CONTRA 4 > CONVERSIONS > J2ME

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MOBILE (J2ME PLATFORM) (1)



 
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Release Information
Overview
Stages
Arsenal
Opposition
Cheats, Assistance
Full Plot
Soundtrack
Variants
Regional Differences
Developmental Material
Technical Information
Trivia
Promotional Media

RELEASE INFORMATION

Title: Contra 4

Media/Formats: Digital Download

Developer: Konami Mobile

Publisher: NTSC-J: Unreleased

NTSC-U: Konami

PAL: Konami

Release: NTSC-J: Unreleased

NTSC-U: November 12, 2007

PAL: 2010

 
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OVERVIEW

The J2ME version of Contra 4 is mostly the same version seen on other mobile platforms. It is quite accurate to the DS original, but contains a fair share of reductions and modifications. For example, you cannot have sound and music simultaneously. The levels are split into sections and one level is split into 2 separate levels (Laboratory and Waterfall). The included levels are cut down to a certain extent. There are no 3D stages and many bosses have been removed. In addition, the homing weapon is removed from this version (and likely all mobile versions).

The game provides a level select menu for the player to continue from the start of the level they left off, in addition to playing completed levels. There are 2 characters to select from, Bill Rizer and a new character, Solomon Caesar, selected from a character design contest. They do not have any functional differences. The game is also strictly single player, as is all other versions for the other mobile platforms. Considering the J2ME platform, the overall pace of the game is much slower than on the DS. In general, it is a fun and playable conversion of Contra 4. Like most cell phone games, it is strictly single player.

The European release has been discontinued.

Demo: The standard version was featured as a trial on Konami Mobile’s now-defunct website. You could play the game for a limited amount of time before the gameplay was interrupted by a prompt to buy the full version.

Note: As is always the case, apart from the platform that your cell phone runs on, the version of Contra 4 you receive depends on the hardware of your cell phone. It may contain limitations, like lack of sound or music, weaker visuals, levels are split differently, etc.

Covers: N/A; this version of Contra 4 is a digitally downloaded product.

 
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STAGES

Stage 1: Jungle
Stage 2: Lab
Stage 3: Waterfall
Stage 4: Harbor
Stage 5: Missile
Stage 6: City
Stage 7: Black Viper

 
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ARSENAL

The J2ME conversion features automatic firing. Most of the arsenal from the original Contra 4 is retained, except for the Homing Missiles and Special. Also, the player does not have the ability to discard their powerup guns. Gone is also the ability to control the track car since, in this version, it can only be completely destroyed.

Powerups are acquired through various objects scattered throughout the game.

-Ground canisters:

con4j2mecanistz

-Blimps:

con4j2meblmp

Normal Gun:

The player starts with this gun and, assuming they have a gun powerup, will revert to it when respawning after death.

Machine Gun (M):

m_C4_M m_C4_M2 C4J2MEitem3

 
Shoots a rapid stream of bullets, fired automatically. After upgrade, dual Machine Guns are fired, shooting bigger and stronger bullets. This version of the Machine Gun and its upgraded form, aren’t as strong or effective as its source counterpart.

Fireball Gun (F):

m_C4_F m_C4_F2 C4J2MEitem4

 
Shoots small fireballs in a corkscrew trajectory. Can be difficult to use as a result of this, as well as its slow rate of fire. Deals slightly more damage than the regular bullets. When upgraded, it functions like the Fireball Gun from the NES version of Super Contra. Shoots large fireballs that, upon impact, explode into 4 smaller fireballs that spread diagonally out. Its strength is somewhat reduced from its DS counterpart, making it less useful.

Laser Gun (L):

m_C4_L m_C4_L2 C4J2MEitem6

 
Shoots short, thin beams that inflict a moderate amount of damage. Upon upgrade, it fires thicker beams at a high rate; the beams penetrate enemies and obstacles.

Spread Gun (S):

m_C4_S m_C4_S2 C4J2MEitem5

 
The series’ staple. Shoots 3 large bullets that fan out. It is effective against large groups of enemies and does decent damage at close range. When upgraded, it instead shoots 5 large bullets that fan out. The upgraded form is even more useful for large groups of enemies and causes much more damage at close range. Due to the automatic firing system of this version of Contra 4, the Spread Gun, while still effective, doesn’t match its source counterpart’s usefulness.

Crush Missiles (C):

m_C4_æ m_C4_æ2 C4J2MEitem7

 
Fires smalls blue missiles. The missiles create multiple small explosions upon impact. After upgrading, shoots large and very powerful missiles. It is the strongest gun in this version of Contra 4.

Barrier (B):

m_C4_B C4J2MEitem8

 
The player is surrounded by a gold, transparent sphere, during which they are protected from enemies and attacks. The effect lasts for approximately 30 seconds. This powerup is not present in the lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.

Credit to cx4 for most of the images presented.

 
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OPPOSITION

Most, if not all of the names provided here are unofficial. Due to the ambiguity of enemy names between regions, the lack of names for several of them and the absence of various documents, it is impractical to list the correct designations. Help is strongly encouraged and always appreciated to fill in these blanks. The Opposition section serves primarily to describe and depict the enemies for bookkeeping; thus, the content presented below hopefully satisfies this criterion.

Fodder Enemies, Objects

Foot Soldier:

c4_foot

The weakest and most basic enemy of Contra. They predominantly run along sections of numerous stages. They also jumping off platforms in an attempt to chase the player. The latter sometimes results in them falling to their death. In the lower-end and higher-end variants of the J2ME conversion, these enemies appear in stage 3 (noted below with an asterisk) .
Found in stages: 1,3*,6

Dirk McShooter:

con4j2medirk

Standing in place, usually at an elevated position, they actively aim and fire bullets at the player.
Found in stages: 1,3,4,6

Sandbag Sniper:

con4j2mesandbag

They lay prone on the ground with sandbags in front of them and fire bullets at the player.
Found in stages: 1

Smart Turret:

c4_turret

Embedded in the ground, these turrets are able to fire in 8 directions. They actively seek out the player’s position.
Found in stages: 1,3

Nicky Napalm:

con4j2menickynap

Usually standing at an elevated position, they throw grenades at the player.
Found in stages: 1,3,4,6

Creepy Crawler:

c4_lab1

Mutant creatures that crawl through ceiling vents. These creatures have a pretty high spawning rate, so they can easily overwhelm the player if he is on the ground.
Found in stages: 2

Meat Puppet:

c4_meatp

Human experiments that walk back and forth like zombies. When they are approached, they explode, sending their toxic innards in 4 directions, either in a + or an X formation. This enemy is not present on stage 6 in lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.
Found in stages: 2,6

Mr. Scuba:

c4_scuba

Remaining inactive in the water with their head emerged, they activate when the player climbs past them. These soldiers periodically aim their gun out to fire a grenade upwards. The grenade splits into 3 grenades that drop back down and explode upon impact. These enemies are vulnerable only when they emerge. This enemy is not present in lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.
Found in stages: 3

Manned Turret:

c4_gunner

Consists of a soldier who is protected by and fires bullets using a gun turret.
Found in stages: 4,6

Proboterror:

c4_pr1

Humanoid robots that appear in swarms. Their name is an obvious pun on Probotector. These robots run across the screen. When shot enough times, they crumble to the ground. Shortly after, they reassemble as 1 of 2 possible other robots.

c4_pr3

One of them is a tripod machine that walks slowly across the screen.

c4_pr2

The other is a robotic dog that runs across the screen. Once this variable second form is shot enough times, the enemy is defeated.

In lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion, these enemies are defeated the first time they are shot down. They do not transform into either secondary robots.
Found in stages: 4

Ingrid Birdman:

c4_birdman

They drop down and run across the various platforms that form the climb up the large missile, wings open.
Found in stages: 5

Tracking Mini-Missile:

c4_missile

Fired by the Missile Hugger 3000. These missiles fly diagonally upwards for a second, before they crash into the player’s immediate position.
Found in stages: 5

Man-Faced Mutt:

c4_dog

These alien dogs are initially part of the background scenery, eating trash; shortly after, they run across the ground. This enemy is not present in lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.
Found in stages: 6

Xeno-Slug:

c4_slug

A gray, slug-like creature that blends in with the stage, making them difficult to notice. Their small size makes them somewhat difficult to shoot at.
Found in stages: 6

Bot McShooter:

c4_botms

Formed from rolling spheres launched by the Urban Patrol Tank.

con4j2mebotmcshtr

They actively aim and fire bullets a few times at the player. While these enemies appear to take damage, they cannot be defeated by the player’s attacks. Instead, they self-destruct either after firing a few shots or when the player drops down to the ground from the rail.
Found in stages: 6

Alien Grunt:

c4_alien

They quickly run across various parts of the stage, even jumping across gaps if needed.
Found in stages: 7

Gaping Maw Kettle:

c4_mouth

Large mouths embedded in the grounds and ceilings. They periodically spit out a Cotton Ball.
Found in stages: 7

Cotton Ball:

c4_cottonball

Spat out by the Gaping Maw Kettles. They fly and actively follow the player.
Found in stages: 7

Face Hugger Egg:

c4_egg

These alien eggs hatch an unlimited number of Face Huggers.
Found in stages: 7

Face Hugger:

c4_fhugger

Spawned from Face Hugger Eggs, these alien arachnids rapidly crawl along the ground and can even jump across or down platforms.
Found in stages: 7

Lateral Head:

c4_head

One head moves a short distance down and then across while the other moves to the ground and then across. These heads regenerate each time that they are destroyed.
Found in stages: 7

Living Brain Organism Searle:

j2mebr2

This incarnation of the brain enemy is reduced to a regenerating, intermediate enemy during the battle with Black Viper. It uses 2 possible attacks:

-Lowers down along the mid-line of the screen and then flies back and forth sinusoidally. It frequently emits purple flames that briefly fly left or right, and horizontally or diagonally, before dropping to the ground.

-Lowers down along the mid-line of the screen and then flies back and forth sinusoidally. It frequently discharges groups of 4 cervical innards in alternating + and X formations.

The selected attack is random; they are not cycled through.
Found in stages: 7

Mini-Bosses

Track Cannon:

c4_trackcannon

This manned machine stalks the player over a long stretch of the Jungle stage. It rapidly shifts back and forth along a track, stopping either at random spots or above the player’s immediate position, and fires an explosive fireball straight down. If it fires at Destructible Pavement, the pavement will break down, forming Death Pits. The Track Cannon is not present in lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.

This mini-boss is optional, although difficult to skip without losing lives.
Found in stages: 1

Wall:

j2mewall1

This short defense bunker consists of a Dirk McShooter on the roof, dual Mortar Cannons at mid-level and the Wall Core at ground level. The Mortar Cannons frequently fire bombs. When standing in front of the Wall Core, it charges up and fires a powerful laser beam that lasts for a few seconds. As the cannons and rooftop sniper are optional, simply destroying the Wall Core will defeat the mini-boss.
Found in stages: 1

Bosses

Tower Wall:

j2mewall2

After defeating the Wall, it rises up until the destroyed section forms the second story of a 2-story wall bunker. The ground level portion of the wall is mostly identical to the initial wall, with 2 Mortar Cannons and a Wall Core.

From the hole of the initial, destroyed Wall Core above, a pulsing, Organic Wall Core is revealed. It uses the same laser attack, but at a different time phase than the one below. On the roof of this tall bunker are 3 Dirk McShooters.

The ally helicopter returns to assist the player with the upper story. Again, the goal of this battle are the wall cores; all other components are optional.
Found in stages: 1

Waterfall Shadow Beast:

j2mewatfall

A more powerful and more dynamic variant of the Waterfall alien from the original Contra. Its head is its weak point.

The boss repeats a pattern of 3 attacks. First, it moves to the left side and lunges its tail across the ground to the right side. It then slams each large claw on the ground a few times, alternatively and approaching the middle with each pair of strikes. The alien then spits large spherical projectiles in a fanning motion, from right to left and then back to the right.

In the lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion, the boss also moves to the right side and uses its tail attack. In addition, its attacks are selected randomly, rather than routinely.
Found in stages: 3

Missile Hugger 3000:

c4_boss4

Stalks the player at the top of the large missile. It uses 2 possible attacks. It either hovers to the player’s altitude and punches him, or launches a few Tracking Mini-Missiles at him.
Found in stages: 5

Urban Patrol Tank:

c4_tank

This tank is fought on a long stretch of road with a grappling rail above it, spanning the road’s length. The tank drives back and forth in the battlefield, periodically stopping to use attacks that are dependent of the player’s position. Its weak point is its back end.

If the player is standing in front of the tank when it stops, it fires 3 missiles at him. If the player is immediately above (on the rail) or anywhere behind it, it will launch grenades at him. When hanging on the rail, in front of the tank, it fires a few spheres that roll on the ground. When these spheres are directly below the player, they transform into Bot McShooters that actively aim and fire bullets at the player a few times before self-destructing.
Found in stages: 6

Black Viper:

j2megyaba

The final boss of the game. Its setup is similar to previous incarnations of Emperor-Demon Gyaba, featuring a central head (serving no purpose in this version) and 2 Lateral Heads that regenerate when destroyed. However, additional components and attacks are present.

The Lateral Heads perform an attack where one head moves a short distance down and then across while the other moves to the ground and then across.

Defeating one of these heads will reveal a grapple point that is temporarily accessible. The player must grapple up on this object and fire into the Docked Brain, the main goal of this battle. This is the only way to damage the Docked Brain. After a few seconds, the grapple point is covered up, dropping the play back down, and the entire alien ensemble rises off-screen.

Next, a Living Brain Organism Searle enters the screen and attacks in 3 possible ways. Only after this minor brain opponent, or its attack, is defeated does the boss return. If the player did not attack the Docked Brain after destroying a Lateral Head, a new one simply regenerates.
Found in stages: 7

Other Dangers

Death Pit:

con4j2medethpt

As the name implies, falling into these kills the player. Some are deep pits that make for a very high fall and a usually unknown or inescapable landing area. Others contain a deadly surface or a pool of dangerous substances.
Found in stages: 1-7

Destructible Pavement:

con4j2medestrucpav

Separating segments of grass are weak patches of pavement. If the explosive fireballs of the Track Cannon hit them, they crumble, forming Death Pits. This danger is not present in lower-end variants of the J2ME conversion.
Found in stages: 1

Credit to cx4 for most of the images presented.

 
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CHEATS, ASSISTANCE

Cheats

The following cheats are valid only in certain versions of the J2ME conversion. They are unintentional debugging features that were not removed before distribution of the game. The exact key/button to press for each cheat varies between cell phone models.

Weapon Select: Aim upwards using the keypad.

Instant Barrier: Press # (POUND).

Skip Level/Level Section: Press the shoulder button opposite the PAUSE button.

 
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FULL PLOT

NTSC-U:
In 2638, 2 years after Red Falcon is defeated for the third time, the alien Black Viper returns, more powerful than before. Its rage manifests in the widespread annihilation of humanity. After detecting signals from the Galuga Archipelago, the Earth Federation sends 2 top-ranking soldiers to investigate and, subsequently, put a stop to Black Viper’s reign of terror. Helping Bill Rizer is Solomon Caesar, another hardened veteran.

Battling throughout the islands, the team thwart many attempted attacks, such as disarming a large nuclear warhead aimed at civilization. They soon reach the heart of Neo City, the heart of the infestation. They eventually locate Black Viper and witness how much more powerful it has become. The final battle is fought at the border between Earth and outer space, literally inside Black Viper’s head, with a very familiar outcome. With its defeat, the alien threat is finally eliminated; history gains a footnote describing the only possible outcome of aliens invading planet Earth.

Characters

Bill Rizer – protagonist; playable

Solomon Caesar – protagonist; playable

Black Viper – antagonist; lead alien entity

 
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SOUNDTRACK

•Title
•Menus
•Jungle 1
•Laboratory
•Waterfall
•Boss 1
•Harbor
•Ocean
•Neo City
•Harvest Yard
•Viper Returns
•End Credits
•Game Over

 
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VARIANTS

There are 3 main variants of Contra 4 on the mobile J2ME platform. Each one may contain sub-variations for different handsets.

Standard variant:

This is arbitrarily considered the regular variant.

Weaker variant:

It features noticeably downgraded graphics and different stage layouts.

Higher quality variant:

It features more sprites that make this variant more closely resemble the DS version.

 
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REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

There are currently no known regional differences.

 
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DEVELOPMENTAL MATERIAL

There is currently no known developmental material to present.

 
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TECHNICAL INFORMATION

-Certain J2ME variants of Contra 4 were provided to customers with debug cheats unintentionally. With simple key presses, players could cycle through the game’s entire arsenal or skip levels/sections. See above.

 
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TRIVIA

Veteran Chopper:
The helicopter you drop from at the start of level 1, which assists you throughout the game is based off the one in NES Super C, which you also drop off from in the first level.

vet7ch1

vet7ch0

Mobile Artifacts:
As mentioned above, a timed trial of the J2ME version was available on Konami Mobile’s now-defunct website. Strangely, 2 other demo versions exist and did not appear to be offered by Konami Mobile. These other 2 demos were limited, not based on time, but on in-game progress.

Both versions are very similar, featuring the first section of the first level before a pop-up screen prompts the player to buy the full version. The differences lie in the fact that both are of different quality. Both versions have similar restrictions on what can be selected from the main menu, the weaker version having more restrictions. Certain menu selections prompts the message to buy the full version.

The lower quality version only offers a sound option and contains blank backgrounds. Solomon Caesar uses Bill Rizer’s sprites.

The higher quality version features distinct character sprites, level backgrounds, more menu selections and music (but no sound).

Note: It is the above screenshot itself that is blurry. The game is much clearer than what’s depicted.

Recycled Relics:
A significant amount of content from its predecessors have been reused in Contra 4. They span all aspects of the game, from sound/music to gameplay and from obvious to highly subtle. Often, they undergo minor modifications and variations. Similarly, the concept may be reused in a new or different application. The reuse may not even be intentional (ie, independent implementation). All such elements are listed below. In parentheses are any particularities or if the given element pertains to a specific version of a Contra game. The information presented in this section pertain to the higher quality variant of the game.

Conceptual

-Stage themes (details below):
Jungle
Laboratory
Waterfall
Harbor
City
Alien

-Player characters:
Bill Rizer (arcade Contra)

-Black Viper (Operation C)

-Powerups appear in flying blimps (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Powerups appear in containers embedded in the ground in stages 1,3 (NES Contra)

-Left-scrolling sections of stage 7 (MSX Contra)

-Helicopter insertion (arcade Super Contra)

-Assistant helicopter (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Helicopter escape after final boss is defeated (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

Sound Effects

-Player death (arcade Contra)

Music

-Stages:
Jungle theme 1 (NES Contra)
Waterfall theme (NES Contra)
City theme (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Intro theme (NES Contra)

-Game Over theme (NES Contra)

Visuals

-Fiery “C” in the title (Contra)

-Overall visual style (NES Contra)

-Bill’s attire (NES Contra)

-Roll-up jump (arcade Contra)

-Gun powerups are represented by falcon sprites (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun (NES Contra)
Machine Gun, power level 1 (NES Contra)
Spread Gun, both power levels (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Crush Missiles, both power levels (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Fireball Gun, power level 1 (arcade Contra)
Fireball Gun, power level 2 (NES Super Contra)
Barrier (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Foot Soldier (NES Contra)
Dirk McShooter (NES Contra)
Sandbag Sniper (arcade Super Contra)
Smart Turret (arcade & NES Contra)
Nicky Napalm (NES Super Contra)
Mr. Scuba (arcade Contra)
Manned Turret (arcade Contra)
Ingrid Birdman (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Man-Faced Mutt (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Slug (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Face Hugger (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger Egg (arcade Contra)
Alien Grunt (NES Super Contra)
Cotton Ball (arcade Contra)

-Enemy bullets (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Enemy grenades (NES Super Contra)

-Bosses and strong enemies blink when damaged (arcade Super Contra)

-Explosive death animation of certain enemies (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Certain enemies jump when killed (arcade Contra)

-Death animation of certain bosses (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Mountainous background in stage 1 (arcade Contra)

-Devastated city background in stage 6 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

Gameplay

-Side scrolling (horizontal and vertical; arcade Contra)

-Character selection (Contra Force, Contra: Hard Corps)

-1-hit death (arcade Contra)

-Death pits (arcade Contra)

-Temporary invincibility upon respawning (arcade Contra)

-Continue system (Contra III: The Alien Wars, Japanese release)

-Stage select (famicom Contra)

-8 aiming directions (NES Contra)

-Powerup arsenal (arcade Contra)

-Powerups, when equipped, lost upon death (arcade Contra)

-Hanging on rails and climbing walls/ceilings (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Ability to hold 2 guns (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Ability to upgrade powerup guns (arcade Super Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun (arcade Contra)
Machine Gun, power level 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Spread Gun, both power levels (arcade Super Contra)
Crush Missiles, especially power level 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Laser Gun, both power levels (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)
Fireball Gun, power level 1 (arcade Contra)
Fireball Gun, power level 2 (NES Super Contra)
Barrier (arcade Contra)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Foot Soldier (NES Contra)
Dirk McShooter (NES Contra)
Sandbag Sniper (arcade Super Contra)
Smart Turret (arcade & NES Contra)
Nicky Napalm (NES Super Contra)
Mr. Scuba (arcade Contra)
Manned Turret (arcade Contra)
Ingrid Birdman (arcade Contra)
Man-Faced Mutt (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Slug (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Face Hugger (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger Egg (arcade Contra)
Alien Grunt (NES Super Contra)
Wall Mouth (arcade Contra)
Cotton Ball (arcade Contra)

-Bosses (see below)

-Stages:
Jungle (NES Contra)
Laboratory (Operation C)
Waterfall (NES Contra)
Harbor (Operation C)
City (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Harvest Yard (NES Contra)

-Exploding bridges in stage 1 (Contra)

-Snipers on thin towers in stage 1 (Operation C)

-Elevator segment in stage 3 (NES Super Contra)

Familiar Foes:
Wall boss:

j2mewall1

After defeating the primary phase, it rises to the secondary:

j2mewall2

Waterfall alien boss:

j2mewatfall

This version is heavily simplified. It only has 1 phase, unlike the DS version where it chases the player on the free-falling bridge. Additionally, its attacks comprise only of its tail, claws and purple projectiles.

Triple-headed alien (Emperor-Demon Gyaba):

j2megyaba

Heavily simplified compared to the DS original. The side heads perform fewer attack types and one of the brain attack patterns is absent.

Brain phase of Gyaba:

j2mebr2

 
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PROMOTIONAL MEDIA

Miscellaneous

-Character contest Konami Mobile T-shirt:

c4mshrt1

c4mshrt2

 
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