As special agent Kenny "Viper" Smith, you are sent by the cigar-chomping Commander Jones to South America to break up a massive drug-dealing syndicate and rescue hostages Trapped Behind Enemy Lines, as well as your fellow agents, who will give you clues to help you uncover the secret of the drug ring.
At first, you're armed with only a pistol, but can eventually find a machine gun (that sports a higher rate of fire) to aid you in your mission. In order to complete each level, you need to search for the hostage who will give you the dynamite needed to get past the door at the end.
Tropes used in Code Name: Viper:
- And the Adventure Continues: Ken has managed to dismantle the drug ring, but Commander Jones' involvement with it proves that his unit is not immune to corruption, and the syndicate may yet still be at large, so he decides to continue taking on them alone.
- Cigar Chomper: Commander Jones, as shown in the opening cutscene.
- Elite Mooks: The final stage has two colored beret soldier types not seen anywhere else: black berets move quickly and can shoot downwards vertically (unlike you), and green berets are the only enemies in the entire game that take three hits to kill.
- Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Besides enemy soldiers, there's also hawks and living statues that attack on sight.
- Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: The drug warehouse has them, some of which can lead you directly onto a bed of spikes.
- Mirror Boss: Commander Jones does everything Ken can during his boss fight, including shooting while ducking.
- Mooks but No Bosses: Every single stage ends with you opening the exit except for the very last one.
- Nintendo Hard: You have two points of health to start with. This can be upgraded to four, if you find the extra health pickups behind random doors. Even then, some enemies and obstacles can shed off 2 points of health per hit so upping to four doesn't help much, and the extra Hit Points are lost when you die.
- Spikes of Doom: Stage 7 has them, sometimes right next to an Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: During each stage clear screen, Ken's current actions are being watched on a monitor by a mysterious figure. The monitor is shut off in anger after Ken finds out that Jones is the drug ringleader, and gets shot full of bullets by Ken at the ending.
- Traitor Shot: In the very first cutscene, your superior officer gets a bizarre sinister facial expression as he says "Good bye, Mister Smith." It turns out he's the Big Bad.
- Treacherous Advisor: After gathering all of the pieces of the message, you learn that Commander Jones is the guy behind the drug ring.
- Uriah Gambit: Commander Jones was most likely sending Ken on missions to get him killed. It failed.
- Using You All Along: The player is tasked with rescuing fellow operatives, each of whom has bits and pieces of a message revealing the identity of the terrorist leader. It turns out to be Commander Jones, whom Viper was working for, making him the last boss fight.