GENERAL TRIVIA

Contra Encyclopedia home page

 
The Contra series is full of cultural references, appearances in/from other media and other interesting anecdotes. Each game has its own set of trivia; see their respective trivia sections for game-specific trivia. This page concerns the Contra series in general.

 
Select a trivium:

Heroes of Aliens
Japan, The Exception
Falcons And Roses
BeatTrainia
Konami Krazy Contra
Krazy Contra 2
Aliens On Ice
Mystical Soldier
Living On Elsewhere
Proto-Gyaba
Black Viper Stole Facehuggers
Castlevania: Order of Kimkou
Subliminal Messages
Mad Dog & Scorpion, The Contras
The Heavyweight Xenomorph Of The World
Rocket Knight Revenge
Contra Is Fun And Educational
Shout-Outs
Silent Hill: Shattered Soldier
Bill and Lance: Star Predecessors
100% Pure Alien Meat
Baseball Star VS Aliens
Feel Like A Soldier
Take Control, Literally
It’s Time For Risky’s Revenge
Fang’s Future
Black (Vic) Viper
Red (Star) Falcon
It’s All Arcade
Cash On The Side
Contra + Metal Gear
Contra With Jetpacks
Our Heroes Have Been Forgotten
The Contras Are Expendable
Stickmen Of Steel
Contra With A Time Machine
Star Marine: Uprising
Capitalizing
Turrican: Hard Corps
Fighting Red Falcon Is A Gamble
Hoarding
High-Demand Pilot
Mad Dot And Spot
Zombies Monsters Probotectors
The Good Alien
Contra Espiritu
Star (Alien) Wars: (Contra) Force Collection
Operation Contraband

HEROES OF ALIENS

The names Bill Rizer and Lance Bean are actually a mix of actor names from James Cameron’s film, Aliens:

Bill Paxton
Paul Reiser
Lance Henriksen
Michael Biehn

 
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JAPAN, THE EXCEPTION

Many of the Japanese releases of early Contra games are notable for being significantly easier than their overseas counterparts. The Japanese release of each game would have easier gameplay: infinite continues, include cheats or have more cheats, etc.

 
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FALCONS AND ROSES

Neo Contra’s end credits music is reused in Konami’s Rumble Roses XX for XBox 360. The track is called Rock-It Breaks.

 
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BEATTRAINIA

The PS2 version of Beatmania IIDX 15: DJ Troopers contains a music track from Neo Contra, Battle Train -IIDX Edition-.

Contra game music tracks featured in other entries in the Beatmania series are listed below:

-Dense Forest Battle – DDR Dance Wars (iOS; default, by downloading Jukebeat), Jubeat Plus (iOS, Android; bundled/default), Jukebeat (iOS; bundled/default)

-Super Contra Medley – Jubeat Plus (iOS, Android; Konami Densetsu Music Pack 2), Jukebeat (iOS; THE LEGEND OF KONAMI music pack 2), Reflec Beat + (iOS; Konami Densetsu Music Pack 2), Reflec Beat Plus (iOS; Konami Densetsu Music Pack 2)

-Contra Medley Mix – DDR Universe2 (XBox 360; default), DDR Classroom Edition (PC; KONAMI originals)

-Contra – DDR Pocket Edition (iOS with Apple TV; DLC)

 
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KONAMI KRAZY CONTRA

Konami Wai Wai World is a parody platforming video game released for the Famicom. Among the many Konami games it references is Contra. One of the stages is an alien/organic stage. It uses the music from Alien Lair; in fact, since this game was released before NES Contra, the Alien Lair BGM appeared in an NES game before NES Contra.

Here’s a boss you face in the level, clearly based on the alien head (Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java):

Konami Wai Wai World was later converted to mobile phones, released in Japan through their Konami Net DX service.

 
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KRAZY CONTRA 2

In the Famicom sequel, Wai Wai World 2: SOS!! Parsley Castle, there are even more parodies of Contra. One of your playable characters is Bill Rizer, who can use the default gun from NES Contra and Super C. In addition, one of the stages is a parody of Contra’s Jungle stage. It uses remixes of the Jungle and Alien Lair BGM’s, the latter for the boss fight.

Speaking of the boss fight, you fight a pink Xenomorph mounted on a hover device. It even uses a similar attack to that of Super Contra’s Xenomorph boss.



 
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ALIENS ON ICE

The NES version of Blades of Steel features intermission sequences during matches. Ads of other Konami games are shown on the jumbotron, including a playable mini-game of Gradius and the Contra logo:

This game was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console.

 
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MYSTICAL SOLDIER

In Konami’s Super Famicom game, Ganbare Goemon Kirakira Dōchū: Boku ga Dancer ni Natta Wake, a section of the boss stage of Yae contains elements from the Aliens series. In extension, these elements can also be considered a reference to the Contra series.

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The floor and ceiling are covered by xenomorphic deposits and enemies spawn from eggs found on the floor. The enemies have several legs and move similarly to Face Huggers.

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LIVING ON ELSEWHERE

Unsurprisingly, it seems as though the Contra series’ legacy is maintained by companies other than Konami. In Monolith Soft’s Nintendo 3DS game, Project X Zone 2, character Xiaomu cites the lines of the heroes of Contra III in its intro as one of her pre-battle lines:

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One of the enemies fought early on, Koumas, bear quite a resemblance to the Metal Alien in Contra III:

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PROTO-GYABA

Emperor-Demon Gyaba, the triple-headed alien, has quite a legacy. It is a boss you fight around the end of many Contra games, beginning with Super Contra on the arcade. Well, it did not begin with the Contra series. This monster is based on another monster encountered in one of Konami’s earlier arcade games, Battlantis. Like in the Contra series, it plays the major alien boss. The arcade game would later be re-released for XBox 360’s Game Room service, as well as Games For Windows – LIVE service for PC Windows.



 
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BLACK VIPER STOLE FACEHUGGERS

The Facehuggers breaking out of their vial tubes in Operation C’s final level is a concept that was used earlier, in Konami’s arcade version of Aliens (1990).

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CASTLEVANIA: ORDER OF KIMKOU

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for the DS has the player fight Kimkou as the first boss:



 
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SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES

Konami’s Snatcher contains some Contra references. In the Sega CD version, near the beginning of the campaign, you have to investigate at a bar called Outer Heaven (Metal Gear reference). There’s a costume party going on and 2 people dress up as Bill and Lance.

The Japanese Sega Saturn and Playstation versions show an ad for a Contra (魂斗羅) movie in a shopping center:

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It is hard to see, but the ad is on the tron in the middle of the image.

The enhanced port of Snatcher to the PC Engine CD, Snatcher CD-ROMantic, may also contain references to Contra. In the same bar scene, a patron is disguised in an alien Xenomorph costume; being an obvious reference to the Aliens franchise, it may also be a reference to Contra, in extension. Additionally, the costume worn by the patron in the bottom-right corner resembles Probotector.

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MAD DOG & SCORPION, THE CONTRAS

Konami released an SNES wrestling game in Japan called Jikkyou Power Pro Wrestling ’96: Max Voltage. The roster of competitors includes Bill…

… and Lance.



 
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THE HEAVYWEIGHT XENOMORPH OF THE WORLD

The Final Round is an arcade boxing game, also developed by Konami. In this game, the 2 playable characters’ designs are based on Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. Player 1, Jabbin’ Jim (Rocky Smith in the Japanese version), resembles Lance Bean; Player 2, Gentleman Joe (Joe Vulcan in the Japanese version), resembles Bill Rizer.

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One of the opponents’ name is Red Falco.

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The opening sequence features scrolling text, ticker-tape style, in the same way as in the arcade version of Super Contra.

 
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ROCKET KNIGHT REVENGE

In Rocket Knight, if you beat the game as Gold Sparkster, you’ll get an ending where Sparkster is getting shot at by spread gun bullets, while flying. The camera then reveals that the shooter is Bill Rizer, who utters the catchphrase It’s time for revenge. The art style is similar to Contra 4.

This game is available for PC, XBox 360 and PS3.

 
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CONTRA IS FUN AND EDUCATIONAL

In the third episode of season 2 of the web series Video Game High School, the character Ki designs a video game that summarizes the show’s first season. This video game is shown to be a mash-up of several popular classic series, including Mario and Contra. Due to the amount of work that was invested into this mock video game, an actual Flash-based computer game was later designed with assistance from Newgrounds users, using the art assets created.

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2 of the featured stages are blatant throwbacks to the Contra series. In addition, the post-boss cut scene references the pseudo-3D base stages.

 
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SHOUT-OUTS

The Contra series has been used or mentioned in some form or another in a wide variety of media and entertainment. The following are some examples.

Nintendo Power:
One of Nintendo Power‘s comics features Nester in a somewhat cooperative encounter with the Contra duo, Bill and Lance.

Best Student Council:
Best Student Council is a Japanese anime TV series by Konami. Its protagonist, Rino, has a hand puppet companion named Pucchan. In one of the episodes, Rino presents her other hand puppet companion, Lance Bean.

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Robot Chicken:
A stop-motion animated TV series created by Seth Green, who has many voice roles in Family Guy, another animated TV series. In the episode, Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack, one of the sketches is a parody of the NES version of Contra, featuring the Konami Code.

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Vampire Weekend:
Vampire Weekend is an indie rock band. Their second album, Contra, is focused on the Nicaraguan rebels from the 1980’s to 1990’s. However, the title is also a reference to the game, Contra.

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Percee P:
The intro theme from the NES version of Contra is sampled for the beat of Percee P’s rap single, 2 Brothers From The Gutter.

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Contra VS Tetris:
Contra character Bill is featured in a 2010 episode of a Russian hand-drawn animation series, VERSUS, that crosses Contra over with Tetris. In it, he stumbles into the Tetris well and becomes irritated, as well as intrigued, by the endlessly falling Tetris bricks. His attempts to determine the source of the bricks is riddled with comic mishaps, as well as a twist ending.

contra-vs-tetris

VERSUS, created by an animation team known as XPYC team, is a RED MEDUSA production and was hosted on the Tvigle network.

 
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SILENT HILL: SHATTERED SOLDIER

In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, you’ll work your way through an abandoned shopping center. The player character remarks about the classics when he approaches the arcade machines, including Contra:

This game is available for Wii, PS2 and PSP.

 
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BILL AND LANCE: STAR PREDECESSORS

In the middle of Stage 0 of the Nintendo Wii game, Sin And Punishment: Star Successor, the gameplay begins to resemble Contra’s base stages. One section is a blatant rip-off:



 
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100% PURE ALIEN MEAT

Konami released a Parodius-style game called Otomedius X Excellent for the XBox 360. It is available to both North America and Japan. In one of the earlier stages, you’ll notice a restaurant called Contra Burger:

One of the DLC’s for this game is a stage called Stage Ex. 1 (St. Gradius School). The BGM is is a remix of Contra’s Alien Lair stage BGM.

 
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BASEBALL STAR VS ALIENS

Konami’s baseball game, Pawapuro Kun Pocket 8, for the Nintendo DS includes a Contra minigame:

You battle through a city reminiscent of Contra III’s first stage and ultimately fight a helicopter. The mini-game is very difficult overall, despite providing difficulty settings. The character is slow, relative to the fast enemies and bullets. The controls tend to be unresponsive.

 
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FEEL LIKE A SOLDIER

Contra costumes were released by Konami through the Playstation 3’s PSN for use with Playstation Home.



 
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TAKE CONTROL, LITERALLY

On December 3, 2015, licensed pop culture collectibles giant NECA announced their production of Contra-themed action figures and pieces. Included in the set are 7″ tall figures of Bill and Lance, who are equipped with guns that represent the Machine Gun and Spread Gun through detachable bullet constructs (and whose outfits have been erroneously swapped); a powerup blimp on a float support stand; and a large box case with the North American NES version artwork.

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These figures are slated for release in April, 2016.

 
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IT’S TIME FOR RISKY’S REVENGE

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge for the DSi is the sequel to Shantae; both were developed by Wayforward, who brought us Contra 4. In one cutscene, Risky says a very familiar line:

The game would later receive a release for iOS in 2011, Windows in 2014, Playstation 4 in 2015 and Wii U in 2016.

 
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FANG’S FUTURE

Here is a boss from the Sega Genesis game Alien Soldier, named Wolfgunblood Garopa:

Look familiar? If you haven’t already guessed, the rider’s sprite is indeed based on Fang from Contra: Hard Corps, from the Werewolf head to the arm cannon. Alien Soldier was developed by Treasure, a company that shared many of the developers responsible for Contra: Hard Corps.

 
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BLACK (VIC) VIPER

Konami’s Gradius II: Gofer No Yabo has a level with face hugger eggs. One might say that it is more of a reference to the source material, Aliens. However, the eggs and facehuggers function like in Contra.

Gradius II was widely released. Systems (including re-releases):

-Arcade
-Famicom
-PC Engine Duo
-PC Windows, as part of Gradius Deluxe Pack (Arcade version)
-Playstation, as part of Gradius Deluxe Pack (Arcade version)
-Sega Saturn, as part of Gradius Deluxe Pack (Arcade version)
-Wii (Virtual Console; Famicom and PC Engine versions)
-Mobile (Konami Net DX and i-mode services)
-PSP, as part of Gradius Collection (retail release that would eventually be added to the Konami The Best range; later, Playstation Store download via Playstation Network) and a PSN port of the PC Engine Duo version
-PS3, as a PSN port of the PC Engine Duo version

 
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RED (STAR) FALCON

The Red Star is an isometric-overhead view action game, with gameplay that combines close quarters combat (beat-em-up) and long-range combat (shoot-em-up). The player is able to upgrade the stats of the game’s characters, based on their performance. Due to the ensemble of its visuals and gameplay style, it is considered by some to be a clone of Neo Contra; the player battles a variety of grunt enemies, as well as boss sequences.

The Red Star even features a grading system akin to Contra: Shattered Soldier and Neo Contra, where the player is given a rating at the end of the stage, based on their performance. A more blatant reference/homage to the Contra series can be found with one of the series of bosses fought, termed Kontrawall (I to IV). One of the other bosses, Ikarius, is a refernce to the game Ikari Warriors.

The Red Star is mostly known for its bumpy development history. Developed by Acclaim Studios and expecting a 2004 release on both the Playstation 2 and XBox, the game was put on hold when the developer became bankrupt. 3 years later, after having acquired the rights to the game, XS Games released the PS2 version. The XBox version did not see a full release. The following is a list of all known versions of The Red Star.

-Worldwide Playstation 2 release of the full game. A demo of the game is available on the demo disc included with issue 83 of Official Playstation Magazine. Some other pre-releases are known to exist, circulating among game collectors. These include the leaked E3 beta of the game; an Acclaim disc beta, sold by user DM7_DEMON on ASSEMblergames; a beta, sold by DreamTR (possibly the same build as the one sold by user DM7_DEMON); an Acclaim preview disc, dated 5/18/04, sold by user ProgrammingAce on Digital Press (possibly the same one as DreamTR’s and/or DM7-DEMON’s); a review build, dated 17/08/04, sold by Borman.

-XBox received a demo on the demo disc of issue 35 of Official XBox Magazine; this is the only officially released game content relevant to The Red Star. Several other pre-releases are known to exist, circulating among game collectors. These include the beta showcased at E3, last known to be owned by user ProgrammingAce; a widely leaked PAL review build of the game (NTSC-compatible, however) that is either close to completion or fully complete, released around 2004-2005; a promotional preview build that was given to the gaming press, last owned by ASSEMblergames user Polak (possibly the same build as the leaked review build); a debug build, last owned by ASSEMblergames user macdeath; a review build, dated 8/12/04 and marked #6, last owned by user Buyatari; another review build, dated 18/8/04, sold by Borman.

-A PSP version, released exclusively on the Playstation Store (via the Playstation Network), in North America only.

-An iOS version, with the title shortened to Red Star. There were 2 versions: a Lite (free) version and a full version. This conversion, including both the free and full editions, is no longer available to download on the Apple Store. A possible reason is that the company, XS Games, may have silently closed down; as a result, the licensing fee is no longer being paid to Apple to continue providing the game.

 
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IT’S ALL ARCADE

In Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition, the Konami code unlocks a Contra theme.

This game is available for: iOS, Playstation 3 (PSN), Wii (WiiWare) and XBox 360 (XBLA).

 
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CASH ON THE SIDE

In 2004, Majesco produced and released 2 plug-n-play joystick devices featuring an 8-bit version of Konami’s Frogger. One joystick is entirely Frogger-themed and contains only this game; the other is a port of the Game Boy Advance compilation Konami Collector’s Series: Arcade Advanced. The products (both the devices and the games included) are characteristic of being unlicensed: the quality is below average and sound effects don’t match their source material. In the Frogger game, the death sound effect is taken from NES Contra/Super Contra.

Frogger dedicated console:

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Konami Collector’s Series: Arcade Advanced dedicated console:

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Strangely enough, however, these Majesco products are actually licensed by Konami. On a side note, Majesco reprinted several 16-bit video games, including SNES and Genesis games by Konami, including Contra III and Contra: Hard Corps, respectively.

 
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CONTRA + METAL GEAR

Konami’s Nano Breaker for Playstation 2 features Jaguar as an unlockable character. He has very powerful attacks, but can get killed very easily.

Players often characterize Nano Breaker as a mix between Contra and Metal Gear due to visuals, various gameplay and plot elements shared between them.

On a side note, a preview build of the game was sold by user ProgrammingAce on Digital Press.

 
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CONTRA WITH JETPACKS

Natsume’s addictive NES game, Final Mission (S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team in North America; Action in New York in Europe), has player characters that closely resemble the sprite of Bill/Lance in NES Contra and Super Contra:

This game was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2011.

 
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OUR HEROES HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN

In Forgotten Worlds, by Capcom, Unknown Solder’s (your character) sprite is similar to that of Final Mission, which in turn is similar to the Bill/Lance sprite from NES Contra/Super Contra.

Namco X Capcom (PS2) and Marvel Vs Capcom: Clash of Heroes (Arcade, Playstation and Dreamcast) feature Unknown Soldier as a playable character.

Additionally, while there is no true connection, the game’s artwork feature characters who are eerily similar to Neo Contra’s Bill and Jaguar:

Forgotten Worlds is available on a very large number of platforms (including re-releases): Arcade, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, PC DOS, Atari ST, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, PC Engine, Turbo Grafx 16, PS2, XBox, PSP and Wii (Virtual Console).

 
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THE CONTRAS ARE EXPENDABLE

To promote the movie The Expendables, the marketing team developed and released a flash game called The Expendables Game on Facebook. You can choose to play as either Stallone’s, Jet Li’s or Jason Statham’s characters. Each have unique stats and weapons. The first stage takes place in a jungle, similar to NES Contra’s jungle. The game uses the roll-up jump animation. Stallone’s character is the closest to Contra’s gameplay, using a gun; playing as Statham’s character, your upgraded knife attack, throwing three knives, is similar to the spread gun.

Even the powerup icon, which actually represents the logo of the film, resembles the Contra series’ falcon icon, often representing powerups.

 
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STICKMEN OF STEEL

The iOS game Iron Commando Pro is a blatant Contra clone; in particular, it is based on the NES version of Contra. It features all the same weapons, same controls, 1-hit death and roll-up jump. It is, however, a very easy game and includes a stage select. The game also focuses more on fighting combat vehicles as boss battles and an alien ship, rather than aliens directly.



 
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CONTRA WITH A TIME MACHINE

Super Time Force is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up developed by Capybara Games for the XBox 360 (Live Arcade) and XBox One. This old-school style video game takes inspiration from various classic titles, including Contra. Familiar elements include 1-hit death, 8 directions of aiming, simultaneous 2 player gaming, as well as guns, such as the Spread Gun:

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The premise of Super Time Force is that the player can travel back in time upon getting killed. During gameplay, this translates to being taken back to specific preset locations in the stage. Additionally, the player can make changes to their stats for the respawn, such as the equipped weapon.

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STAR MARINE: UPRISING

Another iOS game, Star Marine: Infinite Ammo, was created with Contra very much in mind; just look at its title. It incorporates Hard Corps: Uprising’s use of leveling up and having to buy items in a shop, in a very similar way, though. It is less of a Contra clone than Iron Commando Pro, but blatantly rips elements from Contra games (plot is basically from Contra: Shattered Soldier and the explosion graphics were ripped straight out of Contra ReBirth).



 
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CAPITALIZING

The independent computer game development scene flourishes everyday. Individuals, small studios and small companies are developing and commercially releasing their “indie” projects on the internet. Their distribution takes advantage of public gatherings, such as conventions and online collection sales, such as Humble Bundle. One of the primary means of distribution is through digital platorms, such as Steam and Desura.

Many of these independent video games are based heavily on popular titles, using their notoriety to gain interest and ensure sales. The Contra series has been used for such a purpose in various independent video games. They are listed below.

8-Bit Commando:

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A side-scrolling shooter with graphics in the style of 8 and 16 bit classics, developed by 2DEngine. Its gameplay is based on many early side-scrolling shooters, including Contra. Similar elements include the character’s design and animation, level structure and boss battles. The game’s title is itself a nod to the series. The game’s shortcomings include slow gameplay, problematic controls and and mundane soundtrack.

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8-Bit Commando is available for Windows, Mac and Linux based systems. It can be purchased from online sites, including Steam and desura.

Super Cyborg:

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Originally a freeware fan game, Artur Games (developer) decided to make Super Cyborg a commercial product late in development. This game is grounded heavily in the NES Contra titles, Contra and Super Contra (particularly the latter, as well as the PAL counterparts, Probotector). It involves cyborg soldiers, who are sent to stop an alien invasion on an island. It can be considered more as a fan game of Probotector counterparts of the Contra games. Due to the strikingly similar gameplay and graphics (with many similar stage settings), as well as eminent sounds and remarkable soundtrack, Super Cyborg is essentially a retelling of Super Contra.

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Demo versions had been released freely throughout its development. The majority of these demos feature the first 2 stages, showcasing the fast-paced and difficult gameplay, vibrant colors and settings and rocking soundtrack. One particular demo features 2 additional stages. The following is the third stage from the unique demo:

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Over time, tweaks and modifications were made to the gameplay. For example, guns have a charged alternate shot. However, the game’s Normal mode has become more difficult in an unbalanced way; there are excessive enemies in inappropriate situations, the enemies are generally more aggressive and shoot very fast projectiles.

Super Cyborg is available for Windows based systems at the Desura website, as well as IndieGameStand. It was also included as part of the Indie Gala Every Monday BUNDLE #20. Furthermore, an updated version is also available on Steam.

Normal Tanks:

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Despite being an overhead tank combat game, Normal Tanks is based entirely on the NES version of Contra. All the stages share the same setting; the bosses are similar; weaponry, including powerups, are based entirely on the weaponry of Contra. The most strikingly obvious element that makes it “Tank Contra” is the music. The soundtrack is based entirely on the NES version of Contra, with all the tracks remastered.

Despite sluggish controls, the game plays quite well with its slow, smooth pace. The stages are nicely designed and non-linear. There are various tanks, turrets and other types of enemies to fight throughout the game. The game features the lives and continues system, just as in the original Contra. Overall, Normal Tanks is an enjoyable action game, with few flaws and many interesting features to keep the player enticed.

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The demo version provides the first 4 stages of the game, which is pretty impressive for a demo. The full version has a total of 8 stages; originally requiring purchase, Normal Tanks is now a freeware game. It is available for Windows based systems.

焔斗羅 (Entra):

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Entra was created by the private Japanese studio, Gapcom (the name obviously being a rip-off of Capcom). It is a Doujin game whose premise is based on Contra: Hard Corps. It features similar visuals and some similar gameplay elements.

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Unfortunately, Entra has received a very limited and private release, distributed at private software trade gatherings in Japan. It is next to impossible to purchase a copy by other means and to find additional information on the game. It is available for Windows based systems and a version with a minor update had been distributed following the initial release.

東方輝羅星 (Fabricated Voyage To The Moon):

Like Entra, this game has received a very limited release and is not likely to be found for purchase (as of 2013). However, a free trial version is still available for download from the official website.

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Unlike Entra, there are more direct and blatant references to Contra, particularly the first game. One example is the stages, such as a jungle and base with similar design.

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TURRICAN: HARD CORPS

The fourth stage of Mega Turrican is inspired by the movie, Aliens; but it also may have been inspired by Contra. You encounter eggs that continuously spawn face huggers.

You also fight a large Xenomorph-like boss and its position and size relative to you is just like with Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java (the alien head boss in the Contra series):

In general, Turrican’s gameplay is often compared to that of Contra. There is no doubt about it, as both have notable similarities.

This game was originally released for the Amiga, under the title of Turrican 3 (Turrican III: Payment Day in Germany). The Sega Genesis version is more commonly known and it was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console.

 
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FIGHTING RED FALCON IS A GAMBLE

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With their creativity exhausted and new ideas nonexistent, Konami decided to expand the Contra franchise into slot machines in Japan, likely in an attempt to recover from their losses due to investing in Pachinko slots in the first place. Their Contra-themed Pachislot machines, such as the one titled Contra 3D, consist of battling aliens by gambling. Konami chose a drastically different gameplay dynamic from previous Contra titles, basing success entirely on luck and chance, as opposed to skill.

Contra 3D:

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The plot features Bill, Lance and Anna, who must defeat an alien menace on the basis of chance. Players are rewarded for winning rounds with both money and cut scenes that progress the plot. The plot itself is a mix between those of Contra and Super Contra. While the release date is uncertain, the specifics of Contra 3D can be found on their official site.

The essential slot structure is as follows:

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Standard goal of matching 3 images:

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In December of 2012, Konami Parlor Entertainment successfully tested a prototype Pachinko slot machine titled Contra TE. It is likely the codename for Contra 3D. KPE predicted Contra 3D’s release date to be in August of 2013. As of 2014, this game has been available in Japan and online sales of the slot machine are already occurring.

Teaser:

Trailer:

Play footage:

KPE released a wide variety of media to promote their upcoming slot machine, including featured tunes (mainly remixes of previous Contra tunes) and artwork, as well as 2 mini-games that are playable on the official website.

One of the mini-games is a variant of Memory, where the player must match image pairs from an array. Completing the game rewards you with various wallpapers.

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The other mini-game, titled Contra Explosion, is a Flash-based slot machine mini-game.

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Neo Contra:

In April of 2014, Konami filed for a trademark for a Neo Contra based slot machine. This next slot machine was showcased at the 2014 Global Gaming Expo (G2E). 2 Neo Contra themed slot games have been designed for it, Mighty Warrior and Supreme Samurai. These are simply minor thematic variants, and constitute the same game. Bill and Jaguar are the featured characters.

2 years later, the aforementioned slot machines were rehashed with minimal effort under the new titles Warrior Re-Loaded and Samurai Strike, respectively. Again, they are nothing more than thematic variants that play identically to each other.

The following video briefly showcases Konami's booth at the 2014 G2E, including footage of Neo Contra (with a very obvious error made by the VPM):

Thanks to cx4 of the Contra Military Archive for the following photo of the cabinet:

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Further credit to cx4 for the following screenshots.

Mighty Warrior:

Supreme Samurai:

Play footage:

 
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HOARDING

Konami filed a trademark for “Contra Run and Gun” in 2013. If going by Konami’s attitude to many of their game series, it is probably to solidify the current direction of Contra’s development (ie, nowhere).

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HIGH-DEMAND PILOT

The assistant helicopter in the video game Mercenary Kings bears a resemblance to many of the helicopters that help the protagonists in the Contra series.

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It is particularly similar to the red chopper in Contra Force:

Mercenary Kings is a free indie-developed game, downloadable on the PS4 via the Playstation Network. Developed by Tribute Games, this side-scrolling shooter’s overall structure is based on the Metal Slug series. Like the helicopter example above, though, it may pay tribute to other old-school titles.

 
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MAD DOT AND SPOT

3D Dot Game Heroes was developed by Silicon Studio for the Playstation 3. Its gameplay is a throwback to numerous classic 8-bit games, including the early Final Fantasy titles. It also pays tribute and references a wide variety of other titles that span the 80’s and 90’s.

One example of references is the various images displayed on the loading screens. These images are dotted recreations of box art. One of the unlockable recreations is the NES Contra cover art:

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ZOMBIES MONSTERS PROBOTECTORS

Zombies Monsters Robots is a free, online third-person shooter developed by En Masse Entertainment and distributed via Steam. In one of the co-op modes, Assault Ops, players battle in a fortress and the theme is an homage to Contra’s base stages.

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There are rooms separated by doors containing a core that must be shot until destroyed. These cores are usually surrounded by defense turrets or enemy snipers. Some of the rooms even contain the electric barrier. The sound effect when the core is shot is taken from the NES Contra games, when strong enemies and bosses are being damaged. The BGM is an obvious variation of the base stage theme. Periodically, the player is given the radio instruction to “shoot the core”. Furthermore, when the final room is cleared, the players exit via an ascending elevator.

 
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THE GOOD ALIEN

The main boss of stage 3-2 in Alien Hominid is a variation of the classic wall boss from the Contra series.

PS2:

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GBA:

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Alien Hominid is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up that was initially developed by The Behemoth. A flash demo containing the first stage had been made available on Newgrounds to promote its full release. The game was released in 2004 for Playstation 2 and Gamecube in North America, while it was released in 2005 for Playstation 2 and XBox in Europe. There has also been a Game Boy Advance conversion, in a collaborative effort with Tuna Technologies, for Europe in 2005. Later, in 2007, Alien Hominid HD was released for XBox Live Arcade.

2 betas of the GameCube version are known to exist. One was sold by DreamTR in 2008; several years later, in 2015, another one was sold on eBay (possibly the same build, and even the same disc, as the one sold in 2008).

 
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CONTRA ESPIRITU

In the TV series Supernatural, episode 16 of season 11 involves the main characters, Sam and Dean, disguised as FBI agents Rizer and Bean.

 
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STAR (ALIEN) WARS: (CONTRA) FORCE COLLECTION

In another disgrace to the Contra series, Konami had released a Contra mini-game that is playable through one of their higher priority titles, Star Wars: Force Collection. The Star Wars game is available for iOS-based and Android-based devices. With as much wisdom as in their choice of the inappropriate platforms for the mini-game, Konami decided to offer it for a limited time; indeed, that period is now over and the Contra mini-game can no longer be played.

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Exhibiting the most that their creativity has to offer, Konami named it Contra Mini-Game. In it, the player takes the role of Chewbacca through a forgettable plot. There are 4 stages: 2 outdoor, a pseudo-3D corridor base stage and a vertically scrolling facility. The player can use the default rifle, Spread Gun or Machine Gun. The latter 2 can be upgraded the same way as in Contra 4 and the arcade version of Super Contra. Various Star Wars themed opponents are encountered, including the Stormtroopers.

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Lives are gained through rare heart item pickups scattered throughout the stages. Although there are no continues, the player can replay the current and all previously completed stages. In addition, on rare occasions, a Konami code input prompt appears after all lives are lost, for a bonus life. Each stage has a specific time limit under which it must be completed; failing to do so results in a Game Over.

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Controls include moving left/right, jumping and shooting. There is, however, an option to enable auto-fire for beginners. The game itself handles aiming, which ultimately becomes a major issue. Chewbacca often changes aim too slowly or aims at a target that the player does not intend to attack, which easily results in a loss of lives. The touch-based controls themselves can be unresponsive.

It seems that the average IQ of Konami employees is inversely proportional to the number of franchises they abandon as time passes. They most recently cancelled an entry in the Silent Hill series. The company has been a hot topic due to the drastic change in their business model and the restructuring of their video game studios. This includes mergers, closures, separations and a shift of focus to mobile as their primary gaming platform. Several fans and video gamers in general have already voiced their frustrations, displeasure and criticisms of Konami’s irrational changes; some have even justifiably urged to boycott the company.

 
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OPERATION CONTRABAND

Brian Provinciano, the developer of a Gameking emulator, developed and released an independent video game titled Retro City Rampage. It is a parody of the Grand Theft Auto video game series, but also pays homage to many classic video games. This includes Contra.

One of the missions/episodes is named Contraband Commando. At the beginning of the mission, the player consults a shop keeper, named Major Lee (who is a parody of Snake from the Metal Gear series), to acquire an item. Seen in the shop is a Spread Gun powerup icon:

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Shortly afterwards, the player must sneak past some guards and board a truck that will be transported to the target location, Geronimo Base (parody of Guantanamo Bay). The guard who drives the truck is named Bill, who receives the command via radio by another henchman named Lance:

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The name Bill is not used in all versions. For example, it is present in the Wii version, but the guard is named Will in the PC version:

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At the destination, the player battles through a jungle setting. One of the enemy defenses is numerous turrets that fire in 8 cardinal directions. These turrets are similar to the ones from various Contra games, most notably the NES version of Contra:

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The mission ultimately culminates in a battle through a base, referred to as Contraband Basement L2, an obvious parody of the base stages in NES Contra:

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The player can even use similar to ones from the Contra series, such as Machine Gun and Spread Gun:

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In fact, due to the gameplay of Retro City Rampage in general (including the ability to turn in 8 cardinal directions), this mission/episode can be considered a Super Contra styled overhead view stage.

Retro City Rampage is available for Wii (Wiiware), XBox 360 (Live Arcade), Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita (Playstation Network), and Microsoft Windows. A definitive version, Retro City Rampage DX was later released for the Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo eShop). The DX version has also received extremely limited retail releases on the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita.

 
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