It's been said that artists use their medium to portray their innermost thoughts and feelings, their outlook and philosophy on life. If the same holds true for programmers, then there are probably some pretty scary Konami codemonkeys. Brought to you by repressed anger, it's the classic NES doomsday game, Contra.

     Contra is about two huge men who go to some island to kill. Almost like Joe Don Baker's Final Justice, except with clearer arteries. Their names from the Super NES game were Jimbo and Sully, but since this is the original they were probably named Billy and Jimmy Contra. And they flew to a country called Contra. Hell-custom, I just wanna know what the heck a 'Contra' even is. And why the C needs to be written in Cheeto dust. (I kid; I know they're named Mad Dog and Scorpion. Of course, I still don't know which is which.)

     Gameplay is so simple and enjoyable, it makes you wonder why other games have to go and add gimmicks like anti gravity, dash buttons, and every other stage of Earth Worm Jim. Contra rules because they don't make you do a complex keypad maneuver to reload or jump over a rabid mutant. It's just 'shoot' and 'jump.' The only drawback that plagues the skilled Contra commandos throughout their adventures is the fact they can only take one shot before dying. Yes, years of extensive military training with a crack unit apparently atrophies the body to a degree when they're less likely to survive lightly brushing against an enemy than the average little kid from a platform game. It's an interesting paradox.

     The whole story would be put into perspective a lot better if we knew who these guys were, or what country they're from. And as for the matter of the clandestine organization Red Falcon, why are they even considered a threat? Their main force consists of an endless army of guys running with heavy backpacks. Half the time they run right off the screen or, more typically, off a cliff. The ones smart enough to get their guns out just stand there aiming thirty seconds between rounds, and act shocked that you either have killed them eight times without them realizing or just ran by, giggling.

     Every other stage is a painful ordeal called the 'BASE" level. You get to look at your guy's back as he shuffles around behind the electric fence, firing away at guys in their pajamas, those electric balls from Spencer Gifts, and dodging the cans of paint that randomly roll at you. At the end, you have to blow up paneling until a weird bug head thing appears and burps bubbles down at you. The thing of these levels is that the action requires nearly mind numbing, thumb scarring jump button mashing. Otherwise, you'll get punched so full of white diamond shaped holes they'll have to mine bullets out of your colon.

     I'd like to know who the Falcon are fighting for, come to think of it. Someone who can genetically engineer stuff that looks like the thing from Alien. Maybe it's a disgruntled former chef who lost his job at McDonald's when yet another blazing retard sterilized themself with a cup of coffee. That would explain the sloppy security system. Every so often, a football flies overhead. Shoot it, and a weapon falls right into your steroid-enhanced little arms. Once again, when a megalomaniac sets his sights on world domination, he does things like leave an advanced laser cannon or prototype force field system just lying around in the break room with his candy wrappers and half a Mountain Dew. He just doesn't consider for a second that you're going to equip the weapons and get a buzz off his drink, then proceed to Contra your way to his doorstep.

     Every so often you face a foe who is neither an inanimate box with a gun on it or a red backpacker. In fact, they look more like demons or aliens than soldiers, which adds to the mystery: How did they join the commando group?

Red Boy Scout 1: This is my friend Zonthrax from Akujo Majo 12. He's a little weird but a basically good guy.
Zonthrax: GRAWAAARGH!! *slobber, snarl*
Red Boy Scout 2: What exactly does he bring to the Red Falcon?
RBS-1: Well, he can melt skin with his breath and eat the mushy flesh and sinew left exposed with his triple jointed mandibles. And he has his own red baseball cap.
RBS-2: His own baseball cap!? Why didn't you say so? Here, have a backpack and some jogging pants. Say, would you mind sitting on top of a waterfall and letting us build a base in your stomach? Captain Feetie-Pajamas needs a new hellbeast to live in after Cerebus got flying tapeworms.

On to Super C!


Sly Stallone. A gym coach. CONTRA. Coming this summer to a theater near you.

So what if friendly forces can't get supplies to you behind enemy lines? They leave all the equipment you'll need just lying around.

I guess there is a market for indoor electric fences.