The next title we’re talking about today Is a game that started a whole series of games… that the run and gun genre was built upon… of course we’re talking about Contra!
From The Contra Wiki-
Contra is a run-and-gun action platformer, notorious for its high difficulty. The player character comes armed with a gun that can shoot infinitely. Different weapons with new abilities and that shoot different types of projectiles can be acquired as the player progresses through the levels. These can be found either inside of Pill Box Sensors or in Flying Capsules. When destroyed, the power-up will spring out onto the battlefield and can then be collected to change the player’s weapon. However, the weapon will be lost if the player comes in contact with an enemy or a deadly obstacle, losing a life instantly. The character can shoot in eight directions and can also crouch.
The player starts with three lives, which are represented by medals. Extra lives can be earned by destroying enough enemies and raising the current score. The second player is able to “steal” lives from the other player in order to join the game.
The game also features a couple of pseudo-3D sections; one in the second stage (Base 1) and the other in the fourth stage (Base 2). In these levels, there are electric barriers that can momentarily paralyze the player if they come in contact with them, leaving them open to enemy fire in the meantime. To proceed further into these levels, the player has to destroy an orb found on the middle of the rear wall of each room.
There are a total of eight stages in the game. A boss can be found at the end of each one, which has to be defeated in order to proceed to the next one.
In 2633 A.D., two armed Elite Marine Commandos “Contra”, named Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, are sent on a mission to neutralize a terrorist organization called Red Falcon that is secretly planning to take over the entire world, and it’s up to this two-man-army to put an end to this madness once and for all.
This has the distinction of being Konami’s 2nd U.S,. manufactured cabinet! The first was a game called Boot Camp- Ill highlight that in a Konami Nuggets article down the road. But this was a HUGE release!
Enough jibber jabber- let’s save the world!
There were a lot of ports of this game- Including the amazing NES port! Who had that cartridge back in the day? I did! I played the heck out of it- especially with friends! It was one of those NES games that came so close to the arcade version!
In modern systems, you can play it via the Arcade Archives- no relation.
But- if you really wanna rock all things Contra- Pick up the Contra Anniversary Collection! Look at what it’s got! You’ll be run n’ gunning for weeks!
The music- orchestrated brilliantly by Kazuki Muraoka, even came out as a soundtrack album!
Give the music a listen!
Did you ever play Contra? Did you ever defeat Red Falcon?
Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like it’s 1981!