CONTRA SPIRITS
( Contra III / Super Probotector )
game Cover
game cartridge
魂斗羅スピリッツ
©1992 Konami
Release: 1992-02-28 (¥8500)
Cartridge SHVC-CS
Run'n Gun/Action

American Version
country
Released in America as
CONTRA III
THE ALIEN WARS
( SNS-CS-USA )

European Version
country
Released in Europe as
SUPER PROBOTECTOR
ALIEN WARS
( SNSP-CS-XXX )
Contra Spirits (aka Contra III Alien Wars in the west) is a side-scrolling and fast-paced action game by Konami, and sequel of the arcade game Super Contra (aka Super C) originally released in 1988. In the year 2636 AD, a race of marauding aliens (recurring antagonists throughout the Contra series) have returned to attack and dominate the Earth, and this time, they have decided to launch a devastative full scale offensive against humanity. Six months after the invasion, two fearsome commando men emerge from the smoldering ruins - Bill and Lance are back and ready to take on the alien invaders once again. In the standard 'Contra' fashion (and which serves as the foundation of the series), the game features an expansive arsenal of firearms, from a standard Machine Gun to a Spread Gun (S), Flame-thrower (F), Laser (L), Crusher mini-missiles (C), Homing Missiles (C) and Barrier Shields (B). Unlike other games in the series though, players can carry two weapons at once, and switch from one to the other at any time during the game. Additionally, shoulder buttons lock the characters in place and allow players to fire in any direction without moving, and pressing both shoulder buttons as well as the attack button makes them jump and fire both weapons simultaneously. Bill and Lance can also use a limited amount of devastative bombs that wipe out everything on the screen in a massive glowing ball of energy. Although Contra Spirits consists of six stages, they are not as straightforward as one might tend to believe. For instance, the second and fifth levels are played from an overhead perspective where players must destroy enemy checkpoints (as well as confront bosses), and use the controller's shoulder buttons to rotate the screen. A two simultaneous player mode is available.
Related
Contra (Fc)
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Contra Spirits - Game Boy Contra Spirits (aka Contra III The Alien Wars in the US, and Super Probotector Alien Rebels in Europe) was the third episode in the Contra series. However, technically, it was the fourth game to be released, after Contra (aka Operation C) for the Game Boy (1991). As a side note, Contra Spirits was ported to the Game Boy system in 1994 (picture on the right) and was renamed Contra The Alien Wars in the US, and Probotector 2 in Europe. Another port for the Game Boy Advance was released in 2002 - however, Contra Hard Spirits (aka Contra Advance The Alien Wars EX) lost all the top-down levels and borrowed levels from Contra Hard Corps (Megadrive, 1994). Interestingly, both game Boy versions have a level password system, feature completely missing from the original Super Famicom/Super Nintendo release. See Contra (Fc) for more information about the Contra series.

There are some interesting differences between the various releases of Contra Spirits. In the American release of the game, the protagonists' names were changed to Jimbo and Sully (descendants of Bill and Lance). This change was most probably made to ensure continuity with the first Contra, where the time line between each version diverged - although the original Japanese game was set in 2631, the American version was inexplicably set in 1987. Interestingly, Konami America decided to finally reconnect with the original futuristic setting, and to set Contra III Alien Wars in 2636. But, in order to remain consistent with the first game, the two protagonists had to become (very) far descendants of Bill and Super Probotector Lance, hence the change. The European version met a very different fate - the game was retitled Super Probotector Alien Rebels and the protagonists were replaced with humanoid robots (picture on the left). This change followed suit with the first Contra game released in 1990 for the NES, which was renamed Probotector in Europe and also featured robotic characters and enemies (probably due to some form of censorship). There are a couple of other notable differences between the original Japanese version and the other releases that are worth noting. First off, Contra Spirits gives players infinite continues, whereas the other releases award the player with a limited amount at the beginning of the game. Then, the Japanese version surprisingly features a couple of cheat codes that were completely omitted from the other releases (such as 'stage select' and 'sound test', see the 'secrets section').

Raw Deal - Arnold Schwarzenegger The original characters Bill and Lance were undoubtedly based off Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Interestingly, the Japanese cover art apparently borrowed Arnold Schwarzenegger's pose from Raw Deal, an action movie originally released in 1986. As a side note, the movie was known as 'Gorilla' in Japan, and was curiously named 'Le Contrat' ('The Contract') in France, which is a meaningless, but quite amusing coincidence.

Teaser text from the American version:
It's world payback time and the infamous Red Falcon is here to collect!
Welcome to 2636, the tear of Notorious One gets even, with an unprecedented alien onslaught orchestrated to push 16-bit technology and its commandos to their ultimate reaches. Plunge through a molten hot massacre on a high speed voyage to the guts of the archenemy alien. Scope out the side and top perspectives and backgrounds that do a 360 to engulf you in a 3-D sensation. Pick off solar slimedogs like the Mutant Megasquitos and the Psycho Cyclers while you scale over walls, swing from girders and ropes, hitch rides on a missile, whatever it takes. Sweat through sic gut splitting stages, including the Battle of the Blazing Sky and the Mucho Cgrande Badlands. The graphics are so real the explosions will nearly knock you off your feet. And the Boss Enemies are so gigantic, your screen can hardly hold them. You'll need to wrap both hands around artillery powerful enough to make today's weapons look like squirt guns. The Contra legacy is alive and dangerous!

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

"TEAM-SFX"

Visual Designers

Main and Directed
Nobuya Nakazato
Players Character
Masayuki Saruta
Assist
Noritoshi Sasaki
Programmers
Main and Top View
Vaipon
Side View
1991/Nami
Help-Man
K. Horio

Sound Designers

Program and Effect
Atsushi Fujio
Sound Effect
Masandri Douchi
Hiroshi Kobayashi
Hirofumi Taniguchi
Music Compose
Miki Yanagisawa
Masanori Adachi
Tappi Iwase

Special Thanks

Technical Adviced
Jun Furano
Package Design
Kenji Shimoide
Hiromi Sumida
Special Thanks
AC "Contra" Team
FC "Contra" Team
DMG "Contra" Team
...very thanks

Produced
Kazumi Kitaue

All Stage Clear
Congratulations


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Japanese Soundtrack
Japanese Soundtrack


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Contra Spirit manual Contra Spirit Soundtrack
Click on picture to enlarge

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Contra Spirits cheats Stage Select (Japanese version only):
On the title screen, quickly press Down, Down-Left, Left and Start. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve and I advise you to move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a scream if done successfully and the stage select menu screen will appear.

Thirty Lives (Japanese version only):
On the title screen, quickly press Down, Down-Right, Right and Start. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve and I advise you to move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a scream if done successfully (and 30 lives should appear in the options).

Sound Check (Japanese version only):
On the title screen, quickly press Right, Right-Down, Right and X. This quart-circle is tricky to achieve and I advise you to move the cursor onto 'Option' before you start. You should hear a sound if done successfully and the Sound Check menu screen will appear.


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Add your Pov here !

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Contra Spirits is a masterpiece. There's a good chance that I will run out of superlatives to describe how good this fast paced run'n gun is. Overwhelming firepower and perfect maneuverability are what impress you at first - Bill and Lance efficiently respond to your every command in a very satisfying way, and the various weapons are fairly well balanced. Stages are also incredibly varied and the game is pretty much like playing an action movie - but not in the modern sense of the term (which implies long and boring cutscenes, or a limited gameplay). Here, the game constantly throws new combat situations at you, and levels are a patchwork of unique and damn fun action scenes, each featuring mini-bosses and other incredibly innovative obstacles. For instance, stage four illustrates this principle perfectly, and starts off with a thrilling bike chase and ends up in the sky, hanging from a helicopter and jumping from flying (and exploding) ballistic missiles while shooting at a giant battle ship. How cool is that ? As you would have probably guessed, Contra Spirits is not a walk in the park, and although you have access to an incredible amount of firepower, the game's notorious difficulty will crush you without pity. As a side note, the original Japanese version provides infinite continues and several cheat codes (unlike the other releases) that actually make the whole experience a little bit less daunting. All in all, Contra Spirits is a magnificent, fun and incredibly polished game.




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