101. Contra

Contra (1987, NES) by Konami

Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

Another game I was “forced” to learn before the Trials called it up, I learned Contra for the Big 20 #13 race. It was a game that I was always looking forward to learning, since I had never beaten it without the famous “Konami code”, and the speedrun forbids the code. This run took me a goodish amount of time to beat, but my objective was clear: deathless PB was all I wanted. Unfortunately, I died to the VERY last enemy that could kill me.

Whatever. Good enough for me.

Contra is an amazing masterpiece of NES-era gaming. The epitome of a perfect run-n-gun style platformer. Sure, it can be trolly, and yes, it’s damned hard. But it’s oh-so-satisfying as you learn and master the different strats and areas of the run. This game’s speedrun is so optimized that watching folks like the legendary angrylanks is so jaw-dropping at how perfect they need to be to PB. They can play at such a high level and not even do their best (although that can be said about almost every optimized speedrun at this point).

amazing graphics, extremely tight controls, and memorable music surrounds a perfectly-crafted game. There’s no part of this game that isn’t perfectly conceived. Casually, this is a must-play for the NES, and for speedrunners looking for a very satisfying and gratifying game to learn, you could look in worse places.

Just make sure you bring your mashing skills… that spread rhythm is a female dog, for sure.

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