'''''Hard Corps: Uprising''''' is Konami's first downloadable entry in the ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' series for XboxLiveArcade and {{PlayStation Network}}, despite not having the ''Contra'' name directly attached to it, although the game makes it [[NintendoHard pretty clear]] [[RecurringRiff that it is indeed]] part of the franchise. Produced by Creator/ArcSystemWorks -- best known for the critically acclaimed ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' and ''VideoGame/{{BlazBlue}}'' series of {{fight|ingGame}}ers -- it's the prequel to ''Contra: Hard Corps'', the spin-off entry released on the SegaGenesis, hence the name.

The [[ExcusePlot story]] of ''Uprising'' involves the, well, ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin uprising]]'' in the far future against the world's current tyrannical dictatorship, [[TheEmpire the Commonwealth]], and its leader [[BigBad Emperor Tiberius]]. Leading the [[LaResistance Union Forces]] in the fight is [[DefectorFromDecadence ex-Commonwealth soldier]] Bahamut[[note]]the final boss of ''Hard Corps''[[/note]], who deserted and switched sides after realizing it was evil. His unit also consists of fellow soldiers Krystal, a young woman with considerable combat skills whose village was destroyed during a Commonwealth attack and joins the fight so nobody else would have to suffer a tragedy like hers; Harley, a boisterous guy with CoolShades and an awesome pompadour; and female samurai Sayuri, who forgoes the whole shooting thing in favor of a more [[KatanasAreJustBetter close up and personal approach to fighting]]. Of the quartet, only Bahamut and Krystal are initially available as playable characters, with the other two, as well as Tiberius' [[TheDragon right hand man]] Leviathan, available as premium {{downloadable content}}.

Gameplay wise, ''Uprising'' combines the classic run-and-gun ''Contra'' formula -- wherein you move forward mowing down hooded {{Mooks}} and other dangerous opponents, picking up weapon {{power|Up}}-ups and dodging hailstorms of bullets -- with the style and some of the mechanics of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''. By default, your character can sprint forward, double jump and dash in midair, which makes evading enemy fire just a tiny bit easier. In addition to the Arcade Mode's challenge of blowing through all eight stages in a single go with [[NintendoHard limited lives and continues]], there's the more manageable "Rising Mode" where you can use upgrades to your characters purchased with your hard-earned points. These range from increasing your maximum amount of starting lives and health, improving your basic mobility, instantly receiving upgraded versions of weapons when you pick up their corresponding capsules, and adding new contextual moves such as dodging during a run (and counterattacking), reflecting certain enemy shots, or busting through barricades and enemy cover.

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!!Hard Corps: Uprising provides examples of:

* ArcNumber: 573 (which stands for Konami, in case you somehow didn't know by now) is all over the damn place and probably shows up more than in any other Konami game: the stage 3 midboss and boss are called 573-Tigris and 573-Draconis respectively, the Rising Mode has an upgrade that gives you 30 lives costs 57,300,000 points to buy and if you use a variation of KonamiCode that allows you to buy it without beating the game first with that character, the main menu reads "CODE 573". Finally, the longer you play the game, the more continues you get: the number starts from 3 and goes steadily up to 20 before finally jumping up to, you guessed it, 573.
* AnimeHair: Harley.
* ArtShift: With Arc Systems at the helm, the game heavily resembles ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', as in high-res sprites, anime characters, and 3D environments combined.
* AttackReflector: The Ripple power-up. While its range isn't very good, it can send any projectile fired at it zipping back towards the one who fired it in the first place.
* AwesomeYetPractical: The Chain Laser power-up. Its beams not only shoot remarkably fast and deal good damage, but it can ''track'' enemies at absurd angles. This is a ''homing laser,'' and it's just as awesome as you'd think it is.
* BackgroundBoss: [[spoiler:Tiberius Invictus.]]
* BadassBiker: Harley. He's seen riding his custom hog in the opening and ending cinematics.
** Stage 1 lets any of the players be this while fighting the first boss. [[spoiler: Twice.]]
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: The first major enemy you fight is one of the game's standard mooks driving a rather bizarre CoolCar that can detach into two halves, and has an arsenal including [[ThisIsADrill a huge mining drill]] and [[KillItWithFire a flamethrower.]] After you deplete its life meter, the player and the boss go zooming off a cliff together...and the latter promptly gets devoured by a giant robotic sand worm, who fills in for the now-vacant position of stage boss.
** [[spoiler: Subverted when you take out the mecha-worm and move on--at the very end of the stage, when you've gotten back on a motor-bike, the camera cuts to the fallen worm...and the mook-driven CoolCar ]] ''[[spoiler: rips its way out of the mecha-worm's body]]'' [[spoiler: to continue the fight!!]]
* BattleAmongstTheFlames: Stage 7 has you chase [[TheDragon Leviathan]] as his grenades set the whole Capital Tower Building on fire.
* {{BFG}}: The three gun using heroes apply, but Harley's gun is even bigger.
* {{BFS}}: Courtesy of the Knight Lunata.
* BigBad: Tiberius, the leader of the Commonwealth.
* BloodKnight: Harley, Leviathan and Tiberius.
* BraggingRightsReward: By the time you get the "UPRISING R" upgrade (30 lives), you probably won't need it because at that point, you're probably skilled enough to not need it. Not to mention you probably already bought all the other possible upgrades.
* BringMyRedJacket: Leviathan.
* BrokenBird: Krystal. Believes her life is irreversibly destroyed and she aims to fight until she dies so that somewhere out there, girls can grow up, go to school, get married and find happiness like normal human beings.
* BulletproofHumanShield: A notable moment of this happens at the end of Stage 7, where Leviathan grabs what should be a one-hit-point mook and uses him to absorb about ten seconds of concentrated fire from the horrible death guns the protagonists are carrying. Apparently the mooks gain many more hit points when they're about to die horrifically.
* DifficultButAwesome: Leviathan, more or less. In Arcade mode, playing him means that everything is essentially an OneHitKill, but to compensate, gaining access to 2 moves that grant him large amounts of invincibility frames (both of which are superior to the options other characters have since his slide goes farther and lasts longer than Sayuri's palm thrust and each moonsault covers a ridiculous amount of distance and allows you to chuck grenades downwards while performing one) and a permanent moderately strong secondary weapon both mean that he gets hit a lot less often to begin with if played properly.
** To a lesser extent, Sayuri. Killing bosses with her goes by in less than a minute if you're skilled enough, but that means you have to get within kissing distance of a boss and give yourself significantly less breathing room than if you're using a gun.
*** To an even lesser extent, the Heated Plasma weapon power-up. It's not a rapid-fire weapon like the other guns (at first), and its charged attack takes a few seconds to unleash. But then again, Heated Plasma does a lot of damage, and it can consume small-arms fire before it ever gets near you.
* DoomedByCanon: [[spoiler:Bahamut is the BigBad in ''Contra: Hard Corps''. [[WordOfGod The producers, however, have stated that]] [[NamesTheSame he could be someone else entirely, only sharing the same name]]. Doctor Mandrake as well since he also appears as an antagonist and dies in that game, though again, it could be someone else with the same name.]]
* DownloadableContent: To the frustration of many, two of the four characters displayed and showed off in the intro, Sayuri and Harley, must be purchased to be used. Afterward, a fifth character, the boss Leviathan, was released.
* TheDragon: Leviathan.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: In Stage 4, you have cars trying to run you over. Leads to some funny moments when two cars are trying to do it at once and crash into each other. And then of course there's driving on the ceiling later in the level.
* TheEmpire: The Commonwealth Empire.
* EpicRocking: Would you [[Music/HeavyMetal expect]] [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear anything]] [[VideoGame/BlazBlue less]] [[{{Badass}} from]] Creator/DaisukeIshiwatari?
* {{Expy}}: Sayuri = [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Baiken]].
** Bahamut = Sol Badguy.
*** More like a gun-toting [[VideoGame/StarGladiator Hayato Kanzaki]].
** Krystal = Millia Rage.
** Harley = Potemkin + Johnny.
** Leviathan = Ky Kiske + Chipp Zanuff.
** Tiberius = [[VideoGame/MegaManX Colonel]].
*** [[spoiler:Tiberius Augustus = Justice]].
*** [[spoiler:Tiberius Invictus = [[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Chaos]] (or, if you prefer, Valentine from the final battle of ''Guilty Gear 2: Overture'').]]
** Some of the enemies too. There's one who resembles a Gigafly (from ''Contra III'', ''Shattered Soldier'' and ''Contra 4'') that tries to "kidnap" your character by taking them away to the top of the screen.
* EscortMission: Near the end of Stage 5, Capital Laboratory. Escorting Dr. Mandrake.
* EvilLaugh: [[BigBad Tiberius]] and [[TheDragon Leviathan]].
* EyepatchOfPower: Krystal has one due to injuries suffered during the attack on her village. Doesn't stop her from being sexy, though.
* FastballSpecial: Leviathan uses a mook as a HumanShield and then throws him at you.
** Also, a mid-boss in the Jungle Stage will pick up an alligator and chuck it at you, although it's aim isn't as good.
* FetusTerrible: Boss 5, ''Celestial Imperator''.
* FreudianExcuse: [[spoiler:It is heavily implied that Sayuri is the daughter of Tiberius, seeking revenge for abandoning her and her mother.]]
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: ''Celestial Imperator'', the Stage 5 Boss, and ''Cerebus'', the Stage 7 Boss.
** The ''Celestial Imperator'' is not completely from out of nowhere, the pre-mission loading screen does state the level you fight him in is implied to be involved in genetic engineering.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: The helicopter mini-bosses from Level 2 each have a grabber arm... which they will use to throw ''crocodiles'' at you!
* HeroesPreferSwords: Sayuri, who wields a katana that can produce [[SwordBeam energy waves]].
** Inverted with [[BigBad Tiberius]], who also wields one.
* Music/HeavyMetal: Lots of HairMetal and ThrashMetal, courtesy of DaisukeIshiwatari.
* HelicopterBlender: The helicopter mini-bosses from Level 2 will occasionally land on either side of the screen and ''throw their blades at you''.
* HostageSpiritLink: If Dr. Mandrake takes too much damage while you're escorting him, he dies and revives shortly afterwards...[[TheScrappy using up one of your lives to do so.]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Krystal.
* ImmuneToBullets: Tiberius between attacks. "[[{{Narm}} I'm here!]] ''[[IShallTauntYou Shoot me!]]''"
** And when you respond to his request, he ''[[BulletCatch catches every single bullet you fire at him,]]'' then extends his arm out and [[OhCrap drops the bullets on the ground in front of him]].
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Sayuri eschews the massive death-dealing rifles of her comrades in favor of a samurai's sword. Considering that, properly-upgraded, it can slice through bosses like straw and can allow for [[SwordBeam Sword Beams]], it's not entirely unjustified.
** Tiberius also wields one. [[spoiler: It's one of the hints that he's Sayuri's father.]]
* KonamiCode: You can use it at the loading screen for Stage 1 to replace the music with a Daisuke Ishiwatari-ified remix of the Stage 1 theme from the first ''Contra''.
** You can also use another variation of it (replace B and A with LS/L3 and RS/R3 respectively) in the "Press Start" screen to unlock the ability to buy the upgrade that gives you 30 lives with every continue without beating the game first for every character. Notice the word "buy", meaning you still need to get the necessary 57,3 million points to [[DoubleUnlock be able to use it]].
* LaResistance: The Union Forces.
* LettingHerHairDown: Krystal does this in her ending scene.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Sayuri's loading screens reveal that Tiberius is her adoptive father.]]
* MeteorMove: Sayuri can use one if you connect with her upward palm strike. Useful if timed correctly since it has plenty of invincibility frames and the victim also kills any other enemies they come in contact with. Amusingly enough, it can also be performed on power-up capsules and otherwise immobile large flowers.
* MeaningfulName: [[NintendoHard Hard]] [[BadAss Corps]]. Think about it.
* MoneyGrinding: There are various methods of doing this to get upgrades...
** TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything / NoFairCheating: But if you do this too long you'll get a [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Negative Penalty]] and your score will be locked for the remainder of the stage. Usually happens when you hit a 40x combo multiplier.
* MoreDakka: The Machine Gun power-up is the best example of this, as it turns your lead-spitting rifle into a virtual minigun, especially at the max level.
* NintendoHard: Well, it ''is'' Contra. And it is called "'''Hard''' Corps". Not even Rising Mode subverts this.
** In Arcade Mode, you get 3 continues. There is an achievement for beating the first stage in Arcade Mode. This is much, much, MUCH harder than it sounds (you only get 3 lives to start, and are only able to use the various evasive moves and character-specific special abilities).
*** And then there's the following two achievements: [[SelfImposedChallenge "The definition of a warrior"]] means going through the game without picking up a special weapon.[[note]][[ExactWords Although it says nothing about actually being alive when the first 7 stages are cleared...]][[/note]] [[NintendoHard "I'll make them pay..."]] is going through ''without dying''. To say that only God could perform these feats would be the '''understatement of the century'''.
*** Another special mention is [[WeHaveReserves ''Disposable Warrior'']] which you have to stock up to 20 or more lives. The main reason this is so hard is because not only are a lot of the lives littered throughout levels, they can reach GuideDangIt level of finding them, not to mention some lives are in very... volatile areas. Thankfully, it's made easier because you simply have to get 20 lives, and you don't need to keep them. Keeping the lives while you climb up to 20 is the hard part.
* NoFairCheating / AntiGrinding: Attempting to milk a safespot for CP and score will eventually result in a [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear NEGATIVE PENALTY]], locking your score for the rest of the stage. That being said, the negative penalty takes a while to activate, meaning that one can theoretically grind for quite some time, die, then go back to the same spot and do it all over again for more points. It also seems to be easily fooled by doing anything except holding the fire button, allowing you to easily get enough points to max out your character several times over before it kicks in if you're bored enough to keep shooting the said respawning enemies manually or park your character on one of the conveyer belts in level 5 so that they're constantly pushed by the boxes coming out of the machine.
* OneHitKill: The sole reason [[ThatOneBoss Vitus Engine]] is sometimes referred to as the [[GameBreaker Sayuri]] killer. It's last attack consists of it rolling around the rim you stand on, and if it hits you, it deals one HP of damage... and sends you flying off the platform into a pit. The only way to avoid it is to successfully hit it, something that only Sayuri has trouble with due to her limited range, especially since it keeps gaining speed with every hit which eventually makes it so quick that it's extremely difficult for her to hit it even with autofire before it hits her.
** There's actually an alternate way to defeat it without leaving yourself open to the mercy of the game's collision detection: leaving one of the pillars extending from the ceiling intact and using it to climb up and hang from the ceiling before destroying it allows you to just attack downwards to hit the boss without getting rammed. You still need to take care that the rotation of the rim doesn't cause you to fall down since it moves faster than you do while hanging and thus need to spam airdashes when necessary.
** Arachne deserves mention here because every one of its attacks will knock you off and kill you. [[spoiler:Tiberis Invictus could qualify too. by the same rule of Arachne and Vitis Engine]].
*** Snipers can one hit kill players as well, but only in Arcade and early Rising Mode as they're technically doing 4 bars of damage per shot (and you can get more than 4 bars of life in Rising Mode).
*** Robotic alligators in the Jungle (and early Capital Tower) stage. Although getting caught by one of the gators may [[TooDumbToLive mean]]...
* OneHitPointWonder: Leviathan starts out this way. He can also only wield one weapon at a time.
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:Tiberius.]]
* OptionalStealth: Mission 5 has you sneaking into a laboratory. You can sneak past the {{Mooks}}, or just shoot them as normal.
* ParentalAbandonment: Sayuri, [[spoiler:by Tiberius.]] Also [[spoiler: Leviathan, as seen in his backstory info during chapter 4]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: Upon defeating Tiberius with Bahamut: "[[SeeYouInHell Go to hell]], [[YouMonster you monster]]!"
* RatedMForManly: Harley is the most obvious example of this trope, being a sunglasses-wearing BadassBiker with a thick beard and EightiesHair.
* RunningGag: Bahamut hates spiders...
* SandWorm: The boss of the first level is a robotic variant. You also fight other smaller robotic ones in the first level, which the boss also spits out.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Dr. Mandrake, as revealed during Harley's briefing text for Mission 5.
* ShoutOut: Boss 4 is ripped straight out of ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}},'' complete with ring bullets and [[AttackItsWeakPoint core shooting]].
** The Ripple weapon is also fired much like its Gradius counterpart, albeit with a much shorter range, but it has the benefit of negating and even reflecting enemy shots.
*** And finally, the {{Mook Maker}}s and the flying drones they spawn from Mission 8 are both straight from Gradius
** In Mission 5 you can hide in boxes like Franchise/MetalGear. The game even has similar alarm sound effects.
** All the increases to your max number of starting lives in Rising Mode reference previous Contra titles in their names: "Uprising S" = Super Contra, "Uprising III" = Contra III, "Uprising SS" = Shattered Soldier, ect. And then there's the prohibitively expensive [[KonamiCode "Uprising 30"]] earned by completing Rising Mode...
** One of Krystal's alternate colors gives her outfit the same scheme as [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Noel Vermillion's]]; combined with the fact that her rifle looks a lot like Noel's "Zero Gun: Fenrir" Distortion Drive, this is most likely not coincidental.
*** Likewise, she has [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]]' color scheme, heck even the gun is based from her Power Suit!
** It wouldn't be from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', but the male character has Bang's color scheme. Likewise, Bang has a ''Hard Corps'' outfit as well.
** Might be bit of a stretch, but the first battle against Tiberius has several things in common with the battle against Colonel in ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'': both involve high-ranked military men with {{Commissar Cap}}s that use swords as their main form of offense and can block your attacks in a game where enemies rarely do so and both battles take place near a location with flying battleships.
** Leviathan has a [[Franchise/{{Halo}} Master Chief]] and [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion EVA-01]] palette.
** In Stage 5 with Harley at the start he will say "What is this place?" la the arcade intro to ''Super Contra''.
** The rocket-hopping part in Stage 7 is more than a passing resemblance to the fourth stage (and boss) of ''Contra III''. Only you don't fight the boss this way, and the rockets are flying upwards, not to one side.
* SpreadShot: ''Obviously''. While it's still invaluable against {{Mook}}s due to its wide field of fire (especially when upgraded), it's not nearly as useful against bosses since each projectile does less damage than a normal shot, you need to get close enough to most bosses in order for all the shots to hit and even then it only equals the damage output of most other weapons.
* ThemeNaming: Sayuri's sword upgrades, as follows.
** Kikuichimonji: Named after the 13 Japanese swords that bear the imperial chrysanthemum crest for each month of the year.
** Raikiri: ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' reference. Translates to "Lightning Blade".
** Muramasa: The name of a real Japanese swordsmith who, in legends, created swords that were bloodthirsty and evil. This is a commonly used name for swords in fiction.
** Masamune: Like Muramasa, the name of a very famous Japanese swordsmith. Often used as a name for swords of superior quality in fiction.
** Amanomurakumo: The sword used by Susano'o to slay Orochi, renamed Kusanagi afterward. Also a ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' reference.
*** This specific name counts as a minor GeniusBonus because the sword Kusanagi could control the wind, and guess what Sayuri's [[RazorWind Charge Attack]] is?
* ThisIsTheFinalBattle: "[[Narm Now then, can I beat you up?]] '''LET'S BEGIN THE [[VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead FAHNAL BATTHOL]].'''"
* TraintopBattle: The entirety of Stage 6, including the boss battle with Arachne.
* UndyingLoyalty: Leviathan is Tiberius' most faithful soldier. This is especially evident when you play as him, and find that he's still loyal to Tiberius even after finding out the truth of the Capital Laboratory in stage 5.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: In Stage 4, the boss is a flying 2D homage to ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'', and Stage 5 starts off as a [[Franchise/MetalGear stealth sequence]].
** Of course, you can skip the stealth altogether and storm the lab with guns-a-blazin', the way the game is meant to be played.
* VideoGameSettings
** Level 1: ShiftingSandLand
** Level 2: JungleJapes
** Level 3: TempleOfDoom
** Level 4: Capital (with a NostalgiaLevel sequence)
** Level 5: ElaborateUndergroundBase
** Level 6: SinisterSubway
** Level 7: ItsAllUpstairsFromHere
** Level 8: BattleshipRaid
* WakeUpCallBoss: '''ARACHNE'''. A boss who teaches you that health won't protect you from falling.
** To put this in perspective, imagine you're riding on the top of a train car. Suddenly, you enter a tunnel, and when you come out of it the view has changed to you grabbing on the car for dear life as the camera switches vertically. Then this big mecha comes in, sending out mechanical BEES like his [[VideoGame/BlazBlue namesake]]. While it's doing this it's charging up a laser that causes the entire line of cars you're holding onto to explode. You need to dodge both the bees and the lasers while jumping to the set of cars opposite you. Woe to anyone playing Harley at this point.
* WarHasNeverBeenSoMuchFun: Applies to the game...but Harley [[BloodKnight actually believes this]].
* WeUsedToBeFriends: [[TheDragon Leviathan]] and [[TheHero Bahamut]]. It's especially evident in Leviathan's between-mission briefings, where Leviathan is haunted by Bahamut [[DefectorFromDecadence turning against the Commonwealth]].
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: The enemy soldier deaths in cutscenes are almost always played for laughs.
** In Stage 1, a mook gets run over by the first boss. Said boss later gets eaten by a bigger boss. [[spoiler: Subverted in that the first boss is piloted by one of the aforementioned mooks, who tears his way out of the bigger boss to continue the fight.]]
** In Stage 2, mooks tend to get caught by alligators. Also, while not in a cutscene, if you're not speeding through the level, you'll see a mook land in an alligator's open mouth.
** In Stage 6, one mook gets left behind by the train and subsequently tackled by the player character.
** In Stage 7, Leviathan uses a mook as a HumanShield, and then [[FastballSpecial chucks him at you.]]
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