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Top Secret Experimental Organism Anthell (極秘実験生物 アントヘル Gokuhi Jikken Seibutsu Antoheru?) is a boss in Contra III: The Alien Wars. It is an aliens' lair inhabited by giant centipede-like creatures.


Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

Anthell - 02

An organic hard shell construct of alien origins that encases what appears to be a large mound of living brain tissue, and which bears a single large eye on its top which acts as its weak spot.

Anthell remains at the center of a giant sand trap and its structure serves as a den inhabited by giant centipede-like creatures, which can be seen constantly slithering in and out from its four cavities. Anthell's body is also lethal to the touch, which combined with the overall short reach of most weapons during the top-view stages, forces the player to engage it at a closer range, making it one of the harder bosses not only in Contra III, but in the entire series.

At the beginning of the battle, the sand trap is immobile and the centipedes will only come out a certain distance to attempt to reach the player. They can be damaged by shooting them anywhere on their bodies, and will leave behind a random weapon power-up when killed, including Helio Bombs. The player can infinitely keep on killing centipedes during this phase in order to farm weapons that will be more useful during the second phase (and for the final stage), as well as stock on as many Bombs as they want (up to nine).

Once the eye has sustained enough damage, the sand will start moving and drag and spin the player around, forcing them to constantly correct their aim. In higher difficulty settings, the sand will drag the player around with greater velocity. The player can counteract this to some extent by rotating himself via the controller's shoulder buttons (default R and L). A little known special move featured in the game is that the player can spin even faster by double tapping any of the shoulder buttons and holding it pressed on the second tap. This move can counteract the spinning effect of the moving sand almost to its entirety, which is especially useful in Hard mode, as it can allow the player to aim at the eye for a longer time, as well as greatly diminish the disorientation produced by everything that's happening on the screen at once.

During the second phase of the boss fight, the centipedes will come completely out of the hive and actively chase after the player. In addition, the cavities will periodically shoot streams of fire straightforward, which can be avoided by going prone with the JUMP button.

Contra: The Alien Wars[]

Anthell - 03

Anthell is one of the bosses that has gone through the most changes in the Game Boy port of Contra III, being just a modified sprite of the Bosco Spider previously fought in Stage 2. Instead of releasing centipede-like creatures, it spawns four orbs with spikes from each of its corners; these initially spin around the boss and then are launched at the player.

In addition, instead of having just one eye on its center, Anthell has four this time around, one on each side, and all of them must be destroyed in order to defeat the boss.

The behavior of the sand is also less disorienting than in the Super NES version, merely pushing the player to a side instead of spinning them around.


  • This boss does not appear in Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX, the Game Boy Advance port of Contra III, due to the removal of both Mode 7 top-view stages in that version.
  • In its original appearance in Contra III, its name, Anthell (which is a portmanteau of antlion + hell) and the top-down perspective gives the impression that it is a living mound of alien biomass that sits in a sand trap waiting for preys to fall down into. However, the reinterpretation of the creature in the Rogue Corps motion comic book reveals that it instead is a UFO-like creature that floats above the ground.


Contra III: The Alien Wars
Bill RizerLance BeanJimboSullyRD008RC011
Red Falcon
Slave Beast TakaBosco SpiderBig FuzzAnti-Contra Battleship DodriguezAnthellEmperor Demon GavaLiving Brain Organism SearleSix Men Feromedos
Middle FortressMagnus Mk.2Dome DefenderTri-Transforming Wall WalkerGarth BaseBrother Robots Kenny 1 & 2High Speed Tank BoobyTetranduckerSensor ArmFierce CannonRocket Ninja SasakiOggie GeneratorJavaGomeramos KingKimkohMetal Alien
Occupied City StreetDestroyed HighwayFactory ZoneAir BattleSheer CliffAlien's Main Base
Contra III: The Alien Wars Original Video Game Soundtrack