Contra's Soundtrack:
Even Better than the Arcade
14 June 2010

That Contra is one of the best games ever created for the NES should be obvious. When an 8-bit port outperforms the original arcade source material, you know you're playing something truly special. To cover everything that makes Contra great would take more words than I currently have patience, so let's focus on just one pillar of greatness: music. These tracks are so good that not even the added horsepower of 16-bit consoles were able to help Contra III and Contra Hardcorps best the original score.

The guys credited with sound production for Contra are Hidenori Maezawa and Kyohei Sada. The former also created impressive tunes for Bayou Billy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Castlevania III. Sada handled sound for the excellent—but unfortunately named—S.C.A.T.

Despite the brilliance of Contra, the Japan-only version (titled Gryzor), is even better. The land of the rising sun was treated to a ROM twice as big, including additional story content, impressive background animations, and even extra music clips. We're focused on music this time, though, so for this exercise I've used the Japanese version of Contra (a.k.a. Gryzor). Anyway, you can find all the music from the Japanese version of Contra below, just click on whatever image that you'd like to match up with music.

Title (Japan Screenshot)
Intro (Japan Only)
Stage 1 — Jungle
Victory Theme
Stage 2 — Base 1
Stage 2 — Boss
Stage 3 — Waterfall
Stage 4 — Base 2
Stage 5 — Snow Field
Stage 6 — Energy Zone
Stage 7 — Hangar
Stage 8 — Alien's Lair
Final Boss Defeated (Japan Only)
Game Over