Video Game Classics: Contra

Known as Gryzor in Europe, and several regions around the world, this 1987 run-and-gun action game was developed by Konami for the arcades, before being adapted to the home consoles the following year. In Contra, players control one of two armed military commandos named Bill and Lance, who are sent on a mission to neutralize an Alien entity that is planning to take over the Earth. In this old school action game, players equip a rifle with unlimited ammo while jumping and shooting in eight directions. Due to being insanely difficult, it has developed a cult following by hardcore game enthusiasts. Join WatchMojo.com as we take a look at the video game classic Contra.
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Classic Video Games: Contra

Some games will live forever as Classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at 1987s iconic run and gun shoot ‘em up Contra, which debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Known as Gryzor in Europe, and several regions around the world, this 1987 run-and-gun action game was developed by Konami for the arcades, before being adapted to the home console the following year.

In Contra, players control one of two armed military commandos named Bill and Lance, who are sent on a mission to neutralize an Alien entity that is planning to take over the Earth. Interestingly, overseas versions instead featured a terrorist organization called ‘Red Falcon’.

However, the differences don’t end there, as the American NES version is set in the present on an unnamed South American island, while the overseas version takes place in the fictional Oceania archipelago of Galuga in the year 2633.

As you game opens, players take on a hostile environment while using a rifle with unlimited ammo. Jumping and shooting while moving in eight directions, players discovered very quickly that even a single hit from an enemy or hazard will kill them instantly, and remove the advanced weapons that they have found.

Speaking of which, these include a Machine Gun, a Laser Gun, a Fire Gun, and a Spread Gun. There are also two additional power-ups that can be equipped, one called ‘Rapid Fire’ that increase the player's firing speed, and ‘Barrier’, which grants the player temporary invincibility.

The game includes 7 difficult insanely side-scrolling stages. And in between these, players must take on 3D maze missions, in which players fight through the enemy’s base defences.

During these stages, the upper screen displays a map of the base along with a time limit, and brings players to the base’s core where you must destroy a series of flashing sensors.

Contra is famous for its intense gunplay action and need for players to coordinate their actions. Interestingly, the overseas version, Gryzor, does not feature this simultaneous 2-Player action, as players must take turns.

A true classic, this game has been ported to several different machines over the decades, and is currently available for download on the home consoles.
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