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Select a trivium:

Goodbye, Probotector
Black Sheep Traits
A Wise Move By Japan
Limited Edition Fluff
Originality Failure
Canon Force
Planet Of The Aliens
Not Contra Without It
Obscured In Obscurity
Familiar Opening Ballad
Recycled Relics
Familiar Foes


The first game in the Contra series to not be re-branded as Probotector in Europe. All subsequent non re-release Contra games also retain the Contra name for their PAL releases.

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This game is exceptional to the series of official, mainstream games due to certain traits:

-No roll-up jump (see below)
-No vertical aiming
-Change direction while ducking

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A Japanese version was planned for release. However, for unknown reasons, it was cancelled. Interestingly, the game was previewed at the 1997 Tokyo Game Show. This suggests the possibility that the E3 preview is in the hands of a gaming collector.

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Limited copies of the North American PS1 release provided the 3D anaglyph glasses required to fully experience the special 3D mode. The disc, manual and 3D glasses were packed in a double-disc case. However, the game’s 3D mode is known to be lacking in substance and actually hinders what limited gaming experience is provided by regular play.

It is worth noting that all of the PAL copies included the 3D glasses when sold initially.

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The characters in this game are parallel to the characters in Contra: Hard Corps. Ray is the human male, Tasha is the female (though a cyborg), C.D.-288 is the robot and Bubba is a humanoid alien (instead of werewolf, as in Fang). In addition, Colonel Bassad is essentially Colonel Bahamut.

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The events of Contra Force are considered canon in this game’s timeline, as stated in the game’s manual. Contra Force’s events are placed shortly after those of Operation C. Its placement is convenient as there are no conflicting plot details.

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The name of the final stage is Planet LP-426. This is very likely a reference to the films Alien and especially Aliens, in which the deadly alien species are encountered (and later fought) on Planet LV-426.

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The first, and so far only game to not feature the classic roll-up jump. Its sequel, C: The Contra Adventure, does at least feature the roll-up jump, even though it doesn’t occur regularly.

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The virtual reality segment of stage 5 contains a partly hidden message spread throughout the section as small platforms. Possibly due to design error, the message seems meaningless. It reads COME WITH ME TO THE HELL 1 ??MHE?

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The first tune of the first level may elicit a memory: it’s a remix of Contra III’s first stage.

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Numerous its predecessors have been reused in Contra: Legacy of War. 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.


-Stage themes (details below):
City (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Jungle (arcade Contra)
Mountain (Contra: Hard Corps)
Virtual Reality Zone (Contra: Hard Corps)
Outer Space (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Stage names during gameplay (NES Contra)

-Player characters:
Ray Poward (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Devastation in the intro sequence (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Alien escapes in ending sequence (arcade Super Contra)

-CD-288, a robotic playable character (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Tasha, a cyborg playable character (Probotector, Contra: Hard Corps)

-Bubba, a humanoid alien creature (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Powerups appear in wall containers and by flying across areas in the stages (arcade Contra)

-Boss-rush stages (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Vehicle in water sequence (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Entire plot, including Colonel Bassad (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Stats screen (NES Contra)


-Title Screen theme (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)

Urban Warfare theme (Contra III: The Alien Wars)


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

-Falcon cursor in the main menu (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Gun powerups are represented by falcon sprites (arcade Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Machine Gun (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Flame Thrower (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Spread Gun (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Straight Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

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

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

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


-3D, overhead perspective (arcade Contra, arcade Super 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, Contra: Hard Corps)

-Difficulty settings, which affect starting number of lives (Contra: The Alien Wars)

-Shared guns/powerups between the characters (Contra: Hard Corps)

-1-hit death (arcade Contra)

-Death pits (arcade Contra)

-Temporary invincibility when hit (arcade Contra)

-Continue system (NES Contra)

-Ability to save progress (Contra: The Alien Wars)

-Extra lives cheat, absent in the Sega Saturn port (NES Contra)

-Arsenal cheat (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Sound Test cheat (NES Contra)

-Stage select cheat (NES Contra)

-8 aiming directions (NES Contra)

-Shooting mechanics (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Powerup arsenal (arcade Contra)

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

-Position lock, somewhat, by ducking (Contra III: The Alien Wars)

-Ability to hold 4 guns (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Machine Gun (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Flame Thrower (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Spread Gun (arcade Super Contra)
Homing Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Sparkling Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Seeking Laser (Operation C, Contra: Hard Corps)
Straight Laser (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Homing Bullets (Operation C)
Homing Missile (Contra III: The Alien Wars, loosely)
Super Bomb (Contra III: The Alien Wars, Contra: Hard Corps)
Barrier (arcade Contra)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Outpost Unarmed Foot Soldier (arcade Contra)
Rifle Foot Soldier (arcade Contra)
Ground Fireball Turret (arcade Super Contra, loosely)
Jet Pack Foot Soldier (MSX Contra)
Wilderness Manned Turret (arcade Contra)
Armored Rifle Foot Soldier (arcade Contra)
Scuba Soldier (Operation C)
Stronghold Spread Gun Foot Soldier (arcade Contra)
Stronghold Manned Turret (arcade Contra)
Stronghold Red Ground Turret (arcade Super Contra, loosely)
Virtual Manned Turret (arcade Contra)
Virtual Red Ground Turret (arcade Super Contra, loosely)

-Bosses (see below)

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

Urban Warfare (Contra III: The Alien Wars)
Jungle Conflict (arcade Contra)
River Of Destruction (arcade Contra, Contra: Hard Corps)
Mountain Stronghold (Contra: Hard Corps)
Bad Wavelength (Contra: Hard Corps)
Planet LP-426 (Contra: Hard Corps, loosely)

-Music doesn’t change during stage bosses (arcade Contra)

-Most stages aren’t completed when the stage boss is defeated; the player must proceed a short distance afterwards to trigger completion (Amstrad CPC Gryzor)

-Stage boss, a flying vehicle, deploys foot soldiers in stage 1 (arcade Super Contra)

-Bridge crossing in stage 2 (arcade Contra)

-Auto scrolling segments in stages 2,4,5 (Contra: Hard Corps)

-Falling platforms in stage 4 (Contra Force)

-Gun powerups dropped from boss battles in stage 5 (Contra III: The Alien Wars, Contra: Hard Corps)

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Familiar bosses:

Wall boss, now a mere obstacle:

Slave Beast Taka (Contra III’s turtle):

The “fabled” waterfall creature boss from stage 4 of Contra: Hard Corps (2nd mini-boss battle). It is even fought on the same type of wooden bridge:


NES Contra’s waterfall alien (Shadow Beast Entrance):

Remember that sinusoidally moving orange alien brain that Colonel Bahamut ultimately morphs into, in one of Contra: Hard Corps’ paths (which may be loosely based on Contra III’s brain boss, Living Brain Organism Searle)? Well, it’s here again, though blander in appearance:

This bland form reappears later in the game, in the fifth stage (brain of Colonel Bassad, the VR zone):


The orange boss with 4 destructible claws, in the final stage of one of the paths in Contra: Hard Corps. In this game, it’s yellow instead and much simpler in function:


The Stage 4 boss of Contra: Hard Corps:, particularly the crawling phase:


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