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Why It Is So Different
Contra 3
Contra Force
A First For Something
Iron Is From The Circus
Some Attention To Detail
Acronym Amusement
Nuclear Plant Recruits
Terrorists From Super C
Recycled Relics


Not a true Contra game: During development, Contra Force went under the title of Arc Hound and had a planned release in Japan, in October of 1991.

Apart from being a scrolling shoot-em-up sharing Super Contra’s view perspectives, Arc Hound was unrelated to the Contra series.

Possibly due to the prevalence of the SNES, Konami may have changed plans and ditched the Japanese release. The last-minute renaming was more than likely a marketing ploy to ensure sales of the game, as Contra’s popularity meant that video gamers would take interest in seemingly another Contra title. Due to the lack of pre-release gameplay footage, it is unknown whether or not the gameplay elements that Contra Force shares with the Contra series were also shared by the original Arc Hound.

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Contra Force was announced in Nintendo Power before Contra III: The Alien Wars. It was slated to be the original “Contra 3”, with an approximate winter 1991 release date:


There was no knowledge from the magazine about Contra Force’s development history. When Contra III was announced in magazines, it was labeled as Super Contra IV.

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The word Contra in the title screen is lifted and edited from NES Contra’s title screen.

NES Contra:

Contra Force:

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If considered a Contra title, it is the first one in the series to feature multiple playable characters.

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Iron, despite being the muscle of the group, sports a red nose like a clown:

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The portrait of the protagonist in the intermission sequences actually depend on which character is used by player 1 when the stage is complete.

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The terrorist organization’s name, D.N.M.E., is a play on “the enemy”.

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The names of 2 playable characters, Burns and Smith, may have been inspired by 2 characters from The Simpsons: Charles Montgomery Burns (Mr. Burns) and Waylon J. Smithers, Jr. (Smithers).

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There are 2 notable helicopters in this game. The first one appears at the end of stage 3 to pick up the player after the boss battle:

The second one helps the final boss by attacking the player (it cannot be destroyed):

Both of these helicopters look similar on their own (because they’re simply variations of the same helicopter sprite); however, they also have a striking resemblance to the helicopter the player drops from in NES Super Contra’s first level:

Indeed, the 2 Contra Force helicopters are graphical “hack jobs”, as the developers used the front of the NES Super Contra helicopter with minor changes on a common posterior structure.

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A number of elements from its predecessor, Contra, have been reused in Contra Force. 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 item pertains to a specific version of Contra. The majority of these items pertain to the NES versions of Contra and Super Contra, unless specifically stated.


-Stage themes:
Harbor (Operation C)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Flame Thrower (loosely similar to fire-based guns, especially from Contra III)
Homing Missile (loose hybrid of homing guns from Operation C and Contra III)

Sound Effects

-Player death (Contra, loosely)

-Powerup acquisition (Contra)


-Word “Contra” in the title screen (Contra)

-Roll-up jump (Contra)

-Beans’ sprite when ducking (prone; Contra)

-Beans’ idle sprite and other player characters’ ducking sprites (arcade Super Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun (Contra)

-2 helicopters (see above)


-Side scrolling (horizontal and vertical; Contra)

-Overhead view (Super Contra)

-Simultaneous 2 player mode (Contra)

-1-hit death (Contra)

-Death pit (Contra)

-Temporary invincibility upon respawning (Contra)

-Continue system (Contra, Super Contra and Japanese version of Contra III)

-8 aiming directions (Contra)

-Shooting mechanics (Contra)

-Powerup arsenal (Contra, loosely)

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

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun (Contra)
Machine Gun (Contra)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Grenadier (Super Contra)
Manned Turret (Contra)
Track Turret (Super Contra)

-Moving platform in stage 1 (Contra, similar to moving boulder platform in stage 3)

-Exposed flame pipes in stage 3 (Contra)

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One Response to “CONTRA FORCE > TRIVIA”

  1. shesnok Says:

    Thanks for info man.

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