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Contra NES weapon capsule.png Contra NES weapon sensor.png Contra NES weapon redenemy.png

Weapons can be obtained from a few different sources throughout the game. In many outdoor stages, weapons are obtained from capsules (left) and sensors (center). Capsules fly across the screen from the left side to the right (or in the case of the waterfall stage, from bottom to top) and release weapons when shot. Sensors, on the other hand, are stationary and embedded in the stage. During the indoor stages, weapons can be obtained by shooting the red guard (right) that hops across the background. Only one red guard will appear per room, so once the guard escapes, you will not encounter another until you advance to a new room. To obtain a new weapon, you simply need to touch it. However, once you do, you will lose your previous weapon with no means of getting it back until you find a new instance of it.

Item Effect Description
Contra NES weapon normal.png You initially start with a regular rifle, a single shot weapon that fires one bullet every time you press B button. It can fire up to four bullets on-screen. You will revert back to the Normal Gun every time you begin a new life.
Contra rapid.jpg Unlike other powerups, this one appears frequently. It speeds up the firing rate of all weapons with the exception of the laser rifle, allowing your bullets to reach their targets faster than they normally would. An extremely useful power-up when used in combination with the Machine Gun or Spread Gun.
Contra machine gun.jpg Contra NES weapon machinegun.png While not the strongest weapon per-shot, the fact you can fire continuously by holding down B button makes this weapon useful. It has an on-screen capacity of six bullets, which are quite fast and have a very fast rate of fire. The firing rate can be further improved upon with the Rapid Fire. This is a very common weapon, and the first available in the game.
Contra laser.jpg Contra NES weapon laser.png The most powerful weapon per shot, but also the slowest. It is very useful against bosses, vehicles, and artillery since they can take a lot of damage and generally only appear on the screen a few at a time. The slowness of the beam, along with the fact old beams are canceled by firing a new one, can make this weapon challenging to use against infantry. This drawback is mitigated by the fact that the beam will continue to pass through defeated enemies, so you can take out an entire line of them in one shot.
Contra fireball.jpg Contra NES weapon fireball.png This is not a traditional flamethrower. Instead, it shoots out a small fireball the moves forward in a corkscrew pattern, making small loops. It has an on-screen capacity of four fireballs. While the fireballs are fairly powerful, they move considerably slowly compared to other weapons. It has a wide range of attack; fireballs spin around slightly above and below the level of your gun, so you don't have to duck or jump to aim.
Contra spread.jpg Contra NES weapon spread.png This weapon is particularly useful, and many players consider it to be the easiest weapon to use. It fires several bullets in a wide arc, with an on-screen capacity of ten bullets. It can hit almost any enemy on the screen without much effort on your part. At close range, you'll hit an enemy with every bullet fired, causing plenty of damage per shot. Each bullet is as powerful as a machine gun bullet, and if all bullets hit one enemy, it causes almost as much damage as a laser beam.
Contra barrier.jpg This item doesn't appear very often, but it's very useful. When collected, it will protect you from anything (except falling in pits) for roughly twenty seconds. Any infantry that touches you will be instantly killed, but vehicles and heavy guns will be unaffected.
Contra falcon.jpg As soon as this flashing falcon is collected, it destroys every basic enemy on the screen. It does little to no damage to vehicles, artillery, and other machines though. It is used as soon as you touch it, so you may not hold on to it until you need it. It is very rare, and enemies have a tendency to disappear in locations where it is found, so it's usefulness is limited.