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Berzerk (Atari 2600, 1982) - CX2650

Berzerk (Atari 2600, 1982) - CX2650

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"Berzerk" is a classic video game originally developed by Stern Electronics as an arcade game in 1980. It was later adapted for the Atari 2600 and released in 1982. Known for its intense action and early use of voice synthesis in the arcade version, "Berzerk" became a notable title for the Atari 2600.

Overview of the Game

Developer: Stern Electronics (original arcade), adapted by Atari, Inc. for Atari 2600

Platform: Atari 2600

Release Year: 1982

Genre: Action, Shooter


In "Berzerk," players control a humanoid character navigating through a series of mazes filled with hostile robots. The objective is to survive and score points by destroying robots and avoiding various hazards.

Key Features:

  • Maze Navigation: Players move through interconnected rooms, each populated with robots and electrified walls.
  • Combat: Players can shoot lasers to destroy robots, which shoot back at the player.
  • Enemies: The primary threats are the robots, each with different behaviors and speeds.
  • Hazards: Electrified walls can kill both the player and the robots upon contact.
  • Evil Otto: A relentless bouncing smiley face that appears if the player lingers too long in a room. Evil Otto is indestructible and adds urgency to the gameplay.

Differences from the Arcade Version

The Atari 2600 version of "Berzerk" had to adapt the arcade experience to fit the console's capabilities:

  • Graphics: Simplified graphics compared to the arcade, with less detail and fewer colors.
  • Sound: The voice synthesis present in the arcade version ("Intruder alert! Intruder alert!") was omitted due to the Atari 2600's limited audio hardware.
  • Controls: The joystick is used for movement and firing, similar to the arcade but with some differences in responsiveness and precision.
  • Gameplay Mechanics: Some elements, like the number of robots and the complexity of their behavior, were simplified.


The Atari 2600 version of "Berzerk" was well-received, praised for successfully capturing the core elements of the arcade game despite the hardware limitations. Players enjoyed the game's challenging and fast-paced action.


"Berzerk" remains a beloved title from the early days of video gaming, known for its challenging gameplay and the introduction of an iconic villain in Evil Otto. The Atari 2600 version, while not as advanced as the arcade original, played a significant role in bringing the arcade experience to home consoles, contributing to the popularity and success of the Atari 2600 platform.

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