Fighting Vipers (ファイティングバイパーズ Faitingu Baipāzu ) is a 3D fighting game developed by Sega AM2. The game was first released in the arcade in 1995 using the Sega Model 2 hardware and ported the same year to the Sega Saturn with significantly reduced graphics. In 2005 the game was ported for PlayStation 2 as part of the Sega Ages 2500 line.
Fighting Vipers features a similar style of gameplay to Sega-AM2's more renowned Virtua Fighter series, specifically Virtua Fighter 2, using simply a Guard, Punch and Kick attack buttons with a focus on combo moves (the Saturn version using its three extra buttons for three smaller combos).
The game is set apart with two unique features. Most notably, each of the 9 characters featured in the game sports armor of some kind or another that armor can be broken off by opponents leaving characters much more vulnerable and able to take much more damage. A human shaped meter in the top corners of the screen monitors the damage to your armor. Secondly walls surround each arena, caging the combatants in, allowing for attacks in conjunction with them (bouncing off etc), and if the correct combination is hit at the round's finale, characters can punch their opponent straight through the walls.
When ported, Fighting Vipers offered other modes besides Arcade and Vs. Playback Mode and Training Mode both of which are now used widely in the genre, by games such as Namco's Tekken and Soul Calibur. Players could save their matches and play them again in Playback Mode, while Training Mode talked you through the moves of each character one-by-one.
- [Taken from PAL Manual]
"Hyper-adrenal combatants in full-body armour, battling night and day in back-alley rings - only such young gurba warriors have earned the right to be called VIPERS... Now in Armstone City, the mayor has formally announced a fighting tournament on a grand scale, with the final bout to be held atop the staggering City Tower in the centre of town. With City Tower as their ultimate goal, eight young VIPERS start down the path to victory, a path which only one will see the end..."