Plissken is a reptilian alien otherwise known as Chief Salamander, and the mastermind behind the Neo-Salamander Force. He joined the Contra Force and fought alongside them against his own army for unknown reasons.
By using time-travel technology, he and his army attacked the Contra Force in 1973. With their "primitive" weapons, the Contras were helpless. The Contras of the present were sent to stop them, but their ship crashed and stranded in the now altered future, where aliens ruled the Earth.
- In the Japanese version, Chief Salamander visually resembles Adolf Hitler. This was censored out in the North American and European releases.
- The name "Newt" is likely a reference to Newt, a character from the Alien franchise, a series that has been of great inspiration to the Contra series since its inception.
- The surname "Plissken" is a tribute to the character Snake Plissken from the films Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. Furthermore, Newt makes a similar speech to the one Snake makes at the end of the film, refraining from killing his employer because he was "too tired".