Archive for the NEWS Category

Next Step In Degeneration

Posted in NEWS on November 10, 2015 by prototector

In their latest move to distance themselves from and to disgrace the Contra series, Konami and Tencent, a major network service provider in China, have formed a partnership to develop and release the latest “entry” in the Contra series. In a press release on November 2nd, the partnership was announced and a few details had been disclosed about this side-scroller. Much to the delight of gamers worldwide, including the few Contra fans, this “Contra” title will be available for Android and iOS smartphones, exclusively in China and will employ the Free-To-Play model. The large majority of game content must be accessed through micro-transactions littered throughout.

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While little is known about the game, an alleged early build of the Android version had been leaked on the internet. Players are required to have a QQ account (Tencent’s principal messaging service). As such, a network connection is required to play. Most importantly, the gameplay and plot have been changed drastically: it is much more of an RPG and the story has been rewritten completely.

After the Contra Evolution travesty, followed by the mediocre Star Wars: Force Collection mini-game, this latest development should not be surprising. It is becoming more and more apparent that the series is a charity case to Konami.

Credit to cx4 for the photos and video.

In more interesting news, as pathetic as it is, Contra Advance has been released for the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe on November 5th. The North American release should follow on November 12th.

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Game Covers & Other Additions, Future Plans

Posted in NEWS on August 23, 2015 by prototector

I have added game cover images to the pages of almost all of the physical releases in the series. For the arcade Contra games, pictures of the marquees were added. Still, quite a few items are missing, so any help in finding some scans/images would be greatly appreciated (and appropriately credited). They are:

-Marquees for the Japanese and European (Gryzor) versions of arcade Contra
-Cover for the disk release of the ZX Spectrum conversion of Gryzor, if it exists
-Marquee for the Japanese version of arcade Super Contra
-Cover for The Contras, for Tandy CoCo3

Other miscellaneous additions and changes have been made, such as additional information and the usual fixes and corrections. One of the more notable additions comes in the form of the expansion on the Contra Advance prototype page. I’ve discovered tons more differences between the prototype and the final release, making the page more than twice its size.

More importantly, a considerable amount of new content is planned for the future. These additions will place this fan site at (near) the peak broadness as far as the scope of information covered on the Contra series. I’m hoping to eventually create sections for:

-Controls, including moves, maneuvers, etc.
-Guides
-Soundtrack listings DONE
-Introductory, intermission and ending sequences

Some are definitely easier than others. A great deal of time, above all else, is going to be required to bring these items into fruition, regardless. As with all other large or comprehensive sections to this site, help is strongly encouraged. While it has been mostly a solo effort, the Contra Encyclopedia would not be where it is today without contributions from the few remaining known fans of the Contra series. On that note, it has been a great 2+ years, soon to be 3 years, building this fan site. While things may have seemed slow in the past, and may still do in the future, development has always been ongoing and I have no intention of abandoning this project.

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Opposition Section, Plethora Of Images Added

Posted in NEWS on April 10, 2015 by prototector

I had been thinking about adding a section to each of the Contra games that describes each and every enemy, boss, destructible object, etc. This, of course, would be an enormous undertaking that requires an overwhelming amount of time to develop and a great deal of planning. Indeed, this was one of my projects since 2013.

Back then, I did not feel up to the task as these sections would be extremely large and obviously boring without any visual elements. The project was put on hold, in developmental hell, as I felt that other sites covered the information well enough. Additionally, my site originally served a less specific, and paradoxically broader, purpose. That was to shed a general light on all of the official mainstream entries in the Contra series.

Since then, I’ve frequently visited sites where they had images and descriptions of the enemies. The more I visited those pages, the more inclined I was to creating something similar on my site. I, however, wanted to cover everything. And so, as of today, that goal has reached a milestone. You can see the result for almost all of the Contra games covered on my site. Further, I have added images to the Arsenal section for most of the games, as well.

Make no mistake, the Opposition sections are still quite in their stages of infancy. The essentials are complete, including information and structure. There are, however, several things to reconsider. One example would be the placement of certain enemy entries with their respective boss battles, especially if they appear exclusively alongside those bosses.

Some might feel that the level of detail and cataloging of the enemies is excessive. I sometimes agree on this, but then am conflicted with the philosophy that overkill is underrated. One thing I cannot deny are the hints of double-standards in regards to enemy/boss entries. I’d say that it is the result of, again, the Opposition section being in its early stages. I hope to iron out this issue, especially.

I have not covered the enemies for 2 games. They are Contra: Evolution and Hard Corps: Uprising. In the former’s case, there needs to be a practical way for me to take screenshots off of either device (iOS/Android); I also haven’t played the game that much due to its painfully abysmal quality. The latter, I simply lack the game. I’m also missing a good portion of images from the LCD Electronics version of Contra; again, it’s due to lack of a practical screen capture method.

I just want to give very big thanks to 2 individuals who have greatly helped me for this new site addition: cx4 and Game Kommander. Both have provided a significant amount of images to use for this project. Game Kommander provided the jump-start, with images for many of the early games; cx4 has provided images for many of the mobile games, Contra 4, the PS2 games, and he has collaborated in the process. Without them, this news post would be published at least 2 months later.

In other news, the alleged Virtual Console release of Contra Advance has shown no signs of life thus far.

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New Trivia Item

Posted in NEWS on February 9, 2015 by prototector

Over the years, I’ve looked at each Contra game and considered how the series evolved. But what emanated to me just as much as, if not more than the innovations are the repetitions. These reused elements don’t at all detract from the quality or value of the games, in my opinion. On the contrary, they help build on the overall product by reminding us about what is (usually) great and memorable about past entries. As a new addition of information to the Contra Encyclopedia, I’ve decided to transcribe every little element that has been carried over through one or more Contra games from a prior one. Thus has been created the exhaustive lists that comprise Recycled Relics for Super Contra and onwards.

These lists are by no means complete or absolute. For the most part, they had been brainstormed in a short time span and posted as an initial step. They’re likely full of mistakes of varying sizes; further work is inevitable. Additionally, don’t be surprised if several items listed are deemed a big stretch, or grasping at straws; a work-in-progress is just that. I’m completely open to comments, so please feel free to provide feedback in the form of additions, suggestions and challenges.

You might notice that linked within this new subsection are links to non-existent pages. Namely, the Opposition section for each game. You’ve probably guessed it, but that’s my next big project for the site: I would like to cover all of the enemies of the games for which I can provide information. I will likely begin work on it after putting up some information on the stages of the Contra games.

In the meantime, enjoy the newly added content.

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A Promotional Update

Posted in NEWS on January 30, 2015 by prototector

An interesting correction has been made to the classification of certain mobile versions of Contra. After some digging and closer reading, it turns out that the Konami Net DX mobile version of Contra precedes, and is the base for, the RIM and DANGER versions. It had been released in 2004, making it 4 years earlier than the aforementioned North American mobile platform releases. The respective corrections have been made to the Contra games’ pages to reflect this development.

The more significant and noticeable update comes in the addition of a Promotional Media section for each game. Listed here are poster and ad scans, soundtracks and other interesting items that are often released in conjunction with certain titles. Other times, the material commemorates popular aspects of the games. Either way, be sure to check them out if you’re interested.

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New Page Added, Other Small Updates

Posted in NEWS on January 6, 2015 by prototector

I’ve now put up a page under the Miscellaneous section, titled Rumors/Myths. Included in this section are all of the few widespread hoaxes pertaining to various Contra games. Other additions include a Developmental Material page for Neo Contra.

It’s hard to channel all changes simply through blog posts, as that would require a high posting frequency. Therefore, I’m looking into implementing something along the lines of a feed, but that logs all changes made. This is useful for both the readers and I: the readers, so they know what’s new; myself, so that it saves a lot of time on summarizing, as well as serves as a guideline to determine what’s worth mentioning in an actual news post.

On Konami’s side of things, the ESRB has submitted an entry for a Wii-U port (Virtual Console) of Contra Advance, in Australia.

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Happy New Year

Posted in NEWS on January 1, 2015 by prototector

Wishing everyone, including my fellow Contra fan, a fruitful year to come.

As always, this website is constantly being updated. I know I said in the prologue that I would publish a news post whenever I add to the site; however, that would definitely be impractical. Not only do I often make numerous changes in a day, the updates can sometimes be minor fixes that can only be observed by scanning the site with a magnifying glass, so to speak. Such time and energy would be better spent on analyzing prototype and other pre-release versions of games, if you ask me 🙂 Joking aside, rest assured that this site is not dead.

Things are just going slowly at the moment, very much like the official side of all things Contra, only not as severe. When I had opened this fan site 2 years ago, one thing that I had always kept in mind is that work on it would reach a big roadblock, no matter what, because of Konami’s treatment of the series. Initially, time had been devoted into both setting up the web site, as well as keeping it up to speed with where the series currently is. The latter wasn’t difficult, again, because of Konami. It actually took relatively less time to complete these steps because of overwhelming motivation.

Since then, I had been working on this encyclopedia in mostly small bursts, with the occasional major structural overhauls or page additions. As such, I haven’t lost any motivation over the last 2 years; I don’t see me burning out any time soon. That’s probably the only good aspect of Contra’s dead status. For the most part, the only “new” releases are re-releases for Virtual Console and the like.

I’ve been strongly fixated on pre-release versions of Contra games. That’s probably the only aspect of Contra left for which there is a lot to cover. Indeed, the historical side can be really fascinating, especially when lots of significant features/elements are discovered. However, the major downside to this territory is that progress on coverage is very slow. Additions can only be made if more and more pre-releases surface and become available to analyze. Unfortunately, the flow in that regard is at a snail’s pace. I would really like to bring closure to many of the Contra/Probotector prototypes listed on this website that still remain mysteries.

To summarize what’s been done on this site since the last update, new page content has been added and redundant/incorrect/outdated content, removed or fixed; all done in small clusters. Likewise, formatting issues have been cleaned up. If you’re an active follower/reader of this site, you’d probably notice at least some of them.

That’s not to say that I have done all that I can do. On more occasions than I can count, I’ve encountered various little bits that require fixing and that’s guaranteed not to change in the near future (something that rather baffles me). Plus, there’s always room for a new Contra game down the road; maybe it’s just the nostalgia and fanboy in me speaking, but preferably one that harkens back to the classic gameplay, very much akin to Contra 4 and Contra Rebirth.

Until next time, here’s to 2015 and whatever exciting news it holds in store for Contra. Lock and load!

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