Classic Videogameage!

Okay, that earlier post relating loosely to Gauntlet got my wheels
spinning. I must now post a smallish tribute to my favorite Atari game
ever: Berzerk!

Berzerk’s arcade version was, IIRC, the first arcade game to feature
voice synthesization. “Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!” Berzerk is also
credited with being the first videogame to get a real-world kill:
apparently some poor schmuck keeled over while playing it.

I played it on the atari though, which lacked voice (later versions of
the atari game had it back though, I understand). The game rocked even
without it. Its simplicity was a great strength: the simple graphics
made room for suprisingly sophisticated AIs in the ebil robots: as
levels progressed, they got smarter. In early levels, they might get in
the way of one another’s shots or crash and burn into walls while
pursuing you… at higher levels they were fast, efficient, ruthless
hunters and they didn’t make silly mistakes anymore. The game was
tense, exciting brutal and seriously fun. I loved exploiting the small
glitch that allowed robot shots to pass harmlessly between your
character’s neck and head, and the excruciating electrical noise that
accompanied your death could jar a little boy’s heart.

Here’s the cart cover. “Fight like a robot!”

Also, Berzerk had one of the coolest videogame villains of all time,
right down to the present day: Smiling Evil Otto, who would voice-taunt
the player mercilessly and chase him down like a dog (in some levels he
was completely invulnerable too). To make matters even better, Otto was
the Giant Bouncing Smiley Face o’ DEATH! (pictured below). Also, one
thing I noticed as a kid was that when you shot the bots, their
explosion looked like a ghost image of Otto! Oh the horror (likewise
pictured)! We had to wait until Faceball 2000 to get smileys that kicked nearly so much butt
 

Berzerk just rocked. Yeah baby.

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4 Responses to “Classic Videogameage!”

  1. creativedv8tion Says:

    Berzerk was cool as hell, but Robotron was better.

  2. uhlrik Says:

    I don’t remember Robotron. Musta missed that one.

  3. creativedv8tion Says:

    http://www.shockwave.com/sw/content/robotron

  4. uhlrik Says:

    Thankee!

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