Last Updated: 2006/10/24

Contra is a side-scrolling action shoot 'em up made by Konami in 1987. Originally it was an arcade game, but it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System. I still remember playing this game for many long hours. Definitely one of the best games ever made for Nintendo. I've become pretty good at this game over the years, and can beat it without having to cheat, or continue. I'm still working on making it through without even dying. Now that's hard!

You begin the game with the knowledge that Earth is being over-run by aliens that landed back in the fifties. They are taking control of the minds of U.S. soldiers, and using them against us. You play one of the military's elite, Lance aka Scorpion, or Bill aka Mad Dog. It's up to you to destroy the alien leader, the Red Falcon.


B - Shoot
A - Jump
Up - Aim Up
Left - Walk Left
Right - Walk Right
Down - Duck






Rapid Fire

Rapid fire makes your bullets move faster. Not the biggest bonus, but every little bit helps.


Machine Gun

With the machine gun you can shoot extremely fast, and the best part is, you don't need to keep pressing the fire button to shoot. Just hold down the trigger, and discharge the automatic lead into some alien's ugly mug!


Flame Thrower

The flame thrower shoots a swirling blast of flames forward covering a large area. This gun is the slowest and also has the shortest range of all the guns. I've never really liked this gun, and I purposely avoid it.


Spread Gun

You can use the spread gun to shoot bullets in a large spread, hence the name. It fires them in large arced waves and is the favorite gun of most players.



The laser shoots a powerful beam of light directly at your enemy, going right through them, and hitting the things behind. The gun can only shoot one laser at a time, so if you press the gun too fast the range will be extremely limited. This can be an added bonus because nothing can hit you at close range. This gun is the best for concentrated damage.



This great device kills all enemy aliens in the area. A great weapon to clear out any unwanted guests.



For a short while you are invulnerable to everything except falling. Neither bullets or aliens will be able to hurt you.


Area 1 - Jungle - Map

You've been dropped off in the jungle outside the alien's first base. Be careful of the turrets built into the walls, and the exploding bridges. Snipers will shoot at you from the forest. The boss is the gateway into the first base. It has two turrets that shoot red exploding balls at you. There is also a sniper on top of it. It's to your advantage to kill the sniper before trying to take out the turrets. Once the turrets are destroyed, concentrate on the power core at the bottom. After you blow it open, you will jump through to Base 1.

Area 2 - Base 1

There are two bases. Each is fairly similar. You will be behind an electric fence, and there will be a switch on the other end that needs to be destroyed before you can advance. At the same time, enemy guards, and turrets will be shooting at you. After blasting through several barriers you will come to the boss, who is a large tower with several turrets. Destroy the turrets and aN alien creature will appear and shoot large bullet circles at you. Keep shooting and you will be victorious.

Area 3 - Waterfall - Map

This level is quite a climb. You start at the bottom of a very tall waterfall and must climb your way to the top. Be careful of burning bridges, moving platforms, turrets, and snipers. There is also an aqua solider who scatters the area with bullets, so be careful. The boss of this area is a large alien head with strange arms. He spits fireballs at you from his mouth and arms. Destroy the arms first, then take out the mouth when it opens.

Area 4 - Base 2

After jumping into the belly of the alien you just destroyed, you will have to go through several rooms in order to get to the end of base 2. New and more challenging rooms are in this base. Rolling energy bars, and armor plated switches will slow you down. The boss is similar to the boss of the first base, only with robots guards, and seeking bullets.

Area 5 - Snow Field - Map

The snow field is a cold barren place. Be careful of the bombs being thrown from the trees, and the freezing cold waters. A large tank with a spiked battering ram could be your undoing. There are a lot of heavy gunners who will catch you off guard, so be careful. The boss to this level is a hovering robot that drops fireballs down on you. Concentrate your fire power on the robot to win.

Area 6 - Energy Zone - Map

The energy zone is full of flame throwers, that will blast fire into great walls of heat. Be very cautious through this level, don't hurry, or you will be toasted. The boss of this world is a large jumping robot who throws spiked disks at you. All in all, this is one of the hardest area's in the game.

Area 7 - Hangar - Map

The hangar is a dangerous place, full of spiked walls, robotic arms, and mine carts. Shooting your way through will take some time. When moving through the robotic arms, study their pattern before entering them. And don't advance too quickly, or the spike walls will skewer you. When you make it to the end of this area, you're met with two massively armored ground turrets that shoot exploding fireballs, and a lot of enemy soldiers. Aim at the target above the door, and you just might survive.

Area 8 - Alien's Lair - Map

The last area. The alien's lair. The whole place is alive, and there are many evil creatures that lurk in the shadows. A huge alien head will spit little alien larva at you. Spider-like aliens are seen all over the place. There are several difficult jumps, and plenty of ways to die. If you are good enough, you just might witness the end boss. The heart of the red falcon. She has spider pods on both the ceiling and floor which will hatch and jump out at you. The bottom ones are easy to destroy, but the top ones will be much tougher. Keep your distance, and shoot at the heart. If you win, you'll have a story to tell the world.


Konami Code
Many games carry this code. In Contra it will start you with 30 lives instead of 3. You keep this bonus even after continues.
Code: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, Start.

Game Genie Codes






Start with infinite lives.



Keep weapons after losing a life.



Become invincible and enemies don't shoot at you.



Start new life with machine gun.



Start new life with flame-thrower.



Start new life with spread gun.



Start new life with laser.


The Contra and Super C soundtracks can be downloaded in the Videogame Music Preservation Foundation in both NSF and OGG (Vorbis) formats.

The Contra Music in MIDI


Contra was originally released in Japan. The game was considerably better, featuring an opening story line, cut scenes between each level, more detailed areas (falling snow in area 5), and a longer ending. All of this was taken out of the American release, which is rather disappointing. You can find a ROM of the game, translated to English on the web, so if you're interested, go searching.

The Contra Manual

The Contra Word Search

The CHR table for hacking text

Links - Contra game worship. - The Contra GameFAQs messageboard.

© Copyright 2002-2006: Dean Tersigni. All rights reserved.