This is a page regarding information about the various types of weaponry in Contra. Most (if not all) weapons have a limitless ion ammo counter and do not suffer any real world mechanical difficulties (only limited to game mechanics).
RifleEditThe Rifle is the default weapon for a majority of the Contra games. It has a semi-automatic rate of fire and deals relatively low damage. As such, it is not very popular among Contra fans, being referred to as a pea-shooter.
The Machine Gun is the first available power up in the game. It is similar to the default Rifle in terms of damage, but it is fully automatic and fast shooting, the only such weapon in the original game.
In Contra III: The Alien Wars, the Machine Gun replaces the Rifle as the default weapon. This arrangement is carried forward into almost all contra games forward. There are exception however such as if a distinctive character instead uses a sword as a primary weapon.
Spread GunEditThe Spread Gun is a power up that is able to shoot in 5 different directions. It is semi automatic, but starting from Contra III: The Alien Wars it was capable of fully automatic fire, albeit slower compared to the Machine Gun, and deals relatively high damage. It is often regarded as the best weapon in Contra. Limitations in the first few games prevented the spread gun from continuously firing up to 5 rounds on each shot, and would start to fire 3 rounds if fired too fast. Up close firing may result in multiple hits in a single shot, a desired quality when handling bosses.
Spread gun is available in almost every contra game. There are weapons, introduced in later contra game, that duplicates the quality of spread guns. For example Contra:Legacy of War introduced spread ground torpedo, while C - The Contra Adventure introduce self forging grenade: which launch a grenade that explode and produce self forging explosive pieces that thrown forward and bounce the surface until explode when hitting the enemy.
This weapon fires a stream of laser that inflicts high damage upon impact. However, it was not a popular weapon in the first game, as it was limited to a slow effective rate of fire. If a consecutive laser was fired after the first, the first laser would disappear. This was revamped in later games, and it soon became a popular weapon for dealing high damage. Laser guns in later games also sport additional properties such as homing or shooting in specific direction. Neo contra introduce satellite laser in which the laser is fired from an orbiting satellite.
The Flame Gun is a weapon that shoots fireballs that spiral towards the target in the original Contra. In Super C, however, the weapon operates in a completely different way: it fires one huge fireball that breaks off into eight smaller fireballs when it strikes a target. Charging the weapon will produce a large fireball that break into even more fireballs. Due to its unusual operation, it is not a very well known and liked weapon in Contra. Brad Fang can use this weapon in Contra: Hard Corps, but it acts more like a flamethrower. Some of the latest Contra games retain both aspects of flame thrower.
This weapon first appeared in Contra III: The Alien Wars. It fires rockets that home in on enemies, eliminating the need to aim. In Operation C, the weapon can be combined with the Spread Gun, making for quite a deadly combination. Ray Poward can also use this weapon. Variation of homing missile is exist: including homing chopper in which the projectile is powered by a propeller-a la helicopter-.
The Crusher Missiles are blue missiles that deal high damage, but suffer from short range, so they are hard to use in levels that include lots of long range engagements. When upgraded in Contra 4, they can be used from a longer distance.
Besides weapon upgrades, there are also power ups that enhance the performance of the current weapon, act as an extra weapon or give the player temporary extra power.
The Rapid Fire power up is a special upgrade that increases the rate of fire possible for the current weapon. Its effects can be seen better in the Base stages of the original Contra, where the weapon projectiles appear to move faster. However, many people did not know about its effect at first, and it was often regarded as "rarely useful." In Super Contra the Rapid Fire upgrade also enabled the projectiles to reach further in overhead stages and, in case of spread gun, add an extra projectiles.
The power up was removed from Contra lll: The Alien Wars as the default rifle was replaced by the fully automatic Machine Gun, and also from Contra 4, as all weapons in the game were capable of fully automatic fire.
The Barrier is a power up that first appears in the third level of the original Contra. It is a special power up that makes the affected player have temporary invincibility. The player will flash red and blue, and any enemies that make contact with the player will be destroyed instantly. It was made more prevalent in Super C.
The Smart Bomb is a special power up that is unique in the fact that it is not represented by a letter but by a symbol of a falcon, refering to the antagonist "Red Falcon". When it is picked up, the screen will flash and all on screen enemies will be destroyed. Therefore, it is a highly valuable power up. It is not storage able and used instantly once the character touch the smart bomb.
The Nuke is a power up introduced in Contra lll: The Alien Wars. Unlike regular power ups, it is a collectible item in-game. When activated, it sets off a nuclear explosion that instantly destroys any enemy that is caught in its considerable blast radius, with the exception of bosses. It seems to have replaced the Smart Bomb in use.