Even though I’m writing this entry on the 27th of January, I actually conquered Contra on May 15th of last year. I decided it should be my inaugeral entry because as part of my resolution, I have a requirement that “it only counts if I have pictures or video.” In this case, I recorded the entire game… two and a half loops of it, actually. And my entire session is already up on Youtube, since I showed it to my buddies at Digitpress, long before I decided to do this blog. (The Videos are at the end, by the way).
Now, I think every gamer knows what Contra is, but just to make sure we’re on the same page, it’s an NES Platformer-slash-Shooter where Not-Rambo and Not-Arnold are sent to an island fortress to kill terrorists who are actually Giger Aliens. The commandos have a severe weakness–one hit kills them. It doesn’t matter if its from a bullet or from a crab giving them a love tap. One hit, they fall. On the plus side though, the commandos get a nice selection of weapons, including lasers, a swirly fireball, and my all-time favorite, the Spread Gun.
It’s funny how this session went. I had only gotten my copy of Contra two weeks before the recorded playthru, and by no means was I finding it easy. In fact, on this particular playthru I wasn’t even really trying to beat it, nor did I expect to–especially when I got to one part where it seemed like I was just throwing my lives and continues away (and no, I was not using the Konami Code–I’m no cheater). But I figured, “I’m gonna keep playing until I get a Game Over.”
Then the game decided it was gonna hold me to that.
All the sudden, I got past the part I was having trouble with, and to my own surprise, I got to the last level. I thought for sure that any minute I would bite the dust… and then I won. The credits rolled, and… a second loop started.
“I’m gonna keep playing until I get a Game Over.” And after all, this was the second loop, it had to be harder than the first, and I had died so many times the first time around. I didn’t think I would last long.
Minutes later I was at the last level, again, and by this point I felt like the game was fucking with me. I was literally telling the game “Please, kill me!” and it was saying, “No.” I beat it again, and… a third loop started.
This time, I basically became suicidal, and tried to die… as much as I could, anyway. Sadly, my gamer instincts inhibit my ability to suicide–I’m programmed to survive–so I only managed it by chance. There, finally, the lonely soldier found some rest.
I look back on that session with a smile. But I have not played Contra since then.
It’s sequel Super C, on the other hand…