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Native Platforms: Sony Playstation 3 (Playstation Network)
Microsoft XBox 360 (XBox Live Arcade)

Media/Formats: Digital Download

Microsoft XBox 360

Developer: Arc System Works

Publisher: NTSC-J: Konami

NTSC-U: Konami

PAL: Konami

Release:NTSC-J: February 16, 2011

NTSC-U: February 16, 2011

PAL: February 16, 2011

Sony Playstation 3

Developer: Arc System Works

Publisher: NTSC-J: Konami

NTSC-U: Konami

PAL: Konami

Release:NTSC-J: March 15, 2011

NTSC-U: March 15, 2011

PAL: March 23, 2011

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Hard Corps: Uprising is a run-n-gun spin-off of the Contra series. Developed by Arc System Works, the game incorporates a familiar name and shares some gameplay elements with Contra. Despite sharing some similarities, the connections are loose and the game is more prominently distinct from the series.


A predominantly side-scrolling shooter, Hard Corps: Uprising contains some familiar elements: 1-hit deaths (arcade mode), spread gun, roll-up jump, the ranking system of the PS2 titles and a couple of familiar tunes (see Trivia). Apart from this, it plays quite differently.

There are several characters to choose from; most are purchased as DLC. Each one varies in stats and some have unique weapons and/or maneuvers. There are 2 modes of play: Arcade Mode and Rising Mode. Arcade mode plays somewhat closer to Contra’s style. 2 players can play together offline; alternatively, the game can be played online through the Playstation Network (PS3) or XBox Live (XBox 360) services.

However, the majority of the game’s value is in the Rising Mode. This Mode incorporates RPG elements, having the player upgrade and increase their abilities, which is accomplished through shop purchases. The player can purchase upgrades using points earned by playing the levels over and over (a level select menu is provided). Rising mode is more often played by gamers, as it is easier and provides the majority of the gameplay value. There is more content, such as characters and upgrades, to be purchased as DLC.

Although the protagonist leader is named Bahamut, he is very likely a different Bahamut from the antagonist in Contra: Hard Corps. The plot of Hard Corps: Uprising involves a war with the Commonwealth empire, having little to no relevance to aliens. Bahamut from Contra: Hard Corps is a former hero from an alien war. This is only further supported by the developers stating that the game branches away from the Contra series.

As a standalone game, Hard Corps: Uprising provides a novel side-scrolling action experience by mixing a few elements from Contra with a considerably different gameplay mechanic. However, it is viewed by the majority as an entry in the series and in this regard, does not hold sufficient merit. The gameplay employs several new elements, such as character maneuvers, weapon features, upgrading systems, enemy life gauges; the plot concerns no aliens and shares no valid connection to the series. Collectively, these miss the point of Contra and instead shift to a direction that abandons what had defined the series.

Hard Corps: Uprising has been well-received by the public. Many enjoy its art style and consider the gameplay a refreshing formula, or even an improvement, to the Contra series. Unfortunately, a positive reception to a significant deviation from, and preference over the traditional Contra style has demonstrated the loss of appeal of Contra. That this is the style of gameplay preferred by the majority of players shows that it is not Contra that players want.

As part of the Games with Gold program for XBox 360, the free download of Halo Reach in September of 2014 included Hard Corps: Uprising as a bonus game in Japan.

Since May of 2017, The XBox 360 release has been made playable on XBox One due to legacy support.

Note: There are currently no known significant differences between the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 versions.

Demo: Trial demos of the game were offered for both systems. The demos ends when the player loses all of their lives or at the start of the first stage boss battle. A screen prompts the player to purchase the full version, presenting various features of the game.

Covers: N/A; Hard Corps: Uprising is a digitally downloaded product.

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Stage 1: Desert
Stage 2: Jungle
Stage 3: Ruins
Stage 4: Capital Highway
Stage 5: Capital Laboratory
Stage 6: Capital Railway
Stage 7: Capital Tower Building
Stage 8: Battleship


Opposition – No information yet.

Cheats, Assistance

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The game takes place in the year 2613. The Commonwealth empire holds power over the rest of the world, where unrest is on the rise. The empire generally thwarts most opposition; however, a group of 4 skilled fighters form a team in an attempt to finally take them down. The team consists of Sayuri, Krystal, Harley Daniels and Bahamut.

Additional plot details will follow when possible.


Bahamut – protagonist; playable

Krystal – protagonist; playable

Harley Daniels – protagonist; playable

Sayuri – protagonist; playable (must be unlocked through purchase)

Leviathan – protagonist; playable (must be unlocked through purchase)

Geo Mandrake – protagonist; non-playable character; weapons research scientist; originally working for the Commonwealth, Mandrake defects to the heroes’ side to protect his family; as punishment, he is held hostage

Commonwealth – antagonist organization; empire that rules over Earth, oppressing neighboring nations and causing great unrest

Emperor Tiberius – primary antagonist; leader of the Commonwealth; employs the Death Squad to eradicate all opposition; revealed to be Sayuri’s adoptive father

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•Main Menu
•Origins (Extra)
•Capital Highway
•Capital Laboratory (Stealth)
•Capital Laboratory (Alert)
•Capital Laboratory
•Capital Railway
•Capital Tower Building
•Common Alert
•Common Boss (Middle)
•Common Boss (Mini)
•Boss 1 (Jungle)
•Boss 2 (Capital Tower Building)
•Boss 3(Capital Tower Building, Chasing)
•Boss 4 (Capital Tower Building, Rival, Chasing)
•Boss 5 (Battleship)
•Final Boss
•Stage Clear
•Game Over

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The Playstation 3 and XBox 360 versions were released temporally close to one another. With the exception of console-specific instructions (controls, etc.), there are no known differences between both versions.

Hard Corps: Uprising has not yet received any conversions.

Microsoft XBox One

Hard Corps: Uprising has not yet been re-released.


Hard Corps: Uprising E3 Preview Build (Microsoft XBox 360)

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There are currently no known variants of Hard Corps: Uprising.

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Regional Differences

Developmental Material

Technical Information


Promotional Media – There is currently no known promotional media to present.

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