Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki

The Rapid Fire (R), also known as Rapid Bullets, is a recurring item featured in the Contra series. It is a special power-up that increases the speed at which the projectiles shot by the player's weapon travel.


Picking up the Rapid Fire power-up will increase the speed at which the projectiles shot by the player's current weapon travel, which in the end traduces into an overall faster rate of fire; that is, the player can shoot their weapon more times in a shorter time. Its effects can be seen better in the "Base" stages of the original Contra, where the weapon's projectiles appear to move faster. It even increases the rate of fire of the standard issue Rifle; however, the Laser is not affected by this power-up in any way.

This power-up only appeared in Contra (and its remake, Contra: Evolution) and in the NES Super C (but not in the original arcade version of Super Contra). While the Rapid Fire power-up, as such, didn't appear in following titles, its effect could still be obtained in some games after upgrading a weapon to its second level, which, apart from changing their behavior and/or shape, the speed at which the projectiles were released was also increased. Since the release of Contra III: The Alien Wars, most weapons in most games already featured full-automatic fire, making it no longer necessary to acquire a rapid firing upgrade anymore.



Originally called "Rapid Bullets" (ラピッド・ビレッツ Rapiddo Birettsu?) in Japan and localized as "Rapid Fire" in English.

The Rapid Fire power-up is especially rare to find in the original arcade version of Contra and it isn't uncommon to play a complete game without finding it, as certain criteria is required for it to appear. It can only be found at the beginning of Stage 3, Waterfall, or halfway through Stage 5, Snow Field, but only if the player is equipped with the standard Rifle. Because of this, the only weapons the Rapid Fire upgrade can be used with are the Rifle, the Machine Gun and the Fireball.[1]

Contra (MSX2)[]

Unlike most other games in the series, flying Power-up Capsules exclusively drop the Rapid Fire power-up in this version of the game, whereas weapons can only be collected from Sensors found on the field. Also, this version of the Rapid Fire power-up increases both weapons' rate of fire, as well as the player's walking speed.

Super Contra[]


The Rapid Fire power-up is absent in the original arcade version of Super Contra, although the rapid firing effect can still be obtained for some weapons by upgrading them. Weapons are upgraded by collecting a copy of the same weapon the player is currently carrying.


Unlike the arcade version, in the NES conversion of the game, Super C, the weapons' rate of fire is acquired just like in the prequel on the same console, by collecting the Rapid Fire (R) power-up.

Contra Force[]

A variant of the Rapid Fire power-up appears in this game, called Turbo Power (TP). In Contra Force, power-ups are obtained by collecting Weapon Power-ups revealed by destroying segments of the environment; when a briefcase is collected, the surge on the weapons gauge at the bottom of the screen will move by one increment toward the right, and the player can then activate the highlighted weapon if they so desire.

In this game, instead of increasing the speed at which projectiles are fired, like in the rest of the games, activating the Turbo Power allows the weapon to fire three times in a row.




  • The Rapid Fire power-up is known for not being very popular due to many players not knowing (or noticing) its rate of fire increasing effect, or for fear of picking it up and end up changing their weapon (possibly thinking the letter "R" stands for Rifle, the most basic weapon in a game).
  • Rapid Fire is the name of the official Contra G Fuel product, with the can using the sprite of the NES power-up.[2]


  1. Contra [Model GX633] at Gaming History.
  2. Rapid Fire at G Fuel.