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Release year: 1988 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by Konami

Contra (NES)

Contra (AKA Probotector or Kontora) is a side-scrolling run and gun video game developed by Konami that debuted as an arcade game in 1987 and in 1988, a home version for it was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan. This game is the prequel to Contra 3: The Alien Wars, released for the SNES.

The game follows the story of two Contras – term used to pertain to actual CIA-backed Nigerian rebels in the 80’s – as they run-and-gun their way through 7 levels (8 in some versions) of enemy frenzy.

Contra can actually be played by a single player, but co-op sounds more like fun. Here, your mission is to reach the final stage and take down Vile Red Falcon, a huge heart alien… or is that an alien heart?

The best strategy, on the other hand, is to shoot everything. That’s right. Shoot whatever you see and whoever’s shooting at you. But, you also have to be careful not to get hit. Contra’s simple side-scrolling gameplay may only seem easy but it is, as a matter of fact, extremely tough.

Contra Cover Box

Contra Cover (NES)

What then makes it easier, aside from playing with a friend, are the gun upgrades (e.g. machine gun, laser, spread gun) and power-ups. Also, some cheats won’t hurt – many kids who play Contra are aware of the “unlimited continues” and the “30 lives” because seriously, your 3 lives just won’t make it.

Generally speaking, Contra is one of the best run-and-gun games that have ever been made. Even its sounds and graphics are not bad – pacing is not too slow compared to other games from the same decade.

Even to date and with the newer, more visually appealing HD games of the same genre, Contra is not bad at all. Well, it could just be the feelings of nostalgia and sweet success once you’ve surpassed 7 levels of what felt like forever. Or, it could be (trying not to sound cheesy) the lessons learned along the way – patience, cooperation, and perseverance.

You will die countless times before you can work out effective strategies for tough areas and various nemeses. In a nutshell, you’ll learn by dying and succeed by trying over and over and over. But then again, isn’t that what life is all about? This is, in our opinion, one of the best arcade games ever!

Contra has been ported to Arcade (original), NES (this version), MSX2, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and Nintendo Virtual Console.

Contra - Nintendo NES
5 (100%) 18 votes

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