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Contra: Hard Corps

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Title Screen

Contra: Hard Corps

Also known as: Contra: The Hard Corps (JP), Probotector (EU)
Developer: Konami
Publishers: Konami (JP/US/EU), Samsung (KR)
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: September 15, 1994
Released in US: August 8, 1994
Released in EU: October 14, 1994
Released in KR: 1994


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


The first Contra title to grace a Sega platform, Contra: Hard Corps was also the last game in the series to be rebranded as a Probotector game for the European market. It's the circle of life.

Debug Room

ContraHardCorps-TestLevel.png

A debug room remains in the ROM, though it is not accessible through ordinary means. Using the patch code FFFA48:00 on any version of the game will force the debug room to load. The area is fairly standard of test areas, with a ramp and some grippable wall and ceiling blocks, ending in an instant-death hole which cannot be passed. Pressing B cycles through the game's entire script, which also overwrites the area graphics, resulting in some severe visual glitching.


(Source: gedowski)

Debug Mode

Only works in the Japanese version (might be possible in the other versions via patch codes). At the title screen, press Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, C, B, A, Up, Down on controller 2. A sound will play if done correctly. While the game is paused, pressing Up on controller 2 will advance frames.

Misplaced Tiles

In-Game Corrected
ContraHardCorps-FangIntro.png ContraHardCorps-FangIntro-Fixed.png

Fang's intro portrait is mistiled. The top part of his boot is accidentally placed one row of tiles up, overlapping a portion of his sprite. This error was corrected for the Probotector version of the graphic.

Regional Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Cover the whole Probotector and JP/US version graphics comparison and gameplay. Source:http://rq87.flyingomelette.com/RQ/R/GEN/CHC/1.html and http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=3891

Japanese Differences

Button Codes

The Japanese version, The Hard Corps, includes a number of button codes likely used for debugging. The following two codes are entered on the player two controller at the title screen.

ContraHardCorps-MD-LevelSelect.png
  • Level Select: Left, Right, A, B, C, Left, Right, A, B, C, Left, Right, A, B, C. If performed successfully, a digitized "Yeah!" will sound to confirm. The rather spartan level select screen will not appear until the player starts a game and selects a character. (This code is frequently stated incorrectly online as "A, B, C, Left, Right". The game is fairly flexible about the code, so while the correct code begins with "Left", the mistaken sequence will eventually work if repeated long enough—specifically, four times).
  • 70 Lives: C, B, A, Right, Left, C, B, A, Right, Left, C, B, A, Right, Left. If performed correctly, a digitized woman's scream will sound to confirm. Entering the Options screen after this will show 70 lives set, although if changed it will again be locked to a maximum of 3, requiring the code to be entered again.

The third code is entered on the pause screen, back on the player one controller.

  • All Weapons: Up, Up, Down, Down, A, Up, Up, Down, Down, B, Up, Up, Down, Down, C. If performed correctly, a digitized monster screech will sound to confirm. If playing a two player game, this will give both players all weapons.

The code which checks for these patterns remains but was dummied out in the western Hard Corps and Probotector releases. The patch code FFFA4C:01 (usable in either game) enables the level select as seen in the Japanese version. Alternatively, the below patches to these games restore all cheat functionality.

Download.png Download Contra and Probotector patches
File: ContraProbotector-MD-CheatsPatch.7z (397 B) (info)


(Source: GameFAQs, Code: gedowski, Patch: sonic03)

Difficulty

The Japanese version provides the player with a life bar and infinite continues, while international versions drop the number of continues to five and ditch the life bar in favor of one-hit kills. The pain sounds when getting hit are still present in both international releases' sound tests. There are patches available for both the US Hard Corps and Probotector which attempt to make those games behave more like the Japanese version: among other changes, the life bar and button codes are restored, and an additional button code allows access to the debug room described above.

European Differences

Graphics

As with all early Contra games, the European release was renamed to Probotector—in this case, without any subtitle, meaning it shares its title with the NES game—with its sprites significantly reworked to turn human characters into robots, ostensibly making the game less violent.

Other Changes

  • The game now provides only 4 continues, whereas the US version provides 5. This was done to compensate for the slower playing speed that makes enemies more predictable in the European version.
  • The scene where the Alien Leader offers the player the choice to defect is removed altogether, which consequently removes the darkest ending.


(Source: https://contrapedia.wordpress.com/contra-hard-corps-regional-differences/)