Konami Reveals Full Contra Anniversary Lineup, And It's Pretty Great

In Europe, this guy is a robot. (Screenshot: Konami, VGMuseum)

Konami’s upcoming Contra Anniversary Collection will include the NES version of Contra, the Sega Genesis game Contra: Hard Corps, and most other 8- and 16-bit games in the classic run-and-gun series, including the Japanese and European versions of the games.

The collection still doesn’t have a specific release date, but it will be available this summer for PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, and Steam. The full list, which Konami provided exclusively to IGN today, is as follows.

Unique games:

  1. Contra (Arcade)

  2. Super Contra (Arcade)

  3. Contra (NES)

  4. Super C (NES)

  5. Operation C (Game Boy)

  6. Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)

  7. Contra: Hard Corps (Sega Genesis)

Regional variants:

  1. Contra (Famicom/NES - Japan)

  2. Probotector (Mega Drive/Genesis - Europe)

  3. Super Probotector: Alien Rebels (SNES - Europe)

The Japanese version of Contra for Nintendo’s 8-bit systems contained a number of major improvements, including storyline sequences, a map screen, and graphical enhancements in the levels.

The Japanese version of Contra included a map screen and story sequences that the U.S. version lacked. (Screenshot: Konami, VGMuseum)

Meanwhile, the European versions were radically altered, swapping in robots for all the human characters to get around local laws against violent content. As such, the series went by the name Probotector for many years in Europe.

The Famicom version of Contra isn’t the only Japanese game that will be included in the U.S. release. A free update for the game will add six more Japanese variations:

  1. Contra (Arcade)

  2. Super Contra (Arcade)

  3. Super Contra (Famicom, aka Super C)

  4. Contra Spirits (Super Famicom, aka Contra III)

  5. Contra (Game Boy, aka Operation C)

  6. Contra: The Hard Corps (Mega Drive, aka Contra: Hard Corps)

That’s 16 different variations in total, giving Contra Anniversary Collection a much more diverse lineup than Konami’s arcade and Castlevania collections (although the Castlevania collection will eventually get an update that adds some Japanese versions, too).

Contra: Hard Corps. (Screenshot: Konami, VGMuseum)

It’s nice to see the NES Contra included here, considering that it never came to Virtual Console. Completists will surely note the lack of Contra Force, a later-day NES entry in the series, although it makes sense that it’s not included here since it was never actually a Contra game in the first place. It was originally titled Arc Hound in Japan, but was cancelled there, and only the U.S. version, with the Contra name applied to it, ever shipped.

It would have been awesome if Konami were to dig that one out of the vaults as bonus content, but it’s tough to complain given the otherwise complete nature of the collection. Konami definitely started off on the wrong foot with these releases but seems determined to finish strong.


    I am totally looking forward to playing the first couple levels before quitting in frustration.

      You obviously never knew the Konami Code.

        Haha, what I remember is that my n00b childhood ass was so bad at the game that even with the Konami Code, I would find myself on thin ice trying to complete the game without burning through all 99 lives. (Especially when playing 2-player with my brothers.)

        Though I certainly do hope they include the konami code, I wouldn't be surprised if it locks out achievements and similar.

          Yep, they need to include the Konami code to be faithful to their legacy.

          I remember trying to finish Contra/Probotectors 3 on the SNES back in the day & how frustrating it go when you got to certain later levels because it was all the same stuff, just much harder to survive.

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