Dinesh Elumalai takes a nostalgic relook at one of the most loved games from the 1990s

When we were all young & carefree, skipping homework, & engaged in a button-mashing frenzy on our (or friends’) arcade consoles to shoot down hostile alien hordes in a variety of locations, the name Contra brings back cherished memories. Và to đứng top it off, that nasty electric guitar-heavy soundtrack! Oh man.

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On February 20, 2022, our beloved Contra celebrated his 35th birthday.

You heard it right. This childhood favorite of many a kid was first released by Konami as a coin-operated game on February 20, 1987, và it has since had numerous ports và variants.

The trò chơi was made available within a year in numerous regions around Europe and the US on various arcade trò chơi consoles, including the NES version, which most of us in India have grown up playing.

The Plot Thickens

The year is 2633 A.D. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, two Marine Commandos, or ‘Contra’ as the game refers lớn them, are sent on a mission lớn stop a terrorist group known as the Red Falcon from secretly plotting lớn take over the entire world.

It is their duty khổng lồ kill enemy hordes và their alien overlords at the kết thúc of each stage. What phases they were in, too! No way simple.

Additionally, the physical characteristics of Bill Rizer and Lance Bean were based on those of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, respectively.

Game on

Run-and-gun action platformer Contra is infamous for its extreme difficulty. The player character is equipped with an endlessly reloadable gun.

As the player advances through the stages, additional weapons with unique characteristics and projectiles of several types can be obtained. These are either discovered in Flying Capsules or Pill Box Sensors. A player’s weapon can be changed when the power-up is destroyed and springs out onto the battlefield.

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However, if the player comes in touch with an adversary or a fatal obstacle, the weapon will be lost, và they will thua a life right away. The protagonist can crouch & fire in eight different directions.

Three lives – represented by medals – are available to lớn the player at the beginning. By eliminating enough foes & improving the score, more lives can be obtained. To lớn enter the game, the second player can “take” life from the first player.

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Set & Setting

The first stage, Jungle, was alright, và didn’t you simply adore how the Contra commando performed an amazing flip as he descended from the top of your screen?

A few pseudo-3D sections are also included in the game; one is found in the second level (Base 1) & the other is found in the fourth stage (Base 2). The third level, Waterfall, was a complete nightmare for me và I was trapped on it for many days before I finally managed khổng lồ conquer it.

In these levels, there are electric barriers that, when the player encounters, can temporarily immobilize them. One of my all-time favorite emotions of accomplishment was that one! The fifth stage in Arcade mode came as 4 parts as Snow field, Energy Zone, Hangar Zone và Alien’s Lair & all the sub parts of 5th stage in arcade mode released as 5th-8th stages in the Nintendo version of this game.

Finally, it was nothing short of spectacular khổng lồ face the gigantic alien boss, who not only shot cannonballs at you but also created a spider minion swarm that crawled the ceiling and floor lớn kill you. Finally succeeding was another extraordinary experience!

Contra was simultaneously entertaining và frustrating (kinda like life, eh?), leaving you wondering how anyone could finish the game with only three lives. Your awe knew no boundaries when you discovered the hidden game option that granted you not three, but thirty lives và several undiscovered game levels!

Image Credit: IGN


Contra was much more than just an arcade game; it provided all of us growing up in the 1990s with an unmatched sense of happiness và community. The trò chơi was most captivating when played in two-player mode with your best buddy, experiencing that sense of shared adventure and awe, and occasional frustration when your ‘buddy’ claimed your characters’ life.

Even though it was a success in the arcades, the trò chơi gained enormous popularity và was well-remembered when it was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, immediately following its arcade debut the year before.

Numerous sources, including IGN, which rated it as the “Toughest game to Beat,” gave it the đứng đầu spot. One of the best multiplayer NES games, according khổng lồ Nintendo Power, was selected as the seventh-best video clip game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In the 1980s, ScrewAttack ranked it as the sixth greatest NES game ever.

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You can go back in time by searching the Play Store or Apple phầm mềm Store for Contra game ports if you wish to lớn reclaim a trip down the nostalgia lane, firing into terrorist hordes as you and your friend save the Earth, once again!

In case you missed:

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Dinesh Elumalai

Dinesh is an aspiring commerce graduate who enjoys reading about technology và exploring đoạn phim games và expressing his views through writing on the experience he had which keeps him satisfied.