FAQ/Walkthrough by SirStJohnSmythe

Version 2.0, Last Updated 2010-07-05

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                              Chalupa Donny presents...

                             CONTRA : SHATTERED SOLDIER

                              - FAQ for Playstation 2 -

                           (sorry... no clever ASCII art)

Created By : John Malone (aka Chalupa Donny)

Contact Me @: swidly -- hotmail

NOTE: Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section before e-mailing me!

- Copyright Info -

The "Contra: Shattered Soldier FAQ for Playstation 2" is copyrighted, as of November 2002 by the author, John Malone, under international copyright law. If you wish to reproduce, distribute, or display this FAQ or use any part of it for any reason, permission given by the author (me), is required by law. All violations will be reported.

This FAQ is, so far, only authorized to appear at the GameFAQs website (www.gamefaqs.com). If you find this FAQ anywhere else, it is an unauthorized, (probably) uncredited copy of my FAQ, and is in viololation of copyright law. Please e-mail me for permission to reprint this FAQ (unless it is for personal use, not intended to be shown to any third parties, and not used for profit or gain).

- DISCLAIMER -

ALL of the information in this FAQ was thoroughly and painstakingly researched and written by myself, John Malone, and no part was copied from anyone else's work without permission. I took what names I could from the instruction booklet provided with the game and made up all the rest with a generous use of artistic license.

Version Info

07/05/10 - Version 2.0

Converted to formatted FAQ. (Wow, nearly SEVEN years since the last update! Good times...)

07/07/03 - Version 1.3

*** WINNER *** Named 'FAQ of the Month' by GameFAQs.com for October 2002! Huzzah! This update includes a new strategy for the Snail boss in Stage 5, plus more new hints courtesy of other Contra fans.

01/07/03 - Version 1.2

I added a new "Frequently Asked Questions" section and corrected some info here and there. Check out the Credits for all those who helped me out!

12/04/02 - Version 1.1

Corrected some info and re-wrote a few passages. Most notably, the extra lives info was fixed. Thanks to those who e-mailed me about it!

11/26/02 - Version 1.0

FAQ completed! The world is forever changed!

I - Introduction

I am in love with Contra: Shattered Soldier. I have been a fan of the series since the original and one of my favorite games of all time has been the seriously underrated Contra: Hard Corps for the Genesis. Contra: Shattered Soldier is easily on par with every previous game in the series, as far as difficulty and enjoyment goes, plus it's an homage to all the Contra's that came before it. In short, it's a Contra fan's dream come true.

In addition, Contra: Shattered Soldier surpasses the old Contras in many ways. The graphics, obviously, are a cut above the rest; a combination of 2D and 3D. The animation and attention to detail are simply jaw-dropping. The scale of the levels and the epic encounters are equally awe-inspiring. Many of the characters and enemies from old games make cameos here, plus the story ties together everything that's happened in previous games. No doubt about it, Contra: S.S. is a satisfying experience for Contra fans.

But if you're reading this FAQ, you've probably already played this game... so you already know what I'm blabbering about! SO, the question is: why am I writing this FAQ? My goal was to write something that was more in-depth, and therefore more helpful, than anything else out there. Hopefully, I have accomplished that. I hope you enjoy it!

- John

II - Gameplay Essentials

Included in this section are the options, game controls, as well as many other important aspects of gameplay.

Control Scheme

The controls for this game are included in the instruction booklet, but a few details aren't in there. Let me break it down for you:

  • Directional Pad - player movement, aim direction, menu select
  • Left Analog Stick (L3) - player movement, aim direction, menu select
  • Right Analog Stick (R3) - not used
  • Square button - shoot (press and hold for continuous fire)
    • charge shot (double tap and hold to charge, release to fire)
  • X button - jump, confirm selection (menu)
  • O button - charge shot (hold to charge, release to fire)
  • Triangle button - not used
  • L1 button - select weapon to left
  • R1 button - select weapon to right
  • L2 button - hold to lock weapon angle in place (character can still move)
  • R2 button - hold to lock character in place (can still control firing direction)
  • Start button - pause menu, skip dialogue

Special Situations

  • Climbing Walls and Ceilings - When jumping toward a wall or ceiling, your character will grab on. You can move around with the directional pad.
  • Jump Down - You can jump down and release your grip from a ceiling, wall, hanging bar, or from certain floating platforms by pressing down and jump (X button).
  • While Hanging on to a Missile - During the first part of Mission 4, your character is hanging on to a flying missile. Pressing the X button will cause your missile to spin in place. Shooting while spinning lets you cover a little more area.
  • While Hanging on to a Portable Helicopter - During the second part of Mission 4, your character is hanging on to a portable device with helicopter blades. Pressing the X button will cause your character to move upwards very quickly. You can hold the X button down to continue this effect.

Difficulty

Take a look at the Options menu. There are 2 levels of difficulty for Contra: Shattered Soldier. The game plays essentially the same in both modes except for some key differences, which are described here:

Easy Mode - You have 99 continues and 9 lives per continue, but you can only play through missions 1 through 5 and you cannot unlock any endings.

Normal Mode - You have 3 continues and 3 lives per continue, but you can access all of the missions and get any ending, if you are good enough. After playing a certain amount of time (see part VII of this FAQ), you will permanently gain an extra life, for a total of 4 lives per continue. This only applies to Normal Mode.

The Hit Rate System

As you will see once you really get into the game, the Hit Rate System is all-important. The Hit Rate System decides what missions you will get to play and ultimately, which ending you get. So how does the Hit Rate System work?

In each stage it is possible to get a Hit Rate of up to 100%. This does NOT measure your shooting accuracy. Instead, this measures your success in destroying every possible relevant target in the stage. I say "relevant" because not every enemy counts towards the Hit Rate. A list of every target in every stage is found in Part VI of this FAQ.

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Losing lives and using continues subtracts from your total Hit Rate at the end of each stage. For each life you lose, 2 points are subtracted. For each continue that you use where you start from the mid-point subtracts 10%.

Whenever you have the option to continue, it asks if you want to start from the "beginning" or the "half-way point". If you start from the beginning, the amount of lives you have lost are wiped clean and you are NOT penalized for using a continue.

After the penalties are assessed at the end of the stage, you are assigned a Mission Clear Ranking for that stage:

  • 100% Hit Rate = S Ranking
  • 90-99% = A
  • 80-89% = B
  • 79% or less = C

Your Total Ranking is the average of your Mission Clear Rankings from each stage. Your Total Ranking must be a certain number for you to access certain stages and endings.

One Player VS Two Player Mode: What's The Difference?

This guide is written from the 1-Player mode perspective, but all of the strategies discussed in this guide still apply for 2-Player mode.

The only difference between 1 and 2-Player mode is that in 2-Player mode, all of the mini-bosses and bosses take more shots to kill. This makes sense to maintain game balance.

The problem comes when one of the two players dies, leaving the other player all to their lonesome. It will take the remaining player much longer to beat the bosses... about twice as long. Of course, this also means there will be a greater chance for that player to die, as well.

The moral of the story is to make sure that your game buddy is about equal to your skill, or neither of you will be having much fun.

1-Ups

You gain an extra life after getting a certain amount of points in the course of the level. The first extra life is gained upon reaching 15,000 points and you get another exra life every 20,000 points afterwards.

Survival Tips

  • It's important that you become comfortable with all of your character's abilities and weapons. Locking your shooting angle, locking your character position, charged shots, etc. are necessary skills for beating the game.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Use Training Mode and play on Easy mode so you know what to expect before taking on Normal mode. It will save you lots of frustration.
  • If you're aiming to get the best Ranking possible (an 'S' rank) and you screw up, hit Pause and start over from the beginning. It uses up one continue, but it gives you a completely fresh start and won't mess up your final ranking.
  • There are many strategies for beating this game. I've included which weapons work best for me. It might not be what works best for you, though, so use what you're comfortable with if you perform better that way.

III - Weapons

There are 3 main weapons in Contra: Shattered Soldier. Each one can be charged up (see Game Controls in Part II or the game instruction booklet), giving you a total of 6 weapons.

Unlike the other games in the Contra series, you start out with access to all of these weapons. They are permanently in your inventory. And you are going to need all of them to beat the game. Parts of the descriptions are from the instruction booklet.

NORMAL SHOT

Heavy Machinegun - Has a long range with a powerful repeating action. This is the most basic weapon, and it's a good one. This is a great weapon for when there's enemies quickly coming at you from different directions.

Fire Whip - This is a short-ranged but very powerful flamethrower. It goes through barriers and can destroy many projectiles. This is superior for short-ranged combat.

Diver Mine - It arcs to the ground when fired and then continues to roll along the surface. When it hits, it can burn and do continuous damage. As the instruction book says, it's good for getting those hard-to-reach targets.

CHARGE SHOT

These are obviously more powerful, but realize that they have a much slower rate of fire then the Normal Shot weapons.

Round Sweep - This is the Heavy Machinegun charged shot. A gun pod flies forward and then rotates and fires bullets in every direction. This is good for clearing out multiple enemies or even to get some hard-to-reach targets. I don't use this very much.

Energy Shot - This is the charged up Fire Whip shot. The Energy Shot shoots a very powerful shot that goes through barriers. It can hit large enemies multiple times. This is the weapon I use the most and it's extremely useful for any tough enemy.

Homing Missiles - Charging up the Diver Mine activates this. This is another invaluable weapon that launches several small missiles that heat-seek targets very well. This is a fairly weak weapon, however, so it's not good for every situation.

IV - Cast of Characters

Who are the movers and shakers in Contra: S.S.? Let's find out...

Bill Rizer

The war hero from the Alien Wars (Contra III) was put into jail for crimes against humanity after wiping out 80% of the world population and killing his partner, Lance Bean, in cold blood. Also, humanity's only hope against the returning alien threat. What a guy!

Lucia

A cyborg created by an evil genius by the name of Dr. Geo Mandrake ("the Doctor" from Contra: Hard Corps). The government took over the Doctor's plans and completed the Doctor's prototype, creating the ultimate soldier. She's Bill's new partner.

Enemy Commander

The mysterious leader of a new group of terrorists: "Blood Falcon". Who is this international man of mystery, really?

The Triumvirate

Apparently Earth in the future is ruled by these 3 guys: Commodus, Nero, and Gaius. Cybernetic implants give them prolonged life as well as the ability to share their thoughts telpathically. Why mention these guys? They gotta fit into it all somehow....

V - Walkthrough

I've included the locations of the Missions as shown on the map in the stage selection screen, references to other Contra games and anything else, plus the Halfway Points of each stage. If you've gotten past this point and you lose all of your lives, you can continue from this spot (though it will cost you 10 points from your Hit Rate).

MISSION 1 - Fortress

Location - Africa

References:

  • The intro where your character crashes through some buildings while flying in an air transport and then bursts out at the end is very similar to the intro in stage 1 of Contra: Hard Corps.
  • The Spider-Mech mini-boss looks like a modified-version of similar 'metal-spider' mini-bosses that have appeared throughout the Contra series, starting with the "Babalu" boss in Super C.
  • The section with hanging bars and swarms of giant alien mosquitos is exactly like a section in stage 3 of Contra III.
  • The Demon Turtle boss is the same first boss that was in Contra III.

The first part of this stage is classic Contra. Waves of soldiers will swarm you from left and right. Use your machine gun and blow them away as you run to the right. Kill the mortar soldier that you encounter from above. Blow up the parked truck while checking your backside.

Next is a twin-car motorcycle. It will past you from behind and then block your path from the right. Duck it's shots while continuously shooting it; try not to let it get away. Energy shots work nicely.

Climb the hill, but watch for a barrel with a sniper behind it. Duck his shot and blow up the barrel. At the top of the hill is another sniper and barrel, plus a mortar soldier above you. Blow up the barrel first.

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot

Weakpoint:

  • Anywhere

A crane will lower this guy on the right side of the screen. It's first attack is a swarm of mini-missiles launched high into the air. They can be destroyed, but all you have to do is stay right next to the Spider to avoid them.

Next the Spider will jump over you and land to the left. After that it will launch a large missile. A targeting reticle will follow your character. Stand in one place until the target gets totally red and stops blinking, then move to one side quickly (the explosion is rather large). The Spider should be toast by now.

Next will be some soldiers holding shields. Normally you should deal with the guys by using the fire whip to bypass their shields, but in this case there are some bomb-looking structures attached to the ceiling above them. Shoot these down from an angle (make sure you're not under!) and watch as the bad guys get toasted. There are two of these bombs, make sure you don't miss them if you want 100%.

Afterwards, climb up the wall and shoot down the 3 snipers to the left either with your machine gun or homing missiles while dodging their shots. At the top of the wall is another boss battle.

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot

Weakpoint:

  • Left/Right Side Guns
  • Blue Core

If you're aiming to get a 100% hit rate, it's extremely important NOT to destroy the Core first, as you will not get a chance to kill the Side Guns if you do. The guns on the left and right must be destroyed four times to get the full 100%. If you don't care about your hit rate, just destroy the core from the get-go. This should be very simple.

If your doing it the hard way, the easiest way to destroy the side guns is to go after one gun at a time and by that I mean to completely destroy the fourth form of one gun before you destroy the first form of the other. This will make things much simpler. The safest way to destroy a Side Gun is to stand on the opposite side and shoot at it from an angle.

LEFT/RIGHT GUNS: Destroying one gun will cause another, different form of the gun to replace it. Each side has four of these guns before it's completely destroyed. After one Side Gun is completely destroyed, the Core will deploy a special attack (see below).

- 1st Gun: Homing Launcher -

Shoots missiles at regular intervals. A red laser target shows where it is aiming. The small missiles can be destroyed. Very easy.

- 2nd Gun: Spread Shot -

Shoots two alternating patterns of spread shots directly below it. Either stand on the opposite side to avoid it, or stand directly below it, near the center, and carefully dodge the shots. Also, the fire whip can destroy these bullets (thanks goes to Sarah who pointed this out).

- 3rd Gun: Napalm -

Will drop a glob of liquid directly below it, which is harmless. Once it makes contact with the ground, however, huge waves of fire will travel left and right along the ground. Carefully jump over it.

- 4th Gun: Super Fire Whip -

The gun will shoot a much larger version of your Fire Whip, sweeping back and forth directly below it. The only safe way to avoid this is to be on the opposite side. Do NOT ever get into the situation where both left and right guns are Super Fire Whips.

BLUE CORE: If both guns are active, the Core is harmless. Once one Side Gun has been completely destroyed, the Core will begin to attack. It will shoot a laser onto the ground and sweep it either to the left or right.

Only the glowing point where the laser hits the ground can hurt you, so just jump over it if it comes your way. It will do this once every several seconds. Shoot the core from one side at an angle.

- HALFWAY POINT -

Whew! The things you'll do for that 100%. Plow past the next several bad guys and torch the final shield soldier. When you get to the bridge, a cut scene will take you to a snowboarding sequence.

Next is a series of jetpack soldiers. I use energy shots here; it takes two to kill each soldier. If you give them enough time, they will shoot a stream of bullets downwards at you. Get directly beneath them and kill them before they can fire. If you don't kill them all fast enough, they will fly away.

Weapon to Use:

  • Fire Whip (Part 1)
  • Energy Shot (Part 2)

Weakpoint:

  • Body Segments (Part 1)
  • Mouth (Part 2)

Next a large snake will come at you from behind, jumping in and out of the snow. If you take a lot of time during this battle, the Serpent will leave.

PART 1: First he will dive somewhere in the middle. Estimate where he is going to land, then zoom in next to him and blaze away with the fire whip (you may want to lock your aiming direction).

After this he will jump back into the background, then turn around and repeat his first attack. When he jumps back into the background, stay near the middle since he pops out on the far sides of the screen. Two or three passes like this and you should destroy all of his body segments. After his body is all bones, he will switch attacks.

PART 2: Stay in the middle at all times. He will jump in an arcing motion from right to left. Aim upwards and shoot the core in his mouth with energy shots when he jumps overhead. After the core in his mouth explodes (you will see gore coming out), he will jump once more into the background, then make one final lunge at you. Stay to the right to avoid this. If you take too long in destroying the core, he'll go away.

Almost there! Next you will be on some hanging bars and swarms of huge mutant mosquitos will come at you from all sides. Use your fire whip and move through here as quickly as possible. These guys don't count toward your hit rate, so only shoot at them if they grab you (and make sure you're over a grab-bar before they drop you).

Weapon to Use:

  • Diver Mine/Fire Whip (Part 1)
  • Fire Whip (Part 2)

Weakpoint:

  • Top and Bottom Openings (Part 1)
  • Turtle Head (Part 1)
  • Mouth (Part 2)

PART 1: First a Heli-Bot will land and get ready to attack. Stay back and ignore him, the Demon Turtle will drop in from above to crush him. To get 100%, you have to destroy the opening below the Turtle's head, which releases maggots onto the ground, and the opening above the Turtle's head, which releases swarms of flies. The only way to destroy these two is by using the diver mine weapon. If your motto is: "screw 100%", then you'll only need to destroy the Turtle's head, which is his main weakpoint.

Go for the top opening first. Grab onto the hang bar, jump, and unleash the mines. If he lets some flies loose, get back down and wait until they pass. Next go for the bottom one. Stay back and just let the mines roll over to the opening. Kill any maggots that he releases.

During this time, the head will periodically do one of two attacks. If he lets out a scream, move to the left and keep your distance, because his head will shoot out and sweep up and down. His second attack is to let loose slow purple fireballs. They have small homing capabilites, so dodge them carefully. Once the top and bottom openings are destroyed, stay on the left, lock your position and use the fire whip to finish him off; only stop to dodge any attacks.

PART 2: Now the beheaded Turtle will turn around, revealing his hideous backside: a sickly humanoid face. Equip the fire whip and stand close enough to hit his mouth with it, but far enough back to dodge attacks. Lock your position. He has three random attacks:

If he makes an inhaling sound, he's about to unleash flies, maggots, and fireballs from his nose, but will keep his mouth closed. Burn the vermin as they come out, but dodge the slow purple fireball. If he starts to open and close his mouth, let loose with the fire whip and make sure to burn whatever vermin comes out of his nose while damaging his mouth.

If he makes an "I'm about to vomit" sound (you know what I'm talking about), he's about to do just that. You are safe standing close to him. Just lock your position and aim upwards to get in some good hits. The arcing stream of vomit should fly right over your head. When he's finished get ready to jump, as the vomit on the ground will remain for a few seconds and spread out. Keep shooting and this guy will be put out of his misery in no time.

MISSION 2 - Train

Location - SW Former Russian Republic

References:

  • The hover cycle vehicle that your character rides first appeared in stage 4 of Contra III.
  • The Steel Runner boss is an updated version of a very similar boss at the end of the Train level in Contra: Hard Corps.

This is a tricky stage to get a 100% hit rate in, as some targets have a pesky tendency to fly away quickly. The first quarter of this stage starts off with your character riding on a hover cycle, battling a HUGE sub/helicopter.

Submarine

First it will fire a barrage of arcing energy bolts into the sky, which then fall around you. There are safe spots between the bolts, which you can see just before they hit the ground. Dodge two of these barrages.

Next the sub will shoot a laser along the ground, starting from the left and then suddenly sweeping to the right. As the laser charges up, move to the right side of the screen. Wait until the laser begins to move before jumping. This can be tricky, since the speed of the laser is random. The sub will shoot this laser twice in a row.

After the laser, the sub will dive into the ocean and then emerge on the left side of the screen, demolishing the bridge behind you. As the sub dives, keep to the far right of the screen and keep your gun locked aiming directly to the left.

When the sub emerges, use charged energy shots or the machine gun to pummel the gun turret that is mounted the nose of the sub. The gun will charge up and shoot two shots, one right after the other. Just jump over these with a single leap and keep shooting until the turret is gone. If you wait too long, the sub will repeat its first two attacks.

Helicopter

After the cutscene where the sub turns into a helicopter, switch to the Fire Whip if you're not on it already and charge that sucker up. As the helicopter begins to appear from the upper right, you'll see a guy riding a rocket appear in the background. These guys fly in from the left very fast. You can jump over them, but if you want to get that elusive 100% hit rate, you gotta kill them. ONLY the charged energy shots are quick enough to kill these guys. One shot should do.

Anywho, get rid of the rocket jockey that appears from the left, then quickly move to the right half of the screen and aim up. A rack that drops metal barrels will deploy from the back of the coptor. Use energy shots to destroy it, first aiming at the barrels directly above you. One shot will destroy the barrels before they drop on your head.

Stay on the right as the next rocket rider zooms in from the left. At this point, nodes will open up on the bottom of the coptor. Do not stay under them, as they will shoot lines of energy beams straight down. You can tell which one will fire next because a line of electricity will appear before it shoots the full beam.

You will need to kill all of these to get a 100% for this mission. You should focus on the nodes that are about to scroll off of the screen to the left first. It's smart to stay between the beam-shooting nodes, even if they're not firing. Lock your weapon at an upward angle and use energy shots to destroy them all.

As you get to the fifth and final node, the helicopter will slowly move downwards, limiting your movement. Stay in the safe spot on the left until the coptor moves up again. Two rocket soldiers are going to zoom in from the left again, so move towards the middle of the screen. If you need to jump, you need to make sure you don't touch the protruding underbelly of the coptor, which will kill you.

The final gun approaches above you on the right. Lock your gun at an upward and right angle. Energy shots still work well. Begin shooting it, but be ready to jump. The gun fires a shot that turns into two huge flames that sweep left and right after it hits the ground. Stay in one place, to the left of the gun. As it shoots, jump so that you land in the safe spot between the two flames that shoot to the left and right.

After the final gun, the helicopter will fly away. If you have destroyed all of its parts, the coptor will crash into the ocean instead. The next part is pretty hard, especially if you're going for 100%. A series of soldiers hanging on to missiles will come in from the right. They hurl grenades that leave big explosions when they hit the ground.

I prefer to use the energy shots here. A good strategy is to jump and shoot the charged shots straight. Two shots will kill one them. It's possible to hit two with one shot if they are lined up, since the energy shot bypasses barriers. You MUST kill them as quick as possible; not just for safety's sake, but also because they will leave quickly if they reach the left edge of the screen.

Tunnel

After six of those guys, you will enter a tunnel and you'll be facing a train on your left. The first car has a huge cannon mounted on it. It will fire blue shots that explode into three smaller heat-seeking balls upon impact. Ignore the first big shot; it's harmless. The three little balls that come afterwards are not, but they can be destroyed. If you don't destroy all of the balls before the next volley arrives, they automatically self-destruct.

There are two good strategies to use to survive this part. I prefer using two quick shots of homing missiles to take out the heat-seeking fireballs. This only works if you remember 3 things: carefully aim the shots to where they are needed (target the fireball closest to you), this process DOES usually require two shots, and these two shots must be fired one right after the other.

Another strategy is to stay on the right or left edge of the screen, lock your character's position, and sweep the fire whip around yourself to destroy the fireballs. This can be tricky as well.

After the cannon shoots several volleys of these, it will stop shooting and a target will appear on the cannon. Take this time to shoot it with energy shots, homing missiles, or whatever else. Wait too long and it will start shooting again.

The second car will launch soldiers on motorcycles, one by one. Simply use energy shots or your machine gun to take them out. They will either swerve from one side to the other in order to ram you or they will whip out a gun and shoot twice. If you don't kill fast, they will disappear after they attack. After five soldiers have been dispatched, the train car will disconnect itself.

- HALFWAY POINT -

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot

Weakpoint:

  • Left/Righ Gun Pod (Part 1)
  • Mech Body (Part 2)

PART 1: The third car is holding this feisty fellow. First two gun pods will deploy above you to the left and right. The left one fires a shot that explodes in flames when it hits the ground. Only the ground flames can hurt you from this attack. The right gun pod pauses then fires machine gun rounds in a straight line. Once you kill one of them, the remaining one will dance around wildly, making it a hard target.

If the left one remains, it will begin firing shots more often. The right one will still shoot machine gun rounds, but this time it will follow your position as it shoots. Make sure it does not corner you if this happens! I usually kill the right gun pod first, then deal with the left one. If you take too long, the gun pods will self-destruct. If you want 100%, do NOT let this happen!

PART 2: The main Mech follows a pattern somewhat. For the first several attacks, it will be flying in the background and it can't be hurt. For the first part, the Mech will choose one of the following attacks randomly. For the first possible attack, the Mech will launch energy balls into the air which then fall to the ground like rain. These are easily dodged.

The second possible attack, which is more common, is where the Mech will move to one side of the screen and sweep a laser forward. Fire will erupt from where the laser hits the ground. The Mech will slowly move to the other side of the screen and repeatedly use this attack. The laser can't hurt you, only the fire afterwards. Stay away from the first laser attack it does, then quickly move to the other side of the screen before the second attack.

The Mech will do one of the above attacks twice, or do one attack and then the other, or (rarely) it will do just one attack before it continues. Next the Mech will line up behind your character and then rush forward into the foreground. Move to one side to avoid this.

The Mech can be killed ONLY during its fourth and final attack. The Mech will move above you and sweep a laser from one side to the other. To avoid it, move to the side of the screen where the laser will end up and then jump as it sweeps under you. As soon as he finishes this attack, he will quickly fly away, so the time frame for killing him is EXTREMELY short.

The best way to kill him is to charge your energy shot up, then move directly below him when he begins to shoot his laser and shoot upwards. One shot will kill him before the laser can reach you. Several shots of homing missiles will also work, but the energy shot is a sure thing.

Train

Now you will finally be on top of the train. Use your homing missiles for this next section. Move the screen just far enough forward so that the grenade-launching cannons are visible and your homing missiles can lock onto them. Then move back to the far left while firing away so that the grenades can't reach you. After the first cannon, continue forward and a gun turret will rise from the train. Stay on the level below it and shoot your missiles upwards to take it out. NEVER jump.

Edge forward and take out the two mortar soldiers who appear next. If they get a shot off, move to the left and jump over the raining bullets if necessary. Destroy the next grenade cannon, gun turret, mortar soldier, and the final grenade cannon in the same manner described above.

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot (Part 1)
  • Homing Missiles (Part 2)
  • Energy Shot (Parts 3 and 4)

Weakpoint:

  • Left/Right Shoulder Pads (Part 1)
  • Target on Back (Part 2)
  • Backpack (Part 3)
  • Crotch (Part 4)

PART 1: This huge robot will shoot his fist at the train and then run along side you. Use energy shots and continuously fire at the shoulder pad facing you. You must blow both of them off. During this part the Steel Runner has two attacks, which are random.

If he rears back, he's about to ram the train. Jump when he does this or you will be knocked off the car. If he holds his arm forward, he's about to shoot his fist at you. Jump over the fist and then be ready to jump again when it returns like a boomerang from the opposite direction. The rhythm of this attack takes some practice to get used to.

PART 2: After his shoulder pads are gone, the Runner will move in front of the train, push it to a stop, and then lift the whole train car into the air. Now he will shoot a rain of energy shots into the air. The points where they will hit the train glow with blue energy. Just stand between these points. A target will appear on his back; you can hit it with diver mines, but homing missiles work much more effectively.

PART 3: Now the Steel Runner will drop the train and climb on top. He will kneel down and shoot a series of metal blades along the ground. The blades move to the far right, then boomerang back to the left. It is possible to jump over these blades as they move back and forth, but this is difficult. Instead, stay on the far right side and you should be able to avoid incoming blades with one leap. If you are far enough to the right, the blades won't reach you at all. However, finding this point can be dangerous without falling off the side. While jumping, aim charged energy shots at his backpack.

After several rolling blades, the Runner will fly off of the train. He will do several low flybys over the train car; you can avoid these by ducking. Next he will land on the right side of the train and jump quickly to the left (and sometimes he'll jump back to the right after that). Avoid these by moving to the middle of the car and ducking before he jumps. After this the Runner will continue with the rolling blades until the backpack is destroyed.

PART 4: Now only the legs and his torso is left. He will walk from the left to the right, but he can't hurt you. However, you will need to destroy his legs if you want 100%. Use 2-3 energy shots aimed upwards where his legs meet. You have to do this fast or else the legs will walk over the edge of the train and the opportunity will be missed.

MISSION 3 - City

Location - New York City

References:

  • Dogs (of the mutant variety) also appeared in the city level of Contra III.
  • The mosquito-like Seeker Drone was also a mini-boss in stage 3 of Contra III.
  • The roly-poly robots that appear in the slaughterhouse section also appeared in the beginning of stage 3 in Contra III (thanks to GAMEingguy2001 for that one).

The first part of this stage is similar to the beginning of Mission 1; i.e. you versus a whole mess load of soldiers. Use the same tactics as in Mission 1 to clear them out of the way. You'll need to duck to hit the soldier being eaten by dogs.

When you come to the first helicopter soldier, stop moving forward and focus on killing him ASAP. He will drop napalm bombs on your head if you give him enough time. Locking your position and peppering him with your machine gun is the best way.

Next will be some sandbags and a sniper behind them. Duck his shot but stand up to shoot him when it's safe. Do not forget to SHOOT ALL 3 SANDBAGS! The sandbags count towards your 100% hit rate.

Soon after that you'll run up against a truck with a sniper on top of it and another helicopter soldier hovering over you. Kill the sniper first. Either run under his first shot (never stop moving in that case) or jump over it. Next focus on the helicopter soldier before destroying the truck.

After that combo will be more sandbags and a mortar soldier behind them. Keep your distance to avoid his shots. There are several ways to get that hard-to-reach bad guy. One, charge up your machine gun and fire the round sweep over the sand bags. Two, use homing missiles. Three, jump and let loose a well-aimed diver mine. Use what you like. Again, make sure to SHOOT ALL OF THE SANDBAGS before leaving.

Weapon to Use:

  • Machine Gun (or Homing Missiles)

Weakpoint:

  • Glowing Red Eye

You'll encounter this pain-in-the-neck on a platform elevator. You can only hurt it when its red eye is open. Lock your position and aim at an angle when shooting the Drone, don't stand under it. The Drone has two attacks.

First it will open hatches on its sides and 2 soldiers will jump out. Shoot the Drone until the guys hit the ground, then quickly dispatch the men with your weapon of choice. NEVER stand under the Drone when he does this attack. You can't kill the soldiers until they're on the ground, but they can kill you before that happens.

Its second attack is a tricky one. When the searchlight comes on, the Drone pauses a few seconds and then lets loose with a stream of napalm bombs from the top of his head. The stream of napalm will follow your position, so there's no way to avoid it; you'll have to destroy those bombs. But how?

The easiest way to do this is to use your machine gun: lock your position far enough away so that you can shoot diagonally above his head without actually hitting his head (keep in mind the Drone bobs up and down), and fire a steady stream of bullets in that area until the Drone stops dropping bombs. Your positioning here is critical; if you let any bombs get through, the whole thing is ruined. If you do it this way, the only time you can damage the Drone is when he's dropping soldiers.

It's also possible to use homing missiles for his second attack. Stand in front of the Drone (NOT below him) and aim straight up. As the bombs begin to drop, let loose with your missiles just before they hit you, then continue to shoot missiles as fast as possible. If things get hairy, you may have to move around to avoid bombs that make it through. This method is not foolproof, but if you get good at it, it's just as effective as using your machine gun (and a little faster, I think).

You are now at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Charge up energy shots for the next sequence. You will encounter roly-poly robots from the right. They first appear as balls, rolling along the ground or ceiling; they are invincible while in ball-form. After a few seconds, they open up and shoot at you, then roll back and continue.

When you first see one, stop moving and wait until they open up. When they do, move up close, line up your aim, and let loose with an energy shot. One hit will kill them. The first one appears on the ground on the right, the next one is on the ceiling, and the last one will be on the bottom of a hill, below you.

You can also stand back to avoid their shots and use homing missiles, but it will take more shots. Don't let any get away if you want a 100%. When you get to a conveyer belt, get ready for...

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot

Weakspot:

  • Anywhere

This beast is hard to describe; it's like a cross between a grub and a starfish. Whatever the heck it is, it crawls on screen from the right, hanging on the ceiling. Your character is on a conveyer belt that rolls to the right, straight into the path of a meat grinder. It's not just for looks; stay away from that sucker. If you're going to use energy shots, jump and shoot the charged shots straight into him horizontally. This does the most damage because it will hit him more times.

There are two parts to this battle. First the Thing will stop on the upper right and let loose a bunch of bouncy energy balls, shot at different speeds and angles. Avoid these the best you can while shooting; don't be afraid to duck and jump if necessary.

Next the Crawler will amble its way to the upper left part of the screen. Now for the tough part: the creature will drop patterns of spiky blocks onto the path of the conveyer belt. They can NOT be destroyed; you will have to jump over them to survive! Resist the temptation to jump on top of the meat grinder to avoid the blocks or else the Crawler will bum rush you at a ludicrous speed, causing you instant death. If you don't kill him after this attack, he will move to the right again and repeat attack number one.

When the Crawler starts moving towards the middle and is leaking green blood everywhere, stay to either the far left side of the screen or jump on top of the meat grinder (the only time you should do this, really). The Thing will fall onto the middle of the conveyer belt and then get grinded up into hotdog meat.

- HALFWAY POINT -

Make your way over the grinder and hop on a grab-bar. It's mini-boss time yet again!

Weapon to Use:

  • Machine Gun/Fire Whip

Weakpoint:

  • Anywhere

Fear not, this guy's not as hard as the previous boss. Have your machine gun equipped, and hang onto the middle portion of the middle hanging bar. All you have to do is aim diagonally down and pummel the head of the snake until it attacks.

It only has two attacks: first, it will spew a line of green vomit, starting from the bottom of the screen and then sweeping all the way to the top. The only safe spot is on the hanging bar above his head. As soon as finishes the vomit, jump back to the middle.

The second attack is a little tougher; the Serpent will spray a swarm of heat-seeking bubble-projectiles at you. Destroying them is only chance of survival. I prefer to quickly switch to the fire whip and then carefully destroy the bubbles as they come at you, starting from the bottom and then sweeping to the top. You can stay in the same place to do this.

You may feel safer by jumping onto the platform above you on the left, locking your position, and then destroying them from there with your weapon of choice. Either way, it won't be long before this disembodied snake head keels over.

Switch back to your energy shots, as there will be two more roly-poly robots as you continue to the right. Keep moving forward until you drop from a ledge. The first bot will appear from the top of the ledge on your upper-left. The next one will appear from the right, rolling on a hill at an awkward angle. Get close to him and fire or stay back and use homing missiles while dodging. When you run into a dead-end, get ready...

Weapon to Use:

  • Energy Shot

Weakpoints:

  • Bottom Gun (Part 1)
  • Top Gun (Part 1)
  • Nodes on Back (Part 2)
  • Rear-End Core (Part 3)

PART 1: For the first segment, the Walking Tank will be chasing behind you on the left. Using your energy shots, duck and shoot behind you at the bottom gun as much as you can until it blows up. It will probably get off one shot; just jump over the rolling projectile that comes after you.

Next focus on the top gun. By now you will be running up against obstacles. Always stay as close to the right edge of the screen as you can, since the Tank will periodically rush at you. The projectiles that the top gun shoots should not pose a problem. Get in shots at the main gun as often as you can while maneuvering. Remember, with energy shots you can shoot through barriers.

If you're on the bottom level and the top path opens up or there's a wall blocking your way, jump up. If you're on the top level and there is a wall in the way, drop down. Just do what you have to so that you're not left behind. Also, stay away from the gas tanks that sometimes appear on the ground, as they will explode when the Tank runs into them.

After the top gun goes, jump to the ceiling and hang out above the Tank. If you don't kill the top gun, the game will tell you when it's time to jump on the ceiling because the tank will keep moving more and more to the right until there's no room for you.

PART 2: While on the ceiling, shoot at the huge nodes that appear on the Tank's back. Don't stay directly above them, though, since they fire large laser beams if you wait too long. Also, the Tank will shoot missiles at you from the left and right during this segment. Destroy every missile if you want 100%. Staying near the middle of the screen for this part is a good idea. Once you see the end of the Tank and the ceiling starts to end, jump back to the ground.

PART 3: Now you should be following behind the tank. Jump over the spike-filled pits that appear and try to stay as close to the Tank as possible througout the battle. The Tank has two alternating attacks.

For the first attack, it will shoot either two bouncing saw blades or a roly-poly robot at you from its rear. Walk under the two sawblades as they are bouncing in the air to avoid them. If one of them bounces into a pit, you may have to jump over it. If it shoots a roly-poly bot, jump over it and then fire an energy shot at it when it opens up behind you.

It always follows this attack by opening up its core. Take this time to get in as many shots as possible but be ready to stop and duck, as the core will charge up and fire a huge ruby-colored laser that fills up the screen. Hopefully you are close to the Tank before you stop or the screen might shove you into a pit as it scrolls to the left.

MISSION 4 - Seabed

Location - Off the coast of Japan

References:

  • The first part of the level where your character is holding on to a launched missile also occurred for the first time in stage 4 of Contra III.
  • The alien eggs that are encountered throughout the level made their first infamous appearance in the original Contra's final level, which were in turn inspired by the spidery "face huggers" from the movie "Alien".

For the first section of this mission, you'll be hanging on to dear life from a flying missile. Immediately switch to homing missiles, move to the far right, lock your aim to the left, and let loose with those missiles. A swarm of rockets will fly at you from the left side of the screen at various trajectories. You can't miss a single rocket if you want a 100%! After many, many missiles, a HUGE mini-boss will fly in from above.

Weapon to Use:

  • Machine Gun/Energy Shot

Weakpoint:

  • Backpack (Part 1)
  • Rocket Sled (Part 1)
  • Plasma Gun (Part 1)
  • Exposed Core (Part 2)

PART 1: It's time for some fun! This towering robot consists of several sections, some of which you'll have to destroy in order for him to reveal his core. His core is the main weakpoint; destroy that and the Mech is toast. IF you are aiming for that ever-elusive 100% hit rate, you should destroy his 3 other weakpoints first, starting with the backpack, before you go for the core.

Depending on which pieces of him aren't destroyed yet, this boss will follow a different pattern. What follows is his starting-out pattern. First you will be behind him. Lock your weapon aim to the right and use your machine gun to pummel his backpack, which will be the only weakpoint that is exposed.

The Mech will fire homing missiles from a rocket launcher near his head and he'll drop explosive depth charges from his backpack. The depth charges explode right underneath your character; the only place safe from them is at the very top of the screen. Fire continuously and stay level with the backpack until a depth charge approaches you. Then move up to the top of the screen to avoid the explosion and keep firing to get rid of the homing missiles. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Once the Mech stops dropping depth charges, keep shooting as the Mech drifts towards you. The Mech will jump twice. During the second jump, fly under his legs so that you're between the rocket sled that he keeps on a chain and his legs (once he lands). Stay in this area and shoot the sled while dodging the homing missiles that come at you from above. You shouldn't have to shoot them.

Next the Rocket Sled will fly up, leaving room to escape to the right. Take that opportunity to get out of there, shooting whenever you have the chance, but stay directly to the right of the sled while it's in the air, since it will be shooting a spread of homing missiles above it. Once the sled falls back down, destroy all the missiles that come at you from above and from the right.

Now the rather large gun that the Mech is holding will fire a steady stream of fireballs while homing missiles pop out again from the launcher near its head. Lock your aim to the left and shoot his gun while skillfully weaving around the fireballs and moving up to take down homing missiles when they get too numerous.

When he stops shooting his gun, lock your aim down and fire at the rocket sled, as it's about to unleash another wave of homing missiles straight up at you. After clearing the missiles, move to the very top of the screen. In a few seconds the Mech will quickly dash to the right; make sure you fly over his head. This brings you back to his backpack.

If you've been shooting non-stop, his backpack should blow-up within seconds. The pattern will continue as normal, so keep using the tactics above and soon either the rocket sled or his gun will be destroyed next. After that, focus on the remaining weapon. Once those three weakpoints are gone, the Mech's pattern will change.

PART 2: First the boss will raise his remaining arm and then dash forward, swinging a huge electrified whip at you. Simply stay on the far right side of the screen to avoid this. Next he'll fire 4-5 homing missiles at you from the launcher near his head. Use your machine gun to get rid of them. Once they're all gone, switch your weapon to the energy shot and lock your aim straight down.

For the Mech's third attack, his chest will open up and his core will be revealed. Once this happens, he'll shoot a huge laser beam that covers more than 3/4 of the screen. Fly directly above the Mech to avoid the laser and shoot down at the core with energy shots. After this attack, he'll go back to the whip. Repeat this pattern about 3 or 4 times and the Aqua Mech will go down in flames.

After a neat little cut sequence, you'll find yourself descending a long vertical shaft hanging on to a personal mini-helicopter. Quickly switch to your homing missiles and let them loose as soon as you see those little spider aliens crawling on the walls. Those spider aliens jump directly at you within seconds and they're very fast.

Destroy all of the alien eggs that you see attached to the walls, too, with homing missiles in order to get that 100% hit rate. Whenever you encounter a long vine with a fang-toothed mouth at the end, aim for the head and keep shooting as it retracts. To destroy these "viper vines", you'll have to keep shooting them until they retract all the way into the wall.

Once you reach the bottom of the shaft and let go of your one-man helicopter, switch to your machine gun and aim straight up to destroy it; you'll get 10,000 points for doing so. Switch back to your fire whip and proceed to the right.

- HALFWAY POINT -

Weapon to Use:

  • Fire Whip

Weakpoint:

  • Anywhere

PART 1: This is definitely one of the easiest boss fights in the game. First get directly under the metal-plated head and aim up at him with your fire whip. Follow him from below as he moves back and forth and use your flamethrower to destroy the heat-seeking energy rings as they appear. When the Head moves into the background, he's preparing a new attack.

He will fire two lasers from his head onto opposite sides of the screen, then sweep them back and forth. The lasers themselves can't hurt you; only the point where they touch the ground. Stay in the middle of the screen when the attack starts, then jump over the points where the laser hits the ground as they approach you. It's just that simple!

PART 2: After knocking the little metal pieces off of the head, all that will be left is a large brain mass. The fight ain't over yet! Stay below the floating brain and slightly to one side as you fire upwards with the fire whip. The brain will try to follow your position and drop energy balls onto the ground on you. When he moves towards you, just take another step to the side. As long as you're not cornered, he won't be able to hit you.

Be careful, though. When he stops, he's about to fire a large suction beam directly beneath himself. Stay farther back from this attack and use this opportunity to get in some shots at him while he's immobile (energy shots work well, as always). Also, you can use the short time where nothing is happening just before or just after this attack to cross beneath him and get to the other side.

Now go to the right and have your machine gun equipped. The next passage is populated with alien eggs, covering the floor and ceiling. Shoot each of them as you see them, killing the spider aliens that occasionally pop out. Lock your position if you need to. Avoid the water-filled pits and be sure to destroy the one viper vine that you encounter. He's hard to hit with your machine gun, so try using homing missiles.

When you reach the platforms floating in a vast lake of green water, equip your homing missiles and jump to the last one. After the freaky fish cracks the plate glass window in the background and the water starts to fill the area, bombs will begin to drift downward from the ceiling. If they touch the water, they will explode and send fragments every which way. So don't let that happen. Use homing missiles to take all of them down. You'll need to destroy each and every one of them to get a 100% hit rate. Once the water stops rising, switch back to the flame whip and prepare yourself...

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