Fighting Vipers is a 3D Fighting Game series created by Sega's AM2 development team (of Virtua Fighter fame) in 1995. A sequel was released in 2001, and in the interim between the two games the casts of both FV and VF appeared in the Sega Saturn-only Fighters Megamix. Gameplay is similar to its sister series, albeit faster, more forgiving in the control department, and has the addition of armor-breaking moves that soften up opponents and create weak points. Unlike the Virtua Fighter series, the arenas are walled, but the walls can be busted down if opponents are slammed against them enough times using the armor-break moves.
The story of the games involves armor-clad fighters run rampant in the metropolis, Armstone City. The dictator/mayor of Armstone City, Big Mahler, hosts a tournament for these fighters ending at the City Tower. The game's main character is Bahn, but Honey (Candy in the states) is the Ensemble Dark Horse and the only really well-known character.
As of 2012, now you too can experience this gem on your PlayStation 3 and/or Xbox 360 with Sega's Model2 Collection series of arcade games on Play Station Network and Xbox Live Arcade for only $5. And finally, Honey gets un-dummied in this game's cartoony and goofier version of itself starring everyone's favorite blue hedgehog in the Model2 Collection's re-release of Sonic the Fighters.
Not to be confused with Striking Vipers.
This series provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The plot and character biographies are never featured in the games.
- Animal Motifs: Many of Honey's moves have the word "cat" in them and she also has a lot of cat-like mannerisms, including her fighting pose and the way she throws her punches. It's no wonder she ended up being a cat in Sonic the Fighters.
- Armor Is Useless: Subverted; the armor is useful until it breaks off.
- Ass Kicks You: Many of Honey's moves use her posterior as a weapon. Sanman has two or three as well.
- Bishōnen: Tokio. Some official wallpapers even depict him shirtless in a sexy pose.
- Bonus Boss: Kuhn in the second game.
- Boobs of Steel: With the exception of Emi, all of the girls have a large bust and very tough in their own right.
- Bowdlerization: Sega of America removed a wallpaper from the home port of the game, seen in the credits, featuring Honey stripped down to her undergarments (basically, what you see when you break all her armor). She's also missing her numerous fanservice outfits.
- Break Meter: Characters have specific moves that damage armor. This was transferred to Fighters Megamix, where the Virtua Fighter characters' signature moves were given this property.
- Chained by Fashion: In the sequel, Raxel's armor makes heavy use of chains for his death metal band theming.
- Clothing Damage: The breakable armor.
- Cultural Translation: In the American release of the first game, Honey dyed her hair blond and was renamed Candy.
- The Cutie: Honey in the first game, Emi in the second.
- Darker and Edgier: Than its sister series, Virtua Fighter. The action is rougher and more brutal, and the fighters here can suffer some rather deadly fates. If they get KO'd with an uppercut, they can land on the edge of the wall and break their spine on it, and breaking the walls in certain stages will send them plummeting to their doom, with a loud thud being heard at the victory screen.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: The Super KO in Fighting Vipers 2. Doing it requires you to have no armor but land it and you will win two points instantly, which will end the entire match in a standard Three Round Deathmatch. However it's one shot only: you must land it on your first attempt or you won't get another try at it for the remainder of the match (while having no armor on top of that).
- Expy: Bahn is essentially Jotaro Kujo.
- Fad Super: Grace, Picky, and Charlie are based on extreme sports—rollerblading, skateboarding, and BMX, respectively.
- Genki Girl: Emi.
- Girlish Pigtails: Honey's iconic hairstyle is this.
- Guest Fighter: PEPSIMAN!! ...But only in the original Japanese Sega Saturn release, sadly.
- Through hacking, Sonic and Tails.
- I Know Madden Kombat: Picky and Charlie. Sanman's throw is a bowling toss — there's even a pin-hitting sound effect.
- Improbable Weapon User: Speaking of Picky and Charlie... Especially Charlie; very few people not named Jackie Chan beat guys up with bicycles.
- Instrument of Murder: Raxel's guitar. He won't hesitate to swing it around like a weapon, but like Picky's skateboard, it'll break if overused.
- Joke Character: Kumachan, a giant bear with no articulation points and copies Sanman's moveset. He also has no connection to the story whatsoever.
- Law Of 100: While players can destroy their character's armor with a special input, winning a hundred matches with Honey in versus mode will change it so that it destroys her skirt as well.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Jane in the American release doesn't look like much due to Palette Swap. In the original Japanese versions however, she turns out to be Private Vasquez.
- In the second game, Sanman's logo looks very similar to the Hot Wheels logo.
- Mighty Glacier: Sanman. He's slow but packs a punch and has the most vicious throws in the game.
- Ms. Fanservice: Honey and Grace, who are both buxom and wear next-to-nothing when their armor is destroyed. But especially Honey, as she wears rubber or leather undergarments under her armor. She gains a number of alternate outfits in the Japanese Saturn version, including a swimsuit and schoolgirl outfit. Her ending also shows pictures of her undressing and showing off her cleavage for the player, and Fighters Megamix gives her the infamous "Taste of Honey" wallpaper. The Dreamcast port of the sequel gives her an alternate Naughty Nurse Outfit.
- Mythology Gag: Honey the Cat actually appears in the opening FMV for the Saturn version, but with a different color scheme, years before she was discovered as an actual character. She appears alongside Tails' Rocket.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Grace's backstory. She became romantically involved with her skating instructor only to find out he betrayed her.
- Product Placement: Pepsiman and Picky's Pepsi skateboard in the first game. (In the Japanese version, though.)
- Rollerblade Good: Grace. She wears rollerskates and most of her moves involve kicks.
- SNK Boss: Kuhn. OUCH. And when he beats you, you don't get another go at him.
- Same Content, Different Rating: The 1996 Sega Saturn release was rated T in censored form, but the 2012 XBLA/PSN re-release bumped it down to an E10+ rating uncut. For the reverse case in Japan, it was rated the Sega "all ages" green rating for the Sega Saturn in Japan, but CERO C 15+ in the XBLA/PSN re-release.
- Stripperiffic: Grace and Honey wear next to nothing when their armor breaks off.
- Totally Radical: Seems to be what AM2 was going for when they made the game.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: All of Armstone gives the impressions of the trappings of West Coast America, but its locales make it hard to pinpoint it to any state. Wild West frontier preserved Old Armstone Town gives it the feel that it's out in Southern to Middle California, the UFO Diner and City Tower gives impressions of Washington and Seattle with the former's coniferous forests in the city limits and the latter's uncanny similarity to the Space Needle, and 2 showcases a river dam system with a lot of mountainous terrain.
- Younger Than They Look: Bahn is 17, but you would never guess it from his huge build and muscles.