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For other uses, see Neo Contra (disambiguation).

Neo Contra (ネオコントラ Neo Kontora?) is the tenth video game in the Contra series published by Konami. It was developed by Team Neo Kijirushi, a group of staff members within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET), and released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. The game is a direct follow-up to Contra: Shattered Soldier, but returns to the multi-directional shooting format and departs from the traditional scrolling shooter formula used in previous games. It was the first game in the series to receive an M (Mature) rating from the ESRB and was the only installment to receive this rating until the release of Contra: Rogue Corps in 2019.

Plot[]

Neo Contra takes place during 4444 A.D. when the Earth has been transformed into a prison planet, home to criminals and political rebels (Contras). From this underworld society rises a new order called "Neo Contra". This government quickly showed its true colors, as it has other plans than bringing back normal civilization. Carrying out this new threat are four renegade Contras known as the "Four Elite". And thus, Bill Rizer is partnered with Yagyu Jaguar Genbei, a samurai, and the two are sent to Earth to deal with the Neo Contra threat.

Characters[]

  • Bill Rizer (clone): The main protagonist in the game, he is unaware he is a clone at the start of the story.
  • Yagyu Jaguar Genbei: Jaguar is a warrior who follows the samurai's code and uses a katana, a powerful weapon in this game.
  • The Four Hell Warriors of Neo Contra - The four elite members of the Neo Contra organization:
  • Mystery G: A mysterious elderly mercenary who wears green Contra armor, very similar to those worn by Bill Rizer in Contra: Shattered Soldier. His true identity is explicitly stated, but he claims he was once called "Contra".
  • Master Contra: The supreme commander in charge of Neo Contra, who also represents a new possible threat to humanity. He initially appears to be a cyborg made in the image of the original Bill Rizer, but later reveals himself to be "Project C", which consists of the original Bill Rizer's consciousness implanted inside of a large orbital space station.

Gameplay[]

Neo Contra once again brings the games arena back into three dimensions. However, unlike the titles developed under Appaloosa Interactive, players only need to aim in third dimension upon rare occasions. Additionally, this title eradicates the boss-oriented gameplay of Contra: Hard Corps and the previous 32-bit titles, and seeks a balance more reminiscent of the 8-bit and SNES Contra games; long free-form shooting sections, interspliced with boss encounters. Additionally, gameplay varies depending upon the level and camera angle presented (the camera cannot be user-controlled). Most of the game is played out in an isometric perspective (resembling Super Contra/Super C's and Contra III: The Alien Wars's top-down gameplay), but some portions of gameplay are side-scrolling or overhead-behind. While playing stages, pressing the SELECT button will toggle the HUD between transparent and solid. The transparent HUD aids in seeing more of the area around them as the HUD may obscure enemies or obstacles.

Like the aforementioned top-down gameplay, players cannot jump. Unlike the mentioned however, there is no crouch button. Instead, the "jump" button (X by default) is now used for two new defensive moves added that allows the player to effectively evade in the large 3rd dimension environments: Evade and Dash. Dashing gives the player a quick burst of speed to evade hostiles, while spin gives the player an instant of invulnerability.

The hit-ratio system that was introduced in Shattered Soldier has been kept in this title. The game uses a modified version of the three-weapon configuration from Shattered Soldier. The player has two types of firearms used against ground-level targets, one with regular ammo and the other with flammable rounds, and a third weapon used to lock-on airborne targets. The player can choose from one of the three initially available weapon sets (one which includes the famous Spread Shot from the earlier Contra games, which was missing in Shattered Soldier), with three additional sets that are time-release. The Type F configuration features the GV Laser and Ripple Laser, both weapons from Gradius V.

There are a total of seven stages in the game. Like Shattered Soldier, the four initial stages can played in any order and be replayed anytime for higher grading. The fifth stage can only be selected by clearing the first four stages, while the sixth and seventh stages are only available if players maintain an above average grade overall. A practice option also becomes available once missions are cleared, which offer any player to play any previously cleared stage under 30 lives each.

There is a difficulty setting in the options menu, and playing on Easy difficulty grants players thirty lives to beat the first four missions, but on this difficulty it is impossible to view the game's ending. Normal mode offers players five lives and seven continues to complete the seven missions of the game.

This game's M rating is majorly due to amounts of excessive violence added, being strongly more violent toward hostile creatures than past predecessor titles. When a player fires upon most humanoid enemies (such as the Sword Soldiers, the Gunners, or sometimes the human character Mystery G), depending on the weapon, that enemy may spew small to strong noticeable traces of blood. The Zako enemies are known to be the most obvious, as they appear to spill blood even when defeated. Certain heavy explosive weaponry may cause their bodies to explode, flying into multiple chunks of deceased limbs.

When first starting the game, only Bill and Jaguar are initially playable to players 1 and 2 respectively. Using the Options menu can allow Player 1 to play as Jaguar and Player 2 to control Bill (or other characters, when available). As gameplay progresses (clearing stages on Normal difficulty and with High Ranks), further character selections become unlocked, increasing character selection options. Regardless of these unlockables, both players cannot play as the same character. The following is playable:

  • Bill (default)
    • Bill II (bathing suit, unlockable)
  • Jaguar (default)
    • Katana Jaguar (unlockable. Has different weapon sets than the default player sets, some of which utilize his katana.)
    • Jaguar II (bathing suit, unlockable)
  • Lucia (unlockable)
    • Lucia II (bathing suit, unlockable)

In addition, selecting and/or leaving any bathing suit character highlighted will cause said character to appear with their bathing suit models during real-time cutscenes, whether the character is being controlled by a human or not. In addition, Lucia as Pheromone Contra will have an additional attachment shown on her torso under the Bathing Suit option. Her boss fight however still uses the default outfit (excluding the playable version of Lucia).

Weapon sets[]

There are six distinct weapon combinations available for players. Generally, a normal set can be used, but when Katana Jaguar is unlocked, players will receive a Katana or Fire Katana. Weapon sets A to C are available by default; D is acquired by clearing the game once; and E as well as F require to obtain an A rank or better on levels 1 to 5.

Each set features two normal weapons for general combat purposes and one weapon for specific anti-air capabilities. Of the normal weapons, one is a projectile-based and the second fires explosives; the first one fires faster but is less damaging, while the other one possesses opposite traits.

Combinations[]

A: Machine Gun, Grenade Bomb, Lock-on Missile
  • Machine Gun: The standard long reaching Contra machine gun. Rapid firing, it's fully automatic and therefore, generally the best "overall" weapon for most situations, making it a jack of all trades but a master of none. It has minor shot spread and lacks the pinpoint accuracy of laser weapons, which may prove problematic when trying to hit small or agile targets.
  • Grenade Bomb: A slow firing explosive that hugs the ground. Similar to the grenade gun in Shattered Soldier for all intents and purposes on the PS2 Contra (s). It is useful for inflicting heavy damage on slow or immobile targets like bosses.
  • Lock on Missile: Anti-aircraft missiles with shallow turning arcs and a tendency to occasionally hit walls and other obstacles so get into the habit of facing open space before firing them.
B: Charge Shot, Fire Whip, Lock on Laser
  • Charge Shot: Slow firing shot that can be charged to do more damage. Hold the fire button to charge the shot to do more damage. The small explosion generated at the point of contact is simply for visual effect and does not inflict any damage whatsoever.
  • Fire Whip: A flamethrower that has short range, which is devastating at close quarters but utterly useless at long distances. The fire whip's range is always a problem, and since this set lacks decent long-range firepower, you may be in trouble in some stages. However, it can also destroy some projectiles, which allows you to, in some cases, simply perform a mindless charge into a rank of enemies and incinerate them with impunity.
  • Lock-on Laser: Weaker than missiles, but somewhat more maneuverable. Lasers still occasionally hit walls and other obstacles so get into the habit of facing open space before firing your lock-on attack.
C: Spread Shot, Classic Fireball, Lock on Thunder
  • Spread Shot: Slow firing version of the Metal Slug shotgun. The old Contra spread shot is no longer applicable to the newer Contra games. This weapon is best used up close, but can hit enemies from far away. Think of it as a machine gun with re-purposed bullets and pattern. Against many enemies (in a line), try to flank them, or you may only slay the front few soldiers but get killed by the following enemies.
  • Fireball: A medium speed shot that is the old Contra "F" weapon. It does decent damage and has good speed. It is just not rapid firing like the machine gun but the increased shot damage (and bigger shot size) makes up for that. A good weapon, but dorky looking.
  • Lock on Thunder: Does not turn to track enemies, so you need to face the target when releasing your lock-on attack key. Able to hit numerous targets at once but because of their quantity, individual shots are significantly weaker than the missiles in Type A.
D: Lightning, Ground Bazooka, Heaven's Laser
  • Lightning: A single powerful semi-tracking proton beam. Similar to Ghostbusters but without Ramis, Aykroyd and Murray. It punctures small enemies and kills most peon enemies with one hit. Overall a good weapon, but slow to fire.
  • G Bazooka: A devastating rocket that fires like the grenade in Type A but is more powerful and faster. Unlike the grenades, they explode against anything, making them an instant-kill. Destroys most non-boss enemies in three or fewer shots. It is slightly slow and timing it to hit fast moving bosses is somewhat difficult. Against immobile or slow enemies, you'll want this weapon to get rid of them quickly.
  • Heaven's Laser: Think back to the orbital ion cannon concept left over from Reagan's SDI program. Essentially the best lock-on attack since it is quick and almost instantaneous. The lasers are as powerful as the Type A missiles. Very fast, strong and deadly, it will never miss targets and can even penetrate through obstacles.
E: Drill Shot, Reflect Laser, Lock on Fairy's Laser
  • Drill: A version of the G Bazooka that does continuous damage to enemies. Waiting for the shots to bore through the enemy takes time (which you may or may not have) as opposed to the instant gratification of the G Bazooka. However, if you like the reflect laser, the drill shot is a workable solution.
  • Reflective Laser: A laser that reflects off walls and other environmental surfaces. Allows you to attack from around corners and is as fast as the Type C classic fireball. All lasers in Contra are precise weapons and the narrow area of attack may leave some enemies unscathed if they approach you from unconventional angles.
  • Fairy Laser: A laser attack similar to the Type B lock-on laser, but less powerful. It has better tracking abilities than the missiles, however.
F: Ripple Laser, GV Laser, Lock on Variable Weapon
  • Ripple Laser: The Gradius Vic Viper "ring" laser. Fires faster than the Type C classic fireball but does slightly less damage. However, the shot grows in size and width as it heads out further from the player. A reasonably good weapon to mess around with.
  • G V Laser: The Gradius V directional laser. Continuously hoses a thin energy string to the edge of the screen and can cover areas if waved around. Moderately powerful when focused on one target.
  • Lock on Variable Weapon: An energy version of the missile with slightly better homing ability, but always try to attack targets from far off or the shots will be unable to turn tight enough to track close targets.

Katana Jaguar combinations[]

A: Katana, Classic Fireball, Lock-on Laser
  • Katana: Destroys small enemy shots. Jaguar's normal katana kills most small enemies in one hit and destroys some shots. It is unreliable when used to deflect shots though, so try to avoid shots as usual. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them.
  • Classic Fireball: The old Contra "F" weapon. It does decent damage and has good speed. It is just not rapid firing like the machine-gun but the increased shot damage (and bigger shot size) makes up for that. A good weapon, but dorky looking.
  • Lock-on Laser: Fires powerful tracking lasers from Bill Rizer's "ass-pack". Weaker than missiles, but more maneuverable (slightly). Lasers still occasionally hit walls and other obstacles so get into the habit of facing open space before firing your lock-on attack.
B: Katana, Fire Whip, Lock-on Thunder
  • Katana: Destroys small enemy shots. Jaguar's normal katana kills most small enemies in one hit and destroys some shots. It is unreliable when used to deflect shots though, so try to avoid shots as usual. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them.
  • Fire Whip: A flamethrower with short range and is devastating at close quarters. The fire whip's range is always a problem, and since this set lacks decent long-range firepower, you may be in trouble in some stages. However, it can also destroy some projectiles, which allows you to, in some cases, simply charge into a rank of enemies and incinerate them with impunity.
  • Lock on Thunder: Fires powerful lightning from Bill Rizer's gun. Does not turn to track enemies, so you need to face the target when releasing your lock-on attack key. Having this many lock-ons also mean the individual shots are significantly weaker than the missiles in Type A.
C: Machine Gun, Fire Katana, Lock-on Laser
  • Machine Gun: The standard long reaching Contra machine gun. Full automatic fire and generally the best "overall" weapon for most situations, making it a jack of all trades. However, it has minor shot spread and lacks the pinpoint accuracy of laser weapons, which may prove problematic when trying to hit tiny targets.
  • Fire Katana: The flaming version of the katana does G Bazooka type damage in about half the time. Its range makes it a liability in some boss fights, but get good with it and you can kill most bosses in a much faster time to unlock Lucia. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them. Like the fire whip, it can destroy projectiles, so you can simply rush straight into a rank of opponents.
  • Lock-on Laser: Weaker than missiles, but more maneuverable (slightly). Lasers still occasionally hit walls and other obstacles so get into the habit of facing open space before firing your lock-on attack.
D: Lighting, Fire Katana, Heaven's Laser
  • Lightning: A single powerful semi-tracking proton beam. Kinda like Ghostbusters but without Ramis, Aykroyd and Murray. It punctures small enemies and kills most peon enemies with one hit. Overall a good weapon, but slow to fire.
  • Fire Katana: The flaming version of the katana does G Bazooka type damage in about half the time. Its range makes it a liability in some boss fights, but get good with it and you can kill most bosses in a much faster time to unlock Lucia. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them. Like the fire whip, it can destroy projectiles, so you can simply rush straight into a rank of opponents and go Rambo on them.
  • Heaven's Laser: Think back to the orbital ion cannon concept left over from Reagan's SDI program. Basically the best lock-on attack since it is quick and almost instantaneous. The lasers are as powerful as the Type A missiles. Very fast, strong and deadly, it will never miss targets or be blocked by an obstacle.
E: Katana, Reflect Laser, Lock-on Fairy Laser
  • Katana: Destroys small enemy shots. Jaguar's normal katana kills most small enemies in one hit and destroys some shots. It is unreliable when used to deflect shots though, so try to avoid shots as usual. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them.
  • Reflect Laser: A laser that reflects off walls and other environmental surfaces. Allows you to attack from around corners and is as fast as the Type C classic fireball. All lasers in Contra are precise weapons and the narrow area of attack may leave some enemies unscathed if they approach you from odd angles.
  • Lock on Fairy Laser: A laser attack similar to the Type B lock-on laser, but less powerful. It has better tracking abilities than the missiles, however.
F: Ripple Laser, Fire Katana, Lock on Variable Weapon
  • Ripple Laser: The Gradius Vic Viper "ring" laser. Fires faster than the Type C classic fireball but does slightly less damage. However, the shot grows in size and width as it heads out further from the player. A reasonably good weapon to mess around with.
  • Fire Katana: The fire version of the katana does G Bazooka type damage in about half the time. Its range makes it a liability in some boss fights, but get good with it and you can kill most bosses in a much faster time to unlock Lucia. Katana attacks make your player move forward to the target, so joust bosses or you may wind up touching them.
  • Lock on Variable Weapon: An energy version of the missile with slightly better homing ability, but always try to attack targets from far off or the shots will be unable to turn tight enough to track close targets.

Stages[]

Stage Name Minibosses Boss Music
1 Frontline Base 985 Gigamech
Gegebonne
Magnus
Guerilla Contra
2 Stage 2 Armed Jeep
Geroika
Earth Dragon
Mystery G
Plant Contra Battle Train
3 Base Tarakoid S
Land Worm
Beam Frame Mech
Drone Frame Mech
Pheromone Contra
4 Aircraft Carrier - Animal Contra Jungle Juncture
5 Neo Contra Research Facility Tarakoid M
Kimkoh
Gironga
Gava
Searle
6 Master C Base - Master Contra
7 Space - Master Contra A True Last Boss

Script[]

Main article: Neo Contra/Script

Related products[]

Gallery[]

Main article: Neo Contra/Gallery

Videos[]

References to media sources[]

Trivia[]

  • If Lucia is selected as a playable character, she won't always be seen during cutscenes (especially in Mission 3) and will sometimes be replaced by Bill.
  • Neo Contra runs on a similar engine to Contra: Shattered Soldier. They even feature similar menus, the order of levels played, and similar gameplay style, although Neo Contra plays in an overhead view rather than the typical side-scrolling view the Contra series is mainly known for.
Handshake - Predator - 01
  • During the introductory cutscene, Bill and Jaguar are seen shaking hands employing great strength and flexing their biceps as they do so. This seems to be a reference to the iconic handshake performed by Dutch and Dillon in the 1987 sci-fi action film, Predator (which the Contra series often takes inspiration of).
  • The ending theme in Neo Contra was reused as "Rock It Breaks" in the Konami wrestling video game Rumble Roses XX.
  • The voice actors for the game appear to be uncredited in both the game's manual and credits.
  • Beau Billingslea (Jaguar), Wendee Lee (Lucia), and Steven Jay Blum (Master Contra) all appeared in Cowboy Bebop.
  • The packaging artwork was done by Jim Lee and Alex Sinclair (who is credited as a Color Separator). These two illustrators are known for their artwork on DC Comics.[1]
  • The Jaguar aircraft-cutting scene was later referenced in Konami's other game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
  • The game's plot appears similar to the film Judge Dredd, where the main character was secretly a product of a project intended to create the perfect soldier ("judge"). The main antagonist is also part of this project. The setting also takes place within a future where Earth is declared an uninhabitable wasteland, with the main protagonists hunting down criminals.
  • In the Weapon Select menu, all uses of the word Lock-on is spelled without the hyphen, compared to everywhere else in the game (including the game's manual).

See also[]

  • Contra: Shattered Soldier - Previous game of the series on the same console. It uses the same engine and features a similar gameplay style.

References[]

  1. As credited in Neo Contra's instruction booklet, page 19.
Neo Contra
Organizations
Contra
Bill Rizer (clone) • Jaguar
Neo Contra
Bosses
Guerilla ContraPlant ContraPheromone ContraAnimal ContraSearleMaster Contra
Minibosses
Gigamech • GegebonneMagnusMystery GEarth DragonGeroikaDograTarakoid SLand Worm • Beam Frame Mech • Drone Frame Mech • Tarakoid MKimkohGirongaGava
Stages
Frontline Base 985Stage 2BaseAircraft CarrierNeo Contra Research FacilityMaster C BaseSpace
Soundtrack
Neo Contra Original Soundtrack
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