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Contra Wiki
For the alien army, see Red Falcon.
For other uses, see Alien (disambiguation).

The Orian (鬼頭獣 オーリアン Kitō-jū Ōrian?, lit. "Ogre-headed Beast Orian") is a recurring enemy in the Contra series. It is a humanoid alien which patrols the corridors inside an aliens' hive.


Orians are humanoid aliens that scurry along the many corridors that comprise an aliens' hive. When an intruder has been detected, they scramble along the hive in great numbers, covering every corner in order to find the invader.

Both their behavior and method of attack are pretty much the same as standard Greeders, although they are faster and appear in greater numbers. They only attack by charging forward in an attempt to run over any hostiles encountered in their path. They are very agile and able to jump over platforms, so they should not be taken lightly.

Orians are notoriously frail and will usually go down with a single shot from most weapons in most of their incarnations, making the ordeal of dealing with them more a matter of quick reflexes than of firepower. However, in their debut appearance in the arcade version of Super Contra, they are more durable and it will take about three shots to kill one, potentially presenting a considerable threat when they rush speedily in groups or when the player comes armed with a weak weapon. Furthermore, they are generally encountered in areas with many slopes; Orians ascending slopes can be jumped over with careful maneuvering, but descending ones are harder to evade.


Super Contra[]


First appearance of this enemy in the series. The Orian has quite a dramatic introduction by prominently appearing in the opening cutscene of the game, in a cinematic recreation of Area 4, where Bill Rizer and Lance Bean are almost ambushed by an Orian suddenly coming out from one of the hive's many narrow corridors, but which fortunately they easily manage to repel with their weapons.

Orians properly appear in Area 4, Alien 1, there they act as the main opposing force of the level. They constantly enter the screen in great numbers and scurry all over the battlefield. Due to the many sloped floors found in this level, as well as how difficult it is to quickly switch firing directions in this game, Orians pose a very high threat to the player.

The end area boss of this stage, the Metal Alien, resembles a giant Orian with wings, and possibly is their direct leader.


In the NES conversion of the game, Super C, Orians appear in Alien Area 3, which is the direct counterpart to Area 4 of the arcade version, but which now acts as the final stage of the game. They attack pretty much the same, although they maybe are a bit slower and come in lesser numbers (possibly due to hardware limitations or made this way by design), once again acting as the main opposing force of the level.

Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

Besides being the main opposing force in the sixth and final stage, Alien's Main Base, Orians are also released by Emperor Demon Gava during the first phase of his boss fight. They are released periodically from the two openings left after destroying Gava's serpentine-like limbs. Once they land, they rush at the player at great speed, effectively incrementing the difficulty of the fight –especially in higher difficulty settings– as they present a constant and dangerous distraction while the player is trying to focus their attention on firing at Gava himself.

Contra 4[]

As usual, Orians are only encountered in the final stages of the game:

Alien Hive

This stage marks the first and only time Orians appear in a third person corridor level (or any other perspective level than side-view for that matter). Only the purple variant (read below) appears in this stage. They start to be encountered about midway through the level and usually attack in groups. Their main form of attack consists in moving from the back of the room to the foreground to physically attack the player, sometimes performing a pounce as they're approaching. They move at a fast speed and can also crawl on the ceilings, coming out from openings in them.

The eye shaped Nuclear Balls that appear in some of the rooms where Orians are encountered in require the player to hold fire for a moment so they can open up and become vulnerable, implementing a risk-versus-reward factor where the player has to momentarily stop shooting among the oncoming horde of Orians in order to be able to destroy the Nuclear Balls and keep advancing further into the level.

Harvest Yard

The main bulk of this stage actually takes place inside of Black Viper herself, once the heroes infiltrate her body after an initial confrontation. Black Viper's body is full of eggs and still living people that are in the process of being digested. Orians act as Black Viper's main antibody force; they scurry along her insides in great numbers in search of any foreign intruders.

In this stage, Orians come in two variants:

  • Yellow: This variant just acts like the standard previous incarnations of this enemy, by running along the ground and leaping when they reach the edge of a platform; then continuing their way until they leave the screen.
  • Purple: This variant can crawl on ceilings, and it is precisely in this manner how it enters the screen. When it reaches the player's vicinity, it usually drops to take them by surprise, although sometimes it can just continue its way and leave the screen. Care should be taken while latching on and moving along the bony ceiling sections of the level, as purple Orians enter the screen crawling quickly along it, giving little time to react.

In addition to these two variants, Contra 4 introduces the Falcon Viper, which is just an evolved Orian with bat-like wings (basically resembling the Metal Alien) which flies freely inside Black Viper's body.

Contra Returns[]

In this game, Orians take a few shots to be taken down instead of only one. They are also enhanced in terms of intelligence: instead of running past the player like in previous games, if they miss, they'll turn back and actively seek them out. If they cannot reach the player from a lower platform, they'll simply pace back and forth patiently waiting for them to come down. Orians in this game can also be seen using their scythe-like limbs for the first time, with which they'll slash at the player as they approach them.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

The yellow and purple variants (as well as the Falcon Vipers) from Contra 4 return in this installment, both retaining their same roles, with the former behaving like the standard running Orians, and the latter crawling on walls.



Sprites and models[]



Xenomorph - Alien - 01

A xenomorph from the Alien franchise.

  • The Orian's design is based on the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, which the Contra series often takes inspiration from.
    • Additionally, the word "Orian" is also phonetically similar to "Alien".
    • In Contra: Operation Galuga, the internal name for this enemy (and its variants) is "Xeno", also referencing the same film alien creature.

See also[]


  1. Internal name from Contra: Operation Galuga.