Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start. This sequence of button presses is still ingrained into the hearts and minds of many gamers today. It is the famous Konami Code, a cheat that allowed power ups, extra lives, and all sorts of other ways to extend your playtime. The first use of the Konami Code was in Gradius, a sweet little shoot em up from the glory days of the NES. But probably the most famous use of the code was in the subject of today's Classic Co-Op: Contra for the NES.
You, the readers of Co-Optimus, voted for Contra as this week's Classic Co-Op game. Considering the other choices are fantastic games in their own right (especially Bubble Bobble, which will probably make it into this column some day), Contra clearly was an important and popular game. Co-op gameplay was pretty rare at the time of the game's release back in 1988. That may seem hard to believe today, in a time when many titles include co-op in some form. In Contra, players take on the role of two superbuff commandos, Mad Dog and Scorpion, as they take on an enemy army, infiltrate some seriously dangerous bases, and then eventually kill the big boss, a wicked looking alien called Red Falcon, which was certainly crimson in hue, but not very birdlike at all.