Contra Speedrun by TheMexicanRunner – Take on the Alien Invasion and Save the World!

Turtle Beach Stealth 300

Contra Speedrun by TheMexicanRunner – Take on the Alien Invasion and Save the World!

Key Points

  • Contra is a beloved and challenging game known for its difficulty, catchy score, and the Konami Code.
  • TheMexicanRunner showcased his impressive speedrunning skills in a 2021 run for ESA Summer Online.
  • Contra offers a vibrant speedrunning scene and is a great game to start with for those interested in speedrunning old NES games.
  • There are various speedrunning categories for Contra, including Low% and two-player mode.
  • The Contra series has multiple entries to choose from, including Contra 3 for SNES and Contra 4 for Nintendo DS.

Contra has long been associated with its crushing difficulty, catchy score, and the Konami Code. TheMexicanRunner makes it look like child’s play, however, with his 2021 run for ESA Summer Online.

Before diving into the main event, there is quite a bit to discuss surrounding Contra. The game itself is one of Konami’s most beloved titles. It was so popular it even spawned a series with entries that range from fantastic to subpar.

Contra has a vibrant speedrunning scene, and a wealth of information surrounding it, and is still highly playable even today. If you’ve been curious about the speed-running scene for old NES games, Contra is a great place to start.

Why do Gamers Love Contra?

Contra is one of those rare games that epitomizes the difficulty surrounding the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a brutal and unforgiving game, meant to extend rentals for console gamers.

The Original Game
  • Tough as nails gameplay that rewards patience
  • Frenetic action that'll keep you coming back
  • Play with a friend to conquer the alien invasion
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/08/2023 12:04 pm GMT

Despite this, it is an absolutely compelling game to play. The gameplay is tight and responsive, the set pieces are incredible for the time, and the music is among the catchiest Konami ever produced.

Unlike classic games like Castlevania, Contra is nonstop action through and through. Players will be transported to platforming and top-down levels to face an onslaught of enemies. You’ll likely want to master the Konami Code before playing because you’ll need every extra life you can get.


Contra actually has quite a few speedrunning categories to pick from when looking at speedruns. You’ll find typical categories like Any% of course.

There is also Low%, where you can see some truly astounding feats like pacifist runs. Also present are Any% for two-player mode, where two runners will actually play both player characters are the same time.

Categories are further divided into North American and Japanese releases. Back in the 1980s, regional differences were quite pronounced between various games. This particular title is no exception, with the Japanese version being the easier of the two.

At any rate, if you’re looking to get into speedrunning, this is a great title to master. Given its relative age, it has quite a few learning resources surrounding it for running. You will have to get exceptionally good at playing it before even considering a speedrun, however.

Other Contra Games You Might Enjoy

Contra is quite a long-running series, so there are a few entries to choose from. Of course, you can play the original on Nintendo Online if you have a Switch. There are numerous Konami classics to pick and choose when looking at entries on the NES Online component.

Contra for the 16-bit Era
Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Even better than the original with great Mode 7 scrolling effects
  • Hard as nails gameplay that rewards dedicated players
  • Play with two players to face the aliens head on
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/08/2023 12:09 pm GMT

If you’re having a good day and want to ruin it, Contra 3 is also a great choice. It was originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System but did see a port to the Game Boy Advance.

Also of note is the fourth game in the series, which was released for the Nintendo DS. This one takes advantage of the console’s twin screens to make the action even more engrossing. It plays nicely with the 2DS and 3DS as well, which are still relatively common to find.

Double the Fun
Contra 4
  • Dual screen gameplay
  • All the rush and thrills of the classic game
  • Play as series favorites with four choosable characters
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/08/2023 11:59 am GMT

PS3 and Xbox 360 owners can still download Hard Corps Rising, an entry in the series by Guilty Gear developers Arc System Works. This game looks astounding, features an incredible soundtrack, and features the same tough-as-nails gameplay as the original.

Watch TheMexicanRunner Demolish Contra

Summary Table

Key PointsDetails
Why do Gamers Love Contra?Contra is a challenging game with tight and responsive gameplay, incredible set pieces, and catchy music. It offers nonstop action with platforming and top-down levels.
SpeedrunningContra has various speedrunning categories including Any%, Low%, and two-player mode. Categories are divided into North American and Japanese releases due to regional differences.
Other Contra Games You Might EnjoyContra series includes games like Contra 3 for Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the fourth game for Nintendo DS, and Hard Corps Rising for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Watch TheMexicanRunner Demolish ContraTheMexicanRunner is known for his exceptional skills in playing Contra, making the game look easy with his speedruns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Contra hard?

Yes, it is a brutally difficult game in every sense of the word. You need every advantage you can get to beat it.

Is Contra only on the Nintendo Entertainment System?

No, it actually was originally released for arcades before being ported to the NES.

Is speedrunning Contra difficult?

It requires you to have mastered the game, so you’ll need to be comfortable playing it first.

Is TheMexicanRunner the world record holder?

No, currently the world record for Any% is held by k1ngk0opa.

Do people really run the two player mode and complete it?

Absolutely, the world record is 9 minutes and 51 seconds.

To top