Contra

Contra Spirits 64 [N64 – Cancelled]

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!

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Contra Rebirth [Wii – Beta / Debug]

Contra Rebirth, a run ‘n’ gun downloadable game from Nintendo’s Wiiware service, released in Europe on September 9th of ’09, and America only 3 short days later, with one big difference. The European version has a code to access the games debug mode, allowing you to modify what weapons you have, give you invincibility, and access the game’s only remaining test level, which oddly enough, strongly resembles a level from Super Mario Bros. Unfortunatley, in just those short 3 days before the US version’s release, the debug mode was removed from the US version, while the European version kept it. Also odd, is that the Japanese version released first (05/12/09) and yet the European version is the only one to have the debug mode.

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Contra 4: removed 4-Players coop?

Robert Seddon told us that in Retro Gamer magazine #51, p. 39, they talked about a removed 4 players coop mode that was meant to be in Contra 4 for the DS. Matt Bozon, director of the game, told to RG that “Our first playable incarnation was four-player Wi-Fi, but it was taking us in the direction of a wildly unbalanced game with fewer bells and whistles. We dabbled with Rumble Pak, but the team wanted each feature done right or not at all.” In the magazine we can ever read that some screens of the 4 players mode were released online, but i dont remember any.. do you know where to find these?

In a related note, on Wikipedia there are some infos on the leaked Contra 4 Beta ROM: “A Prototype version of the game was leaked to the internet in ROM image form. The NDS header indicates a US serial, but the game has been suggested to be a European prototype. The similarities between the prototype game and early game trailers confirm that they are the same. Among the many differences from the final product, each level starts the player with 99 lives, the player can choose any level, the Factory and Alien Hive stages are incomplete and sounds are missing and/or placed in different cues.” 

Unseen Changes: Contra VS Probotector

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Contra: Japan & USA vs Europe

Even though the arcade version of Contra was distributed in Europe under the title of Gryzor with its graphical content unchanged, Konami were forced to changed the in-game graphics for the NES version, replacing the human characters with robotic counterparts, when it was released in the PAL region due to a censorship policy in Germany that did not allowed the graphical depiction of humans beings killing each other in video games. Konami changed the game’s title to Probotector (a portmanteau of “robot” and “protector), replacing Bill and Lance with robotic counterparts named RD008 and RC011, as well as most of the human enemy characters.

The subsequent games in the series, Super C for the NES and Contra III: The Alien Wars for the SNES received the same treatment, becoming Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces and Super Probotector: Alien Rebels respectively. The Game Boy versions were subjected to this conversion as well, with Operation C and Contra: The Alien Wars becoming the Game Boy versions of Probotector and Probotector 2. Ironically, despite the change in the games’ graphics, the plot descriptions in their manuals followed their Japanese counterparts more closely than their Americans to the point that they’re practically literal translations. The PAL version of Contra: Hard Corps, which was simply titled Probotector, was the last game to undergo this conversion. The Mega Drive version of Probotector does not follow the continuity of the previous games and drastic changes were made to the in-game plot.

The first console Contra game to remain intact in the PAL region would be the PlayStation game Contra: Legacy of War (C: The Contra Adventure was not released). Every new Contra game released afterwards in the PAL region, including Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX (the GBA version of Contra III) were released unchanged and with the same localization given in the American version.

[Info from Wikipedia]

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Universal Soldier [SNES – Unreleased]

Turrican was released in 1989 for the Commodore 64 and 1990 for the Amiga and Atari ST. It was Programmed by Rainbow Arts and Factor 5. Then Accolade made a port to the Sega Genesis, GameBoy, and Turbo Graphix 16. The Accolade Ports were a huge disaster. However, Accolade wanted to do the same thing with Turrican 2, which is known to be the best Turrican game and in general one of the best games ever made. They screwed up a classic and they wanted to screw up another.

However, the members of Accolade wanted to make their new port into a game based off of Universal Soldier to make more money. Universal Soldier was released for the Sega Genesis and Game Boy and was given horrible reviews. It’s a shame they took such a great game and turned it into a mess. There was going to be a Super Nintendo version but Nintendo didn’t license it despite the message on the title screen.

The Super Nintendo version was even worse than all of Accolade’s previous ports! The controls are messed up, the music sounds good at first but it becomes a mess. For example, one of the best songs in Turrican 2 is “The Wall” but in the SNES Universal Soldier version you can’t even hear the song because the beat is too loud. The Sound effects are annoying, the graphics are obviously ripped from Turrican, and the collision detection is beyond terrible.

If it was released, it would probably be called one of the worst games ever made. If you want to try this disaster a ROM of it was leaked on the internet.

Thanks a lot to Edward Morley for the description / info and to SNES Central for these images!

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