Released on March 30, 1997 in Europe.
It was the first of two Contra games that were externally developed by Appaloosa, followed by "C - The Contra Adventure" in 1998.
The game marks the series' jump to three-dimensional graphics and controversial changes in gameplay. Legacy of War was released packaged with a pair of 3D anaglyph glasses, which the game supported. Legacy of War bears the distinction for being the first console game in the series to retain both the Contra title and human characters during its release in Europe and Australia (where the console series has been known as Probotector from the first NES game until Contra: Hard Corps).
The game was first unveiled at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo, during which Konami distributed 3-D glasses to attendees so that they could see the 3-D effect. This somewhat backfired, as journalists in attendance at the show reported that the 3-D feature was a gimmick and did not improve the game's visuals.
With the game 80% complete, Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that Randy Severin, senior product manager at Konami, was unhappy with the present state of the game, believing that some of the levels were too bright and colorful, and some of the bosses not menacing enough. The following month they received a near complete version which featured numerous adjustments to the color palette, speed, enemy AI, and graphics.
[US] "Contra - Legacy of War [Model SLUS-00288]
The game was scheduled to be released in Japan as well, but was cancelled.