Retro Thursday: Contra

Welcome to Retro Thursday, Leviathyn’s spotlight on retro gaming. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and pay homage to our roots by highlighting the classics of yesteryear.

Thursday, June 7th:


The great-grandaddy of the run-and-gun shooters, Contra is the legenday NES military sidecroller starring Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Lance “Scorpion” Bean in their quest to rid the Earth of invading alien forces hellbent on taking over the planet. A port of an original 1987 arcade game, Contra followed the jarheads in their 2D adventure as they endlessly dodged bullets and mowed down all enemies in their path with unlimited rifle ammo.

Presented in all its pixelated glory, Contra actually used a 3D mode for several of its levels as well, departing from the strict horizontal sidescroller perspective and keeping gameplay fresh.

Contra was one of the first games to offer simultaneous co-op play, allowing players and a friend to take control of one of the game’s two heroes and play along.

The game’s difficulty was off the charts, with a single shot capable of taking the player out and forcing them back to the beginning. Add to that several other conventions familiar to games of the time, such as different views, weapon upgrades, power-ups and challenging enemies, and it’s clear why Contra is a standout game in Retro titles, making it a true classic.



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