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Contra III Bill Front View

Bill Rizer readying dual guns in Contra III.

Random Shooting[1] is a special technique featured in Contra III: The Alien Wars. It involves the player firing both current weapons while spinning.


By holding the left shoulder button, then holding the right shoulder button down at the same time, the hero's sprite will change to a pose where he faces the camera pointing both guns diagonally sideways upward, with both Falcon Symbol weapon slots highlighted. At this moment, if the FIRE button is also pressed, the player will jump and rapid fire both guns in a 360° fashion for the duration of jump. The player can move horizontally while jumps are being performed. This technique cannot be performed when on a hang bar or a Jet Motorcycle, although the weapon icons can still be highlighted. If the player dies while performing this technique or even just by having their weapon slots highlighted, both special weapons will be lost. If performed in top-down stages, the character will spin a full 360° turn clockwise one time. If all three required buttons are held before the end of the initial spin, the player can continuously keep spinning for as long as the buttons are held. The camera does not move when the player is performing Random Shooting, nor can the player move from their current location during the performance of the attack.

The Random Shooting technique is useful for taking out small waves of enemies if the player is surrounded by many enemies. While some guns cover great range during this attack, other guns are not recommended due to firepower or firing speed. Weapons with a wide coverage or rapid fire rate, such as the Spread Gun or the default Rifle, respectively, are able to take out small ground troops with ease (depending on the Difficulty setting), whereas some slower weapons, like the Laser, are not recommended due to their low firing rate, which most of the time may not hit any enemies as intended if used in Random Shooting. Often, the technique has good coverage when firing two of the same weapon.


  • Due to both gameplay and hardware changes, this technique was not carried over to neither of the handheld ports, Contra: The Alien Wars and Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX.
  • The Random Shooting technique was never implemented in following titles from the series, despite most of them having the option to carry two (or more) weapons during gameplay.

Other uses[]

Although the technique itself is rarely used outside Contra III, its iconic dual wielding pose has often been reused throughout the Contra series.

  • During Mystery G's first encounter, he unholsters his twin Rifles and performs the iconic dual wielding pose shortly before battle. One of his attacks involves the Random Shooting technique: spinning while firing twin Flame Throwers simultaneously. Also, when he fires his twin Lasers, he adopts an identical pose as Bill's top-down dual-wielding sprite from Contra III.
  • Despite the technique not reappearing in Contra ReBirth, frontal character sprites on the Character Select screen resemble the sprite used to prepare Random Shooting.