Contra Spirits 64 is a cancelled shooter / action game in the contra series that was in development by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka for the Nintendo 64. There are just a few info about this unreleased project as Konami never shown any official screenshot or concept art, but the title was in many list of games to be released for the N64 and the hopes went up for many Nintendo gamers that wanted a new and fun game for their 64bit console. Unfortunatly it seems that as the Nintendo 64 sold poorly in Japan, Konami decided to stop the development of the project and disbanded its team.
As we can read on IGN64:
Contra was planned, but the original team was disbanded and all team members now work on different projects,” said a company spokesperson. [Contra] has pretty much been shelved. […] There is concern over the poor N64 console sales in Japan […]
Contra 64 would have been a sidescrolling 3D game, with some sessions in which the camera would have switched angles or move behind the characters, possible for boss battles. There are some rumors that say that the Contra Spirits 64 concept was resurrected and became Contra: Shattered Soldier for PS2, but as Contra N64 was in development in 1998 and Contra PS2 was announced and released in 2002, it’s hard to say if the 2 project have anything in common.
Below you can see some scans from old magazines that wrote about Contra Spirits 64 (if you have Next Generation Issue 29, Volume 3 May 1997 and can make a bigger scan of their N64 article, please let us know!).
Thanks to Celine and Contrapedia for the contributions!
I interviewed Neil Casini, who pitched another reboot of Contra to Konami:
. I worked on a prototype for a Next Gen Contra. Eurocom was in
talks with Konami and another internal team had made an attempt at a
visual style but it didn’t go anywhere, they gave me a crack at it. I
threw it all away (sorry lads!) and started from scratch, focusing in
on the fundamental mechanics of a run’n’gun game. I decided to take
inspiration from Geometry Wars and utilise a twin-stick control system
whereby you steered your character with the left stick and aimed and
fired your gun with the right stick. It had a semi-auto lock-on that
meant you just pointed the stick towards the enemy and it would handle
the vertical aiming for you. It meant that we could author the camera
to keep the action on screen and always look dramatic while you just
jumped around looking cool. We thought it was awesome. As did the
Konami producer when he came to see the demo. Sadly, we didn’t get the
Sources at Konami, Japan, told
IGN64.com that the company is
preparing to revive yet another
classic series on N64: Contra.
Tentatively called Contra Spirits
64 in Japan, the sequel to the
critically acclaimed shooter will take
the original two-player action
concept and recreate it in a 3D
universe. Levels will still be
somewhat linear, like in the 16-bit
classic, but the camera will
sometimes switch angles or move
behind the characters.
Contra (or Probotector, in
Europe) made its debut in the
arcades and has since appeared on
numerous platforms, including
MSX, NES, Super NES, Sega
Genesis, Saturn and PlayStation.
Unfortunately, the PSX game,
Contra: Legacy of War, was
handled by an outside developer
(Apaloosa) and failed to live up its
predecessors in almost every way.
N64 owners will be happy to hear
that Contra 64 is being done
in-house by Konami in Japan and
promises to bring back the original
two-player gameplay and many of
the cool weaponry and aliens that
made the Super NES game such a
hit. Let’s hope that this one won’t
go the way of Mystical Ninja and
turn into a one-player game in the
The US branch of Konami would
neither confirm nor deny the
development of Contra 64, but
we’re sure the company will make
an announcement before the end of
the year both in Japan and the