DescriptionThe setting of this game is exclusively in outer space. Players pilot a space fighter through eight stages of enemy space fleets and tough bosses. Enemies include small space fighters, space cruisers, space frigates, and entire space installations.
Gameplay is similar to the Raiden series.
Scoring is straightforward. A bonus is assessed at the end of each stage taking into account the number of medals collected, the number of enemies destroyed, the number of bombs in stock, and the total kill percentage. At the end of the game, a grand tally is assessed. Factors taken into account are the number of continues used and the number of lives lost.
The end game bonus is tallied in this way:
- 1,000,000 points for completing the game
- 100 points for each enemy killed throughout
- 1,000 points for each medal collected throughout
- 500,000 points for no bombs used
- 500,000 points for not dying, 100,000 points lost per death to a minimum of 300,000
Differences in the New Version
A newer version of Viper Phase 1 was released with gameplay changes. The New Version is known as Viper Phase 1: USA in the United States. The known differences between the versions:
- Secondary Weapons Systems: The original version of Viper Phase 1 has an exhaustible secondary weapon system. The amount of ammunition remaining in a secondary weapon is indicated by a meter on the screen. All secondary weapons in the original version are fully powered up, and are more devastating than in the new version, which gives the secondary weapons levels of power in lieu of unlimited ammunition and reduced firepower.
- Bomb Deploy Times: The new version speeds up the deploy time of the Bomb, of which becomes the standard for when the ship appears in the Raiden Fighters series.
- Medals: In the New Version, medals stop shimmering for a brief moment, during which their point values are higher than usual. This feature was also present in Raiden DX. Additionally, the egg-shaped medal carrier pods appear much more frequently in the New Version.
The player ships are unnamed in Viper Phase 1. In the Raiden Fighters series, the player 1 red ship was named Judge Spear and used the Napalm Missile as its missile weapon. In Raiden Fighters 2 and Jet, the player 2 blue ship was named Blue Javelin and used the Burst Missiles as its missile weapon.
Types of Powerups
There are 6 types of powerups in Viper Phase 1. They are released by destroying certain enemies. Players start with a primary vulcan cannon on each new life.
- P (Power Up) - Original version: Powers up the main vulcan gun only. New version: Powers up the vulcan (if the player is without secondary weapons) and the active secondary weapons (up to four levels).
B (Bomb) - Adds one extra bomb. Players can carry up to seven bombs in stock. Extraneous pickups of the Bomb icon awards the player with 1,000 bonus points.
L (Laser) - This weapon is similar to the blue laser weapon in the original Raiden series. The weapon has no defensive spread. However, the Laser is the most damaging secondary weapon available. It can make short work of large enemies and bosses. Ship's weapon module flashes blue.
M (Burst Missile) - Cruise missiles that are fired in a burst pattern. When the missiles hit their mark, the resulting explosion deals overlapping secondary damage. Ship's weapon module flashes yellow.
N (Napalm Missile) - Upon impact with an enemy target, this secondary weapon releases green napalm explosions in various directions. These explosions deal overlapping secondary damage. When fully powered-up, the cluster of explosions cover a substantial part of the screen, and may obscure enemy firepower. This weapon became famous when it was included in the Raiden Fighters series as a cameo along with the ship (later named Judge Spear). Ship's module flashes green.
W (Wide Vulcan) - Grants the player with a secondary widespread vulcan cannon. The spread of this weapon is useful in destroying enemies in many locations at once. The firepower, however, is the weakest of the four secondary weapons. Using this weapon at point-blank range on one enemy can deal moderate damage. Ship's module flashes red.
Viper Phase 1 runs on the Seibu SPI System hardware. The game software is stored on ROM daughterboards that are interchangeable on one SPI board. ROM daughterboards and Seibu SPI main boards are region-specific. For example, the Japanese daughterboards are not compatible with the European motherboard and vice versa.
The soundtrack of Viper Phase 1 is composed by Go Satoh. Its style is vastly different from the original Raiden series, incorporating many synthesized instruments. The soundtrack was released in 2005 as part of a superplay DVD set showing expert players playing through the game.
The official track listing:
- 01 Title
- 02 "Go Straight Ahead!!" (Stage 1 - Spaceport)
- 03 "Outer Space" (Stage 2 - Space Fleet 1)
- 04 "Mission Striker" (Stage 3 - Refueling Base)
- 05 "Forcing Breakthrough" (Stage 4 - Storage Facility)
- 06 "Invisible Enemy" (Stage 5 - Asteroid Belt)
- 07 "Counteroffensive" (Stage 6 - Space Fleet 2)
- 08 "Unknown Threat" (Stage 7 - Space Colony)
- 09 "Destiny" (Stage 8 - Missile Silo)
- 10 "Fear of Approaching" (Boss Theme)
- 11 Stage Clear
- 12 Ranking
The soundtrack is available as an unlockable in the Japanese-only release of Raiden DX for the PlayStation. When unlocked, players have the option of changing the default Raiden DX soundtrack to implement music from Viper Phase 1.
- Viper Phase 1 at Museum of the Game
- Viper Phase 1 at the Raiden Fighters Emporium
- Viper Phase 1 Soundtrack Information (Japanese)