CONTRA: HARD CORPS > TRIVIA

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Hardcore
Biased
Innuendo
Castlevania: Hard Corps
Last (Bruce) Springsteen
Getter Robo Attack
Blade Run And Gun
Desert Pushovers
This Battle Is Brought To You By
Astronomical Destruction
Character Variety
G IS FOR GANGRENE
Gyaba, The Builder
Gyaba’s Wife
Slave Beast Bahamut
Progressive Downgrade
The Korean Hard Corps
Recycled Relics
Familiar Foes

HARDCORE

The game’s title is a pun of the term Hardcore. Unfortunately, players often mispronounce “Corps” as “Corpse”.

 
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BIASED

The dialogue was created with 2 player mode in mind, as the player characters are referred to as they or them, even if only 1 player is present. The dialogue is also male-specific, as your helicopter comrade will call you bro, even if you play as Sheena.

 
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INNUENDO

Similarly, the secret ending will be awkward if you play as Sheena. The secret ending has your character sit on a throne beside a female primate, even if you’re Sheena.

 
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CASTLEVANIA: HARD CORPS

The background music played early in the secret level, as well as during the credits following the secret ending, is a twisted techno remix of Vampire Killer, the opening level music of the original Castlevania. It plays during the battle with the first boss, who is an equally twisted form of Simon Belmont:

This boss is also a parody of Japanese singer Masato Shimon (the name Shimon itself not only resembling Simon, but is how the latter is pronounced in Japan). Both sport an afro. Additionally, when this boss is defeated, it gushes out taiyaki, which is a topic of one of the singer’s songs.

 
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LAST (BRUCE) SPRINGSTEEN

The background music that plays during the final boss battle of each path is named Last Springsteen. This is a reference to the American artist, Bruce Springsteen, who is nicknamed “The Boss”. Therefore, Last Springsteen is interpreted as Last Boss.

 
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GETTER ROBO ATTACK

The boss theme, GTR Attack, stands for GeTter (or GeTta) Robo. This is a reference to the Japanese manga and anime, Getter Robo. In the anime, the titular super robot comprises 3 separate, self-sufficient robots that can combine to form a larger one.

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In Contra: Hard Corps, the Ta-Getta Robo boss comprises 3 smaller robots that combine to form 3 transformation phases.

In fact, anime and manga are a general inspiration for many of the boss names in the Japanese version. The bipedal capsule controlled by Dr. Mandrake is named Mach 777. 7 in Japan is pronounced as go, resulting in a reference to the Japanese series Mach GoGoGo.

 
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BLADE RUN AND GUN

Numerous elements of Contra: Hard Corps are inspired by the 1982 science fiction film, Blade Runner. In addition to the Cyberpunk style of the game, one of the antagonists is a computer hacker and the background pyramids in Stage 2A resemble the Tyrell Corporation:

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DESERT PUSHOVERS

The battle with the motorbike gang at the start of Stage 3 is strongly reminiscent of the Mad Max film series, particularly the first 2 entries.

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THIS BATTLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY

In stage 2B, a billboard appears in the foreground frequently, containing a message in Japanese:

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The exact meaning or significance of this message is currently unknown.

 
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ASTRONOMICAL DESTRUCTION

During the battle with Noiman Cascade, Noiman uses the virtual zone to create various vehicles/figures as phases to attack the player(s). The first 3 phases are in the form of 3 constellations seen in outer space: Taurus, Sagittarius and Gemini.

Taurus:

Constellation Taurus

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Sagittarius:

Constellation Sagittarius

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Gemini:

Constellation Gemini

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CHARACTER VARIETY

This is the first game in the series to have not only a female character, but a playable female character. It is also the first “true” Contra game to have multiple playable characters with unique gun sets. Furthermore, it is the first title to feature character variety in the context of organisms and robots.

 
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G IS FOR GANGRENE

The name Deadeye Joe is likely a parody of G.I. Joe, the hit action franchise.

 
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GYABA, THE BUILDER

The research center stage boss bears a striking resemblance to Emperor-Demon Gyaba, the triple-headed alien fought usually around the end of many Contra games:



 
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GYABA’S WIFE

On the other hand, the penultimate boss fought during one of the paths is more functionally accurate to Emperor-Demon Gyaba:



 
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SLAVE BEAST BAHAMUT

Fighting Colonel Bahamut in one of his severely mutated forms in one of the game’s paths:

This alien visually and functionally resembles Slave Beast Taka.

 
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PROGRESSIVE DOWNGRADE

The final boss in the above path could be a loose remake of Contra III’s brain boss battle (Living Brain Organism Searle):



 
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THE KOREAN HARD CORPS

Contra: Hard Corps was released officially in Korea, licensed by Sega. While the cover and manual refer to it as the Japanese version, Contra: The Hard Corps, the game is actually the North American version. Check out the Scanlines page for more information.

 
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RECYCLED RELICS

Numerous elements from its predecessors have been reused in Contra: Hard Corps. 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.

Conceptual

-Stage themes (details below):
City
Laboratory
Highway
Enemy Base
Jungle
Arena
Alien

-Browny, a robotic playable character (earlier Probotector counterparts)

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

-Jet bike sequences, along with other vehicles (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Assistant plane (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Plane escape after final boss is defeated in a certain path (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Plane in the ending of a certain path (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Enemy escapes in the ending of a certain path (arcade Super Contra)

-Stats screen, part of Game Over screen (NES Contra)

Sound Effects

-Change selection in the main menu (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Pause (NES Contra)

-Powerup acquisition (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Spread (arcade Contra, loosely)
Flame Thrower (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Ax Laser (arcade Contra)

-Enemy grenade thrown (arcade Contra)

Music

-Victory theme (arcade Contra)

-Final victory theme (arcade Contra)

Visuals

-Fiery “C” in the title; similar font and design of the rest of the letters (arcade Contra)

-Player animation (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Roll-up jump (arcade Contra)

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

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Machine Gun (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Genocide Vulcan (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Victory Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)
Crash (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Shower Crash (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)
Spread (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Break Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Flame Thrower (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Homing (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Ax Laser (Operation C, loosely)
Smart Bomb (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Unarmed Foot Bot (arcade Contra)
Rifle Foot Bot (arcade Contra)
Smart Turret (Contra: The Alien Wars)
Wall Mouth (arcade Contra)
Cotton Ball (arcade Contra)

-Enemy soldier bullets (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Bosses and strong enemies blink colors when damaged (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-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)

-Devastated city background in stage 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Grapple fan bars in stage 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Riding through tunnel in stage 2A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Devastated city background in stage 2B (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Foreground scenery in stage 3 (arcade Super Contra)

-Bubble Dimer debris that falls from one of the attacks of stage 6B’s penultimate boss (arcade Contra)

-Wall Mouths in the background of stage 6C (NES Contra)

-Shadow Beast Kimkou battle area in stage 6C (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Pulsing stage background in stage 6C (NES Contra)

Gameplay

-Side scrolling (horizontal and vertical; arcade Contra)

-Pseudo-3D tunnel view (arcade Contra)

-Simultaneous 2 player mode (arcade Contra)

-Ability to take the other player’s lives to return into the game session (NES Contra)

-Character selection with somewhat differentiating properties (Contra Force)

-Shared guns/powerups between the characters (Contra Force)

-Ability to select starting number of lives (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-1-hit death (arcade Contra)

-Death pits (arcade Contra)

-Temporary invincibility when hit and upon respawning (MSX Contra)

-Invincibility upon defeating the stage boss (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Continue system (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Point-based life gaining system (arcade Contra)

-Extra lives cheat (NES Contra)

-Sound Test (NES Contra)

-Stage select cheat (NES Contra)

-8 aiming directions (NES Contra)

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

-Shooting mechanics (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Powerup arsenal (arcade Contra)

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

-Position lock (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

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

-Ability to upgrade the Machine Gun (arcade Super Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Machine Gun (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Vulcan Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Genocide Vulcan (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Beast Shooter (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Victory Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)
Crash (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Shower Crash (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Spread (arcade Super Contra)
Break Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Flame Thrower (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Homing (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Ax Laser (Operation C)
Shield Chaser (arcade Contra, loosely)
Smart Bomb (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Gun powerups blink and disappear after a brief moment if not picked up (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Unarmed Foot Bot (arcade Contra)
Rifle Foot Bot (arcade Contra)
Standing Sniper Bot (arcade Contra)
Grenadier Bot (arcade Super Contra)
Blade Foot Soldier (arcade Contra)
Standing Sniper (arcade Contra)
Smart Turret (arcade Contra)
Jet Bike Sniper (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Missile Cockroach (Operation C)
Missile Mosquito (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Brainstem Slug (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Bosses (see below)

-Bosses have increased health in 2 player mode (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Stages:
City Streets; 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Laboratory Rescue; 2A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Deadeye Joe Pursuit; 2B (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Jungle; 4 (arcade Contra)
Laboratory Arena; 5A (Operation C)
Research Lab; 5C (Operation C)
Ocean; 6A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Forest Enemy Base; 6B (arcade Contra, Operation C)
Infected Headquarters; 6C (arcade Contra)
Bahamut’s Headquarters; 7 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Destructible parked vehicle in stage 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Mini-boss breaks out of building glass in stage 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Grapple fan bars in stage 1 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Destructible wall in stages 2A,3,4,5B (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Building ascension in stage 2A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Wall climbing segment with snipers in stage 2A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Stage boss is fought in an arena in stage 2A (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Time-crucial enemy/object in stage 2B (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Powerups dropped during the stage boss battle in stage 3 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Secret stage is entirely an arena (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Waterfall section in stage 4 (arcade Contra)

-Exploding bridge in stage 4 (arcade Contra)

-Mini-bosses fought while climbing a wall in stages 4,6C,7 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Left scrolling segment in stage 4 (MSX Contra)

-Elevator sequence in stage 5C (NES Super Contra)

-Mini-boss is fought in an arena in stage 5C (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Alien creatures breaking out of glass tubes in stage 6B (Operation C)

-Mini-bosses are fought in arenas in stage 6B (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Bubble Dimer debris that falls from one of the attacks of stage 6B’s penultimate boss (NES Super Contra)

-Missile riding sequence in stage 7 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Brain alien creature fought as the final boss in stage 7 (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

 
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FAMILIAR FOES

Being that Contra: Hard Corps is full of bosses, it’s bound to have some returning bosses:

Rocket Ninja Sasaki (matrix-style ninja from Contra III’s 4th stage):

Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java (alien head):

He is a lot more dynamic; standing still while attacking is more likely to get you killed during this incarnation.

Shadow Beast Kimkou:

Emperor-Demon Evil heart Gomera Mosking:



 
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