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The Power-up Capsule, or simply Capsule, also known as Flying Capsule, Weapon Wings or Flying Item Pod, among other names, is a recurring item featured in the Contra series. It is a small blimp-like device, often bearing the Red Falcon insignia, which travels from one end of the screen to the other in a wave-like pattern. When a Power-up Capsule is shot, it will release a Falcon Symbol with a designated weapon power-up for the player to collect.

Description[]

In most titles of the Contra series, weapons can be found by shooting down Power-up Capsules. These are small blimp-like transportation devices, often bearing the Red Falcon insignia, which travel from one end of the screen to the other in a wave-like pattern.

Power-up Capsules usually only appear at determined locations on the map and always carry the same power-up within them (although this isn't always the norm in most recent titles). In rare instances, a capsule may contain a somewhat random item. Once shot, a Falcon Symbol with the weapon contained will spring out from the blimp for the player to collect. Care must be taken when shooting one or the weapon could end up falling down a pit or land on a section of the map where it could become mandatory to pick it up, forcing the player to change their current weapon.

Appearances[]

Contra[]

Commodore 64

Called "Weapons Carrier" in the Commodore 64 version of Contra/Gryzor, this flying item is unique in that when the blimp-like carrier is shot, instead of releasing a Falcon Symbol, like in all the other versions of the game and almost all the rest of the games in the series, the device only falls to the ground and is ready for the player to collect. This was most likely done to save resources in this simpler port of the game.

Contra III: The Alien Wars[]

Called Weapon Wings in this game. Besides some aesthetic changes, they function identically to previous incarnations. Each Weapon Wings shot awards that player 5 points. In both this game and its Game Boy Advance port, Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX, the Homing Gun's missiles can lock-on to a flying Power-up Capsule, suggesting they are registered as an enemy by the gun's tracking abilities, perhaps likely due to the insect-like creature carrying the capsule above.

Contra: Hard Corps[]

Called [Flying] Item Pods in this game. In addition to the altered aesthetic and identical behavior, these capsules can also be released by Big Magnum when it receives enough damage during battle. These capsules rapidly flash between multiple colorations and float on a set location in midair for a limited time before disappearing.

Hard Corps: Uprising[]

There are two types of Flying capsules in this game:

  • The normal variant come in silver with green core and drop weapon power-ups, in an identical manner to previous titles. due to the lack of strength from some special weapons, weapons such as the Super Machine Gun or Chain Laser will damage a capsule but will not open it, requiring several more hits or a stronger weapon to open.
  • A gold colored capsule with green center is only present if a certain hidden spot is touched within a stage. On occasion, a player may touch a specific spot of the stage and a random flow of red waves may appear. This invisible "checkpoint" will cause either a a gold Capsule to fly through the stage, appearing identically to the silver capsules. Gold capsules tend to contain 1-ups.

Chests are also present within the game. These boxes grant certain items such as Health capsules or Score medals. Like the Gold capsules, a hidden "checkpoint" will trigger the appearance of a hidden gold box at the same spot as the red waves. Gold boxes contain a Gold Star medal and picking one up rewards the player with a massive amount of points.

Contra: Operation Galuga[]

Appears similar to its original blimp-like appearance. This variation has noticeable glowing on each end of its horizontal sides. This may indicate hover technology being used to keep the object afloat (as described in previous game artwork).

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