Okay, it turns out the Laser was a continuous beam in a Contra game: namely Contra III, but only in the top-down levels. In the side-scrolling levels it worked like the Laser usually did in Contra. This may be overpowering Bill a bit, but how about making use of the special button to give him two weapons? Normal: Rifle Mushroom: Machine Gun and 3-way Spread Shot Fire Flower: Laser (based on Scorpion42's description) and 5-way Spread Shot This could be implemented either by assigning Rifle/Machine Gun/Laser to Attack and Spread Shot to Special, or by using Special to toggle between the two. The second option might require some sort of visual indicator of which gun is currently active. Then again, Bill's pretty powerful already, and Jay might not approve of giving Bill a weapon that only appeared in top-down levels in one Contra game, so maybe just forget it.