Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX (known as Contra: Hard Spirits in Japan) is a Game Boy Advance action shooter developed and published by Konami. It is a re-release of the SNES classic Contra III: The Alien Wars. It was released on November 7, 2002 in North America. It is an upgraded version of the game, and includes new levels based on the Genesis Contra game, Contra: Hard Corps.
Many changes were made from the original game. Smart bombs and the ability to hold two weapons at once were removed. The top-down view stages were also removed and replaced with levels from Contra: Hard Corps. These stages are exceptionally hard, mostly because of the fact that the levels are designed with the slide mechanic in mind (a mechanic which Contra Advance doesn’t have). Contra Advance also has the ability to lock the aim of the gun. In addition, upon picking up a new weapon, the other weapon is dropped, giving the player the option to switch back if necessary.