Greeders (突槍射撃兵 グリーダー? lit. "Spearhead Gunman Greeder") are recurrent enemies in the Contra series. They are either brainwashed human infantry units, or aliens posing as them, or even robots who charge forward at the enemy.
Perhaps the most iconic lesser enemies in the whole Contra series, Greeders have appeared in pretty much every installment of the franchise in one form or another, and are known by a variety of names depending on the games they appear in.
They can either be human soldiers who have been brainwashed by the invading alien forces and forced to do their bidding, or alien warriors posing as humans, or in some cases they can even be rampant robots. They can be seen either unarmed or wielding small melee weapons, and usually appear in more than one stage in each game.
Greeders mainly attack by charging at the enemy; should they miss their target, they will just continue onward until they leave the battlefield. If they reach a ledge, they will jump forward and continue their way, that is if they didn't fall to their demise into a bottomless pit. Certain variants come armed with a firearm and are capable of shooting at the player. They are renowned for carrying a large backpack presumably filled with explosives to maximize their characteristic kamikaze behavior. With such traits, they just serve as cannon fodder for the invading forces, allowing them to reserve their higher rank units for more advanced battles.
A mutated variant of Greeders appears in Super C in Alien Area 2. They behave exactly the same, albeit showing alien-like mutations on their bodies. Likewise, Lizard Aliens and their variants behave pretty much the same, although they are faster and are usually encountered near the end of the games they appear in.
Greeders are subordinates to Ledders.
In Contra III, Zako Soldiers share the same sprite as machine-gun wielding soldiers, and as such, they also come armed with these weapons, although they never fire them. In addition, they have a blue color scheme in order to differentiate them from the trigger-happy red units.
Zako Soldiers conform the main forces of Colonel Bahamut's army. They are infantry enemy units that attack by charging at the player, although they can also attack by slashing with a beam sword. They also display certain abilities not seen in their previous incarnations, such as attacking by jumping or holding their positions while wielding a gun.
- Age: ???
- Height: 169 cm
- Weight: 93 kg
- Zako Soldiers from Contra: Hard Corps also appear in Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX, as the Military Train replaces the Destroyed Highway from Contra III: The Alien Wars.
- The Japanese word zako can be translated as "small fry" or "small fish".