Arcade Video game published 33 years ago:
魂斗羅 © 1987 Konami.
In 2631, a meteorite strikes the Galuga archipelago near New Zealand, carrying with it a dormant alien being. Two years later, a terrorist organization calling themselves Red Falcon takes over the island as part of their plot to invade the Earth. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, of the Contra unit, are sent to the Oceania island to stop the evil threat.
'Contra' is a hectic one or two player platform shoot-em-up featuring 10 stages. In addition to the standard side-view levels, there are also "3D maze" stages in which the player must proceed through a series of corridors inside an enemy base, destroying various sensors, in order to reach the core of the base.
Each player's character is equipped with a semi-automatic machine gun with an unlimited amount of ammunition and can jump, move and fire in all eight cardinal directions. Players can also move and jump simultaneously while firing. Co-ordination of the character's movement is essential as a single hit from any enemy, bullet, or other hazard will instantly kill the player's character and also eliminate the current weapon from the player's inventory.
As players fight their way through the enemy-packed levels, additional weapons can be collected. If the player loses a life, they will also lose any weapon power-up they were carrying. Available weapons are:
Machine Gun: Auto-fire.
Spread gun [S]: Allows the player to fire 5 shots in an arc.
Laser: Will shoot a long laser that can take out many enemies in a row.
Fire Ball [F]: A gun which fires small fireballs in a corkscrew pattern.
Rapid Bullets [R]: Increases the firing rate of the player's currently equipped weapon. Works with the Machine Gun and Fire Ball.
Barrier [B]: Will make the player invincible for a few seconds.
The game consists of ten stages:
Stage 01: Jungle (horizontal scroll)
Stage 02: Inside Base 1 (3D maze)
Stage 03: Core of Base 1 (3D fixed)
Stage 04: Waterfall (vertical scroll)
Stage 05: Inside Base 2 (3D maze)
Stage 06: Core of Base 2 (3D fixed)
Stage 07: Snow Field (horizontal scroll)
Stage 08: Energy Zone (horizontal scroll)
Stage 09: Hangar (horizontal scroll)
Stage 10: Alien Lair (horizontal scroll)
Game ID: GX633
Main CPU: Motorola M6809 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Sound CPU: Motorola M6809 (@ 2 Mhz)
Sound Chips: Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.582071 Mhz)
Control: 8-way joystick
Buttons: 2 [SHOOT, JUMP]
Contra was released in February 1987.
This game is known in Europe as "Gryzor".
Note: The Japanese version uses kanji (Chinese characters) to phonetically spell out 'Kon-to-ra', the Japanese transliteration of the name "Contra". This is an example of ateji, in which an artist uses kanji for their phonetic value rather than any meaning they may have.
Here are the official names of the characters: Bill Rizer (player 1) and Lance Bean (player 2). They were named after the following actors, all of which appeared in the 1986 movie, Aliens; Bill Rizer is named after the actors Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser, while Lance Bean is named after Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn.
Bill Rizer makes an appearance as a supporting character in the 1992 Family Computer game "Wai Wai World 2 SOS!! - Paseri Jou".
The music from the final stage is also used for the final boss confrontation in "Wai Wai World" for the Family Computer.
Chad Johnson holds the official record for this game with 1, 546, 600 points on July 15, 2002.
Alpha Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Konami Game Music Vol.4 - 28XA-201) on March 10, 1988.
[JP] June 05, 1998; Contra [Konami Game Books Series 4]
The game's backstory differs between sources. The storyline written above is the one used by Japanese sources and later mentioned in canon in Contra: Shattered Soldier for the PlayStation 2. In the North American manual for the NES version, the time was changed from the 27th century to the present day, with the location moved from Galuga to an unnamed South American island. Bill and Lance were given the codenames 'Mad Dog' and 'Scorpion', names which were later used for 2 unrelated characters in the American-produced Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS.
TIPS AND TRICKS
1) Shotgun: Your default weapon, can fire suprisingly fast.
2) Spread Gun: Shoots waves of expanding blobs. Outstanding.
3) Laser: Hold down fire for a longer beam. Powerful.
4) Fireball: Fires spinning red blobs.
5) Machine Gun: Rapid fire bullets. Sounds like a drum machine.
6) Rapid: Speeds up shotgun, fireball & machine gun bullets. Handy.
7) Barrier: Complete invulnerability for a limited time. Nice.
- Use shots wisely: Jump shots and crouch shots allow you to attack while avoiding enemy attacks. Do not hesitate. Keep those shots going!
- Kill before being killed: if you see an enemy, shoot right away. Defeat them before they fire at you. Be the first one to attack!
- Tip for taking down the fortress: At the end of Stage 1 (the Jungle) and Stage 4 (the Waterfall), you will find yourself at the heavily fortified entrance of the next base. To gain access to the base, you will need to destroy the large sensor. The sensor in Stage 1 is guarded by a sniper and two mortar cannons, while the sensor in Stage 4 is guarded by a large five-way cannon at middle, with two rotating guns around it (one on each side).
- Tips for 3-D mazes: Destroy the orb-shaped sensors in each wall to stop the high voltage electric currents. Taking out the weak points quickly is key to conquering the 3-D levels before time runs out.
If you press the joystick upward and touch the electricity, you will be stunned and won't be able to move for a while. Don't move forward until you take out the sensor and stop the electricity.
After you take out the weak point, look at the map while proceeding. You'll know whether to go left or right.
You can dodge enemy bullets by lying down! Destroy rolling mines by using crouch shots.
As you proceed, there are weak points that are positioned so that you can't reach them. Utilize jump shots and crouch shots.
- Beware of falling off at Stage 4: In the waterfall, missing a platform and falling down will count as a miss.
- Barrier: The Barrier power-up can only be found at the beginning of Stage 4 (the Waterfall) or halfway through Stage 9 (the Hangar) if the player has only their normal gun equipped
- Rapid Bullets: The Rapid Bullets power-up will only appear in the beginning of the Waterfall stage and halfway through Snow Field stage (before fighting the first tank) if the player has only the normal gun equipped. Because of this, the only weapons the Rapid Bullets upgrade can be used with are the normal gun, the Fire Ball gun, and the Machine Gun.
- Contra [Model GX633] (1987, Arcade)
- Super Contra [Model GX775] (1988, Arcade)
- Operation C (1991, Game Boy)
- Contra Force (1992, NES)
- Contra Spirits [Model SHVC-CS] (1992, Super Famicom)
- Contra - Hard Corps (1994, Mega Drive)
- Contra - Legacy of War (1996, PlayStation)
- C - The Contra Adventure (1998, PlayStation)
- Contra - Shattered Soldier (2002, PlayStation 2)
- Neo Contra (2004, PlayStation 2)
- Contra 4 (2007, DS)
- Contra ReBirth (2009, WiiWare)
Game programmers: Satoru, Hideyuki Falco, Koichi Cobra
Video graphics: Kengo
Special designers: Ishiwari Jinbo, Passionate Norio
Sound editor: Kazuki Muraoka (Kazuki Jah)
Engineer: Rom Yamamoto
Directed by: Koji
Cabinet Graphic Design: Don Marshall
[US] Nintendo NES (feb.1988) "Contra [Model NES-CT-USA]"
[JP] Nintendo Famicom (feb.9, 1988) "Contra [Model RC826]"
Sony Playstation 2 [JP] (may.25, 2006) "Contra [Oretachi Gasen Zoku] [Model SLPM-62730]"
Microsoft XBOX 360 [XBLA] [US] [JP] (nov.8, 2006)
Microsoft XBOX 360 [US] (dec.15, 2009) "Konami Classics Vol.2 [Model 30086]": XBLA version
[JP] Sony PS4 [PSN] (aug.10, 2016) "Arcade Archives - Contra [Model CUSA-04522]"
[JP] Nintendo DS (mar.15, 2007) "Konami Arcade Collection [Model NTR-A5KJ-JPN]"
[US] Nintendo DS (mar.27, 2007) "Konami Classic Series - Arcade Hits [Model NTR-ACXE-USA]"
[US] Commodore C64 (1987)
PC [MS-DOS] [US] (1988)
MSX 2 [JP] (may.26, 1989) "Contra [Model RC762]"
[US] PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (nov.16, 2002) "Konami Collector's Series - Castlevania & Contra": NES version
LCD handheld game (1989) C
Mobile Phones [CN] [US] (2006) Contra
Windows Mobile [US] (nov.8, 2007)
Mobile Phones [CN] (2010) Contra - Evolution Revolution
Arcade [CN] (2011) Contra - Evolution Revolution
Edit this entry: https://www.arcade-history.com/?&page=detail&id=497&o=2