Neo Contra (ネオコントラ Neo Kontora?) is a video game in the Contra series developed by Konami in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. It is also the sequel to Contra: Shattered Soldier and has a different game style, like Super Contra-styled special levels.
Neo Contra takes place during A.D. 4444 when the Earth has been transformed into a prison planet, home to criminals and political rebels (Contras). From this underworld society rises a new order called "Neo Contra". This government quickly showed its true colors, as it has other plans than bringing back normal civilization. Carrying out this new threat are four renegade contra, who are called the Four Elite. Thus, Bill Rizer is partnered with Yagyu Jaguar Genbei, a Samurai, and the two are sent to Earth to deal with the Neo Contra threat.
Neo Contra once again brings the games arena back into three dimensions. However, unlike the titles developed under Appaloosa Interactive, players only need to aim in third dimension upon rare occasions. Additionally, this title eradicates the boss-oriented gameplay of Contra: Hard Corps and the previous 32-bit titles, and seeks a balance more reminiscent of the 8-bit and SNES Contra games; long free-form shooting sections, interspliced with boss encounters. Additionally, gameplay varies depending upon the level and camera angle presented (the camera cannot be user-controlled). Most of the game is played in an isometric perspective, but portions are side-scrolling or overhead-behind.
The player can no longer jump. Instead, two new defensive moves are added that allows the player to effectively evade in the new dimensions: dash and spin. Dash gives the player a quick burst of speed to evade hostiles, while spin gives the player an instant of invulnerability.
The hit-ratio system that was introduced in Shattered Soldier has been kept in this title. The game uses a modified version of the three-weapon configuration from Shattered Soldier. The player has two types of firearms used against ground-level targets, one with regular ammo and the other with flammable rounds, and a third weapon used to lock-on airborne targets. The player can choose from one of the three initially available weapon sets (one which includes the famous Spread Shot from the earlier Contra games, which was missing in Shattered Soldier), with three additional sets that are time-release. The Type F configuration features the GV Laser and Ripple Laser, both weapons from Gradius V.
There are a total of seven stages in the game. Like Shattered Soldier, the four initial stages can played in any order and be replayed anytime for higher grading. The fifth stage can only be selected by clearing the first four stages, while the sixth and seventh stages are only available if players maintain an above average grade overall.
There is a difficulty setting in the options menu, and playing on Easy difficulty grants players thirty lives to beat the first four missions, but on this difficulty it is impossible to view the game's ending. Normal mode offers players five lives and seven continues to complete the seven missions of the game.
- Bill Rizer (clone): The main protagonist in the game, he is unaware he is a clone at the start of the story.
- Yagyu Jaguar Genbei: Jaguar is a warrior who follows the samurai's code and uses a katana, a powerful weapon in this game.
- The Four Hell Warriors of Neo Contra - The four elite members of the Neo Contra organization:
- Guerilla Contra: A pipe-smoking military commander.
- Plant Contra: A plant/cyborg hybrid.
- Pheromone Contra: Pheromone Contra's true identity is that of Lucia (a.k.a. Bionoid LCR), who once assisted Bill during the events of Shattered Soldier.
- Animal Contra: An anthropomorphic, speech-capable bull terrier.
- Mystery G: A mysterious elderly mercenary who wears green Contra armor, very similar to those worn by Bill Rizer in Contra: Shattered Soldier. His true identity is explicitly stated, but he claims he was once called "Contra".
- Master Contra: The leader of Neo Contra and a threat to humanity. He is a weapon supposedly consisting of Bill Rizer's mind inside of a giant military facility.
There are six distinct weapon combinations available for players. Generally, a normal set can be used, but when Katana Jaguar is unlocked players will receive a Katana or Fire Katana. Weapon sets A to C are available by default, D is acquired by clearing the game once and E, as well as F, requires A rank or better on levels 1 to 5. Each set features two normal weapons for general combat purposes and one weapon for specific anti-air capabilities.
- A: Machine Gun, Grenade Bomb, Lock on Missile
- B: Charge Shot, Fire Whip, Lock on Laser
- C: Shotgun, Classic Fireball, Lock on Thunder
- D: Lightning, Ground Bazooka, Heaven's Laser
- E: Drill Shot, Reflect Laser, Lock on Fairy's Laser
- F: Ripple Laser, GV Laser, Lock on Variable Weapon
Katana Jaguar combinations
- A: Katana, Classic Fireball, Lock on Laser
- B: Katana, Fire Whip, Lock on Thunder
- C: Machine Gun, Fire Katana, Lock on Laser
- D: Lighting, Fire Katana, Heaven's Laser
- E: Katana, Reflect Laser, Lock on Fairy Laser
- F: Ripple Laser, Fire Katana, Lock on Variable Weapon
- Neo Contra (slot machine) — A slot machine based on this game.
References to media sources
- Gradius V — Ripple Laser and GV Laser are weapons from this game.
- Contra: Shattered Soldier — Hit ratio is brought back along with Lance Bean, seen at the beginning of Mission 2.
- Resident Evil CODE: Veronica — Kimkoh's imago form is almost exactly like that of the final mutation that Alexia Ashford' undergoes.
- Zone of the Enders — The sidekick to Lucia is a giant mecha which bears a striking resemblance to the Anubis frame.
- Command and Conquer: Red Alert — A sample of "Workmen" is heard playing before the final battle with Master Contra.