Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki

Garth (鳥人間 ガース Tori Ningen Gāsu?, lit. "Bird Human Garth") is a recurring enemy in the Contra series. They are winged enemy units who drop from high platforms in order to inflict physical damage.


Garths are enemy infantry units generally depicted bearing wings, who attack by jumping down at the player from high platforms and then running around for a moment, just to keep on jumping down and out of the screen. They are often encountered during long vertical climbing sections (sometimes when a large lift is taking the heroes upward), and they usually come out in infinite triads from doorways on the sides of the screen, which act as their spawning points.

Garth units made their first appearance in the arcade version of Contra, where they appear as armored mobile infantry units and don't display any avian features. However, in the NES version of the game, as well as in all following titles thereafter, they started to be portrayed with large wings affixed to their backs and were identified as being their own race, known as "Bird Human Garth". Despite having wings, they are unable to fly and instead simply attack by jumping down like in their first arcade game incarnation.



Garths, alongside Rangel units, are only encountered during Godomuga's boss fight at the end of Base 2, before its appearance on-screen. In the NES port of the game, Garths appear in blue and are slightly translucent. They simply run close to the player and then glide down to deliver fatal contact damage, disappearing off-screen once they fall through the ground floor. When all the sensors are destroyed (when Godomuga appears), Garths stop spawning.

Super C[]

While Garths don't appear in the original arcade version of Super Contra, they do in the NES conversion of the game, Super C, appearing in the exclusive stage, Base Area 3, where the player has to ascend through a hi-tech enemy facility riding a couple of cargo elevators. As the screen slowly scrolls upward, it will uncover open doors on the walls of both sides of the screen from where triads of Garth troops will suddenly come out, run about and jump to the platforms below –including the elevator the player is riding on– until they leave the screen by the bottom. More groups of these enemies will periodically keep on coming out as long as the player is below the doors from where they spawn; if the player manages to get above a door, whether it is as they get scrolled down as the elevator rises or the player stands on a platform above, no more troops will come out.

Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

Garths do not possess weapons and only come in one color (rust green with red eyes). They can be seen being deployed on the battlefield in endless numbers from a heavily armed enemy carrier, appropriately called the Nest Garth Base. They also are summoned in infinite numbers within the base itself; one open door on the left and an open door to the right slightly above the former has a set of four Garths slowly walking out, then immediately gliding downward. The base Garth being infinitely spawned can be useful for racking up points and farm a few extra lives.

Contra 4[]

Contra 4 categorizes these enemies as robots, appearing slightly similar to Reapers. They appear at the missile loading station of the Harbor, dropping down from scaffolding lifts to try and stop the heroes from advancing toward the missile aimed at the city. Like the older variants, blue ones simply run and glide forward while the red ones may briefly pause to fire off a quick round from their pistol, similar to a Rangel. Only blue ones reappear inside the Factory stage, though they have the capability of firing bullets like the red ones do. Both colored Garths also appear in the Waterfall section of the Laboratory stage under one of the challenges in Challenge Mode.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

Both blue and red variants appear in the Red Falcon Lab, being similar to their Contra 4 counterparts. These units wear armor appearing as military-style uniforms, implying these are soldiers wearing winged flight suits.




Sprites and models[]



  • In both Probotector and Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces, these enemies appear as an Orian-like robot with wings on their arms.
  • In the Factory stage of Contra 4, the Garth's defeated sound clip is the same clip used for a Reaper's death sound.
  • In the original Contra, both Garths and Rangels aid Godomuga during his boss fight; in the NES version of the game, both of these enemies share the same sprites for their running animations, only differentiated by their colors: Garths are colored blue while Rangels are colored red. In Contra 4, both blue and red Garths appear together, but only the red ones carry guns and shoot them downward, in an almost identical pose as the Rangels did in Contra, apparently unifying both types of enemies into a single one.
  • In Contra 4, Red Garths possess a sprite where they aim upward. This is unseen during gameplay as almost all the time, a player will be below a Garth. This behavior can be witnessed using the Debug Menu.[5]
  • The suits worn by Garth in Contra: Operation Galuga bear a strong resemblance to the M.A.C.H. suit from Marvel comics.

See also[]