Definitions

bury head sand

Stealth Viper

This article is about the Zoid. For the 'stealthships' seen in Battlestar Galactica, see Colonial Blackbird and Stealthstar

The Stealth Viper (also known as the Snakes) is a type of Zoid, a race of mechanical lifeforms from the Zoids fictional universe.

Overview

The Stealth Viper, originally known as Snakes, is a Snake-type Zoid created by the Helic Republic to fight in the wars on Zi. Its name is something of a misnomer, as its form more resembles a Cobra than a Viper.

The Stealth Viper is able to transverse a multitude of environments, and is amphibious. The Zoid is used primarily for reconnaissance work, spying, and sneak attacks, although it can be outfitted to operate as a support artillery Zoid.

The Stealth Viper is very well armed for its size, sporting a multitude of cannon and missile weapons. However, its frame is very fragile and it is not very well armoured. The Zoid is best suited to hit-and-run and guerrilla warfare rather than stand-up fights. The favoured Stealth Viper tactic is to bury into sand, then strike at an unsuspecting foe and retreat before they can retaliate.

Battle Story appearances

The Snakes first appeared in the early ZAC 2030s, a product of the introduction of Human technology to Zi. The Zoid was used to support Helic forces during their war on the Zenebas Empire. The Zoid proved to be adept at guerrilla operations, harassing and slowing the Zenebas forces.

During the Guylos Empire's campaign to redevelop the ancient Deathsaurer technology claimed from Mount Olympus, the Empire continued to push the war on multiple fronts, to keep the Helic Republic distracted from its true objective. To aid their forces, the Republic revived the Snakes, now known as the Stealth Viper. The all-round adaptability of the design allowed the Republican Army to hold the line in desert and forest regions, in some places pushing the Guylos forces back.

Media appearances

Anime

Guardian Force

The Stealth Viper first appeared in Guardian Force, where a Stealth Viper piloted by an agent of Hiltz' attacked several military bases, as well as Van's home village. When confronted, the Organoid Ambient fused with the Zoid, causing it to grow to several times its original size. It was defeated by Van's Blade Liger despite Ambient's aid.

Other Stealth Vipers appeared during the series, as a part of the forces under the command or influence of Hiltz. All these Zoids used the "mutant" Stealth Viper animation model, rather than one based on the toy.

New Century Zero

In Zoids: New Century Zero, a Stealth Viper was used by Benjamin, one of Harry Champ's robots. The machine was considerably customised, consisting of three Stealth Viper bodies strung together, as well as mounting both a CP-05 Heavy Beam Cannon and a CP-13 Wild Weasel Unit. The Blitz Team was also once going to battle a team called the Viper Team which, living to its name, used Stealth Vipers, but that battle was taken over the Backdraft Group, whom wanted both teams to battle their Elephander. The Viper Team refused to take part in an unsanctioned battle, but the Elephander shot and knocked out their zoids anyways. Another Stealth Viper briefly appeared during Brad's escape from Mt. Iselina and was piloted by a member of the Backdraft Group.

Genesis

Several Stealth Vipers also appeared in Zoids: Genesis. Strangely enough, these Zoids used the "mutant" Stealth Viper animation model from Guardian Force, albeit scaled down to the size of regular Stealth Vipers.

UK Zoids comic

Znakes were one of the final additions to the Red Mutant army controlled by Krark, the self-declared Prince of Darkness.

Manga

In the Chaotic Century manga, the Stealth Viper is the Zoid of choice for mercenary pilot Irvine. Irvine and his partner, Tornado first encounter Van and Fiona while they are trekking in the desert, and Irvine sets into motion the chain of events that bring Van and the Shield Liger Caesar together. Irvine's Stealth Viper is able to alter the coloration of its exterior to camouflage itself.

Irvine continues to work with Tornado until the Zoid is heavily damaged during the attempt to capture the rogue Zoid Viking. Melissa Su, the child prodigy responsible for both unleashing Viking and enlisting the assistance of Van and Irvine in the recapturing effort, offers to rebuild the damaged Stealth Viper. Tornado is reborn as a Stealth Dragon, and first appears during the fight against the rogue Death Stinger. The Stealth Dragon is able to generate an extremely powerful E-Shield, and is later upgraded with flight capability, which is implied to be of equal or greater speed than that of the Storm Sworder.

Models

Original Japanese Release

  • Assembly required. (Snap-together, no glue needed. Scissors or X-acto knife recommended for trimming off excess plastic bits.)
  • The model's colours are moulded into the plastic, and it does not need any paint.

The Snakes comes on three frames along with a small wind-up motor, a clear canopy, eighteen rubber caps, a small chrome gold pilot, and label sheets. The Snakes is moulded in light green and grey, with a smoke canopy. The head was shared with the Pteras.

The Snakes’ construction is relatively simple and straightforward. The Zoid uses a simple wind-up motor for its motion; once wound, the Zoid rolls forwards with its body slithering side to side.

The Snakes was released in June 1986 and remained in prduction until 1987.

Original European Release

Renamed Znakes for the OER, the Zoid is moulded in dark red and dark grey, with a translucent red cockpit canopy. The label sheet was also changed to include Red Mutant (Zenebas) logos.

Technozoids

A version of the Snakes was planned for the Technozoids line under the name Venom Snake. This version was recoloured in dull brown and bright orange.

It is not clear if the Zoid was actually released or not. A single example was sighted on a Yahoo Japan auction, but is not clear if this was a production model or merely a preproduction sample.

New Japanese Release

The Snakes was re-released as a part of the New Japanese Release. Renamed Stealth Viper, the Zoid was recoloured was in brown and tan, with an orange cockpit canopy, black caps, and a grey pilot.

Three kits from the Zoids Customise Parts line are designed to work with the Stealth Viper; the CP-04 Attack Unit, the CP-05 Large-Bore Beam Cannon and the CP-06 Bomber Unit

New American Release

The NAR release of this Zoid was renamed Venomous Viper. There were no changes to the model kit from the NJR version. The Venomous Viper was also released as part of the New Pacific Release.

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