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Encyclopedia > Contra series
Contra, NES version1988
Contra, NES version
1988

The Contra series (魂斗羅 in Japanese) is a well-known line of run and gun shoot 'em up games created by Konami from 1987 through 2004. While originally arcade games, the series gained its immense popularity base from its console releases, especially the titles created for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo video game consoles. The Contra games, particularly Contra and Contra III: The Alien Wars have almost entirely defined the run'n gun genre of scrolling shooter games. The Metal Slug series and Gunstar Heroes are well-known examples of games that directly base their gameplay on the original Contra titles. Image File history File links Contral_(logo). ... Image File history File links Original_contra. ... Image File history File links Original_contra. ... Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... Nes is: A municipality in the county of Akershus in Norway, see Nes, Akershus. ... Contra, the quintessential run and gun A run and gun (also known as run n gun or for some variants, overhead shooter) is a sub-genre of video games that incorporates elements from shoot em up games and platform games. ... Galaga, a famous shoot-em-up from 1981. ... Konami Corporation (コナミ) TYO: 9766 (NYSE: KNM) (SGX: K20) is a leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling computer and video games. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... NES redirects here. ... The European SNES design is identical to the Super Famicom. ... A video game console is a dedicated electronic machine designed to play video games. ... Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... Scrolling shooters are a type of video game, a subgenre of shoot em up . ... Metal Slug is a series of shoot em up video games first released on the Neo-Geo game console created by SNK. It was also ported to other consoles, such as the PlayStation, the Sega Saturn, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and more recently, the Game Boy Advance and Xbox. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents


Etymology

The most likely source of the name "Contra" is from the Iran-Contra affair, which occurred during the second term of President Ronald Reagan. Subsequently, when the controversy was reaching its apex, it likely resulted in the renaming of the console ports of Super Contra that became known in the west as Super C. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). ... This article is in need of improvement. ...


The in-game use of the term "Contra" is explained in the manual of both Contra: Shattered Soldier and the Famicom port of Contra as "a title awarded to a superior soldier possessing almost super human drive and ability, while excelling in guerrilla tactics". The Nintendo Entertainment System (U.S., Europe, and Australia) NES redirects here. ... Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... Guerrilla War redirects here. ...


Gameplay

The Contra series essentially defined the run and gun computer and video game genre. The games, which are a combination of platform games and shoot 'em ups consist of a player-controlled human protagnoist who employs rapid-fire rifles to destroy enemies. While there is more emphasis put on shooting than jumping, the player must be able to use jump to gain the right angle to destroy certain enemies and avoid getting shot. Avoidance is essential, as it only takes one hit to kill the player. Contra, the quintessential run and gun A run and gun (also known as run n gun or for some variants, overhead shooter) is a sub-genre of video games that incorporates elements from shoot em up games and platform games. ... This is an alphabetized listing of computer and video game genres with a brief description and examples from each genre. ... Galaga, a famous shoot-em-up from 1981. ...


The majority of the games in the series are presented strictly in a side-view perspective, with some of the levels scrolling vertically. However, different titles have experimented with different replication of the same basic gameplay. Super Contra and Contra III: The Alien Wars had overhead levels, similar to titles like Commando; the player could not jump in this perspective but could strafe instead. The original Contra had two "shooting gallery" type levels, similar to NAM-1975; the player could still perform all the same dodging moves. The games created by Appaloosa interactive, while not well-received, experimented with third-person shooter perspectives. The final game in the series, thus far, Neo Contra, uses a 3D rendered isometric perspective. This article is in need of improvement. ... Commando (戦場の狼/Senjou no Ookami [Battlefield Wolf]) is a vertically-scrolling shoot em up released in 1985. ... NAM-1975 is an arcade game, released in 1990 by SNK for the Neo Geo. ... Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Isometric drawing of a cube. ...


Difficulty

The Contra series has a reputation for being exceptionally fast-paced and difficult. It is thought to take an extremely skilled player to progress through the game using only the three lives and continues provided. The Konami Code, made famous in the first NES version of Contra and featured in many of its sequels, increases the initial number of lives to 30. This allows players of average skill level to coast through the game. Contra III: The Alien Wars, by contrast, allows players to choose the number of lives with which they start the game, as well as difficulty (which modifies both the amount of enemies and hits they can endure). Logo of the Konami Code sold on T-Shirts. ...


This series is well known for its frequent battles against large bosses, who often occupy most of the screen, and consist of multiple body parts and/or phases. Like most Konami games, the bosses have weak points that blink yellow or red when receiving damage. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Common gameplay elements

Contra III: The Alien Wars
Contra III: The Alien Wars

Two-player simultaneous play – One of the hallmarks of the Contra series (excluding the titles by Appaloosa Interactive) has been the ability for two players to play cooperatively in a simultaneous fashion. Even the most recent title Neo Contra, although many gameplay changes have been made, keeps the two player simultaneous mode intact. Image File history File links Contra3_1. ... Image File history File links Contra3_1. ... Appaloosa Interactive is a Hungarian company that produced numerous console games during the 1980s and 90s. ... Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ...


Red Falcon – The terrorist organization that served as the antagonists of the first game. The alien entity that appears in each is erroneously referred as Red Falcon, when in reality they appeared only in the first game. The terrorist group in Shattered Soldier is known as Blood Falcon.


Bill Rizer – One of the recurring protagonists of the Contra series. Nicknamed Mad Dog and Sully in early North American localizations of the series. In the early Contra games, he served as a hero of the Alien Wars, but is imprisoned for treason prior to the events of Shattered Soldier for causing an act of terrorism that resulted in the destruction of 80% of the Earth's population, as well as being charged for the apparent murder of his comrade, Lance Bean. In Neo Contra, he is revived to combat the corrupt Neo Contra task force.


Lance Bean – The other recurring protagonist of the Contra series. Nicknamed Scorpian and Jimbo in early North American localizations of the series. In the early Contra games, he fought alongside Bill during the Alien Wars. But afterwards, he was apparently killed while trying to stop Bill from causing an act of terrorism. In reality, Lance was murdered under orders from the Triumvirate, but survived due to the Alien organism. In Shattered Soldier, he leads the Blood Falcon organization against the Federation.


Spread gun – The most famous weapon, and considered by many players the best overall, is the spread gun. This weapon fires five, usually red, bullets within a 120 degree arc. It allows for a dense concentration of firepower up close (a la shotgun), while having the ability to cover a large area when firing from a distance. Other weapons in the series have come and gone, but the spread gun has remained (almost) constant. A pump-action and two semi-automatic action shotguns, 20 boxes of shotgun shells, a clay trap, and three boxes of clay pigeons. ...


Powerup blimps – Most of the games, except Shattered Soldier and Neo Contra, have kept the process of acquisistioning additional weapons and powerups exclusive to shooting down powerup blimps that screech across the screen in an undulating fashion. Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ...


Contra games

Contra: Shattered Soldier
Contra: Shattered Soldier

Here is the list of the Contra games that are part of the official (original) Contra continuity, and the years the game is set in: Image File history File links Contra_ss02. ... Image File history File links Contra_ss02. ...

Here is the list of the Contra games that are retconned from the official Contra continuity: Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... This article is in need of improvement. ... Operation C (Japanese: コントラ Contra; Probotector in Europe) is an original shooter/platform game released in 1991 by Konami for the Nintendo Game Boy. ... Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ... Retroactive continuity — commonly contracted to the blend retcon — is the adding of new information to historical material, or deliberately changing previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. ...

  • Contra Force
  • Contra: Legacy of War
  • C: The Contra Adventure

Contra Force is a platform/scrolling shooter video game that was released in 1992 by Konami for the NES. The game is a spin-off of Konamis popular Contra. ...

Games and ports

Primary releases and ports

Arcade can mean several things: Arcade (architecture) - A passage or walkway, often including retailers. ... The Contras (Spanish contrarrevolucionario, counter-revolutionary) were the armed opponents of Nicaraguas Sandinista National Liberation Front Government Junta of National Reconstruction following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the ending of the Somoza familys 43-year rule. ... This article is in need of improvement. ... Nes is: A municipality in the county of Akershus in Norway, see Nes, Akershus. ... Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... Super C has multiple meanings: Super C, also known as Super Contra, is a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. ... Contra Force is a platform/scrolling shooter video game that was released in 1992 by Konami for the NES. The game is a spin-off of Konamis popular Contra. ... The original Game Boys design set the standard for handheld gaming consoles. ... Operation C (Japanese: コントラ Contra; Probotector in Europe) is an original shooter/platform game released in 1991 by Konami for the Nintendo Game Boy. ... The European SNES design is identical to the Super Famicom. ... The original PlayStation was produced in a light grey colour; the more recent PSOne redesign sports a smaller more rounded case. ... The Sega Saturn (Japanese: セガサターン, Sega Saturn), is a video game console of the 32-bit era. ... The Mega Drive/Genesis was a 16-bit video game console released by Sega in Japan (1988), Europe (1990) and most of the rest of the world as the Mega Drive. ... The two versions of the PS2 with an Eye Toy camera The PlayStation 2 (PS2) (Japanese: プレイステーション2) is Sonys second video game console, after the PlayStation. ... Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ... The Game Boy Color came in a myriad of different colors, as did earlier incarnations of the Game Boy. ... Operation C (Japanese: コントラ Contra; Probotector in Europe) is an original shooter/platform game released in 1991 by Konami for the Nintendo Game Boy. ... The Game Boy Advance (often shortened to GBA) is a handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo. ... Contra III: The Alien Wars (Japanese title: 魂斗羅スピリッツ, Contra Spirits) is the third major installment in the Contra series of games by Konami, and was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1992, Game Boy in 1994, and Game Boy Advance in 2002. ...

Other ports

The Xbox 360 (pronounced three-sixty), known during development as the Xenon, Xbox 2, Xbox Next, or the neXtBox, is the successor to Microsofts original Xbox video game console. ... ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Contra ) is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. ... ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Close_up of C64 Commodore 64 (C64, CBM 64) was a popular home computer of the 1980s. ... Amstrad CPC 464, with CTM644 colour monitor The Amstrad CPC was a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad during the 1980s and early 1990s. ... The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was a home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research. ... The original Amiga (1985) The Amiga is a family of home/personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation as an advanced game console. ... The GameKing 8-bit handheld game console has been made by the Chinese company TimeTop since 2003. ... MSX2 may refer to: The second generation of the MSX home computers Homeo box homolog 2 Protein This article consisting of a 4-letter acronym or initialism is a disambiguation page — a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... The Sega Game Gear was Segas first portable gaming system. ...

Pirated games

These titles feature different levels and modified gameplay.

  • Famiclone: Super Contra 2(Contra:Hard Corps), Super Contra 3(Contra 3), Super Contra 6, Super Contra 7/8, Super Contra X, Contra '93, Contra Fighter, Kaita Contra, Contra 2, Contra 6
  • Nintendo Gameboy: Contra Force 6
  • Nintendo GameBoy Advance: Super Contra, Contra
  • Arcade: There is an 118-in-1 arcade machine that has the following titles: Fighter Contra, Power Contra, Space Contra, Burhter Contra

Storyline

The original Contra was released at a time when video games were still lacking any in-depth storyline or actual narrative within them. As a result, the companies that localized the games in the US would often have a different interpretation of the game's plot than the original Japanese publishers. Konami's US branch was very notorious for this practice, writing their own versions of the games' story, sometimes in a humorous (and arguably condescending) fashion within their instruction manuals. ImageMetadata File history File links Neocontra_01. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Neocontra_01. ... Neo Contra ) is a video game that is part of the Contra series by Konami. ... Notorious was a 1946 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. ...


The original Japanese storyline was set in the 27th century, in which a mysterious meteorite falls into the fictional Galuga archipelago near New Zealand two years prior to the beginning of the game. The player (as Bill Rizer or Lance Bean, members of the elite "Contra" task force) must neutralize a terrorist group known as "Red Falcon" that is staging an alien invasion on the islands. The logo of "Red Falcon" was prominately featured on various shipping crates. Coincidently, the logo is very similar to shipping company APL's logo.


The premise is more or less the same in the US version of the story, but the setting has been changed from the 27th century to the present, with the location being moved from Galuga to the Mayan temples in Central America. The arrival of the meteorite also occurs thirty years earlier (instead of two), and the main characters are nicknamed Mad Dog and Scorpion. The change was presumably a result of the discrepancy between the game's modern guerilla warfare theme and actual setting according to the Japanese plot. The adjective Mayan is sometimes used to refer to the indigenous peoples of parts of Mexico and Central America, their culture, language, and history. ...


The change of setting caused trouble with the localization of later installments, which were clearly set in futuristic environments. To remedy this, Konami of America explained that the characters in The Alien Wars were actually Jimbo and Sully, the descendants of Mad Dog and Scorpion respectively from the previous games. Ironically enough, the European NES version, Probotector, kept the original Japanese storyline, with the only differences being the replacement of Bill, Lance and some of the enemies with robotic counterparts.


Beginning with Contra: Shattered Soldier, the old North American continuity, along with the PlayStation games, Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, was discarded and the Japanese continuity (from the original Contra to Contra: Hard Corps) was adapted for all subsequent North American releases. For other versions of PlayStation, please see PlayStation (disambiguation) The PlayStation is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid-1990s. ...


Probotector and censoring

The box art for the European version of Contra III: The Alien Wars, modified as Super Probetector: Alien Rebels
Enlarge
The box art for the European version of Contra III: The Alien Wars, modified as Super Probetector: Alien Rebels

The early console versions of Contra (and sequels to the console versions) were released as Probotector in Europe and Australia. In this version the two main characters (and many enemies) were changed to robots - despite the fact the original arcade version was released uncensored under the Gryzor title in those territories. One reason may be that Konami was concerned about worry over violent games in Europe; another theory is that they feared Germany's so-called "Bundesprüfstelle", an institution that watches newly released media to possibly forbid the selling of a game. In the 1980s and 1990s, dozens of games in which people are killed in order to progress (e.g. Rambo III), were added to an index that meant they were not allowed to be advertised or displayed in stores, and they could be only bought on request by people over 18 years old. Relegation to this index would have meant commercial disaster. Contra: Hard Corps for Mega Drive (known merely as Probotector) was the last Contra to be released under the Probotector label, while the next one in the series, Contra: Legacy of War, became the first one to remain as a Contra game. Image File history File links Alienrebels-front. ... Image File history File links Alienrebels-front. ... The Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien or BPjM (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) is an upper-level German federal agency subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. ... Sega MegaDrive 2 European version with joypad, game cart + box Sega Mega Drive (Japanese: メガドライブ Mega Doraibu) was a 16-bit video game console released by Sega. ...


References

External links

See also

Contra series
Main series: Contra | Super Contra | Operation C | The Alien Wars | Hard Corps | Shattered Soldier | Neo Contra
Retconned games: Contra Force | Legacy of War | The Contra Adventure
See also: Run and gun | Konami | List of Konami games

  Results from FactBites:
 
Contra series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1143 words)
This series is well known for its frequent battles against large opponents (bosses), who often occupy most of the screen, and consist of multiple body parts and/or phases.
Beginning with Contra: Shattered Soldier, the old North American continuity, along with the PlayStation games, Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, was discarded and the Japanese continuity (from the original Contra to Contra: Hard Corps) was adapted for all subsequent North American releases.
The in-game use of the term "Contra" is explained in the manual of both Contra: Shattered Soldier and the Famicom port of Contra as "a title awarded to a superior soldier possessing almost super human drive and ability, while excelling in guerrilla tactics".
TNL Forum - Contra (2176 words)
Fully titled Super Contra: Alien no Gyakushu (the Alien's Counterattack), the game's story was set a full year after the original, in which Bill and Lance were on a mission to retake the GX Army's base in South America from the aliens.
Contra took everything from the past games and made it more insane (giant robots would come crashing into walls, planes would drop bombs that engulfed the ground into flames and the player would go from motorcycles to a helicopter to fight a giant warship).
Contra Hard Corps was only released for the Genesis, but two of it's level can be seen in the GBA version of Contra III.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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