Pre-requisite understanding before Phil’s Master Study in Berzerk

The beginning player of Fast Bullets may reach 7500 points, an advanced player 10,000.  The master players can reach 20,000 to 40,000.  Then there is Phil, who we’ll study playing a standard game of Fast Bullets to 75,000!

Phil’s Berzerk Bio

  • Phil can be found on CAG and CoinOpSpace as Berzerk1 
  • Found on MARP under name Phil Younger  (INP’s of mame .106 gameplay)
  • First Arcade experience- I first played space invaders in 1979 at a small fast food place. It was
    interesting but a little slow.
  • First Berzerk experience- I visited my sister in Chula Vista in early 1980 and she took me to a arcade called the Silver Cue, it had 60 games and then I got addicted and would not leave.   A week later they brought a Berzerk game, I started playing and got the highest scores quicky.  This was the rare slow bullet version.  Only a few were made then Stern put the faster version in arcades.
  • Other games enjoyed- I also played Tempest, a very fast pace game.
  • Accomplishments- One highlight was going to Iowa being inducted to the Hall of Fame in Aug.2010.
  • How did you analyze the myriad mazes in Berzerk?  In answer to your question about finding how the mazes were set up, I found most of the info after I learned about mame in 2001 since I can use save states and try different ways of
    playing without putting quarters in.
  • MAME! I think mame is a great thing, I could play Lode Runner, Xybots, Tempest, and hundreds of others games.
  • Also at Marp I can download other inps like Lode Runner4 which is a very difficult game.
  • Getting New Players Interested- I think Berzerk should be promoted like Donkey Kong.  One tip for new
    players is that Berzerk has OK sound and good graphics but the best part is the gameplay.
  • My highest score on random Berzerk mazes is over 90,000 which is available
    on  DVD. Hopes this helps out!  -Phil (Feb 2013)

Mazes are stacked in 4 layers

  • Youtube
  • One thing about Berzerk is when you turn it on you are in a preset level of mazes of which you can build patterns.
  • After you lose a life you are put in a random set of mazes. Thats why some players use a box pattern (Youtube) only after the game is first turned on but after they lose a life its random mazes.
  • The whole game is a giant set of mazes that are stacked on top of each other.
  • They are in groups of 4 layers
  • You see me going up 4 mazes.  Notice what the room looks like and see how many robots are in
    each room.
  • Then I go up another set of rooms which are the same but there is a different number of robots in the room and they are in different parts of the maze.

How to reach the elusive Empty Room!

  • This Youtube clip shows how to get to the room with no robots a very rare thing
    in the game.

Mazes Starts are either Opened or Closed

  • In this LINK the 7 basic layouts of maze starts is explained.
  • But it is easier to use only two- a closed set with a wall in front of you and an open maze.
  • In a closed maze move to the right to avoid the robots above and below you then go back and shoot them.
  • In a open maze fire right first to take out the robots to the right. (hold fire button and shoot right at start to take out robot to the right)

Master Study in Fast Bullets

  • 75,140 glorious points in High Speed ReplayYoutube
  • Part 1 at 7,500- Youtube
  • Part 2 at 37,000- Youtube
  • Part 3 at 61,000 – Youtube
  • The max is 5 bullets on the screen at one time.
  • Notice the surgically precise technique over a long period of time.  Consistency!
  • Basics- take easy head shots, shoot at feet, shoot robots on left side, guide robots into your shots, guide robots to kill each other, let Otto take out stranded robots for those precious bonus points
  • Master- quick assessment if the maze is “open” or “closed” at start to decide how to proceed.  Immediately shooting to the right on open mazes.
  • Extreme- Knowing how to make precise and small movements at maze starts when surrounded by robot shots.  Staying calm and collected after getting killed.

Maze Randomization

Question- In studying the 75k INP, you occasionally leave the maze at the top instead of right side.  Are you doing that to get easier mazes or some predicable pattern of mazes?


  • As far as I kown there is no way to predict the next maze.
  • But when the game is first turned on you are always in the same part of a set maze. Its when you lose your first life that you are put in random mazes.
  • At the arcades if I play Berzerk, almost always other people have played first so everything is randomized.
  • In mame you always start in the first set maze, since I played so much I know the
    first maze at least hundreds of rooms. So if I go up its because I know there
    are harder mazes to the right.
  •  Alan McNeil built  a random generator for the
    walls then maybe another one for the robots.

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