CONTRA: Celebrating 32 Years of the Irresistible Force

ContraGryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

 

Console Variations: Rarest Consoles Ever Made

We thought we’d seen every conceivable console variation that has ever existed, yep even the Pioneer CLD-A100 LaserActive that plays Mega Drive / Genesis carts, CDs and LaserDiscs, sadly, we were wrong (in a good way)!

Check out some of these amazing console variants (you may know some or most of them) and then go to the Console Variations site to drool over the rest!

Hyundai Comboy (NES variant sold in South Korea only)

N64 ANA (given away by All Nippon Airways (ANA) in April 1st 1999)

GameCube Panasonic Q (we knew about this one, but still cool to see it)

Nintendo Wii: 26k Gold aka Royal Wii (only 1 made!)

Atari Marlboro Lynx

Game & Car Navi HiSaturn

Sega Dreamcast: Maziora Edition

Sony PlayStation 10 Million (only 1 made)

Xbox Panzer Dragoon Orta

Atari 2600 jr. Black (only released in Ireland)
image source: Console Variations

[story source: Kotaku Australia]

 

Film Review: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master – The Fate Of Atari

The story of Atari has been told many times, from books like Atari Inc: Business Is Fun to umpteen documentaries, but none tell the full and complete story as well as Easy to Learn, Hard To Master: The Fate Of Atari.

Narrated by revered Commodore Engineer, Bil Heard, this documentary delves deep into the Atari history like no other film before it. From Atari’s humble beginnings as Syzygy and the breakthrough of Pong, to the Atari VCS/2600 home console, its subsequent sale to Time Warner and downward spiral to oblivion in the early 80s.

The story is weaved perfectly with many points of view, including former Atari Inc. President, Ray Kassar, who had never told his side of the story prior to this documentary. This is quite important, as stories about Atari had always been told from their former engineers (like Al Alcorn) and co-founder, Nolan Bushnell, so it was refreshing to get management perspective from Ray and Manny Gerard. This is even more poignant as Ray Kassar passed away in December 2017 – making his story even more important when it comes to Atari’s history. Another poignant interview was with old foe, Ralph Baer (Died on December 6 2014), himself a great inventor and the grandfather of video games and the concept of home gaming consoles.

Other notable interviewees include Joe Decuir, Howard Warshaw, Ed Rotberg, Dannis Kable, Dave Rolfe, Eugene Jarvis, Steve Russell, former Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and former Atarian and Activision co-founder, David Crane, to name just a few. If you don’t know the story of Atari or you would like the definitive history on Atari, then we highly recommend Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari.

Title: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari
Director: Tomaso Walliser & Davide E. Agosta
Production: Junk Food Films

A Rare Look Inside SEGA In The Mid 90s

We couldn’t only feature Nintendo, so to balance things in the universe, here is the follow-up to the series of translations from the French documentary “Otaku”, this time taking a rare look inside Sega, their Sega vs Nintendo rivalry and Sega arcade games from the mid 90s.

Oh yeah, there is ample footage from the 31st Amusement Machine Show (1994 JAMMA Convention) in Japan! Once again, big thanks to Game Escape for the English subtitles!


source: Game Escape

 

A Rare Look Inside Nintendo During the SNES Era

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like in the Nintendo offices during their Super Nintendo days, then this excerpt  from the 1994 French documentary film Otaku is exactly what you are looking for!

Thanks to William Cladley from Game Escape for discovering this film and for adding English subtitles! Oh yeah, you’ll all recognise a younger Shigeru Miyamoto who even back then was always striving for a balance in creativity and management – both attributes have served him well.


source: Game Escape

The Completely Insane Policies of Nintendo’s President

Wow, imagine for one minute that Hiroshi Yamauchi was your boss! Actually, as much as he wasn’t a fan of video games, he did modernise Nintendo and transform the video game market, so he couldn’t not have been that bonkers, or was he?

To celebrate Nintendo’s 129th anniversary, YouTuber Larry Bundy Jr has made a fact hunt video about the former company president – highlighting some of his “completely insane” policies. The vid runs for a tad over 12 minutes and includes his public dispute with Square Enix, his dislike of Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) and his ridiculous demands to be the only Yamauchi at Nintendo!


video source: Larry Bundy Jr

story source: Nintendo Life

80’s Arcade Video Games, Pinball and Mullets

Ah the good old days of the 1980s, hanging out at our local arcade parlours with mates and our monster mullets!

Thanks heaps to We Are Diehards on Facebook for sharing this most awesome vid with us all – let the nostalgia ooze baby!


source: We Are Diehards via Facebook