CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS > TRIVIA

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Select a trivium:

Counter-Intuitive
Emulation Came First
Familiar Intro
Run N Roll
Red Salamander
End Of The Beginning
Half-Decent
Not Apple-Related
Hey, Arnold
The Alien Warriors
Identity Crisis
The Other Super Contra IV
Forced Connection
Junker HQ Support
Didn’t Get The Job Done
The Korean Alien Wars
Recycled Relics
Familiar Foes

COUNTER-INTUITIVE

Common titles: Super Contra. Indeed, it would be easier if this game was Super Contra while the actual Super Contra was simply named Contra II.

 
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EMULATION CAME FIRST

Contra III: The Alien Wars was first playable on an arcade system before the SNES. Technically, though, it is still an SNES as the arcade machine is the Nintendo Super System. See here for more information.

 
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FAMILIAR INTRO

The text in the intro (“The Alien Wars begin!”) is red and scrolls leftward, the same as the text in the intro of arcade Super Contra (“The quest for freedom continues…”).

 
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RUN N ROLL

The rolling turrets at the start of the third stage are similar to the Ducker enemies from the Gradius series (also created by Konami). Both enemies move along the stage for a certain distance before stopping and taking an aimed shot at the player.

 
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RED SALAMANDER

The brain boss (Living Brain Organism Searle) bears a striking resemblance to the Golem boss from Salamander, another video game by Konami.

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END OF THE BEGINNING

The images at the start of the ending sequence are re-renders of the images from arcade Super Contra’s intro.

Contra III:

Super Contra:

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I have included the image above for the following trivia.

 
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HALF-DECENT

Interestingly, the heroes are changed to robots in the stills above for Super Probotector’s ending:

It seems drawing the posterior view of the robots was too much:



 
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NOT APPLE-RELATED

In the end credits, special thanks are given to the DMG CONTRA TEAM. DMG was the code for the Nintendo Game Boy; so they were referring to Operation C for the Game Boy.

Incidentally, Contra III would be translated to Game Boy by Factor 5.

 
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HEY, ARNOLD

The Japanese cover for Contra III (Contra Spirits) on the SNES is based on the poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1986 film, Raw Deal.

Additionally, the intermission screen before the fifth stage features Bill in a similar pose to that of Lance on the infamous North American NES Contra box art, who is also based on Arnold (right-most portrait seen here):

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The intermission screen before the second stage may have taken inspiration from a pose of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 1985 film, Commando.

Contra III (note: image is flipped for this comparison):

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Commando:

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THE ALIEN WARRIORS

The title of the Stage 4 theme is Road Warrior. This name, as well as the desert setting of the stage, is likely a reference to the film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

 
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IDENTITY CRISIS

Before its release, Contra III underwent name changes and was referred to as numerous titles by magazines. One such instance is in a 1992 issue of Super NES Player Guide:

The January 1992 issue of Nintendo Power (issue 32) referred to Contra III as Contra IV. Contra Force was announced before this game, which likely led to the title of Contra IV. It is worth noting that the former was ultimately released after the latter.

The February, 1992 issue of Gamepro (issue 31) referred to the game as Contra IV: The Alien Wars, based on an early localization of the Japanese release (see here):

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Later, the March, 1992 issue of Nintendo Power (issue 34) referred to Contra III as Contra III: The Alien Invasion.

 
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THE OTHER SUPER CONTRA IV

The North American release cover art for Super Castlevania IV, also designed by Konami, bears a strong resemblance to that of Contra III:

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FORCED CONNECTION

The North American version’s manual mentions Neo City, which is the setting of Contra Force. Although this fact and any possible connection in the plot is discarded in the current continuity, it is possible for the events of Contra Force to be within the current timeline without issue.

 
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JUNKER HQ SUPPORT

The name of the third stage is Neo Kobe Steel Factory. Neo Kobe is the name of the city for the setting in the Konami game, Snatcher. In addition, the player fights robots at the end of the stage whose designs are similar to the androids from Snatcher.

 
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THE KOREAN ALIEN WARS

Contra III: The Alien Wars was released officially in Korea, licensed by Nintendo. This release is the North American version. Check out the Scanlines page for more information and photos of the media.

 
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RECYCLED RELICS

Numerous elements from its predecessors have been reused in Contra III: The Alien Wars. They span all aspects of the game, from sound/music to gameplay and from obvious to highly subtle. Often, they undergo minor modifications and variations. Similarly, the concept may be reused in a new or different application. The reuse may not even be intentional (ie, independent implementation). All such elements are listed below. In parentheses are any particularities or if the given element pertains to a specific version of a Contra game.

Conceptual

-Stage themes (details below):
Alien

-Player characters:
Bill Rizer (arcade Contra)
Lance Bean (arcade Contra)

-Red Falcon (arcade Contra)

-Red scrolling text in the intro sequence (arcade Super Contra)

-Powerups appear in flying blimps (arcade Contra)

-Fire-based powerup gun (arcade Contra)

-Assistant helicopter (arcade Super Contra)

-Helicopter in the ending (NES Contra)

-Stats screen (NES Contra)

Sound Effects

-Player death (arcade Contra, loosely)

-Powerup acquisition (NES Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Spread Gun, (arcade Contra)
Laser Gun, (arcade Contra)

-Enemy grenade thrown (arcade Contra)

Music

-Victory theme (arcade Contra, arcade Super Contra)

Visuals

-Fiery “C” in the title; very similar font and design of the rest of the letters (arcade Contra)

-Bill and Lance are essentially sprite variants (arcade Contra)

-Bill and Lance’s attires (NES Contra)

-Player animation (arcade Super Contra)

-Player’s standing sprite at the edge of platforms (arcade Super Contra)

-Roll-up jump (arcade Contra)

-Gun powerups are represented by falcon sprites (arcade Contra)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Spread Gun (NES Contra, arcade Super Contra)
Laser Gun (arcade Super Contra, loosely)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Grenadier (arcade Super Contra)
Unarmed Foot Soldier (side view; NES Super Contra)
Rifle Foot Soldier (side view; NES Super Contra)
Unarmed Foot Soldier (overhead view; NES Super Contra)
Rifle Foot Soldier (overhead view; NES Super Contra)
Smart Turret (arcade Contra)
Wing Soldier (NES Super Contra)
Alien Ant (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Fire Ant (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Grunt (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Fetus (arcade Contra)
Wall Mouth (arcade Contra)
Cotton Ball (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger Egg (arcade Contra)

-Enemy grenades (NES Super Contra)

-Certain enemies jump when killed (arcade Contra)

-Bosses and strong enemies blink when damaged (arcade Super Contra)

-Stage map for the overhead stages (arcade Contra)

-Pulsing stage background in stage 6 (NES Contra)

Gameplay

-Side scrolling (horizontal and vertical; arcade Contra)

-Overhead view (arcade Super Contra)

-Simultaneous 2 player mode (arcade Contra)

-Ability to take the other player’s lives to return into the game session (NES Contra)

-Difficulty settings (arcade Contra)

-Ability to select starting number of lives (arcade Contra)

-1-hit death (arcade Contra)

-Death pits (arcade Contra)

-Temporary invincibility upon respawning (arcade Contra)

-Continue system (NES Contra)

-Point-based life gaining system (arcade Contra)

-Extra lives cheat (NES Contra)

-Sound Test (NES Contra)

-Stage select cheat (Famicom Contra)

-8 aiming directions (NES Contra)

-Shooting mechanics (Operation C)

-Powerup arsenal (arcade Contra)

-Powerups, when equipped, lost upon death (arcade Contra)

-Fully automatic guns (Operation C)

-Arsenal (see here for more information):
Machine Gun (arcade Contra)
Spread Gun (NES Contra, arcade Super Contra)
Crush Missiles (NES Super Contra, loosely)
Laser Gun (arcade Super Contra)
Homing Missiles (Operation C)
Smart Bomb (arcade Super Contra)
Barrier (arcade Contra)

-Gun powerups blink and disappear after a brief moment if not picked up (arcade Super Contra)

-Opposition (see here for more information):
Grenadier (arcade Super Contra)
Unarmed Foot Soldier (side view; arcade Contra)
Rifle Foot Soldier (side view; arcade Contra)
Ground Turret (arcade Super Contra)
Sniper (arcade Contra)
Unarmed Foot Soldier (overhead view; arcade Super Contra)
Rifle Foot Soldier (overhead view; arcade Super Contra)
Smart Turret (arcade Contra)
Wing Soldier (NES Super Contra)
Alien Ant (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Fire Ant (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Grunt (arcade Super Contra)
Alien Fetus (arcade Contra)
Wall Mouth (arcade Contra)
Cotton Ball (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger (arcade Contra)
Face Hugger Egg (arcade Contra)

-Bosses (see below)

-Stages:
Alien Cave (arcade Contra)

-Snipers on stilt towers in stage 1 (arcade Super Contra)

-Fiery pits and environment in stage 1 (MSX Contra)

-Exposed flame pipes in stage 1 (arcade Contra)

-Lava gushers in stage 1 (MSX Contra)

-Destructible ground, forming death pits, in stage 2 (NES Super Contra)

-Destructible wall in stage 3 (arcade Super Contra)

-Climb through a high-tech building in stage 3 (NES Super Contra)

-Music doesn’t change during stage boss in stage 4 (arcade Contra)

-Exploding bridges in stage 5 (arcade Contra)

 
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FAMILIAR FOES

Contra III: The Alien Wars began the series’ tradition of reusing bosses.

Classic Wall from the original Contra (this is its first reappearance):

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Shortly after the first wall encounter, another one is confronted. Optionally, this second Wall can be destroyed by the tank:

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Alien head (Emperor-Demon Dragon God Java):

Alien heart (Emperor-Demon Evil Heart Gomera Mosking):

NES Super Contra’s final boss (Shadow Beast Kimkou):

The Xenomorph ripoff boss from arcade Super Contra’s 4th stage (Metal Alien):

It is much more dynamic, but does not fire a projectile.

The triple-headed alien (Emperor-Demon Gyaba):



 
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Contra III: The Alien Wars main page

Contra Encyclopedia home page

2 Responses to “CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS > TRIVIA”

  1. whats the name of contra 3 art designer?
    answer to mewtwomasterx@hotmail.com

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