Viper is a Physical Pinball Table designed by Joe Joos Jr., and released in 1982 by Stern Electronics.The viper in question is the "Roto-Shooter," a rotating turret in the center of the game's playfield. When a player shoots the ball into the top center lane, it falls into the turret, allowing the player to fire at flashing red arrows around the table and raise the score multiplier. The game also offers three-ball multiball and three separate Specials; unfortunately, it didn't play very well in practice, with unbalanced scoring that confused players, and failed to sell in any significant numbers.Viper is more memorable for its eye-grabbing backglass, which depicts a kneeling Fembot as she is about to be attacked by a red-and-chrome robot serpent rearing over her head. This was one of only two commercial pinball tablesnote with art by noted fantasy illustrator Keith Parkinson. Copies of the Viper art periodically show up in prints and posters, often with no indication of its pinball roots.
The Viper pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Appeal to Novelty
- Animal Mecha: The viper, of course.
- Chrome Champion
- Fangs Are Evil
- Fembot: Very much so.
- Nipple and Dimed: Averted - the Fembot has faint (but visible) chrome areolas.
- No Plot? No Problem!
- Non-Mammal Mammaries
- Score Multiplier: Shooting the red arrows increases the multiplier up to 9x. This affected all scores, not just the end-of-ball bonus, and contributed to the game's uneven scoring.
- Sex Sells: The provocative pose of the Robot Girl drawing.
- Snakes Are Sexy