Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki
This enemy is sometimes referred to as "Gunner". For the enemy manning a mounted gun, see Basquez.

The Ledder (突槍射撃兵 レッダー Shageki-hei Reddā?, lit. "Spearhead Sniper Ledder"), also referred to as Sniper among other name variants, is a recurring enemy in the Contra series. He is a high-class infantry unit who either wields a machine gun or a sniper rifle.


High-class soldiers usually holding their positions and wielding either a pistol, a machine gun or a sniper rifle, Ledders are the commanders of the Greeder troops. They have appeared in pretty much every installment of the Contra series in one variation or another. Depending on the game they appear in, they can be brainwashed humans, humanoid aliens, or even robots.

They either remain on their posts in plain sight or hide in bushes in the background, and fire either a stream of bullets straightforward from their machine guns or precise shots aimed directly at the player from their sniper rifles. Certain units are encountered prone on the ground in plain sight behind improvised barricades. They are renowned for keeping post on top of Defense Walls.


Contra: Hard Corps[]

These soldiers appear under the command of the now rebelled former war hero Bahamut, and behave identically to previous counterparts. A cannon type of soldier also exists at the research center, where he pulls out a cannon and fires off powerful arcing rounds at the Hard Corps. He isn't any tougher than other Ledders, though, and goes down in a few shots. Each Ledder defeated awards the player who defeated him 500 points.

A blue type of soldier is shown commanding the Gymnastics Soldier Team at the Missile base. His sprite is just a palette swap of a standard Ledder when taking damage, and he utilizes both a gun and a cannon for attacks. He takes much more hits than an average Ledder.

A special type of soldier is seen at the Space Station headquarters. These soldiers are non-violent guards meant to keep the heroes restrained. All but one possess the tan coloration of a normal Ledder's lower half while maintaining a partial blue headgear piece of the damage coloration. When escaping, their headgear returns to normal coloration. Whether this unique palette is a glitch or not is unclear.

Contra: Shattered Soldier[]

These troops are robots that resemble samurai or skeletal pilots, with the shooter bots wielding musket type rifles capable of firing off flashing red and blue bullets. These robots tend to move rather slowly in both aiming and rate of fire than in previous titles. If the player jumps over a shooter bot, it will take the bot a while to turn around and reposition themselves to commence firing once more. Some kneel behind explosive barrels as they reload their muskets.

There is also a type of Ledder that wields a shield and pistol. They will slowly take a step back or forth, then stop in place and fire their pistol one or two rounds before repeating. Their shields block Heavy Machinegun fire, but not from other weapons. An easy way to eliminate these troops with the Heavy Machinegun is to simply crouch and fire, as oftentimes the bullets will pass underneath their shield and strike their vulnerable legs. These troops are just as weak as other variants without their shield to protect them. Crouching also dodges their bullet fire. It is also possible to jump over them and fire from their vulnerable backside.

Contra 4[]

Dirk thought he was the luckiest alien humanoid around when he saw the job posting: good pay, benefits, free trip to Earth, stand in place, decent aim preferred. In the moments since the shirtless super-commando opened fire, he's begun questioning that decision.
~ Dirk McShooter's description from Contra 4

Aside from the normal red variant, a much more durable black armored variant appears within the waterfall base and the City. On Hard Difficulty, these troops fire at close to twice the speed of normal firing along with an increase in bullet speed.

Contra ReBirth[]

Ledders behave generally the same as in other games. Starting in the second stage, Ledders in red appear like those seen in Contra III: The Alien Wars: some stand idle and fire in eight different directions at the player, and some run alongside Greeders, where they will stop to fire a quick round before retreating backward. Their running speed is greatly increased in higher difficulty levels. Some Ledders are now being air-lifted by Gigaflies, with the Gigaflies essentially acting as a Ledder's pair of wings. Some Ledders are also seen performing acrobatics: a group of them (or some mixed with green troops) swing on airborne missiles and can fire while swinging.

Hard Corps: Uprising[]

There are several types of Ledder units in this game, all working under the Commonwealth Empire. Each one will usually utter a phrase when firing.

  • The normal variant appears identical to foot soldiers in appearance, but behave as previous Ledder units from past titles; these units are referred to as Private, meaning they are the lowest ranking soldiers in the empire and their actions have proven so. The gun-firing units tend to let out a phrase when firing. If a character rushes behind them, they will appear confused for a moment before readjusting to their rear guard. their bullets can easily be dodged or reflected back at them.
    • In the Capital Laboratory stage, these soldiers also behave as security guards for the first part of the stage. During the sneaking segment, they will march back and forth while occasionally stopping in place for a brief moment before facing the opposite direction. A red light from their eyes displays their field of vision. They can be bypassed stealthily by using a Cardboard Box. If they are attacked or a hero is discovered, they will activate an alarm and will fire on the heroes as per their usual behavior.
  • The second type are larger soldiers carrying missile launchers, known as Heavily Armed Soldiers. They behave like Private Ledder units but possessing more health and fire missiles instead of energy bullets. Their missiles can be destroyed by weapons fire, which will add to the player's Combo Meter.
  • Snipers[8] appear within the Jungle and later inside the Capital Tower Building. They shroud themselves in a dark green cloth and adopt a prone position, standing up slightly only for aim readjustment. In the Jungle, some of these units also further conceal themselves within shrubbery, while in the Capital Tower Building, they sometimes hide behind a Shield Soldier for cover. Their gun allows them to target much more accurately than other variants. When a sniper is near, a flashing red targeting reticle will appear to home in on a character. Once the reticle has an enemy within sights, the sniper will fire a long-range magenta colored bullet straightforward. These shots are quite powerful, knocking away 4 health bars on anyone struck. This is enough to instantly kill a character unless they possess more than 4 full bars of health via upgrades. These sniper bullets can be reflected.

Contra 3D[]

A general soldier with a strengthened physique. There is a theory that the islanders captured by the Red Falcon Army were remodeled into soldiers.
~ Contra 3D official profile description
  • Age: ???
  • Height: 185 cm
  • Weight: 103 kg

Contra Returns[]

Ledders have two attack patterns in this game: shooting three bullets in a row or three bullets in a three-way manner. There are also a few varieties of Ledders: standard, infected and zombified.

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

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

Resembles Dirk McShooter from Contra 4 and is virtually identical. Bullets fired are a black object with blue/white flaming energy. Some Ledders also hide behind rocks and terrain for cover, exposing themselves when ready to retaliate fire. If a Ledder is not automatically spawned in an idle position, a Ledder will instead spawn running a short distance ahead and then positioning himself on the ground before commencing with his usual firing behavior.


Hard Corps: Uprising[]

Heavily Armed Soldier
  • "Go to hell."

Appearances in other media[]



Sprites and models[]



  • In Probotector (NES), these soldiers have been modified to look like robotic enemies wielding a buster cannon arm.
  • In Probotector II, these enemies appear as robots wielding buster cannon arms similar to their previous appearance, while the prone positioned variant was changed to resemble a stationary turret.
  • The Contra: Hard Corps variant resembles the soldiers from the 1990 science fiction/action film Total Recall.[9]
  • In Probotector (MD), these enemies have been modified to include a more 'metallic' body with a single red eye (or visor).
  • In Uprising, a soldier's multiple death sounds are used as an example voice when adjusting the Voice setting in the Options menu.

See also[]


  1. Contra III: The Alien Wars instruction booklet, page 14.
  2. Contra 4
  3. Internal name from Contra: Operation Galuga.
  4. Hard Corps: Uprising - Missile firing Private variant.
  5. Hard Corps: Uprising - Generic name, also used for most types of human enemy troops in this game, regardless of specializations. Both Ledders and Greeders appear identical and share the same death grunts.
  6. Hard Corps: Uprising
  7. Contra: The Board Game
  8. Name stated by Sayuri.
  9. Mars Colony Security Force at the Villains Wiki.