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North American arcade cabinet.

Contra, known in Japan as 魂斗羅 [Kontora] and on European computers as Gryzor, is a run-and-gun action shooter developed and published by Konami for the Arcade on 1987-02-20 and is the first in the Contra series. It was later ported to various home computers and special ports that were quite a bit different were made for the NES and MSX2.

I have never actually played or even seen Contra in the arcade. My first experience was with the NES game. When I found out about MAME, I wanted to see what Contra was like for the arcade, assuming it would be like a 16-bit version of the NES game, but I was a bit disappointed.


I do not own any of the port and haven't beat any.


  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Arcade


  • The game is a pioneer of the run-and-gun genre and, at least for 1987, pretty impressive.
  • Using Giger's art style as adapted to Alien was a great idea.
  • Some of the boss graphics are pretty amazing.


  • The colors in the graphics are pretty bad. The backgrounds all have a washed out look, while foreground objects have a much higher contrast. I presume this was done so the players would know where to concentrate their bullets, but it looks awful.
  • The player's jumping animation is ridiculous looking.
  • The football player boss is lame.
  • The various ports are much worse than the arcade game.


  • Nothing.

Box Art





Role Names
Director Koji Hiroshita
Programmers Satoru Okamoto, Hideyuki Tsujimoto, Koichi Cobra
Graphic Designer Kengo Nakamura
Special Designers Takashi Jinbo, Passionate Norio
Music and Sound Kazuki Muraoka
Engineer Rom Yamamoto