Contra started out in the arcade as a pretty difficult run-and-gun, but really shined when it was ported to the NES. Aside from the standard side-scrolling shoot-em-up action, Contra also introduced some pseudo-3D stages and vertical scrolling stages to change things up a bit. There are also several cool bosses, awesome weapons, and 8 exciting areas to blast your way through.
Although the Japanese version was released at around the same time as the US version, it contains several advantages in both graphics and sound. Several of the levels have background animation, there are several cut scenes, and two new music tracks were added. Unfortunately, the US never saw these impressive additions.
Contra was also released as a PlayChoice-10 game for arcades. The PlayChoice-10 used a ROM with music identical to the US release of the NES game.
Nearly all of Contra's music comes from the arcade game which was composed by Kazuki Muraoka. His music was ported to the NES by Hidenori Maezawa and Kyouhei Sada. The only song not ported from the arcade game is the High Score tune. However the duo composed a single new Introduction track, though it's only heard in the Japanese release. The individual roles that Hidenori Maezawa and Kyouhei Sada played is unknown, but as a pair they had to compose and arrange the Introduction track as well as convert and create new sound effects.
It's a pretty impressive soundtrack for a game from early 1988. Every section of the game has its own unique theme fitting for the action like the desolate snowfield and the mysterious alien's lair. There are also several fanfares that punch up the game. It's an above average soundtrack over all.
- Ripper: Scott Worley
- Recorder: TheAlmightyGuru
- Game Credits:
Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The recording was made using Not So, Fatso!.