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Many a brave soldier has lost his cool in the swirling sands of the meanest desert mesa country this side of the Pecos.
~ Contra III instruction booklet description

The Sheer Cliff (切り立った寓 Kiritatta Gake?, lit. "Steep Cliff") is the fifth stage in Contra III: The Alien Wars.


This stage is set in a desert. Just like in Stage 2, the level is seen from a top-down perspective. Fortunately, there is no time restriction in this stage, but because the enemies are always on the move and there are a set number of enemy generators scattered throughout the stage (which must be destroyed in order to progress), the player will have to constantly be on the move.

As in Stage 2, before the stage begins, the player will be given the choice of choosing where the starting point will be. Wherever spot they choose, that is where the stage will start.

The player is to seek out and destroy five Oggie Generators to clear the area and thus gain access to engage the boss of this stage, the Anthell. Enemies will attack from all directions and a few of them are even able to shoot for ranged combat. Taking out the generators may take time, as they are durable and enemies which defend it will strafe fast bullets at the player. When destroyed, the generator will leave either a power-up weapon or a bomb behind. Crawler Tanks are persistent and will also strafe fast bullets, but they will be destroyed once their head is taken out. Some enemies may tend to spawn in areas unreachable to the player.

This stage features considerable environmental hazards; the player should notice pools of quicksand throughout the stage set there to hinder their progress. Some will move the player in a circle, throwing off their aims, while others will move the player in a line, left or right - rendering them difficult to control and throwing them either straight onto enemies, toward their bullets, or off into a cliff. There are also three bridges which can be crossed in this level; if the player shoots their weapon while walking across these, they will collapse and send them plunging to their doom. If an enemy is near, the player should back off the bridge to safe ground and then shoot.

There are also buffers laid throughout the stage; while they may block the player's shots and hinder their movement, they also do the same to enemies, so the player can use these factors to their advantage. These buffers do not block large fireball shots, however, so it is recommended to either move quickly around the buffers, take out the enemies using a gun that can pierce through the buffers (like the Fire Gun), and/or simply move away from the buffers to reload the enemies out of harm's way.






Game Title Audio Usage
Contra III: The Alien Wars Select the Landing Point Starting point selection screen BGM
Hell Messenger BGM
Bloody Storm Boss theme
Contra: The Alien Wars Megalopolis BGM
Bloody Storm Boss theme


  • If this stage is entered using the level select cheat, it will cause the scenery of the area to not load properly, meaning the player can fall in a pit when a pit is not visually present. If the player lands on a spinning sand trap, their sprite will spin all around the screen, as the camera view is locked in a set position when entering this stage via level select. Using a continue to select a normal gameplay mode will fix these graphical issues.
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Bill RizerLance BeanJimboSullyRD008RC011
Red Falcon
Slave Beast TakaBosco SpiderBig FuzzAnti-Contra Battleship DodriguezAnthellEmperor Demon GavaLiving Brain Organism SearleSix Men Feromedos
Middle FortressMagnus Mk.2Dome DefenderTri-Transforming Wall WalkerGarth BaseBrother Robots Kenny 1 & 2High Speed Tank BoobyTetranduckerSensor ArmFierce CannonRocket Ninja SasakiOggie GeneratorJavaGomeramos KingKimkohMetal Alien
Occupied City StreetDestroyed HighwayFactory ZoneAir BattleSheer CliffAlien's Main Base
Contra III: The Alien Wars Original Video Game Soundtrack