The Arcade Video Game by Stern Electronics, Inc.

Frenzy screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Frenzy © 1982 Stern.

A sequel to the 1980 game, "Berzerk", Frenzy once again has the player battling through a maze of rooms, populated by robotic skeletons, robotic octopi and walls. Everything in each room, except walls is deadly to the touch.

The object is to shoot all the robots, and then escape out of the room through one of the doorways. Like its prequel, Frenzy consist of 64000 levels. Once all 64000 have been cleared the game will crash.


Frenzy the  Arcade Video Game
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(members only)
The Frenzy cabinet had a patented pull-out drawer that allowed access to the game's circuit boards from the front of the cabinet. Frenzy machines are bright orange, and are not as cool looking as "Berzerk" machines were. The graphics are mostly done in blue, yellow, and orange, and are just simple designs for the most part.

This is technically a monochrome game. It uses a special 'color overlay' circuit board to add color to the games graphics before they go to the monitor. A side effect of this is that walking very close to a wall, robot, laser blast, etc, will cause part of that object to change to your color.

Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 2.5 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Custom tone generator, custom LPC speech synthesis chip

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1


Frenzy was released in May 1982.

Frenzy speaks to you as you play. It has a voice synthesizer that spouts little phrases. These were done in a monotone computer voice, which was difficult to understand when combined with other in-game sounds (The voices were actually done using LPC encoding, which cost $1000 per word back in 1980). These phrases were also translated into several European languages (Spanish, French, and German) for release in Europe.

In Frenzy, however, the robots are nowhere near as chatty. They only speak in a few specific situations. See "Differences from Berzerk" below for full details.

Mark Smith holds the official record for this game with 4804540 points.

• In "Berzerk", the walls are all solid. In Frenzy, some of the walls of the maze are composed of 'dots' which can be shot. This opens up strategies such as blasting a hole in the side of a room to escape when in trouble. The solid walls, on the other hand, now reflect shots. You can trick robots into killing themselves by standing on the opposite side of a reflective wall and letting them shoot themselves. The only wall that simply absorbs shots harmlessly as in the original is the closed door that appears behind you when you enter a new room.

• Neither type of wall is electrified, and so you can touch them without dying. On the other hand, you also usually can't kill robots by tricking them into walking into the now-harmless walls. In addition, you can no longer die by touching the robots or their explosions. Only their shots can kill you (though the blast radius from an exploding robot can kill you). There are two types of robots: skeletons and tanks. The two types have identical AI, but the skeletons are more difficult to shoot from above or below (because they're so thin).

• In "Berzerk", Evil Otto was unkillable and unstoppable. In Frenzy, where he's known as Crazy Otto, shooting him once changes him from a smiley face to a 'neutral' face, and another shot converts him to a 'frowny' face. Another shot kills him. However, killing Crazy Otto makes him a little bit faster the next time he appears, which is usually immediately.

• Every four mazes, there are seemingly decorative elements in Frenzy that don't exist in the earlier game. For example, in one room is a huge statue of Otto called Big Otto. Each one has a specific effect on game-play for that one room. The order is : Big Otto, Power Plant, Central Computer, and Robot Factory. The Power Plant and the Central Computer are surrounded by walls made entirely of 'dots', while Big Otto and the Robot Factory are surrounded by reflective walls with only one breakable 'dot' in the corner, making them more difficult to hit.

• In the Power Plant room, shooting the power plant once will disable it, and all robots in the room will stop moving. In the Central Computer room, shooting the computer will cause all the robots to start moving and firing erratically. While they're in such a state, the walls can kill them. The Robot Factory will continue to spit out additional robots while you're in the stage, taunting you as it does so. Shooting the factory has no effect.

• In the Big Otto room, if you kill Crazy Otto, not only does he immediately respawn as usual, but Big Otto will spawn four more Crazy Ottos (as depicted in the cabinet's sideart image) and sends them at you; the spawned Crazy Ottos all move at top speed. Like the Robot Factory, shooting Big Otto has no effect. Big Otto starts out with closed eyes and a neutral expression, but his expression changes to one of rage, with glowing red eyes and a frowning mouth, when you kill Crazy Otto. He also smiles when you die, though his eyes remain the same as before, either closed or open.

• Finally, the robots are nowhere near as chatty. They only speak in a few specific situations. They say 'Robot, attack!' when Crazy Otto appears, 'Charge...attack...shoot...kill...destroy!' when you kill Crazy Otto and he respawns, 'The Humanoid must not destroy the robot!' when entering the Big Otto room, 'Where is the Humanoid?' when shooting the Central Computer, and randomly alternates between 'A robot must get the humanoid' and 'A robot is not a chicken' when the Robot Factory dispenses a new robot. The constant background chatter of the original game is gone.


Robots Killed (by you, another robot, or Crazy Otto) : 50 points.
Wall Dots Shot (by you or a robot) : 1 point.
Crazy Otto : 20 points per hit.
Bonus For Killing All Robots : 10 points per robot killed.


1. Berzerk (1980)
2. Frenzy (1982)


Designed & programmed by : Alan McNeil



Colecovision usa (1982) "Frenzy [Model 2613]"

Game's ROM.
Machine's picture (bossyman15)

Page last modified on November 04, 2013