Without question, one of the greatest two-player games of all time had to be Konami’s Contra! This game kicked alien ass on the NES and was INSANELY GOOD on the Super NES platform
The classic story of the world being overtaken by a race of aliens, that have already laid waste to much of the world. The only hope is two guys…JUST TWO GUYS. These guys grab their weapons and lay waste to countless hostile aliens. But it’s not all just fun and games guys. War isn’t something that should be toyed with. We must learn from it. Here are 12 Contra Survival Lessons that you may find very useful.
1. You Never Leave a Teammate Behind
This is probably the most important lesson that Contra could have taught us. If you and a buddy are in a war against a strange alien race, it’s kind of important to stick together. Why? A) Your chances of survival are better in a group and B) if you rush too far ahead you end up screen-scrolling your friend to an untimely death.
2. Generosity Goes A Long Way
Remember when the waves of alien enemies would get thicker and thicker and that weapons power up would fall from the heavens like mana? You and your buddy both have the regular, pea-shooter gun. You’d be pressing that pad and the “A” button in hopes of picking up that “Spread gun” to lay waste to all of those invading, alien bastards, only to find that your buddy has just power-up blocked you and kept the good weapon all to himself. Your eye twitches in irritation.
3. 30 Is the Magic Number
If you’re in a war where one measly bullet can end it, kind of like in real life, it’s best to have a bit of “insurance.” Say it with me classic gamers: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start. With 30 lives you have a chance to adjust, practice, and show out hostile alien visitors what oblivion looks like in an Edge of Tomorrow-Esque battle to the bitter end.
4.Electricity Can Shock You
In those NES stages where the view would change to 3D, it was so easy to make the mistake of walking into an electrified forcefield, where your player would get shocked and stuck in this pose were you couldn’t move for a split second. Sometimes it would mean the end of you, because if you get “electrified” when a bullet’s coming, it’s bye-bye battlefield.
5. Aliens Are Usually Hostile
How many times do we have to go through this, people?!? If aliens come to your planet, just know in advance that they’re coming to wipe you the freak out of existence. Grab your guns and prepare a-freakin’-ccordingly. You’ll save countless lives and preempt some long, drawn out battles if you just kill them first.
6. Somersaults Don’t Tire You Out
One of the cool things about Contra is that you learn so much about your physical limitations. THERE AREN’T ANY! Doing random front and back, no-handed somersaults on the battlefield, while carrying military grade weapons absolutely WILL NOT tire you out whatsoever.
Seriously, the Contra dudes must be aliens in this game, their cardiovascular systems were not of this world.
7. Going Shirtless In a War Zone Is Perfectly Fine
If you’re in the heat of battle, YES, there are live rounds. YES there are mines. YES there is shrapnel. Huh? You want a bulletproof vest? Don’t be a wimp, soldier! Have you forgotten rule number 777 of the Contra Corps Handbook? (which may not actually exist by the way) “A shirtless soldier is a passionate soldier…never mind the bullets.”
8. Soldiers Wade, They Don’t Swim!
This was one of those games that was already a challenge because of tricky jumps, hard bosses, and the fact that these two “highly-trained” soldiers decide to slowly wade through water instead of swimming and sneaking up on some aliens. Seriously guys? You can dodge bullets for God’s sake! You would think with all that freakin’ military/survival training, that the Marine Corps (or whatever branch of the military these guys belonged to) would at least teach them how to swim.
9. Pea Shooters Make Terrible Weapons
Ting, ting, ting, ting, ting. Know what that sound is? YOU! Just before you die! That’s the sound of the BB pellets coming out of the stock gun that you issued to fight an infantry of alien minions! A blasted pea shooter!
You must have done something seriously wrong during basic training. I sincerely think the military division that sent you must not have liked you very much. To equip you with this gun is an obvious suicide mission.
10. Civilians Never Get in the Way During a War
Ever notice how in the Contra games that there isn’t a single, solitary survivor ANYWHERE! There’s nobody hiding. There’s no one scavenging for bits of food. Everyone is gone. What does that mean? That the war efforts started to late? Did everybody die? Or did everyone just manage to escape. If it’s the latter of the two, I suppose it’s a good thing. It’s better for civilians NOT to be around when the explosions are going off, and when the aliens are laying babies in your face.
11. Food & Water is for Candy A$$es
Ever notice how the Contra soldiers don’t eat or drink anything during battle, that’s because back in those days soldiers were real! Soldiers could go for days, or entire stages, without food or water. Food and water just slow you down, so don’t take any.
I assume these two were chowing down on MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) in between stages. I mean they had to be, right?
12. Wanna Dodge Bullets? Just Duck or Jump
Why do people get so scared of gunfire. One of the classic lessons that this classic NES/SNES game teaches us is that if some shoots a bullet at you, all you have to do is duck under them or jump over them. Jumping takes a bit more work, but because you now know that somersaults don’t tire you out, you can dodge as many bullets as your heart desires.
13. No Reloading? No Problem!
Probably one of the best lessons we can learn from Contra is that on the battlefield, there’s no need to worry about reloading. Just keep pulling the trigger and the guns will automatically reload themselves. Ain’t life convenient?
Okay seriously, I have to know what kind of technology this video game military was using, because if I ever have the misfortune of being in an alien battle, I want a gun that I don’t have to reload, too!
Did you learn any lessons from the Contra Games?
If so, We’d love to hear what you learned. Future brigades of alien-battling soldiers will be deeply in your debt. Please leave the lessons for your comrades in the comments section below