Contra: The Classic NES Game That Defined the Run-and-Gun Genre


Contra: The Classic NES Game That Defined the Run-and-Gun Genre

If you were a gamer in the late 80s or early 90s, chances are you’ve played or at least heard of Contra. Developed by Konami, Contra is a classic run-and-gun game that was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1988. It’s known for its intense gameplay, challenging levels, and unforgettable soundtracks. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Contra such a timeless classic.


The gameplay in Contra is simple but incredibly challenging. You play as either Bill or Lance, two commandos who are tasked with taking down an evil organization known as Red Falcon. The game is divided into eight levels, each with its own unique setting and enemies. The levels range from jungle forests to alien-infested bases, and you’ll have to fight your way through hordes of enemies to progress.

What sets Contra apart from other run-and-gun games of its time is the way it handles weapons. There are a variety of weapons to collect throughout the game, including machine guns, spread shots, and flamethrowers. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll have to choose the right one for each situation. You can also collect power-ups that will give you extra lives, extra continues, or make you temporarily invincible.

Challenging Difficulty

One of the most iconic features of Contra is its difficulty. The game is notoriously challenging, even for seasoned gamers. The enemies come at you fast and furious, and one hit will kill you. You have a limited number of lives and continue, and if you run out, you have to start the game over from the beginning. This makes Contra a game that requires patience, skill, and a lot of practice.

Fortunately, there is a famous cheat code that has become synonymous with Contra: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. This code will give you 30 lives to start with, making the game a little more forgiving. But even with the cheat code, Contra is no walk in the park.


Another standout feature of Contra is its soundtrack. Composed by Kazuki Muraoka and developed by Konami Kukeiha Club, the music in Contra is catchy and memorable. The game’s opening theme, in particular, is one of the most recognizable pieces of music from the NES era. The soundtrack perfectly complements the game’s intense action and adds to the overall experience.


Contra is a game that has stood the test of time. It’s been ported to numerous platforms over the years, including the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and PlayStation. It’s also been re-released on modern consoles such as the Nintendo Switch and has inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs. The game’s influence can be seen in other run-and-gun games such as Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes.


In conclusion, Contra is a classic NES game that deserves its place in gaming history. Its challenging gameplay, memorable soundtrack, and iconic cheat code have made it a beloved game for generations of gamers. If you haven’t played Contra before, it’s worth giving it a try to see what all the fuss is about. And if you’re a fan, it’s always worth revisiting this timeless classic.

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