Three continues, two lives, one hit and no Konami code. That's right, NO Konami code; didn't think I'd catch you with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar, did you, hmm?
Contra, although not all that long when you take a step back and look at the big picture, is nothing to be said for how hard it is to get through those seven short stages. Most of the difficulty, for me at least, came in the form of harsh colours and the tiny, almost invisible particle effects that the enemies use for bullets.
The majority of the time I didn't even see the projectile that hit me, just the effect it had as I was left in a rage-induced stupor, puzzled and wondering how the hell I had died. Oh, what fond memories.