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The Great Heli is a recurring boss in the Contra series. It is a heavily-armed military airship used to deploy infantry units.


Super Contra


A large military deployment helicopter with two propellers, one on the front and one on the rear. The Great Heli is the final miniboss of Area 1, Ruins of the Federal Military Base, although the battle against it acts as the main feature confrontation of this stage.

The airship enters the screen by slowly flying about, making a first raid and sweeping the area by firing from its four mounted turrets; it will then proceed to lower itself and open its rear door, from where a large squad of infantry units will jump down and charge at the player. The turrets can be separately destroyed and the infantries can be dealt with with a single shot from any weapon. However, in order to reach the turrets, the player will first have to break through various segments of the vessel's armored hull in order to make an opening where their bullets can go through.

Destroying the roof segment located between the two propellers will reveal a blue glowing core which acts as the aircraft's weak spot, and destroying it will bring the whole carrier down. If the battle takes too long, the helicopter will eventually fly away on its own and the player will then be allowed to proceed. Once the Great Heli is defeated, the level will continue inside the fort, where the player will have to deal with the Entrance Security boss.


In the NES conversion of the game, Super C, the Great Heli features a different design, now appearing as a more standard helicopter with only one propeller and a tail. It basically attacks in the same way as its arcade counterpart, although with some slight differences. For starters, the turrets can be shot from the beginning, without the need of breaking an opening through the vessel's hull. Also, all four turrets are attached to the side of the aircraft (the arcade version has one on the front). Another difference is that destroying the four turrets is actually what triggers the appearance of the core. As for the core itself, it appears on the side of the helicopter this time around, and it now mainly glows in tones of red and green. Additionally, the helicopter will remain on the screen until it is destroyed, unlike its arcade counterpart, which would depart after a while. And finally, as long as the helicopter remains on the screen, it will periodically keep on releasing soldiers infinitely (the arcade version only releases one squad), and also, other soldiers will keep on entering the battlefield from both sides of the screen throughout the whole encounter.

However, the most significant difference is that, in the NES version, the Great Heli acts as the main boss of the stage, and defeating it marks the end of the level, with no need to defeat an additional boss to progress to the next one.

Contra: Rogue Corps

A drastically redesigned variant, called the "Genocidal Drone", appears as a boss and later as a minor enemy in this game. While it still retains the overall appearance of a green military helicopter to some extent, the vehicle is now a drone, although it still has a helicopter's tail for some reason. This tail is mobile and segmented from the hull, which allows the drone to separately slam it onto the ground, using its blades as a manner of spinning saw blade to slice and dice the enemy.






  • Unlike other versions of Super Contra, the Great Heli in the MS-DOS and Amiga versions already has its rear door open from the beginning and never closes it.
Super Contra/Super C
Bill RizerLance BeanRD008RC011
Red Falcon
Entrance SecurityMagnusDethgerbisMetal AlienEmperor Demon Gava
Great HeliMagnusSensorLaser ChandelierGiralalEmperor Demon GavaDethgerbisKimkoh
M4A4 TankGreat HeliGiralalSuspicious Face
TuckerSpidalSuspicious Face
Ruins of the Federal Military BaseInside the Federal Military BaseDeep JungleAlien 1Alien 2
Base Area 1Base Area 2JungleBase Area 3Base Area 4Alien Area 1Alien Area 2Alien Area 3
Music from Super Contra & A-Jax