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* AdaptationDisplacement: Both ''Contra'' and ''Super C'' were originally released in the arcades, but the NES ports of these games are more popular than the arcade version.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Offered as a reward for trying ''Contra 4'' on Hard Mode.
** Much of ''Hard Corps''' music, such as [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMD8my9Q1tI The Hard Corps]] (The first stage), ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iu2ZqRyF-k The Last Springsteen]]'' (final Music/{{B|ruceSpringsteen}}oss) and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO5PDrgO1Q GTR Attack]]''
** Practically ''all'' of the 8-bit tunes from the NES games, particularly the iconic [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrMzUa0Dww Jungle/Hangar theme]] from ''Contra'' and the badass [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9BDah-gh1k Boss theme]] from ''Super C''.
*** Worth noting is this song titled [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLHnACO6JkE Hotter than Hell]], which fell onto LongSongShortScene in the Arcade version because it played during the short and easily dispatched penultimate boss, before reverting to the more eerie stage music. The NES version fixes this by letting the awesome song become [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wMAFwN4JfM the stage music of the corresponding stage]] (which became the sixth stage due to AdaptationExpansion) and then ''Contra Rebirth'' elevated it, alongside with the aforementioned [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqG7glJxM_o GTR Attack]], into [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVdVHeIJ9Zg a boss battle music]], which dials the awesomeness UpToEleven.
** The soundtrack in ''Contra: Shattered Soldier'' as well as the soundtrack to ''Neo Contra''. The former has a lot of [[AutobotsRockOut heavy metal music]] while the latter has dance/rave music.
* BreatherBoss:
** The Stage 7 boss in ''Contra 4''.
** ''Contra: Hard Corps'' has a breather MiniBoss in the [[MultipleEndings Route B]] ending of the game. After defeating [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Colonel]] [[ThatOneBoss Bahamut]] (provided that [[RefusalOfTheCall you rejected]] [[WeCanRuleTogether his invitation]]), the player will face off against [[TheDragon Deadeye Joe]] who [[DragonWithAnAgenda doesn't care much]] [[DragonTheirFeet about Bahamut's death]]. He cannot kill the player via CollisionDamage and only has one attack: an easily avoidable horizontal shot. After Joe is a somewhat-annoying miniboss, and then the FinalBoss.
* BrokenBase: There's a bit of a divide on whether the ''Contra'' or ''Probotector'' versions are better. While many prefer the ''Contra'' versions because they're the uncensored originals and run at a superior 60Hz refresh rate rather than PAL 50Hz, ''Probotector'' is preferred by another crowd because the robots are perceived as [[RuleOfCool cooler]] and less generic.
** It also isn't uncommon to see fans of ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'' and ''Contra: Hard Corps'' argue about which game is the best in the series especially considering that both games split the franchise in two entirely different directions (with ''Contra III'' being a basis for ''[=ReBirth=]'' and ''Contra 4'', while ''Hard Corps'' style of gameplay was revisited in ''Shattered Soldier'', ''VideoGame/HardCorpsUprising'', and to some extent ''Neo Contra'').
** On the topic of ''Hard Corps'', another divide is over which ending is considered the True Ending.
* ClicheStorm: Most of ''Neo Contra''.
* ContestedSequel: ''Contra 4'', surprisingly. While many hail its return to the series' roots, some feel that the combination of the DS's two screens makes for an awkwardly-tall screen with a [[CameraScrew gap between the screens]], especially when stages emphasizing horizontal movement are involved. The lack of a stage select or stage practice despite being released in 2007, when stage select and practice had long since become staples of arcade ports and arcade-style consumer games hardly helps much for those trying to practice later stages and don't want to have to go through previous stages every time. While the overwhelming consensus is that it's far better than the [=PS1=] ''Contra'' games that really hurt the series' image, some feel that it's still an inferior product to other games such as ''The Alien Wars'' and ''Hard Corps''.
* DifficultButAwesome: Brad Fang in ''Hard Corps''. He possesses no homing weapons so you really have to aim well while dodging the enemy attacks, not to mention, he's got the biggest hit box in the game. One of his weapons is a short explosive punch that forces you to stand still when you fire and cannot be aimed, and his 4th weapon, Psychic Blaster, forces you to stop and fires a pathetically weak orb that only be fired forward. Those who knew how he works and juggle well between dodging and aiming, are rewarded with [[GameBreaker one of the most powerful characters in the game]]: That punch takes a huge chunk of damage especially to stationary bosses and can be rapid-fired too, and Psychic Blaster is actually a ChargedAttack, charge it and see bosses that dare to get into Brad's horizontal line of sight get reduced to ashes in one to three blasts.
* DorkAge: The Appaloosa-developed games released during the late 1990's.
* GameBreaker: The [[SpreadShot Spread Gun]] in the NES games, especially if combined with the Rapid Bullets power-up.
** The upgraded version of the machine gun in the arcade game ''Super Contra'' has a ridiculously fast firing rate that allows you to wipe out bosses in a matter of seconds.
** Brad Fang in ''Hard Corps'' with his Psychic Blaster (fully charged). Takes down bosses in two or three blasts. And considering that there are ''lots'' of bosses in ''Hard Corps''... Brad is like designed to break ''Hard Corps'', his other arsenals include a short range explosive punch which hits a lot for short range, and his upgraded first weapon is a much more rapid [[SpreadShot Spray Burst]] which decimates enemies real quick, and his other weapon is a mid-range flame thrower that moves to wherever Brad changes his aiming... Most of them will make up for how his charged Psychic Blaster can't be used against anything that doesn't come in a horizontal line against him. [[DifficultButAwesome Just get used to his big hit box and lack of homing weapons, it's worth it.]]
*** In the same game, Browny is half the size of the other characters, lowering the chance of getting hit tremendously, has a double jump and is in possession of the Electro-Yo-Yo: a homing, long-range electric spike-ball-tipped beam that pierces through every single obstacle and defenses in the game and deals insane, continuous damage. You hardly need to aim with the thing, allowing you to concentrate on just dodging.
*** In ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'', the most powerful weapons in the game include the Laser Gun, which, while it fires at a slow rate, pierces through enemies and kills bosses faster, as well as the Fire Gun, which does high damage to enemies and kills bosses in seconds if you aim at their weak spots. Then there's the Crush Missiles, which are supposed to balance their incredible damage with a slow firing rate and not quite fullscreen range, but since the game allows you to instantly switch between two weapons, rapidly spamming two alternating Crush Missiles makes every boss a joke.
*** By lesser extent, the heatseeker gun, even if it is weak compared to the other two, because '''you don't have to worry about aiming if you hold (Y).'''
*** ''Neo Contra'' has Weapon Sets D and F as well as Jaguar's katana. Set D has a LightningGun that can OneHitKill many enemies, the secondary is a hard hitting bazooka that does massive damage against bosses and stationary objects, and the lock-on weapon is the Heaven's Laser, which is absurdly strong, never misses, and reloads stupidly fast, making things that need a lock-on utter push-overs. Set F has the GV Laser (named after ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}} V'') which fires a constant laser beam with a ridiculously long range. Jaguar's katana is another powerful weapon, because it can take out bosses in a few swings if you get up close to them.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The game is very fondly recalled by retro gamers in Poland. Any time Pegasus ("Polish NES") is mentioned, Contra is brought up and people usually speak about it along the lines of: "Those were the times..."
** [[DolledUpInstallment Contra Force]] is beloved in Russia, mainly because of the fact, that in the 90's this game was widely distributed on bootleg carts in both original and hacked forms (hacked versions of the game featured mostly fixed slowdowns) and also because the setting of the game resonated with the [[UsefulNotes/TheNewRussia situation in the country at that time]].
* GuideDangIt: ''Contra 3'' has top-down shooting stages where you can rotate your character to aim. What the game doesn't tell you is that you can double tap L or R to rotate faster. This seemingly useless maneuver is ''extremely'' useful against the boss of Stage 5 on Hard difficulty when he starts to spin your character uncontrollably-- double tapping rotating against the way the boss is forcing the player to spin will make aiming at the boss weakspot much less troublesome.
* HarsherInHindsight: Try playing the other ''Contra'' games after finding out in ''Shattered Soldier'' that [[spoiler: the aliens invaded Earth because [[WellIntentionedExtremist the Triumvirate had secretly stolen a sacred relic from them]], and that Lance Bean became a WellIntentionedExtremist himself by trying to overthrow the Triumvirate]]. And try playing ''Shattered Soldier'' after [[spoiler: seeing Lucia become one of the members of the QuirkyMinibossSquad that must be killed]].
* HilariousInHindsight: The European releases of first four titles were {{Bowdlerise}}d to feature ''Contra'' characters as robots. Fast forward to ''Neo Contra'' where [[spoiler:[[RoboticReveal there's a robot character whose his name contains "Contra". Yes, Master Contra]]]].
** The Japanese version of ''Contra: Hard Corps'' [[DifficultyByRegion had a life meter that could allow the player to take three hits before dying]]. Also, at the end of the game, Colonel Bahamut offers the two heroes a choice: either accept the "WeCanRuleTogether" offer and get a bad ending, or reject the offer and fight him. ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'' would soon borrow the health meter formula from the game's Japanese version, as well as [[spoiler:the Devil's similar "WeCanRuleTogether" offer toward the end]]. Oh, and Noiman Cascade's Virtual Zone forms including the constellations Taurus, Sagittarius, and Gemini? ''Cuphead'' borrows that formula, too.
* HoYay: Bill and Lance, especially how their [[spoiler: broken]] bond practically moves the story in ''Shattered Soldier''. Also, in the European ''Gryzor'' continuity, the title is from their shared surname, as if they ''were'' a married couple (well, they could be also brothers, but that wasn't ever clarified, and the subtext remains).
** Genbei "Jaguar" Yagyu and Bill Rizer in ''Neo Contra'' especially in Joke Ending. To clarify, they swim in space, [[{{Fundoshi}} only in loincloths]], while Bill holds that of Genbei, and to add a cherry on top of this all [[spoiler: there are sounds of gay sex in the background.]]
** In the original ''Contra: Hard Corps'', there is a Joke Ending, where the player character is transported to prehistoric Earth, and becomes a monarch of proto-humans, with one of the females being the player character's queen. This happens [[PurelyAestheticGender even if you play as Sheena.]] Of course, it also happens if you [[{{Robosexual}} play as Browny]].
* ItsEasySoItSucks: The opinion of many on ''Neo Contra'', if not for [[ScrappyMechanic the Hit-Rate system]].
* ItsShortSoItSucks: Many peoples' opinions on the original arcade games, ''Neo'', and ''[=ReBirth=]''.
** The arcade versions of the first two games were intentionally made to be short, as most arcade games are meant to play in short sessions. A perfect playthrough of either game can be done in less than ten minutes, which is an ideal time period if you're a kid in the 80s waiting for his mother to finish her grocery shopping.
* MoodWhiplash: ''Contra: Hard Corps'' looked like to be set on a less bleak universe and more fighting human terrorists that used a lot of robots. In one of the path, however, suddenly the Alien Cell broke loose and takes you straight to a WombLevel that looks more like belonging from ''Contra'' games that has Bill Rizer in it. You also get to see [[BigBad Bahamut]]'s soldiers infested on screen and becoming alien creeps, and the music itself takes a darker turn unlike the rest of the action-packed stuffs. [[NightmareFuel Brrr...]]
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Master Contra in ''Neo Contra'' crosses it when he fatally wounds Mystery G after giving Bill Rizer a HeroicBSOD when he [[BreakThemByTalking told him that he was the real Bill Rizer]].]]
* NarmCharm: ''Contra III'''s [[{{Engrish}} "Let's attack aggressively!"]] Has so much DullSurprise it loops back into RatedMForManly. Or maybe [[ButForMeItWasTuesday it's just another Tuesday for our heroes.]]
* OlderThanTheyThink: The original ''Contra'' is mistakenly considered to be inspired by ''Film/{{Predator}}'' thanks in part to Bob Wakelin's now iconic cover art for the home versions (which was traced over from publicity stills of Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Dutch Schaefer). In reality the arcade version began worldwide distribution on February 1987, predating the June 12 theatrical premiere of ''Predator'' by roughly four months.
** This applies to the KonamiCode as well. While the original ''Contra'' popularized the KonamiCode with its 30 lives and people now associate the KonamiCode with ''Contra'', the code actually originated from ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'', where using the code will power up your ship, the Vic Viper.
* PolishedPort: The original arcade game had a lot of flaws. The NES version fixed most of them, plus expanded the levels. It did take a graphical downgrade to get it onto NES hardware, but since it [[AdaptationDisplacement displaced the original]], not many people realize that.
* PortingDisaster: ''Contra: The Alien Wars'' for the Game Boy and ''Contra Advance'' for the GBA.
** Guru Larry did a complete episode of ''Games Yanks can't Wank'' covering {{Porting Disaster}}s of ''Contra''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av30Qpjm7dM See it here]].
* ScrappyMechanic:
** ''Contra 4'':
*** The use of both dual screens. In a game series where the player character [[OneHitPointWonder can't take much punishment]], the [[CameraScrew lack of visible space between them]] (to see incoming enemy bullets) can hinder things a fair bit.
*** The complete lack of a stage select, something that probably would've been excused in the 80's, not so much in 2007 when individually-selectable stages had since become the standard.
** The Hit-Rate system in UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 games. While it's pretty useful for reminding you not to make mistakes again, it does frustrate most gamers that it could prevent them from [[TrialAndErrorGameplay completing the game without any mistakes]]. Even worse is, you could get a DownerEnding if you do a slight mistake.
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: ''Contra 4'' for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS, along with ''Contra'' ''[=ReBirth=]'' for the UsefulNotes/WiiWare and ''VideoGame/HardCorpsUprising'' for UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade and UsefulNotes/PlayStationNetwork, those three games that came out after four consecutive installments that sat poorly with fans of the series (two lame [=PlayStation=] releases, one of which is also a UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn game, and two decent UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 games) which not only [[WinBackTheCrowd won back the crowd]], but whipped the series back into what it should be.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpK01tyv2-U Game Over music]] of ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'' sounds quite similar to a snippet of the ''Series/MissionImpossible'' theme. LeaningOnTheFourthWall about its {{Nintendo Hard}}ness maybe?
* TearJerker:
** [[spoiler: In ''Shattered Soldier'', Lance Bean was thought to have been murdered by Bill Rizer and destroyed four fifths of the world's population. Fast-forward to five years later, Lance Bean has apparently developed a FaceHeelTurn and is now a terrorist leader, but after Bill defeats Lance, as Lance dies, [[WellIntentionedExtremist he reveals that he only created the Blood Falcon organization to overthrow]] [[GreaterScopeVillain the Triumvirate]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist and expose their true plans.]] And in ''Neo'', Lucia is revealed to be one of the members of the Neo Contra organization, and unlike Lance, she dies without giving any real explanation behind her FaceHeelTurn.]]
** On a meta example, the artist of the original's game's cover, Bob Wakelin, passed away on January 21, 2018.
* ThatOneBoss: While a lot of Contra bosses are very hard, some will grate your nerves. For instance, the Spider Mutant at ''Hard Corps''. It moves erratically fast especially when shot, makes web to travel around the air at random pattern, all while firing either orbs that homes in two or three directions or multi-directional orbs at once. Do remember you're a OneHitPointWonder while doing all these. Its small size and speed also makes even Brad's {{charged|Attack}} [[GameBreaker Psychic Blaster]] less than effective.
* ThatOneLevel: Stage 4 of ''Neo Contra''.
* UncannyValley: One of the final bosses of ''Contra: Hard Corps'' is an alien whose first form has a face resembling a human woman that distorts hideously when hit.
** There's also the Jinmen-gyo ("Human-faced fish") from ''Contra: Shattered Soldier'' that ends up looking like a giant zombie version of a Gillman from ''VideoGame/{{Seaman}}''. Yikes.
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: ''Hard Corps'' pushed the Genesis to its absolute limits. From its impressively rich synth music to the very large bosses, to the convincing explosion effects, it rivals VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles in sheer pushing of the boundaries of the Genesis' hardware.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: At the time the earliest games were released, there was controversy over the US, under Ronald Reagan, supporting rebel groups in Nicaragua called the Contras, short for ''Contrarevolucionarios'', or "Counter-Revolutionaries." This caused some minor controversy and may have contributed to European release of the arcade game being titled ''Gryzor'' (since support for the ''Contra''(s) was considered right-wing and heavily opposed in Europe) and why the NES version of ''Super Contra'' and the Game Boy ''Contra'' game were retitled ''Super C'' and ''Operation C'' respectively.
** Bill Rizer [[ComicBookFantasyCasting resembles]] very much Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger, who is also a politician. [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed No politicans were harmed]], of course.
* {{Woolseyism}}: The localizations of the first two NES games and ''Operation C'' changed the setting from the [=27th century=] to the then-present (as well as the names of many of the characters). This became problematic when ''Contra III'' featured an obviously futuristic setting, so they had to change the main characters' name and claim that they were the descendants of the previous heroes.
** The European ''Gryzor'' and ''Probotector'' continuity changed most of the heroes into robots to tone done the human-related violence. As seen on the BrokenBase entry above, this is sometimes thought to be for the better.

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