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Contra, released as Probotector in Europe and Oceania, is an arcade game released in 1987 by the Konami corporation. The player controls a commando who battles waves of enemies including humans, machines, mutants and aliens to reach his ultimate goal. Much of the game's popularity came from its two-player simultaneous gameplay, which was an uncommon feature in video games at the time of Contra's release. While successful in the arcades, the game became and remained widely popular and remembered when it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. Contra was voted #1 by gaming website IGN.com as being the "Toughest Game to Beat".
The NES version of Contra was released as Probotector in the PAL region. In this version the two main characters (and many enemies) were changed to robots - despite the fact the original arcade version and computer ports were released with their graphical content unchanged under the Gryzor title in those territories. One reason may be that Konami was concerned about worry over violent games in Europe; another theory is that they feared Germany's so-called "Bundesprüfstelle", an institution that watched media that they were made aware of to possibly forbid the selling of a game to people under 18 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, dozens of games in which people are killed in order to progress (e.g. Rambo III), were added to an index that meant they were not allowed to be advertised or displayed in stores, and they could be only bought on request by people over 18 years old. Relegation to this index would have meant commercial disaster.
The game's immediate sequels, Super C for the NES and Contra III: The Alien Wars for the SNES, became Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces and Super Probotector: Alien Rebels. The Game Boy versions also underwent similar conversion, with Operation C and Contra: The Alien Wars becoming Probotector and Probotector 2 respectively. Contra: Hard Corps for the Mega Drive, simply titled Probotector in the PAL region, was the final game to undergo this conversion. All subsequent Contra games would retain the Contra title and their human characters in their PAL localizations, beginning with Contra: Legacy of War for the PlayStation.
This is one of the most popular NES games by far, but if you are a true fan of the era, you'll want to try nintendo galaga or the one of the first fighting titles - the kung fu nes game. If you have a bit more time, give super contra 7 online a shot or play megaman 6 online. RNG has all of the best NES Roms available for playing online or downloading so come back soon!