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PC DOS



 
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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

Media/Formats: Disk

Developer: Banana Development

Publisher: NTSC-J: Unreleased

NTSC-U: Konami

PAL: Ocean Software

Release: NTSC-J: Unreleased

NTSC-U: 1988

PAL: 1988

 
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OVERVIEW

NOTE: The terms PC DOS and DOS on this website do not refer specifically to the disk operating systems designed for IBM computers, but collectively to all IBM PC compatible ones.

The DOS version of Contra is best known as the worst conversion of any Contra game. In extension, it is likely the worst video game conversion in history. Despite these distinctions, the flaws reside in only a few aspects of the game.

One example is in the storyline to this version. The introductory text states that the player’s objective is to destroy flashing targets at the end of each level. This is incorrect, both in terms of the original storyline and in terms of gameplay. Only the first half of the level bosses are, or contain, flashing targets. Interestingly, though, Red Falcon is considered an organization, making the story true to the Japanese plot continuity.

The game-breaking flaw resides in the control system. Unless the player uses a joystick or gamepad, controlling the character(s) is very difficult. When using the keyboard, there are separate buttons for diagonal aim; additionally, a separate button must be pressed to stop running. Even worse is that each press of a keyboard key reduces the game speed. This inevitably results in unresponsive controls and, most importantly, a high frequency of deaths.

It is no help that there are no continues and extra lives are gained after every 50 000 points. This large number makes it useless to even attempt to gain any lives, as one will not even reach this number by the end of the game during a regular play session. Another issue concerns the player’s running speed, as well as that of many of the enemies. Both are uncontrollably and/or disproportionately fast.

DOS Contra’s audio is another weak point. Music is nonexistent (the closest to music is a pitch-shifting sound clip played at the title screen), while sound effects are abysmal and irritating. PC speakers are the sole option for the sound source; what is heard is a small variety of beeps that will completely compromise the player’s focus (and possibly, their sanity), the death sound effect being the most prominent.

doscon2p

This conversion structurally resembles the arcade original; it features all of the same levels and bosses, although the level divisions are slightly different. 2-player mode is retained. The player can customize the keyboard controls and there are 3 difficulty settings to choose – Easy, Hard and Insane. The number of starting lives depends on the difficulty selected. The difficulty also determines the number of enemies that spawn that each level contains.

Visuals use CGA and are somewhat superior to the ZX Spectrum version, but projectiles still sometimes camouflage in backgrounds. There are 6 different palettes, each assigned exclusively to at least one of the levels. Guns are mostly the same, except that an H gun replaces the laser; it merely shoots larger, stronger rifle bullets. If using the keyboard, all guns are automatic and fire at a tremendously high rate.

Unsurprisingly, no in-game screenshots appear on the North American release’s cover, nor almost anywhere else (see below). On a related note, the North American release is notorious for having been unplayable on numerous IBM PC compatible machines due to its flawed copy protection scheme. One writer even stated in a magazine that the copy protection prevented them from being able to review the game. Apart from the game’s (lack of) publicity, this flaw contributed to its poor recognition.

To its credit, DOS Contra retains more enemy types from the arcade original than any other version of the game. All of the levels and their essential content are also present; the limited palette is at least used to attempt to replicate the arcade original’s visuals. Most guns and powerups are included, and one of the missing powerups is replaced by another. Furthermore, it is the only home computer conversion that retains the simultaneous 2-player mode. It is the most faithful version in these particular regards.

Covers:

NTSC-U

condos

PAL

grydos

 
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STAGES

Note: These stage names are unofficial.

Stage 1: Jungle
Stage 2: Base 1
Stage 3: Defense System 1
Stage 4: Waterfall
Stage 5: Base 2
Stage 6: Defense System 2
Stage 7: Snow Field
Stage 8: Energy Hangar (Energy Zone, Hangar)
Stage 9: Alien’s Lair

 
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ARSENAL

The firing system varies slightly between using a joystick/gamepad and a keyboard. With the latter, all guns are automatic and fire at a high rate. Replacing the Laser Gun is a gun denoted by the powerup icon letter H (possibly High-Impact Gun).

Powerups are acquired through various objects and certain enemies scattered throughout the game.

-Ground canisters:

dositem1

-Blimps:

dositem2

-Specific enemies in the Base stages:

dosenemy

Normal Gun:

The player starts with this gun and, assuming they have a gun powerup, will revert to it when respawning after death. It can be fired at a fast rate by rapidly pressing the fire button.

Machine Gun (M):

dositem6

Shoots a rapid stream of bullets, fired automatically.

Fireball Gun (F):

dositem5

Shoots small fireballs in a corkscrew trajectory. Inflicts slightly more damage than the regular bullets.

High-Impact Gun (H):

dositem3

Functions similarly to the Normal Gun, but shoots large, powerful bullets. Also, these bullets are not stopped by enemies and obstacles and instead continue to launch through them; this allows attacking multiple targets in a straight line.

Spread Gun (S):

dositem4

Shoots 5 bullets in a cross formation (+). As with the original arcade version of Contra, as well as the NES conversions of the arcade games, there is a limit to the number of bullets that can be present on-screen. Therefore, rapidly firing this Spread Gun will break down the cross formation, resulting in the gun functioning like the default one.

This version of the Spread Gun is notably weak, with each individual bullet inflicting less damage than that of the Normal Gun. Therefore, all bullets must hit a target for the gun to be effective.

Barrier (B):

dositem7

3 orbs rapidly orbit the center of the player’s standing position, rendering him immune to enemies and attacks. The effect lasts for approximately 30 seconds. In this conversion, acquiring a Barrier powerup removes any powerup gun the player yields, reverting them to the default one.

 
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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.

Note: Enemies and objects are present in greater quantities on higher difficulty settings.

Fodder Enemies, Objects

Unarmed Foot Soldier:

condosoufs

The weakest and most basic enemy of Contra. They predominantly run along sections of numerous stages. Occasionally, they jump off the edge of grounds in an attempt to chase the player, though this sometimes results in them falling to their death. Their spawning number increases with increasing difficulty.
Found in stages: 1,4,7,8

Standing Sniper:

condosstsn

This soldier stands in place, actively changing aim to follow the player and firing in a constant pattern.
Found in stages: 1,4,7,8

Scuba Soldier:

condosscuba

Hidden in the water, they occasionally emerge to fire a shell upwards. After flying up a small distance, it falls back down and detonates on the ground. These enemies are vulnerable only when they emerge. They serve as the substitute for the exploding bridges in Stage 1.
Found in stages: 1,4,7

Guerrilla Sniper:

condosguerrsn

Hidden in the background bushes, these enemies periodically spring out and shoot horizontally to the right side. They are vulnerable only when they stand up to fire.
Found in stages: 1

Smart Turret:

condosmtu

Embedded in the ground, these turrets are able to fire in 8 directions, like the player. They actively seek out the player’s position.
Found in stages: 1,4

Ground Arc Turret:

condosgrarctu

Hidden in the ground, they rise up and out when the player reaches close proximity. Always facing to the left, they fire in 2 diagonal directions, forming a partial arc range.
Found in stages: 1,4

Sharpshooter:

condossharpsh

Stationed at the roof of the Wall. This soldier is hidden most of the time, but occasionally peers out to fire a shot diagonally downwards. He is vulnerable only when revealed.
Found in stages: 1

Base Rifle Foot Soldier:

condosbasrfs

Runs across some corridor walls, occasionally firing a few bullets.
Found in stages: 2,5

Powerup Dropper:

dosenemy

Harmlessly run across the far end wall in various corridors. Upon defeat, they yield a gun powerup for the player. Distinguished from the rest of the enemies by their purple attire (all other soldiers sport cyan uniforms).
Found in stages: 2,5

Base Turret:

condosbastu

Placed in various positions on various corridor walls. These turrets fire a bullet in random directions, less than once per second.
Found in stages: 2,5

Base Sub-Core:

condosbassubco

Placed in various positions on corridor walls. The Base Sub-Cores (as well as Base Core 1 and Base Core 2) are the goal of the corridors. These ones are found on all corridor walls that precede the one with Base Core 1 and Base Core 2. All other opposition are optional; destroying these will clear the enemies present and disarm the Electrical Barrier to allow the player to proceed.
Found in stages: 2,5

Bowling Pin Mine:

condosrpg

Rolls along some corridor floors towards the player. They can be destroyed.
Found in stages: 2,5

Fire Ring:

condosfiring

Shot by Lone Inflammatory Eye Garumakiruma. Their large size makes them easy to hit, but also difficult to dodge. They move in a horizontal zig-zag pattern.
Found in stages: 3

Falling Boulder:

condosfalbould

Out of holes in mountain rock, these destructible boulders occasionally drop out and bounce down the platforms.
Found in stages: 4

Winged Soldier:

condoswingsold

Runs near the computer mid-line and jumps down towards the center of the screen, wings open. Sometimes, they fire a bullet at the player before jumping.
Found in stages: 6

Defense Gunner:

condosdefgunner

Stops at 2 positions, on the left and right side and one after the other, along the 2 computer platforms and attempts to actively shoot at the player’s position for a few seconds before running off-screen.
Found in stages: 6

Bubble Dimer:

condosbubdimer

Shot by Splitting Illusionary Ogre Godomuga. They move downwards in a horizontal zig-zag pattern.
Found in stages: 6

Jet Pack Soldier:

condosjpsold

They jump out of the High Speed Anti-Gravity Hovercraft onto the ground and move in the direction opposite to the side of their exit from the ship; they wield a blade. Despite wielding a jet pack, these soldiers simply run. If dodged, these soldiers simply run off-screen.
Found in stages: 7

Manned Turret:

condosmantu

Consists of a kneeling soldier who is protected by, and shoots through, a gun turret. He fires a bullet approximately once every 1.5 seconds.
Found in stages: 7,8

Prone Sniper:

condospronsnip

Lays on the ground and fires a bullet in a fixed interval.
Found in stages: 7,8

Grenadier:

condosgrenadi

Every couple of steps of running, they stop to throw a grenade.
Found in stages: 8

Carrier Cart Sniper:

condoscart

The cart rolls across the screen from right to left, with a sniper inside. The sniper fires a bullet to the left in a fixed interval. The cart can kill the player by hitting him.
Found in stages: 8

Alien Fetus:

condosalfet

Spat from the mouth of Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java. These alien creatures fly diagonally down to the left, fidgeting widely as they do.
Found in stages: 9

Wall Mouth:

condoswalmth

Alien mouths embedded in the walls. They spit out a pair of Cotton Balls in opposite directions.
Found in stages: 9

Cotton Ball:

condoscotbal

Spat out from Wall Mouths. They follow a swaying motion as they progressively move diagonally downwards.
Found in stages: 9

Face Hugger Pod:

condosfhe

These alien pods surround and protect Emperor-Demon Evil Heart Gomera Mosking. They produce an unlimited number of Face Huggers.
Found in stages: 9

Face Hugger:

condosfh

Spawned from Face Hugger Pods, they rapidly crawl along the screen. The ones spawned from ground pods crawl along the ground; those spawned from the ceiling pods hover down diagonally to the ground and continue crawling.
Found in stages: 9

Mini-Bosses

High Speed Anti-Gravity Hovercraft:

condoshovcraft

A small ship that floats in the air above the player. Its left and right side doors open and unload an infinite number of Jet Pack Soldiers. The doors can be destroyed to stop the deployment of these soldiers; its ventral thruster can also be destroyed, although doing so serves no purpose. Despite destroying the craft, its stripped-down remnants still hover in the air above the player. This mini-boss is optional, but will likely cost a life to skip.
Found in stages: 7

Helmet Demonic Titan Soldier Gorudea:

condospredat

A large, armored super-soldier that is confronted twice: at the start and end of the Energy Zone. He tosses disc mines that bounce in large arcs. His prominence is his hyper speed, as he quickly runs back and forth, lunging forward every few seconds. When he lunges, he displaces himself further to the left. If not defeated, this mini-boss will eventually jump off-screen to the left.
These mini-bosses are optional, but will cost a life to skip.
Found in stages: 8

Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java:

contra_001

Fought at the start of Stage 9. Large xenomorph head that spits out Alien Fetuses. This mini-boss is optional, but will cost a life to skip.
Found in stages: 9

Bosses

Wall:

condoswall

Building entrance to the first Base stage. This defense bunker consists of a Sharpshooter on the roof, dual Mortar Cannons at mid-level and the Wall Core at ground level. The Mortar Cannons frequently fire bombs in a diagonal trajectory. As the cannons and rooftop snipers are optional, simply destroying the Wall Core will defeat the boss and complete the stage.
Found in stages: 1

Base Core 1:

condosbasco

Primary goal of the first Base stage, it is found on the center of the corridor wall immediately before the battle with Defense System 1. Initially disarmed, this large core is exposed when reached by the player. It takes more damage than Base Sub-Cores. All other opposition are optional; destroying this will clear the enemies present and disarm the Electrical Barrier to allow the player to proceed to the boss battle that follows.
Found in stages: 2

Defense System 1:

condosdefsys1

The boss battle that follows Base 1. When first reached, the player is confronted by the first phase, consisting of Shell Turrets (ST) and Defense Cores (DC) in the following arrangement:

ST DC ST
DC DC DC

The Shell Turret cycles between opening up to fire 3 shells in a spread formation and closing for a few seconds. It’s vulnerable only in the latter phase. Most of the Defense Cores, which are harmless, serve little use. The exception is the Defense Core in the upper row; destroying it will activate phase 2 of the boss battle. It is recommended to destroy the rest of the phase 1 components beforehand in order to make the second phase easier.

condosloneye

The ultimate goal of this boss battle is destroying Lone Inflammatory Eye Garumakiruma, the second phase. This eye-shaped robot slides back and forth within the security screen, shooting Fire Rings down.
Found in stages: 3

Shadow Beast Devil Statue Guromeides:

condoswatfalboss

Resting atop the waterfall, this building is the entrance to the second Base stage. At the lowest level and most laterally, on each side, a Smart Turret is placed. Medially and more superior, the Hexa-Cannon is placed. This weapon, as its name implies, consists of 6 shielded cannons that occasionally fire 6 shells that fan out. It only attacks when closed/protected. The exposed weapon takes damage, thus it is vulnerable only when it opens up.

The Hexa-Cannon ultimately serves as an optional barrier to the Base Core, found at the head (roof). Thus, destroying it exposes the harmless core, rendering it vulnerable to constant damage. It is the primary goal of this boss battle; all other components are optional. Besides the tower, Unarmed Foot Soldiers occasionally run across from either side of the ground.
Found in stages: 4

Base Core 2:

condosshieldedbasco

Primary goal of the second Base stage, it is found on the center of the corridor wall immediately before the battle with Defense System 2. Initially disarmed, this large core is exposed when reached by the player. Unlike the first Base Core, this one periodically becomes shielded. It takes more damage than Base Sub-Cores. All other opposition are optional; destroying this will clear the enemies present and disarm the Electrical Barrier to allow the player to proceed to the boss battle that follows.
Found in stages: 5

Defense System 2:

The boss battle that follows Base 2. When first reached, the player is confronted by the first phase, consisting of a Shell Turret (ST) and Defense Cores (DC) in the following arrangement:

ST
DC DC DC
DC

The Shell Turret cycles between opening up to fire 3 shells in a spread formation and closing for a few seconds. It’s vulnerable only in the latter phase. Most of the Defense Cores, which are harmless, serve little use. The exception is the Defense Core in the upper row; destroying it will activate phase 2 of the boss battle. It is recommended to destroy the rest of the phase 1 components beforehand in order to make the battle easier.

In addition to the aforementioned defense components, 2 enemy types run across 2 height levels on the computer wall and attack the player: Winged Soldier and Defense Gunner. When phase 2 begins, they stop spawning.

d8bvnwu

The ultimate goal of this boss battle is destroying Splitting Illusionary Ogre Godomuga, the second phase. It consists of a pair of head-shaped robots that, on a periodic and temporary basis, simultaneously fidget faster and faster, with increasing fidgeting distance, before slowly reverting to a still object. Each head is vulnerable only when still. Both the still and fidgeting forms fire destructible Bubble Dimers.
Found in stages: 6

Heavy Armored Vehicle Sweeping Dogura:

condostank

The player must battle 2 of these armored trucks consecutively. When first confronted, the trucks slow down to a stop. Their prominence is the large amount of shots required to destroy them. In contrast, their only attack is firing a constant slow-rate stream of bullets, dodged simply by not jumping.

If they’re not destroyed in a certain amount of time, they will stop firing, resume driving and (if not destroyed in time) kill the player as they leave the screen. In this sense, these armored trucks are optional bosses.
Found in stages: 7

Emperor-Demon Evil Heart Gomera Mosking:

d87h3jks

Final boss of the game, an alien heart. The heart itself does not attack the player. The challenge comes from its defenses: several Face Hugger Pods (that spawn Face Huggers) surround it and some Wall Mouths can be present (if not destroyed prior to confronting the boss). All defenses are optional, but destroying at least some of them will make the battle easier.
Found in stages: 9

Other Dangers

Timer:

condostimer

Not a danger that’s tangible with the player, but still a restriction that risks the player’s remaining lives. The player must complete each Base stage within their respective time limits. Otherwise, they lose a life every time that the limit is passed.
Found in stages: 2,5

Electrical Barrier:

condoselecbarr

Though these don’t cost a life, they temporarily stun the player if the player attempts to run forward, rendering them vulnerable to other enemy attacks.
Found in stages: 2,5

Death Pit:

condosdethpt

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: 4

Bridge Blaze Wall:

condosbridblazwal

The early bridge in the Waterfall stage has been set on fire and a large blaze wall moves back and forth along the bridge’s length. Interestingly, the blaze wall can be shot at, stopping some bullets as if it’s being damaged; however, there is no effect and it won’t disappear.
Found in stages: 4

Thrown Grenade:

condosthrowngren

Grenades are thrown from the stage background, likely from a hidden enemy. They follow a narrow parabolic arc and are thrown in a preset pattern.
Found in stages: 7

Exposed Flame Pipe:

condosflampi

These pipes periodically burst out a large beam of flames. They’re the prominence of the Energy Zone.
Found in stages: 8

Claw Compactor:

condosclawcompac

Compactors with claws at their base instead of the usual smasher set-up. They reach down with different impaling patterns, requiring different evasive timing.
Found in stages: 9

 
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CHEATS, ASSISTANCE

Cheats

Add the following as command line parameters when running the game (without quotes).

Level Select: “l #”. # is any integer from 1 to 9 (for each of the 9 stages).

Invincibility: Note that the code varies between Contra and Gryzor.

“fx” (for Contra) and “nx” (for Gryzor). If inputted correctly, the intro sequence will be skipped, starting the player at the control configuration screen.

In Contra, you may notice that the game speed becomes reduced when using this cheat (see below).

Debug Options: Note that the code varies between Contra and Gryzor.

“flf” (for Contra) and “nl” (for Gryzor). With this code, pressing + on the primary key pad (not the numeric one) skips the current level; pressing F10 quits the game; pressing F5 produces a CGA video memory dump, stored as SCREEN.PIC in the game’s directory.

All 3 aforementioned parameters are rather quirky: countless variations can be entered in which strings of characters can precede and/or proceed the parameters. However, countless more other variations are invalid, as they either produce no effect, freeze the game before the first stage loads or lock up the system before the game boots.

For Contra’s debug code, the “f” at the end can be replaced by various other letters, numbers and characters, with one exception being another “l”; it is suggested here arbitrarily. The original, intended parameter is “fl”. However, due to a bug, it causes the game to crash before the first stage loads.

The following 2 cheats are exclusive to Contra.

Slightly Reduce Game Speed: “x”

This parameter is the reason that Contra slows down when using the invincibility cheat: it registers both the invincibility cheat (fx) and the speed cheat (x).

Greatly Reduce Game Speed: “s”

The following cheat is exclusive to Gryzor.

Disable Sound: “s”

Pressing F2 re-enables sound, and can be used to toggle the setting by default, making this code redundant.

It is generally recommended to play with this cheat/setting due to the atrocious sound quality of the game.

Special thanks to Frenkel Smeijers of S & F Prod. for the discovery of many of these cheats, as well as collaboration in their analysis.

Glitches

Easy Energy Zone Super Soldier: Due to the mini-boss’ programming and the layout of the area where he’s encountered, the second super soldier will not fall off the edge of the higher ground onto the lower stairs (still within the screen and accessible to the player). Instead, he will continue to lunge and run through the air at the same altitude. Therefore, the player must simply wait on one of the lower stairs/ground until the mini-boss lunges and disappears off-screen.

 
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FULL PLOT

NTSC-U:
A group of Aliens, led by Red Falcon, has compromised the Amazon basin and plans to conquer Earth. The unnamed commando(s) are on the task of neutralizing Red Falcon and its army through their many defense zones. Aiding the heroes along the way are the aliens’ own weaponry that can be acquired as powerups. Battling through a jungle, waterfall, snowfield and several bases, the commandos ultimately prevail.

Characters

Unnamed Commandoes – protagonists; playable

Red Falcon – antagonist organization

PAL:
No verified information yet. However, based on the introductory message in-game, the plot may be the same as the North American release.

 
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SOUNDTRACK

•Intro

 
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VARIANTS

There are currently no known variants of this conversion of Contra.

 
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REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

NTSC-U: Contra

The word Contra appears in certain screens:

29dlaor

f72lxw

PAL: Gryzor

The word Gryzor appears in certain screens:

wickrn3

c93ngks5

 
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DEVELOPMENTAL MATERIAL

There is currently no known developmental material to present.

 
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TECHNICAL INFORMATION

-The copy protection scheme programmed for this conversion is poorly implemented. It employs the DOS Key Disk security measure, where the original floppy disk must be present in the floppy drive for the game to work. For whatever reason, there have been complaints that the game did not work properly, even when installed and run with the security checks satisfied.

-After quitting the game, a message appears on the DOS prompt. Due to an error, however, the message is printed in black on the default black background, rendering it directly illegible. The message reads:

              Game Over

. . . Thanks for playing  . . .

<              Konami           >
                   and
< Banana   Development >


 
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TRIVIA

How One Defines First:
Technically, the DOS, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 versions of Contra/Gryzor are the first Contra games to feature auto-fire. Super Contra is, however, the first standalone Contra game to have it.

Disappointment Is An Understatement:
It is unarguable that the PC DOS conversion of Contra has the worst ending of any version. A sequence worth absolutely none of the time and effort put into beating this abysmal conversion. It comprises a single credits screen…

c72kdy

… a single credits screen that can accidentally be skipped if any button is pressed or held down (it doesn’t help that the bosses’ death animation lasts a fraction of a second before the game instantaneously proceeds to the next level or the ending).

Give Them No Bananas
Speaking of the end credits screen, try to find the typo in the screenshot above, which perfectly reflects the conversion’s quality.

Economy Shipping:
A common practice of Konami (and possibly other game companies) with the home computer conversions that they publish is that all of the versions of a given title feature identical packaging; this includes the box, instruction manual and (usually) inserts. The package differs mainly in the actual video game media itself (ie: Commodore disks, 5.25″ DOS disks, 3.5″ DOS disks, etc.) and its labels.

To account for all of the versions, the necessary information pertaining to each is combined when listed on the box and discussed in the instruction booklets. This is an effective economical strategy for distribution, as most of the package contents are usually not specific to one version. In the instructions, for example, only the game loading and controls must be explained for each; the game’s story, company information and other such information are usually shared.

Therefore, for example, owners of a Commodore 64 title may also find information about its DOS and Amiga counterparts in the manual. The releases are distinguished from each other simply by a sticker, or the absence of one, on the front of the boxes that indicate for which home computer they are intended.

The DOS and Commodore 64 versions of Contra were both published by Konami in North America and, therefore, feature this shared packaging scheme. The latter’s box has a sticker, stating that it is the Commodore 64 version, pasted over the section denoting the DOS release.

The Wonders Of Publicity:
It is next to impossible to find a physical copy of Gryzor for DOS today. Conversely, it is the localization of this version where in-game screenshots were featured in external media (ie, magazines Tile and Power Play).

Copies of the game were mentioned by 2 users on a Spanish video game forum. One of them merely had a copied 5.25″ disk, not an original; the other mentioned that they were in the process of buying one without the original box and manual included, but never followed up.

Finally, in February of 2016, photos of an original, physical copy of Gryzor had been made available. This includes all elements in the package. Prior to this, only a scan of the front of the box had been available. Full credit to the user teran01 of the Universal Video Games List forum.

gryzor_back

gryzor_complete

gryzor_disk

gryzor_inside1

gryzor_inside2

gryzor_inside3

gryzor_inside4

gryzor_spine

Again, full credit to the user teran01 of the Universal Video Games List forum.

DOSBotch:
The PAL release is simply the North American release, but with most instances of the word Contra replaced by Gryzor. However, one instance was (unintentionally) left unchanged:

27alviz

Contradiction Compilation:
Gryzor is part of the extremely rare PC DOS compilation by Ocean Software, PC Hits No. 2. Ironically, the compilation itself is incredibly obscure (as are the versions of the featured games), released only in France. The other games include Arkanoid, Green Beret and Wizball. That none of them are even considered decent DOS titles also adds to the farce behind the name. It is unknown whether the following is the original or refurbished packaging:

Harmless Borrowing:
There is no doubt that the penultimate boss, the alien head (Emperor Demon Dragon God Java), rips off the Xenomorph from the film Alien.

contra_001

Similarly, the eggs surrounding the heart (Emperor-Demon Evil Heart Gomera Mosking) that constantly spawn arthropod aliens are based on the Eggs from Aliens that spawn Face Huggers.

RobotsAliens In Disguise:
The fourth stage boss is likely inspired by the Transformers logo:

d8bvnwu

x73njf

Matter Of Opinion:
Although Operation C is the first standalone Contra title to use default rapid fire, it isn’t the first Contra game to do so. The DOS conversion of Contra hold this distinction (when using keyboard controls). Similarly, it applies to the use of automatic firing: home computer versions of Contra and Super Contra, including this, feature automatic firing.

 
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PROMOTIONAL MEDIA

Posters And Ads

Arcade Assault ad:

konpcad

-Konami brochure for the North American release Konami’s New Computer Games Cure Terminal Boredom:

KonamiCureFront

KonamiCureContraDoubleDribble

KonamiCureBladesOfSteelSuperC

KonamiCureCastlevaniaLifeForce

KonamiCureJackalAjax

KonamiCureRushnAttackBootCamp

KonamiCureTurtlesMetalGear

-Konami brochure for the North American release Introducing The Hardest Software Ever:

c64dosflyr

-Konami brochure for the North American release There’s Only One Thing As Exciting As Our Seven Hit Computer Games:

SAM_3336

SAM_3338

SAM_3339

SAM_3340

-Order card for Konami video game posters in North America, including Contra:

SAM_3337

ACE Magazine‘s 11th issue includes an ad for Ocean’s releases of Gryzor:

ACEissue11p65ConAmi

At the bottom, the DOS conversion is also mentioned. This ad is also in Amstrad Action, issue 034.

Tilt magazine (French), issue 54 review:

tilt54dos

The color palette is incorrectly rendered in the screenshot of the review.

Power Play magazine, issue 4 review:

 
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