Contra [Model RC826]

The Famicom Game by Konami Industry Co., Ltd.


Emulated in MAME ! [Console] Famicom Game

魂斗羅 © 1988 Konami Industry Company, Limited.


Contra is a side scrolling action game by Konami and based on the arcade game of the same name originally released in 1987. In 2631, a mysterious meteoroid containing extraterrestrial life crashed through Earth's atmosphere and landed in New Zealand, near a group of islands. Two years later, a terrorist group organization known as the Red Falcon appears near the impact site and threatens to plunge humanity into destruction and chaos. The evil military group is believed to be helped by a malevolent alien race whose only purpose is to conquer the universe, and two elite commando marines (Bill Rizer and Lance Bean) are dispatched on a life-or-death mission to save the world. The fighters have the ability to jump, crouch, fire in eight directions and also move while using a weapon. They however have no shield energy nor life bar, and die in one hit. But the meat of the game lies elsewhere. Contra is popularly known for its serious fire-power on display, and although players start their mission equipped with a basic and ordinary rifle gun, more sophisticated and destructive weapons can be obtained throughout the game. Various large containers stamped with Red Falcon insignias on them release all kind of weapons with limitless ammo - Flamethrower (F), Laser Gun (L), Machine Gun (M) and 5-way Spread Gun (S). Special icons also give the players additional abilities, such as Rapid Fire (R) which increases the weapon's rate of fire, and the Barrier (B) which turns the player invincible for a short amount of time. Interestingly, although most of the game is played in a traditional 2D side-scrolling style of gameplay, the second and fourth levels switch to a 3D over-the-shoulder corridor perspective, and ask the players to fight their way through heavily defended rooms and corridors. Contra includes a two-player cooperative mode.


Cartridge ID: RC826
Barcode: 4988602534061


Contra for Famicom was released on February 9, 1988 in Japan. Retail price: 5300 Yen.

There are a few differences between the original arcade game and the Famicom conversion. The first obvious change is the screen aspect ratio - the original arcade game features a vertical screen and the horizontal screen of the Famicom port arguably suits the gameplay better. Thinking about it, it is rather surprising that the original arcade game used such ratio in the first place, this feature is typically reserved for vertical shooters. The 3D over-the-shoulder corridor levels are also a bit more complicated and ask the player to turn left or right at the end of each room. Weapons are scattered differently throughout the maps, and there seems to more emphasis on the Laser. There's only six levels (but the game's content is the same), and their layouts are also different - for instance the large two-headed statue at the end of the waterfall stage was replaced by a one headed Alien-inspired monster. The last stages are also completely different - in the arcade version, the last three levels are played in one breath (which explains why there's only six stages), and the bosses have been shuffled around (the robot-shuttle appears at the beginning of the snow field, the armored colossus appears twice and the defense system found at the end of the Famicom's Stage 7 doesn't appear in the arcade game). As a side note, the snow field also doesn't feature a blizzard and snowflake animation in the arcade game, unlike the Famicom conversion. Although the arcade game has more features in store (better graphics, more objects on screen, players can fire in sixteen directions), the Famicom port is often regarded as superior, with a much more responsive and intense gameplay.

A Japanese Demo cartridge is known to exists.

This game is known in Europe as "Probotector". For the European version, both the game's human heroes and all human enemies were replaced with robot sprites. This is to make the game less overtly violent than its US counterpart.

Export releases:
usa "Contra [Model NES-CT-USA]"
europe "Probotector [Model NES-77-EEC]"
germany "Probotector [Model NES-77-FRG]"
germany "Probotector [Model NES-77-NOE]"
[UK] "Probotector [Model NES-77-UKV]"

Related literatures:
japan March 05, 1988; Contra Hisshou Hou Manual
japan April 10, 1998; Contra Hisshou Kanpeki Hon


• Classic Konami Code (30 Lives) : Press Up(x2), Down(x2), Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, before the demonstration begins at the title screen. Then, press Start to begin the game in single player mode or Select + Start to begin in two player mode.

• 3 extra lives :Press Up(x2), Down(x2), Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A at the title screen. Then, press Start to begin the game in single player mode or Select+Start to begin in two player mode.

• Unlimited lives : Press Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, A, B, Select, Start when 'Jungle' appears on the demonstration screen.

• Transfer lives : Begin game play in two player mode. Press A+B when losing a life to use a life from the other player.

• All weapons : Press Down(x2), Up(x2), Right, Left, Right, Left, A+B before the demonstration begins at the title screen.

• Level select : Press Up(x2), Down(x2), Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start(x2) at the main menu.

• Expert mode : Successfully complete the game and start another game. The new game will feature the same amount of lives at the end of the last game and more difficult opponents.

• Level Password :
2 - 1227
3 - 0501
4 - 0948
5 - 2168
6 - 0666
7 - 1192

• Secret Ending : During the ending, before the closing credits starts rolling, press and hold Select+Start and keep on holding until the credits are over. If done correctly, you will receive a message from Red Falcon, vowing his revenge.


See Goodies section.
Game's ROM.
Game's description by Laurent Kermel;

Page last modified on September 23, 2016