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The Greeder (突槍射撃兵 グリーダー Shageki-hei Gurīdā?, lit. "Spearhead Gunman Greeder") is a recurring enemy in the Contra series. They are infantry units that charge at the player in endless hordes, and generally are the most basic enemies found in a game. Depending on the game they appear in, they can either be brainwashed or mutated human soldiers, alien troops posing as humans, or even robots.

Description[]

Perhaps the most iconic of the lesser enemies in the entire Contra series, Greeders have appeared in pretty much every installment of the franchise in one form or another, and are known by a variety of names depending on the games they appear in. Their ranks can either be comprised of human soldiers who have been brainwashed by the enemy forces and forced to do their bidding, or alien warriors posing as humans, or in some cases they can even be rampant humanoid robots. They can be seen either unarmed or wielding small melee weapons, and usually appear in more than one stage in each game. Greeders are subordinates to Ledders.

Greeders mainly attack by charging at the enemy; if they miss their target, they will just continue onward until they leave the screen. If they reach a ledge, they will jump forward and continue their way; that is, if they didn't fall to their demise into a bottomless pit. Certain variants come armed with a firearm and are capable of shooting at the player, posing a real threat as they shoot fast and unexpectedly, although not all Greeders carrying firearms will opt to use them. They are also renowned for carrying a large backpack, presumably filled with explosives to maximize their characteristic kamikaze behavior. With such traits, Greeders just serve as cannon fodder for the invading forces, allowing the latter to reserve their higher rank units for more advanced battles. They are perhaps the weakest known enemies in the entire series, capable of being defeated by any sort of weapon fire, requiring no more than a single shot to subdue each unit of an entire troop.

Orians and their variants behave pretty much the same as common Greeders, although they are faster, attack in greater numbers, and are usually encountered near the end of the games they appear in.

Appearances[]

Contra[]

Arcade

First appearance of Greeders in the series. They run about the same pace as the player character, with the latter's running speed being slightly faster. Each Greeder defeated grants the player who defeated it 500 points. When a Greeder reaches an edge of a platform, he will perform a long jump. If a Greeder lands into water, he performs a quick wave or salute before instantly vanishing with a large splash. When Greeders perform a long jump, they are briefly shown wielding a gun. The running troops never use these guns against the heroes in combat.

NES/Famicom

Similar to the arcade variant, but are slightly redesigned. Their "backpack" upper armor look would be an iconic staple design seen in future titles. In areas with specific terrain, a Greeder will immediately run the opposite direction once it makes contact with a wall. If the Greeder performs a "retreat run" twice (sometimes less), a Greeder will self-destruct after it makes contact with an unjumpable wall once more. This self-destruct behavior was likely added to prevent a Greeder from being stuck within a certain path. This behavior can allow additional Greeders to appear just about anywhere at almost any given time.

Starting with the Waterfall stage, Greeders can halt and fire off 1-3 small rounds dead ahead, then continue running as usual. Some may fire frequently in succession, one pause after the other. This attack is never performed in the Jungle stage, and on both the Energy Zone and Hangar stages, Greeders can also fire while prone. The maximum number of Greeders on-screen at one time increases by one with each consecutive loop of the game. While normal runs can exhibit about 3 Greeders at once, harder difficulties can yield up to 6 Greeders in one given time. Their spawning rate is also drastically increased. These statistics may cause the game to slowdown or slightly flicker due to the amount of enemies on screen at one time (this is also more noticeable when 6 Greeders are present alongside other enemies and sprites).

In Probotector, Greeders have been changed into red robotic bipedal walkers. When firing prone, robo walkers scrunch down and open their mouths, revealing a cannon that fires bullets.

Super Contra[]

In this game, Greeder troops are shown generally in green colored uniforms, representing their affiliation with the GX Army.

Arcade

Greeders are slightly faster than the player. Those that come from behind, if left alive, will eventually catch up. Some Greeders that appear from within the Great Heli will briefly pause to fire a rifle round at the player before continuing movement. This behavior is identical during top-down stages.

NES

In the NES conversion of the game, Super C, in addition to the human GX Military variants from the early levels, a mutated variant appears in Alien Area 2. While they behave exactly the same as standard Greeders, they show alien-like mutations on their bodies, hinting to being captured soldiers set loose at a partial state of infection. On the other hand, the English instruction booklet calls them "Aliens in sergeant skin's clothing", implying they are either aliens that probably are still in the process of transmogrifying into human-looking soldiers, or simply human soldiers that were possessed by the aliens.

In Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces, Greeders have once again been changed into robotic bipedal walkers (this time in a green or gold coloration). In top-down stages, Greeders appear as armored soldier robots carrying a cannon.

Operation C[]

Up to two Greeders can appear on-screen at one time. In Probotector (GB), this enemy's appearance is changed to resemble an armored robot.

Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

In Contra III, Corporals of Punishment share the same sprite as machine-gun wielding soldiers, and as such, they also come armed with these weapons, although they never fire them. In addition, they have a blue color scheme in order to differentiate them from the trigger-happy red units. In top-down stages, the standard running soldiers are given a more tan-green appearance. Both types of units are each worth 180 points, but in top-down stages, the standard red gunner units possess 2 HP (meaning they take two rifle shots to eliminate) and award 500 points to whomever defeated one.

The red variant is not present in top-down stages under the Easy difficulty setting. In Hard mode, the standard red types also possess 2 HP in both side view and top-view stages.

Contra: The Alien Wars[]

Similar to its SNES counterpart, but with minor changes. The enemy troops that fire off rounds won't turn back after firing and instead continue to move forward, only turning in the opposite direction when they hit a wall. Due to sprite limitations, it is impossible to tell which variants fire rounds. Up to two can appear onscreen. On Easy Mode, there will be only one at a time and none fire bullets. On the harder difficulties, the troops require more hits to eliminate.

On top-down stages, they appear almost identical to their SNES counterparts. However, they do not stop while firing, continuously firing while moving toward the player. Like the first stage, it is near impossible to tell which variant are the gunners.

Contra: Hard Corps[]

Zako Soldiers comprise the main forces of Colonel Bahamut's army. They are infantry enemy units that attack by charging at the player, then when close, they strike with a quick beam sword slash. They also display certain abilities not seen in their previous incarnations, such as jumping over obstacles and barricades or holding their positions while wielding a gun. Each single soldier defeated by the player grants whomever defeated it 10 points.

In one scenario, Doctor Geo Mandrake uses a ray on a large group of these soldiers, transforming them into disgusting alien creatures.

Contra: Shattered Soldier[]

The soldiers in this game resemble samurai robots and have an identical behavior to the Hard Corps variant where they will slash with their sword when a player is close. Only up to two can appear at a time onscreen, which is one of the lowest maximums for Greeders in any Contra game. The samurai bots cannot move past obstacles in their way, but on occasion, a samurai bot may run offscreen and reappear from the opposite side of the screen. Like the other enemy soldiers in this game, if the samurai robots are hit with the Fire Whip, they will combust into flames as they perish. Each ground samurai is worth 7 points to the player who defeated it but naturally grant zero Hit Rate due to their infinite quantity. These samurai robots are first seen in the opening cutscene, where Bill single handedly annihilates two of them plus a gunner at close range. In-game, they appear in Mission 01, Mission 3 and Mission 5.

Neo Contra[]

The Greeder units here are clad in blue armor with a Knight's helmet. When onto the battlefield, they immediately chase down a hero. When within their range, they twirl their two swords around and prepare to charge directly at them for a slicing attack. Despite their armor, they are extremely fragile, capable of being killed by any weapon fired at them. They react to various weapons when killed, such as being set on fire, falling to the ground, or exploding into multiple pieces. The latter two deaths have blood being shown, with the latter death being the most common and graphic of all. This is one reason the game received a Mature rating.

In Mission 03, some Greeder units appear on top of boulders. These Greeders wear black colored armor with a darkened riot helmet. They are seen on top of a boulder performing a dance as their means of "steering" the boulder forward. The soldier himself cannot be shot but the boulder can, which is very resilient. The soldier dies once the boulder is destroyed or it crashes straight into a wall, where the soldier falls off and vanishes lifelessly.

Contra 4[]

In Contra 4, they are seen alongside Black Viper's army. They wear red body armor with black pants and a yellow visor and carry a backpack with an antenna behind them. They make numerous appearances within the first three stages and also appear halfway through the City stage alongside more powerful enemy units. Some Greeders in the Jungle stage will stand directly underneath bridges and will grapple closer to their underside if the heroes come near, self-destructing themselves to blow up the bridge against the heroes in an effort to slow them down. A major difference about these units compared to older ones is that these soldiers are now capable of surviving in water; if a Greeder lands into a pool of water, it can still continue to move across it until it reaches the edge of a pool, where it will jump back out and continue its movement. This additional mobility increases their threat level. If playing on Hard mode, their running speed will increase.

Greeders also make an appearance in Challenge Mode, within the challenge "Bad Guy Blitz 4", replacing the alien variant of Zako Soldier. In "Bad Guy Blitz 5", due to a palette change for the Proboterror enemies replacing common Greeders, the remaining Greeders that explode the bridges share the Proboterror's silver color, replacing their own red coloration.

Contra ReBirth[]

In Contra ReBirth, there are two different versions of this (or a similar) enemy: humanoids and reptilian aliens working for the Neo-Salamander Force. The lizard-like aliens are purple and wear green armor covering their chest. The humanoid variant wears green bodysuits covered in gray metallic armor. Their heads are also covered entirely by gray helmets. Both types have an increase in speed on harder difficulties. On Nightmare difficulty, there can be at least six or more Greeders onscreen at one time, plus killing any of them will have them fire a blue ring out of revenge.

The humanoid type only appear in cities or industrial areas. Besides the usual straightforward running, they have been shown to also partake in gymnastics, as seen when riding a missile assisting Ledders. A few of these Greeders also pilot certain vehicles: the first stage has the green soldiers piloting Power Loaders, while the third stage has some drive military cargo trucks throughout the city's highways.

Hard Corps: Uprising[]

Greeders wear identical uniforms as the Ledders, though both have different behavior the heroes should watch out for. Working under the Commonwealth empire, these foot soldiers are the first into the frontlines of a battlefield. They behave practically identical to previous foot soldier types, charging headfirst through the area they are deployed in wielding a sharp bayonet and jumping over terrain when necessary. When shot at, these troops' painful grunting and screams can be heard. These soldiers also react to their environment in various ways (see stages for more detailed information on stage hazards).

Contra 3D[]

Stats
  • Age: ???
  • Height: 169 cm
  • Weight: 93 kg

Contra Returns[]

In this game, Greeders can sprint and perform a charge attack. Some have enhanced health and may take more than one shot to kill.

Both Greeders and Ledders were voiced by Cole Feuchter in this game, who also provided additional voices.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

Bears a heavy resemblance to both its Contra 4 and Contra Returns variations. Virtually identical to the former in terms of behavior.

Notes[]

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

Sprites[]

Artworks[]

Trivia[]

  • Greeders hold the "honor" of being the very first enemies to be encountered in the entire Contra series.
  • In Probotector (NES), Greeders have been changed to resemble robotic walker enemies. This technically marks the first time robot Zako units are used in the Contra series. In non-Probotector games, Contra: Hard Corps would be the first game to utilize robot types of Zako. Ironically, Hard Corps would be the last game to have human enemies replaced by robots in its Probotector variant.
  • In Super C, Greeders have an unused incomplete animation that shows them proning to avoid enemy bullet fire. The sprite uses the Ledder's legs, but the Greeder's top-half is missing proper graphics.[8]
  • Proboterrors from Contra 4 use a proning attack similar to Greeders.
Mars Colony Security Force - 01

Mars Colony Security Force from Total Recall.

  • The Contra: Hard Corps variant resembles the Mars Colony Security Force soldiers from the 1990 science fiction/action film Total Recall.
  • In Probotector (MD), these enemies have been modified to have a more 'metallic' body with a single red eye (or visor).
  • The Karakuri archetype from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has cards resembling 17th-19th century Japanese robots. These cards bear a slight resemblance to the Greeder variant of enemies seen in Shattered Soldier, which appear as mechanical samurai.
  • The Japanese word zako (ザコ) can be translated as "small fry" or "small fish".

See also[]

References[]

  1. Contra III: The Alien Wars instruction booklet, page 14.
  2. Super Probotector: Alien Rebels instruction booklet, page 16.
  3. English mistranslation of "Greeder" in early revisions of Contra Returns.
  4. Contra: The Board Game
  5. Hard Corps: Uprising - Generic name, also used for most types of human enemy troops in this game, regardless of specializations. Both Greeders and Ledders appear identical and share the same death grunts.
  6. Internal name from Contra: Operation Galuga.
  7. The name "Greeder Scout" is from Contra: The Board Game.
  8. Super C (NES) | Unused Enemy Behavior at The Cutting Room Floor.
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