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Contra differed from many other "shoot em ups" of the era. This was due to the two player simultaneous game play mode. This created a significant challenge for gamers, because of the coordination and team work that had to occur between them. Contra earned the “toughest game to beat” tag among many gamers who took up it's challenge. 

In 1988 the game was converted to the Nintendo Entertainment System, and remained hugely popular. In the same year the game was also released on various other platforms including; Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum by a company called Ocean Software. 

The game had two main characters, Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. Their mission was to infiltrate the Red Falcon HQ and prevent their planned invasion of the earth. Our heroes were equipped with a rifles and unlimited amounts of ammo, but also various power ups could be collected throughout the levels. What made Contra so hard to master was a single hit from an enemy, a stray bullet or any other hazard would kill the character instantly. 

The game had 8 levels; JungleBase 1Waterfall, Base 2Snowfield, Energy ZoneHanger and Aliens Lair, of which the final four were played continuously. These were split up into 3rd person side scrolling action and 3D over the shoulder viewpoint. Each of the levels were further split up into 5 -6 differing screens. The objective was to destroy a power core so that you could proceed to the next level.

Further versions of the game have been released Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS hand held console being the latest version of the game. It seems that the playability of the games from the golden era of video gaming has a lasting effect on the avid gamer. Surely games these days push the boundaries of graphical excellence, but as is the case with Contra, will we still be talking about them 20 years from now. It remains to be seen.

Gaming Controls:  Click the arrows to get through the story in the bottom right to get started. arrows to move: K to jump, J to fire. Change guns using: N,M,L,F,S keys.

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