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Contra – Hard Corps (USA, Korea)

Genre

Shoot’em Up

Console

Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis

Contra – Hard Corps (USA, Korea)

Probotector in Europe and Australia, is a run and gun video game released by Konami for the Sega Genesis in 1994, making it the first game in the Contra series released for a Sega platform.

Set five years after the events of Contra III: The Alien Wars, a terrorist group led by the renegade Colonel Bahamut has stolen an alien cell recovered from the war and now intends to use it to produce weapons. A new task force, known as the titular “Hard Corps”, are sent to deal with the situation. The game features a branching storyline with multiple possible endings.[2]

Hard Corps spawned its own series of follow-ups; including the Appaloosa-developed sequels, Contra: Legacy of War & C: The Contra Adventure; and the Arc System Works-developed prequel, Hard Corps: UprisingHard Corps has since been considered to be a spin-off from the mainline Contra entries.[3]: 36–37 

In June 2019, it was re-released as part of Contra: Anniversary Collection for Nintendo SwitchPlayStation 4Windows, and Xbox One and was also included in the Genesis Mini dedicated console that same year.[4][5] The game was also re-released on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack on October 25, 2021.[6]

Gameplay

The objective of each stage of the game is to reach the end by shooting at every enemy that gets in the way, and fight the boss awaiting at the end. While most of the game have the character walking on foot, certain stages have the player riding a Motoroid, a hoverbike that can transform into an ostrich-like robot. Unlike previous Contra games, which featured overhead segments in addition to the regular side-view stages, all the stages in Hard Corps retains the standard side-view perspective for most of the game. Another difference is the player can now choose between one of four unique player characters.[7][8] A new feature to the game is that the story is advanced through story cutscenes.[8]

Like in the previous Contra games, a maximum of two players can play simultaneously, but they are not allowed to choose the same character.[7]

The controls are similar to Contra III, but have been adapted to work with the Genesis’s standard three-button controller, as well as the six-button controller. The three main buttons (A, B, and C) are used for switching between weapons, shooting, and jumping respectively in the default control configuration. By pressing the weapon change button while shooting (or the X, Y, or Z buttons on the six-button controller), the player can toggle between two shooting styles: one which allows for free movement while shooting, and another which keeps the character still while he or she aims in one of eight directions.[9] The player can also jump down from certain platforms, as well as move on walls and ceilings like in Contra III. A new ability added to the game is a sliding technique performed by holding the direction-pad diagonally downwards while pressing the jump button. The character will be invulnerable while sliding and can even harm certain enemies.[10]

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