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My first memories of Berzerk were at the arcade at
Landover Mall in MD. During the attract mode I heard "Coins detected in
pocket" which was very cool because games rarely talked at the time. The
official talking game was
Stratovox but Berzerk was the best known for
speech. I tried it out and remember walking away semi frustrated with the
controls. Eugene Jarvis thought the same when he tried to play Berzerk
with a broken arm. He later developed
with similar control concept but gave the player the ability to shoot and
move at the same time using a second joystick.
The player must
successfully navigate his character "the humanoid" through different mazes
(64,000 available) to an exit without getting killed. This is easier said
than done... Each maze has robots randomly scattered throughout with only one
mission, stop the humanoid from escaping. Not to worry though, you are
armed with a laser gun to destroy robots. The robots are armed with lasers
also and with each increasing round the velocity of their shoots increases.
The walls of the maze are electrified and kills the player instantly if touched.
If you stay in a maze to long then "Evil Otto" appears bouncing and killing
everything in his path. Nothing can stop him, not even walls!
reflexes and strategy is a must in playing Berzerk. Robots will shoot and
chase you without worrying about themselves or others. They will track you
in a maze to a fault even if it means into a wall. They will fire
indiscriminately at fellow robots in an effort to kill you.
play can be stressful and hazardous to your health. It is the only video
game allegedly attributing to the death of 2 players.
In January 1981, Jeff Dailey, died of
a massive heart attack right after playing his Berzerk with a hi score of
16,660. In October 1982, 18-year old Peter Burkowski entered his initials
in Berzerk's top ten list twice in a matter of only fifteen minutes. A few
seconds after that, he collapsed and died of a heart attack as well.
The sounds of Berzerk are primitive by today's standards but still hold up. They truly
add a menacing feeling when playing. At the time speech uncommon in a game
and was expensive at $1000 per word. The vocabulary of the robots are
limited but were mixed and varied at different tones. The robots monotone
delivery shouting to "kill " or "get the humanoid" was a thrill and extremely
memorable to many.
(Cabaret/Mini) - This game is not uncommon but this particular style of cabinet
is. This mini version of Berzerk is the only one known to exist. It is remarkable
because it includes Stern's full artwork for the game instead of a stenciled
painted on the sides as in the upright version. The upright cabinet
monitor bezel has about a fifth of the the great comic book style
Berzerk was shipped from Australia to Todd at TnT Amusements eventually being
purchased by me. There isn't any
information about this style cabinet but I believe it was produced only there.
Leisure and Allied Industries of Australia is stamped on the serial number
plaque. There are also logos from the Australian based company on the
bezel, CPO and side art. The number
of cabaret's produced not known but had to be very low.
To date, this is the only
known existence of the game in this cabinet.
Game Designed and programmed by
224,880, (Slow Lasers)
Working 100% -
Berzerk received its name from
Star Trek also was inspired by the series when writing the "Doomsday Machine"
episode. Later Trek publications refer back to the Doomsday Machine as a
Shoot 2 bots then exit any door
Screen 2: Shoot 3 bots then exit from the top
Screen 3: Immediately exit again from the bottom (note you can still exit
even with the yellow door)
Screen 4: Kill everything that moves and exit to the right.
You should receive 800 +/- points with bonus before going to the red bots.
Click on the Berzerk
characters to hear in game sounds