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The role of this alien is to transport captured humans to the terrifying laboratory of Black Viper. Every man, woman, and even child are carried within the core of the outer shell. Normally, when transporting, the army's Robot Bike Unit keeps guard.
~ Translated description from the Contra 4 manual

The Crustacean Cruiser (攻殻機動艦 Kōgaku Kidō-kan?, lit. "Ghost in the Shell") is a boss in Contra 4. It is a gigantic creature used to transport human prisoners to Black Viper's harvest laboratories.


A humongous crustacean-like monstrosity several stories tall that somewhat resembles a mutated tick. This abomination appears at the end of the City stage, breaking through the asphalt from underground without any warning –carrying the player on its back in the process– and commencing an incredibly fast charge straight ahead while razing through the ruins of the city streets.

The Robot Bike Unit will enter the scene shortly afterward to support the beast, with three blue units shooting their firearms high into the sky to take out the unwanted hitchhikers that are the heroes. The heroes can fire back and eliminate them, but an infinite swarm of bikers will always be present to guard the creature. The player can actually use these enemies to their advantage, as each time a soldier is shot down, he will leave his hoverbike behind for the player to ride on it. If a hero goes for a ride, however, they will be greeted by red biker units, who won't waste any time to start lobbing grenades at them. Like the three blue units, there will always try to be two red units available from an infinite amount of them. Biker units adjust to a player's position, and will retreat for the other colored unit when necessary (blue units appear when the player is surfaced, while red units appear when riding a bike).

The colossal beast bears four pulsating membranes along its carapace; if shot enough, they will burst and reveal their horrifying cargo: people that are being carried inside the creature to Black Viper's laboratories in order to be processed. These sacs on its body are lethal to the touch, but eliminating them will allow the player to hitch a ride on the side of the beast. The lower angle can help get for a closer approach toward the creature or the biker units themselves. The creature never attacks directly, focusing solely on its goal to reaching the Alien Hive, relying on biker units as its only means of offense.

The head of the creature is its weak spot, and if the player concentrates all of their firepower on it from the beginning, they may be able to fell the monster even before the rest of the hoverbike squad can pose any real threat. It cannot be damaged from above its head by standard weaponry, though, due to a thick carapace surrounding its skull. The laser gun can penetrate through the hard head without ever having to rely on the biker corps to move closer to the creature. The homing missiles can also help here, as they can swerve around the helmet, being able to strike directly at the skull. Otherwise, the heroes would need to hijack an enemy bike and use it to get close enough to the creature's skull to strike it, avoiding the red biker units' grenades as much as possible.

Dealing enough damage will disrupt the creature, with all of its sacs exploding, as well as any remaining biker units. The creature will continue to run for as long as it can, but it will eventually drop dead on the floor, with its face exploding. Victorious, the heroes disembark away from the disgusting rotting corpse and head toward the entrance to the Alien Hive, where bigger bugs await to be smashed.



  • According to the debug menu, the name of the creature is "Larvae".
  • The overall design of the Crustacean Cruiser, as well as the way it is fought, bears a strong resemblance to Ohme, a boss from Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Capcom, 1988), which also has several membranes/hearts on its carapace that have to be destroyed.
  • In earlier beta versions of Contra 4, the creature visually shows white bones when one of its lumps is destroyed. The bones were removed in the final build, though it is unclear if this was due to being too graphic.
Contra 4
Bill RizerLance BeanMad DogScorpion
JimboSullySheena EtranziLuciaProbotectorSolomon Caesar
Red Falcon
Defense WallGromaidesGodomugaMissile Hugger 3000 (gigantic form) • Barracuda
Big FuzzCrustacean CruiserGomeramos KingBlack Viper (final form)
NoueiMissile Hugger 3000 (normal form) • ReaperMagnusArachnidBlack Viper
JungleLaboratoryBaseHarborOceanFactoryCityAlien HiveHarvest Yard
Contra Dual Spirits Original SoundtrackContra Chronicle Vol.1 coupling with Hard Corps: Uprising