The Red Falcon (レッド・ファルコン Reddo Farukon?) is a military organization which acted as the original main antagonist of the Contra series. Their ranks are composed not only of brainwashed and well-armed humans, but also of various alien abominations.
They initially arrived on Earth inside a meteorite that fell on the Galuga Archipelago, near the coast of New Zealand, fortifying the place and using it as their main base of operations. They also brainwashed the local human army in order to do their bidding; gathering forces and staging a couple of invasion attempts which would eventually culminate on what was known as the "Alien Wars", an intergalactic conflict that would result in the destruction of most of the planet and the death of countless people.
The organization's goal was initially thought to be the annihilation of the human race, making way for the aliens to claim the planet as their own and repopulate it with their brethren.
However, things were not as they first appeared...
As revealed in Contra: Shattered Soldier, the real reason why the Red Falcon Army targeted Earth, was because the Triumvirate —Earth's highest level in the government— stole an artifact of immeasurable power from a shrine on Jupiter prior to the events of the first game. The alien army that would eventually be known as the "Red Falcon" was this relic's defensive program; should it be stolen from its resting place, they were to activate and retrieve it at all costs.
The army's first known leader was an entity known as Emperor Demon Dragon God Java. Java arrived on Earth in 2633 AD inside a meteorite that fell in the Galuga Archipelago, near the coast of New Zealand. They fortified the place, using it as their main base of operations, and brainwashed the local human army in order to do their bidding.
It is never explained if the Galuga army was already called "Red Falcon" prior to Java's arrival, or if they rebranded themselves as such after the aliens took over. Likewise, it is unclear if the aliens started to brainwash their troops as the first step of their invasion plan, or if the humans first attempted to take control of the aliens and their technology for their own (presumably nefarious) purposes, but which ultimately ended up in them being the ones subdued and forced to obey. Seeing how the plot in some of the following titles are reinterpretations of the events in the first game, the latter seems more plausible.
The alien army attempted to reclaim the relic through stealthy infiltration by sending a detachment to Earth, but due to the heroic efforts of Pfc. Bill Rizer and Pfc. Lance Bean, two of Earth's finest soldiers, this campaign did not succeed. One year later, in 2634 AD, the aliens once again attempted to reclaim the relic by sending another detachment, this time commanded by the fearsome Emperor Demon Gava, although this operation also failed. Seeing its attempts to reclaim the relic by stealthy means failing a second time, the Red Falcon waged an all-out war against Earth and its people. Unfortunately for the aliens, Bill and Lance managed not only to thwart their plans a third time, but also completely annihilated the Red Falcon Army.
After the hostilities ended, the cells of Red Falcon's alien warriors (presumably Gava's) fell into the hands of Earth's world governments. The Triumvirate attempted to cover up this by hailing Lance Bean and Bill Rizer as saviors of the planet. However, Lance coincidentally stumbled upon the Triumvirate's secret regarding the relic. The Triumvirate attempted to hide their secret by assassinating Lance and placing the blame on Bill.
Lance Bean did not die, however; he was revived when his body was merged with alien cells. After his resurrection, he gathered a new military organization, which would henceforth be known as the "Blood Falcon", and declared war against the established government.
Bill, who was doing time in cryostasis for the supposed murder of Lance, and also held responsible for the death of eighty percent of Earth's population at some point after the "Alien Wars", was temporarily put out of prison and called back into action, this time accompanied by a new partner called Lucia, a bionoid made with the alien cell's DNA who was in charge to keep an eye on him. They would succeed in destroying both the Triumvirate and the Moirai Relic, finally putting an end to the cursed fate between Bill, Lance, and the Red Falcon for good.
Even though the Red Falcon as an organization had long ceased to exist, its legacy lived on. In Neo Contra, some hefty centuries after the events of Shattered Soldier, the Neo Contra faction came in possession of the cells and genes from the aliens who belonged to the Red Falcon and summoned some of their most powerful warriors for one last appearance, although this time they were not the central focus of the plotline.
Emperor Demon Dragon God Java
- Main article: Java
Java is the main villain in the original Contra, and a recurring boss in the series. One of the masterminds behind the Red Falcon organization, Java appears as a large, elongated alien head without eyes and large teeth. Despite not having eyes, he can apparently perceive his surroundings, as he will attack as soon as the player approaches him. Java once again makes his appearance in Contra III.
Despite his fierce appearance, Java remains immobile in all his appearances, attacking mainly by vomiting small floating aliens which track the player. Java is always fought right before Gomeramos King, meaning his defeat is not the end of the alien menace.
- Main article: Bundle
Bundles slowly move around and try to run into the player; they have no other form of attack. They are easily destroyed but they should be taken out quickly as larger numbers can be overwhelming.
- Main article: Gomeramos King
Gomeramos King is the final boss in the original Contra, and the second most recurring boss in the series after the Defense Wall. It is a gigantic alien heart which is responsible for spawning the countless aliens fought during the games. In the earlier games, it is usually fought right after defeating Java, although it would later appear on its own in later installments.
Gomeramos King is for the most part a sitting duck, since it has no means of defending itself. However, it is always surrounded by small alien eggs (usually four or six depending on the game) which constantly hatch facehugger-like aliens. The best strategy to take down this boss is to concentrate on destroying the eggs first, leaving the boss defenseless.
- Main article: Eggron
Eggrons release baby aliens in the form of Buggers. They must be destroyed in order to prevent further Buggers from appearing and interfering with the player's mission. Their motifs are unmistakably based on the ovomorphs from the Alien franchise.
- Main article: Bugger
Buggers are spider-like alien enemies that endlessly reproduce and spawn from Eggrons. They hop out of these alien eggs and either run along the floor to attack, or run across the ceiling and dive down. Although also encountered on their own, they are usually known to appear during the boss battle against Gomeramos King —who sustains the alien base— and defend it with their lives.
- Main article: Wadder
Wadders are immobile organic emplacements found growing from the walls of the aliens' nest that function in a similar way as turrets. They attack by vomiting Poisonous Insect Gels that home in on intruders.
Slave Beast Taka
- Main article: Taka
Taka is a recurring boss in the Contra series, appearing in Contra III: The Alien Wars and Contra: Shattered Soldier as the very first boss in both games. A similar boss appears in the non-canon Contra: Legacy of War.
Taka appears as a large tortoise-like monster, busting out from a wall to face the heroes. It mainly attacks by vomiting out maggots and releasing wasps from the cavities in its shell. It will also stretch its neck to attack and shoot a laser beam from its mouth.
In the rematch in Shattered Soldier it attacks in most the same way, but once its head is destroyed Taka will turn on its back, revealing a gruesome large human-like face. It will once again release wasps and maggots, as well as vomiting on the place.
In Contra: Legacy of War, Taka had two attacks: breathing a fire stream, and releasing bug-like aliens toward player.
- Main article: Big Fuzz
Big Fuzz appears as a gigantic, skeleton-like robot who protects Red Falcon's factories. In all of his appearances, he makes his entrance by using his hands to force open the large metal doors of the factory and then proceeding to attack the heroes. His main form of attack is to breathe a continuous stream of fire, although he can also shoot tracking laser beams from his eyes and deploy several timed bombs at once.
In Contra 4, he will crawl through the narrow corridors of the factory to pursue the player.
- Main article: Metal Alien
Metal Alien is a boss from Super Contra and Contra III: The Alien Wars. It appears as a winged humanoid alien very reminiscent of the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, who serves as the last challenge before the heroes can be granted an audience with the mastermind Gava.
In its first appearance, the Metal Alien would stay out of reach while spewing homing shots, eventually sweeping after the player and attacking with its retractile inner mouth. On the rematch in the third game, the Metal Alien is fought while climbing a wall, giving little room for the player to maneuver. This time it attacks mainly by using its prehensile tail to stab the heroes. After taking some damage, it will begin teleporting, making it harder to hit him.
Emperor Demon Gava
- Main article: Gava
Gava is the main villain and final boss from Super Contra and Contra III: The Alien Wars, and a major recurring boss in the series. The "brother" of Black Viper, Gava is a large skeletal alien with a bulbous head and elongated snake-like arms with faces on them.
On his first attack on Earth, Gava and the Red Falcon forces under his command take over a military base and brainwash the soldiers to serve them, which prompts the government forces to send Contra soldiers Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to fight them. After fighting through the alien-infested base, the two confront Gava and defeat him, putting a halt to the alien's operations. Two years later, Gava once again appears, descending from the skies with the Red Falcon forces and annihilating an entire city, thus beginning the Alien Wars. Bill and Lance are once again sent to fight the Red Falcon's forces, along with various other soldiers, many of which perish during the hostilities. Bill and Lance eventually reach Gava's lair, fighting the many alien abominations within, and finally destroying him for good. Despite his death, Gava would be revived many times throughout the series by the use of the alien cells which were collected by the government in the aftermath of the Alien Wars.
Gava once again returns in Contra: Shattered Soldier: Lance Bean transforms into this creature to fight his former comrade, Bill Rizer.
Shadow Beast Kimkoh
- Main article: Kimkoh
Kimkoh is a recurring boss in the Contra series, originally appearing as the final boss in the NES version of Super Contra. It appears as an insectoid freak with large, hollow, frog-like legs and a woman's face inside its constantly open mouth. It always shows up in the final stages of the games it appears in.
Kimkoh's main form of attack is to shoot spores from his foot, which rain down in the screen. In its original appearance it remained stationary, but later appearances showed this boss is very mobile, as it can also bury itself, jump, and ram at the player.
Kimkoh returns once again in Contra: Shattered Soldier. Lance Bean fuses with an alien and transforms into several creatures, one of them being a pair of Kimkohs, to fight his former comrade Bill Rizer.
- Super Contra
- Contra III: The Alien Wars
Infantry and artillery units
- Super Contra
- Contra III: The Alien Wars