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North American arcade cabinet.

Contra 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

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • 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 from the movie Alien was a great idea. It gives the game an over all creepy vibe.
  • Each level is pretty unique featuring new enemies, bosses, and environments.


  • Survival comes less from skill, and more from level memorization. This requires you to spend a lot of quarters. Typical for 1980s arcade games, but not fun.
  • The contrast in the graphics vary greatly from background to foreground objects. I presume this was done so the players would know where to concentrate their bullets, but the washed out colors of the backgrounds looks awful.
  • The player's jumping animation is ridiculous looking.
  • The football player robot boss is lame.
  • The various ports are much worse than the arcade game.


  • Nothing.


Box Art







Role Staff
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


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (America) Contra
English (Europe) Gryzor
Japanese 魂斗羅 Kontora Contra


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