Newt Plissken is a playable character in Contra ReBirth. Although initially posing as an elite member of the Contra Force, at the end of the mission he reveals himself to be none other than the leader of the Neo-Salamander Force, Chief Salamander, thus making him the real main antagonist of the game.
Newt Plissken is a reptilian-like alien who joined the Contra task force sometime around the year 4444 AD. He fought alongside a (presumably) clone of the legendary Contra commando Bill Rizer and Genbei Yagyu on a mission to repel an attack from a new alien army known as Neo-Salamander, which had traveled back through time to the year of 1973 on a campaign to attack the Contra Force in a period when their weapons were still no match to theirs.
By their combined efforts, they were able to put an end to Neo-Salamander's evil plans and called the mission a success. However, after Bill was put back into cryostasis (as he initially was prior to the mission), Plissken revealed at gunpoint to the ship's navigator, BR-W9, that he actually was none other than "Chief Salamander", the leader of the Neo-Salamander Force and the mastermind behind all the hostilities, presumably having infiltrated Contra in a covert operation to fight it from the inside.
Seeing herself cornered, BR-W9 offered Plissken to work together instead; whether she was really betraying the Contra Force, or if this was a scheme quickly devised by her to buy some time, or if she was actually proposing him to change his evil ways and permanently join the force, is unknown, as this storyline was never further explored in any sequel, leaving this cliffhanger as one of the biggest plot holes in the history of the Contra series.
- In the Japanese version, Chief Salamander visually resembles Adolf Hitler. This was censored out in the North American and European releases.
- The name "Salamander", which is shared between Plissken and his army, is a reference to Konami's Salamander series.
- The name "Newt" is likely a reference to Rebecca "Newt" Jorden, a character from the Alien franchise, a series that has been of great inspiration to the Contra series since its inception.
- The surname "Plissken" is a reference to the character Snake Plissken from the films Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.
- Furthermore, Newt makes a similar speech to the one Snake makes at the end of one of the films, refraining from killing his employer alleging that he was "too tired".