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Contra
Released in February 1988, Contra was one of the first of dozens of one-hit death run 'n gun shooters. Like all run 'n gun shooters there's a plot concerning a great evil (in this case the alien Red Falcon), but in the end everyone knows the purpose of the game is to shoot everything that moves while looking buff and manly.

 

Run: 0:10:17 by Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson
commentary available as audio track 2

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I never stopped playing this game after I got the 10:24 run. I improved it second by second. I remember I got 10:21 a couple of times before I got 10:20.

As a motivation I wrote down every attempt on a paper when I first started to improve my 10:40 record. And for those three improvement I have done, the amounts of started games is about 1150. I guess around 800 of those attempt were for this improvement. And I promise. 800 attempts maybe doesn't sound very much. Specially when just 150 of those attempts actually beat the game. But playing Contra as fast as possible sure is tiresome. I can't tell how many times you really push the "b" button in a run. Just take a look at the first Base level, how many shots I do. And I think the amount of bullet streams is just about half of the amount of pushing I do on the "B" button.

I cant remember anymore how many times I had to take breaks from this game for a day or two because of the vibration muscle in my arm was too tired.

I also figured out two new ways to hold the controller to shoot a bit easier and faster. This helped a lot actually and if I learn those grips even better in the future I guess it would help me shaving seconds in other games too, like Mega man or Metroid.

One of those grips is to put the NES controller on my knee. But the most useful one is probably laying the nes controller in my left hand and use it to stop all the vibrations, hard to describe but I guess I'll show a picture of it sometime.

I think this is about the 25th time I submit a speedrun to SDA. This is probably the best one. It's not the one that have taken most time to complete. But I guess it is the hardest one to beat.

Most games are random, just like contra. But the good thing with contra is that even if you get some bad luck you can still beat the record if you play enough good. That's probably the reason why I have kept playing this game. I never thought about this one a year ago. But with the correct strategies you can pretty much finish it without dying over and over again. Even random enemies can be taken down just as they pop up. you can notice that I shoot lots of unnecassary shots. that is to prevent random idiot enemies and also to prevent lag in the "hangar"-level. I failed once during this run though. you will probably notice it in the end of energy zone. I knew an enemy could show up here. It is one out of a hundred just like in many other spots. I have played the game enough to know where those spots are.

I guess this is an intresting game to run and it fits my game type perfect. It is the old school type of game where you have to shoot without any use of rapid fire and turbo buttons and at the same time controlling the character, jumping around and such.

This run maybe doesnt look very perfect. Maybe it doesn't look better than my 10:24 run.
Maybe the common comments give you some answers.

The best thing with this game is that you can always beat this game a lot faster, humans can not even be close to the limits. In theory. If you can shoot perfectly fast and with perfect release of all bullet streams the game can be beaten in under 9:30. Add another player and you can beat it in under 9 minutes. though, we will never see those times on any serious record sites. though, I belive that I, with a better controller and some more practice, should be able to finish this game under 10 minutes. But for now, it's out of my league. but it will keep edging my dreams.

Thanks to:

Low% run: 0:11:34 by Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson
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After so many spread gun-runs I had a nice time running the game with the default gun too. It was troublesome to stay alive the hole run but finally I barely made it. The high light of this speedrun If I say it myself would be the waterfall boss.
But the biggest improvement over older submissions is The boss in Base 1. Those two highlights made up for some of the mistakes during the run.

Finished attempts: 20
unfinished attempts: 224

Total attempts: 244

Thankfully the default gun is limited to 4 shots on the screen and you can shot about 5 (?) bullets each second. In other words; not that tiresomefor my arm compared to a spread gun-run. Even so DK28 counted to 1729 shots fired in his old submission. I am probably not far away from that amount.

Stage 1
I got lucky and did not have to dodge any bullets on the boss. Usually I did accept a few seconds of dodging.

Stage 2
Now and then room number 2 and 4 killed a run. The moves you have to do is a little bit tight and I did not take the risks this time. Sometimes I got bad timing with the bullets on the boss but this time I got the boss just as I wanted so I am satisfied so far. This boss fight is probably the biggest improvement over the old run by DK28.

Stage 3
I got the last grenade dude. Even so I failed to reach the last moving platform early. But I did a hell of a boss fight instead. Killed him the second time he shows his big black mouth. I almost can not believe it. This is the second time ever I do that with the default gun.

Stage 4
Room 5 and 8 I was slow. The boss fight went about as fast as planned. I screwed up a little on the right eye when I was one bullet short but I was very lucky that I could kill the left eye after it did separate instead.

So far the run is as fast as I want it.

Stage 5
Doing the tight bomb jumps for my spread gun-run is hard enough. So I spare it this time and take it safe. The tanks was a little bit slow. In the end I am glad that I was lucky enough to kill the boss in the first round.

Stage 6
The boss did start to jump like a maniac which is bad. But I finally got him down and did kill him fast enough.

Stage 7
all the way up to the last enemie went well. but when I whould jump over the last two red bullets I jumped a little bit to early so I had to turn left and land and duck immidietly. I thought I should die when the random enemy showed up. And after that one came another one. It was cirkus in a couple of seconds but I finally made it =)

Stage 8
This Stage is easy if you have the right strategies.

I think I can see around 20 seconds of improvable material. I might improve this one if someone try to best it. otherwise I will leave this one as it is. I am pretty sure of it.

Thanks goes to Jeremy "DK28" Doll and Ray "Croc Doc" Cullen for their earlier submissions.
And to the Crew of SDA for the job that has to be done.

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