General trivia

Contra (Arcade)

  • - If you stay too long in certain spots, discs will home in on you to kill you. Konami sure had some devious methods to keep people pumping in those quarters back in the day!

Contra (NES)

  • - In the Japanese version, the game starts with a brief intro showing the events occurring before Bill and Lance set foot on the island. Before each level starts, a map shows your current position. At the end of levels, Bill or Lance gives a brief report on their progress through walkie-talkies.

    There’s also a few graphical enhancements; The palm trees in the jungle level sway back and forth, the waterfall has a slightly better water animation, the snow field actually has snow falling down (and more swaying trees), and the organic surroundings of Red Falcon’s lair pulsate as if they were alive (increasing in pace as you do more damage to the final boss). After beating the last level, you get a brief shot of Bill getting into the helicopter before the island blows up.

    By using cheat codes, the player can access a level selection mode, sound test and a secret message from Red Falcon once the game is beaten. Some of these features were made possible because of Konami’s VRC2 chip. Unfortunately, due to different manufacturing standards for NTSC and PAL cartridges, they had to be removed.
  • - In Base 1 and 2 you can fire your weapon while still ducking, by using a second controller. Simply press down on controller 1 and then up on controller 2.
  • - If you choose to play the game once more after beating it, you’ll notice the difficulty has increased slightly; More enemies will appear and they will be tougher than before.
  • - The American cover uses traced stills of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie “Predator”, which have then been slightly altered to resemble Bill and Lance. Bill is traced from the home video cover while Lance is traced from a scene in the movie. For comparison, have a look at this:

Super Contra

  • - The game’s final boss is a reference to the final boss in Battlantis, another Konami game released in 1987. Although their attacks are different, the similarity is quite obvious.
  • - If you stay in certain spots for too long, a big energy ball will come flying toward you.
  • - Look closely at the final boss once he’s defeated and you’ll see a small alien fly out of his head.
  • - In tribute to another iconic action hero, this promotional poster for Super Contra features Sylvester Stallone, redrawn to look like Lance:

Super C

  • - There's no real explanation for why the title was changed from “Super Contra” to “Super C” in America. Some speculate that it was done to avoid association with the Iran-Contra scandal.
  • - The music in Stage 5 is based on an unused song from the arcade version.

Operation C

  • - This is where the homing gun first appeared, as large black bullets rather than the missiles seen in “Contra III”.
  • - Konami of America weren't the only ones copying famous Arnold Schwarzenegger poses, take a look at this poster and compare it to the japanese cover for "Contra" on Game Boy:

Contra III: The Alien Wars

  • - During development, the game’s American title was “Super Contra IV”. It was even advertised with this title in a preview article in Nintendo Power. At the time, “Contra Force” was planned to be the third console game in the series.
  • - The Japanese version had an unlimited amount of continues.
  • - In the American manual, the first stage is listed as “Streets of Neo City” which refers to the city in “Contra Force”.
  • - Once again Konami of Japan continues the now established tradition of redrawing posters featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this time their inspiration comes from "Raw Deal" (1986):

Contra Force

  • - In Japan, this game went under the working title “Arc Hound” and was completely unrelated to Contra. However, for unknown reasons it was never released in Japan. Instead, Konami rebranded it as a Contra game and released it only in America.

Contra: Hard Corps

  • - The Japanese version is a lot easier for two reasons; Your character has a life-bar, which means you can take three hits before losing a life. The game also offers unlimited continues.

Contra: Legacy of War

  • - This was the first game to be outsourced to a non-Japanese developer.
  • - Unlike previous European releases which had been rebranded as "Probotector", this one kept the "Contra" title and its human characters.
  • - To highlight the change of perspective, “Contra: Legacy of War” made use of a stereoscopic 3D mode and a pair of 3D glasses was included inside the cover.
  • - In the second stage you will come across an open hut. Inside, there are two playable arcade machines. One is a clone of “Gyruss” and the other is a clone of “Pac-Man” with tanks.

Contra Spirits 64

  • - In 1998 Konami announced their plans for a Contra game on the Nintendo 64. According to a report by, the gameplay would've mixed traditional sidescrolling with some 3D elements. Very little information was released, and because the team members were separated to work on other projects, the game was cancelled.

Contra: Shattered Soldier

  • - In the first stage, the player crash-lands a small plane and then smashes through the cockpit’s windshield. This is a nod to the first stage in “Contra: Hard Corps”, when the player does a similar thing with a truck.
  • - At the very beginning of the “City” stage, pay close attention to the running dogs. You’ll notice the third dog does a somersault while jumping over a large gap in the road.

Neo Contra

  • - Bill's new partner, Genbei “Jaguar” Yagyu, is named after the famous samurai Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi. According to the legend, Jubei could only see with one eye and is therefore sometimes portrayed wearing an eyepatch. Fittingly, Jaguar has some kind of optical enhancement attached to his left eye, clearly meant as a reference to this eyepatch legend.
  • - Jaguar comes from a planet called “Oh! Edo”. Edo is the former name of Japan’s capital, Tokyo.
  • - In the second stage, a large monitor is showing the intro from the second stage in “Contra: Shattered Soldier”. There we see Bill Rizer crashing through a propaganda billboard on his hoverbike. Seconds later, the monitor breaks and out comes Bill (and Jaguar, if there’s two players) riding a dinosaur.
  • - The helicopter you run on top of in Stage 4 is Mr. Heli-Robo, the transforming helicopter boss from “Shattered Soldier”.
  • - The second half of Stage 5 is very similar to the final stage in “Super Contra”.
  • - Weapon set F is based on weapons from the Gradius series. There's the familiar "Ripple Laser" and something called "GV Laser" which is basically the rotational laser from Gradius V. It's unclear whether "Variable Weapon" has any connection to Gradius.
  • - In the scene where Bill and Jaguar confront Master Contra in his space station, listen closely to the music and you’ll hear a sample from “Workmen”, a track from “Command & Conquer: Red Alert”.
  • - The song played in the credits was reused for Konami's wrestling game “Rumble Roses XX”, under the title “Rock It Breaks”.

Contra 4

  • - In the American manual for “Operation C”, the playable character is Lance Bean. Contra 4 unofficially retconned this by stating that the mission was actually carried out by two soldiers called “Mad Dog” and “Scorpion”. These were the codenames for Bill and Lance in the American manual for Contra. However, in Contra 4 they are treated as completely different characters. Ironically, this just adds more confusion to the Contra storyline.
  • - Stage 7’s music is titled “Neo City” in the sound test, another reference to the fictional city in “Contra Force” and “Contra III” (only in American manual).
  • - A promotional poster was included in Nintendo Power, which pays tribute to the original Contra NES cover. It features the two new characters “Mad Dog” and “Scorpion”, who appear to be modeled after Vin Diesel and Wesley Snipes.
  • - The weapon used in the “Gunplay 1” and “Gunplay 3” challenges fires miniature versions of Vic Viper, the famous ship from Gradius.
  • - After beating 12 challenges in Challenge mode you will unlock Probotector, the robot character from the old European versions of Contra. Curiously, Contra 4 was never released in Europe.

Contra ReBirth

  • - There are several references to Konami’s Gradius series. In fact, the entire plot seems to be a crossover between the Contra and Gradius universe. For instance, the villains call themselves “Neo-Salamander”. The opening scenes mention a powerful weapon called “Zelos Force”, which is a recurring boss in the Gradius games. Also, Dr. Venom from the spin-off game “Nemesis 2” can be seen in the background graphics of stage 2.
  • - Two unused songs appear on the official soundtrack CD; Stage 1 from “Contra Force” and the ending music for “Operation C”. Thanks to Kurt Kalata of Hardcore Gaming 101, you can listen to both tracks here!
  • - The galactic president looks a lot like Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentinean Marxist revolutionary. Another political icon appears in the Japanese version; Chief Salamander looks like Adolf Hitler in the cutscene after stage 2. For other regions, his face was redrawn to vaguely resemble a salamander, probably to avoid controversy.
  • - Pay close attention to the panic-stricken people running away in the beginning of Stage 2 and you’ll see a crying girl crouched on a skateboard. This sprite was originally from the arcade game “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, and this particular frame can only be seen when someone hits the skater girl.
  • - After Stage 3 there’s a cutscene where the Contras raise their fists together in a “V” shape. This is a reference to the theatrical poster for “Victory”, a movie from 1981 starring Sylvester Stallone:

Hard Corps: Uprising

  • - Development on this spin-off game was helmed by Arc System Works, creators of the “Guilty Gear” series of beat-em-ups. It borrows many of the bold character design elements from “Guilty Gear”, one obvious example being Bahamut, the main character. He almost seems to be modeled after Order Sol, a younger version of Sol Badguy. Both characters have spiky brown hair, baggy white pants and a headband.