Contra Wiki
Contra Wiki

The Rifle[2] is a recurring weapon featured in the Contra series. It is the default weapon the player usually starts with in the earlier games. It features semi-automatic fire and deals relatively low damage.

General description[]

The Rifle is the standard issue armament the player usually starts with in the earlier games of the Contra series. A bullet is fired straightforward every time the FIRE button is pressed. The gun features semi-automatic fire and many projectiles can be shot in succession by rapidly tapping this button. The weapon can be fired as quickly as the FIRE button is pressed, although sometimes there is a limit to the amount bullets that can be onscreen at once (usually due to hardware limitations).

The damage output of the Rifle is relatively low compared with other weapons, and its lack of area coverage could put the player in a vulnerable situation until they get their hands on a more powerful and/or versatile weapon. In games where both the Rifle and the Machine Gun appear, they share the same damage output, although the latter features full automatic fire, removing the need to tap the FIRE button to keep shooting.

In Operation C, the Machine Gun replaced the Rifle as the default weapon the player starts with, and this characteristic was retained for most games of the series ever since. It's worth mentioning that even if the standard weapon in Contra III: The Alien Wars is for all intents and purposes a Machine Gun, it's called "Rifle" in the instruction booklet for that game.

Being the most basic weapon the player starts the game with, as well as always being given to the player whenever they start a new life, none of the documentations for any Contra games have descriptions for the Rifle, or even give it a name or have a designated letter for it (e.g.: like 'M' is for the Machine Gun, 'S' is for the Spread Gun, etc.). Likewise, no Rifle weapon pickup exists in any game (for example, in case the player wanted to handicap themself to increase the challenge of the game without resorting to lose a life after having acquired a weapon power-up).



See also[]


  1. Contra (MSX2)
  2. Super C (NES) instruction booklet, page 5. (NES-UE-USA)