Operation C is a Game Boy sequel to the popular NES titles Contra and Super C and is, essentially, a side-scrolling shooter. You play a Rambo-esque character that goes around shooting everything in sight, collecting weapon upgrades and bonuses.
Operation C is a traditional run and gun shooter. Just as with the rest of the famously difficult Contra games, Operation C has numerous enemies, massive boss fights, and stages designed specifically to challenge the player.
The three versions of the game differed in a few ways. Naturally, Probotector replaced the human character with RD008, the robot from the two NES Probotector games. In the Japanese release, there was a stage select that made the first four stages accessible at any time. This stage select is only accessible by usage of the Konami code in the North American and European releases.
Operation C only has three power-ups (spread shot, fire gun, and homing, the third of which is introduced in this game), although the spread shot can be upgraded if it is picked up multiple times.
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The game introduces the character of Black Viper to the series’ oft-jumbled continuity. Black Viper would later return in the Nintendo DS title, Contra 4, as the primary villain.
The game features only five levels, two of which are played from an overhead perspective similar to Super C. Operation C is also notable in featuring the upgradable Spread Gun (from three to five shots) and introducing the Hunter Gun.
There is also the occasional platform element such as jumping puzzles, moving platforms etc., and the mandatory end-level boss.