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Frenzy

Arcade Video game published 39 years ago by Stern Electronics, Inc.

Frenzy screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Frenzy © 1982 Stern.

A sequel to the 1980 game, "Berzerk", "Frenzy" once again has the player battling through a maze of rooms populated by deadly, armed robots. The robots now come in two forms, 'Skeletons' and 'Eyeballs', and the object of the game is to destroy as many robots as possible before escaping the room through one of the open doorways.

If the player lingers too long in a room, a bouncing smiley face known as 'Evil Otto' appears and relentlessly chases the player. Otto will destroy any robots in his way and can pass through walls. Unlike the first game, Otto can now be killed. Shooting him once changes him from a smiley to a neutral face, another shot converts him to a frowning face and a third shot kills him. However, When he returns Otto will move faster than before he was killed.

Another difference from "Berzerk" is that walls are no longer electrified and deadly to the touch. Some walls are composed of dots that can be shot; this opens up strategies such as blasting a hole in the side of a room through which to escape when in trouble. Solid white walls are indestructible and now reflect shots. If the dotted walls are also white, all walls, whether solid or dotted, reflect shots. As such, players can trick robots into killing themselves by standing on the opposite side of a reflective wall and letting them shoot themselves. However, players can also be killed by their own shots.

After you escape from a maze, the next maze you enter will have a closed gate at your starting point.

Around the outer perimeter of the maze, there are "joint" dots about every 10 pixels. They can neither be destroyed nor reflect shots, and they are the same color as the closed gates.

Each fourth room features interactive, decorative elements that drastically effect how the room is played. The elements and order in which they appear are:

* BIG OTTO ROOM
If the player kills Evil Otto, not only does he immediately re-spawn as usual, but the Big Otto sends four additional Ottos into play, all moving at top speed. The Big Otto starts out with closed eyes and a neutral mouth, but if you kill Evil Otto, the Big Otto will frown and open his glowing red eyes as he sends the additional Ottos into play. If at any time you die, the Big Otto will smile, but his eyes will remain the same as before, either closed or open.

* POWER PLANT ROOM
Shooting the power plant once will disable it and all robots in the room will stop moving.

* CENTRAL COMPUTER ROOM
Shooting the computer will cause all the robots to start moving and firing erratically. While in this state, contact walls destroys them.

* THE ROBOT FACTORY
The factory constantly creates additional robots, taunting players as it does so. Shooting the factory has no effect.

TECHNICAL/MACHINE PICT.
1

The Frenzy cabinet had a patented pull out drawer that allowed access to the games 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. The cabinet's sideart image depicts what will happen if you kill Evil Otto in the Big Otto's presence.

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: Z80 (@ 2.5 MHz)
Sound Chips: Custom tone generator, custom LPC speech synthesis chip

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

TRIVIA

Frenzy was released in May 1982.

As with the first game, "Frenzy" features synthesized speech (The voices were actually created 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.

Unlike the constant chatter of "Berzerk", the robots in "Frenzy" only speak in a few specific situations:
* 'Robot, attack.' when Evil Otto appears.
* 'Charge...attack...shoot...kill...destroy.' when you kill Evil Otto and he re-spawns.
* 'The Humanoid must not destroy the robot.' when you enter a room with the Big Otto.
* 'Where is the Humanoid?' when you shoot the Central Computer.
* Alternates between 'A robot must get the Humanoid' and 'A robot is not a chicken' when the Robot Factory dispenses a new robot.

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

SCORING

Robots Killed (by you, another robot, or Evil Otto) : 50 points.
Wall Dots Shot (by you or a robot) : 1-5 points depending on their color:
- purple: 1 point.
- red: 2 points.
- blue: 3 points.
- green: 4 points.
- cyan: 5 points.
- white: no points (all walls, whether solid or dotted, reflect shots)
Evil Otto : 20 points per hit.
Bonus For Killing All Robots : 10 points per robot killed.

SERIES

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

STAFF

Designed & programmed by : Alan McNeil

PORTS

CONSOLES:
Colecovision [US] (1982) "Frenzy [Model 2613]"

SOURCES

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