You play a humanoid who Must Not Escape in this well-made
Atari 5200 game, a version of the coin-op game by Stern.
Your humanoid can move and shoot in 8 directions, trying to get through each
room in an endless maze populated by ever-deadlier robots.
Don't be fooled by the spartan graphics -- Berzerk is a tense,
exciting, seat-of-your-pants kind of game. To clear a path through each
maze (the walls are electrified -- don't touch them!), you must learn
the habits of the robots and try to either shoot them first, or fool them into
destroying themselves. You've got to be quick, because after a few
seconds in each maze, Evil Otto comes after you. Evil Otto is a bouncing,
grinning smiley face, but he's indestructable, relentless, deadly, and he
moves through walls at will. Fear him, or respect him, because he means business.
To add to the challenge, you can only fire 2 shots at a time.
5200 Berzerk's sounds are phenomenal -- not only is your
electrocution brilliantly conveyed, but this game is full of actual speech!!!
I never knew how Atari did it back in 1983, but they crammed all of Otto's taunts
and commands into the cart. Otto announces his entrance and yells at you when you
exit each room, every time, often saying the phrases at different, random pitches.
"Humanoid must not escape!", "Chicken! Fight like a robot!", "Intruder Alert!
Intruder Alert!". Loud and robotically scary!
There are many mazes to conquer. In fact, it seems like there
is a random level generator built in. There are 11 levels to begin at, and
you can even press the 7 & 9 keys after a game to hear Otto's phrases.
Berzerk is one of the top 5 Atari 5200 games. Not only is it an
obscure but challenging game, but the robotic voice synthesis puts it over the top.