Contra III: The Alien Wars

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Contra III: The Alien Wars

Contra 3 The Alien Wars SNES.jpg

Contra 3 The Alien Wars GB.jpg

Contra 3 The Alien Wars GBA.jpg

"Let's attack aggressively" - Lance Bean
Protagonist: Bill Rizer
Lance Bean
Genre: Run and gun
Platforms: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy
Game Boy Advance
Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS)
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Microsoft Windows
Release Date: SNES
JP: February 28, 1992
NA: March 26, 1992
EU: September 12, 1992

Game Boy
JP: September 23, 1994
EU: October 1994
NA: November 1994

NA: November 7, 2002
JP: November 14, 2002
EU: February 21, 2003

Contra Anniversary Collection
June 11, 2019
Developer: Konami
Factor 5 (Game Boy version)
Publisher: Konami
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Contra
Previous Game: Operation C
Next Game: Contra 4 (chronologically)
Contra Force (by release date)

Contra III: The Alien Wars (known as Contra Spirits in Japan and in PAL regions as Super Probotector: Alien Rebelsis) a run and gun video game developed and published by Konami in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. A Game Boy port was developed by Factor 5 and published in 1994 under the name Contra: The Alien Wars. The game received a remake called Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance.

The game was re-released on June 11, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows as a part of Contra Anniversary Collection. The game is also one of the games featured in the Super NES Classic Edition.


In the year 2636 A.D., the alien invaders that were defeated during the previous installments have decided to launch a full-scale war against mankind on Earth, starting the "Alien Wars". Now it's up to Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to defeat the alien invaders and the Red Falcon and save the world once again.

Why It Rocks

  1. Incredible and unforgettable soundtrack. The biggest and best example is the SNES version, which contains many great themes, with the most notable being the stage 4 theme. Some of the soundtracks are even so awesome that they will make you want to dance if you will listen to them for so long.
  2. Extremely awesome graphics, as what would you expect for a SNES game, and ever for Contra standards. They're so awesome that they're on par with Super Mario World or even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. They still even look like they deserve to look like for today and for ages.
  3. In the SNES version, you have two machine guns, compared to other Contra games. This means if don't have to waste your previous type of ammo in the first machine gun if you will select the second machine gun.
  4. There are now bombs, which can kill all of the enemies on-screen and even make the bosses shorter to beat. This means if there are a lot of enemies on screen or a long boss and you will struggle to beat them, you can use bombs to get out of this situation.
  5. In the SNES version, levels 2 & 5 are 3D styled, making it look like it was actually the first game to have 3D-like levels, even before the PlayStation came out. And on top of that, you can choose the starting point in those levels, which is nice.
  6. The game contains shields, meaning you can be immune for short time to prevent the enemies from trying to kill Bill or Lance. You can even pass through some obstacles without even jumping if you have a shield.
  7. Like a lot of Contra games, the controls are tight and responsive, meaning the difficulty wouldn't be increased if they would be tight and responsive, as unresponsive controls can make the game hard, expecially if there's a lot of enemies on screen, but since Contra III's controls are responsive, this thing doesn't happen.
  8. Amazing and fun boss fights, as what would you expect from a Contra game. There are also something like mini-bosses in levels 1, 3, 4 and 6 before even the original bosses that don't play the level theme. A lot of them are also different, which fight differently than other mini-bosses in those levels.
  9. The SNES version contains the spinning attack, meaning you can shoot if you spin if you have selected 2 machine guns at the same time. This is pretty cool, expecially since you can kill more enemies on-screen if there's a lot of them instead of just using bombs.

Bad Qualities

  1. Only the Japanese version contains a 30 lives code, meaning you can't get 30 lives in the North American and European versions. This is pretty disappointing to those people who loved the 30 lives code in the previous Contra games.
  2. The game only contains 6 stages, compared to the first Contra game or Super Contra. Even Marble Madness has 1 more stage than this game.
  3. The handheld versions, while not bad, are watered down. For example, you can only shoot with 1 machine gun, compared to the SNES version.


Contra III: The Alien Wars received critical acclaim. CVG gave it 91%, EGM gave it 36/40, Famitsu gave it 28/40, Zero and Mega Zone gave it 92%, while Mean Machines gave it 95% scores. The game is also considered to be the best Contra game ever made.

The Game Boy port received mixed to positive reviews by critics, possibly for having less levels, having no ability to swap weapons, and lack of spinning attack. CVG gave it 84%, EGM gave it 31/40, Famitsu gave it 19/40, GamesMaster gave it 91%, Game Players gave it 60%, while Nintendo Magazine System gave it 86% scores.

The Game Boy Advance remake of the game also received mixed to positive reviews. It received a 70/100 rating on Metacritic, based on 16 critic reviews. Edge gave it 5/10, Famitsu gave it 27/40, GameSpot gave it 7.4/10, while IGN gave it 7/10 scores.



  • Unlike the previous Contra games, Bill and Lance now wear shirts in this game.


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