Contra (魂斗羅 Kontora?) is a video game series produced by Konami composed primarily of run-and-gun style platformer games. The series debuted in 1987 as a coin-operated arcade game simply titled Contra, which was followed by the release of Super Contra in 1988 and several sequels produced for various home platforms.
The in-universe use of the term "Contra" is first explained within the Japanese instruction card of the arcade version of Contra, and reiterated in most games (including Contra: Shattered Soldier), as "a title awarded to a superior soldier possessing almost super human drive and ability, while excelling in guerrilla tactics."
In Japanese, the title is spelled with the kanji characters 魂斗羅 or Kontora. This is a form of ateji, in which the characters are used for their phonetic pronunciations rather than any inherent meaning they may have.
The arcade version of Contra was released on February 1987, a few months after the Iran-Contra affair was made public. While it is unclear whether the game was deliberately named after the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, the ending theme of the original game was titled "Sandinista" (サンディニスタ), after the adversaries of the real-life Contras.
- Contra – The first game for the arcade and later ported to the NES home console.
- Super Contra – The second Contra arcade game, later ported to the NES as "Super C".
- Contra III: The Alien Wars – The first 16-bit generation game.
- Operation C – The first Contra game for the Game Boy.
- Contra 4 – The first Contra game for the Nintendo DS. It was developed and first released in North America, and four months later in Japan.
- Contra: Shattered Soldier – The first Contra game on a 32-bit console (PlayStation 2).
- Neo Contra – The second game for the PlayStation 2. The game is most unlike its predecessor.
- Contra: Hard Corps – The only Contra game for the Sega Genesis.
- Hard Corps: Uprising – A game for the PlayStation 3. Some characters are featured as downloadable content.
- Contra: Rogue Corps – Another new game for the latest platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC (Steam).
Other games and spinoffs
- Contra: Legacy of War – A game from Appaloosa Interactive and Konami of America. It was released for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation.
- C: The Contra Adventure – Another game by Appaloosa Interactive and Konami of America. It was only released for the PlayStation.
- Contra Force – A game that was originally intended to be its own franchise (called Arc Hound), but was eventually canceled. It was converted as part of the Contra series exclusively for the Western market.
- Contra: The Alien Wars – The Game Boy version of Contra III: The Alien Wars.
- Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX – The Game Boy Advance version of Contra III:The Alien Wars.
- Contra 3D – A pachislot arcade machine themed after the Contra series.
- Contra: Evolution – A high definition remake of the original Contra which adds some new features, two new characters and in-app purchases.
- Neo Contra – A slot machine based on the game of same name.
- Neo Contra: Warrior Reloaded
- Neo Contra: Samurai Strike
- Super Contra (Commodore 64)
- Contra (Commodore Amiga)
- Contra Spirits 64 – A canceled Contra project for the Nintendo 64 which eventually turned into the PlayStation 2 game Contra: Shattered Soldier.
- Contra Spirits and Super Contra
- Contra Online
- Contra (GameCube)
- Contra (3DS)