As seen in: Gradius (Arcade)
Also in: Gradius V (PlayStation 2)
Distinguishing feature: Tends to be followed by glowing orbs of firepower.
Strengths: Tiny hitbox; flexible weapons system.
Weaknesses: Easter Island statuary with a grudge; volcanoes.
Profile by Ben Elgin | January 28, 2010
"Hey, you there, kid! Yeah, you! I hear tell you're in the market for a used interception starfighter. Well, have I got a beauty for you! Come on into my hanger here and take a look at it.
"Yeah, I see what you're thinking. This thing looks like it's been to hell and back, right? Well that's because it has. This here is a gen-u-ine historical artifact, the Vic Viper herself, that fought and won against the original Bacterion invasion! Yeah, you're interested now, right? What's that you're asking? How'd I get it? We don't talk about that sort of thing around here son. Now do you wanna see it up close or not?
"That's what I thought. So, let's take a good look, shall we? Sure, technology may have moved on since the Vic first saw action, but I think you'll find she's still as solid as anything you could get your hands on these days. Why, rumor has it that her original construction, completely experimental new tech back then of course, nearly bankrupted the economy of an entire planet. It was worth it though, since she pulled through and staved off that invasion.
"Now you know of course that she was the first ship equipped with the flexible energy absorption system, that lets the pilot pick up resources from downed enemy craft and direct them to whatever systems are needed at the time. Obviously you can send it straight to your engines for added speed and maneuverability. Don't wanna go overboard with the one, thoughówe'll be scraping you off the side of an asteroid if you lose control of your thrust, and that sure would be a shame with a ship of such historical value. Of course the other way to stay safe is to direct power to the front shields. Those babies will take a lot of punishment for you. Some pilots prefer modding the system to generate an overall force field, but that always felt kind of flimsy to me. Up-front protection is best, I say.
"But really, the best defense is a good offense, don't you think? Yeah, I see the spark in your eyes there. So we've got your standard missile bays here, great for strafing runs. Keep in mind though, that they can be modded to be bi-directional too, if you're planning to go somewhere with a ceiling. Then we have the gun portsójust direct some energy there to enable double shots, or my personal favorite, the straight laser. That sucker'll take down anything you can keep it on. Now, some folks also like the mod that enables the ripple beam, but... what's that? Oh, you like that one do you? Well, no accounting for taste.
"Finally, if you power up this system here, that's how you can generate the famous option pods that'll multiply all your firepower, which is where this ship really gets its reputation. But you know about those, right? Everyone does. Flashy and effective, that's what I like in a weapon!
"So, you got any questions? Wanna take her for a spin?
"What's that you say? Can she... can she transform into a ROBOT?! Are you playin' with me boy, or are you just crazy? That's got to be the stupidest question I've ever heard, and believe me, I've had some real winners come by my shop before! Why, you show me a single engineer in the entire federation that could pull off something like that, and I'd give you the ship just to see it!
"What, you want me to look at... you have some plans here? Let me see those blueprints. There's no way. Well, yeah, ok, that could work, but what about... oh, I see. Hmm. But... ah, that's ingenious! And then that part... yeah, yeah! And then it... it could work? Maybe? This is amazing boy, where'd you get this?
"I... I don't know what to say. If you can build this, she's yours. It'd be a new legend to rival anything she's done before. That's it then, I'm give up. Your appellation's technical monkey."