Berzerk 1982 By: Atari

Berzerk Atari 2600 Screenshot Screenshot 1



The Astro Date is 3200 and you are the last survivor of a small group of earth people who came to explore the planet Mazeon. Soon after landing, you discovered the planet is a dark, apparently uninhabitable place. But by then it was too late to turn back because your space craft had been destroyed by Automazeons.

Now you are a prisoner here. You are trapped in a maze where even the walls are death to touch. Grim robot thugs known as "Automazeons" stalk you relentlessly and you must systematically pulverize them with your laser gun before they eliminate you with theirs.

You are never safe on the planet Mazeon. Even when you've destroyed the mechanical heavies, Evil Otto, the mad and merciless mind behind the robot gangs, leaps out from where he's been observing the battle. You flee in panic because you know that you cannot kill Evil Otto and that, once he catches you, you'll never escape.

He will pound you to a lifeless pulp, grinning like a maniac all the while. Your only hope is to get out of the electrified maze before Evil Otto catches you.

If you do get out, you find yourself in another maze. Again the faceless robots shoot at you, again Evil Otto pursues you, again you must dodge and shoot and run ... into yet another maze. It's enough to drive you bonkers!

--From the Atari 2600 Berzerk instruction manual.

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Berzerk used to make me go Berzerk as a kid. Needless to say this was one of my favorite games. In Berzerk the idea is to get through the maze without being killed. All in all, I think that this was a great game. There was a big jump that had to be made from the original arcade version, but I think Atari did alright. The Berzerk robots, Evil Otto, and the guy that is supposed to be you, all look a lot like their arcade cousins. The only real complaint is that they couldn't keep the robotic voice that taunted you in the arcade.


In Berzerk, you are the little guy and you need to kill the Berzerk robots. You also need to watch out for the walls because if you touch them you will die, they are electrified. There is also another enemy to watch out for that looks like a smiley face, the name is Evil Otto. If you linger too long in any one room, he will appear and go Berzerk on you. He can go through walls and he cannot be killed on harder modes. On the easy modes, hitting a wall will kill him. On the upside he will usually kill a few of his buddies as well.
As you get farther in the game, the robots will start to Berzerk on you more and more. They get faster as you stay the same slow speed. On the upside, their below average intelligence stays the same slow speed. They will, however, start to Berzerk on you all kamikaze style, running into walls and each other to get to you. If they touch or shoot you you will die. You start with three men and will be awarded an extra man at every 1000 points on easy modes and 2000 on medium. On harder modes, there are no extra lives.
There are several game variations that change the difficulty, they are as follows: Variation #1-
The most basic variation. You gain extra lives at 1000 points as usual.
There is no Evil Otto in this variation, so you're pretty much stuck to
fighting just robots. The robots do shoot, so you're not completely out
of the woods.
Variation #2
This one is just like #1 with one distinct difference. You still gain
extra lives at 1000 points, robots still fire, but Evil Otto is present
in this variation. You can "destroy" him (or as the instruction manual
puts it, "rebound" him) temporarily, but he will return.
Variation #3
The game is getting a bit harder here. You still gain extra lives at
each 1000 point mark, robots still fire, and Evil Otto is still present,
but he cannot be defeated here. He is invincible.
Variation #4
Evil Otto is not in this variation. Whew. Robots still fire, but you
gain an extra life every 2000 points.
Variation #5
Just like variation #2. Evil Otto is temporarily defeatable, robots
fire, but extra lives occur every 2000 points.
Variation #6
Extra lives still cost 2000 points a pop. Evil Otto's robots are still
firing their blasters. Finally, Evil Otto is indestructible. Let's
just hope you can rack up 2000 points fast!
Variation #7
Well, Evil Otto is gone, but he takes bonus lives with him. In other
words, you can only play with what lives you have, adding a bit to the
difficulty. There are still robots, and yes, they still shoot.
Variation #8
Evil Otto returns in his defeatable state, but there still is no
opportunity to gain extra lives. What's worse is that the robots can
still fire. This one isn't as bad as the next.
Variation #9
The real ego killer (or ego maker, if you're that good) is #9, probably
the hardest mode available. Evil Otto is invincible, robots fire, and
there's no chance of gaining extra lives. So, you'll have to fight and
run extra hard.
Variation #10
Evil Otto exists and cannot be destroyed. You gain an extra life for
every 1000 points. Yay, it came back! Robots don't fire, either.
Variation #11
Evil Otto can be defeated here. You can also gain extra lives at every
1000 points. What's more, robots do not shoot.
Varation #12
The easiest variation available. No Evil Otto whatsoever. Robots do
exist, but they don't fire. You also gain extra lives at every 1000

Button Fire
D- pad Moves you around
Diagonal Shot
If you press the fire button while walking diagonally, you will shoot diagonally.
Shooting Bullets
If you shoot one of the berzerk robot's bullets, it will destroy it.
Hidden Neck Trick
If you position yourself in such a way that one of the berzerk robots bullets passes through the space in your neck, you will not take damage.
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