“The player controls a green stick man, representing a humanoid. Using a joystick (and a firing button to activate a laser-like weapon), the player navigates a simple maze filled with many robots, who fire lasers back at the player character. A player can be killed by being shot, by running into a robot or an exploding robot, coming into contact with the electrified walls of the maze itself, or by being touched by the player’s nemesis, Evil Otto.”
Evil Otto, despite his name, or perhaps to make it even creepier, is represented by a bouncing smiley face.
Are you afraid yet? Just wait…
According to Reinhardt, Evil Otto cannot be killed in any way; your only defense is to run away to the next room. And you might be running from him for a while since there are 65,536 rooms in the game. It gets worse: Evil Otto is the only video game character in the history of the world to actually kill people. Again, from Wikipedia:
“In January 1981, 19-year-old Jeff Dailey died of a heart attack soon after posting a score of 16,660 on Berzerk. In October of the following year, Peter Burkowski made the Berzerk top-ten list twice in fifteen minutes, just a few seconds before also dying of a heart attack at the age of 18.“
There have been arguments continuing to this day that blame violent video games for violent behavior. Berserk looks pretty tame compared to contemporary video game graphics, but it seems like the journey for a high score is to blame here. So all you arcade gamers out there: remember to take a break once in a while, get some Vitamin D, and maybe do some meditation. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone offered Yoga for Gamers? I found this video (which has a yoga sequence and a background of video game-esque music) on YouTube, but I’m hoping some teachers out there will post some more!