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Fast paced and extremely difficult run and gun action game franchise developed by Konami. The original game debuted in 1987. The games generally focus on the Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque human soldier Bill Rizer who, along with his Sylvester Stallone-esque partner Lance Bean, battle armies of aliens using a wide variety of guns. Most of the games are in side-scrolling 2D, though there are 3d entries like Contra: Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure for the Playstation. Neo Contra is also different in that it uses a top down view similar to games like Ikari Warriors and Shock Troopers.
Besides its difficulty, the games are famous for featuring over the top level designs like Contra 3's missile hopping boss fight and frequently has the last level set inside a large alien. The game's difficulty comes from the consistent onslaught of enemies and bullets and the fact that the main characters can not take a single hit. Later games also mix platforming and shooting and involve the characters taking on enemies while jumping from platform to platform, which can be anything from vehicles to a falling wreckage of a spaceship, while shooting at enemies, avoiding enemies' attacks, and trying to not fall off the 'platforms.' The games are influenced by 1980s Hollywood films. Besides the heroes' resemblance to the most famous action stars of the decade, some of the alien enemies resemble the aliens in the Alien films and one boss in Contra 3, Daikaku Robot Big Fuzz (Robo-Corpse in North America and Grand Prize Robot Big Fuzz in Europe), and reappears in Contra 4 looks a lot like Terminators sans human skin. The first NES game also popularized what's known as the Konami Code: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A
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