Berzerk Arcade Game

Berzerk was created by a company called Stern Electronics and was released in 1980. Many of you probably were never aware of this games existence until you received the cartridge with your Atari 2600. In this game, the player controls a humanoid character that navigates a rudimentary maze and blows up “stupid” robots while avoiding getting blown up. We refer to the robots as stupid because they would often kill themselves by accident.

Berzerk Arcade Game Cabinet

In addition to the robot lasers, there were other hazards, such as electrified walls, exploding robots, and the Evil Otto. The Evil Otto could bounce through walls, move in multiple directions, was “magnetically” attracted to the player, and could not be killed. Getting away from Otto was a matter of moving left and right, but not up and down. Although a player would receive bonus points for killing all robots before escaping through an opening on the opposite wall, it was not necessary to blow them up to move to the next level. Berzerk was one of the first game to make use of synthesized speech, a very expensive feature at the time. If the player escaped without blowing up every robot, a voice would say “Chicken, fight like a robot”. When the player is killed, the voice says “Got the humanoid, got the intruder”.