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Flash Back Friday: Contra Speedrunning with Special Guest Anthole

by on February 24, 2017

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start – Though not the first game to use it, the action-packed, run and gun NES Classic, Contra, forced millions of children across the world to memorize the Konami code in an effort to subvert the game’s difficulty. The notoriously rage-incuding game, celebrating its 30th anniversary (arcade)  this week, has now become a NES speedrunning favorite, with over 80 different runs submitted to the game’s page.

Runners have discovered a variety of speed strats in order to optimize the game, circumventing some of the harder spots – beating bosses in single cycles both with and without glitches, mashing the fire button in a specific rhythm to clear out rooms in the bases efficiently (known in the community as ‘spread rhythm’), and jumping in specific movements or patterns in an attempt to skip ledges or to act as a means of controlling the timing of the game. These strategies are difficult enough in any game; add in the randomness of the always working against you AI and Contra becomes one of the more difficult games to truly master. Some of the current top runners of the game – such as TheMexicanRunner, AngryLanks and Toad22484 – are truly artful in the way they control their movements and work their shots. The game’s programming, which generates spawns and boss movements in later levels that can quickly put an end to a run, making the dream of matching the incredible run of DK28 (The world record holder for over a year now) seemingly impossible. Still, with the time and effort that these runners put into Contra, along with their unquestionable talent, that goal of a 9 minute 52 second run of the game is well within their reach. A goal that this player, along with undoubtedly those millions of others still ingrained with that code, can barely even fathom.

In the words of the wise EvoSSr2, “Get spread; don’t die!”

Below is the 9m53s Contra World Record run by DK28. Definitely worth a watch!

Watch live video from DK28 on

*Note from Jason*

Huge thank you to Anthole for helping us with our Flashback Friday from a different perspective. He is actually ranked 30th in the world with his Contra time of 10m48s. You can check him out at his channel, be sure to follow him as well as the other streamers listed above! If you are looking for a fun retro community on twitch you can usually find myself, Anthole, and Toad22484 at RetroGamingLiveTV, though they usually are the streamers along with many other awesome people, I’m more of a spectator 🙂

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