The Contra Hearings

In 1989, Lieutenant William “Mad Dog” Rizer was called before the Senate Military Investigations Committee to discuss his statements regarding the effectiveness of military operations in response to the Red Falcon invasion of the previous year. The following is a transcript of his testimony before Congress.

SENATOR JONATHAN PERKINS (R, TX): Please state your name for the record.

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM RIZER: Lieutenant Bill Rizer, United States Marine Corps. Codename “Mad Dog.”

SEN. PERKINS: Thank you, Lieutenant. And before we get started, I’d like to commend you for your actions during the conflict. Purple Heart, Medal of Honor… Says here you received the citation for valor almost thirty times, is that correct?

LT. RIZER: Yes sir.

SEN. PERKINS: Well I thank you, and your country thanks you for your service, Lieutenant.

LT. RIZER: It was an honor to serve, sir. I just wish things could’ve gone a little differently.

SENATOR ELIZABETH VAN HOUSEN (D, MA): Yes, about that. Would you care to outline your opinions for us?

LT. RIZER: To put it bluntly, Senator, we were simply not prepared for what we encountered over the course of the Red Falcon conflict.

SEN. VAN HOUSEN: And by “we,” you mean…?

LT. RIZER: Me and Lance–that is, Sgt. Bean.

SENATOR ARTHUR WEATHERTON (R, NM): With all due respect, Lieutenant, I fail to see how the failure to equip two Marines necessitates a Congressional investigation. Why haven’t we heard from the rest of the soldiers involved in the operation?

LT. RIZER: Because Lance and I were the total forces committed to the Red Falcon conflict, Senator.

SEN. WEATHERTON: … Oh. Carry on.

LT. RIZER: Right. Now, I know that at the time of our deployment, resources were already committed to providing support for the Bionic Commando project, but sending two men to fight an entire army of technologically advanced aliens… I can’t imagine that America needed to close the grapple-arm gap that badly. And our equipment was… well, it was sub-par.

SEN. VAN HOUSEN: It says in our files that you were not issued body armor, is that correct?

LT. RIZER: No ma’am, that’s a misprint.

SEN. VAN HOUSEN: So you were issued body armor?

LT. RIZER: No ma’am. We weren’t even issued shirts. But that wouldn’t have been such an issue if we hadn’t been given substandard weaponry.

SEN. WEATHERTON: Oh not this again. Wily Robotics is a perfectly fine arms man–

LT. RIZER: Senator, I’m sorry to interrupt, but that’s not the issue here. I’ve heard the stories of Wily Robotics being offered a no-bid contract for defense manufacturing just like everyone else, but it’s your job to determine the truth of that matter. It’s my job to present the facts as I see them, and I’ll tell your right now that the WR-88 was not suited to a combat action of this nature. It’s a single shot rifle, Senator. I’m not sure if you’ve ever served, but if you have, I’d be interested in hearing you explain to me how one man with a single-shot rifle is supposed to assault a fortress like this.



SEN. PERKINS: We were assured that advanced weapons were provided for you at various points.

LT. RIZER: Yeah, well, I don’t know who came up with the idea of loading guns into giant metal footballs and firing them out of a cannon on a Destroyer anchored a mile offshore, but it actually works out pretty poorly in practice. And even if it had worked, the guns themselves were… Well, they were no good. The assault rifle should’ve been standard equipment, and the laser…

[Lt. Rizer picks up a Wily Robotics LG-88 and pulls the trigger, causing a laser beam to inch out of the barrel for less than two feet.]

LT. RIZER: Senator, I was trained on a MARS Corporation Model 21, and the fact that this is the weapon that replaced it… It’s criminal. Simply criminal.

SEN. VAN HOUSEN: You say you also have issues with your training?

LT. RIZER: Yes ma’am.


LT. RIZER: I don’t place the blame for any failure in this area on the men who trained me. They are good soldiers to a man, and their training is the only reason I’m sitting here today. It’s a failure of intelligence on the part of brass if it’s anything. I was trained to face infantrymen, non-traditional enemy combatants… I was even taught how to take out an APC if the situation came up. But the things I saw in that jungle… Nobody ever told me how to fight stuff like that.

SEN. WEATHERTON: Can you be more specific?

LT. RIZER: Yes sir. In my time in the jungle, I was faced with Frankenstein squadrons. Giant half-lizard Road Warriors. Even Ground Vaginas.

SEN. VAN HOUSEN: Ground Vaginas?

LT. RIZER: Yes ma’am. Ground Vaginas.



LT. RIZER: With teeth. That’s… that’s how they got Lance. I tried to hold them off, but…

SEN. PERKINS: I think we’ve heard enough. We’ll break here. Thank you, Lieutenant.

LT. RIZER: Thank you, Senator.


Following Lt. Rizer’s testimony, Sgt. Lance “Scorpion” Bean was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Legislation was later passed ensuring that in any future conflicts, soldiers would at least be issued shoulder pads.

42 thoughts on “The Contra Hearings

  1. Those are not ground vaginas they are subterranean balrogs. Dammit doesn’t anyone else own the Naturalist’s Field Guide to Middle Earth. Hail Cobra!

  2. This is the greatest thing I’ve seen in some time.

    But, “Mad-Dog” does have to admit that the Flamethrower and Spread-Gun weapons were pretty badass.

  3. I watched the documentary footage a great many times throughout my youth on my NES (Nintendo Educational System) and I have to say, if not for the Konami Code Strategy, I don’t know how they would have possibly succeeded.

  4. All respect to Mad Dog, but the grapple arm technology deserved the extra funding. That game was awesome. “Pi pi pi…” Oh no, that alarm can only mean frozen beheaded Hitler is attacking!

  5. You also forgot that it’s just “B, A.”

    My god, man, the Vic Viper would be wiped out if you were at the stick.

  6. And I would like to add that each soldier would have been given backup of about three MEGAMEN per man if those bleeding heart junior senators from New England hadn’t raised a fit. Because of it Wiley Robotics was only ever able to produce one Protoman.

  7. We needed those Bionic Commandos. It was the height of the cold war. any minutes we could have had Rush’n Attack – and laying down and sticking out a knife wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans.

  8. I find it funny the Democrats are giving this soldier (who, given the situation, should have a freakin holiday named after him and his late friend)harassment. It’s like they WANTED Red Falcon to win. How typical, they probably wanted them to cut and run.

  9. And yet, despite all this REMF incompetence, has Red Falcon reared its ugly head since? Anyone here been at the mercy of giant Half Lizard Road Warriors? Have Ground Vagina infestations increased or decreased? I ask you, which has had the better result – a runaway military budget with virtually no oversight, or two shirtless men with substandard weaponry and no support?

  10. Now, I know that at the time of our deployment, resources were already committed to providing support for the Bionic Commando project, but sending two men to fight an entire army of technologically advanced aliens… I can’t imagine that America needed to close the grapple-arm gap that badly.

    Got that far, proceeded to nearly spit my morning coffee on my lap top, died laughing. Well done.

  11. Sims, I speak on behalf of all people who grew up with games like this. I require more interviews in this vein.
    Super Joe deserves a chance to explain exactly WHY his grapple-arm was so important.

  12. the laser was cute, if highly ineffective, but the spread shot was where it’s at. and what was up with the fireball-type thingy? good thing they decided to spring for an upgrade during the second mission.

  13. Guys, you know that when you fired the laser the second time it reset the shot, right? So if you’re some kind of cheater who used an autofire controller you’d get “a laser beam to inch out of the barrel for less than two feet”. Those of us who didn’t cheat knew the laser as a highly effective weapon that required some finesse.

    Now the fireballs, there was a crappy gun.

    I eventually reached the point in Contra where the only way for me to lose was to turn off the game. Running through on one man was a great way to annoy people who needed the Konami code…

  14. God, I remember the protests. The demonstrations. The giant half-lizard puppets made out of paper and glue. The busloads of Oberlin and Bryn Mawr students with their U.S. OUT OF GROUND VAGINAS!! posters.

  15. “Super Joe deserves a chance to explain exactly WHY his grapple-arm was so important.” – Danicus

    I concur.

    As far as the grapple-arm is concerned: while it is an impressive piece of machinery, I suspect it could be rendered obsolete by training a soldier to be able to jump of his own volition.

  16. “LT. RIZER: With teeth. That’s… that’s how they got Lance. I tried to hold them off, but…”

    Come on, we all know about Lance sex issues, Rizer. You don’t have to cover him up.

  17. I’d take this testimony a lot more seriously if Mad Dog and Lance ever demonstrated any military competence whatsoever. I mean, what kind of soldier only knows how to shoot his gun straight forward?

  18. Awesome.

    It’s true. You a good spreader gun should be standard issue, not something you find in the grass in a winged capsule.

  19. While of course we support our troops and the sacrifices they made for our country, this operation was nothing more than an invasion and occupation of the native lands of the ground vaginas (or as they’re more properly called, terra vagina dentata). Why will no one think of the terra vagina dentata!?

  20. I believe that it was the success of Mad-Dog’s mission that convinces the Canadian military to switch to pixelated camoflage uniforms.

  21. What does Mad Dog expect? Our entire national security apparatus was in such disarray during the ’80s that even when the president was captured by ninjas, they had to outside contract two BAD DUDES in order to rescue him. Dark times indeed.

  22. LT. RIZER: And as I’m sure you’re aware, this is not the first time you’ve sent a severely small, severely unequipped force into extremely hostile situations. The testimony of one Solid Snake will attest that any and all weaponry he used in the assault of Outer Heaven was pilfered from enemy combatants. Still, I feel it necessary to point out that he got a goddamn shirt! Where is my shirt, senator? Where is the goddamn shirt I was promised when I bled for my country’s freedom?

  23. Oh my sweet lord.

    If there is not an interview of Lil Mac in front of the boxing commission I will cease to read ISB for a month.

    Don’t hurt me Sims, don’t hurt me!

  24. Like Just Some Guy, I think ti’s possible some of you guys weren’t using the lazer rightly. It was my fav gun; did the most damage to the forts/bosses if you hit the shot dead centre. Nothing funny about it.

  25. to: Chris Sims
    RE: My last comment



    Michael, currently FREAKING OUT

  26. This has reminded me that I need to pick up Contra 4 for DS at some point.

  27. If they’re not too busy infiltrating the next King of Fighters tournament, I’d like to hear testimony from Ralph “Paul” Jones and Clark “Vince” Steel about their similar trials in the so called “Ikari” missions.

  28. Actually, they didn’t defeat the Red Falcon threat. The aliens returned in Super C, and again in Contra 3, and most recently in Contra 4. Probably in those crappy 3D Contras as well.

    All told, I’d say our preemptive attacks of the original Contra only emboldened the enemy.

  29. This post is a comedy masterpiece. I bow to you, sir. (I can barely beat the game with the Konami code, that’s how bad I am.)

  30. Actually, I’d like to see hearings into the potentially criminal tactics of the outside contractors the Pentagon has been known to hire – the so-called ‘BAD DUDES’ of Blackwater.

  31. What I’m confused about is all this concern over international issues when we have so many problems at home! Yes, the Contra missions happened, and were obviously disastrous, but we have enough things going on here on our own shores!

    MR. BIG? The Black Warriors in NYC?

    I’m voting for Haggar in 2008. Let’s take care of our country before we think about the rest of the world.