|Contra III: The Alien Wars|
North American box art
Factor 5 (GB)
|Genre(s)||Run and gun|
|ESRB PEGI CERO USK ACB|
Contra III: The Alien Wars (JP) (Super Probotector: Alien Rebels in the PAL regions) is a 1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game by Konami and a prominent title in the run and gun genre. In the PAL version of the game, the player controls robots, while in The Alien Wars version humans.
It was released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe on January 19, 2007 and in North America on January 29, 2007. It was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Europe on January 9, 2014 , North America on November 28, 2013, and Japan on November 27, 2013.
The game takes place in 2636, two years after the events of Super Contra. The protagonists Bill Rizer and Lance Bean are deployed once again to counter an alien invasion.
In the North American version, Bill and Lance were called "Jimbo" and "Sully", respectively. They were referred to as being descendants of Mad Dog and Scorpion from the NES versions of Contra and Super C.
Taking advantage of the then new technology provided by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, The graphics in The Alien Wars was improved to such an extent as to be visually comparable to the original arcade versions of Contra and Super C. The level design is more complex, and provides more opportunity for interaction than was possible in previous Contra installments. For instance, players can grab on to poles and navigate them in a monkey bar fashion, climb walls and ladders, destroy buildings and scenery, and commandeer tanks.
New styles of levels in The Alien Wars involve motorcycle chases, riding on missiles, and two Mode 7 enabled overhead levels similar to those in Super Contra. The weapons system is revamped, and players can carry two weapons instead of one, only losing the one they are currently using if they die. They can also fire these two weapons simultaneously in a spin-jump circular fire pattern that hit enemies on all sides: however, being hit while doing so results in the player losing both of their weapons. Finally, the player now starts off with the submachine gun — in the previous Contra games, the initial weapon was a semi-automatic rifle — eliminating the need to tap the fire button rapidly.
Lives, continues and cheat codes
Unlike its predecessors, there is no cheat code that extends the amount of lives. Instead, the player can select the number of lives to start with - three, five, or seven are the available choices. The amount of continues is adjusted according to the difficulty level (which also determines the durability of enemies). In the Japanese version, however, the player has unlimited continues regardless of difficulty, and has also cheat codes that allows to choose stage and access to a sound test mode.
If the game is finished in normal or easy mode, instead of the ending, the player sees a message requesting him to try a higher difficulty. In addition to the more powerful and numerous enemies, in addition to more aggressive and resistant bosses, on hard mode the last boss has a final form not present in the other modes. After defeating this form, which you must do while escaping the collapsing alien base, the true ending is finally revealed.
The game comprises six stages, each with an end-of-level boss, who must be defeated before progressing to the next stage.
Stage 1: Occupied City
Once a metropolis, the city has quickly become the center of the conflict. In the later parts of the level a plane bombs the zone with napalm bombs, covering the floor with fire. This part involves platform jumping where an incorrect jump will usually result in instant death.
Boss: Slave Beast Taka
Stage 2: Destroyed Expressway
The Expressway is the first of two overhead levels in the game. The level is essentially a maze of streets and broken bridges that have been overrun by the alien invaders. Within the level are five control points, which must all be destroyed in order to proceed to the boss.
Boss: Bosco Spider
Stage 3: Industrial Area
The industrial area has become a landing pad for alien aircraft and stronghold for an assortment of alien creatures.
Boss: Big Faust
Stage 4: Crazy Motorcycle Chase/Aerial Combat
The mission is divided into two sections, motorcycle chase and helicopter assault. The level revolves around a battleship which will presumably give an indication of the whereabouts of the alien base.
Boss: Anti-Contra AirCraft Dodriguez
Stage 5: Steep Cliff
Similar in design to stage 2; the player must destroy five alien generators to progress to the boss.
Boss: Ant Hell
Stage 6: Alien Base
The alien base is comprised almost exclusively of encounters against bosses from previous Contra games.
Boss: Devil Emperor Gaver, Living Brain Organism Sarl, The Six-Faced Pheromedos.
In 1994, a port of The Alien Wars was released for the Game Boy as Contra: The Alien Wars. The port was produced by the German developer Factor 5. In this version, the level structure had been altered and Stage 4 of the original game was removed. A strafing ability was included to compensate for the absence of rotation in the overhead levels, and a password feature was added. This port received additional support from the Super Game Boy, which provided the game with a custom color scheme and enhanced sound effects. In Europe the game was sold under the name Probotector 2, having the soldiers replaced with robots.
Game Boy Advance
Konami re-released The Alien Wars in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance as Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX (Contra Hard Spirits in Japan). The designers made changes to many of the elements of the original game. The smart bombs and the ability to wield two weapons were removed, and the overhead stages were replaced with side-scrolling ones from the game's sequel, the Sega Genesis Contra: Hard Corps. No alterations were done to the Hard Corps graphics – making for a jarring visual jump between these stages and those taken from the original Contra III. This was also the first time the game was released in Europe as a Contra game and not bearing the Probotector label.
The Alien Wars was one of a few select titles for the Nintendo Super System, an arcade system which was used to preview Super Nintendo Entertainment System games in North America. Players insert credits to buy time which allows them to pick and choose from a list of available games to play. The game is identical to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version.