Contra Wiki
Advertisement
Contra Wiki
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 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" series, a subseries in and of itself within the Contra franchise.

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 a more.

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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Characters

Protagonists

  • 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: 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: 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: 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.

Antagonists

  • 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: 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: 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: 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: The leader of the Hard Corps. He provides the team's mission objective at the start of the game.
  • 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.
  • Mysterious Character: A character that is found on the roof in Stage 3. He offers the team the opportunity to try their luck in the Battle Arena.

Stages

1. City Battle

Bosses: Four-legged Robot, Maximum Jumbo, Powered Ninja Murasame

Go after Joe

2. High Speed Fight

Bosses: Highway Spider, Small Battleship, High Mobility Tracking Robot

Surrender and fight later

5. Space Showdown

Bosses: Mach 777, Big Magnum

Fight to the end

5. Trap

Bosses: Monster Genesis Machine, Fukinsheen

6. Alien Space

Bosses: Gebolien, Java, Kimkoh, Mother Alien, Alien Heart

Rescue the Research Center

2. Air Combat

Boss: Small Tank, Wonderbird, Rocket Ninja, Huge Robot

Surrender and fight later

5. Military Train

Bosses: Pulley Gunner Bros., Final Count Gun, Super Power Robot Yokozuna

6. Big Battle

Bosses: Crab the Joe, Doctor Spider, Bahamut Overdrive

Fight to the End

5. Arena

Boss: Dr. Geo Mandrake

6. Sea Struggle

Bosses: Takedda Robot

7. Missile

Bosses: Gymnastics Soldier Team, Colonel Bahamut, Deadeye Joe, Alien Cell Rocket Worm, Alien Mounted Missile

All paths levels

3. Junkyard

Bosses: Dustman, Taurus, Sagittarius, Gemini, Square Terror
Mysterious Character Challenge
Bosses: Simondo Belmont, Psycho Mother, Huge Face

4. Jungle

Bosses: Miyao Kappa, Evil Snowman, Long Hand Guy

Notes

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 for this game.
  • 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.
  • Several bosses seem to be inspired by the 1982 horror film The Thing by John Carpenter.
  • 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).

Related products

External links

Contra: Hard Corps
Organizations
Hard Corps
Ray PowardSheena EtranziBrad FangBrownyCommander Doyle
Under Bahamut
Alien Mounted MissileBahamut OverdriveBig MagnumColonel BahamutCrab the JoeDeadeye JoeDoctor SpiderDustmanEvil SnowmanFinal Count GunFour-legged RobotGebolienGomeramos KingHuge Robot
Stages
City BattleHigh Speed FightAir CombatJunkyardJungleBattle ArenaTrapMilitary TrainSea StruggleSpace StationAlien SpaceBig BattleMissile
Soundtrack
Advertisement