Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Video Game Tribute #5: Contra

Contra is by far the most aggravating, frustrating, irritating and infuriating game to ever be unleashed upon the world... it's also just about the greatest thing in human existence. Period. I can't imagine that any man who was old enough to appreciate the original NES in all it's glory could have played Contra and NOT loved it. It was every boy's video game fantasy... I say "video game" fantasy because every boy's regular fantasy during that time period was Jessica Rabbit. Hands down. It was fast paced, action-heavy, visually appealing and challenging. And I mean, CHALLENGING. One-hit deaths, difficult terrains, bullets coming from every angle, constant re-spawning enemies... and only three lives to get through 8 levels.

But wait... did I say... three lives? HA! Konami to the rescue. If you entered the infamous Konami Code at the title screen, you'd be granted (as if by the good Lord Himself) 99 lives... As much as I love the game, this code was necessary if you were ever going to beat the game... and odds are you'd go through about 90 of those lives before the game was over... but I ponder... what sort of scarring do you think this creates for a Nintendo character? And not just any Nintendo character... a war veteran Nintendo character. Talk about Post Traumatic Stress! I imagine this is most common amongst anyone who's had a near death experience in war... imagine actually dying, then coming back, then dying, then coming back... 99 times... each death more inventive than the first. Bullet wounds, falling off cliffs, lasers to the head, aggressive robots, giant alien hearts that throw face huggers at you... YOU try coming back normal from that. Heck, I was just playing a game and I was nearly traumatized by it. I can only imagine what the Contra guys would be saying if there were only room on their 8-bit faces for... a face. The words "Please kill me" come to mind...

Well, let's just be glad the Contra guys made it through the first game alright... though if the first one didn't mess them up in the head, the next 11 sequels were bound to have an effect.

Consider yourself a hero,
~ Mark

1 comment:

  1. I love your explaination of this! Very thought out and experienced! Great job! As usual!