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* Completing the original ''Contra'' without the use of the KonamiCode. Now '''that''' has to be a reward to an experienced gamer.
** For bonus points, [[SelfImposedChallenge try fighting]] [[FinalBoss Red Falcon]] [[NintendoHard with only three lives]].
* ''Contra III'''s Stage 4 consists of a BattleshipRaid against [[BigBad Red Falcon]]'s gigantic airship. How is this Stage awesome? When you attack the airship's core, your helicopter launches [[MacrossMissileMassacre a series of missiles]] with you climbing on top of each missile as you attack the core.
** The final stage is a BossRush of six or ''seven'' bosses (depending on the difficulty level), with half of them being [[CallBack the final bosses from the previous games]]. [[NintendoHard Hard as Hell]], yes, but '''''awesome'''''.
* [[OneHundredPercentCompletion Getting an S rank]] in ''Shattered Soldier'' and ''Neo'' awards you with these two [[CrowningMomentOfFunny funny]] videos: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrJ7zWGI9MI this]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RCmbIwizjY&feature=related this]].
** Let's not forget that the latter video has Jaguar taking down hordes of enemies then destroying a giant robot that ''[[EarthShatteringKaboom literally causes the entire Earth to explode]]''. Complete with a ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''-like finisher.
* The final battle with the [[ArtifactOfDoom Relic of Morai]] in ''Shattered Soldier'' and the final battle with [[EldritchAbomination Master Contra]] in ''Neo Contra''.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEqu2ITiOPI The entire intro]] to ''Neo Contra''. Cutting a plane in half without budging, killing dozens of enemies, riding missiles & dinosaurs, and killing giant robots with the power of teamwork? ''[[CrazyAwesome Hell yes.]]''
* In ''Hard Corps'', we get GTR (or Super Power Robot Yokozuna), who happens to be a large blue humanoid robot that has some skilled attacks. However, there are two things that just add up the awesome factor: his intro (he [[RacingTheTrain runs alongside the train you're walking on]] and then goes in front of it, ''stopping it with his own hands'') and his creative death (he falls off of the train and gets smashed to pieces by said train). The ''Contra'' creators must've thought that this was an awesome boss, because a MKII version of GTR appears in ''Shattered Soldier''. That one also stops the train with its bare hands after catching up to the train.
** It also helps that it has one of the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO5PDrgO1Q best boss musics in the series]]. So awesome, it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcApUEVa7G8 got remixed]] in ''Contra'' ''[=ReBirth=]'' for the mechanical bosses.
* Meta-wise, the concept of Contra, if you consider how it touches in with the pop culture of the time. It's basically "[[Film/{{Commando}} John Matrix]] teams up with [[Film/FirstBlood John Rambo]] and they kick Franchise/{{Alien}} ass, action movie style.[[note]]Even moreso because Alien is from a horror genre, so kicking its ass instead of it systematically killing the good guys one by one while making the audience piss on their pants is a form of CatharsisFactor[[/note]]". [[CoolVersusAwesome How is that not awesome?]]

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