Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I much prefer battling robots to battling viruses, so I've been inside spending a lot of time on Berzerk in the last few weeks.  I wrote up an animated strategy guide and attempted to backwards engineer the AI


So tell me about your experiences with the game.  Are the ports any good?  And why doesn't Evil Otto have his own game yet?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a theory that Evil Otto is actually a Happy Fun Ball and the guy you control taunts it before the game starts.

  • Haha 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently grappled with this in the high score competition here. I do have a soft spot for this game, having played it in the arcades when it was fairly new. I know I've told this story before around here, but at the arcade that I went to most often, I noticed the Berzerk cabinet had metal coin slots. Being an expert at building up a static charge on the carpet in order to zap my brother at home (hey, I learned it from him!), I had a fanciful notion that I might be able to use the arcade's carpeting to build up a charge and zap the coin slot for free games. Imagine my surprise when this crazy scheme actually worked! I must not have been the only kid who discovered this technique, though, because the metal coin slots were soon replaced with the now-standard plastic slots.


Another reason I think back on this game fondly is because it was one of the few games that I felt had a pretty accurate home version on the Atari 2600. Even as a young kid I could grasp to some extent that the 2600 was not as powerful as the machines in the arcade, and I was just really pleased with how well they were able to recreate it.


Years later, I enjoyed listening to Eugene Jarvis speak at the NW Arcade and Pinball Show about his process in developing the control scheme in Robotron 2084. He mentioned that he had noticed when playing Berzerk that if you held the fire button down while standing still, and then moved the joystick, that your player would not move but you could still aim and fire in whatever direction you were pushing the stick. Having that in the back of his mind, he said he thought of a twin stick arrangement while drifting off to sleep, and then prototyped it using 2600 sticks the next day.


So those are all my good memories of Berzerk. Returning to the present, when playing it recently in the high score competition, I mostly felt a feeling of physical tension due to how slowly your character moves. I couldn't really achieve a deeper understanding of the game to improve at it. This game will often spawn kill you the moment you appear in a new room, so you never want to stop moving. Evil Otto is one of the most memorable characters from early coin-ops, but I think he would be cooler if he had some weakness, like the Unbeatable? Pterodactyl from Joust.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...