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It's now time for the legendary Contra to be reborn...
~ Introductory cutscene tagline

Contra ReBirth (魂斗羅リバース Kontora Ribāsu?) is a 2D run-and-gun platformer video game developed by M2 and published by Konami of America exclusively for the Nintendo Wii via its WiiWare service. It is the twelfth original installment in the Contra series, being part of Konami's "ReBirth" series, along with Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth and Gradius ReBirth.

The game was released in Japan on May 12, 2009, PAL Regions on September 4, 2009, and North America on September 7, 2009. As of September 24, 2009 it has been released worldwide. It was purchasable for 1,000 Wii Points.

With the closure of Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel, the purchase of Contra ReBirth on the Nintendo Wii was discontinued in 2019.

Plot[]

In 2633, the Neo-Salamander Force, led by their mysterious leader Chief Salamander, travels to the year 1973 to eliminate the "Contra" force while Earth's defenses are still primitive and are no match to theirs.

They end up setting base on the ruins of the Shizuoka temple at the Yucatán peninsula in Central America. Bill Rizer and Genbei Yagyu, two members of the present day Contra team, are deployed by the Galactic President to travel back in time in order to stop them.

With the help of BR-W9, an android shaped like a little girl, and Newt Plissken, a tall lizard-like humanoid alien, the Contra warriors manage to take down the Neo-Salamander Force. However, Chief Salamander is nowhere to be found.

In the true ending of the game, it is revealed Chief Salamander was actually Plissken all along, who infiltrated the Contra unit under an assumed name.

Gameplay[]

Contra ReBirth retains the same sprite-based side-scrolling gameplay as the series' earlier installments. The game can be played with the standard Wii Remote, as well as with the Classic Controller or a Nintendo GameCube controller. As with most Contra games, up to two players can play simultaneously.

The player initially has a choice between two different player characters: Bill Rizer, the traditional Contra hero, or Genbei Yagyu, an alternate incarnation of the protagonist from Neo Contra. Two additional characters: BR-W9 (also known as "Brownie" and called Tsugu-Min in the Japanese version), an android shaped like a little girl; and Plissken, a tall lizard-like humanoid alien (whose name is a tribute to the Snake Plissken movie character), can also be selected once the player has completed the game on Easy (BR-W9) and Normal (Plissken). Although Lance Bean (a hero from previous Contra titles) appears within the game, he is not playable in ReBirth.

The dual weapon system from Contra III: The Alien Wars returns and the player's normal gun can now shoot in auto-fire once again, as well as retaining the ability lock one's aim to allow multidirectional fire. Random Shooting is not present, despite both Bill and Yagyu adopting a related pose on the Character Select screen. The power-ups in this installment consists of a Spread Shot, a Laser Gun, and a Homing Gun. The traditional Flame Thrower, however, is missing. Playing on the Easy setting will allow the player to always keep their current weapon after losing a life, a feature not available in any of the other settings. On harder difficulties, the default Machine Gun becomes a "power-up".

The game consists of five stages; however, the final boss stage, along with the true ending, cannot be accessed when playing on the Easy difficulty setting.

Similar to previous Contra titles, a two-player game can be played. When playing in co-op mode, some level changes or enemy behavior may slightly be altered from a single-player game (one example being more available Weapon Wings in certain areas). Both players cannot select the same character. Unlike previous titles, a defeated player cannot borrow a surviving player's extra life stock to return back into the game.

Unlockables[]

The game comes with a small handful of unlockable content, depending on the difficulty played when a game is cleared. This allows for game replays to occur. The following unlockables can be obtained:

Ending[]

The ending will be slightly altered depending on difficulty and number of characters unlocked but will otherwise remain the same throughout all variations.

Difficulty changes
  • If the game is played on Easy difficulty, the game ends after the Stage 5 boss's defeat. The ending sequence then plays, followed by the credits.
  • If the game is played on Normal difficulty or higher, a sixth stage containing only the final boss will be played. Defeating it then plays out the ending sequence, followed by the credits. After the credits roll, a post-credits dialogue will play out, followed by the definition of Contra image.
Charcter changes
  • If the game was cleared without unlocking any additional characters, the image containing the last conversation with the Galactic President will appear identical to the image seen during the game's intro.
  • If both BR-W9 and Newt Plissken are unlocked, they will appear during the last Galactic President conversation: Newt will be stationed to the left, harboring a "thinking" pose. BR-W9 will appear in front of him watching the video screen. Because of this, Yagyu is moved to the right side of the room in front of Bill Rizer. Yagyu's image is also mirrored to accommodate this change. This change will also occur on the game's intro movie if the game was saved with the character(s) unlocked.

Additionally, holding the JUMP button will scroll through the credits reel faster.

Stages[]

Stage Name Minibosses Boss Music
1 Satellite Warzone Power Loader ×2/×3[1] Space Centipede Dense Forest Battle
2 Dystopian Metropolis Defense Wall ×2 Giant Golem It's Time for Revenge
3 Armageddon Highway Rocket Ninja Sasaki Fat Man CONTRA Area 2 BGM
4 Hollow Netherworld Giant Stone Head Animate Statue The Foggy Cave in the Darkness
5 Red Falcon Megalith Gomeramos King Gava Horrible Heartbeat
6 Lunar Ultimatum - Zelos Force Last Springsteen

Soundtrack[]

Main article: Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth & Contra ReBirth Original Soundtrack

The game's soundtrack was composed by Manabu Namiki, who worked on the other titles in the "ReBirth" series. The music consists of remixes of previous Contra themes. The official album was released on March 24, 2010, in a compilation with Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth's music.

Critical reception[]

Overall, Contra ReBirth was received positively, with GameRankings rating the game 76.67% positive, and Metacritic giving the game 76/100. It was also rated one of the most underrated action games of the year and was nominated Game of the Year by Nintendo Power, as well as Best Action Game, WiiWare Game of the Year, and Best Action Game.

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

Miscellaneous[]

Trivia[]

  • The background music of the Character Select screen is an arrangement of the Player Select theme from Contra Force.
  • The Galactic President's appearance is inspired by Argentinian revolutionary commander Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
  • Dr. Venom, a recurring antagonistic character from the Gradius and Salamander series (also by Konami), makes a cameo on a few billboards found at the beginning of Stage 2.
  • Also in Stage 2, a group of civilians can be seen at the beginning escaping from the Giant Golem, one of which is a girl riding on a skateboard. She is a reference to the Skateboarder, a minor non-playable character who appears in Konami's 1989-90 beat 'em up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, specifically the NES port of the game, where she also wears a black top and red shorts instead of a pink top and blue jeans like in the arcade version. About midway through Stage 2 of that game (possibly also a reference), this girl will suddenly enter the screen riding on her skateboard; if the player strikes her, she'll scream and curl down in terror, adopting the same pose as the girl from Contra ReBirth, and likewise exit the screen by the left side while still riding on her skateboard.
  • Also among this group of civilians is a little blond girl in a red dress who is briefly captured by the Giant Golem, but also quickly rescued by the Contra commandos. She seems to be a reference to Roll from the Mega Man series.
  • In the cutscene that plays at the end of Stage 3, an illustration of the Contra heroes is shown that parodies the promotional cover artwork of the 1981 sports war film Escape to Victory, starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, and soccer legend "Pelé".
  • The game's post-credits sequence is based on the ending of the 1981 science fiction action film, Escape from New York.
  • The "defeated" soundbite from the arcade version of Contra plays alongside a defeated player's death scream ().
  • The image shown at the game's startup menu is a collage of cutscene imagery. However, some images appear slightly different from their in-game versions. The "Victory" image contains a brighter background than the final's, and a spotlight with accompanying shadow appears behind the disguised Lance Bean (which does not in the final game's cutscenes). Both of these images use a blank black background in-game.
  • The PAL version of the game contains an exclusive debug menu easily accessible via a button command. To access this menu, simply press the Cancel and Pause buttons at the same time while on the title screen. The debug menu can allow players to start on any stage chosen and from any checkpoint, allow access to a leftover Test Level, and grant up to 99 lives for a player, as well as a separate option to turn a player invincible. A Sound Test option is present but does not work.[2] The command to enter the Debug Menu can be entered using any controller that works for the game, but the precise buttons pressed vary by controller:
    • Wii Remote: 1 and +
    • Classic Controller: b and +
    • GameCube controller: B and Start

References[]

  1. On Easy and Normal difficulty, two Power Loaders are fought. On Hard and Nightmare difficulty, three Power Loaders are fought.
  2. Contra ReBirth at The Cutting Room Floor.

External links[]

Contra ReBirth
Organizations
Contra
Playable
Bill Rizer (clone) • JaguarNewt PlisskenBR-W9
Other characters
Galactic PresidentLance Bean
Neo-Salamander Force
Bosses
Space CentipedeGiant GolemFat ManAnimate StatueGavaZelos Force
Minibosses
Power LoaderDefense WallRocket Ninja SasakiGiant Stone HeadGomeramos King
Stages
Satellite WarzoneDystopian MetropolisArmageddon HighwayHollow NetherworldRed Falcon MegalithLunar Ultimatum
Soundtrack
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth & Contra ReBirth Original Soundtrack
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