IRRECOVERABLE GAMES

Contra Encyclopedia home page

 
Over time, games in the mainstream Contra series have become either permanently or indefinitely lost due to the failure of their preservation. There is little to no possibility of recovering them, creating significant and unfortunate gaps in the series’ history and composition.

Often, this occurs due to the end of support by developers for titles that are digitally-based, especially with strong internet reliance and integration. The other major source consists of the destruction or loss in pieces of the games’ developmental history. Unfortunately, as time passes, the list only grows as more traces of such items are discovered within obscurity or after their (likely) loss. Again, this highlights the utmost importance of data preservation.

Included here are not only ports, conversions, etc., but also pre-release versions (prototypes, previews, etc.) and official mini-games. For each game or piece of Contra’s history, an explanation is usually provided outlining the reasoning for cease of existence.

Note: Cancelled and unreleased titles are generally not included on this page, as it pertains strictly to items that have been in public circulation and not just in the hands of the developers.

 
Select a game:

Contra
Super Contra
•Operation C – None Yet
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Contra: Hard Corps
•Contra: Legacy Of War – None Yet
C: The Contra Adventure
Contra: Shattered Soldier
Neo Contra
Contra 4
•Contra Rebirth – None Yet
•Contra Force – None Yet
•Hard Corps: Uprising – None Yet
Miscellaneous

CONTRA

Conversions:

Mobile (i-appli Platform) (1)
The Konami Net DX service was discontinued on April 30, 2016. In extension, all of its featured products, including this mobile port of Contra, are permanently lost. Credit to cx4 for this information.

Mobile (J2ME Platform)
Very little background information is available about the truncated J2ME release, especially its origins in Japan, in 2003. As with most obscure Japanese video games, especially those released digitally, the possibility of digitally preserving the Japanese release was next to impossible (obscurity, restricted access, etc.). Over the years, it remained predominantly unacknowledged outside of Japan until Konami ended its distribution.

The North American release was poorly managed by the equally poorly organized Konami division, Konami Mobile. Their oblivious denial of having sold it did not help the situation. It seems that at some time in 2007, the only way to play this version was through the online demo offered on their website, as they apparently provided a different J2ME version by then (although there have been no confirmed reports of an alternate version). With very limited means of access, only incomplete versions of this release have been preserved.

Konami appears to have released this version in Europe/PAL territories, as well; it may be identical to the North American release. The lack of any documentation and player reports contributed to its obscurity. It was eventually removed from Konami of Europe’s offered products.

Mobile (SPRINT Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Ports:

Microsoft Windows (2)
Only available in Japan, this port had stopped being offered when its associated i-revo gaming service was terminated. Due to its obscurity (access restricted to Japan only), efforts to digitally preserve this port were essentially not possible.

Microsoft Windows (3)
Only available in Japan, this port had stopped being offered when its associated i-revo gaming service was terminated. Due to its obscurity (access restricted to Japan only), efforts to digitally preserve this port were essentially not possible.

Microsoft Windows (4)
Particularly unfortunate was the permanent loss of the Konami Live! port of Contra. It provided the XBox 360 port of the game for play on Windows-based machines, even before the Live Arcade release. The distribution method for this, and the other Konami Live! titles, was markedly illogical. The USB game pad that would be purchased did not contain any game data, and instead connected users to a server in order to play the games.

Therefore, none of the games were stored locally on the user’s computer. However, it would have been possible to pull the game from the server using devices such as a Wire Shark, meaning the games could have been preserved. Unfortunately, this was discovered years after Oberon Media (the server host) shut down.

Mobile (BREW Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (DANGER Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (i-appli Platform) (2)
It seems that Konami of Japan had only offered Contra: Evolution for a very brief period of time before removing it from their service. As with all other Japanese mobile games, preserving this release was essentially impossible.

Re-Releases:

Microsoft Windows (5)
GameTap removed their port of Contra for NES (as well as thousands of other titles) from their library of games offered for play/download. These emulated games were either stored server-side, or were temporarily downloaded in an encrypted format to the user’s computer.

Creating a backup of the game data, as a result, would not have been straightforward. However, at least any form of archival (ie, perhaps with a Wire Shark) would have been satisfactory.

 
Top of page

SUPER CONTRA

Conversions:

Mobile (i-appli Platform)
The Konami Net DX service was discontinued on April 30, 2016. In extension, all of its featured products, including this mobile port of Super Contra, are permanently lost. Credit to cx4 for this information.

Ports:

Microsoft Windows (2)
Only available in Japan, this port had stopped being offered when its associated i-revo gaming service was terminated. Due to its obscurity (access restricted to Japan only), efforts to digitally preserve this port were essentially not possible.

Re-Releases:

Microsoft Windows (3)
GameTap removed their port of Super Contra for NES (as well as thousands of other titles) from their library of games offered for play/download. These emulated games were either stored server-side, or were temporarily downloaded in an encrypted format to the user’s computer.

Creating a backup of the game data, as a result, would not have been straightforward. However, at least any form of archival (ie, perhaps with a Wire Shark) would have been satisfactory.

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

Super C Prototype (Nintendo Entertainment System)
The prototype was owned by John David Heins. As he had passed away and the community did not discover this until more than a year later, this piece of Super C’s history is unfortunately most likely permanently lost.

Probotector II NTSC-U Sample (Nintendo Entertainment System)
Currently in the hands of Dutch collector Niels Pit, who initially agreed to get this prototype archived over 2 years ago, as of this writing (2017). What followed were increasingly spaced replies with the same flimsy excuse of an incompletely set up gaming room, until the replies stopped. It seems he had gotten cold feet and just didn’t want to be blunt about it, what would have saved a lot of trouble. Therefore, there is little possibility of archival for this prototype.

 
Top of page

CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS

Ports:

Microsoft Windows
Only available in Japan, this port had stopped being offered when its associated i-revo gaming service was terminated. Due to its obscurity (access restricted to Japan only), efforts to digitally preserve this port were essentially not possible.

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

Contra III Partial Build (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
Very little is known about this early build of Contra III for SNES, other than that it is owned by the user JaxsBox on NintendoAge. He may even have more than 1 early build of the game.

Requesting to preserve this key piece of Contra III’s history, or at least getting some information about it, has been unsuccessful. Such attempts mostly led to being given reasons that were never consistent. In its current state, this prototype will likely be lost to bit rot.

Contra III Lab Loaner (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
More details about this prototype’s transit history are available on its page. It was last reliably sighted in a mall in Salt Lake City, in early 2008. It has since never surfaced. Chances are that the prototype copy was discarded and/or destroyed.

 
Top of page

CONTRA: HARD CORPS

Ports:

Microsoft Windows
GameTap removed their port of Contra: Hard Corps (as well as thousands of other titles) from their library of games offered for play/download. These emulated games were either stored server-side, or were temporarily downloaded in an encrypted format to the user’s computer.

Creating a backup of the game data, as a result, would not have been straightforward. However, at least any form of archival (ie, perhaps with a Wire Shark) would have been satisfactory.

Re-Releases:
Sega Genesis
The Sega Channel service was discontinued in July of 1998. It was operational prior to any significant video game preservation effort and especially prior to widespread use of the internet. Apparently, no method had been discovered to extract the video game data that would be temporarily stored in the adapter (the data would erase when the game system was powered off).

It is unknown whether the version of Contra: Hard Corps (as well as all of the other games) differed in any way from the original release.

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

Probotector Prototype (Sega Genesis)
This pre-release, as well as the sample discussed below, are owned by a high-volume video game collector. Unfortunately, they have no interest or intention to preserve these items and therefore, these prototypes will be lost to time.

Probotector Beta (Sega Genesis)
For the longest time, this test copy has been in the hands of VoltagePR’s founding managing director, Steve Merrett. Numerous requests had been made in hopes of saving the data on this beta copy of Probotector, although contact with the owner was frequently met with delays. It doesn’t seem like archiving any of his historical items are in his interest.

Probotector Sample (Sega Genesis)
This pre-release, as well as the possibly earlier prototype discussed above, are owned by a high-volume video game collector. Unfortunately, they have no interest or intention to preserve these items and therefore, these prototypes will be lost to time.

 
Top of page

C: THE CONTRA ADVENTURE

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

C: The Contra Adventure V0.8 Beta (Sony Playstation)
As this beta was sold by DreamTR around 2008, there is little hope of this build ever resurfacing. Its last owner may have discarded it as of this writing (2017).

C: The Contra Adventure Beta (Sony Playstation)
As this beta was sold by DreamTR around 2008, there is little hope of this build ever resurfacing. Its last owner may have discarded it as of this writing (2017). Absolutely nothing is known about its build status.

 
Top of page

CONTRA: SHATTERED SOLDIER

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

Contra: Shattered Soldier E3 Preview Build (Sony Playstation 2)
As the E3 preview copy of Contra: Shattered Soldier was sold by DreamTR around 2008, there is little hope of this build ever resurfacing. Its last owner may have discarded it as of this writing (2017).

Contra: Shattered Soldier Beta (Sony Playstation 2) (2)
As this beta was sold by DreamTR around 2008, there is little hope of this build ever resurfacing. Its last owner may have discarded it as of this writing (2017). Absolutely nothing is known about its build status.

 
Top of page

NEO CONTRA

Pre-Releases:

Prototypes

Neo Contra Review Build (Sony Playstation 2) (1)
As this review build was sold by Buyatari around 2007, there is little hope of this build ever resurfacing. Its last owner may have discarded it as of this writing (2017). Absolutely nothing is known about its build status.

Neo Contra Q4 Review Build (Sony Playstation 2)
Unlike the other disc-based Contra prototypes, there is far less (next to none) hope of this build ever resurfacing. Given its sale in 2005, its last owner very likely discarded it as of this writing (2017).

 
Top of page

CONTRA 4

Conversions:

Mobile (BREW Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (DANGER Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (SPRINT Platform)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (Windows Mobile Platform)(1)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Re-Releases:

Mobile (J2ME Platform)(2)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (RIM Platform)(2)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

Mobile (Windows Mobile Platform)(2)
Almost no information is available about this release of Contra 4. It is safe to assume that Konami stopped offering it around the end of support for the associated mobile platform, in addition to Konami’s discourteous business model changes.

 
Top of page

MISCELLANEOUS

•Konami had offered 2 flash-based web mini-games on their Japanese site promoting their first Pachinko Contra slot Machine, Contra 3D. As the memory-based card matching mini-game could not be archived as easily and directly as the roulette mini-game, it has become lost now that their website no longer features them.

Star Wars: Force Collection Contra Mini-Game (Android, iOS)
Reflecting the mini-games’ utmost insignificance, Konami temporarily offered a Contra crossover with their mobile Star Wars game in April of 2015. Available only with an internet connection, the actual data was therefore not part of the main game, but instead streamed to the users’ devices. As a consequence, archiving it had been next to impossible. While the mini-game was of anything but good quality, the loss is still another detraction from the Contra series.

•The Contra prototype owned by NintnedoAge user Kessen will likely remain in obscurity until it no longer exists. Absolutely nothing is known about it: for which Contra game, which system, build date, etc.

•The Contra III SNES and Contra 4 DS prototypes sold by user retrogamesuk will likely remain as mysteries, as the seller does not care to elaborate any information other than mentioning his sales of them.

•The 3-4 prototypes owned by NintendoAge user M3chk1lla will likely remain permanently lost, if the several months of failed attempts to locate them are any indication.

•Assemblergames user Kiff claimed to have sold some disc-based Contra prototypes to an American collector. As is typical of prototype collectors, when asked for further information, the user simply stopped responding. In a similar fashion, as there are no leads on these prototypes, there is little to no hope of recovering these prototype builds of Contra games.

•A putative Contra: Shattered Soldier review disc was sighted at 192 Flea Market in Kissimmee, Florida, in July of 2015. It features nearly identical artwork to the final release, with the exception of an RP ESRB rating, instead of T. Subsequent visits to the location revealed that the vendor unfortunately ceased operations at that location, rendering the disc lost.

•NintendoAge user JaxsBox claims he may have a Nintendo Wii dev disc that contains a pre-release build of Contra Rebirth. However, he was highly inconsistent in details when asked to elaborate, which can be confidently summed up to excuses. Therefore, like his other Contra prototypes, it is safe to assume that there is no hope in archiving this prototype’s data.

 
Top of page

Contra Encyclopedia home page

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: