SUPER CONTRA > ARSENAL
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Super Contra introduced a new feature with the gun powerups: acquiring 2 of the same gun icons increases the power of that gun. This gameplay element is rarely used in the Contra series. All gun pickups are represented by gun icons, which makes them difficult to identify or distinguish.
Unlike its predecessor, Super Contra features automatic fire for all of its guns; however, most of them can be fired at a faster rate by rapidly pressing, instead of holding, the fire button.
Gun powerups are acquired from blimps that fly across the screen:
The player starts with this gun and, assuming they have a gun powerup, will revert to it when respawning after death. It can be fired at a fast rate by rapidly pressing the fire button.
Shoots a rapid stream of bullets, fired automatically. At regular power, the firing rate can actually be increased by rapidly pressing the fire button. Once upgraded, it fires at an extremely high rate automatically. The upgraded Machine Gun is the most powerful and useful weapon in the game, even surpassing the Spread Gun.
Shoots grenades that, upon impact, produce small explosions that spread horizontally. The explosions are also damaging to enemies. When upgraded, the grenades cause more damage and produce more spreading explosions.
Shoots small, strong laser beams at a decent rate. When upgraded, shoots much longer beams at a slower rate.
Shoots 3 large, powerful bullets that fan out. When upgraded, it then shoots 5 fanning bullets, but the rate of fire is reduced. Due to these aspects of the Spread Gun, it is not as useful as in the first Contra.
Note: This weapon is only available during the overhead stages. A portable bomb that, when detonated, destroys most enemies on-screen and deals heavy damage to, or destroys, bosses/mini-bosses. The player can hold more than 1 shell at a time and the count is carried over between overhead stages.