35 years ago today (25 April 1986), Gradius was released on the Famicom console in Japan. In this version of the game, there is a hidden command “↑↑↓↓←→←→BA” that would power up the player’s spaceship to almost the strongest equipment. This hidden command is included in many later video games made by Konami and would come to be known as the Konami Code.

On the 35th anniversary of the Konami Code, Konami has setup a webpage to celebrate Gradius.


Super Dimension Fighter Vic Viper

Vic Viper made its debut in the Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG as a Normal Monster. In the video game, the player’s spaceship is upgraded over the course of the game through pickups dropped by destroyed enemies. This upgrading process is replicated in the card game through support cards such as Gradius’ Option and Cyclon Laser.

The spaceship name is “Vic Viper” as seen on the OCG Japanese card “超時空戦闘機ビック・バイパー” (Super Dimension Fighter Vic Viper). The TCG English name Gradius is in actuality the name of the planet.


Victory Viper XX03

A retrained version of Vic Viper was introduced to the OCG as Victory Viper XX03. Unlike its predecessor, Victory Viper XX03 comes with all the power ups as its Monster Effect.

This design of Vic Viper could be seen in the booklet The history of “Vic Viper” that came with Gradius V. As seen in the concept art, this variant of Vic Viper has been retrofitted with various power ups, in a way akin to having the Konami Code being applied to it.


Honest Viper

Honest Viper is an original deck developed by Japanese player feath, who has many well-written articles on his blog (feathの理論・考察掃き溜め場).

Victory Viper XX03 has to destroy an opponent’s monster by battle to trigger its effect. Against monsters with high ATK, Honest could be used on Victory Viper XX03 to make it gain ATK equal to the monster’s ATK that it is battling. After destroying an opponent’s monster by battle, Victory Viper XX03 could Special Summon 1 “Option Token” whose Type, Attribute, Level, and ATK/DEF are always the same as this card. As any ATK boost such as Honest applied to Victory Viper XX03 will also be applied to the “Option Token”, the “Option Token” could attack for massive damage, often resulting in a quick OTK.

This combination of Honest with Victory Viper XX03 was even more potent back in 2008 as Honest could be activated during Damage Calculation. Since there is only one Chain in Damage Calculation, the Turn Player could use their priority to activate Honest on Chain 1, ensuring that it will always resolve last and gain all the ATK from other effects.

Shining Angel, Nova Summoner and Sangan are able to fetch both Honest and Victory Viper XX03, increasing the consistency of this combo.


Michael Santoso “Bahamut84” brought the Honest Viper deck to the Singapore World Championship Qualifier 2008 and emerged victorious from a metagame of Lightsworns and earned his invitation to the World Championship 2008.

2008-06-22 | Singapore WCQ 2008
1st, Michael Santoso “Bahamut84” [Honest Viper]

Swiss Round 1: Lightsworn XX
Swiss Round 2: Counter Fairy XOO
Swiss Round 3: Dimensional Monarch OO
Swiss Round 4: Gadget OO
Swiss Round 5: Lightsworn OO
Round of 16: Lightsworn XOO
Quarter-Final: Teleport Dark Armed O-
Semi-Final: Lightsworn OXO
Final: Zombie Lightsworn OO

Source: Dueling Days


Baha brought Honest Viper to the World Championship 2008, standing out from a metagame of Lightsworn, Gladiator Beast and Dark Armed Dragon decks. One of the changes feath made to the deck was the inclusion of Thunder King Rai-Oh, but as the card has not been printed in the TCG yet, Baha had to run Elemental HERO Neos Alius instead, a significantly weaker replacement.

2008-08-09 | World Championship 2008
9 – 22nd, Michael Santoso “Bahamut84” [Honest Viper]

Swiss Round 1: Kawaguchi Takahiro (Japan) [Lightsworn] X
Swiss Round 2: Terence Figuiredo (France) [Destiny HERO Dark Armed Dragon] X
Swiss Round 3: Richard Hahn (Australia) [Lightsworn] O
Swiss Round 4: David Dursun (Germany) [Monarch] X
Swiss Round 5: Chris Bowling (USA) [Destiny HERO Dark Armed Dragon] X

Source: World Championship 2008 (Web Archive)


With this Vic Viper left its mark in the history of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG.

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3 Responses

  1. Ho Fai Wu says:

    great research and detail info on this !!!!

  2. Neofrerot says:

    I never noticed that the tokken special summoned with Victory Viper XX03’s effect has the same statistics as it, and so, an OTK is possible if you use a lot of attack boost on it.
    I didn’t know too that the cheat code you can use it TF games comes from Gradius game..
    Thanks a lot like always for your great articles. It is always a pure pleasure to read them, espacially when there is lore, original or retro content.
    Never stop playing to Gradius games!

  3. TheMadWasp - YGO says:

    Really great article!

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