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The Defense Wall[note 1] is a recurring boss in the Contra series. It is a tall, heavily armed metal structure that usually guards the entrance to an underground enemy base. It is one of the most iconic bosses in the series and appears in almost every game, usually as a boss or a miniboss in one of the earlier stages.

Description

The Defense Wall is a tall metal structure mounted with two blaster cannons and a sniping spot at its top. In the middle of the wall, toward the bottom, there is a glowing energy core which acts as the building's weak spot. Depending on the game, other snipers may eventually replace their fallen comrades.

While on early installments the core remained passive during encounters, starting from Contra 4 it was given the ability to project a powerful energy beam, a trait that has remained for most of its incarnations in following titles, introducing a 'risk versus reward' factor while fighting it. Furthermore, some recent titles have dismissed the "wall" or "fort" from its name in favor to consider the whole structure as a hi-tech cannon, giving it names such as Wave/Shock Cannon.

Appearances

Contra (arcade)

In this version, the blaster cannons are individually known as Destroi and they shoot energy bombs in a slight arcing pattern. They can be destroyed separately and the sniper does not respawn, leaving the wall defenseless.

Contra (NES)

The wall fires from its blaster cannons, the projectiles fall to the ground in an arcing motion. The sniper will shoot the player much more accurately. While the sniper can be killed, another one will take his place shortly afterward. There is also a turret on the hill in front of the wall that poses the same threat as the sniper, except that it will not respawn.

Contra III: The Alien Wars

Called Middle Fort (中間要塞 Chūkan Yōsai?) in this game, it is a green, mid-sized variant of the Contra arcade version and attacks almost the same way, except enemies can come from offscreen.

In the Game Boy port, Contra: The Alien Wars, the wall lacks the two cannons, and instead of a sniper it has a Grenade Thrower on top.

Contra: Legacy of War

Encountered midway through Urban Warfare (Stage 1) and with some modifications; instead of mainly being erected as a vertical structure, the wall is constructed in a horizontal fashion and through a pathway, acting more as a blockade. Likewise, its two blasters are affixed to each side of the structure, one on the left and one on the right, and a sniper is positioned at the top, shooting through a small emplacement made for this purpose.

Killing the sniper will destroy the whole structure and allow further progress into the level.

Contra: Shattered Soldier

The explosions from the bombs are now much bigger, making this version a bigger threat. The sniper also respawns in this version. Enemies stream in from off screen as well. This version only has one blaster cannon to deal with.

Contra 4

This version has two phases:

Phase 1: Acts almost exactly as the Contra arcade version; however, it can now fire a large laser beam straight ahead from its core.

Phase 2: Once the core has been destroyed, the wall suddenly erupts from the ground, revealing a second core. The first core also regenerates, requiring the player to destroy both of them to defeat the wall. The bottom half acts just like phase one, but the top half has four snipers rather than one. Both cores can fire the laser now and could potentially catch an inattentive player off guard. The Contra Force transport helicopter also arrives in this phase, allowing the player to cling onto it with their grappling hook to fight the upper core easier.

Contra ReBirth

Behaves exactly like its Contra III incarnation.

Hard Corps: Uprising

The Defense Wall appears twice in this game.

First encounter: The blaster cannons are non-functional but the wall retains the laser attack from Contra 4. An extra gun is added, allowing it to fire another laser at the higher platform. The sniper does not respawn if killed. The bottom laser is thicker and therefore more dangerous.

Second encounter: The bottom laser is replaced with large, fast moving energy projectiles. The sniper respawns if killed.

Contra: Return

In this game, the Wave Cannon displays the same attack patterns as in previous games, but the fight is divided in two phases. When one story of the wall is destroyed, another one will emerge to continue the battle.

When defeated, the Wave Cannon sinks straight under the ground where it arose and explodes.

Gallery

Trivia

  • There are also similar-looking alien barriers and walls that only appear in C: The Contra Adventure.
  • Despite the blaster cannons being present in the Hard Corps: Uprising version, it does not use them during combat.

See also

References

  1. Contra Spirits.
  2. Contra: Return Boss Challenge mode.
  3. Translation from the Japanese Contra 4 manual.
  4. Contra: Return boss card.

Footnotes

  1. Unofficial name.