Contra Wiki
Advertisement
Contra Wiki
For the alien army, see Red Falcon.
Not to be confused with Java.

Possesses a strong exoskeleton and fires powerful beams from either of the heads on its arm-like tendrils.
A massive alien from outer space.
~ Contra 3D official profile description

Emperor Demon Gava (天王鬼 ギャバ Tennō Ki Gyaba?) is one of the main antagonists in the Contra series. He was introduced in 1988 as the final boss of the arcade version of Super Contra. He is the main leader of the Red Falcon alien army and is often encountered either as the final boss or near the end of several games.

Gava leaded two hostile mobilizations against planet Earth in an attempt to retrieve a powerful artifact that originally belonged to a supreme alien race. The second of these conflicts came to be known as the "Alien Wars", which culminated with his death and the total annihilation of his army, although not without taking a heavy toll on human lives lost as well.

Cells retrieved from Gava's body were subsequently used in military experiments after the war, with diverse outcomes that triggered the events of many following installments in the series.

Description

Super Contra

Gava is found at the very end of the final stage, Alien 2. He emerges from what may have been his prior form, a creature consisting of several fused faces aligned horizontally. With the destruction of this monster, a hardened bulbous-like mass is all that remains of the creature and a victory fanfare plays in the background, giving the false impression of having beaten the game. However, after a moment of silence, the mass breaks apart revealing a tunnel-like opening from which Gava's head emerges, and then his two serpentine-like limbs come out from two holes located on the sides.

Gava's attacks consist in periodically extending his limbs out toward the player and releasing several aliens with scythes from his mouth. He has many vulnerable areas that can be destroyed, such as both his eyes, the serpentine limbs, the pulsating lung-like bulbs located on the sides of his neck (when destroyed, the speed and rate at which his limbs can extend are diminished considerably), and his main weak point: the red core located on his forehead and which contains an alien fetus. Gava will attempt to protect this gestating alien by spewing out several small, floating masses that will rapidly spin around the red core (these can be destroyed).

After sufficient damage has been dealt to him, his entire body will begin to explode and amidst the explosions the alien fetus can be seen crawling out of Gava's forehead before it unfolds its wings and flies away (the fate of this newborn alien is never revealed in following installments, although it could be speculated that it grew up into the new Gava that serves as the main antagonist of the sequel).

The events featured in Super C (the NES conversion of Super Contra) are considerably changed. For starters, Gava is no longer the final boss, due to the game featuring additional hive levels after the one he is encountered in. His boss fight is largely simplified and easier overall: He does not possess two snake-like limbs, but instead releases fully independent alien serpents that come out from one of the holes located on Gava's sides, slithers tracing a big circle at the center of the battlefield (likely circling around the player) and then hides away into the other hole. The destructible lung-like organs and red core containing the alien embryo on his forehead that appeared in the arcade version are now absent. His eyes can no longer be destroyed, but instead actually act as Gava's main weak points this time around. He only releases red homing fireballs from his mouth. Most notoriously and conversely to the arcade version, defeating Gava does not bring about the end of the alien invasion, as it apparently seems that Kimkoh takes command of their remaining alien forces from this point onward.

Contra III: The Alien Wars

Gava returns with his army and launches the most massive attack on Earth yet. Using unknown means, he fires a massive beam on a populated city, turning everything into ruins; his face then ominously appears as a giant apparition in the sky. He's not seen again until the final battle of the game, inside the alien hive.

Emperor Demon Gava

Gava drags himself down from the ceiling as the heroes reach his lair (unlike his prior incarnation, in which he crawled across the floor). In his initial form, he attacks by extending his two snake-like limbs (their patterns are much more versatile this time around), and when he temporarily retracts toward the ceiling, not only do each of the tendrils spew out three projectiles, he also spews large floating alien grubs (identical to the ones birthed by the Para-Slug).

Like his prior incarnation in the arcade version, Gava features several destructible body parts, increasing the difficulty of the battle as players proceed to remove them. If either of his limbs are destroyed, Orians will fall out from the gaping hole every time he retracts to the ceiling. If both his limbs are destroyed, Gava will stop retracting entirely and will remain close to the floor, constantly releasing Orians from both wounds. If both his eyes are blown out, he'll start spewing out alien grubs at a faster rate. His main weak point is the red core on his forehead, and hitting this area will cause a slight shaking of the entire area.

Brain Organism Searle

After sustaining enough damage, Gava's entire body will start exploding until his entire body disappears, leaving only his brain behind. The brain itself is sentient and can float, and features an eye on its center. This is the start of the second phase of the battle: the brain then start spinning eight different spheres around itself, each representing an attack it is capable of performing. Shooting one of these spheres will trigger an attack associated with it. Some of these attacks present very little danger, while others are incredibly difficult to maneuver and/or dodge. The main challenge then comes from having to aim the rapidly rotating objects in order to hit and trigger a desired attack that not only favors the heroes' survival, but also leaves the brain open to as much damage as possible.

When Gava's brain is finally defeated, it will turn into a dull purple color and fall to the ground. The heroes are then picked up by their helicopter, which has infiltrated the weakened hive from above. However, Gava's brain suddenly starts regaining its red coloring and is subsequently encased inside a hardened living organic armor featuring four clawed limbs. It then uses these to climb the shaft up at great speed and chase after the escaping helicopter in a final attempt to kill the heroes riding on it. Despite clearly being an armor of some sort, this form requires less firepower to take down. The creature eventually explodes and presumably takes the whole hive with it.

Contra: Shattered Soldier

Main article: Gava/Shattered Soldier
The final evolution of the ultimate alien lifeform. Now resurrected with even more power than when it appeared during the previous Alien Wars.
~ Translation of the official description from Contra: Shattered Soldier

Gava makes an appearance as the final boss fought within the Archipelago. This incarnation is not purely the same emperor battled, instead being a fusion of Lance Bean's memories recreated by the power of an embedded alien embryo. After Lance's previous bosses failed to eliminate Bill and Lucia, Lance summons the power of one final Alien creature, the strongest of them all. Ultimately, it too falls at the hands of the two heroic commandos, ending the Blood Falcon assault.

Neo Contra

The last individual to have been confirmed. It has been designated as an endangered species by the state, forced to stay alive by life support systems and constantly protected by security systems. Due to repeated experiments and excessive stress caused by life-prolonging measures, the brain has been hypertrophied and awaken due to its newfound psychic abilities.
~ Translation of the official description from Neo Contra

Gava makes an appearance in Neo Contra, serving as the main boss of Stage 5.

The player might recognize this alien creature from previous Contra titles, since he was the final boss in the arcade version of Super Contra (and a regular boss in Super C, the NES version) and Contra III: The Alien Wars, and a regular boss in Contra: Shattered Soldier. His head is found inside a capsule in the center of the room this time around, with four smaller heads contained inside of floating capsules around him. Each head has a projectile-based attack and the big head also has an electric attack. The smaller heads will stomp the ground, causing a wave of projectiles to spread outward in all directions. The larger head can emit multiple bolts of electricity, but it only impacts a small area. It is quite similar to the mecha in Stage 3. The big head is shielded, although it will be constantly dropping a section of its shield to release a wave of projectiles. Usually, it only drops one or two sections of shield at a time (each section is about 1/6 of the full shield); however, it will on occasion drop the entire shield and flood the room with projectiles. The bolts never stop moving, so the player should get used to run-and-gun tactics.

The electrical bolts are easy to avoid by themselves since they move fairly slowly. The danger is that they tend to blend in with the background and get lost in the field of bullets constantly flying at you. It's easy to get so busy trying to doge the projectiles that you run into a bolt of electricity. The bullet attack from a single small head is easy to avoid, but you can get caught in the crossfire of two small heads if you're not careful. The larger head's bullet attack is harder to avoid because the only way to hit it is through the opening it creates to fire on you.

Yet again, as was the case with Guerilla and Animal Contra, prioritize destroying the smaller heads with lock-on beams since you won't get percentage points for them if you take out the big head. Take them out one at a time since every time you destroy one it reduces the amount of things that can kill you. The big head is more of a problem since it will blanket practically any spot that would give you a clear shot with gunfire. You can either try to aim a shot at the head from where it isn't shooting (although this requires very precise aim) or, since you can clearly see where the shield will drop (it turns brown right before it drops), you can get a shot off before it starts firing, although this is quite dangerous. The best time to hit it is after it drops the entire shield, since it will stay down longer than usual. Basically, get in hits whenever you can and once you get rid of the smaller heads the only threat is the big head's wave of bullets.

Don't try using the Katana since it's suicidal with said weapon (you can't get close enough to attack). However, the weapon that makes this guy laughably easy is the G V Laser (Weapon Set F) since it can go through the shields for some bizarre reason whatsoever. The Drill weapon (Weapon Set E) is also able to drill through the shields and inflict damage. Just take out the smaller heads, stay behind a shielded section and fire away.

Once Gava's head is damaged severely, the head explodes to reveal the Brain Core. The one-eyed brain then serves as the last boss of the stage (or the final boss of the game overall, if the player's overall ranking is low). Unlike its Contra III incarnation, it doesn't use spinning orbs but instead sends out mines which rotate around the room. It also sends out energy balls that rotate around the room, like the mines, but they also spread out. In addition to these attacks, it shoots fireballs at the player and fires exploding balls as well. Searle also remains completely stationary, unlike its previous appearance. For more detailed info, see Searle (Neo Contra).

Contra: The Alien Wars

Emperor Demon Gava appears immediately past the third Java. Like its SNES incarnation, it enters the battle by lowering toward the floor. As the battle commences, one of its retractable limbs will occasionally extend outward toward the opposite side of the screen in an attempt to reach the player. As the battle progresses, Orians will appear from either the left or right sides of the screen. Up to two Orians can appear at a time. Jumping during this battle is not advised, as it is very easy to touch Gava and die. The player must fire at the two limbs any opportunity possible while also quickly eliminating any Orians appearing. The spaces in between Gava's face and limbs are a safe spot to jump if need be, as well as the leftmost side of the screen. While the left limb can also be avoided by ducking, the threat of spawning Orians can still ambush the player at any side of the screen. Hyper Shells can help eliminate Orians quicky, as well as deal minor damage to the two limbs.

When both limbs are destroyed, Gava's forehead will glow. The hero must concentrate fire on Gava's face while continuing to avoid or eliminate the Orian army. It is now safe to jump where the limbs once were at, allowing for easier evasion against the incoming Orians. Gava now occasionally spews a breath of flame near the center of the floor. Diagonal shots and quick jumps can make quick work of this battle. Enough damage will cause Gava to slowly rise back upward, bursting into multiple explosions.

Contra ReBirth

In this game, he appears at the end of Stage 5, although he is not the actual final boss. He also looks more insect-like compared to his other appearances, having human incisors rather than sharp alien teeth and having insect papillae. He shoots two long lasers from his eyes (telegraphed by two thin lasers), fires miniature versions of the centipede boss from Stage 1 from his two "arm" holes instead of the cycloptic serpents, and has miniature Kimkohs assisting him.

Contra 3D

General leading the Red Falcon Army, which had occupied Galuga Island and attempts to control humanity. Many of these attempts are enigmatic.
~ Contra 3D official profile description

Contra: Rogue Corps

The final boss of this game heavily resembles Gava in his first form, although it's possible that he's not the real Gava since this creature is the result of General Phoenix fusing himself with the Mega Fiend.

Regional differences

See also: Java (regional differences)

Because the American localization of the first games referred both the name of the alien army, as well as its leader as "Red Falcon", coupled with the fact that Gava was the final boss of the second and third games, this alien entity was considered for years to be called "Red Falcon" in the West – the same confusion that happened with Java in the first game, who was also believed to be called "Red Falcon". The confusion went to the point of making believe both alien leaders were one and the same, often explained as Gava being the same boss from the first game (Java) that had returned to exact revenge against the forces of the Earth. However, in the original Japanese storyline, the name "Red Falcon" has only been used to refer to the alien army and never to its leader.

To complicate matters more, Contra 4, released in 2007, officially labeled this creature to be "Red Falcon" itself, adding to the confusion.

Personal information

Humanoid form
  • Age: 42
  • Height: 200 cm
  • Weight: 130 kg
Alien form
  • Age: ???
  • Height: 48 m
  • Weight: 12,000 t

Appearances

Gallery

Screenshots

Sprites

Artworks

Trivia

  • Gava appears to be inspired by Asmodeus, the final boss of the 1987 arcade game Battlantis, also by Konami.
  • A specific detail that always remains with each incarnation of Gava is the inability for players to see his entire body. He is so massive that only his upper body is ever visible onscreen, leaving it entirely unknown on what his lower half looks like, let alone how large he actually is.
  • In Neo Contra, Gava may actually be a prototype of Project C, due to having part of a human face melded with his beastly appearance, implying his DNA may have been tampered with Bill's. However, this is just speculation.
  • In the opening cutscene of Contra 4, Black Viper is introduced in a reenactment of Gava's own introduction in the opening of Contra III: The Alien Wars, with a giant face of her appearing high in a blood red sky and then unleashing a beam that destroys the entire city.
  • Java, the final boss of Contra: Operation Galuga, mixes elements from the original Demon Dragon God Java, as well as from Emperor Demon Gava, combining both into a new, single character. Physically, Java in Operation Galuga resembles the original Java to some extent, with its head having a worm-like structure and seen from the side, but attack-wise, it more closely resembles most Gava fights from previous titles.

See also

References

  1. Super Probotector: Alien Rebels instruction booklet, page 18.
  2. The Contra 4 instruction booklet states Black Viper is Red Falcon's sister. However, the same game also officially states Emperor Demon Gava to be Red Falcon himself, thus making Black Viper and Emperor Gava siblings.
  3. Only in Contra III: The Alien Wars.
  4. Contra: Rogue Corps by Tony Washington at ArtStation.
Super Contra/Super C
Organizations
Contra
Bill RizerLance BeanRD008RC011
Red Falcon
Bosses
Arcade
Entrance SecurityMagnusDethgerbisMetal AlienEmperor Demon Gava
NES
Great HeliMagnusSensorLaser ChandelierGiralalEmperor Demon GavaDethgerbisKimkoh
Minibosses
Arcade
M4A4 TankGreat HeliGiralalSuspicious Face
NES
TuckerSpidalSuspicious Face
Stages
Arcade
Ruins of the Federal Military BaseInside the Federal Military BaseDeep JungleAlien 1Alien 2
NES
Base Area 1Base Area 2JungleBase Area 3Base Area 4Alien Area 1Alien Area 2Alien Area 3
Soundtrack
Music from Super Contra & A-Jax
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Organizations
Contra
Bill RizerLance BeanJimboSullyRD008RC011
Red Falcon
Bosses
Slave Beast TakaBosco SpiderBig FuzzAnti-Contra Battleship DodriguezAnthellEmperor Demon GavaLiving Brain Organism SearleSix Men Feromedos
Minibosses
Middle FortressMagnus Mk.2Dome DefenderTri-Transforming Wall WalkerGarth BaseBrother Robots Kenny 1 & 2High Speed Tank BoobyTetranduckerSensor ArmFierce CannonRocket Ninja SasakiOggie GeneratorJavaGomeramos KingKimkohMetal Alien
Stages
Occupied City StreetDestroyed HighwayFactory ZoneAir BattleSheer CliffAlien's Main Base
Soundtrack
Contra III: The Alien Wars Original Video Game Soundtrack
Contra: Shattered Soldier
Organizations
Contra
Bill RizerLucia
Blood Falcon
Bosses
TakaYokozunaCrawler TankJinmen GyoEmperor-Demon GyabaVital GonadGrotesque Chimera
Minibosses
BikerMagnusFactory Demolition MachineSnow WormFlying SubmarineTrain Plasma CannonZweihanderFloating Bird Nest Garth BaseMince WormGluttonous UgougoBurstrick RiderBig PinheadCochlear Armored CarWallLance BeanGomeramos KingTissue HelminthKimkohPresshandMr. Heli-RoboUltimate BeingCelestial FrogCelestial JellyfishCelestial Atomic Cell
Other characters
Enemy Commander
Earth Federation Government
Triumvirate • (Gaius, Nero, Commodus)
Moirai
Stages
FortressTrainCitySeabedArchipelagoSanctuaryStage 7
Soundtrack
Shin Contra Original SoundtrackContra: Shattered Soldier
Neo Contra
Organizations
Contra
Bill Rizer (clone) • Jaguar
Neo Contra
Bosses
Guerilla ContraPlant ContraPheromone ContraAnimal ContraSearleMaster Contra
Minibosses
Gigamech • GegebonneMagnusMystery GEarth DragonGeroikaDograTarakoid SLand Worm • Beam Frame Mech • Drone Frame Mech • Tarakoid MKimkohGirongaGava
Stages
Frontline Base 985Stage 2BaseAircraft CarrierNeo Contra Research FacilityMaster C BaseSpace
Soundtrack
Neo Contra Original Soundtrack
Contra ReBirth
Organizations
Contra
Playable
Bill Rizer (clone) • JaguarNewt PlisskenBR-W9
Other characters
Galactic PresidentLance Bean
Neo-Salamander Force
Bosses
Space CentipedeGiant GolemFat ManAnimate StatueGavaZelos Force
Minibosses
Power LoaderDefense WallRocket Ninja SasakiGiant Stone HeadGomeramos King
Stages
Satellite WarzoneDystopian MetropolisArmageddon HighwayHollow NetherworldRed Falcon MegalithLunar Ultimatum
Soundtrack
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth & Contra ReBirth Original Soundtrack
Advertisement