Contra (known as Gryzor in Europe and Oceania) is a video game produced and published in 1987 by Konami, well known today for developing soccer simulators. The game is a shooter of the 90s and was followed one year later by versions for different consoles.
The first game of the series, made available for NES, was a run-and-gun-ups shoot'em style and featured a character with light mobility. The game is built, as many other games in the 90s, on several levels or stages, with a side-view gameplay. However, Contra features stages with a so-called 3D view, when the character is moving towards the background.
In the Japanese version the story is happening in the 27th century in Oceania, around Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, two commandos modeled after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, and name after four actors who appeared in the movie called Aliens. The characters are sent to destroy the army of aliens which is invading the world with a clear target: to destroy it.
In the American and European versions the story is a bit different. The setting was not in the 27th century, but in the present, and is happening in South America. The name of "Red Falcon", which in the Japanese version is the army Bill and Lance have to fight against, changes in the American and European version to the name of the head commander of an alien entity.
The character is equipped with a rifle and has unlimited ammo. The player can jump, move and fire in 8 different directions, and also jump or move while attacking. If the player gets hit only once by the enemy, it would be enough to kill the player. There are a total of four weapons the players can use in the game: a Machine Gun, a Laser Gun, a Fire Gun and a Spread Gun.
The game was popular also because it came with a two-player gameplay, which was rather uncommon at that time. The game received IGN's award of being the "Toughest Game to Beat", while Nintendo called it one of the best multiplayer NES games.
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