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For the enemy referred to as "Beast Kimkoh" in the Contra III English instruction booklet, see Taka.

Kimkoh (陰獣 キムコウ In-jū Kimukou?, lit. "Shadow Beast Kimkoh") is a recurring boss in the Contra series. It is a large arthropod-like alien creature that somewhat resembles a cicada during its nymph phase, but whose body is composed by what appears to be an amalgamation of many other creatures (including a large humanoid face). It seemingly occupies a high rank among the lines of the Red Falcon army.

Originally, there was a single Kimkoh encountered per game, although later appearances added multiple individuals of its kind in some titles. This brings into question whether the name "Kimkoh" refers to the name of an individual creature or of a whole species, with the latter being the more plausible option. While they usually retain similar behaviors and attack patterns, their body shapes and sizes differ greatly between titles.

Physiology

Kimkoh's overall appearance is an amalgamation of several organisms combined into one. It has two large frog-like legs which it uses to jump and lift its massive body high up in the air; it has the ability to shoot biological or energy-based projectiles out of its hollow feet; its upper head possesses a snout similar to that of a tapir; and its eyes can fire laser beams.

The upper head's fangs and nose are directly connected to the main head, giving the impression of biting it. This main head is Kimkoh's most distinguishing and disturbing feature due to its humanoid appearance surrounded by tusks, which in some cases is its only weak point. Finally, it features insect- or hermit crab-like legs sprouting out from underneath the human face, which allow it to quickly run along the ground whenever it attempts to ram at its opponents, or to burrow itself at great speed into the earth.

Kimkoh's physiology remains somewhat consistent throughout its history, although there are a few exceptions. In Neo Contra, it is revealed that its physiology is similar to that of a cicada, living the first part of its life as a nymph (beetle-like appearance) with an innate ability to burrow underground. At some point in its life cycle, the monster moults (sheds its skin), leaving its former exoskeleton behind, and emerges as a flying butterfly-like adult. However, this trait is seemingly characteristic to only a few species.

Interestingly, Kimkoh is notably one of the very few alien creatures in the series that in some games can be touched by the player without killing them; this allows unique methods to battle the creature.

Appearances

Super C

Kimkoh was absent in Super Contra's original arcade release, in which Emperor Demon Gava was the final boss. However, in the NES conversion of the game, Super C, additional stages were added to the game, along with new bosses, one of which was Kimkoh. In its debut appearance, this alien creature is found at the end of the new final stage, Alien Base 3, which would remain as Kimkoh's only encounter in the series where it is battled as the final boss.

Considering the fact that Emperor Gava –who is usually depicted as the leader of the alien armies– dies, yet this event does not bring about the end of the second invasion, it can be assumed that the original Kimkoh was second-in-command in the alien army's hierarchy and continued to lead the remainder of their troops at the time.

Despite having frog-like legs, Kimkoh does not jump at all in its first appearance (this would change in later installments). It also doesn't use its insectoid legs to ram on enemies (probably due to system's limitations). Instead, it remains stationary after emerging from the ground and shoots constant projectiles from its tube-like legs and the upper head's eye. It has a "blind spot" at its frontal leg; if the player stands there, all of its projectiles will miss and the player can fire at will until the creature is defeated.

Contra III: The Alien Wars

Returning alongside other bosses from prior titles in the game's hive stage, the Golden Beast emerges from the ground after the player destroys the massive alien heart miniboss. Its body has barely changed from its previous incarnation, although it's far more versatile and mobile this time around, jumping about and running across the floor. When its health is reduced to less than half remaining, it will dig its way back into the ground and reemerge shortly after from under the heroes in an attempt to crush them against the ceiling, before commencing with another charge attack at closer range. In addition, the Golden Beast's gel attacks from its feet and eyes cannot be stopped this time around, making the duel that much more difficult. In Hard mode, its aimed eye beams fire twice as fast; also, the gel projectiles drop at a faster speed. If a player stands directly on top of of beast, it sometimes makes a quick jump to the ceiling in order to crush them, likely so the player doesn't attempt to camp out during most of the beast's attacks.

It is worth mentioning that the humanoid face is now vaguely male and has no mouth. It also has an armored membrane that folds over the face from time to time to protect it from damage.

Contra: Hard Corps

This enemy returns not only with a vastly different design and body shape, but also with another member of its kind, making it the first time players fight against two Kimkohs. The creatures now possess a far more millipede-like appearance and lack not only their predecessor's recognizable humanoid face, but also its muscular frog-like legs. In fact, were it not for their ramming attacks, their projectiles that rain downward after being fired, and players being able to climb onto their backs without dying, these two aliens could easily be regarded as a completely different species with no connection to the original Kimkoh.

The first phase of the battle has players fighting mostly a ground-based Kimkoh, with the other creature occasionally emerging from the ceiling in an attempt to crush them against the back of its comrade. The beast starts off ramming back and forth across the floor, then digging underground and bursting back up onto solid ground, attempting to crush players hanging on the ceiling. When enough damage has been delivered to Kimkoh, it stops the ramming but will continue to use the digging attack followed by its primary forms of attacks:

Attack Description
Probotector MD Kimkoh energy rain
Kimkoh raises half of its body and begins to fire off a volley of energy projectiles, which rain down the entire area in front of it. Standing on top of Kimkoh immediately before it fires can help avoid this attack with ease.
Hard Corps Kimkoh 2
A second Kimkoh from above enters quietly from the ceiling. It constantly pounds its backside with the grounded Kimkoh, as both simultaneously move close to the left side of the room, then retreating back to their initial position. The players would need to time their jumps inbetween the pounding Kimkoh, then slide off the back of the grounded one before they get smashed. They must do this twice, as the attack backtracks toward the players. An alternative yet risky method is to time a frame perfect slide through the grounded Kimkoh as it moves toward the player twice. The ceiling Kimkoh absorbs most weapons fire and receives no damage from any weapon.

All of the above attacks can be easily avoided if a player hugs the top-right corner of the room, although there is still a rare chance for the top Kimkoh to harm the player with its tail, depending on the sprites of both the player's character and the Kimkoh. It is recommended to keep climbing to the right hugging the border, then switch to Shot II and turn the character's facing direction only during firing a weapon.

After the main Kimkoh has received much damage, it begins to flail rapidly, calling its twin, then it curls up into a shrunken position, with the twin also shrinking and interlocking itself with the other Kimkoh on the ground. The two now form a sort of ball or wheel that begins speeding toward the player, then crawling and spinning all around the room in a clockwise pattern while gradually picking up speed as the battle progresses, with the rhythm of its pounding sounds resembling a heartbeat (which may possibly foreshadow the final boss of the stage). The Kimkoh wheel can be harmed by shooting any part of their bodies, and both will die at the same time after sustaining enough damage.

The Kimkohs different physiology from previous titles may be the result of the creatures being born from the alien cell that was tampered with by Colonel Bahamut's inexperienced team. Without the guidance of Doctor Geo Mandrake's expertise, the alien hive and its inhabitants (also born from the cell) probably displayed several anomalies, although this is mere speculation.

Contra: Shattered Soldier

Aliens that only appear in a pair. No one knows which is the male and which is female. No one is sure if they really are paired.

Once again a pair of Kimkohs are fought simultaneously. This time, however, they bear a far greater resemblance to their Super C and Contra III incarnations, featuring the humanoid faces (with stitches covering their mouths) but still lacking the tapir-like upper-head and frog-like legs. Their battle patterns share some similarities with their Contra: Hard Corps counterparts (including their weaknesses), with the biggest difference being that they do not merge into a single ball, thus making it impossible to kill both creatures simultaneously. If one of them is defeated, the health of the sole remaining Kimkoh recovers and the attack pattern changes, being more similar to that of their Super C and Contra III predecessors.

They are fought inside a hive-like area, whose location is never clearly revealed. Due to the bright flash of light that occurs at the end of the battle against Lance Bean, Blood Falcon's leader, it can be speculated that the two heroes were teleported either inside his radically altered body, or inside the implanted alien embryo that was contained within his body, containing all of the genetic information necessary to reproduce the creatures battled by Bill and Lucia.

Neo Contra

A variant of an species of Kimkoh that survived for 100 years in its juvenile stage. The surface of its body armor has been super hardened over the years, so it can keep all attacks at bay.

Taking place nearly two thousand years after the events of the last game, three slightly altered individuals belonging to a species of Kimkoh are now encountered, known as "Mutekimkoh". They retain the disturbing human faces (without mouths this time around) and the insect legs located right below them, but the rest of their bodies is very much like a pill-bug's with a skull-like upper head while their eyes are dark red. The first of these creatures, a gray one, is seen in a cutscene at the start of Stage 5. After chasing and killing several of Master Contra's soldiers, it goes inside a dark room where it is killed off-screen by Bill Rizer and Jaguar (an explosion of green blood and body parts flying out of the dark room prior to the characters emerging from that very room). The second Kimkoh, a pale-colored one, appears halfway through the stage where it chases players all the way to an elevator. The third Kimkoh, another gray one, appears and jumps onto the descending platform. This boss battle demonstrates Kimkoh's new attacks, such as spewing out a pink corrosive fluid from its rear which spawns Crawlers. It can also shoot out massive lasers from its lower head's eyes and jump around. Similar to the two prior games, it can be harmed from almost any point of its body.

After dealing enough damage to the alien, Kimkoh demonstrates a very unique power not shared by its predecessor species: the ability to shed its body and metamorphose into a moth-like alien. This insinuates that either this newly-evolved species of Kimkoh is the larval stage of the moth-like entity (the latter which represents the adult stage), or that this species of Kimkoh can quickly and radically transform into a different form whenever it feels threatened. Whichever the case, the moth-like alien "hatches" from Kimkoh's back and takes to the skies where it remains for the rest of the battle. It attacks with its mantis scythes by creating spiraling energy blades, as well as spraying a pink fluid from its abdomen that also spawns Crawlers. Like the Kimkoh, this moth features a humanoid torso with a hood-like head that carries a human face.

The true cause behind these artificial abilities found only in this species of Kimkoh are never explained, although it can be assumed that many millennia may have brought about evolutionary changes to these creatures, who now roam free in the wild without an intelligent purpose following the destruction of the Moirai Relic (which most aliens were programmed to reacquire and bring back to their creators' sanctuary on Jupiter). It seems likely that these, along with other alien creatures under Neo Contra's possession, have been weaponized by the humans themselves once they began to reproduce, and clone them from samples of alien DNA that carry the genes of their predecessors, as well as cells.

Strategy

Larva form
Juvenile form of the Kimkoh. It has been parasitized by the Backers who live inside its body and occasionally discharges it out of the body. When excited, it emits mysterious laser beams.

The first of quite a few bosses in Stage 5, this is the same type of abomination that you see in the introductory cutscene. It has two basic attacks: running at you in a straight line and jumping about the arena in a somewhat random fashion. After a short while it may stop chasing you and squirt a pool of primordial liquid into the middle of the platform, from which five or so Backers emerge. The bug will then jump into the middle of the area, which happens to kill the arachnids (what an irony!) and begin charging its eye lasers. Once it fires the lasers it turns a 360-degree circle on the spot very quickly and then begins charging the laser again.

The jumps and charges are fairly easy to avoid since they are slow and the boss will not do them for very long. Simply move out of the way (roll if you want to be cautious). Stay near the bottom of the screen so there is a minimal risk of death. The spiders are more for show than anything else since they will generally perish before they can even attack you. The eye-beams are nigh impossible to outrun since it comes so fast, so you will have to spin (press X) at the precise moment to avoid them. Doing enough damage to it seems to disrupt this attack, but do not count on it.

It's large and slow plus its entire body is vulnerable to damage so you really should not have trouble finding an opening to hit it. Use your heavy weapons and it will go down pretty quickly. The swords can take it down very quickly, just be careful not to touch it. As with most enemies from Capcom's infamous series, Monster Hunter, wait for it to present an opportunity, run up and smack it once or twice, then back off, as you would in case of the human bosses.

Imago form
The next form in the adult stage of the Kimkoh. Aggressiveness has increased since its juvenile stage. It appears to be ill because it has been parasitized by Backers and its body is being eaten from the inside. Body fluids that spew out occasionally are very acidic and dangerous.

Technically, this could be considered phase two of the Alien Bug since it emerges from the Bug's body after you critically damage the Kimkoh. This boss is harder, but once you get used to its pattern you should not have any problems. The thing flies around so you will have to use lock-on weapons. Its main attack is to release three side-by-side blades of air that revolve around themselves in small circles as they come at you. They can be destroyed by standard weapons; however, once hit, each blade will break into smaller blades and then even smaller blades before finally being destroyed, sort of like a shotgun blast. Before firing off wave after wave of blades, the moth will –like the normal Kimkoh– dump acidic bodily fluids on the ground that renders a third of the platform lethal to you - and also spawns Crawlers. Every once in a while the moth will make a dive at you; however, it tends to rely more on the blade attack.

The fluid is the easiest to avoid. As you did with the Kimkoh, simply do not touch it. To avoid getting it dump on you make sure you stay on the opposite side of the platform as the moth whenever possible. Spiders will emerge from the pool (as they did from the first phase's fluid), but not at a very fast rate, so just kill them as they appear. The blades have to be taken out quickly since they cover a large portion of the platform when at full size. Fortunately they are weak so a few hits from your rapid fire gun will destroy them. The Fire Whip can provide some protection against the blades. Try and take them out when they are still by the moth to further reduce the chance of getting hit.

Once the fight gets going there will almost constantly be primordial fluid on the ground and blades flying. However, there is a short opportunity at the very beginning to hit the boss numerous times before it begins attacking. When the moth is fighting back get shots in whenever possible; do not even wait for all beams to lock on. The pool sticks around for a while, but as soon as it does the moth will move to release more. This break is another good time to hit it repeatedly since it can take a while. In fact, the boss usually goes down fast enough that you will not even see it spawn a second round of minions, assuming your beams do not miss a lot. This is especially so with the Weapon Set D.

Contra ReBirth

Kimkoh returns in this game as an enemy faced before the final boss. Unlike in previous games, Kimkoh is presented as a regular enemy that's much smaller and weaker compared to those faced in previous games. As the player makes their way to the final boss, they are confronted by swarms of Kimkoh charging directly toward the player(s). Some of these menaces will either perform a large leap forward or be stacked on top of one another to increase blocking height. Since they're much weaker, the player is able to destroy multiple Kimkohs as they clear the path. The Kimkohs in this game do not use any other means of attacking other than simply rushing and leaping toward the player. They also appear during the final fight as a nuisance to maneuver across as the player tries to stay alive during the ordeal.

When they first appear , GTR attack! will play. Internal files name the creature as KIMU.

Contra 3D

Alien shaped like a moth. It has poisonous wings and emits a poison beam from its tail.
~ Contra 3D official profile description
Stats
  • Age: ???
  • Height: 5.7m
  • Weight: 360kg

Contra: Operation Galuga

Referred to as the "freakish alien with a human mask" in this game,[6] Kimkoh has once again gone through a heavy redesign, although it still retains certain aspects from its previous incarnations, such as the frog-like legs (although now they end in what appear to be hoof-like formations) and the large humanoid face (now referred to as a mask), although the latter is initially concealed within its body and it eventually emerges during the course of the battle.

Kimkoh is the end boss of Stage 7, Alien Hive. It makes its introduction by emerging from a large sphincter-like opening on an organic wall found at the end of the hive. Its main head features a large proboscis or trunk-like snout. It mainly attacks by ramming across the room, secreting blobs of acid that then rain down all over the battlefield, clinging on the ceiling, and by deploying Eggrons that hatch and start producing Buggers which then scurry all over the room. Once Kimkoh's health has been halfway depleted, its lower abdomen or tail area will rip open and reveal a large humanoid mask. This mask has its own attacks, the most notable one being shooting a large laser beam straight down when the beast is clinging to the ceiling.

Gallery

Screenshots

Sprites and models

Artworks

Trivia

  • Kimkoh was reportedly based on/created by Treasure's Koichi Kimura, alias Kafuichi (Dynamite Headdy, Silhouette Mirage), who worked on the Contra series while at Konami.[7]
  • Kimkoh's design has varied greatly along its many appearances in the series, hinting that the name "kimkoh" could actually be a genus of large arthropod-like aliens and not just the same creature, with its different incarnations either representing different stages during its life cycle or different species altogether. However, this is just speculation.
  • In its first appearance in the series, Super C (the NES conversion of Super Contra), Kimkoh's humanoid face looks vaguely feminine. This probably is a reference to the art style of Swiss artist H. R. Giger, who often included feminine faces on his designs (usually of actress and model Li Tobler, with whom Giger had a relationship during the 1970s). Giger was the main designer of the alien assets of the first Alien film from 1979, and his style remained for the rest of the series. The Contra series is known for taking heavy influence from this franchise.
  • The face of the Kimkoh seen in Shattered Soldier bears a resemblance to Pinhead, the main antagonist of the Hellraiser series of horror films. This is evident by the needle-like appendages protruding from the creature's face and body.
  • Kimkoh's second form in Neo Contra resembles Alexia Ashford's insectoid form from Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (specifically, her third and final mutation resembles Kimkoh's imago form).
  • Kimkoh's appearance in Contra 3D resembles Mothra from the Godzilla series of kaiju films.
  • Arthroverta, a boss from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (also by Konami), was inspired by Kimkoh.
  • Kimkoh makes a minor appearance in the Bombergirl Short Comics along with some other Contra enemies.
  • Kimkoh seems to be partially based on the Pilot (also known as the "Space Jockey"), a background character from the Alien franchise, which the Contra series takes heavy inspiration from. However, this is just speculation.

See also

References

  1. Super Probotector: Alien Rebels instruction booklet, page 18.
  2. Contra: Rogue Corps
  3. Contra Returns
  4. Internal name from Contra ReBirth.
  5. Neo Contra
  6. @ContraSoldier (Contra Official(魂斗羅公式)) at X (May 10, 2024).
  7. @MegaDriveShock at X (February 5, 2022).
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
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