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For the stage named "Black Viper", see Harvest Yard.

The vile Black Viper has come from deep space to finish what Red Falcon started. And she did not come alone.
~ Operation C instruction booklet

Black Viper (ブラックバイパー Burakku Baipā?) is a recurring antagonist in the Contra series. She is Emperor Demon Gava's sister, who in two occasions attempted to take over planet Earth on her own.

Appearance

Black Viper has the ability to repeatedly mutate, generally making her more dangerous with each transformation. Along the series, she has displayed three forms. Her first form is fought at the end of Operation C, where after confronting the mechanical boss that guards her, she must be defeated merely as an alien cell contained within a glass tube.

Two other forms of Black Viper appear in Contra 4: The first, as a praying mantis-like monster. Once defeated, this creature plunges into a pile of rotting corpses in the background and then reemerges as a gargantuan monster, although still retaining similar traits as its previous form. The hero then proceeds to blow an opening with their weapon on the rear end of her tail and the stage then continues by traveling through her insides until they reach her brain. Inside her head –and with Earth seen from space as backdrop seen through her jaws– the player must take out her eyes and fight her final form (which resembles Emperor Demon Gava).

History

First invasion attempt

Black Viper - Operation C - 01

Black Viper's cell in stasis in Operation C.

In the North American storyline of Operation C, Black Viper initially comes to Earth and takes over an unnamed nation. She brainwashes its military forces as her first step to take over the world. The Government sends not only Mad Dog and Scorpion, but also Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to fight them. The Contras infiltrate the nation, fight through their defenses and defeat Hayanos 614, a powerful cyborg in charge of protecting her. They discover that Black Viper was nothing more than a large alien cell contained inside a large glass tube and proceed to destroy it, putting an end to her plans for the time being.

It is speculated that the unnamed nation was secretly planning to use DNA samples from this form to create artificial bioweapons, probably the ones seen in Area 4 and 5.

Comeback

Two years after the Alien Wars, Black Viper returned, now evolved as a horrid mantis-like monster. She takes control over Red Falcon's remaining forces and combines them with her own, and then begins a new campaign to take over the Earth. The Government picks up a signal from the Galuga Archipelago and sends Contra commandos Bill and Lance to assist Mad Dog and Scorpion. The four soldiers head toward the island to annihilate Black Viper.

Demise

Black Viper is found at her Harvest Yard under the city, where her forces were processing the bodies of thousands of civilians that had been abducted during their campaign. After an initial confrontation, Black Viper buries herself into a pile of these corpses and reemerges as a colossal alien monstrosity. The Contras manage to blow up the rear end of her tail and climb through inside her infested hive-like body, heading toward the skull, where her Gava-like form resides. They successfully manage to destroy her brain, thus leading to not only her death but also putting a halt to her invasion.

Battle

Contra 4

Harvest Yard

Black Viper is seen incubating within a large capsule at the end of the Harvest Yard (in a nod to her appearance in Operation C). When the heroes reach close to her, the container soon shatters, revealing a battle ready Black Viper. In this battle, Black Viper may try to get close and stab the heroes with one of her scythe shaped arms. She may also rear her head down and engage with a ramming attack, which leads her offscreen but will shortly return back into the fray. She may try to match a player's movements by constantly leaping from surface to surface, and can even crawl on the roof to reposition herself as to land directly on top of a player in an attempt to crush them.

Careful monitoring of Black Viper's movements and maximum firepower is recommended to take out this creature as soon as possible. To avoid the ramming attack, one needs to use the Grappling Hook to climb on the roof, although the player should be wary of Black Viper following after them. If the player doesn't have any upgraded weapons, the player may consider using the Konami Code on some of the weapons found within the stage just before this battle (the best one being the Flame, due to its damage output potential). One possible strategy is to use the grappling hook to raise the player up to the ceiling when Black Viper is on the ground, then quickly jump down to the ground floor the moment she jumps up, firing the player's strongest weapons available during this time. The player should also be cautious (on the ground) and move left and right near the center, to prepare for when Black Viper drops down, climbing back up the moment she drops down away from the player. When Black Viper has received enough damage, she will move to the center of the screen and position herself in the background, ending this battle. At this time, Black Viper is seen absorbing nearby humans from her pile of collected civilians in order to regain her strength and power herself up.

When Black Viper resurfaces, simply blow open an orifice on the rear of her tail and climb up, preparing for the stage sections of this final level.

Membrane

As the heroes make their way through Black Viper's insides, they eventually reach the throat, where digestive acid begins to rise, followed by crushing rib bone platforms. Once at the highest set of bones, the large platform rises all the way to the top toward the cerebrum, where Black Viper's Gava-like membrane awaits them. This final battle takes place within Black Viper's skull, spanning as tall as both DS screens combined. The Searle-like membrane is seen in the center of the top screen, which serves as the creature's core weakness throughout this battle. Getting to it, isn't as easy as it seems.

As soon as the heroes enter the area and the battle properly starts, Black Viper launches her monstrous praying mantis side arms after the player, covering the room utilizing one of four different directions:

Attack Description
Above

Rematch 5
In this formation, Black Viper's arms surround the membrane and its skull from the sides, then the arms extend outward to the sides of the battlefield, rising from the ground up. To avoid this formation, simply stand or crouch in the center of the room, directly underneath the skull.
Left/right side
Floor
Black Viper's arms stretch outward, soon filling the entire floor from which the heroes stand on. If one looks closely at the skull, its chin will be retracted and glow. Use the grappling hook to climb up to the chin and hold onto it as the arms extend outward and toward the center. At the end of this attack, the skull's mouth will eventually reopen, causing a dangling hero to fall back to the ground below.

After launching, the arms retract the same way they came out after extending as far as they can. Either arm may be eliminated with heavy weapons firepower; however, a disintegrated arm will regrow after a while and return to the battlefield. Whenever an arm is destroyed, the trail of small explosions reveals a hang bar from the arm socket it was attached to. This hang bar can be grabbed, but first the heroes need to eliminate Black Viper's large eyeballs blocking access to the top screen. When an eyeball is destroyed, the player may use the Grappling Hook to climb to the hang bar dangling on the dead arm socket. From there, the hero has a straight shot to Black Viper's core membrane, the only way the boss can truly be harmed. While dangling and pointing at the membrane, the player should unload all they've got on the beast, using the strongest weapons in their arsenal. The hang bar doesn't last very long, though, and will retract back into the socket once a set time has passed, dropping the hanging hero back to ground level.

Like Gava, the small eyeballs above the hangable chin can be damaged, although it is unclear what effect eliminating the eyes have in the battle. It is possible to harm Black Viper's membrane without hanging on the arm socket hang bar by using the Hunter missiles. The missiles can twist their aim to hit Black Viper from the sides. This isn't usually recommended, as the weak attack firepower the missiles possess may not be worth provoking her other attack pattern, unless one desperately needs a better weapon to use against the membrane. The center skull is immune to any form of firepower, effectively protecting the membrane from a frontal assault.

Whenever the core membrane takes damage, after it retracts its arms and its hang bars (if any), the entire skull with the encircled membrane rises up toward the top of the area, completely offscreen and out of both view and range. From there, a Searle like membrane enters the area, completely unshielded and vulnerable to weapons fire, performing one of the following attacks:

Attack Description
enter The floating membrane enters from a side of the room and drops up to four miniature versions of itself as the membrane reaches the opposite side of the room, leaving offscreen. The miniatures left behind bounce around the room in a familiar fashion as Searle's eyeballs. Like the eyeballs of the past, these mini brains can be destroyed by concentrated weapons fire, which ends the attack once all are eliminated.
Contra 4 Searle Attack 2
The membrane drops from the center of the area, slowing down as it reaches the center of the bottom screen. It then moves in a wave-like pattern horizontally across the screen, unleashing a wave of four brains that alternate in a pattern, starting with a cross-shaped blast followed by an X shaped blast.
Contra 4 Searle Attack 3
The membrane floats toward the center of the arena. It then leaves behind a purplish-blue flame every second while slowing strafing from side to side. The purple flames will steadily rise and hover above the top screen, then within seconds, they quickly rain down below toward the bottom of the bottom screen.

The unshielded membrane itself can be destroyed, but this is not the end of the entire boss. These membranes turn out to be only decoys of the original, and destroying a copy forces the real one to reappear from the top of the screen back into the battlefield, repeating the aforementioned arm attack pattern. At times, eliminating a fake membrane will cause it to drop a special weapon item, aiding the player in stronger offensive firepower against the boss.

Dealing enough damage to the real membrane will cause the entire cerebrum to erupt in explosions, with its arms and both small and large eyes to erupt. The area begins to flash, and after a few flashes, the skull surrounding the real membrane will disappear, leaving behind the real membrane. Its massive migraine received from the heroes will soon cause it too to erupt in an explosion of blood, with no further body parts remaining inside Black Viper's cerebrum. The Contra helicopter soon busts in from the top for the Contras to grapple onto, with everyone enjoying the view of Victory Valley as Black Viper's remains are erased from Earth once and for all.

Gallery

Screenshots

Artworks

Trivia

  • In the English instruction booklet for both Operation C and Contra 4, Black Viper is referred to as a male and no information is given about her being a sibling of Emperor Demon Gava. However, with the release of Contra 4, which is based on the Japanese canon that was adapted into the English localization of the series, the developers integrated elements of the American localizations of the older games, thus fusing the two versions together and officially stating Black Viper to be both female and Gava's sister.
  • The Black Viper in Sexy Parodius is possibly named after it. Dark Force rides one in Otomedius Excellent, which also foreshadows her nature similar to Black Viper.
  • In Contra Returns, there are section alien bosses which strikingly resemble Black Viper's first form (one of them is even referred to as a subspecies of Kimkoh).

See also

References

  1. Seldomly called simply "Viper" on the Contra 4 online manual.
  2. The Contra 4 instruction booklet states that Black Viper is Red Falcon's sister. However, the same game also officially states Emperor Demon Gava to be Red Falcon himself, thus making Black Viper and Emperor Gava siblings.
Operation C
Organizations
Contra
Bill RizerLance BeanMad DogScorpion
Unnamed enemy nation's army
NoueiTuckerGoochieKirgeyKazart 408 + Reinforced PartsKazart 408GiwalaHayanos 614Black Viper
Stages
Area 1Area 2Area 3Area 4Area 5
Soundtrack
Contra 4
Organizations
Contra
Canon
Bill RizerLance BeanMad DogScorpion
Non-canon
JimboSullySheena EtranziLuciaProbotectorSolomon Caesar
Red Falcon
Bosses
Defense WallGromaidesGodomugaMissile Hugger 3000 (gigantic form) • Barracuda
Big FuzzCrustacean CruiserGomeramos KingBlack Viper (final form)
Minibosses
NoueiMissile Hugger 3000 (normal form) • ReaperMagnusArachnidBlack Viper
Stages
JungleLaboratoryBaseHarborOceanFactoryCityAlien HiveHarvest Yard
Soundtrack
Contra Dual Spirits Original SoundtrackContra Chronicle Vol.1 coupling with Hard Corps: Uprising
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