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Atari 2600 Game of the Week - Berzerk CX2650

by Atari, Developed by Dan Hitchens, released 1982

The first time I played Berzerk, it was at a bowling alley (I went bowling with my family mostly so I could play video games) Among the normal sounds, I could hear a voice...

"Get the humanoid", "Get the intruder", "Come back and fight like a robot" came from this new (to me) machine, Berzerk.

Like most classics, it was extremely simple to play, but difficult to master.

I played Berzerk and was in love, so I bought the cartridge for my relatively new 2600 system.

I wasn't disappointed, everything in the arcade was here, except the speech, of course.

For those who haven't enjoyed Berzerk or it's sequel Frenzy, here's the game in a nutshell: run and shoot.

You are a humanoid surrounded by robots bent on eliminating you, and all of you are in rooms made of deadly walls.


I hesitate to call them mazes, as they weren't really difficult to navigate - most of the time you'd collide with a wall trying to avoid robots.

You are not required to clear a room before leaving, but you get a tasty bonus if you do.

When you leave a room, you enter... another room - there is no end to this deperate run for life.

As I mentioned before, the Atari version is extremely faithful to the original arcade game.

All of the gameplay is here, different mazes, bright colors, diagonal fire...

The speech isn't there, but hey, it's easy to recreate the speech yourself while playing.

Go ahead, say "Get the intruder," you know you want to!

The Atari version had 12 "games" - most easier than the real thing, but all fun.

I hated Evil Otto both on the arcade and on the home version - he always came out too quickly and I was forced to leave the room and lose my bonus points.

I like the game variations with rebound Evil Otto, it makes the game play more interesting - if you hit him, he'll reverse.

He'll come back out, of course, but your skill can give you the extra time to get all of the robots detroyed.

Another fun thing is to run around and force the robots to kill each other - their shots are just as deadly to themselves as they are to you.

Sometimes a robot will get impatient and walk right into a wall, and of course, that'll kill them just like it'll kill you.

Berzerk is a fantastic translation of an arcade classic - in league with Space Invaders, it's absolutely beautiful... play it!

"I think I'm going Berzerk... I think I'm losing my mind... I'm getting lost in the shuffle... It happens everytime..." - Buckner and Garcia, "Goin' Berzerk"

You can get the ROM and 2600 Emulators at the Classic Gaming Game Vault.

Comments? Questions? Answers? Email me!