If you grew up in the '80's, chances are you're a decorated veteran of the Alien Wars. Contra was the 8-bit conflict that defined a generation. But what was it about Konami's classic shoot-'em-up that made it so memorable? These are five things that made Contra great while making you feel invincible:
5. HARD CORE DIFFICULTY!
Contra was unforgiving. No matter how much firepower you're packing, one hit and you are dead. Maybe that's what you deserve for taking on an entire army shirtless. However, as you shifted between doing somersaults over volleys of enemy fire and laying down some serious ordinance of your own, you occasionally had time to reflect on the fact that you were beating one of the toughest games out there. Contra was a rare game that treated you to the sense of being a total badass.
4. GUNS, GUNS, & MORE GUNS!
With Machine Guns, Flame Throwers, Lasers, and the devastating Spread Gun at your disposal, Contra's impressive arsenal guaranteed that there were always fresh, creative ways for you to mow down anything that got in your way.
3. NON-STOP ACTION!
"Run 'n Gun:" Those two words say it all. Contra defined an entire sub-genre of video games. Its pace was relentless and unlike other more plodding shooters of the era, the game required you to be constantly moving. Playing Contra felt like you were reliving the highlights of every action movie you'd ever seen.
2. TWO-PLAYER FUN!
Just because Contra let you play as a one-man army, it didn't mean you had to go it alone. This NES classic allowed you to fight shoulder-to-shoulder, alongside your best friend, sharing each other's greatest victories and defeats.
1. THE CODE...
Repeat after me: "↑↑↓↓ ← → ← →, B, A, START!" Yes, it was a secret. But anyone who played Contra still can recite the Konami code by heart. It doesn't even feel right to call it a cheat, given Contra's brutal difficulty. Having 30 extra lives was practically a necessity if you wanted to see this game through to the end.
Buy Contra here!
I hope this list has brought back more than a few childhood memories, but what do you recall about this Konami classic? Feel free to share your war stories in the comments section.