Hidden throughout the NES version of Life Force (aka Salamander in Japan) are a number of hidden 1-ups and 5000 point hotspots. While you can find a few of the 1-ups mentioned in other places, I've never seen any mention of the hotspots until now.

If you know of (or find) any not shown here, please let me know.


Shoot in the right places and a flashing power capsule will appear. Collect it for an extra life!

Most of these shots should be pretty self-explanatory, but since Stage 3 isn't exactly landmark central, I'll point out that you should fly to the top of the screen just after the vertically aligned trio of phoenixes. Beware of the rapid-fire solar flare, however (it's not shown on the screenshot below.)

Stage 1
Stage 1
Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

5000-Point Hotspots

These are a bit trickier to find (or even describe the locations of), since they're invisible. There are a number of spots throughout the game where flying your ship in the right place will award you 5000 points. There is no visible indication of this (other than your score mysteriously increasing), but the "extra life" sound will play when you hit one. (Note that you will not actually receive an extra life, unless of course the 5000 points gives you enough points to earn one.)

I'll attempt to give descriptions and screenshots below, but note that the screenshots may not give the exact pixel-perfect location, so you'll need some trial and error to get a feel for the loactions.

Thanks to Shiner for the location of the second level 1 hotspot, and Star Man for the first level 2 hotspot.

Stage 1 - Pretty self explanatory (this is the first fang that drops from the ceiling.)

Stage 1 - Again fairly self-explanatory, but you'll have to choose between this or the 1-up lower in this membrane.

Stage 2 - At the tip of the first active volcano in the stage. (You might want to seal it first. :)

Stage 2 - The big blue fireball is supposed to be the Lord British. :) The hotspot is actually a bit lower than my ship's location here.

Stage 2 - Don't have the exact location pegged yet, but it's on the right side of the screen either just before or just inside this sandpit (right before the bubble generators.)

Stage 2 - Like the Stage 1 hotspot above,  you'll pretty much have to choose between this or the 1-up elsewhere in the sandpit.

Stage 3 - After the fourth to last flare of the level (not shown) erupts, fly to where its lowest point was.

Stage 3 - Similarly, after the third to last flare of the level erupts (not shown here either), head to its highest point.

Bonus Section: Surviving the Final Passage

   Many players have come to the conclusion that surviving the speed run after defeating Zelos Force is impossible. On the contrary, this section can be done very easily without dying. The trick is that you can bypass a large majority of the closing bars simply by being centered at the very top of the screen. Some slight horizontal adjustments at the beginning will get you past the rest. Observe:

Start by moving your ship to the top of the screen and center yourself horizontally, as shown.. You will never need to move your ship vertically again. :)

You'll get past the first four bars untouched (#3 and #4 shown here.)

Tap slightly over to the left in order to dodge bars #5 and #6, as shown.

Quickly recenter your ship to get by bars #7, #8, and #9.

Quickly tap right to get by bars #10 and #11, then recenter again.

After that, not a single bar will touch your ship ever again. (Yes, you'll make it past that bar at the bottom of the shot unscathed.)


Last Updated 29 Feb 2004
(C) 2003 Zach Keene