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So I finally beat Contra a few days ago. After watching most of my lives disappear in the Snow Field level, I slogged on and reached the last stage: the Aliens' Lair. It surprised me to see that Red Falcon, the main villain of the game, is basically the entire final level instead of just being the final boss. First you have to fight his head, which is reminiscent of a giant, red Xenomorph, and watch out for the alien babies that it shoots at you. Then you have to fight the jaws in the walls, which spit purple spheres akin to those from Sonic 1. Remember those from the final boss? Anyway, the REAL final boss is Red Falcon's giant heart. Personally, I didn't think a villain like him could be so big-hearted. Anyway, my strategy for both boss sections is the same: point the shotgun diagonally upwards and run up to the boss, shooting him. When the final boss only has a few hits left, the heart starts beating faster and faster. Shoot it again, and it explodes due to a heart attack. It took me three tries to get this far, the first two involving me losing my very last life just as I was about to kill him. This time, however, I succeeded. I am proud of myself.