Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki
Contra 4 Challenge Mode Menu

One of the menus inside the Challenge Mode menu from Contra 4. A C icon indicates a successfully cleared challenge.

Think you're a hot shot? These challenges will test your skills to the limit.
~ Main Menu in Contra 4.

Challenge Mode is a mode seen in both Contra 4 and Contra: Operation Galuga. It is a special game mode where any playable hero can be played in a variety of segments within a stage of the Arcade Mode under special requirements.


Contra 4[]

Challenge Mode becomes unlocked once Arcade Mode is cleared under any difficulty. Challenge Mode is solely a single player mode. A player will have zero lives in stock so if defeated, they must repeat the challenge from the beginning. A restart option is added to the pause menu as a quicker option to restart a challenge. The Konami Code will not work in this mode. A majority of challenges use the default Normal mode, but some challenges may use specifications and statistics from Hard Mode. Many of the stage layouts are practically identical to that seen in Arcade Mode, with some minor changes where noted. None of the three 3D stages are used in challenges.

This mode is necessary to unlock any and all of the unlockable bonus content available in Contra 4. When a challenge is cleared or completed, another challenge (in order) will become unlocked, until the last one (40th) is unlocked. Clearing a certain number of challenges will unlock a reward or bonus within the game itself. Clearing all 40 challenges will award the last of the bonuses, followed by a message confirming their victorious achievement.

All stages within challenge Mode use their respective stage themes. The Jungle stage plays the normal stage theme. Despite taking place inside the Laboratory, the music that plays inside the Laboratory portion of Stage 2 is the Waterfall soundtrack. When a Challenge is cleared, the stage victory theme plays.

Types of challenges[]

Many of the challenges repeat the same requirements for completion. The following types of challenges are as outlined:

  • Bad Guy Blitz: Reach the end of a stage, but one type of enemy is replaced by a different type of enemy (example: Proboterrors in the Jungle, replacing Greeders).
  • Gunplay: Use either the Prototype Weapon or the Classic Laser to clear a stage.
  • Pacifism: Get to an end of the stage "unarmed". Usually this means the firing of a weapon is disabled, meaning enemies cannot be eliminated. A player must take every caution to avoid contact with enemies while reaching the goal. There is four of these types of missions total.
  • Rematch: A re-fight against one of the bosses of Contra 4. Places a player just before an encounter with said boss. In all Rematch challenges, one S weapon is granted by default. There is five of these types of missions total.
  • Mutt Hunt: Defeat all the Man Faced Mutts within a stage before reaching a goal. A counter with the Alien Dog icon appears at the top-right corner of the top screen, indicating how many remaining Mutts are available and must reach 0 by the time a hero reaches the intended goal zone. Depending on the area, a mutt can run off-screen if not killed in time so if one Mutt is missed, a player will fail upon reaching the goal or is forced to restart the challenge manually. There is five of these types of challenges total.
  • Speed Run: Clear a certain requirement within a time limit. Usually this consists of reaching a goal before the time limit expires. A clock is present in the right hand corner of the screen, notifying the remaining seconds. There is 6 of these types of challenges total.
  • Friendly Fire: Reach the goal but do not kill any human civilians running around the stage. The civilians are the same people seen in the City Stage, but were invincible in Arcade Mode. In Challenge Mode, if any friendly bullets hit a civilian, the challenge is failed (enemy bullets do not affect the civilians. The hostages are unharmed by enemy contact or enemy fire).
  • Accuracy: A percentage counter will appear on the top screen. This counter keeps track of how many of a player's total bullets hit enemies. To clear these missions, the percentage must be at or above a certain number required to clear.
  • Low Ammo: A bullet counter is present on top of the screen, indicating how many times a hero can fire their gun. A hero must reach the end of a goal whilst having this amount of ammo indicated. If a player is out of ammo, they can no longer fire their weapon, forcing a hero to avoid contact with enemies instead. If out of ammo on an unavoidable enemy, a player is given no choice but to restart a mission. There is three of these challenges total.

Challenges and rewards[]

There is a total of eight pages of challenges. Upon first accessing this mode, only the first five challenges out of the entire 40 challenges available are unlocked. More challenges become unlocked when others are cleared, one at a time. For each 4 cleared, a bonus reward is granted. Clearing all 40 challenges will unlock the Extras Gallery and Sound Gallery, the final set of unlockable content in the entire game. A message will also confirm this achievement.

For a complete detailed list of Challenges and unlockable content from them, see Challenge Mode/Contra 4 Challenge List.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

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For a full detailed list of Challenges available, see Challenge Mode/Operation Galuga Challenge List.



Contra 4[]

Contra 4 Challenge Mode Softlock Glitch Victory
  • A glitch can occur if one presses the Start Button immediately as they are defeated. If this is done, the pause menu will pop up, with the words DEFEAT in the background as usual, but this will softlock the player's controls. This is only temporary, as a few seconds later, the screen blacks out and the game returns to the Challenge Menu as normal.
    • It is also possible to press start immediately as one clears a challenge, but unlike the former situation, the screen will not transition, causing a softlock with all controls save for the Soft Reset (Start + Select + Left Shoulder + Right Shoulder), which can be used to restart the game. If this glitch is performed, a challenged performed via this glitch is still saved as cleared.
  • Another minor glitch can occur when starting on any mission at the Laboratory, at the beginning of the Waterfall area. As soon as the challenge starts, if the player immediately runs right to the first platform, the music will reset itself when the screen finishes scrolling horizontally.
  • One of the sets of Gunplay challenges features a new type of weapon that fires missiles shaped like Vic Viper from the Gradius series. This weapon is referred to as a "Prototype Weapon".
  • Another set of Gunplay challenges makes use of the L laser from Contra, with every detail it utilized within that game. In Challenge mode, it is referred to as the "Classic Laser".