Nothing Says Halloween Quite like the Alien Wars

John Argirovski,

October 27, 2022 5:21 AM

It is the strangest yet wildest holiday of them all - Halloween. It's a day where people have an excuse to dress up as any character they want, kind of like a worldwide cosplay event.

What other holiday allows for a full-grown man to dress up as a fictious Italian plumber named Mario? Maybe St. Patrick’s Day on a good year?

Sadly, the excitement of the “Halloween spirit” has worn off just a tad bit for me but the spirit gets quickly revived when I think about some of the games that I use to play during the Halloween season when I was growing up.

Gaming during Halloween or any of the official holidays was something really special to me. I instantly get hit with a wave of nostalgia reminiscing about some fun times I had with friends and family playing video games during the holidays.

Christmas was Final Fantasy 6

I played many hours of Final Fantasy VI during Christmas with my brother
[Image source: Wikipedia]

New Years Eve was BattleTanx

It wasn't a classic game BUT it was my New Years Eve jam
[Image source: Wikipedia]

Halloween is no different. Halloween gaming brings back the Halloween excitement!

Did you know some retro video games have Halloween unlockable content?

The Sega Dreamcast for example had an internal battery that kept track of the day/time. Some game developers took advantage of this "advanced technology" and programmed their games to unlock holiday themed content that would only be available on that specific day.

Of course, you could always manually program the internal clock to Oct 31st every single day just to enjoy the Halloween themed content all-year-round if that’s your thing…

Ready 2 Rumble on Halloween Day
[Image source: The Dreamcast Junkyard]

Nothing says “Halloween” more than a game of…

What is your GO-TO Halloween game? I have so many but here are a few titles that come to mind:

Resident Evil 2 (1998)

A terrifying experience. Will you play as Leon or Claire?

[Image source: Wikipedia]

The House of the Dead 2 (1998)

This game is still awesome! But you will 
need a light-gun controller and old school CRT TV to get the full experience
[Image source: Wikipedia]

Maniac Mansion (1987)

If you grew up in the 8-bit era, you might have had nightmares playing Maniac Mansion.
[Image source: Wikipedia]

Contra III: The Alien Wars (1992)

[Image source: Wikipedia]

If I had to pick one game that I loved the most during Halloween it would HAVE to be the "Alien Wars".

I still cannot tell you how many times I have given up on this game and thought about never attempting to clear it again. One day I swear I will get past the third level.

Contra 3: The Alien Wars is the successor to the legendary Contra and Super Contra for the NES. Pretty much everyone knows about the original Contra and any REAL 8-bit gamer can recite the cheat code for “30 lives” off by heart. How did they all memorize this code? BECAUSE they HAD to know it. Knowing the code gave the player a chance at survival. Contra is ridiculously difficult.

The 35 year old “Contra Code” for the NES original is so famous, that it has been printed and successfully sold on t-shirts and other memorabilia.

"30 Lives" AKA the "Contra Code" from the 1987 NES classic.
[Image source: Contra Fandom]

In my opinion, Contra III for the SNES is even more difficult than the original. Like every other game in this genre, only one hit of enemy fire takes a life away so it’s best to keep your eye blinking to a minimum.

I opt for the Normal difficulty because I like a slight challenge and I max out my lives to seven, because I am no fool.

The Bosses are epic!

Playing Alien Wars again instantly brought back memories of utter frustration and disappointment but I truly love the challenge of it. Like most run-and-gun shooters, the more you play, the more patterns you remember. If you’re willing to lose enough times, you hypothetically give yourself a chance to remember the patterns.

I haven’t mastered the patterns just yet, but I’m happy to say I finally cleared Level 3 and ate two entire bags of snack-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the process . Maybe one Halloween, I will finally clear the game before I clear the chocolate.

Comment and tell us what your go-to Halloween games are! 


You need to be logged in to post a comment.

Join us