CONTRA: LEGACY OF WAR
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Native Platform: Sony Playstation
Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
Publisher: NTSC-J: Cancelled*
NTSC-U: November 29, 1996
PAL: March 30, 1997
Contra: Legacy of War is the first 32-bit Contra title and also the first title to attempt a 3D perspective or gameplay. It is also the first title in the series not developed by Konami. The task was handed over to Apalloosa Interactive, a company that would go on to create poorly received Contra games.
Despite the venture into 3D gaming, Contra: Legacy of War is underwhelming, both as a Contra game and as a game in general. Although the general gameplay of the series is retained, the game fails to deliver in 3 dimensions. The isometric view is awkward and zoomed too close to the action; this only adds to the frustration from the controls, which are difficult to adapt. Control configuration is possible, but limited to presets.
The graphics themselves are sub-par for its time, featuring an inconsistent mix of both 3D polygonal models and 2D sprite-based objects. The special “3D mode” provides a bland effect, often difficult to achieve to begin with. It also requires the use of 3D anaglyph glasses, which only came in a limited number of copies of the game (see Trivia). The level design is decent with respect to consistency and intended themes, but suffers from poor layouts and glitched areas.
Provided in Contra: Legacy of War is a save feature, where the player can save their progress after each stage. The continue system is reverted to that of NES Contra and Super Contra. 3 difficulty modes are provided, with each differing in the number of lives, number of enemies, their attack speeds and rates, etc. Extra lives are gained through powerups, as opposed to the traditional score system.
Another major complaint with Contra: Legacy of War is that it is essentially a poor rehash of Contra: Hard Corps. The plot is essentially the same and the levels follow generally the same type of progression. Even the characters and character system are similar. You may select from 4 characters: Ray, Tasha, Bubba and C.D.-288. Each one has a unique set of guns and differ in movement speed. Simultaneous 2-player mode is retained. Many enemies and bosses are poorly programmed and the fights are tough to manage. Most aspects of the game fared poorly. Although the sound effects are poor, the music is the strong point of Contra: Legacy of War.
Earlier, Limited-Edition Release:
Later, Standard Release:
Stage 1: Urban Warfare
Stage 2: Jungle Conflict
Stage 3: River of Destruction
Stage 4: Mountain Stronghold
Stage 5: Bad Wavelength
Stage 6: Virtual Zone
Stage 7: Planet LP-426
The story of Contra: Legacy of War is likely a retelling of the story in Contra: Hard Corps. Interestingly, the developers established their own timeline of the events in the Contra series.
In 1957, a large object from outer space crashes in Amazon waters, assumed to be regular space debris. 30 years later, the incident proves to be more than trivial as aliens have overtaken the area, led by the alien Red Falcon. This alien invasion is stopped by Mad Dog and Scorpion. 3 years later, Red Falcon returns and takes control of the US army, but is again defeated by Mad Dog and Scorpion. Several years later, Scorpion ends the invasion orchestrated by Black Viper. Later, the Contra Force neutralize D.N.M.E., a terrorist organization intent on capturing Neo City. In 2636, Red Falcon is returned and defeated yet again, this time by the descendents of Mad Dog and Scorpion. In 2641, the military task force, Hard Corps, is formed.
Colonel Bassad, a rogue dictator of an unnamed country, intends on world domination with the use of soldiers, warfare robots and alien mutants created from a stolen alien embryo. According to rumor, Bassad may be allied with an alien entity that can provide its own army of aliens. Tasked with stopping the Colonel is the new Hard Corps unit: Ray Poward, from Contra: Hard Corps); Tasha, a female cyborg; C.D.-288, a robot; and Bubba, an alien turned human ally.
After making their way from a city into a hidden mountain fortress, the Hard Corps subdues Colonel Bassad. It is at this point that the plot takes a bizarre turn, where the team is absorb-ed into Bassad’s brain as a last-ditch effort. Faced with several previously fought enemies, the 4 soldiers struggle to survive the onslaught of attacks in Bassad’s degrading mind.
Overcoming the mind games, the team is inexplicably teleported onto a satellite planet that houses the last of the alien threat, which is subsequently eliminated. The planet then explodes and the heroes are sent drifting in uncertainty on a broken piece of rock from the planet. Behind them, an arthropod alien is revealed to be hanging on the side of the rock.
Ray Poward – protagonist; playable
Tasha – protagonist; playable; female cyborg
Bubba – protagonist; playable; alien who defects to assist the humans of Earth
C.D.-288 – protagonist; playable; robot
Colonel Bassad – primary antagonist; rogue dictator who assembles a terrorist and alien army and steals an alien embryo in an attempt for world domination
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•Urban Warfare 1
•Urban Warfare 2
•Jungle Conflict 1
•Jungle Conflict 2
•River Of Destruction 1
•River Of Destruction 2
•Bad Wavelength 1
•Bad Wavelength 2
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Contra: Legacy of War has not yet received any conversions.
Contra: Legacy of War has not yet been re-released.
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.
Initial, limited release:
Later, standard release:
The variants differ slightly in their disc case, with the earlier one indicating the inclusion of the 3D glasses. Additionally, the discs themselves present slightly different colors.
Promotional Media – There is currently no known promotional media to present.
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