Fun fact. This game actually has no dedicated title screen.


Thumbnail Theater presents...
BERZERK
One Man.
One Planet.
One Smiley Face.
Too Damn Many Robots.
STARRING:


GREEN STICK GUY
as...
SERGEANT BUTCH SIDEIRON
HARUMI TANIGAWA
as...
MAJOR HARUMI TANIGAWA
AKIYOSHI
as...
GENERAL FRANK MISGIVINGS
DUKE NUKEM
as...
The Voice of HQ
And...
JIM IGNATOWSKI
as...
HIMSELF



Okay, I'm in. Can you hear me, Major?


Yes, I can hear you just fine.


You know, I'm still impressed that you came back 26 years or so from that "Women At Work" movie you mention.


Yes. 1980 is a lot nicer than I thought, and much more advanced than I could have believed!


I hope HQ knows what it's doing, sending me on this mission. What's the situation?


Just a moment and I'll relay HQ's message.




(There went that hope.) How many hostiles?


We don't have an exact number.


On a mission in which the number of targets is unclear, it's difficult to ensure absolute thoroughness.


Just do your best, Sergeant.


Acknowledged. I'm moving out.




One hostile in sight, eleven hostiles in sector. Moving to attack!




Mop-up is going well. Over half of the hostiles have been neutralized, Major.


Not in the middle of a fight! Just keep attacking!

INTRUDER ALERT INTRUDER ALERT


What the hell?




Major, I'm getting a strange reading directly following the yell that just came from the robots.


The reading is much fuzzier up here, Sergeant. Cannot provide assistance until I have more data.




WHAT THE F- MAJOR! SOMETHING'S COMING THROUGH THE WALL!


Destroy the remaining robot hostiles! Attack the unidentified object once you've done so!




Got 'em! A-... Major. I'm being approached by a smiley face. That's what the voice heralded.


Uh... What?


All hostiled destroyed, I'm going to the exi- HEY WHAT THE- IT'S SPEEDING UP!!




Major, I'm escaping until I can investigate from a safer distance!


Understood!




Major, that seemed too easy, aside from that strange episode with the... smiley face. I just don't get that at ALL.


Stay alert. I doubt it'll be so simple for long.


The robots have taken on a red hue. I doubt it means much, but I'll need to ensure that. Also, a red barrier is preventing continued access to the previous sector.


You have no reason to go back. Let's just continue on.




SHOTS FIRED! SHOTS FIRED!


Shoot back! Shoot back!




Eliminated four hostil- wait. I heard one more explode, and I know I wasn't the cause.


It... seems to have touched the... wall?


Strange. Will investigate as soon as all hostiles are clear.




All hostiles eliminated. I'm taking a look at this wall. I want to know how this substance destroyed the robot.

INTRUDER ALERT INTRUDER ALERT




I hear that voice from before. Aborting the examination of the wall and will attempt assault on the... thing.


Exercise caution.




It's coming in fast, and I just took a shot at it!


Shouldn't you at least turn around to make sure it connects?


I... tried to. For some reason I can't face the left unless I'm firing or moving that way.


I'll alert Medical and have them look into that later.




HOLY SHIT IT'S BOUNCING OUT OF THE WAY OF MY SHOTS! I'VE HIT IT SEVEN TIMES SO FAR AND IT'S NOT GOING DOWN!!


ESCAPE! DO YOU HEAR ME!!? ESCAPE IMMEDIATELY!!




That was too close... I've escaped. Continuing assignment.


Good job, soldier. Just don't give out on us now.




Major, I couldn't see it that well, but tw-

INTRUDER ALERT INTRUDER ALERT


SHIT!! TWO ROBOTS! They bumped into each other and both died!!


No time to speculate! Get out immediately! Just assume that the robots are of an antimatter alloy that explodes on contact with each other’s alloys!




Escaped. Major, I’m looking around. The robots are some sort of bluish-green color. So is the barrier preventing access to the previous area.


Investigate cause for the color changes, and if there are any appreciable effects.


Acknowledg- SHOTS FIRED! Two shots!




They’re... trying to shoot at me through the walls.


Don’t underestimate them!


Yeah yeah, I know, “power of stupid people in large groups”. You think I don’t remember Situation Bravo Four during the LAST war? You think I don’t remember the shock I felt seeing the last Major take a flamethrower in the face from the TROLL uni-


SERGEANT! I agree, Major Slugfest was a good man, and we’re sorry to see him go, but this is neither the time nor the place! Continue your assignment, and that’s an order!


-deep breath- I’m sorry, Major. It won’t happen again. I just can’t let it fade for me, you know… It just feels like that war never ended...


Stay hardy, soldier. You’ll get through this. You got through the last major conflict then, and you’ll do it now.


Thanks, Major. Continuing assignment.




Another inexplicable death; I heard it behind that wall. I don’t think it ran into the wall, though.


You’ll love this. The readings we’re examining now shows that one of the robots appears to have shot another one, and neutralized it.


-sound of facepalm- CONTINUING ASSIGNMENT.




I’ve cleared several sectors without incident. Looks like there’s been another pigmentation change. They’re light green- THREE SHOTS FIRED!!


Sergeant, I’ve got it! Each color change… Yellow ones didn’t even shoot at you, red ones shot one laser, those… bluish ones shot two… These shoot three! Stay on the alert! It’s likely that the next color change, if there is one, will shoot four!




Major, things are getting tense! I’m finding-

INTRUDER ALERT INTRUDER ALERT


-SHIT! Finding myself forced to take advantage of those robotic quirks to destroy them- I can’t possibly take them all head-on before I hear that infernal voice anymore! It’s as if the moment I shoot down all but a single robot, everything except me speeds up like Corporal Punishment did following that ‘experiment’ with the combat drugs a while ago! And what’s WORSE, that damned smiley-face creep moves as fast as I do the moment I wipe out all the hostiles!!


How were you able to say that in the two seconds it took you to make it to the exit after neutralizing all the robots?


Practice!




Another sector cleared SUNNUVABITCH! What’s that weird high pitch I heard in my helmet!? That blew my damn eardrums halfway across the galaxy!


I’m investigating, but I can’t determine exactly what happened. Once the assignment is over, we’ll have your equipment inspected.




Dammit! You were right, Major, they’ve turned purple and they’re firing four shots at me! I can’t dodge at this distance, I’m gonna press myself against the waAAHIIIEEEE MY SKIN IS MELTIIII-

-ssssssssssssssssssssss-



Sergeant? Sergeant! SERGEAAAAAANNNNNT!!!

WIIIIIIIIISE FROM YUH GWAAAAAAAAAAAVE





Ugh... God, that hurt...


Sergeant!! What happened?!


Ow... I touched the wall... It really... ow... dammit, it fried me like an egg...


Sergeant, glad to see you’re still with us. Are you in a shape to continue?


Yeah... I’ll pull through this. See if I can’t send these robots back to the scrap heap for that! Okay, looks as if the sector mysteriously changed while I was out, and that barrier that’s usually present is gone- SHOTS FIRED! CAN’T DODGE THE- OH FU-




GAAAHHH I DID IT AGAIN MY BONES ARE CHARRING LIKE OVERCOOKED PORK IT HURRRTS OH SWEET MOT-

-ssssssssssssssssssssss-



You cannot be serious...

RISE from yo’ got-damn grave, motherfucker!





Son of a BITCH! I just took it up the ass twice in a row from those damn walls! You’re telling me that these damned walls are a bigger threat than my actual ENEMIES here?!


Sergeant, you’ve GOT to be more careful here. I just looked at the reports. You were a puddle of melted flesh right before you VAPORIZED. BOTH TIMES. We have no idea how it is you’re alive now.


You think I’m not confused here either?! Continuing the damn assignment!




You like THAT?! How’ZAT you little bitches?! I ripped a new porthole in your moth-

INTRUDER ALERT INTRUDER ALERT


DAMMIT!


SERGEANT! Calm down, please! You’re flipping out!




...Major. They’re yellow now. Just pre-fit my goddamn toe tag and have it ready for me. If my body still EXISTS after they’re done flaying the skin off my bones.


Think positive, Sergeant, you’re doing okay so far!


Okay. I’m positive I want that toe tag refitted.


-sigh-




MAJOR! Oh thank god I’m still alive, I barely dodged that one SHIT I dodged that one too but I won’t last HELP! They’re WHITE!! Their lasers are moving twice as goddamn fast; I’ll take five of those slow ones over one of these any day!! Why can’t you EXTRACT ME already?! AND OH GOD NOT ANOTHER WALL GEEYIIAAAIIEEE MY SPLEEN!!! IT BURNS LIKE THE FURY OF A THOUSAND SU-



-ssssssssssssssssssssss-



...


General?
I'm behind you. Yes, Major?
Why CAN’T we extract him?
This is an important mission that needs to be completed with the utmost care. We could lose a lot of ground if we extract him now.
I just saw the mission parameters. The REAL ones. He was a scout sent to survey a few sectors in for any remaining human life. It’s clear that nobody was left alive. We’re fine to nuke the entire site from orbit as was the plan from the admiral.
All right. You got me. We could have extracted him from minute one, but this little bitch needs to be taught a lesson, along with his squad. You do NOT put Ex-lax into my coffee the minute before I rally together my entire damned regiment.
They deserve to DIE for that?
-points at Sideiron’s ID- HE peed in my oatmeal, bitch!

AND THE GODS SAW FIT TO GIVE HIM YET ANOTHER LIFE


Private Tutor! I told you to turn off the UrinatingTree videos! What are you doing on Future YouTube right now, anyway?!




It hurts... the pain...


-sigh- Sergeant...


I... can't... go on... Major... can you hear me... I see only back... with while blobs...


Sergeant...


Please... leave me here to die...


... -nod-

-click-



And, following another blazingly fast burst of laser fire, so ended the tale of our brave, yet not altogether smart, Sergeant Sideiron. He was promoted three ranks after dying in Unidentified Blank Landscape. In his honor, the site was nuked from orbit, as it was the only way to be sure. Major Harumi was inconsolable until three beers in the starship’s galley, after which she could no longer remember who Sergeant Sideiron was.

The end.


Heheheh.

Meanwhile...





Guys? What's going on? This isn't funny. Guys? ...guys?



Graphics: 10 This was 1980. Let’s be honest with ourselves, back in THAT day and age, this was pretty good. And really, this game’s hard enough as it is- I’m going to agree with Hardcore Gaming 101 and say that had anything more been on-screen than you, the enemies, walls, and laser fire, I’d have never made it past the purple robots. For this game’s purposes, who are we kidding? The graphics are gonna be just fine.
Sound: 9 Let me repeat myself- this was 1980. This game had VOICE ACTING, and the robots talked CONSTANTLY about how dead they planned on making you. Yes, it was “robot monotone” that was just pitched higher or lower every so often, and nowadays we laugh at its pitifulness when compared to say, David Hayter, but for the time, this was nothing short of revolutionary. But Sergeant Sideiron’s got a point. That “extra life” noise is made solely to destroy eardrums.
Gameplay: 9 This game’s hard. It will kick your ass and make you like it. The nice thing is that GENERALLY, when you’re killed, you can see what went wrong and quickly identify it as being your fault. The only time this doesn’t feel like the case is when you start a room surrounded on all sides, which usually results in being pinned down with laser fire, and in my case, stupidly running into walls like a chicken with my head cut off. Guess some days I just can’t fight like a robot.

And if you intend on playing this game, which I highly recommend… Learn how to exploit the enemies’ idiocy. You will need to if you want to have ANY hope of completing stages without either getting shot to death or having whatever the hell Evil Otto (the name of that smiley face o’ death) does to you done to you.

One last thing. Just looking for a good pick-up game? Seriously, play this. I guarantee your game won’t last more than five to ten minutes IF YOU’RE GOOD.
Stages: 64,000 Yes, you heard me correctly. Supposedly, the game has 64,000 stages, and upon the completion of the 64,000th, you get an ending! You know what it is? THE GAME CRASHES. I guess the robots decided on that whole ‘death before dishonor’ thing somewhere around stage 63,996.
Frickin’ Lasers: Seven fast shots As you might have figured out, the difficulty scales in direct proportion to your score. It does so until robots can fire SEVEN of those superfast lasers at your sorry stick behind at once.

But know you this! The shots at any point are spread out between all the robots on the screen. If four lasers are in play that aren’t yours, and you’re up against those purple robots that can spit up to four, enemies can’t fire any more until at least one of the shots dissipates.

You get two fast shots of your very own.

Maybe I should up the score to nine fast shots.
Robot Uprising Score: 2084 For more information on robot attacks, please turn your attention to the Robotron series. Stay away from the boxy green robots, please.




Return me to the review list before I break out into a frenzy.

The front page, with all haste. Seriously, I don't want to be around when Evil Otto comes back.