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The Weapon Power-up[1] is a special item in Contra Force. When picked up, it makes the selected slot on the weapons gauge to move one position to the right.


A flashing red/orange power-up in the shape of a metal box or suitcase. When a certain amount of environmental objects is destroyed, a weapon power up may appear from one for a player to pick up. Each time one of these power-ups is collected, a power surge will be registered in the weapons gauge at the bottom of the screen, starting on the first slot to the left. Each consecutive box obtained will make the selected slot to move one position to the right, but if the player reaches the last (fifth) slot and obtains another power-up, the highlighted position will shift back to slot 1, repeating its loop. The player can press the SELECT button on a highlighted icon to activate the currently selected weapon or special feature, or if they so choose, wait until they collect more Weapon Power-ups to further move the selection slot toward the right and activate even more powerful weapons or abilities. A blank icon (currently used weapon/ability) cannot be selected with the SELECT button, and selecting some power-ups may erase any current power-ups obtained, returning their selections back into their respective slots. Selecting a weapon or ability successfully will erase the highlighted icon, requiring the player to collect another set of power-ups to activate another selection.

Each player character has their own specific arsenal in their weapons gauge, some specializing in ranged firearms, heavy weaponry, explosives, etc., so proper distribution of Weapon power-ups acquired among all four characters is key for a more strategic and versatile gameplay experience. Weapon Power-ups are not carried over when switching out player characters, but any weapons and abilities obtained are retained. Losing a life will return the player character to the default power-up selections and the player must reobtain Weapon power-ups for that character to regain lost weaponry.




  • The Weapon Power-up gameplay mechanic in Contra Force is almost identical to the Power Capsule from the Gradius series (also by Konami), and is likely directly borrowed from it. When a Power Capsule is collected in a Gradius game (or any of its many spinoffs), it will make the selected slot on the Power Meter (generally) at the bottom of the screen to move one slot to the right, allowing the player to activate the current selected weapon or ability if they so desire, or wait until they pick up more Power Capsules if they want to activate a weapon/ability that is further toward the right of the meter.

See also[]


  1. Contra Force instruction booklet, page 7: "Press the select button when you've collected enough weapon power-ups."