By Jarrod Jones. Your favorite thing in the whole world, right now. Let’s talk about it. ’10 Things Concerning…’ is the latest DoomRocket interview series, where we discuss your absolute favorite comic book, film, television show, or video game. Think of it as the only stop for your geeky confessional.

This week, I’m talking with Scott Southard, contributing writer for, about his all-time #1 run-and-gunner, ‘Contra III: The Alien Wars’.

1. Describe your first experience playing this game.

It was one of those revelatory moments where you become hyper-aware of yourself and your surroundings and think, “This is what video games are supposed to feel like. This is the prototype.”

2. Have you beaten this game? If so, how many times?

Yeah, probably a couple hundred times. It’s a go-to for winter hangovers.

3. How do you crush your enemies: Easy, Normal, or Hard?

If I’m playing by myself, I’ll do a run on Normal. However, in my Contra heyday, my old roommate and I would play a round or two on Hard and then start subsequent runs with three lives. We lived in an incense-heavy apartment with some really thoughtful dim lighting.

4. Have you ever attempted a Contra 3 speedrun?

No, but if you do it right, a full playthrough only takes 45 minutes or so. I’d have had multiple aneurisms if I’d tried to play this game any faster than a natural pace.

5. Contra 3 gets a next-gen remake. Open world or side-scroller?

Side-scroller. An open world game would lose it’s meaning. But really, let’s let sleeping dogs lie.

6. What’s your preferred upgraded weapon?

Crash Missile/Laser combo. You can feather tap X and Y to fire both at the same time, wrecking whatever’s in front of you. Makes a guy feel like a 16-bit Eddie Van Halen.

7. You’re a soldier fighting against an alien horde for the fate of mankind. What do you name your gun?

Bruce Springsteen: Scott, the aliens are finally coming. We need to do something.

Hand me ‘The Boss’.” — Probably said looking over the top of a pair of aviator sunglasses. Maybe while snubbing out a cigar. I won’t know if I’m the kind of guy that smokes cigars until that day comes.

8. Which alien race — in all of pop culture, mind — would you most enjoy fighting a prolonged war against?

Not Xenomorphs.

9. Electronic Gaming Monthly or GamePRO.

EGM all day. GamePro’s “Fun Factor” was such a bogus rating parameter. EGM had a level of legitimacy to it that really came off as honest journalism to a highly critical, tastemaking 9 year old.

10. Bill & Lance or Jimbo & Scully?

In Japan, it was Bill and Lance in all of the games. I like to think that the lack of exposition allows for a Choose Your Own Adventure-type story, and in the story I choose, Bill and Lance cryogenically froze themselves in an “Unfreeze In Case of Emergency” type situation.

Before: 10 Things Concerning John Siuntres And ‘The Larry Sanders Show’

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