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Native Platform: Sony Playstation 2
Publisher: NTSC-J: Konami
Release: NTSC-J: October 26, 2004
NTSC-U: November 3, 2004
PAL: February 25, 2005
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Neo Contra is Konami’s follow-up to Contra: Shattered Soldier. Probably from listening to the complaints of Shattered Soldier, Konami toned down the difficulty for this game in many ways: the levels and bosses are generally easier, more emphasis on run-n-gun and thus much fewer boss battles (still, there are quite a lot of them), a slightly lenient hit rate system (98%, instead of 100%, for S rank) and a greater variety of guns. Additional innovations of Neo Contra include new abilities, like an invincibility spin, and a new character, a samurai called Jaguar (Genbei Yagyu). Multiple characters are available to choose from and they vary in speed, weapon damage and hitbox size.
However, Konami made another controversial turn in the gameplay, which resulted in further criticism. The most notable change from Contra’s usual gameplay is the shift from 2D side view to a predominant isometric view, similar to Contra: Legacy of War.
Despite leniency, the hit rate system is still criticized, ruining the experience for some. The biggest complaint is with the isometric perspective; not just for deviating from Contra’s style, but because it makes gameplay awkward and hard to adapt to. Despite having many more guns, they are arranged in sets of 3 that the player must choose from, so it is still somewhat limiting like Shattered Soldier’s gun system. Each set contains a bullet or hitscan gun, a fire-based gun and a special lock-on attack. The lock-on attack is used on enemies that the other 2 guns can’t reach. Neo Contra, as a whole, is very similar to Contra: Shattered Solder: same number of levels and same method of accessing the later ones, similar unlocking of features and similar menus. Furthermore, 2-player mode doubles the amount of damage bosses take to defeat.
Another area of criticism is the game’s overall wackiness, due to the insane plot and absurd ideas, such as the character(s) running on helicopter blades or blasting out of a volcano.
Subscribers of the Official Playstation Magazine would have been able to play a demo of Neo Contra in the 86th issue, released in November of 2004, featuring the first half of the second stage.
The same playable demo would later be featured in issue 105 of the magazine, released in June of 2006.
The demo is also featured on the Konami Preview Disc, also released in November of 2004. The prominence of this disc is the playable sample of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Note: These stage names are unofficial.
Stage 1: Aircraft Carrier
Stage 2: Freeway Tower
Stage 3: Mountain Base
Stage 4: Sky Fortress
Stage 5: Alien Lab
Stage 6: Space Station
Stage 7: Outer Space
In the year 4444, Earth serves as a planet to hold criminals of the world. However, rising in the ranks of the government is a group of 4 corrupt warriors, collectively forming Neo Contra: Guerrilla Contra, Plant Contra, Pheromone Contra and Animal Contra. This order is intent on disrupting the peace on Earth. Bill Rizer is partnered with Genbei “Jaguar” Yagyu, a samurai, to neutralize this faction.
After defeating Guerrilla Contra, it is revealed the progress of both soldiers is being monitored by a mysterious character. Upon reaching Plant Contra, he is shown to be temporarily subdued by another soldier who refers to himself as Mystery G. After winning a battle against Mystery G, Plant Contra recovers, and Mystery G leaves Bill and Jaguar to finish him off. Later, Pheromone Contra is revealed to be Lucia. After defeating her, she tells Bill that his efforts are in vain and that he doesn’t stand a chance against him. Lucia dies before revealing any more.
Soon after, the heroes take down Animal Contra before confronting the leader of Neo Contra. The leader, Master Contra, is revealed to be completely identical to Bill, and he claims Bill is a clone. Bill, though initially in disbelief, is shocked when he realizes that he has no memories prior to his cryogenic sleep. Master Contra then explains that Bill’s memories are artificial. They then proceed to battle.
At this point, the plot progression is determined by the player’s rank.
C rank: Master Contra immobilizes Bill and Jaguar, transports himself in a weapon to outer space and destroys Earth with a powerful laser.
B rank: Bill and Jaguar are immobilized, but Mystery G returns and saves them. However, he is fatally wounded by Master Contra, who escapes. Mystery G gives words of encouragement to Bill: though he may be a clone, he follows the ideals of the original Bill Rizer, and that makes him pure. Mystery G reveals that he was once referred to as Contra, then dies of his wounds. Bill and Jaguar chase Master Contra to a base in outer space. Master Contra intends on removing morals and inducing an unstructured society to create ideal soldiers.
After Master Contra is defeated, he is revealed to be a robot. A voice from the base then reveals that Bill and Master Contra are each one half of the result of Project C that started 10 years prior. The original Bill Rizer died long ago. The one in the present is a complete clone of the original, the ultimate soldier. Master Contra is the result of implanting Bill Rizer’s conscience into a weapon, which comprises both the destroyed robot, Master Contra, and the entire base. The name Bill Rizer now denotes conquest and supremity. Not wanting to hear any more, Bill and Jaguar battle Master Contra. Though they win, they are killed when the base is destroyed. Project C survives, but drifts in outer space.
A rank: The entire base and, in extension, Project C is destroyed. Bill and Jaguar escape and return to Earth, leaving the world with only one Bill Rizer who, like the original, is only intent on fighting for the good of humanity.
Secret Ending: This ending is unlocked by completing the game with an overall S rank. Jaguar battles a group of enemy soldiers before confronting an extremely large robot. Equipping his Katana, he performs a highly devastating sword attack that destroys the robot, but also accidentally splits the Earth in half. Jaguar is shown swimming in near pitch-darkness through the resulting debris in a swimsuit; Bill, also in a swimsuit, trails behind on Jaguar’s attire. They are shown heading towards a light, implying that they are dead.
Bill Rizer – protagonist; playable; revealed to be a clone of the original Bill Rizer
Genbei “Jaguar” Yagyu – protagonist; playable; samurai
Mystery G – protagonist; non-playable character; helps the heroes later in the mission; implied to be (the original) Bill Rizer
Neo Contra – antagonist organization led by 5 terrorists
Guerrilla Contra – antagonist; commandeers military resources
Plant Contra – antagonist; human-plant alien hybrid with floral offenses
Pheromone Contra/Lucia – antagonist; playable (must be unlocked); female cyborg who defects and joins the terrorists
Animal Contra – antagonist; literally a talking dog
Master Contra – primary antagonist; leader of Neo Contra; claims to be the original Bill Rizer, but is revealed to be yet another clone; Master Contra’s mind and conscience are sourced to a sentient computer program in the space station, represented by a large humanoid face/head and referred to as Project C
Project C – sentient computer program, infused with the original Bill Rizer’s conscience, that runs the entire space station
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•Guerrilla Contra Introduction (Cutscene)
•Battle Train Remix
•Mystery G Introduction (Cutscene)
•Plant Contra Prelude (Cutscene)
•Pheromone Contra Introduction (Cutscene)
•Death Of Lucia (Cutscene)
•Master Contra Introduction (Cutscene)
•Death Of Mystery G (Cutscene)
•Master Contra Confrontation (Cutscene)
•Project C Introduction (Cutscene)
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Neo Contra has not yet received any conversions.
•Sony Playstation 3
•Sony Playstation 2
•Neo Contra Promo Disc (Sony Playstation 2)
•Neo Contra E3 Preview Build (Sony Playstation 2)
•Neo Contra Review Build (Sony Playstation 2) (1)
•Neo Contra Review Build (Sony Playstation 2) (2)
•Neo Contra Q4 Review Build (Sony Playstation 2)
•Neo Contra PAL Preview Build (Sony Playstation 2)
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There are currently no known variants of Neo Contra.
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