Co-op Clash: Contra: Where Rivals Became Friends

Friends don't stand back to back.

Throughout history there have been partnerships that have saved the universe. Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. Tango and Cash. Hulk Hogan and Macho Man. But none of these duos have ever reached the heights of fame as well as infamy as two guys who go by the code names of Mad Dog and Scorpion. However, there is something you might not know about Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. They weren’t always friends. In fact, it was because of the vile Red Falcon that these former enemies had to put their differences aside and come together for the greater good. Don’t believe me? Then look at the picture with them back to back. Friends don’t take pictures like that.

Horrible Night Out Co-op ClashContra will be one of the featured games in the Co-op Clash tournament at Horrible Night Out on Dec 9th.

Primary Beginnings

Every duo has a tumultuous start. Whether they are fighting over the same girl or arguing over who is the bigger badass, a mutual respect often builds. That, however, wasn’t the case of Bill and Lance. While it’s rare for two ruthless mercenaries to grow up in the same town, it’s even rarer for those same two to go to the same primary school. Yet the Beans and the Rizers both settled down in Podunk, USA. Their relationship started out harmless. Playing touch football at recess. Sneaking into the bathroom to play Bloody Mary, but it was the jungle gym where things started to go south. Both Lance and Bill were very athletic. In fact, it was said that they were the most athletic kids in the school as kindergarteners. Yeah, that’s right. 6th graders didn’t bully them. They bullied 6th graders. The only people they had to compete with was each other and compete they did. They tried to see who could jump the furthest out of a swing. Lance, the crazier of the two, tried to become Inside Out Boy while Bill gave the most amazing underdog that has ever been given.

The monkey bars were where acquaintances  become enemies. A meaningless game of chicken can become a best of 7 battle. A best of 7 battle can turn into out-of-school suspensions for both participants. Out-of-school suspensions meant more time to think of ways to battle each other and thus a war for schoolyard supremacy began. Needless to say, there wasn’t a winner in the Lance and Bill elementary schoolyard battles. But where else do you think they got their code-names from? Clearly it was on the monkey bars.

Friends stand like this.

Middle School Madness

Middle school (or jr. high depending on where you’re from) is hardly ever any fun for any of the parties involved. Changing hormones and recognizing that the opposite sex might not have cooties after all, means feuding with former friends and reigniting feuds forgotten over summer break. Athletics take on a much larger role in middle school and this was absolutely the case for Lance and Bill. They played all the sports. Football, wrestling, basketball, track, cross country. It didn’t matter if some of them took place during the same season. As long as they had the energy, they were allowed to pursue their goals of total athletic domination. It is rare for colleges to start recruiting middle schoolers for collegiate athletics but Bill and Lance weren’t your average middle school athletes However, college would have to wait. High school was next…and so were all the state championships.

High School High

Bill and Lance hated each other, yet co-existed enough to play on the same teams. One played offense the other defense in football. They could not play together. Both of them were good enough to play on both sides of the ball but the coaches had to keep them separate. Bill was the quarterback, though Lance thought that he was better. It led to many rounds of fisticuffs. In basketball, the coach had to alternate when Bill and Lance would be on the court. Lance would start, but Bill would be the first sub off the bench. They were both great but could barely play nice with each other. Despite the hatred these two gentlemen had for each other, they could at times agree to disagree and win state championships. They won every single state championship available. You see, sometimes when you hate each other you can achieve great things. This would prove to be a valuable asset in the future, though Lance and Bill had no idea just how valuable.

Contra Base

Side by Side. Ride or Die.

Alien Invasion

After high school, Lance and Bill decided to forgo college and fulfill their dreams of becoming members of the National Mercenaries Association. Fighting each other on the monkey bars and on the athletic field no longer gave them the same adrenaline rush they had as kids. They were 18 now. Grown ass men. Who wanted to smoke cigarettes, drink beer, go shirtless (sometimes wear tank-tops), and shoot all kinds of cool guns. They each went their separate ways but would not be apart for long.

Shortly thereafter, on an island in the middle of an ocean of indiscriminate origins, an evil force had taken root. Red Falcon was an alien force bent on world domination but first the alien life form (ALF) had to take over said island. The President found out and had this conversation with a member of the NSA.

President: “Get me Mad Dog and Scorpion on the phone.”
NSA: “But Sir, they hate each other. It will never work. What about Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis instead?”
P: “No, there is no asteroid involved. What good will they be?”
N: “Well, what about Macho Man and Hulk Hogan?”
P: “What the hell are leg drops and elbow drops going to do, even if they are from the top rope?”
N: “Sir, I’m out of ideas”

It was only by the word of the President that Lance and Bill could come together. Even though they were world-class mercenaries, they were also world-class patriots. What better way to prove their ultimate ability to be the best bad ass ever than by saving the world? Being the best on the playground means nothing. Winning all the state championships means nothing. Saving the world is a big deal. Lance and Bill knew they could succeed because of past examples of greatness but it wasn’t guaranteed. Even with advanced mercenary technology, the enemy was more powerful than ever before.

Friends will be Friends

In a more powerful enemy, Bill and Lance found a common ground. A common respect. All those years of being bitter rivals, even though they were often on the same team, led to an eventual respect. Because each of them knew how skilled the other was, a trust was built. Bill could trust Lance with his life and vice versa. With that trust came the defeat of the alien invaders. The world was saved. And an everlasting friendship was formed.


Giant Bomb (images)