamander forces. At the moment, there is no definitive interpretation for 'the devil with green skin and five eyes'. The time for the prophecy to come true has now come upon us.

This message has reached us on Nemesis:

The four planets around Latis have been attacked by an unknown fighting group called Salamander. They have installed a fortified base on Odysseus and taken control of Latis. The people of Latis who still remain alive are retreating back to the Zot transport relay station. SOS...SOS...

At my request, Lars XVIII, Emperor of Nemesis, has immediately ordered two space fighters to the scene.

Stages

StageNameBossMusic
1 Top Flight Speed to LatisBrain GolemPower of Anger
2 Conduct to Space Station ZotCruiser TetranFly High
3A Set the Crush Blow System - Planet EioneusFortress Valis
Dead End
Combat
3B Set the Crush Blow System - Planet LaviniaSeducerStarfield
3C Set the Crush Blow System - Planet KierkeEnigmaBurn the Wind
X Wrath of VenomVenom
True Venom
Last Exit
4 Crush SalamanderOuter Limits
Metal Slave
Destroy Them All

Enemies

Gallery

Salamander
Ships Vic ViperLord British (Lord British)• Sabel Tiger and Thrasher (Iggy Rock and Zowie Scott) • Super CobraGalaxyPurple EmperorRed Devil
Salamander stages Bionic GermMeteorite SpaceBurning ChaosVolcano AreaSalamander Planetoid
Salamander (MSX) stages Top Flight Speed to LatisConduct to Space Station ZotSet the Crush Blow System - Planet EioneusSet the Crush Blow System - Planet LaviniaSet the Crush Blow System - Planet KierkeWrath of VenomCrush Salamander
Life Force-only stages Organic Speed ZoneTemple Zone
Salamander 2 stages Sub-life SpaceProminence FortressBio HazardHuge BattleshipAsteroidDoom Fortress
Salamander bosses Brain GolemTetranIntruderFortress ValisDeathBig Core X3Jumping MoaiZelos Force
Port exclusive bosses ZylomGawGigaTutankhamonDead EndEnigmaTrue VenomMetal SlaveZelos Barrier
Salamander 2 bosses BiterHydraAbadonTenny RopPlate CoreCerberusDoom
Gradius Video Games
Gradius series GradiusGradius IIGradius IIIGradius GaidenGradius IVGradius GalaxiesGradius VGradius ReBirthGradius: The Interstellar AssaultGradius NEOGradius NEO Imperial
Spin-offs Salamander (Life Force) (MSX ver.)• Salamander 2Nemesis 2 (Nemesis '90 Kai) • Nemesis 3Nemesis (Game Boy)Cosmic WarsSolar Assault
Parody games ParodiusParodius Da!Gokujō Parodius!Jikkyō Oshaberi ParodiusSexy ParodiusParo WarsOtomedius (Otomedius Gorgeous) • Otomedius X: Excellent!
Other games ScrambleFalsionThunder CrossThunder Cross IISpace ManbowForce GearTrigonXexex
Pachislot Gradius: The SlotCR Parodius Da! EXGokuraku Parodius
Cancelled Vic ViperGradius ArcSalamander HD Remaster