Lost In Trans­la­tion: Fight­ing Vipers

How the rest of the world ex­pe­ri­enced your favourite games

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

We re­veal the re­gional dif­fer­ences be­tween Sega’s quirky fight­ing game

We’re not quite sure why, but soft drink spon­sor­ship deals were pretty big busi­ness for games in the Nineties. Cool Spot shilled 7-Up, Coca-cola Kid pro­moted – well, you can prob­a­bly guess that one – and Vir­tua Fighter Kids got the Ja­panese brand Java Tea. But that wasn’t all for Sega’s fight­ing games, as Fight­ing Vipers re­ceived a big dose of Pepsi brand­ing. Bill­boards ad­ver­tised Pepsi and Picky’s skate­board bore the Pepsi logo, but the big­gest in­clu­sion was Pepsi’s mas­cot Pep­si­man as a playable fighter.

In or­der to lure Pep­si­man into ac­tion, all you needed to do was leave the con­troller alone in an ar­cade mode fight, and once you’d been pum­melled enough, Pep­si­man would in­ter­vene. Then, if you could de­feat the metal­lic men­ace, he’d be­come avail­able to se­lect. He’s a pretty good fighter, too, com­bin­ing some of the best strik­ing moves in the game to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect. The only prob­lem is that the Pepsi spon­sor­ship deal was only valid in Ja­pan – and that meant Pep­si­man had to stay at home, with no ap­pear­ance in the lo­calised ver­sions.

There was also some con­cern about Honey, the ‘cute girl’ of the Fight­ing Vipers cast. In Ja­pan, many of the game’s se­crets re­volve around her, mostly in the form of al­ter­nate cos­tumes. Beat­ing the game with Honey in nor­mal mode earns you the ‘Hawai­ian’ cos­tume, com­plete with new ukulele at­tack. Con­quer­ing hard mode with Honey un­locks a school­girl cos­tume, as is seem­ingly tra­di­tional in these sorts of games, and if you can achieve vic­tory in very hard mode with Honey, her skirt will come off when her lower ar­mour is de­stroyed. This was all con­sid­ered to be rather un­nec­es­sary sex­u­al­i­sa­tion for a girl whose age is stated as 16, so again, none of this left Ja­pan – al­though Sega Europe’s ad­ver­tis­ing still fea­tured Honey with the tag line “Storm in a D cup,” so you have to ques­tion the com­mit­ment to that par­tic­u­lar cause.

The last cut was ex­clu­sive to the Amer­i­can ver­sion.

The por­trait gallery op­tion fea­tur­ing CG ren­ders of the char­ac­ters has been axed com­pletely, and al­though the images still ap­pear in each char­ac­ter’s end se­quence, some of those have been re­placed. Again, the pri­mary rea­son is that the game is too sexy, as Grace, Jane and Honey bear the brunt of the cuts, al­though hi­lar­i­ously San­man gets a cou­ple – one for a close-up of his am­ple rear end, and the other for de­pict­ing a church. Stills from the in­tro se­quence are usu­ally used in place of the of­fend­ing images.

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