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The ruthless leader of the Red Falcon forces. His true origins are a mystery.
~ Description from the official Contra: Operation Galuga website

General Varanis is a character, a miniboss, and the main antagonist of Contra: Operation Galuga. He commands the Zagardian vanguard forces and is the supreme leader of the Red Falcon army.

He was voiced by Brett Gipson.


Varanis is an alien humanoid from the Zagard Empire. Eons ago, the Zagard attempted to conquer an opposing race known as the Sol and destroy an artifact built by the latter called the Lemris. Fearful of the Zagard's cunningness, the Sol hid the Lemris on Earth, and its energy waves produced a shield around the planet that prevented the Zagard from invading Earth via their wormhole generation. Varanis has been scouring the cosmos for the Lemris for over a millennia, eventually turning his attention to planet Earth. Within the Earth Calendar Year of 26XX, he and his army and resources invade the island of Galuga and set up a fortified stronghold, amassing labs, bases, and even an underground Alien Nest. Gathering human soldiers, he creates a sinister military terrorist force known as Red Falcon, and sends his troops all across the globe carrying limited terrorist strikes. Six months after Varanis sets up his headquarters on the conquered island, Red Falcon's activities are eventually noticed by the Contra E.M.C, who are being sent to investigate the cause behind these terrorist activities.

Varanis is first encountered by the E.M.C commandos at the base of a Waterfall, confronting one of the island survivors. After a brief introduction and show of his power, he flees the scene.

As the Contras locate an ancient ruins establishment, they come across a spirit of a man known as Beowulf, who claims to have guarded the Lemris since the dawn of time, possessing the title of "Contra". He reveals the altar of the Lemris to the commandos in order for them to secure its power before Varanis could reach it first. Unfortunately their worst fears come true; using treachery, Varanis is able to sneak his way into the ruins and reach the Lemris first in front of the commandos. Beowulf tries to speak to Varanis but Varanis quickly teleports him and the Lemris to his ship. The Contras attempt to track him down but are temporarily halted by one of Varanis's robotic guards.

Using an underground tunnel, the commandos fight their way through an Alien Hive leading directly into Varanis's ship. The Contras blast their way on board and confront Varanis himself, from within a chamber occupied by the stolen Lemris in the back, which is now hooked into a device. Varanis is more than happy to meet the Contras once again, as he is even more willing to do battle with the Earthly heroes. After a victorious speech over his triumph over Earth in the name of the Zagard Empire, he commences with battle against the Contras, stating it as "the first battle of Zagard's triumph". After an enduring battle with the conqueror, the commandos narrowly prove victorious over his rule. In his last breaths of consciousness, a kneeling Varanis activates the device housing the Lemris, overloading its stored energy, before succumbing to his battle injuries and falling to the floor unconscious. The Contras attempt to undo his plan but are interrupted by a large Zagardian lifeform, who ends up tearing apart the ship and consuming the heroes alive. What happens to Varanis's body is unknown.

Although he was defeated, Varanis's plan still succeeded in the end. In the aftermath of the defeated giant creature, one of the commandos sacrificed themselves to redirect the Lemris's overloaded energy into space via one final produced wormhole. While this plan succeeded and the Earth was seemingly spared from this catastrophic incident, the results led to the complete energy drain of the Lemris. A concerned Dr. Drake confirms that the Lemris shows negative signs of energy waves being produced, leading to the conclusion that the energy field surrounding the Earth and protecting it from the Zagardians will soon dissipate. His statement holds true as wormholes soon begin to appear in the night sky above Earth, spewing out alien ships from another planet. Varanis had succeeded in starting an Alien War.


Varanis is fought on the Escape Ship. He uses a multitude of weaponry and an Overload meter similar to Beowulf.


  • "I am Varanis - the vanguard bringing order and justice to this planet." - Varanis introducing himself to Bill and Lance.





Greeder - 03

A Greeder unit from Contra III.

  • Varanis's helmet (as well as the Mysterious Sniper's) seems to follow a similar design as those worn by the alien infantry troops in Contra III: The Alien Wars. However, it is unknown if it was actually inspired by them or if the Zagardian armor design similarity is just coincidental.
  • Varanis's attack where he throws three shuriken-like blades that remain spinning in the air for a moment is reminiscent of the Mach 777's ceiling attack where it launches several small devices that produce small spinning flames.
  • Varanis's design bears strong influence from the Predators (Yautja) of the 1987 film of the same name from which the Contra series largely based on. The following hint at this:
    • Both the Predator and Varanis appear wearing a mask/helmet before being unmasked near their respective final battles. The latter's unmasked form bears a certain "hair" design that may resemble the Predator's "dreadlocks".
    • Both use multiple weapons against their prey, such as a staff which could be inspired by the Predator's Glaive, and thrown spinning blades which could be inspired by the Smart Disc. Varanis also wields a dual-bladed backhand similar to how a Predator wields one.
    • Varanis's last stand in his escape ship mimics how a Predator was fought on its ship in the second film. Varanis's spacecraft may have also been based on one of the ships seen in the Predator series.
    • Before a defeated Varanis loses consciousness, he activates a device on his wrist to overload his ship. This is similar to the Predator activating its destructive time bomb just before it died to the protagonist.
    • During his first encounter, he produces a growl similar to that of a Predator.
    • Coincidentally, he would face off against Bill Rizer, the protagonist based on Arnold Schwarzenegger, the iconic protagonist from the first film that defeated the Predator in the jungle.