Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Contra: Hard Corps, Part 2 - Special Features

Today I'm going to look at some of the alternate endings and assorted weirdness in this game.

The hallway right before NOIMAN bears a resemblance to the boss hallway in a Mega Man game. There's a secret on this screen, but we'll get to that.

NOIMAN. He's such a noice boy!

Hated this fight the first time I did it. Found that it wasn't so bad the second time around. Playing as the robot helps.

The bot unleashes homing ball-and-chain to take out flying insects, while a huge statue head looks on creepily.

The big late-game decision point. This time I'm surrendering.

Deadeye Joe returns! He fancies himself the sworn nemesis of our heroes. They're all "yeah, sure, whatever dude"

My God. Two Terminators?

Of course, they do the "torso claws towards you" thing when near-death.

Machines rule the day in this game. Odd lack of Xenos; I might have to play a game with actual Xenos after this to sate my Xeno-need.

The final battle with Deadeye Joe. He pilots a spherical ship. It isn't very difficult, given the hype.

Colonel Bahamut drops in and kills Deadeye, noting that he had outlived his usefulness. The robot is NOT PLEASED.

I am too. This game is ROUGH.

He proceeds to go full-on Dragonball Z, powering up. Time for another potential final boss.

He fires a series of blasts from alternating hands, ala one of Vegeta's go-to attacks in DBZ. The animation here is great, and it seems like they stepped it up for this fight.

He also fires an energy ball Kamehameha-style.

Defeat him, and he has a second form. I don't know what the hell this thing is, but it's a pain in the ass on every level.

Third form. Considering how much time they probably spent drawing this complex boss, it basically just dies immediately; think it took five or so hits.

Victory! Colonel Bahamut's castle proceeds to fall apart.

The robot escapes on a rad to the max future-bike. Sons of Anarchy!

Back to the beginning of the game. This time I'm going to chase Deadeye Joe after the first stage, resulting in an alternate stage two and two alternate paths later. Here's the new stage two, and it's muuuuuch more difficult than the other one.

It switches to a vertical scrolling viewpoint of sorts as you get chased by a giant mech. This part is pretty weird, and there's nothing else like it in the game.

Joe is defeated. Gotta say, they did a great job with the alternate paths in this game. They're very different from one another, and there's no sign of copy/pasting here.

Surrendering at the later choice-point results in Colonel Bahamut taking our hero prisoner.

Auto-scrolling with a huge fire-wall pursuing you? Yep, this game doesn't mess around.

Is that a variation on an AT-ST walker?

Another final boss. This one seems to be the alien cell from Contra III, only Mother Brain'd up.

This is probably the most difficult of the various final bosses. It has a multitude of attacks that follow little pattern. Particularly bad is this three-way beam that slowly rotates.

Another win. Looks like our hero died in that one. No heroic escape sequence. Damn.

Back to the second choice, this time I'm going with no surrender.

This results in the Fly/Thing fight, which I already covered in another path. However, after that, we get a final stage that seems more in line with this series.

...because XENO-SLUG~!

This stage is called "Red Falcon Redux". I'm guessing the bad guys cloned some Red Falcon monsters from the alien cell, or something.

Another boss. This one is not only grotesque, it's quite difficult. This endgame boss rush is more what players likely expected from a game in this series. No Colonel Bahamut or mad scientists here.

Another boss. This one is particularly painful, because it's very difficult to keep from getting squashed between the two halves as they run around.

The Queen. Queen of what? Not sure, but it's more grotesquery.

Blast it enough and the human face MELTS OFF. Dear God!

And here's the final boss of this path. Giant vagina dentata with Red Falcon in heart form. This battle is different from the hearts in the other games, because it's in the background instead of being on the right. Difficult battle, for sure.

Colonel Bahamut makes his escape. Wait, I killed you in another playthrough!

Not sure which of these endings is the official, canon ending. Probably the first one that I got, culminating with the fight against the alien cell.

Oh, there's one more ending. Back at the Mega Man hallway, you can climb the wall above the door.

This leads to a peculiar man with no nose and a top hat. Make some money in the battle arena? Sign me up, no-nose guy!

A truly bizarre fight begins. I think this guy is supposed to be some sort of nerd. The weird thing is that Castlevania music plays during this fight. WTF? I guess they're both Konami...

Next boss. I... I don't even... what's in the stroller? WHAT'S IN THE STROLLER?

...explosions, it seems. After all, EVERYTHING in this game blows up.

Third and final arena boss. This is a bit more normal, and a bit easier than the other two.

Ending. Apparently our hero jumped through a dimensional rift to leave the arena, ending up in prehistoric time. Next you're gonna tell me he's going to marry a monkey and become their chief, right?

...hoooooly shit.

Wonder what other characters get for an ending screen on this part.

Just... My God.

Hope you're enjoying these looks at the Contra series. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.



  1. That last ending is so weird. Thanks for covering all of this game. Could you do Altered Beast (for the Sega Genesis) too? It's so strange that it could be a great post.

  2. I respect this game so much more after seeing this mail. A truly impressive amount of creativity and weirdness. Even if the gameplay wasn't as good, this game was still a serious tour de force.