Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki
This article is about the MSX2 version of Contra. For the original version of the game, see Contra (video game).
For other uses, see Contra (disambiguation).

Contra is a port of the original game of the same name for the MSX2 personal computer. It is a run-and-gun action platformer game developed and published by Konami and released on May 26, 1989 exclusively in Japan.

This version was later released on the Virtual Console in Japan on February 2, 2010 for the Wii, and on October 15, 2014 for the Wii U.

Gameplay and version differences[]

The MSX2 version greatly differs from the arcade and NES versions of Contra. Due to the system's hardware limitations, the game does not scroll but instead flips individual screens like other MSX2 games (such as Metal Gear and Vampire Killer).

The player takes control of Bill Rizer in this adventure (Lance Bean does not appear in any form). Unlike other versions of the game, this version is single player only and has no continuation feature; if a player loses all lives, the game will be permanently over. However, rather than dying with just one hit, the game provides a Life bar which allows the player to take several hits before losing a life.

There are two main power-ups in this version, a falcon-shaped power-up that increases the player's walking and shooting speed, as well as a gun-shaped power-up which allows the player to change their current weapon.

Unlike most other games in the Contra series, flying Power-Up Capsules only drop the walking/rapid fire increase power-up, whereas additional weapons can only be collected from Sensors found on the field. Sensors can drop either a weapon that is already in the player's collection or a new one to add to their arsenal. When a weapon power-up is picked up, the game automatically pauses for a moment and the player enters a small menu where they can choose between the default gun and up to four additional weapons from their collection. Available weapons include: Normal Gun (default), Machine Gun, Rear Gun, Laser Gun, and Fire Gun. Once a new weapon is collected, it will remain in the player's inventory and they'll then be able to choose either it or another from their current weapon collection every time they pick up another weapon power-up from a Sensor.

The Spread Gun is not featured in this version of the game and is instead replaced by the Rear Gun, which is similar to the Tailgun appearing in some Gradius games, firing in two directions –left and right– at the same time.

The game is comprised of 19 stages. The first nine stages are based on the arcade version, while the final ten stages are new and exclusive to this version and are set entirely underground.


Stage Name Minibosses Boss Music
01 Asphalt Jungle - The Wall Jungle Battle
02 1st Underpass Base Core - Maze Fortress 1
03 Homicide Censor[sic] No. 1 - Ocular Fire Maze Fortress 2
04 Hell Fall - Shadow Beast Entrance Waterfall of Bloodshed
05 2nd Underpass Base Core - Maze Fortress 1
06 Homicide Censor[sic] No. 2 - Phantom Image Core Maze Fortress 2
07 Tundra Area

Anti-Gravity Shuttle

Armored Giant Ice Fortress
08 Energy Zone - Armored Giant Flame Fortress
09 Alien's Zone Red Falcon Alien Heart Shivery Beat
10 Cavern - Base Core Jungle Battle
11 1st Under Mase[sic] Base Core - Maze Fortress 1
12 Homicide Censor[sic] No. 3 - Shoud Maze Fortress 2
13 Magma Area - Magma Security Core Flame Fortress
14 2nd Under Mase[sic] Base Core - Maze Fortress 1
15 Homicide Censor[sic] No. 4 - Ocular Fire Maze Fortress 2
16 Underground Fall - Base Core Waterfall of Bloodshed
17 Magma Area - Magma Security Core Flame Fortress
18 Underground Fortress - Base Core Jungle Battle
19 Vicious Space - Vital Alien Organ Shivery Beat


  • Many unique aspects of this game, such as the levels' extended length, no scrolling, repetitive designs in some of the later stages, no continues, replacement of certain weapons, and smaller enemy hit detection, contributed to greatly increase the difficulty of this version of Contra, as well as forcing players to adopt a very different gameplay style than that present in the rest of the games of the series, making this port generally not being well received by the public and not as well-known.[citation needed]
  • The names of the stages in this port of Contra differ from those seen in other versions of the game, as well as providing new and unique names for the additional levels.
    • These names are notorious for having some Engrish grammatical errors that are repeated throughout the game due to belonging to similar stages, mainly by misspelling the words "Censor" for "Sensor", and "Mase" for "Maze". It is worth noting that these misspellings also appear in the game user's manual.
  • Although the game was Japan exclusive, the game was incorrectly listed as Gryzor in an European release brochure at that time. Despite that, the game didn't make it to the European market due to unknown reasons.

External links[]