When you talk about the 90s, every Indian would remember Swat Kats, Scooby Doo, Kumar Shanu, Anu Malik, David Dhawan and whole lot of other things. But for every kid who was fortunate enough to grow up during the 90s, the Chinese video game devices that our parents got were the bomb.
Of course, we spent multiple hours trying to rescue the princess (who for some reason kept getting abducted and was then never in a castle I looked in) as Mario. What does a young child do when they're pissed off at this whole new trend of saving a loved one? You fall in love with the game that lets you kill bad guys and provides you this sense of Ubermensch once you're done.
That is exactly why so many of us love Contra. Let's kick off the proceedings with one of the best starting sequences of a video game ever:
According to the internet, Contra did have a basic premise (that we all found out way after we were done with the game because our tiny little minds were busy being blown away at the brilliance of the game).
In 2633, the evil Red Falcon Organization have set a base on the Galuga archipelago near New Zealand in a plot to conquer the world. Two commandos, Pfc. Bill Rizer and Pfc. Lance Bean of the Contra unit (an elite group of soldiers specializing in guerrilla warfare), are sent to the island to destroy the enemy forces and uncover the true nature of the alien entity controlling them.
Now that we have gotten the technicalities of the plot out of our way, let's focus on the gameplay. You basically played as a blue soldier and a red soldier. If you were the only kid in the house or the elder sibling, you obviously played as the blue soldier. But the real fun was in playing multiplayer (or as two players at once).
But this wasn't like playing as Luigi, the long lost less cool version of Mario. The red soldier could hold his own ground till he finished his three lives. Then the younger siblings would borrow (read steal) your lives with the cheat code and get smacked the fuck down by the older brother/sister.
First you beat the aliens' ass, and then you beat your sibling's ass. Life was much simpler back in the day.
May god forever shower his blessings on the person who came up with idea of the power 'S' in Contra. That one power-up lets you shower bullets like a 'bukkake' ritual. And also the guy who thought that 'F' was a good power-up needs to fuck right off.
Now days, video game companies pretend to focus on the plot of the game a lot. Considering how nihilism is cool right now, most games are lifeless revenge stories that lack an iota of fun. Contra didn't give a fuck about the plot and with its insanely fun gameplay, etched its place in our hearts forever.
Video games need to be happy. That's why Adam West's Batman never mentions his parents death. Because you can't drop these emotional bombs and still manage to dance around and have a fun time, right? So when you're a steroid bound killing machine, you need no dialogues or remorse before killing bucketloads of bad guys.
The graphics never bothered me at all. I own a PlayStation 4 right now and if a game decides to lock the framerate at 30fps, I get borderline homicidal. Back then, Contra's colourful graphics and smooth gameplay blew my young mind with its awesomeness. Did I grow up to be an asshole? Maybe. I'm definitely the asshole who still misses playing Contra on those Chinese devices we had with the 9999999999 games in 1 cartridge.
The best part about those cartridges was the fact that it would sometimes stop working and then you'd need to blow it to work. Maybe that was a lesson for adulthood, but keeping our sexual jokes away for the time being; I honestly believed that I could breathe life into my video games. Yeah, I had a messed up childhood.
There's just something about Contra that made us feel so strong. Spread over 10 stages (or areas), this game was probably one of the few games that got on your nerves. Not only because you could die from one bullet or just by touching an enemy, but also because you had only 3 ‘lives’ to complete the entire game.
Thankfully, Konami released cheat codes that bumped the number to 30. Even then, it was a very hard game to beat. And with those extra 27 lives, I could finally see how the game finished.
Are you listening Konami? We need a kickass port of the original Contra game for our PCs and gaming consoles. And no, you don't need to make it 3D or any other jazz. Keep the game intact. We don't want an HD game that just has the name slapped against it. We want our Contra back. It'll be great if you could make a bundle of Super Contra too BTW. But if that's too much, just concentrate on the original Contra. Please? The hopes of an entire generation is pinned on you.
Tell us about your favourite memories of Contra in the comment section below.