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This is a game that I never got a chance to play much in the arcades.
Frenzy, the sequel to Berzerk, was released towards the beginning of the great Arcade Depression in the
early 80's. It was also one of Stern's last video games and had a very low
production number. It's pretty rare to find an upright with a
marquee that isn't faded and has its side art intact. Its even more rare
to find a cocktail table version of Frenzy. The first time I saw and
played Frenzy was at a Time Out in Forestville Mall located in Maryland.
There are a few new features in Frenzy giving it much different feel than
Berzerk. Frenzies walls could still kill a player upon touching them but
now walls are reflective and segmented. The new walls
allowed a player to use them to their advantage or demise. Now players can
create their own exits by shooting holes in the segmented walls. Players
can shoot robots by ricocheting their shots off of the reflective walls. Otto can now
be destroyed with 4 shots but will reappear to only chase you faster. The
robots come in 2 flavors this time, Skeletons and Eyeballs. They are much
smarter than the previous batch of robots from Bezerk that would kill themselves
and other robots. Also new in
Frenzy are 4 unique levels such as Mama Otto, Power Factory, Computer
Room, and Robot Factory.
Frenzy and its predecessor Berzerk use nearly identical hardware internally.
The power supply, video board, sound/speech board, and control panel are the
same for both games. Frenzy can be converted to Berzerk and visa versa by
swapping ZPU boards. Berzerk uses a ZPU-1000 and Frenzy uses cleverly
enough, ZPU-1001. Since I have a Berzerk I decided to pick up a Frenzy ZPU and give it a try. On a similar note, I've found information on
building a Berzerk to Frenzy switcher designed by Dave Fish. There are
instructions, schematics, parts list, binary file, and additional information
included in the zip file (see sidebar). Dave did a great job of
documenting all his hard work.