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The Hellfire Geyser (獄火焔ガイザー Goku Kaen Gaizā?)[1] is a recurring environmental hazard featured in the Contra series. They are several types of flamethrowers attached to a surface that periodically shoot out a powerful stream of fire straightforward either vertically or horizontally.

Description[]

A pillar of flame that comes out from somewhere attached to a surface or inside an industrial area. These flames act as obstacles during stages.

Appearances[]

Contra[]

Hellfire Geysers are abundant around the Energy Zone, near the halfway mark of the stage. There are two types of Hellfire Geysers: those that activate when a commando gets close (essentially blocking their means of travel and potentially killing them in the process), and those that rise and descend within a set amount of time in a pattern. They can be spotted by a tiny flame flickering from out of a crack in a pipe, but patience will be able to tell if a certain Hellfire Geyser will be the former or latter type.

Arcade

In their original appearance in the arcade version of Contra, Hellfire Geysers initially appear as lingering flames coming out from broken gas pipes in the Energy Zone, which after a moment shoot out their flames, either toward the left or right, or straight upward or downward, so the player must be wary when they reach the zone where they are encountered at, take a moment to observe their patterns and thread carefully around them, lest they suddenly let out their harmful stream toward an unexpected direction.

NES

A very similar situation happens in the NES port of Contra, although besides of only coming out from broken pipes, Hellfire Geysers also appear as purposely built flamethrowers attached to walls. Exclusive to this version of the game, about midway through the Energy Zone, there are a couple of multi-leveled narrow sections the player has to traverse while evading the fiery streams of these flamethrowers. The player is thus required to first observe the pattern on which the flamethrowers shoot to choose the best opportunity to make a run for it –jumping up and down the three levels– to safely make it across.

Care must also be taken when jumping over wide pits in this zone, as some Geysers are strategically positioned above them to let out their stream at the right moment when the player is attempting to jump over them. In these cases, it is advisable to approach the pit and first do a taunting jump to make the flamethrower to shoot and miss, and then immediately jump over the pit.

Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

During the rampage of Neo City, several underground gas lines rupture. Various cracks in the street expose a bubble of fire that occasionally cause a tall pillar of flame to rise then descend. This powerful pillar is strong enough to put the Armored Car out of commission in one hit, requiring the commandos to time their jumps over the bubbles of fire before they rise. Luckily for one player, a Barrier Power-up nearby can have the shielded commando simply walk past the bubbles of fire, passing through all of them on time before the power-up runs out if the Flying Capsule was shot at immediately as it appears from the right side of the screen.

Within the same city, a bombing run engulfs the nearby city streets, causing large pillars of flame to occasionally rise and lower from the sea of flames below. These flame pillars are also coupled with other obstacles such as small rocks spewing from a lava pool and large jumping rocks in between flame pillars. Just before the end of the street, a large arcing flame will constantly spew over a short pillar. The commandos must time the interval carefully and slip through the arcing flame pillar's open spot to reach the other side of the street safely. Once on the right side of the flamed street, the sea of flames as well as the arcing fire pillar dissipate.

Hard Corps: Uprising[]

A metal device can be seen attached to a surface, which constantly unleashes a stream of flame within a set amount of time in a pattern. These devices can be targeted by weapons fire, but the material they are made from is rather sturdy, requiring many or powerful hits to eliminate them. The device itself is also harmful to the touch, as well as the flame it emits.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

Small circular plates appear within the Ruins area. At first glance, a plate appears to be just a metal part of the scenery until a long flame stream from inside it begins to ignite. These streams ignite and dissipate between a set amount of time.

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

References[]

  1. @kommander_hzk at X (April 29, 2024).
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