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NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM



 
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Release Information
Overview
Stages
Arsenal
Opposition
Cheats, Assistance
Full Plot
Soundtrack
Variants
Regional Differences
Developmental Material
Technical Information
Trivia
Promotional Media

RELEASE INFORMATION

Title: Super Contra

Media/Formats: Cartridge

Developer: Konami

Publisher: NTSC-J: Konami

NTSC-U: Konami

PAL: Konami

Release: NTSC-J: February 2, 1990

NTSC-U: April, 1990

PAL: 1992

 
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OVERVIEW

The NES version of Super Contra is the most well-known of all versions, better known for its North American name, Super C. The sequel to NES Contra, this game received many drastic changes from its arcade original. Super Contra on the NES takes the visual and functional basics of its NES predecessor and attempts to recreate the arcade source material. Simultaneous 2-player mode is retained.

superc2player

Like its predecessor, the biggest difference from the arcade original is that it is a much longer game, featuring 3 additional levels. The 3 new levels are predominantly vertically-scrolling stages. There are also differences within the retained levels, ranging from omissions to redesigns to extensions, in addition to their order. For example, the final stage is an expanded and reworked version of arcade Super Contra’s fourth stage. This also results in a new final boss battle, apart from other new bosses. There is also a greater emphasis on platforming (the arcade original lacks death pits entirely). Furthermore, a few of the enemies and bosses function differently. Some of the level BGM’s have different placements. This version lacks the intro sequence and features a somewhat different ending.

Although the gameplay is generally the same as the arcade original, the weapon system is taken from NES Contra. As such, the weapon upgrade system is absent and the powerups are represented by falcons again, instead of the arcade version’s unique gun icons. Additionally, the barrier powerup returns and taking the place of the shell bombs are the falcon bombs from the predecessor, appearing in both side and overhead view stages. The F powerup now launches a powerful fireball that disperses into 4 smaller fireballs on impact; holding the B button a moment before releasing shoots a stronger fireball that disperses into 8 upon impact. This weapon is functionally similar to the grenade launcher of the arcade original.

Covers:

NTSC-J

sconnesjp

NTSC-U

sconnesna

PAL

PAL A:

sconnespala

PAL B:

sconnespalb

PAL B (bilingual):

probiinespalb2

 
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STAGES

Note: These stage names are unofficial.

Stage 1: Outpost
Stage 2: Base
Stage 3: Jungle
Stage 4: Security Tower
Stage 5: Mountain
Stage 6: Breeding Ground
Stage 7: Alien Nest
Stage 8: Catacombs

 
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ARSENAL

Since the NES/Famicom version of Super Contra uses the core engine of NES/Famicom version of Contra, the arsenal is almost entirely the same. The main difference lies in the Fireball Gun.

Powerups are acquired through various objects scattered throughout the game.

-Ground canisters:

con2fitem13

-Blimps:

con2fitem14

Normal Gun:

The player starts with this gun and, assuming they have a gun powerup, will revert to it when respawning after death. It can be fired at a fast rate by rapidly pressing the fire button.

Machine Gun (M):

con2fitem6

Shoots a rapid stream of bullets, fired automatically. The rate of fire can be increased by rapidly pressing the fire button.

Fireball Gun (F):

con2fitem8

Unlike its NES predecessor’s counterpart, this gun is one of the most useful powerups in the game. It shoots large fireballs that, upon impact, explode into 4 smaller fireballs that spread diagonally out. If the fire button is briefly held before release, a slightly bigger and stronger fireball is released. This one penetrates through small enemies and explodes into 8, instead of 4, upon impact. The function of this weapon is comparable to the Grenade Launcher of the original arcade Super Contra.

Laser Gun (L):

con2fitem7

Shoots a long laser beam that causes massive amounts of damage. Although it is the strongest gun, it is quirky to use. If the player fires while any part of the beam is already on screen, that beam disappears and a new one fires from the gun.

Spread Gun (S):

con2fitem9

Shoots 5 large bullets that fan out, with a high rate of fire. Useful for multiple targets and large groups of enemies at far range and deals heavy damage at close range. Due to the game’s handling of player bullets on-screen, excessive firing will cause the bullets to gradually lose their formation, spreading less and less. It is considered the game breaker of Contra. The Spread Gun is the iconic weapon of the Contra series.

Special:

con2fitem12

A glowing falcon powerup that clears all enemies on-screen. Unlike its NES predecessor’s counterpart, this powerup is found multiple times throughout the game’s stages. It can be compared to the Shells from the original arcade Super Contra, except that it is also found in the side-view stages.

Rapid Fire (R):

con2fitem10

Increases the speed of the Normal Gun, Machine Gun, Fireball Gun and Spread Gun bullets. Picking up multiple Rapid Fire powerups gives an additive effect.

Barrier (B):

con2fitem11

The player rapidly blinks red, during which they are protected from enemies and attacks. The effect lasts for approximately 30 seconds. Unlike its NES predecessor’s counterpart, it is only found once, in the third stage.

Credit to Game Kommander for the images presented.

 
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OPPOSITION

Most, if not all of the names provided here are unofficial. Due to the ambiguity of enemy names between regions, the lack of names for several of them and the absence of various documents, it is impractical to list the correct designations. Help is strongly encouraged and always appreciated to fill in these blanks. The Opposition section serves primarily to describe and depict the enemies for bookkeeping; thus, the content presented below hopefully satisfies this criterion.

Fodder Enemies, Objects

Outpost Unarmed Foot Soldier:

sconnesoufs

They simply run across parts of the stage.

Probotector II designation: Bipedal Buggy

sprobiinesoufm

Found in stages: 1

Outpost Standing Sniper:

con2fene3

Usually standing at an elevated position, they fire bullets at the player.

Probotector II designation: Standing Sniper Bot

probiinesostsn

Found in stages: 1,3-5

Sandbag Sniper:

sconnessandbag

They lay prone on the ground with sandbags in front of them and fire bullets at the player.

Probotector II designation: Chevalet Turret

probiineschevtu

Found in stages: 1,3

Grenadier:

sconnesgrenadier

Standing at an elevated position, they throw grenades down at the player.

Probotector II designation: Grenadier Bot

probiinesgrenadibot

Found in stages: 1

Disarmed Outpost Ground Turret:

sconnesdisarmedgrtu

Only one of of these turrets is encountered in the game. Very large turrets that spring out of the ground when approached that don’t fire bullets at the player.

This was likely intentional by the programmers and not a glitch, as the exact same turret placement pattern was reused in Operation C.
Found in stages: 1

Armed Outpost Ground Turret:

sconnesgrtu

Very large turrets that spring out of the ground when approached and periodically fire large, fast bullets.
Found in stages: 1

Outpost Rifle Foot Soldier:

sconnesorfs

Similar to the Outpost Unarmed Foot Soldiers, except these enemies stop to fire a bullet at the player before they resume running.

Probotector II designation: Rifle Bipedal Buggy

sprobiinesorfs

Found in stages: 1,3,4

Base Unarmed Foot Soldier:

sconnesbufs

They simply run around the screen, often following the player.

Probotector II designation: Base Unarmed Foot Bot

probiinesbufs

Found in stages: 2

Base Standing Sniper:

sconnesbasstsn

Standing in place, they fire bullets at the player.

Probotector II designation: Base Standing Sniper Bot

probiinesbstsn

Found in stages: 2

Base Rifle Foot Soldier:

sconnesbasrfs

Similar to the Base Unarmed Foot Soldiers, except these enemies stop to fire a bullet at the player before they resume running.

Probotector II designation: Base Rifle Foot Bot

probiinesbrfs

Found in stages: 2

Base Smart Turret:

sconnesbsmtu

They actively aim at the player, rapidly firing bullets at him.
Found in stages: 2

Steel Barricade Double Door:

sconnesdoubledor

Large wall-like doors that blocks the player’s progress, located immediately before the Heavy Assault Tank. They take a large number of shots to break.
Found in stages: 2

Guerrilla Foot Soldier:

sconnesguerfs

They simply run across parts of the stage, often dropping down from trees.

Probotector II designation: Guerrilla Bipedal Buggy

sconnesguerrillafsmech

Found in stages: 3,5

Jungle Ground Turret:

sconnesjunglegrtu

They rise out of the ground, when approached, to fire bullets at the player.
Found in stages: 3

Guerrilla Sniper:

sconnesguerrsn

Hidden in the background trees, these enemies periodically spring out and shoot horizontally towards the player’s side. They are vulnerable only when they stand up to fire.

Probotector II designation: Guerrilla Sniper Bot

sprobiinesguerrsn

Found in stages: 3

Mortar Cannon:

sconnesclustercannon

This large cannon fires clusters of Light Mortars (Probotector II designation: Armor-Piercing Mortars) in a high arcing trajectory approximately once every 2 seconds. The mortars land in different spots randomly, each time.
Found in stages: 3

Light Mortar:

sconneslitemortr

Explosive rounds launched in clusters by the Mortar Cannon.

Probotector II designation: Armor-Piercing Mortar

probiinesmortar

Found in stages: 3

Tower Unarmed Foot Soldier:

sconnestufs

They simply run across parts of the stage.

Probotector II designation: Tower Unarmed Bipedal Buggy

probiinestufs

Found in stages: 4

Tracking Bubble:

sconnesventbubble

They are dispensed from an opening in the ceiling, floating up and down as they follow the player.
Found in stages: 4

Ceiling Mine Chain:

sconnesceilminechain

A chain of mines spans wall to wall, forming a ceiling above the player. When just a single mine is shot, all of them collapse sequentially outwards from both directions, starting with the one that was shot.
Found in stages: 4

Winged Soldier:

con2fene14

These soldiers usually exit from holes in the wall and drop down the platforms below, wings spread.

Probotector II designation: Winged Bot

probiineswingbot

Found in stages: 4

Tower Rapid Fire Smart Turret:

sconnestowerrfsmtu

Built into the Security Tower walls, they actively aim and fire 2 bullets at a time at the player’s position.
Found in stages: 4

Tower Smart Turret:

con2fene1

Only one of these turrets is encountered in the game. Built into the Security Tower walls, it actively aims and fires 1 bullet at a time at the player’s position.
Found in stages: 4

Bubble Dimer:

sconnesbubdimer

They dive down in a swooping pattern, homing in on the player and circling around back, if dodged.

Probotector II designation: Acid Bubble Dimer

probiinesbubdim

Found in stages: 4

Clothesline Turret:

sconnesclothesln

These turrets glide back and forth along a beam that extends from wall to wall. They actively aim and fire bullets at the player’s position as long as the player is below them. Once above, they stop firing.
Found in stages: 4

Ground Arc Turret:

sconnesarctu

Hidden in the ground, they rise up and out when the player reaches close proximity. They are able to fire in 3 directions, including horizontally, that form a partial arc range.
Found in stages: 5

Mountain Smart Turret:

sconnesmountsmtu

Embedded in the mountain rock, these turrets are able to fire in 16 directions. They actively seek out the player’s position.
Found in stages: 5

Jet Pack Sniper:

sconnesjpsn

They rise near the top of the screen, and then fly into the player’s position for a few seconds before leaving. They actively aim and fire at the player’s position throughout.

Probotector II designation: Wasp Sniper Bot

probiinesjpbot

Found in stages: 5

Alien Boulder:

sconnesbould

They fall from the sky, and most of them roll down the sloped mountain platforms.

Probotector II designation: Compacting Boulder

probiinesbould

Found in stages: 5

Mountain Ground Turret:

sconnesmountgrtu

They rise out of the ground, when approached, to fire bullets at the player.
Found in stages: 5

Skull Bug:

sonnesskullbug

They’re dropped from the Alien Hovercraft, crawling on the ground across the screen.
Found in stages: 5

Alien Amoeba:

sconnesalam

Deployed by the Alien Hovercraft. These creatures fly straight in the player’s immediate direction and will leave the screen or crash into a surface if dodged.
Found in stages: 5

Defense Beetle:

sconnesdefbeet

Alien beetles that crawl down from the top of the screen; they attempt to follow the player.

Probotector II designation: Defense Drone

probiinesdefdrone

Found in stages: 6

Offense Beetle:

sconnesoffbeet

Alien beetles that crawl down from the top of the screen; they attempt to follow the player. In addition, these bugs stop to fire bullets at the player. The Offense Beetles are visually indistinguishable from Defense Beetles.

Probotector II designation: Offense Drone

probiinesoffdrone

Found in stages: 6

Ground Mouth:

con2fene12

Large mouths with several large, sharp teeth. These organisms infest a patch of ground on Stage 6. They can be tough to evade; a small delay when they begin springing out gives the player the warning that they will spawn.
Found in stages: 6

Chatter Head:

sconneschathed

Large heads with exposed brains; they lack facial features, except for their gaping mouths. These enemies orbit around the player in groups, essentially serving as an inverse barrier: they protect the enemies outside of what they orbit. This makes it easier for surrounding enemies to kill the player.

While they do leave when the player progresses to a certain point in the stage, it is much more recommended to destroy them. When surrounded by them, the player unable to attack other enemies.

Probotector II designation: Chatter Dome

probiineschathed

Found in stages: 6

Infant Beetle:

sconnesinfbeetl

These small alien bugs are found in the prominent bug gauntlet segment of stage 5. They exit a foramen on the right side, cross the player’s path to enter a foramen on the other side. As these aliens appear very frequently and there are holes for a long stretch of a stage, they can easily overwhelm the player.

These aliens also appear out of the 2 lateral caves Alien Beast Hydra.

Probotector II designation: Infant Drone

probiinesinfantdrone

Found in stages: 6

Alien Wall:

sconnesalwall

Large organic wall that blocks the player’s progress, located immediately before the Alien Beast Hydra. Takes a large amount of shots to break.
Found in stages: 6

Alien Ascarid:

sconnesascar

It frequently slithers out of either lateral cave and circles around a center patch of ground before entering the cave on the other side. It simply repeats this pattern.

Probotector II designation: Alien Helminth

probiinesascarid

Found in stages: 6

Alien Firefly:

sconnesfirefly

These tiny, circular creatures home in on the player.
Found in stages: 6

Alienated Foot Soldier:

sconnesalfs

They simply run down the sloped surfaces of the stage, dropping down to lower grounds.

Probotector II designation: Alienated Foot Bot

probiinesalfootbot

Found in stages: 7

Bulimic Pine Cone:

con2fene5

They are named so due to their constant vomiting of organic beads. The beads are flung at varying distances. These creatures turtle their way in the direction from which they were last shot.
Found in stages: 7

Hatched Egg:

sconnesmteggsh

These empty alien eggs are packed very densely in a section of Stage 7. They form a deep surface into which the player must shoot a path to progress.
Found in stages: 7

Face Hugger Egg:

con2fene8

These alien eggs hatch an unlimited number of Face Huggers.

Probotector II designation: Mug Hugger Egg

probiinesfhe

Found in stages: 7

Face Hugger:

sconnesfh

Spawned from Face Hugger Eggs, these alien arachnids rapidly crawl along the ground.

Probotector II designation: Mug Hugger

probiinesfh

Found in stages: 7

Organic Ring:

sconnesorgring

Expelled from the Abdominal Reservoir of Shadow Beast Demon Statue Dethgerbis. It simply flies in the immediate direction of the player.
Found in stages: 7

Ear Wig:

con2fene6

Slug-like alien creatures that drop from the ears/horns of Shadow Beast Demon Statue Dethgerbis. When they drop out of the ears, they land on the boss’ arms and move about slowly. Within a few seconds, they then drop to the ground and suddenly move quickly across the screen.
Found in stages: 7

Homing Alien Amoeba:

sconneshomalam

Spat out by Shadow Beast Demon Statue Dethgerbis. These flying creatures swoop down to the player in a swinging motion, circling around back if dodged. They remain on the screen for a few seconds before leaving.
Found in stages: 7

Embryo Bubble:

sconnesembub

They home in on the player. These organisms pulsate and hold an alien fetus inside.
Found in stages: 8

Wall Mouth:

sconneswallmth

Alien mouths embedded in the walls. They spit out Cotton Balls.
Found in stages: 8

Cotton Ball:

sconnescotbal

Spat out from Wall Mouths. They fly slowly before rapidly homing in on the player for a few seconds before leaving.
Found in stages: 8

Alien Grunt:

con2fene9

Humanoid aliens that simply run across sections of the stage, sometimes even jumping across platforms.
Found in stages: 8

Xeno-Head:

con2fene13

An alien head protruding from a mound of organic stones on the ground. It periodically fires 2 very fast projectiles.
Found in stages: 8

Pseudopodal Cell:

sconnespseudopodcel

Launched by Shadow Beast Kimkou. They simply fall down to the ground at a slow pace.
Found in stages: 8

Mini-Bosses

Spread Fire Tank:

sconnes2mb1

sconnes2mb2

The player battles 3 of these tanks, the last 2 simultaneously and side-by-side. These tanks are stationary. A soldier (bot in Probotector II) peers out of the hatch, actively aiming and firing bullets at the player within a lower semi-circle arc range. The tank itself fires 3 shells downwards in a spread formation. These mini-bosses are optional.

Probotector II designation: Parked Tank

probiines2mb1

probii2minib

Found in stages: 2

Six Cannoned Assault Mobile Spider:

con2fene4

This robotic spider walks back and forth on the screen, usually to the player’s side. From each side, it fires 3 large bullets in a spread formation, with the middle bullet moving in a waving pattern. Its weakness is a blinking core on its ventral surface.

Probotector II designation: Six Cannoned Assault Spider Machine

probiispider

Found in stages: 3

Alien Beast Hydra:

sconneshydra

5-faced alien creature whose head peers out of a large cave. It rapidly fires a long barrage of bullets at the player’s position between short intervals. Additionally, Infant Beetles spawn from the lateral caves.
Found in stages: 6

Bosses

Navy Helicopter:

sconnesheli2

This helicopter consists of several destructible components. When it first appears, there are 4 Chopper Turrets actively aiming and firing bullets at the player. Destroying all of them will expose Vehicle Energy Core, the main goal of the boss battle.

The helicopter follows a pattern where it first flies to the bottom-right of the screen; then, its back hatch opens up for a few seconds to unload Outpost Unarmed Foot Soldiers and Outpost Rifle Foot Soldiers. The boss then flies around the screen in a rough counter-clockwise path and repeats once it returns to the bottom-right of the screen.

Probotector II designation: Buggy Carrier

probiinesnavheli

Found in stages: 1

Heavy Assault Tank:

con2fene2

Controlled by 3 troops (bots in Probotector II), the tank drives around the perimeter of the battle area. Installed at its anterior end is an extendable electrical offense weapon. The Main Operator (Main Operator Bot in Probotector II) is in the back-center of the tank; he is the goal of this battle. Protecting him are 2 anterolateral Tank Gunners (Tank Gunner Bots in Probotector II). All 3 fire bullets at the player.

Probotector II designation: Heavy Artillery Tank

probii2boss

Found in stages: 2

Defense Wall:

A building that rises out of the ground. It consists of 4 Wheel Turrets, optional, that move about a cross-shaped space, rotating clockwise in the round center and protecting the Screen Core. The Wheel Turrets periodically fire bullets at the player.
Found in stages: 3

Laser Chandelier:

sconneslaschand

A large chandelier-like machine that moves back and forth along a ceiling beam; hanging from it are 9 Laser Droppers. These drop lasers sequentially, starting from the right; after a brief moment, the lasers are dropped sequentially from the left. This pattern repeats. The boss is defeated when all 9 Laser Droppers are destroyed.
Found in stages: 4

Alien Hovercraft:

con2fene10

Flies around the screen above the player. Occasionally, it swoops down close to the player for a brief moment before rising back up. Its side doors frequently open, dropping Skull Bugs each time; it also deploys Alien Amoebas in groups of 3. This boss’ weak point is its pulsing core.
Found in stages: 5

Emperor-Demon Gyaba:

con2fene11

A giant alien head who is accompanied a snake-like creature, Alien Ascarid.

The Central Head periodically spits out a group of Alien Fireflies.
Found in stages: 6

Shadow Beast Demon Statue Dethgerbis:

con2fene7

An animated fossil-like alien with a human skeletal appearance. At the gut level is the Abdominal Reservoir that periodically opens up and shoots out Organic Rings in the direction of the player. Its ears/horns drop Ear Wigs every few seconds.

When the Abdominal Reservoir is destroyed, the boss spits out Homing Alien Amoebas in groups of 3.
Found in stages: 7

Shadow Beast Kimkou:

con2fene15

Final boss of the game, containing a woman’s face mounted by that of an alien. This alien crustacean launches copious numbers of Pseudopodal Cells that shower down around the player. Occasionally, the blinking eye of the alien face shoots a line of indestructible pseudopodal cells. This boss’ weak point is the blinking eye.
Found in stages: 8

Other Dangers

Thrown Grenade:

sconnesthrowngren

Grenades are thrown from the stage background, likely from a hidden enemy. They follow a narrow parabolic arc and are thrown in various preset patterns.

Probotector II designation: Thrown Shell

probiinesthrownshell

Found in stages: 1

Collapsing Ground:

sconnescollapsgrnd

Occurs after the Stage 3 mini-boss. Many of the collapsing ground sections form a Death Pit. If the player is not careful, the rapidly sinking rock can reduce control responsiveness, costing the player a life.
Found in stages: 3

Death Pit:

sconnesdethpt

As the name implies, falling into these kills the player. Some are deep pits that make for a very high fall and a usually unknown or inescapable landing area. Others contain a deadly surface or a pool of dangerous substances.
Found in stages: 3-5,8

Dropping Ceiling:

sconneslowceil

A long stretch of alien ceiling that periodically lowers close to the head of the player. If they drop around the moment that the player is crossing a Death Pit, it might send them in, costing them a life. They also drop Embryo Bubbles out each time the rise back to their initial height.
Found in stages: 8

Credit to Game Kommander for most of the images presented.

 
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CHEATS, ASSISTANCE

Cheats

Extra Lives: At the main menu, press RIGHT, LEFT, DOWN, UP, A, B, START.

For extra lives in 2 Player mode, use the same code above, but either press SELECT before START or highlight 2 Player mode before entering the code. Extra lives are provided at the start of the game, as well as when continuing after a Game Over.

The number of extra lives provided depends on the regional version of the game. In the Japanese and PAL versions, the code provides 30 lives; in the North American version, it only provides 10 lives.

Level Select Menu: NOTE: This code only works on the Famicom (Japanese) version of Super Contra.
At the main menu, hold DOWN and press START, then immediately hold SELECT.

Sound Test Menu: At the main menu, hold A+B and press START.

Glitches

Disperse Barrels Quicker: In stage 4, shoot the center of the ceiling of barrels. This will cause them to drop from both the left and right ends, finishing the sequence quicker.

Stage 8 Scroll Breaking: At the second ramp that climbs to the left, the screen stops scrolling to the right and instead scrolls upwards. Only after reaching a certain height when jumping from this ramp will the screen resume scrolling rightwards. Perform the jump to reactivate the rightward scrolling, then walk back down the ramp and jump off of it into the pit. Just before dying, aim the player left so they fly backwards to the right when killed. The player will then respawn on the ramp to the right.

Because of this, the screen-centering trigger is not activated. This causes the ceiling-dropping stretch of the stage to significantly glitch up. The player will eventually end up in an enclosed pathway through the dropping ceiling, during which several of the gaps can be bypassed. This glitch must be performed carefully; for example, if the player gets killed before the ceiling first drops, they will not respawn (assuming they have additional lives left), therefore halting the progress of the game. This trick is most useful for speed runners.

 
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FULL PLOT

NTSC-J:
In 2634, the aliens from the previous invasion return and invade a South American military base, taking control of all of its military personnel. Called back in to resolve the situation are Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. After taking down the compromised troops, the duo gain access to the alien outpost and succeed in destroying the aliens for a second time.

Characters

Bill Rizer – protagonist; playable

Lance Bean – protagonist; playable

Red Falcon – antagonist organization

NTSC-U:
Red Falcon returns to Earth after its first defeat, bringing new aliens and weapons to its aid. Its prominent new attack strategy is compromising the minds of US military personnel. Mad Dog and Scorpion have far greater odds against them when facing the pact of the aliens and their own comrades. Yet history repeats as the 2 guerrilla veterans gain another victory over Red Falcon.

Characters

Mad Dog – protagonist; playable

Scorpion – protagonist; playable

Red Falcon – antagonist; lead alien entity

PAL:
No information yet.

 
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SOUNDTRACK

•Thunder Landing
•Ruined Base – Great Heli
•In A Tight Squeeze
•Ruined Base
•Jungle Juncture
•Creature From Outer Space
•No Escape
•Stage 5
•Hotter Than Hell
•Deathbed
•Pattern Clear No. 1
•Pattern Clear No. 2
•Free World
•Game Over

 
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VARIANTS

5-Screw Variant:

An extremely rare sub-variant of the North American release, whose cartridge shell contains 5 screws (as opposed to 3, in regular cartridge shells).

Nintendo PCB:

Usually, Konami-developed NES games contain a PCB designed by themselves. However, some of these cartridges may contain a Nintendo PCB instead. Super C is one such example, although the game data is completely identical.

PAL A Variant:

sconnespala

The A and B PAL variants differ only in their cartridges’ regional lockout chip, corresponding to their regions of release in Europe/Australia.

PAL B:

sconnespalb

The A and B PAL variants differ only in their cartridges’ regional lockout chip, corresponding to their regions of release in Europe/Australia.

 
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REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

NTSC-J: Super 魂斗羅/スーパーコントラ (Super Contra)

-The Japanese release is easier than its overseas counterparts. There is a level select cheat code, which is dummied out in the overseas releases. Like the PAL version, the lives code provides the player 30 lives, as opposed to 10 in the North American release.

NTSC-U: Super C

-The NTSC-U release is the “more difficult” of the 3 versions. This is because the lives code only provides the player with 10 lives, as opposed to 30.

PAL: Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces

-The PAL version replaces the player characters and many enemies into robots. Some bosses also received a palette change. The insertion helicopter (from which the players jump off) and helicopter boss are also different. This version is a mix of both the North American and Japanese releases. For example, the title screen animation is the same as in the North American release; conversely, the lives cheat gives the player(s) 30 lives, as in the Japanese release.



 
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DEVELOPMENTAL MATERIAL

There is currently no known developmental material to present.

 
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TECHNICAL INFORMATION

-This conversion uses a modified and updated version of NES Contra’s engine. In particular, it may specifically be from the NTSC-U release, as there are no special enhancements or features as seen in the Japanese localization of NES Contra. The continue system of its NES predecessor is also used, where choosing to continue after a Game Over starts the player at the beginning of the stage.

-The NES conversion features an alternate level select menu, often seen activated by default in unlicensed single and multicart copies of the game. This level select is supposed to appear on the title screen, but it seems to be “dummied out”. The intact, working level select code takes the player to an empty screen with a blinking number.

Unused level select in Japanese release:

Unused level select in North American release:

The PAL release likely retains this hidden feature, as well.

Version present in the official game:

-Pay attention to the life count as the the player character(s) jump down from the helicopter. Before exiting the helicopter, there are 3 medals (4 lives):

However, once the character(s) appears, one of the medals disappears, leaving the default starting lives (3, so 2 medals):

Although it is a technical artifact, players can make whatever interpretation they want. For example, lightning strikes the player(s). One possibility is a limitation in the game’s code: the player(s) spawning from the helicopter may share coding with respawning after death. As such, the extra life circumvents the limitation. This is unlikely, though, since Super C’s engine is a derivative of NES Contra’s engine and the latter does not have this issue.

-The ground turrets in stage 5 can potentially face to the right:

supcturrt

The code for this behavior isn’t activated; however, it can be done with patch codes or by modifying memory addresses. Credit to The Cutting Room Floor.

-Interestingly, possession of the Spread Gun increases the health of certain enemies and bosses.

 
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TRIVIA

Created With A Mirror:
Strangely, the gameplay screenshots on the back of the box for the NES version of Super C are flipped horizontally:

dasf98h42

Convoluted Names:
There has been confusion regarding the chronology of the early Contra games among the gaming community, with common misnomers of the games. Super Contra was often referred to as Contra 2, while Contra III was considered to be Super Contra (because of its system being the SNES). There is still confusion regarding this matter today, though not as profound.

Movies Are Everything:
In the North American localization, Bill is called Sgt. Bill Ko; Lance is Corporal Lance. These are obvious plays on Sergent Bilko (movie starring Steve Martin) and the military rank Lance Corporal.

He’s Not The Predator. He’s The Terminator!!
The title screen animation of the North American version, Super C, bears a striking resemblance to the intro sequence of the film, The Terminator. In fact, the fonts of both titles are very similar.

Super C:

The Terminator:

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Not Contra:
Interestingly, the C is intended to stand for Commando, instead of Contra, according to the game’s box.

Love Is Alienating:
Konami’s Nintendo 3DS dating sim New LovePlus features a rendition of the stage 2 theme (In a Tight Squeeze).

Recycled Relics:
Numerous elements from its predecessor, Contra, have been reused in Super Contra. They span all aspects of the game, from sound/music to gameplay and from obvious to highly subtle. Often, they undergo minor modifications and variations. Similarly, the concept may be reused in a new or different application. The reuse may not even be intentional (ie, independent implementation). All such elements are listed below. In parentheses are any particularities or if the given element pertains to a specific version of Contra. For this NES conversion, the majority of elements pertain to the NES conversion of its predecessor, unless specifically stated.

Conceptual

-Stage themes:
Jungle
Enemy base
Alien

-Player characters:
Bill Rizer
Lance Bean

-Red Falcon organization

-Powerups appear in flying blimps and (on stage 5) in containers embedded in the ground

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Fireball Gun

-Helicopter in the ending

-Stats screen (Contra)

Sound Effects

-Pause

-Player landing at the start of each side scrolling stage

-Player death

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun
Spread Gun
Machine Gun
Laser Gun

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Grenade (thrown from Grenadier and from background)
Siren for stage 3’s wall boss
Enemy taking damage
Death for most non-boss enemies

-Powerup acquisition

Music

-Victory theme, played after completing most stages

-To some extent, the variant of the victory theme played after defeating the final boss

Visuals

-Fiery “C” in the title (Contra)

-Player characters are distinguished primarily by their attire colors

-Player sprites and animation

-Roll-up jump

-Player lives represented by medal icons

-Death of most non-boss enemies

-Certain enemies jump when killed

-Gun powerups are represented by falcon sprites

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun
Spread Gun
Machine Gun
Laser Gun
Rapid Fire
Barrier
Special

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Grenade (thrown from Grenadier and from background)
Bubble Dimer
Face Hugger
Face Hugger Egg
Visceral Ring
Wall Mouth
Cotton Ball
Xeno-Head Projectile

Gameplay

-Side scrolling (horizontal and vertical)

-Simultaneous 2 player mode

-Ability to take the other player’s lives to return into the game session

-1-hit death

-Death pits

-Temporary invincibility upon respawning

-Continue system

-Point-based life gaining system

-Extra lives cheat

-Sound test cheat

-Stage select cheat

-8 aiming directions

-Shooting mechanics

-Powerup arsenal

-Powerups lost upon death

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Normal Gun
Machine Gun
Laser Gun
Spread Gun
Rapid Fire
Barrier
Special

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Outpost Unarmed Foot Soldier (side view)
Tower Unarmed Foot Soldier (side view)
Rifle Foot Soldier (side view)
Guerrilla Foot Soldier (side view)
Unarmed Foot Soldier (overhead view)
Rifle Foot Soldier (overhead view)
Standing Sniper (overhead view)
Guerrilla Sniper (side view)
Standing Sniper (overhead view)
Grenade (thrown from Grenadier and from background)
Base Arc Turret (side view)
Smart Turret (side view)
Smart Turret (overhead view)
Ground Arc Turret (side view)
Bubble Dimer
Face Hugger
Face Hugger Egg
Visceral Ring
Wall Mouth
Cotton Ball
Xeno-Head Projectile

-Stages:
Base
Jungle
Breeding Ground
Alien Nest
Catacombs

 
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PROMOTIONAL MEDIA

Posters And Ads

-Fold-out poster for the Japanese version:

sfcfoldout

-Poster for the North American version:

supcnespstr

-Ad for the North American versions of Super Contra and Snake’s Revenge:

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-North American ad More Explosive Action For Your Nintendo:

moreexplsvways

-Ad for Super C (and Contra Force):

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There are 2 variants of the above, one with product code KON-NES-US-3 and the other on which the product code is absent.

Consumers magazine Fall 91/92 catalog listing:

consumfal9192catl2

Sears 1990 fall-winter catalog:

sears1990falwintsuprc

-German ad for the PAL release, Probotector II (and Probotector):

probiigerpostr

Books

-Strategy guide for the Famicom version:

japfamgui

-Capture book for the Famicom version:

jpfamcapturbook

-Issue 12 of Nintendo Power, which prominently features Super C, including on the cover:

npsccover

Miscellaneous

-Promotional banner/stand:

sconfccard

-Toys ‘R’ Us Vid Pro card:

toysrusscvidprocard

 
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Super Contramain page

Contra Encyclopedia home page

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