Vipers were a series of fast, highly maneverable robotic starfighter developed and assembled in the weapons labs on Macbeth by the forces of Andross, during the Lylat Wars.
Vipers are twin fined starships with a dorsal fin, adorning the insignia of Andross on the sides. While not powerful individually, and their maneuverability involves flying in a single line and at the enemy, meaning significantly less average maneuverability than their cousins, the Borzoi Fighters, the Vipers do nonetheless possess a signifcant threat when in large numbers.
- “They're hard to spot in the crowd, but lock on to the four Vipers that swoop in from the lower left for an upgrade.”
- —Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 46
- “Peppy's in trouble, and it wouldn't do to let your Papa's old pal get pasted by a bunch of lousy robot fighters. Use the booster to bring your Arwing to within lock-on range. If you don't pick off his pursuers in time, Peppy will have to limp back to the Great Fox's docking bay for repairs.”
- —Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 47
- “At the beginning of the mission, you'll encounter waves of enemy fighters. Save up bombs for this mission and let em have it. After the Checkpoint, the course will fork to the left and right. Take the right path since there are more enemies that way. Later in the mission, you'll have to make your bombs count. Lock on to an enemy and wait until he approaches a squadron of others so you can blast them all with the bomb.”
- —Star Fox 64.com Medal Tips
In the games
Star Fox 64/3D
The Venom Army left hundreds of these fighters to guard the Sector X secret Research base. However, they failed to prevent its destruction at the hands of Spyborg, or the Star Fox Team's intrusion. A large squadron of Viper fighters were the first line of opposition in the ruined base, with backup from Borzoi fighters. Another large squadron of Viper fighters gave chase to Peppy Hare when passing by a floating robotic arm, which was later revealed to belong to the deluded Spyborg, who was attacking the base from a malfunction.
Vipers were deployed at the Venom Air Defence Zone in vast quantities. Caiman, a trusted lieutenant was on patrol with a squadron of Vipers, reporting an all clear until his unit was ambushed by the Star Fox team, promoting him to declare emergency maneuvers. A squadron of Vipers gave chase to Falco Lombardi just after the space minefield, prompting him to wonder if he was: "getting slow?"
Star Fox Zero
Vipers reappear in "Star Fox Zero" under the name: Commander.
Behind the scenes
- Vipers greatly resemble the Attacker spaceships from the 1996 movie, Independence Day.
- Viper also refers to a class of serpent, which fits that serpents are reptiles and are generally antagonists in the Star Fox series.
- Some deactivated Vipers are located in the area of space behind Spyborg's reigion, where they can be locked onto and downed for extra Hit points.
- NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.