Lost In Translation/Contra

From ExoticA
Out Run (Arcade version)
Out Run (Sinclair ZX Spectrum version)

This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

No screen shot.
Manufacturer Konami
Released 1987
8-way Joystick
2 Button(s)
Main CPU M6809 (@ 1.500 MHz)
M6809 (@ 2.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2151 (@ 3.582 MHz)
Raster (Vertical)
280 x 224 pixels
60.00 Hz
128 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 11 ROMs
1,213,440 bytes (1.16 MiB)
MAME ID contra · contrab · contraj · contrajb · gryzor

About The Game

Contra is an hectic one or two player, arcade video game, platform shoot-em-up featuring 5 stages. 3 of the levels are standard side-scrolling platform levels, while the remaining two are enemy 'bases'; 3rd person into-the-screen stages in which players must run down series of heavily defended corridors to reach and destroy an end-of-level boss, before moving onto the next stage.

In 2631, a meteorite strikes the Galuga archipelago near New Zealand, carrying with it a dormant alien lifeform. Two years later in 2633, a terrorist organization of alien origin called Red Falcon takes over the island as part of their plot to invade the Earth. Bill Rizer (player 1) and Lance Bean (player 2), of the Contra unit, are sent to the Oceania island to stop the evil threat.

Each player's character is equipped with a semi-automatic machine gun with an unlimited amount of ammunition and can jump, move and fire in all eight cardinal directions. Players can also move and jump simultaneously while firing. Co-ordination of the character's movement is essential as a single hit from any enemy, bullet, or other hazard will instantly kill the player's character and also eliminate the current weapon from the player's inventory.

As players fight their way through the enemy-packed levels, additional weapons can be collected. If the player loses a life, they will also lose any weapon power-up they were carrying. Available weapons are :

  • [M]achine Gun : Auto-fire.
  • [S]pread Gun : Allows the player to fire 5 shots in an arc.
  • [L]aser Gun : Will shoot a long laser that can take out many enemies in a row.
  • [F]ire Ball : A gun which fires small fireballs in a corkscrew pattern.
  • [R]apid-fire : Increases the firing rate of the player's currently equipped weapon. Works with all weapons except the Laser.
  • [B]arrier : Will make the player invincible for a few seconds.

The game's 5 levels and bosses are as follows :

  • Stage 1 : Jungle - Defensive Wall - (horizontal scrolling)
  • Stage 2 : Base 01 - Six turrets and alien eyeball - (third-person)
  • Stage 3 : Waterfall - Large Alien - (vertical scrolling)
  • Stage 4 : Base 02 - Six turrets and alien head - (third-person)
  • Stage 5 : Snow Field/Energy Zone/Hangar/Alien Lair - Alien Heart - (horizontal scrolling)


Released in February 1987.

This game is known in Europe as "Gryzor".

Note : The kanji on the Japanese version title screen actually reads 'Kon To Ra', meaning 'Soul Big Dipper Gauze'. This is an example of 'ateji', in which Japanese artists use the phonetic value of a character to fit the game's name, allowing them to write the name in kanji as opposed to a kana.

Bill Rizer makes an appearance as a supporting character in the 1992 Nintendo NES/Famicom game "Wai Wai World 2 SOS!! - Paseri Jou" (A.K.A. "Konami World 2 - SOS from Parsley Castle").

The music from the final stage is also used for the final boss confrontation in "Wai Wai World" (A.K.A. "Konami World" ) for the Nintendo NES/Famicom.

Chad Johnson holds the official record for this game with 1,546,600 points on July 15, 2002.

Alpha Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Konami Game Music Vol.4 - 28XA-201) on 10/03/1988.


The game's backstory differs between sources. The storyline written above is the one used by Japanese sources and later mentioned in canon in Contra: Shattered Soldier for the PlayStation 2. In the North American manual for the NES version, the time was changed from the 27th century to the present day, with the location moved from Galuga to an unnamed South American island. Bill and Lance were given the codenames "Mad Dog" and "Scorpion", names which were later used for 2 unrelated characters in the American-produced Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS.

Tips and tricks

  • Use shots wisely : Jump shots and crouch shots allow you to attack while avoiding enemy attacks. Do not hesitate. Keep those shots going!
  • Kill before being killed : if you see an enemy, shoot right away. Defeat them before they fire at you. Be the first one to attack!
  • Tip for taking down the fortress : Fortresses situated at the end of eah levl have a weak point (sensor). Concentrate your attack on the weak point! But Destroy the cannons first. Cannons will remain even if you take out the sensor first and the fortress morphs.
  • Tip for 3-D levels : Destroy the weak points of each floor and stop the high voltage electric currents. Taking out the weak points quickly is key to conquerins the 3-D levels.
  • If you press UP on the control pad and touch the electricity, you will be stunned and won't be able to mov for a while. Don't move forward until you take out the weak point and stop the electricity.
  • After you take out the weak point, look at the map while proceeding. You'll know whether to go left or right.
  • You can dodge enemy bullets by lying down! Destroy rolling mines by using crouch shots.
  • As you proceed, there are weak points that are positioned so that you can't reach them. Utilize jump shots and crouch shots.
  • Beware of Falling off at Stage 4 : In Stage 4 where you climb up a waterfall, missing a platform and falling down will count as a miss.
  • Barrier : At specfic spots in Stages 4 & 9, you can pick up barriers that make you invincible for a while. However, there is a rule : 'A barrier will appear only when you are NOT equipped with a special weapong'.


  1. Contra (1987)
  2. Super Contra (1988)
  3. Operation C (1991, Nintendo Game Boy)
  4. Contra Force (1992, Nintendo NES)
  5. Contra III - The Alien Wars (1992, Nintendo Super Famicom)
  6. Contra - Hard Corps (1994, Sega Mega Drive)
  7. Contra - Legacy of War (1996, Sony PlayStation)
  8. C - The Contra Adventure (1998, Sony PlayStation)
  9. Contra - Shattered Soldier (2002, Sony PlayStation 2)
  10. Neo Contra (2004, Sony PlayStation 2)
  11. Contra 4 (2007, Nintendo DS)


Game Programmers
Hideyuki Falco
Koichi Cobra
Video Graphics
Special Designers
Ishiwari Jinbo
Passionate Norio
Sound Editor
Kazuki Muraoka (Kazuki Jah)
Rom Yamamoto
Directed By

Cabinet and Artwork


Nintendo Famicom (1988)
Nintendo NES (1990, "Probotector")
Sony Playstation 2 (2006, "Oretachi Game Center - Contra")
Microsoft XBOX 360 (2006, as a downloadable Live Arcade game)
Bob Wakelin's original transparency art for the Ocean port of Gryzor.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Commodore C64 (1987)
PC [MS-DOS] (1987)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2002, "Konami Collector's Series - Castlevania & Contra")
LCD handheld game (1989, "C") by Konami.

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Konami Game Music Vol.4 A-JAX 28XA-201[1] 1988-03-10 Alpha Records CD version.
Konami Game Music Vol.4 A-JAX ALC-22922[2] 1988-03-10 Alpha Records Cassette version.
Konami Game Music Vol.4 A-JAX ALR-22922[3] 1988-03-10 Alpha Records Vinyl version.
Game Sound Legend Series "Konami Game Music Vol.4 ~A-JAX~" SCDC-00472[4] 2005-11-23 Scitron Digital Content Inc. CD version.
KONAMI GAME MUSIC SPECIAL 28XA-214[5] 1988-08-25 Alfa Records CD version.
KONAMI GAME MUSIC SPECIAL ALC-28103[6] 1988-08-25 Alfa Records Cassette version.
Konami Special Music Golden Treasure Chest 220A-7721~3[7] 1989-12-21 King Records Inc. 3 CD version.
Konami Addiction ~For Electro Lovers~ UPCH-1606[8] 2008-05-21 Universal Music CD version.
Oretachi Game Center: Contra HOGC-0016[9] 2006-05-25 Hamster CD version.
Konami Game Music: Classic Contra N/A[10] 2007-05-15 Konami Digital Entertainment Digital download only.

External Links


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.