Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki
For the collectable bomb that detonates on demand, sometimes also referred to as "Mega Shell", see Hyper Shell.

The Mega Shell, also known as Special or Mass Destruction, is a recurring weapon featured in the Contra series. It is a smart bomb power-up that destroys all enemies and projectiles onscreen on pickup. It made its first appearance in the NES/Famicom port of Contra.

General description[]

The Mega Shell is a special power-up that is unique in the fact that it is not represented by any letter but only as a Falcon Symbol featuring a bomb like motif. When it is picked up, the entire screen will flash and all enemies and projectiles onscreen will be destroyed. However, it is not collectable and is instead used instantly on pickup, making its usage strictly situational.

It is a very rare power-up and usually only a few can be found in a game, not appearing in most levels.

Game specific information[]


This special clear screen weapon item made its first appearance in the NES/Famicom port of Contra (that is, it didn't appear in the original arcade version of this game). Originally called "Special" (スペシャル Supesharu?) in Japan, it was localized as "Mass Destruction" in English. When picked up, all onscreen enemies are instantly killed and all projectiles removed. It only appears in certain locations of some stages and is not collectable, meaning it can't be used on bosses.

Super C[]

Super C presents an interesting case in regard to this bomb item in the fact that the original arcade version of the game, Super Contra, introduced a new variant of the Mega Shell, called the Hyper Shell, which only appears in the top-view stages, is collectable, and is detonated on demand. However, the NES conversion, Super C, features the same version of the Mega Shell from the first game; that is, a Falcon Symbol without an identifying letter that only appears at determined points within a stage, both side-view and top-view, and instantly detonates on pickup. It is worth noting that the Mega Shell appears more often in Super C than it did in Contra.

There is also a bit of discrepancy regarding the name of this bomb item. On the original Japanese instruction poster of the arcade Super Contra, its version of the bomb is clearly differentiated by naming it "Hyper Shell"; however, on the American version of this poster, it reuses the name of the bomb from the first game and is instead called "Mega Shell", even though it is the collectable variant.

Contra 4[]

Contra: Evolution[]



See also[]