The Weyland-Yutani VP78 Pistol is a machine pistol chambered for 9mm cartridges. A successor to the VP70 machine pistol, the VP78 was employed by the United States Colonial Marine Corps as their standard-issue sidearm in the 23rd century, replacing the VP70 and the M4 Pistol (although some Marines used it as early as 2179).
The VP78 Pistol is chambered for 9mm squash-head rounds for increased stopping power. It can fire in both semi-automatic and three-round burst modes; while accuracy during three-round burst is poor, it greatly increases the weapon's effectiveness at close range. The weapon has neither the stopping power nor the long-range accuracy of many other weapons, but it gives Marines something to fall back on if they cannot use their primary weapons.
It is fitted with a laser sight/flashlight unit underneath the barrel as standard, although it is not usable in the game; instead, Rookie uses his TNR Shoulder Lamp for illumination, as with any other weapon.
In Aliens vs. Predator, the VP78 Pistol is the standard sidearm for USCM combat forces, and as such it is the player's starting weapon. The VP78 has unlimited ammo, but still must be reloaded after firing all 18 rounds in the magazine.
The VP78 is notably used by Karl Bishop Weyland during the ending to the Marine campaign where he takes the VP78 from Rookie and attempts to shoot him, only to find out the pistol is out of ammunition.
Behind the Scenes
Although it is named after the Heckler & Koch VP70, the standard sidearm for the Marines in Aliens, the VP78 is visually based on the Beretta 93R, a three-round burst pistol based on the Beretta 92FS design. The VP70, VP78 and 93R all share the capability of firing in three-round burst (although the VP70 can only do so when its stock is attached).
In AvPGalaxy user Corporal Hicks' interview with various members of Rebellion, Hicks asked the question "The weaponry in the game that didn’t come from the movies, where did you go for inspiration for the designs? Did you use the Colonial Marines Technical Manual at all?" Project lead Tim Jones responded with:
- "[...] We were keen to retain the iconic weaponry that people love from the movies and the games. The smartgun, flame-thrower, shotgun, the pistol. They’re all well represented in the game."
- ―Tim Jones
Producer Paul Mackman then added:
- "It’s fair to say the motherload of our main staple of weapons for the marines are routed in Aliens."
- ―Paul Mackman
Hicks' next question was "Even the little bits as well, like the name of the pistol…The one in the film was the VP70 and the one is this is the VP78…" which Mackman responded with:
- "We took base names and advanced them which makes sense as we’re about 30 years on."
- ―Paul Mackman on the names of the weapons
Jones then added:
- "It’s nice to have those little touches in there. It might just be a name or serial numbers on a gun but it’s nice to be able to nod to those kinds of things for those kinds of people that really notice that stuff and obsess about it as much as we do. It should bring a little smile to their faces, knowing that we care about it."
- ―Tim Jones
- At the end of the game's Marine campaign, Karl Bishop Weyland points out that the VP78 is manufactured by Weyland-Yutani. As he does, the Weyland-Yutani logo is visible on the side of the pistol's slide.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Tim Bogenn. Aliens vs. Predator: Bradygames Official Strategy Guide, p. 6 (2010), DK/BradyGames.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/articles/rebellion-studio-visit-part-2/3/
- ↑ Alien: River of Pain
- ↑ Rebellion. Aliens vs. Predator game manual, p. 9 (2010).