Contra (Sample, Family Computer)
(Image source: Yahoo! Japan Auctions)
This Contra Family Computer pre-release sample was purchased on Yahoo! Japan Auctions back in June 2011 by video game collector Chris Covell for 14,025 yen (around $174).
Covell ran into some trouble while backing up the cartridge, which led him to create a new program that allowed him to send the game data as an audio stream to his PC. (You can find out more about that here.)
But as for Contra, once it was dumped, the game was found to be very much in keeping with other Konami Japanese store samples.
For example, Konami locks the game so you can’t play all the way through. A screen comes up telling you to purchase the full game.
However, if you input the Game Genie code “AUEYSZPA,” you will be able to access the rest of the game.
Some of the player, enemy, and item sprites were removed in the later stages to make room for the promotional graphics, so you will eventually run into some visual glitches.
Other than that, I finished the game, and everything appears to be in its place, including the rolling credits at the end.