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Revenge of the Red Falcon

Hack of Contra


Revenge of the Red Falcon is a hack of Contra on the NES. The difficulty level is quite high, a lot more than the original game. So be prepared to test your skills…

All 8 levels were completely modified and extended. The graphics are the same, but some levels have different colors. The Intro Screen was redesigned, and the Ending Credits are different…

Enemy AI was heavily modified through ASM code modification and new code created from scratch. Enemies attack faster and more often, move faster, or behave in more random patterns. Many enemies have higher HP, too. Bosses are very tough…

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Contra (U) [!].nes - GoodNES
  • CRC32: C50A8304
  • MD5: 7BDAD8B4A7A56A634C9649D20BD3011B
  • SHA-1: C9EA66BB7CB30AD5343F1721B1D4D3219859319B




ContributorType of contributionListed credit

User Review Information

My Favourite Hack of All Time

Reviewed By: TheLuigiLightning on 17 Jan 2016

Contra: Revenge of the Red Falcon:

This… is a fantastic ROM hack. This is hands down my favourite hack on this sight. Trax spent many years making this hack, and the result really shows. This is a piece of dedicated work, and it does exactly what the intended purpose of the hack is; to create the perfect challenge for masters/veterans of the original Contra.

Going into this hack, I had beaten the original Contra without dying many times before. I don’t think there is a game I have mastered more than Contra on the NES. Despite this “mastery”, or proficiency, if you will, with Contra, the first stage of this hack absolutely kicked my ass! The first stage of this hack is very challenging, and that’s how the entire hack is. (It’s awesome!). The first stage is probably harder than all of Contra! (No, I don’t mean this first stage took me longer to beat than all of Contra. Think of it this way; if I would have played this hack before ever playing Contra, it probably would have taken me longer to beat the first stage of Revenge of the Red Falcon (RotRF) than all the time it took me to beat Contra for the first time).

The entire hack took me 3 months and 8 days to beat altogether. Let’s just think about that for a second; If I have mastered the original Contra to the point of basically no deaths per playthrough, then Trax has definitely done a damn good job making this hack super hard, and let me tell you, it definitely wasn’t unfair. The levels are very well designed. I mean, sure, there were a few BS moments due to RNG in the Ice Field, I suppose, but with the quality that is demonstrated in this hack, I’m willing to let those rare, if any, moments slide, because on the whole, this hack is fantastically designed!

Now let’s talk about the hack itself; Trax did a number of things to improve on the original Contra. The stages in this hack are much longer, and much more challenging. When I played the hack for the first time, something seemed different about the first stage… it seemed to be going on forever. Each stage is anywhere from twice as long to 4 times as long as its original Contra counter part, and it really adds a lot to its replay value. I personally love challenge in games, but I can’t think of anyone else who has tried to extend the length of the stages in a game. It’s unique, and it’s really cool! Don’t think for a second that this means quantity over quality, because every second of this hack is quality stage design!

Another thing he improved upon is he utilized a lot of the underused mechanics from Contra; in the first stage in the original game, you never had to go into the water, and in fact, you were probably trying to stay out of it, because it was generally better on land. Did you know you could duck under the water? Probably not, because you made a point not to mess up on the exploding bridges. In RotRF, there are points when you have to travel in the water, and ducking under is almost required. In fact, the game starts you right in the water! Remember those two flames in stage 3 of Contra? Don’t you wish there were more of those throughout the stage? Now there are! In fact, one set of them has 3 of them! There’s a very specific way to get past them that you have to learn.

In this hack, you’re given 8 lives instead of just 3. This is a kind of change I’m usually not fond of, and under most circumstances, I think it’s pointless insurance for the player, and it pisses me off because it’s like I’m being undermined as a gamer. It’s like saying your hack is too hard, therefore you insist on assisting the player, but I think it’s very appropriate here, because the hack would just be unplayable without these extra lives, and even with them, it’s still hard as hell! (Hey, Trax, how about making the Konami Code give you 3 lives so you can attempt it like classic Contra? That would be cool!).

Trax also added some mechanics/hazards/modifications to the game’s code. The first thing you’ll notice is that you can have more bullets on screen with your rifle. In the original game, you could only have 4 bullets on screen, but now you can have 10! (I guess that makes the machine gun pretty useless now…). The fire weapon also has an improvement; you can now have 4 shots on screen, instead of initially being limited to 2. I used to think that the fire weapon was a useless piece of shit, and if you picked it up, you should give yourself 11 spanks on the bottom… then take a deep breath and spank yourself another 11 times… but now, it’s… actually not half bad…!

Possibly the biggest change; the huge change that makes this hack so hard, is the enemy AI improvement. All enemies are much more aggressive, and their bullets move much faster across the screen. This makes the sniper enemies extremely nasty, because they shoot bullets at you like there’s no tomorrow, and they change angle of shot so quickly. Turrets also can be tough, because they shoot bullets so rapidly, and they rotate very quickly. And don’t even get me started on the cannon gunmen in stage 5! Those bullets fly at real freaking bullet speed…!

Enemies also become more aggressive depending on how powerful your weapon is. (I wish you good luck on trying to beat the boss of stage 2 with a spread gun without dying. That’s a crazy challenge).

(EDIT: please note, this last part in brackets doesn’t apply anymore, because Trax no longer made the boss of stage 2 shoot bubbles, so it’s no longer a crazy endurance round, sadly. I wrote this review a long time ago, and would rather not make changes, but rather update it).

Enemies that take more than one hit to destroy now take more hits to destroy. In stages like stage 2, 4, 5, and 8, you’re really going to give your masher finger a workout. (The way I mash is really weird. My index finger isn’t very good with mashing, so I use my thumb, and from there, I use my arm as a lever to just jam the fuck out of the fire button, so my arm gets really soar after a playthrough of this hack, lol).

But not only did he improve what was already there, Trax also added some things to the game: in stage 1, there were these mortar ball shooters that shot black mortar balls upward, and they fall back down on you, pertaining to the pattern of the shots by the soldiers hiding in the waterfall in stage 3. Speaking of stage 3, the boss certainly has some new tricks up its sleeve… I won’t spoil that. Stage 5 and 6’s bosses have pretty minor changes, but the changes certainly make things a hell of a lot harder… more so with stage 5’s boss. However, stage 7’s certainly has an interesting change to it. I won’t say it here, though.

(EDIT: when I wrote this review, it was long before the hack was released. Trap has also done this same change to the bosses of stage 1 and 8. Since you have to deal with it in stage 1, I might as well say it; there’s a lock on them, where you have to destroy all of the defences in order to harm the main boss).

In the base stages… no, Outpost and Station (really awesome stage names, getting to that later) instead of having one giant core in the last room, which is actually used in both stages in one of the earlier rooms, there is a wave of cores constantly popping up, but you don’t necessarily have to destroy all of them. I think how it works is that after a certain wave, you destroy one more core and the wall gives in. It’s an interesting mechanic, but it’s kind of weird at the same time.

In stage 5, there is also an instance of mortar balls, but they come flying out of nowhere from the bottom of the screen, instead of from a box. I guess they’re coming from the depths of Icy Hell. They also come out in different patterns. But things get really awesome in stage 6 and 7 when they start coming out in spread pattern! In stage 6, you can actually dodge most of the mortars if you just keep moving, but in stage 7, don’t expect such luck!

In stage 8, Trax really reworked some things here. Sentient blobs now constantly appear from the right side of the screen, they’re more aggressive, some aliens shoot up purple mortar, you fight two heads instead of one, the bosses take way more hits, a couple of spider eggs appear in the actual level (and they take like ten-thousand shots to destroy), and the heart can actually shoot at you! It shoots spread shots in 3 different patterns.

This may seem like a minor change, but I think it’s really cool that Trax changed the names of the stages. Base1 and 2 are known as Outpost and Station. I think that’s much more creative than just having two bases. Energy Zone is now Power Plant, and when you think about it, the Energy Zone does kind of seem like a power plant. I also think it’s really cool that Hangar is now known as Warehouse. How is stage 7 a hangar??? How are the plains supposed to avoid all the spikes everywhere? Not to mention mine carts! (AND WHAT THE HECK IS AN ENERGY ZONE???!!! Power Plant is at least English…).

Even the ending text is changed, and instead of just getting a cheesy congratulations, you’re actually given a story/mission summary with a bit of wonder for the future, and it’s a cool little addition to the hack.

Now let’s just talk about a few cool parts in the hack:

In stage 1, they hand you a couple of spread guns, but the hilarious thing you’ll find is that a bunch of snipers are waiting to shoot you down. I like this, because it requires you to memorize the level layout, which is an aspect I love in games. I think it’s an underrated aspect of gaming.

In stage 5, when you’re up against the cannon gunmen, you really need to have fast reflexes when they come on screen. It’s easy to let your guard down.

In stage 7, there’s this really nasty set of spiked claws, and you need to move as soon as the claw starts moving up, and it’s really hard to time the first time. Speaking of stage 7, the spike walls take less hits, because nobody likes those walls, and they’re boring.

Now, I could go on for hours about how great this hack is, but, like anything else, the best way to experience something is to experience it for yourself. Give it a try! If you are a master of the original Contra, you will not be disappointed! Just don’t give up because of the high difficulty. That’s what makes it so fun! Now go and download RotRF!

Thank you so much, Trax, for making this incredible Contra hack! I can’t thank you enough!

(Don’t forget to also check out Trax’s Red Falcon Editor. He created it alongside the making of this hack).

Also be sure to check out my reviews for the other three Contra hacks. They’re not very good… they’re pretty bad… they’re really bad… they’re horrible… they’re an abomination to mankind… my IQ level dropped from playing them…

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
No bugs, new difficultydiablo66603 Oct 20201.0Yes
The Best Contra Hack Yet!!Werehold28 Dec 20191.0Yes
This Is How To Challenge a Pro Contra Player!FreightMan7105 May 20161.0Yes
What a great hack albeit dirtysleepy07 Feb 20161.0Yes
My Favourite Hack of All TimeTheLuigiLightning17 Jan 20161.0Yes