contraNormally I wouldn’t feature a game this mainstream in Lost Classics, but during my 16-Bit Powet Alphabet article, I opened with an image of Contra 3, despite the fact that I mentioned nothing about it during the article. Oh yeah, this game is just plain awesome too.

Contra 3 is the third console installment of the Contra franchise, and the first to be released on Super Nintendo. Red Falcon, the alien who was defeated in the previous Contra games is back, and this time Jimbo and Sully, the descendants of Lance and Bill, step up to take him on. It’s 6 levels of classic run-n-gun action at its finest. Players can carry weapons in each hand, and when you lose a life, you only lose the weapon you are currently carrying. You also come equipped with a limited number of smart bombs which can take out everything on the screen. This game is tough, and unlike its predecessors, there’s no Konami code to exploit this time around (although there is an unlimited lives exploit you can use, provided you can figure it out).

Contra 3 is a showcase of what we love and continue to love about video games. Virtually every level in the game contains a water cooler moment, weather it’s a plane dive-bombing you in stage 1’s war-torn city, the big huge robot boss at the end of level 3, or jumping and hanging onto missiles in stage 4. You owe it to yourself to play this classic, and not the watered-down Game Boy Advance port either, but rather the SNES original, which his also available on Virtual Console.

Fun Fact: The Japanese game features Bill and Lance as the main characters, but they were changed to Jimbo and Sully for the North American release. It also contains an extra lives code and unlimited continues. Like the previous Contra games, the European versions of the game were changed to Super Probotector and it’s human enemies were changed to robots.