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For other uses, see Hard Corps (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Hard Corps: Uprising or Hard Corps (organization).

Contra: Hard Corps is a side-scrolling run-and-gun platformer style video game released by Konami for the Sega Genesis in North America and South Korea in 1994. It was also released for the Mega Drive as Contra: The Hard Corps (魂斗羅 ザ・ハードコア Kontora Za Hādo Koa?) in Japan, and as Probotector in Europe and Australia.

It was the first and only game in the Contra series released for a Sega platform, and serves as the first entry of the "Hard Corps" subseries within the franchise.

In China, the game was released on mobile phones as Contra V: Iron Blood Corps (魂斗罗V铁血兵团 Hún Dòu Luō V Tiěxuè Bīngtuán), officially placing it as the fifth main title in the series.

Plot[]

Set in 2641 A.D., five years after the "Alien Wars". Alien cells kept at a military research facility are stolen in a terrorist attack. The Contra Hard Corps, comprised of Ray Poward, Sheena Etranzi, Brad Fang and Browny, are assigned to the investigation. They discover that retired Colonel Bahamut is implicated and that he has conspired with Dr. Geo Mandrake to create a biological weapon using the stolen alien cells as a form of leverage to overthrow the present government. Through their efforts, the Hard Corps manage to thwart Bahamut's plans and restore peace once more.

Characters[]

Protagonists[]

Ray Poward Icon (Hard Corps)
Ray Poward
A blond-haired, blue-eyed male soldier. Born and raised among the filth and pestilence of the city's slum, Ray at one time was the leader of a bunch of rowdy, delinquent youths. Recruited by the Hard Corps for his unsurpassed combat skills and superb instincts, his cool exterior hides a burning lust for battle. Ray is a central figure in the Hard Corps.
Sheena Etranzi - Hard Corps - 03
Sheena Etranzi
A blond-haired, blue-eyed female soldier. A fierce warrior whose abilities go far beyond those suggested by her appearance. Especially skilled in guerrilla tactics, in jungle combat she alone is said to be the equal of an entire squad.
Brad Fang - Hard Corps - 03
Brad Fang
A wolf-like humanoid who wears shades, a bullet strap over his left shoulder and sports cybernetic arms with a battling gun on the left one. The ultimate fighter - created using the latest in genetic engineering and cyborg technology. Always calm and collected, he is well-trusted by the members of the force. He is best at close range, hand-to-hand combat.
Browny (Hard Corps) Icon
Browny
A small-sized combat robot. Officially known as CX-1-DA300 Combat Robot, the members of the force refer to him as "Browny" because of his warm personality. His ability to link up with numerous data systems makes him an unsurpassed intelligence tool. What he lacks in height, he makes up with the ability to hover in mid-air.


Protagonist Overview
Character Falcon Symbol - Hard Corps - 01 Falcon Symbol - Hard Corps - 02 Falcon Symbol - Hard Corps - 03 Falcon Symbol - Hard Corps - 04 Notes
Ray Poward Icon (Hard Corps)
Ray Poward
Ray Weapon A Icon (Hard Corps)
Vulcan Laser
Ray Weapon B Icon (Hard Corps)
Crash
Ray Weapon C Icon (Hard Corps)
Spread
Ray Weapon D Icon (Hard Corps)
Homing
No piercing weapon
Sheena Etranzi - Hard Corps - 03
Sheena Etranzi
Sheena Weapon A Icon (Hard Corps)
Genocide Vulcan
Sheena Weapon B Icon (Hard Corps)
Shower Crash
Sheena Weapon C Icon (Hard Corps)
Break Laser
Sheena Weapon D Icon (Hard Corps)
Ax Laser
Brad Fang - Hard Corps - 03
Brad Fang
Fang Weapon A Icon (Hard Corps)
Beast Shooter
Fang Weapon B Icon (Hard Corps)
Power Punch
Fang Weapon C Icon (Hard Corps)
Flame Thrower
Fang Weapon D Icon (Hard Corps)
Psychic Blaster
Tallest height
No homing weapon
Strongest arsenal
Browny (Hard Corps) Icon
Browny
Browny Weapon A Icon (Hard Corps)
Victory Laser
Browny Weapon B Icon (Hard Corps)
Gemini Scatter
Browny Weapon C Icon (Hard Corps)
E.M. Yo-Yo
Browny Weapon D Icon (Hard Corps)
Shield Chaser
Shortest height
Can double jump
Can hover


Antagonists[]

Colonel Bahamut (Hard Corps) Icon
Colonel Bahamut
The primary antagonist of the game. A hero of the Alien Wars, he planned and failed to overthrow the government in a coup d'état two years ago.
He went into hiding until now, where he re-attempts at overthrowing the government by stealing the alien cells and making biological weapons.
Depending on the choices made, Bahamut takes on a different form depending on the path the player takes.
In one path, he even offers the player to side with him in ruling the world.
Deadeye Joe Icon (Hard Corps)
Deadeye Joe
An evil terrorist who has had most of his body converted to cyborg parts. Combat is his only source of pleasure. A truly dangerous character.
He mans a variety of machines when confronting the Hard Corps.
Noiman Cascade Icon (Hard Corps)
Noiman Cascade
A skilled hacker who infiltrated the military's computers. He will do anything to put a stop to the Hard Corps.
He uses virtual reality as his primary stage for conducting his attacks, in which he takes on several forms.
Dr. Geo Mandrake Icon (Hard Corps)
Dr. Geo Mandrake
A genius working in the military's genetic engineering labs. He was apparently involved in the development of biological weapons during the Alien Wars.
It is revealed that he is an ally of Colonel Bahamut. He suffers a terrible fate by his own creation in the game.


Other characters[]

Commander Doyle - 02
Commander Doyle
The leader of the Hard Corps. He provides the team's mission objective at the start of the game.
Air Police - 02
Air Police
A friendly pilot who patrols the skies with his aircraft. May help out our heroes twice during the adventure, depending on the route taken.
Mystery Character Icon (Hard Corps)
Mysterious Character
A character that is found on the roof in the Junkyard. He offers the team the opportunity to try their luck in the Battle Arena.

Script[]

Main article: Contra: Hard Corps/Script

Gameplay[]

The game follows its predecessor, Contra III: The Alien Wars, in many aspects, but also introduces several new gameplay mechanics, including:

  • Although Contra Force is technically the first game that allows the player to choose other characters, Contra: Hard Corps is the first legitimate Contra game that allows the player to select their character at the start of the game, as well as when they use a Continue. Identical players cannot be chosen.
  • Player characters have four main weapon slots. These generally range from a standard machine guns, homing missiles, grenade launchers, etc., with a fifth slot reserved for bombs.
  • Every character has their own particular weaponry, with variations of the same type of weapons for different characters or all new ways of firing.
  • Characters come with a sliding move which renders them temporarily invincible. In addition, certain characters have special moves particular to them (like the ability to hover).
  • The game is story-driven and there are multiple paths the player can take; these are generally chosen by taking a decision at the end of certain stages. Depending on the paths taken throughout the game, a different ending will be awarded.
  • The game is distinct in having dialogue in the form of mission briefings and exchanges between characters. This was not typically common in Contra games, which were usually only gameplay-oriented (although the Famicom version of Contra had cutscenes between levels that told the game's storyline).
  • Autofire returns and the weapons are represented with mini-blimps.
  • The game provides 5 Continues (4 in the European version).
  • If a 1-player game is selected, a second player can join in at any time available. (Unlike other Contra titles, which must have the 2-player option selected first before a partner can join in anytime).
  • The game does not have top-view stages but replaces them with other events or missions, such as running toward the screen while being chased by a giant robot, or riding on different vehicles whether it is on land, sea or air.

Stages[]

Internal No. Route Name Miniboss(es) Boss(es)
1 1 A/B/C/D City Battle Four-legged Robot
Maximum Jumbo
Powered Ninja Murasame
2 2 C/D High Speed Fight Highway Spider
Small Battleship
High Mobility Tracking Robot
3 2 A/B Air Combat Small Tank
Wonderbird
Rocket Ninja
Huge Robot
4 3 Junkyard Dustman Noiman Cascade
(Zodiac Constellations,
Square Terror)
5 4 Jungle Miyao Kappa
Evil Snowman
Long Hand Guy
6 5 Trap Monster Genesis Machine Fukinsheen
7 6A Military Train Pulley Gunner Bros.
Final Count Gun
Super Power Robot Yokozuna
8 6B Sea Struggle - Takedda Robot
9 7B Missile Gymnastics Soldier Team
Colonel Bahamut
Deadeye Joe
Alien Cell Rocket Worm
Alien Mounted Missile
10 6C Alien Space Gebolien
Java
Kimkoh
Mother Alien
Alien Heart
11 7A Big Battle Crab the Joe
Doctor Spider
Bahamut Overdrive
12 6D Space Station Mach 777 Big Magnum
13 Secret Battle Arena - Simondo Belmont
Psycho Mother
Huge Face


Stages flowchart
City Battle
Rescue the Research Center
Air Combat
Go after Deadeye Joe
High Speed Fight
Junkyard
Jungle Hidden Area
Battle Arena
Jungle
Trap Secret Ending Trap
Surrender and fight later
Military Train
Fight to the end
Sea Struggle
Fight to the end
Alien Space
Surrender and fight later
Space Station
Big Battle Missile C Route Ending D Route Ending
A Route Ending Refuse!
B Route Ending
Agree
Bad Ending

Regional differences[]

The Japanese version of the game includes a health bar with 3 HP, infinite Continues, and cheat codes. All this was removed from both the American and European versions, making the game considerably more difficult.

The Japanese version also included expanded dialogue between characters that gave a slight insight over each character's personalities. This dialogue would even further alter during a two-player game; after Player 1 speaks their character exclusive line, Player 2 will speak a co-op exclusive accompanying support line that also varies by character chosen. In all other versions of the game, all players share the same dialogue, although dialogue is still slightly altered during a co-op game.[1]

The European version, Probotector, has support for multiple languages in the Options menu.

Notes[]

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

Promotional artwork[]

Other[]

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • The subtitle "Hard Corps" is a play on words that sounds as "hardcore".
  • The Huge Robot boss appears on the American cover artwork of this game.
  • In the European Probotector version, leftover humanoid faces from the original version of the game can briefly be seen when switching between characters in the Select Player screen, with Ray's face being the most recognizable.
  • If choosing the options "Rescue the research center" and "Fight to the end", before the final boss, Colonel Bahamut will invite the player to side with him. If they agree, a bad ending will be awarded. This ending was censored in the European version of the game, Probotector.
  • Unlike other Contra titles, if a character falls into a bottomless pit immediately after respawning, they won't lose a life and instead the invulnerability time will reset. This exploit can sometimes prove useful in certain stages with difficult bosses (like the Missile stage, for example).
  • Contra: Hard Corps pays homage to the Castlevania series (also by Konami) in the ending of the Big Battle stage, where the Hard Corps can be seen staring at Bahamut's base –which resembles a castle– crumbling in the distance, similar to the iconic ending scene featured in most Castlevania games.
Contra Hard Corps Star C

The 'C' of stars.

  • A handful of leftover debug options are located within the game. Some can be accessible using cheats:
    • When the game is paused, holding C on controller 2 makes the PAUSE letters vanish.
    • At the Game Over and final Score screens, a mobile formation of stars appears in the background. This pattern can be controlled with a controller in the Player 2 port.
    • A Test level can be accessed that also allows players to read all the text dialogue in the game.[2]
    • Inputting a certain code in the Japanese version will activate a special controller option in-game: When the game is paused, pressing Up on controller 2 will move forward the game by one frame (meaning multiple presses allows for the game to be played in slow motion).
  • Several bosses seem to be inspired by the 1982 science fiction horror film The Thing by John Carpenter.
  • In a Konami mashup advertisement (see above image), Probotector is being promoted but displays non-Probotector gameplay. What makes this more curious is the screenshots themselves, which display possible early development gameplay. Noteworthy is Ray's Spread Gun is located in Slot A, replacing Slot C with the Laser Sheena would normally have in in her Slot C in the final builds. Furthermore, Ray's Health Bar extends far greater than three Hit Points and is also resized, accommodating up to eight Hit Points total.
  • In a similar fashion, the "Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 060 (July 1994)" magazine also displays similar pre-release screenshots of the game, but with some showing Ray strangely having an empty Health gauge while continuing to move and attack as normal.[3]
  • In the aforementioned magazine issue, the magazine's cover refers to the game as Contra 5 (likely meant that this was the fifth Contra game on a home console to be released).

Related pages[]

Related products[]

References[]

External links[]

Contra: Hard Corps
Organizations
Hard Corps
Ray PowardSheena EtranziBrad FangBrownyCommander Doyle
Under Bahamut
Alien Mounted MissileBahamut OverdriveBig MagnumColonel BahamutCrab the JoeDeadeye JoeDoctor Spider
DustmanEvil SnowmanFinal Count GunFour-legged RobotGebolienGomeramos KingHuge Robot
Stages
City BattleHigh Speed FightAir CombatJunkyardJungleBattle ArenaTrap
Military TrainSea StruggleSpace StationAlien SpaceBig BattleMissile
Soundtrack
Contra Chronicle Vol.1 coupling with Hard Corps: UprisingContra: Hard Corps
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