References & cameos

Konami Wai Wai World (1988)

"Wai Wai World" is a wacky platform/shoot-em-up game featuring a cast of several characters who have appeared in previous Konami games. The second part of the final stage is heavily inspired by the "Alien Lair" stage in Contra, even using the very same music when you fight the boss.

Watch a video of it here

Blades of Steel (1988)

Sometimes during the second intermission, there are advertisements for Contra and Jackal shown on the Jumbotron, as well as a Gradius mini-game. This easter egg is only seen in the NES version. You can check it out here in this video:

Watch a video of it here

Gradius II: Gofer no Yabō (1988)

The Alien eggs and facehuggers from Contra also make an appearance in the second stage of this classic shoot-em-up. In fact, the entire stage looks very Giger-esque. Konami's designers were really into this Alien stuff back in the day :)

Watch a video of it here

Nintendo Power (1990)

Bill and Lance appeared as mountain hikers in one of the magazine’s own "Howard & Nester" comic strips. This was published to coincide with the release of "Super C".

Click here to read the entire comic

Wai Wai World 2: SOS!! Parsley Castle (1991)

Once again Contra is paid tribute to by letting you play as a cartoon version of Bill Rizer. There's also a stage very similar to the iconic jungle stage, with music from the very same stage as well as the alien lair.

Watch a video of it here

Mega Turrican (1994)

The fourth stage looks a lot like the typical alien lair seen in almost every Contra game. But that's just the beginning; there’s facehuggers (leaping out from eggs, of course), "xenomorphs" and even a boss similar to Java, the big alien head that spits out larvae.

Snatcher (1994), Sega CD version

At a nightclub called "Outer Heaven", various people in the crowd are dressed as Konami characters. Two persons near the stage are dressed as Bill and Lance. A character named "Metal Gear" comments that "Other than us, the clientele here looks a little rough". In the PlayStation and Saturn versions of "Snatcher", there’s also a large ad for a Contra feature film in the Alton Plaza!

Nano Breaker (2005)

Genbei "Jaguar" Yagyu from "Neo Contra" appears as an unlockable character in this ultraviolent hack-and-slash game. To get Jaguar, you have to complete the game once to unlock Keith and then beat the game again with him. He's got the strongest attacks out of all three characters, but can easily die from just a few hits.

See Jaguar in action here, but be warned - the quality is pretty bad.

Power Pro-Kun Pocket 8 (2005)

"Power Pro-Kun Pocket" is a spin-off series from the popular Konami franchise "Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū", which has been exclusive to Japan for many years until "MLB Power Pros" came out in 2007. In this eighth installment, there's a fun little minigame inspired by Contra. It seems to take elements from Super C and Contra III.

Watch a video of it here

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor/Successor of the Skies (2009)

In stage 0, there’s a series of locked doors that must be destroyed by shooting a red core. Sound familiar yet? The corridor where the third door is located looks very similar to the 3D base levels in Contra, complete with big rolling barrels coming toward you.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2009)

In the Cinereal Movie Theater you’ll see a bunch of old arcade machines. One of them just so happens to be Contra! Unfortunately, all of the machines are broken. When Harry, the character you play as, inspects them he’ll comment: "Huh. Some real classics".

The Expendables Game (2010)

To promote this action film starring Sylvester Stallone (and a whole bunch of other famous action veterans), an 8-bit styled game was created for Facebook. Obviously a tribute to Contra, the game has many familiar elements such as a jungle stage, flying power-up containers and a knife attack that behaves just like the spread gun.

Click here to play it

Rocket Knight (2010)

Players who completed "Contra: Shattered Soldier" with an S-rank were treated to a humorous fight scene between Bill Rizer and Sparkster, from the Rocket Knight games. In 2010’s "Rocket Knight", Bill has a small cameo role in the ending for Golden Sparkster and finally gets his revenge after nearly 8 years.

Watch the ending here

PlayStation Home (2010)

For a small fee, users can purchase two costume sets that make their avatars look like Bill or Lance.

The costume sets include blue/red bandanas, cargo camouflage pants, boots, shirtless mode (!), Bill's white tank-top and of course a big-ass gun.