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Gradius Wiki
For the original arcade game, see Salamander.
For other uses, see Salamander (disambiguation).

Salamander (サラマンダ Saramanda?) is a hybrid scrolling shooter game developed and published by Konami in 1987 for the Japanese MSX series of 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 Saber 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.


Japanese version


My hometown is the Latis planets. A group of planets located in the Tesla galaxy with a history of 120 million years since its birth. This planetary group consists of four planets, centered on the planet Latis, and each planet has the name of Eioneus, Lavinia, Kierke and Odysseus.

The Latis planets are the stars of civilization, and their history has been shaped with the rise of the Latis civilization. Latis civilizations are broadly classified into two. One of them is the Ancient Latis Civilization which began about 100 million years ago.

The ancient Latis civilization was a civilization that used Wreek power skillfully, and was a very culturally advanced civilization. Ancient Latis hated fighting and had extreme self-control ability. This is because their psycho-power was so powerful that they knew that once a war occurred, it would directly lead to the destruction of the universe.

The immediate cause of the destruction of the ancient Latis civilization was that the ancient sun was killed and a large amount of cosmic radiation fell down into Latis. At this time, it was thought that one of the reasons why they could not endure cosmic radiation was a reduction in Wreek power due to thorough self-control.

The Wreek power used by the ancient Latis people is said to be primitive Wreek power, which is fundamentally different from the Wreek power that we are currently using. I hear that power was beyond our imagination.

Research on the primordial Wreek power is more advanced in the planet Gradius than us. This is due to a Wreek research group centered on planet Gradius, because in fact the ancestor of the planet Gradius' Wreeks was derived from the same race as the ancient Latis.


My brother is Van Landroth Frehley, director of the Gradius Imperial Space Archaeological Institute. I have heard from my brother that there is a "Prophecy of Fire" as one of the legacy of the ancient Latis civilization.

The ancient Latis used the Wreek power to predict the future. The prophecy was carried out at the underground festivities on an eclipse day (once every 10,000 years) as an extremely sacred ritual. They are said to have the ability to predict even 100 million years into the future.

The ancient Latis prophesied their descendants', our destruction. They wrote in the "Prophecy of Fire / Introduction" as follows.

From the time when the red sun will sink forever

A fate that will eventually be destroyed.
We can see to save our offspring

It is a prediction for the coming world.

And now the time of the prophecy has come.

The four planets surrounding the planet Latis were attacked by a mysterious fleet called "Salah". They set up a base fortress on the planet Odysseus and took control of my homeworld, the Latis planet. We evacuated to the transport relay station ZOT. However, it will soon be attacked here as well.

"Are we going to face the time of destruction?"


I am Van Landroth Frehley, director of the Gradius Imperial Space Archaeological Institute. The last letter from my brother left on the planet Latis has just arrived.

"Now we are in the time of the prophecy". That "prophecy", like the devil that my brother taught us, is approaching our eyes as a real thing. Maybe we will go through the time of destruction...

I first came to the planet Gradius by myself to study primitive Wreek power. After that, my interest shifted to study the recently discovered "Prophecy of Fire".

The "Prophecy of Fire" has been elucidated only in fragments, as I recently reported. However, the incidents after the "Northern Cross" in 6644, including the Venom incident, are undoubtedly implied by the "Prophecy of Fire". If it depends on the time predicted by the "Prophecy of Fire", I can explain the changes in my homeworld Latis and the relationship between the ancient Latis and the Wreeks! My brother, our homeworld Latis will be saved. The "Prophecy of Fire" must be a prediction of the "future" to come, not "destruction".

Now, a new "history" is about to be formed by the "Prophecy of Fire", which can be called fate!

English version

"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 blow 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.


Stage Name Boss Music
1 Top Flight Speed to Latis Golem Power of Anger
2 Conduct to Space Station Zot Cruiser Tetran Fly High
3A Set the Crush Blow System - Planet Eioneus Fortress Valis
Dead End
3B Set the Crush Blow System - Planet Lavinia Seducer Starfield
3C Set the Crush Blow System - Planet Kierke Enigma Burn the Wind
X Wrath of Venom Venom
True Venom
Last Exit
4 Crush Salamander Outer Limits
Metal Slave
Destroy Them All



Characters and ships Vic ViperLord British (Lord British)• Saber Tiger and Thrasher (Iggy Rock and Zowie Scott) • Van Landroth FrehleyLars XVIIISuper 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 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 IV: FukkatsuGradius 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 Excellent
Other games ScrambleThunder CrossThunder Cross IISpace ManbowForce Gear
Pachislot Gradius: The SlotCR Parodius Da! EXGokuraku Parodius!
Cancelled Vic ViperGradius ArcSalamander HD Remaster