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Konami released a second portable version of Contra III in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance titled Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX, which was released in Japan as Contra: Hard Spirits. Unlike the original Super NES game and the previous Game Boy adaptation, Contra Advance was released in Europe and Australia under the Contra name without the Probotector title and robotic characters. The designers made changes to many of the features of the original game due to the Game Boy Advance's lack of XY buttons. The mega bombs and the ability to wield two weapons were removed, but the player can now lock their character's aim like in Contra: Shattered Soldier (allowing the player to move anywhere while shooting at one direction) and is given a choice to revert to their previously held weapon when picking a new one. The top-view stages (Stage 2 and 5) from the original Super NES game were replaced with two stages from Contra: Hard Corps (the Military Train and Big Battle stages). This version only has two difficulty levels, Easy and Normal, with Easy mode cutting the game's length at the end of the fourth stage.
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