The player controls the ‘Humanoid’ (colored green for player 1 and purple for player 2) and must negotiate a number of robot-filled rooms; each with up to as many as eleven, laser-firing enemy robots. The Humanoid can be killed either by a single shot from a robot, by running into a robot, by running into a wall of the maze, or by being touched by the player’s nemesis, ‘Evil Otto’.
To advance through the game, players must fight their way through each room to an opening at one of the far walls. Each robot destroyed is worth 50 points and while it’s possible to progress without killing every robot in each room; destroying all of them will earn the player a per-maze bonus (worth ten points per robot). The game has an impressive 64,000 mazes, with each level designed to be more difficult than the last.
Berzerk the Arcade Video Game
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The Berzerk cabinet was the first in a series of cabinets from Stern that had a patented pull out drawer that allowed access to the games circuit boards from the front of the cabinet. This title features rather primitive painted side-art that only uses two colors, but it makes up for it with the awesome comic book style art on the control panel and monitor bezel. The marquee is only a ‘Berzerk’ logo, and it kind of looks like something that someone might have done in their high school airbrush class.
Berzerk is technically a monochrome game. It uses a special ‘color overlay’ circuit board to add color to the games graphics before they go to the monitor. A side effect of this is that walking very close to a wall will cause that section of the wall to change to your color.
Berzerk, in common with other machines commonly thought to have used samples (such as Atari’s “Star Wars”, “Paperboy” and “Gauntlet”) used LPC encoded speech and a dedicated speech synthesizer. So the speech is technically encoded data for this speech synth, rather than the now far simpler, digitized audio ‘samples’ for play back via a DAC.