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Contra Spirits [Model SHVC-CS]

Nintendo Super Famicom cart. published 32 years ago by Konami Co., Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Contra Spirits [Model SHVC-CS] screenshot

魂斗羅スピリッツ © 1992 Konami Company, Limited.
(Contra Spirits)

Contra Spirits is a side-scrolling and fast-paced action game by Konami, and sequel of the arcade game Super Contra originally released in 1988. In the year 2636 AD, a race of marauding aliens (recurring antagonists throughout the Contra series) have returned to attack and dominate the Earth, and this time, they have decided to launch a devastative full scale offensive against humanity. Six months after the invasion, two fearsome commando men emerge from the smoldering ruins - Bill and Lance are back and ready to take on the alien invaders once again. In the standard 'Contra' fashion (and which serves as the foundation of the series), the game features an expansive arsenal of firearms, from a standard Machine Gun to a Spread Gun (S), Flame-thrower (F), Laser (L), Crusher mini-missiles (C), Homing Missiles (C) and Barrier Shields (B). Unlike other games in the series though, players can carry two weapons at once, and switch from one to the other at any time during the game. Additionally, shoulder buttons lock the characters in place and allow players to fire in any direction without moving, and pressing both shoulder buttons as well as the attack button makes them jump and fire both weapons simultaneously. Bill and Lance can also use a limited amount of devastative bombs that wipe out everything on the screen in a massive glowing ball of energy. Although Contra Spirits consists of six stages, they are not as straightforward as one might tend to believe. For instance, the second and fifth levels are played from an overhead perspective where players must destroy enemy checkpoints (as well as confront bosses), and use the controller's shoulder buttons to rotate the screen. A two simultaneous player mode is available.

Goodies for Contra Spirits [Model SHVC-CS]
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Cartridge ID: SHVC-CS


Released on February 28, 1992 in Japan for 8500 Yen.

Contra Spirits was developed by Konami with a team led by Nobuya Nakazato. Although this was Nakazato's third year at Konami, Contra Spirits is the first Contra game he worked on, having only previously done informal playtesting for Super C (1990). He believed the original arcade version of Contra (1987) was difficult to play because of its vertical screen, but he did enjoy the Famicom port. Nakazato's team worked in Konami's new offices in Tokyo, seated next to the arcade team that had developed Contra. Nakazato shared progress on Contra Spirits with the arcade team and received positive feedback. In early coverage, the game was known as Super Contra IV. Nintendo Power reported the name change to Contra Spirits in its coverage of Winter CES in 1992.

Nakazato believed Contra had a low-budget movie theme. To emphasize this, he asked the sound team to change the music as the stages progressed to give a cinematic style. He also believed the action in earlier Contra games is too realistic, so for Contra spirits he wanted to include more comical elements. He was concerned the change may upset series fans, but believed it would be more entertaining. One scene added to accomplish this is a sequence where the player hangs from flying missiles. This strains the Super Famicom's sprite capabilities, so the team used background tiles to draw the helicopter and missiles in the scene. Making the graphics appear to move like sprites in the foreground required clever programming tricks. The Super Famicom allowed for raster scrolling, which allowed the programmers to change the graphics for each scanline. The programmers shifted the vertical sync and cut off the sprites at the scanline. The restriction is that graphics can only move horizontally along the scanline to achieve the illusion that they are actually sprites in the foreground.

Nakazato was concerned the traditional pattern of weak enemies followed by a boss fight was becoming mundane and did not want players to feel "in for the long haul" every play session. To combat this, he established a key concept for something interesting to happen every three screen scrolls. This made the game content feel more dense and gave it a boss-rush type feel. Nakazato believed Contra Spirits's fast-paced action was going against the trend of home console games shifting to slow-paced strategy and role-playing games, and is good for quick-starting stress relief.

[FR] May 1992 - Joypad N.8 (Page 132-135): 95/100

Export releases:
[US] "Contra III - The Alien Wars [Model SNS-CS-USA]"
[EU] "Super Probotector - Alien Rebels [Model SNSP-CS-NOE]"


* Stage Select:
On the title screen, quickly press Down, Down-Left, Left and Start. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve, move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a scream if done successfully and the stage select menu screen will appear.

* Thirty Lives:
On the title screen, quickly press Down, Down-Right, Right and Start. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve, move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a scream if done successfully (and 30 lives should appear in the options).

* Sound Check:
On the title screen, quickly press Right, Right-Down, Right and X. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve, move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a sound if done successfully and the Sound Check menu screen will appear.


1. Contra [Model GX633] (1987, Arcade)
2. Super Contra - Alien no Gyakushuu [Model GX775] (1988, Arcade)
3. Contra Spirits [Model DMG-ACSJ-JPN] (1991, Game Boy)
4. Contra Spirits [Model SHVC-CS] (1992, Super Famicom)
5. Contra - The Hard Corps [Model T-95093] (1994, Mega Drive)
6. Contra - Legacy of War [Model SLES-00608] (1996, PlayStation)
7. C - The Contra Adventure [Model SLUS-00499] (1998, PlayStation)
8. Shin Contra (2002, PlayStation 2)
9. Neo Contra (2004, PlayStation 2)
10. Contra 4 [Model NTR-YCTE-USA] (2007, DS)
11. Contra ReBirth (2009, WiiWare)



Visual Designers
Main and Directed: Nobuya Nakazato
Players Character: Masayuki Saruta
Assist: Noritoshi Sasaki

Main and Top View: Mitsuru Yaida (Yaipon)
Side View: Hideyuki Suganami (1991/NAMI)
Help-Man: Kenichiro Horio

Sound Designers
Program and Effect: Atsushi Fujio
Sound Effect: Masandri Douchi, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Hirofumi Taniguchi
Music Compose: Miki Yanagisawa, Masanori Adachi, Tappi Iwase

Special Thanks
Technical Adviced: Jun Furano
Package Design: Kenji Shimoide, Hiromi Sumida
Special Thanks: AC Contra Team, FC Contra Team, DMG Contra Team
Produced: Kazumi Kitaue


Game's ROM.
Game's description by Laurent Kermel;