* AdaptationDisplacement: Both ''Contra'' and ''Super Contra'' were originally released in the arcades, but the NES ports of these games are more popular than the arcade version.
* BreatherBoss: The Stage 7 boss in ''Contra 4''.
** ''Contra: Hard Corps'' has a breather MiniBoss in the Route B ending of the game. After defeating [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Colonel]] [[ThatOneBoss Bahamut]], the player will face off against [[TheDragon Deadeye Joe]] who [[DragonTheirFeet doesn't care much about Bahamut's death]]. He cannot kill the player via CollisionDamage and only has one attack: an easily avoidable horizontal shot. After Joe is a somewhat-annoying miniboss, and then the FinalBoss.
* ClicheStorm: Most of ''Neo Contra''.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Offered as a reward for trying ''Contra 4'' on Hard Mode.
** Much of Hard Corps's music, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iu2ZqRyF-k ''The Last Springsteen'']] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO5PDrgO1Q ''GTR Attack'']]
** Practically ''all'' of the 8-bit tunes from the NES games, particularly the iconic [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrMzUa0Dww Jungle/Hangar theme]] from ''Contra'' and the badass [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9BDah-gh1k Boss theme]] from ''Super C''.
** The soundtrack in ''Contra: Shattered Soldier'' as well as the soundtrack to ''Neo Contra''. The former has a lot of [[AutobotsRockOut heavy metal music]] while the latter has dance/rave music.
* DifficultButAwesome: Brad Fang in ''Hard Corps''. He possesses no homing weapons so you really have to aim well while dodging the enemy attacks, not to mention, he's got the biggest hit box in the game. One of his weapons is a short explosive punch that forces you to stand still when you fire and cannot be aimed, and his 4th weapon, Psychic Blaster, forces you to stop and fires a pathetically weak orb that only be fired forward. Those who knew how he works and juggle well between dodging and aiming, are rewarded with [[GameBreaker one of the most powerful characters in the game]]: That punch takes a huge chunk of damage especially to stationary bosses and can be rapid-fired too, and Psychic Blaster is actually a ChargedAttack, charge it and see boss get reduced to ashes in one to three blasts.
* DorkAge: The Appaloosa-developed games released during the late 1990's.
* GameBreaker: The [[SpreadShot Spread Gun]] in the NES games, especially if combined with the Rapid Bullets power-up.
** The upgraded version of the machine gun in the arcade game ''Super Contra'' has a ridiculously fast firing rate that allows you to wipe out bosses in a matter of seconds.
** Brad Fang in ''Hard Corps'' with his Psychic Blaster (fully charged). Takes down bosses in two or three blasts. And considering that there are ''lots'' of bosses in Hard Corps... Brad is like designed to break Hard Corps, his other arsenals include a short range explosive punch which hits a lot for short range, and his upgraded first weapon is a much more rapid [[SpreadShot Spray Burst]] which decimates enemies real quick, and his other weapon is a mid-range flame thrower that moves to wherever Brad changes his aiming... [[DifficultButAwesome Just get used to his big hit box and lack of homing weapons, it's worth it.]]
*** In the same game, Browny is half the size of the other characters, lowering the chance of getting hit tremendously, has a double jump and is in possession of the Electro-Yo-Yo: a homing, long-range electric spike-ball-tipped beam that pierces through every single obstacle and defenses in the game and deals insane, continuous damage. You hardly need to aim with the thing, allowing you to concentrate on just dodging.
*** In ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'', the most powerful weapons in the game include the Laser Gun, which, while it fires at a slow rate, pierces through enemies and kills bosses faster, as well as the Fire Gun, which does high damage to enemies and kills bosses in seconds if you aim at their weak spots. Then there's the Crush Missiles, which are supposed to balance their incredible damage with a slow firing rate and not quite fullscreen range, but since the game allows you to instantly switch between two weapons, rapidly spamming two alternating Crush Missiles makes every boss a joke.
*** By lesser extent, the heatseeker gun, even if it is weak compared to the other two, because '''you don't have to worry about aiming if you hold "Y"'''
*** ''Neo Contra'' has Weapon Sets D and F as well as Jaguar's katana. Set D has a LightningGun that can OneHitKill many enemies, the secondary is a hard hitting bazooka that does massive damage against bosses and stationary objects, and the lock-on weapon is the Heaven's Laser, which is absurdly strong, never misses, and reloads stupidly fast, making things that need a lock-on utter push-overs. Set F has the GV Laser (named after ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}} V'') which fires a constant laser beam with a ridiculously long range. Jaguar's katana is another powerful weapon, because it can take out bosses in a few swings if you get up close to them.
* HoYay Bill and Lance, especialy how their bond practicaly moves th story in Shattered Soldier. Also, in the European Gryzor contuity, the title is from their shared surname, as if they were a married couple(well, they could be also siblings, but that wasn't never clarrified, and the subtext remains)
** Genbei "Jaguar" Yagyu and Bill in Neo Contra, especially in joke ending. To clarify, they swim in space, only in loincloths, while Bill holds that of Genbei, and to add a cherry on top of this all, there are sounds of gay sex in the background.
** In the original Contra Hard Corps, there is a joke ending, where the player character is transported to prehistoric earth, and becomes a monarch of proto-humans, with one of the females being the player character's queen. This happens [[PurelyAestheticGender even if you play as Sheena.]] Of course, it also happens if you [[{{Robosexual}} play as Browny]].
* ItsEasySoItSucks: The opinion of many on ''Neo Contra''.
* ItsShortSoItSucks: Many peoples' opinions on the original arcade games, ''Neo'', and ''Rebirth''.
** The arcade versions were intentionally made to be short, as most arcade games are meant to play in short sessions. A perfect playthrough of either game can be done in less than ten minutes, which is an ideal time period if you're a kid in the Eighties waiting for his mother to finish her grocery shopping.
* MoodWhiplash: ''Contra: Hard Corps'' looked like to be set on a less bleak universe and more fighting human terrorists that used a lot of robots. In one of the path, however, suddenly the Alien Cell broke loose and takes you straight to a WombLevel that looks more like belonging from Contra games that has Bill Rizer in it. You also get to see Bahamut's soldiers infested on screen and becoming alien creeps, and the music itself takes a darker turn unlike the rest of the action-packed stuffs. [[NightmareFuel Brrr...]]
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Master Contra in ''Neo Contra'' crosses it when he fatally wounds [[TheObiWan Mystery G]] after giving Bill Rizer a HeroicBSOD when he [[BreakThemByTalking told him that he was the real Bill Rizer]].]]
* NarmCharm: Contra III's [[{{Engrish}} "Let's attack aggressively."]] Has so much DullSurprise it loops back into RatedMForManly. Or maybe [[ButForMeItWasTuesday it's just another Tuesday for our heroes.]]
* NightmareFuel: Most of the ''Contra'' games. There are [[WombLevel Womb Levels]], cities being blown up, and very creepy looking aliens. Probably the most disturbing boss in the series is [[http://www.klustr.net/contra/articles/recurring_bosses_3.php Shadow Beast Kimkou]], the final boss of ''Super C'' and one of the mini-bosses in the final stage of ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'' that has a '''human face''' for its mouth.
** You think that's bad, wait until you see the final stage of ''Contra 4''. [[spoiler: Starting off with hundreds, possibly thousands of human corpses in the background, you inevitably end up inside Black Viper. Whose (initial) innards are composed of ''human flesh and still-moving people''.]] The rest of the stage's blood and traditional WombLevel designs don't help either.
** Most of the bosses in ''Contra: Shattered Soldier'', but the ones that stand out are the bosses of Stage 1 and 4. For the first boss, at first it looks like you're going to fight the helicopter robot that attacks you throughout the stage, but as it charges its attack, the real boss, which was also the first boss in ''Contra III: The Alien Wars'', [[BaitAndSwitchBoss drops from above and promptly crushes the robot.]] Do enough damage to it, the boss will turn around and reveal ''a hideous, distorted melting human face that attacks by throwing up acid on you and snorting out bugs and worms.'' The fourth stage boss is a fish that has a zombie-like human face, and it's ugly.
** One of the first mini bosses you fight in ''Neo Contra'' is a huge plant-like monster with a distorted human head/face inside its mouth. It appears when a helicopter is about to attack you, only for that monster to come out and eat the chopper before attacking you with acid, puke, and bugs.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The original ''Contra'' is mistakenly considered to be inspired by ''Film/{{Predator}}'' thanks in part to Bob Wakelin's now iconic cover art for the home versions (which was traced over from publicity stills of ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Dutch Schaefer). In reality the arcade version began worldwide distribution on February 1987, predating the June 12 theatrical premiere of ''Predator'' by roughly four months.
* PortingDisaster: ''Contra: The Alien Wars'' for the Game Boy and ''Contra Advance'' for the GBA.
** Guru Larry did a complete episode of ''Games Yanks can't Wank'' covering {{Porting Disaster}}s of Contra. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av30Qpjm7dM See it here]].
* ScrappyMechanic: The use of both dual screens in ''Contra 4''. In a game series where the player character [[OneHitPointWonder can't take much punishment]], the lack of visible space between them (to see incoming enemy bullets) can hinder things a fair bit.
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: ''Contra 4'' for the NintendoDS, along with ''Contra Rebirth'' for the WiiWare and ''VideoGame/HardCorpsUprising'' for XboxLiveArcade and PlayStationNetwork, those three games that came out after four consecutive installments that sat poorly with fans of the series (two lame PlayStation releases, one of which is also a SegaSaturn game, and two decent PlayStation2 games) which not only [[WinBackTheCrowd won back the crowd]], but whipped the series back into what it should be.
* TheyJustDidntCare: When ''Contra [=ReBirth=]'' was released in Europe, the developers ''[[http://tcrf.net/Contra_ReBirth left the debug menu accessible on the title screen]]'', allowing the player to jump to any level, including a DummiedOut test level, access the unlockable characters right away, and an invincibility toggle. Uh... whoops.
* UncannyValley: One of the final bosses of ''Contra: Hard Corps'' is an alien whose first form has a face resembling a human woman that distorts hideously when hit.
** There's also the Jinmen-gyo ("Human-faced fish") from ''Contra: Shattered Soldier''. Yikes.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: At the time the earliest games were released, there was controversy over the US, under Ronald Reagan, supporting rebel groups in Nicaragua called the Contras, short for ''Contrarevolucionarios'', or "Counter-Revolutionaries." This caused some minor controversy and may have contributed to European release of the arcade game being titled ''Gryzor'' (since support for the Contras was considered right-wing and heavily opposed in Europe) and why the NES version of ''Super Contra'' and the Game Boy ''Contra'' game were retitled ''Super C'' and ''Operation C'' respectively.
* {{Woolseyism}}: The localizations of the first two NES games and ''Operation C'' changed the setting from the [=27th century=] to the then-present (as well as the names of many of the characters). This became problematic when ''Contra III'' featured an obviously futuristic setting, so they had to change the main characters' name and claim that they were the descendants of the previous heroes.
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