Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki
For other uses, see Contra (disambiguation).
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Contra (魂斗羅 Kontora?) is a video game series originally developed and produced by Konami primarily comprised 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 (Chinese characters) characters 魂斗羅 to phonetically spell out Kon-to-ra, the Japanese transliteration of the name "Contra". This is a form of ateji, in which an artist uses kanji for their phonetic value rather than any meaning they may have.[1]

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 music theme of the original game was titled "Sandinista" (サンディニスタ Sandinisuta?), after the adversaries of the real-life Contras.


Other games and spinoffs[]

Canceled games[]

Appearances in other media[]


  1. Contra [Model GX633] at Gaming History.

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