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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 first 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 Robotron 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!       

         Quick 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.

          Berzerk game 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. 

      Berzerk (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 art. 

     This 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.     

      

 

 

 

 

Manufacturer:  Stern Electronics

Production:  ???

Released:  1980

Game Designed and programmed by  Alan McNeal 

World Record:  (Fast Lasers) 224,880, (Slow Lasers) 119,340

Purchased:  July, 2010

Condition:  Working 100% - 

 

"Goin Berzerk"

 

Habo's Frenzy Page

 

 

Trivia

Berzerk received its name from Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series.  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 Berzerker.

 

Quick Strategy

Screen 1:  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