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Super Contra (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Super Contra

Also known as: Super Contra: Alien no Gyakushu (JP)
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade (Super Contra/Thunder Cross hardware)
Released in JP: January 28, 1988
Released in US: 1988
Released in EU: 1988

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

"What is this place?", "Keep your eyes peeled!" *loading the guns* RA-TAH-TAH-TAH-TAH-TAH!!!!!! That's right, the quest for freedom continues.

Unused Music

To do:
Can these tracks be found inside the game itself? If not, add them in a Prerelease page instead.

These unused tracks were published in the album Music from Super Contra & A-Jax (catalog number K30X-7702).

Title Track Notes
Appears to be alternate music for the high score entry screen.
Appears to be an unused stage theme.
Another unused stage theme. This track was later used in the NES version (Super C) as the background music for Area 5, and then later on given the title "MASSACRE MOUNTAIN" on the album Contra Chronicle Vol.2 The Beginning of the Legends (EMCA-0025-1~3).
Probably an alternative Game Over theme due to its short length.

Unused Graphics

We don't need more than one O.
A set of letters that can form the word "Prologue" is hidden within the attract mode / game story's tileset, but is not used in any version. These letters are separate from the letters used everywhere else.

To do:
Figure out which of these are not used and rip these.

Additionally, a full set of Japanese letters and other symbols is hidden in these graphics. The graphics include Roman numbers and gender symbols, hinting that the game may have had a high score name entry screen similar to Gradius planned at one point.

Regional Differences

Two versions of the game were produced. The international version uses program code E, whereas the Japanese version uses program code F. This seems to suggests that the Japanese version was a slightly later build of the game.

Unlike the original Contra arcade game, which had a separate version titled Gryzor distributed in Europe, Super Contra seems to had been released in Europe under the same title used in North America (as evident by this flyer and its coverage in magazines at the time), hence why only one international version of the game seems to exist.

Title Screen

Japan International
Super Contra-Title JP.png SCA-Title.PNG

The Japanese version is subtitled エイリアンの逆襲 (Eirian no Gyakushū) or "The Alien's Counterattack".


Japan International
Super Contra JP intro.png Super Contra EN intro.png

The opening text in the Japanese version gives the date in which the game is set, which was omitted in the international version, as was the case with the original Contra (which kept the game's futuristic setting ambiguous in its international promotional materials). The rest of the Japanese text is only slightly different from its English counterpart, as it doesn't mention the Red Falcon Organization (the antagonists in the first game) by name, something that the Japanese flyer and instruction sheets for the first game also did curiously enough.

Text Translation


December 2634 A.D.
One year after the battle with
the mysterious alien army
the earth seems to be
free from their clutches. However...

The red scrolling text after the first image naturally differs between the two versions as well. The text used in the international version is the same tagline used on the American promotional flyer.

Japanese Japanese (translated) International
いま、あの魂斗羅が再び起つ!! Now, Contra rises to action once again!! THE QUEST FOR FREEDOM CONTINUES...
Japanese International
Super Contra nanda koko wa.png Super Contra what is this place.png
Super Contra yudan suru na.png Super Contra keep your eyes peeled.png

Bill's and Lance's digitized voice clips are given subtitles in the Japanese version, making the opening even more cinematic than it already is.

Second Loop

The English version ends the game after the fifth and final stage is completed. However, the Japanese version continues into a harder second loop following the end credits, which sets the difficulty level into its highest setting (regardless of the actual DIP settings being used) and has continues (including 2nd player join-ins) disabled. It is only after completing this second loop that the game truly ends in the Japanese version.