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DECEPTICON: FRENZY

FUNCTION: WARRIOR
"Sow panic and surrender will bloom."

If FRENZY needed to breathe, war would be his oxygen. He knows no cause, only craves to spread fear and destruction. His efforts are appreciated by other Decepticons. His devotion to warfare makes him hard to deal with on a personal level. Can roll his drums to produce high-pitch, grating sound of 200db. Disorients and disrupts electrical flow in opponent's circuitry which makes them malfunction. Physically weak. His manic attack can be countered with cool logic.

  • Strength: 3
  • Intelligence: 6
  • Speed: 2
  • Endurance: 6
  • Rank: 5
  • Courage: 10
  • Firepower: 9
  • Skill: 6
Transformers Tech Specs


Frenzy and Rumble got their names switched when the toys made their transition to the cartoon, and to this day only the die-hard fans seem to know that he was the blue-and-navy one of the pair. On the show the writers interpreted the "roll his drums" line from his tech spec to mean that he could transform his arms into piledrivers and make the ground shake hard enough to knock other Transformers off their feet. Considering his robot form was barely larger than a human, meaning that in hand-to-hand combat even Bumblebee could kick his butt, this was probably for the best.

A mode on a pinball machine where all the targets on the playfield score a lot of points.

These modes are usually used as rewards, after the player has achieved some sort of goal. A frenzy is almost always given after the biggest, toughest goal in a game is reached, as they can be good for a lot of points.

When a frenzy is reached, the player is put in multiball, and the machine usually has all the lights on the playfield (and often in the backglass) flashing, to both indicate the reward, and the try and confuse the player as much as possible - just because it's a reward doesn't mean they make it easy.

A frenzy may either last until a player loses all but the last ball, until a timer expires, or until a certain target is hit. After reaching the frenzy, the player usually has to start all over building back up toward the frenzy - and it is often harder the second time around, requiring the player to make more and/or tougher shots to get the same goals.

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Frenzy was an old arcade game released by Stern way back in 1982.

The story

Berzerk was Stern's first real big hit, and Frenzy was the sequel. Frenzy expanded on the original Berzerk formula by adding more varied opponents, and different types of walls. This was one of Stern's last games, so the production run was rather limited.

The game

Frenzy consists of many levels, which are each a little maze of rooms, populated by robotic skeletons, robotic octopi and walls. Everything is deadly, touching anything (wall, robot, laser shot, your own shot, Evil Otto, etc) will kill you. The object is to shoot all the robots, and then escape out of the room through one of the doorways. You must be quick in your mission, or else Evil Otto will appear (he is a big bouncing happy face, that kills everything that moves). He will move relentlessly towards you, speeding up after all the robots are killed. You can kill Evil Otto with four shots, but then he will reappear moving faster than before (if you manage to evade him for a long time, then he will be joined by a second Evil Otto).

The robots live by the same set of rules that you do. They will also die if they touch anything at all, including a wall, another robot, Evil Otto, or a blast from your weapon (or even another robot's weapon). You can use this to your advantage by tricking them into shooting each other (you still get the points anyway). They are however a lot smarter than the robots from Berzerk, and will try and dodge your shots, and don't blunder into walls nearly as often. A good player can even manage to make Evil Otto smash the last few robots for him.

Most of the walls cab be shot away one brick at a time, this allows you to make your own exits, or hit robots that are hiding behind them, but beware, because the robots can shoot through them as well. Other walls reflect your laser blasts, allowing you to bank shots, and pull off other tricks. Some of the higher levels are composed mostly of these reflective walls, try to run out of the way, and watch the robots blast each other with bounced shots.

Some rooms have machinery inside of them, shooting the machine will either cause some of the robots to vanish, or cause all of them to stop moving. There may have been other possible effects, but the machinery levels are few and far between (and this game is very difficult, so it is not like I can just go checking every level).

You get bonus points if you manage to kill all the robots on the level. This is simple at first, but the game quickly ramps up in difficulty to the point where you are simply trying to shoot a path to the exit (before Evil Otto shows up). It takes a very skilled player to consistently kill all the robots on the higher levels (I certainly can't do it).

Frenzy speaks to you as you play (many of the samples were copied over from Berzerk). It has a voice synthesizer that spouts lots of little phrases like "Stop the Humanoid", "Stop the Intruder", "Intruder Alert", "Chicken! Fight like a Robot", and "The humanoid must not escape". 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.

Good luck in your attempt to defeat this game. It has 64,000 levels, at the end of which the game will crash. Not that anyone has ever made it that far in real life.

The Machine

The Frenzy cabinet had a patented pull out drawer that allowed access to the games circuit boards from the front of the cabinet. (This makes an old Frenzy cabinet excellent for use as a JAMMA cabinet.

Frenzy machines are bright orange, and are not (IMHO), 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.

This title uses a Z80 processor, and the CPU board is a direct plug in for the game Berzerk (the rest of the boards in the set are identical).

Where to play

Frenzy is going to be a little to add to your arcade game collection. It is very hard to find, because of its low production numbers. Luckily it is usually cheaper than Berzerk, and provides similar gameplay.

If you can't locate an actual arcade game then try playing the Atari 2600 version, or using the MAME emulator. The MAME version has a few problems. Some of the sound effects seem to be missing, and the robots do not speak nearly as much as they did on a real machine (it is quite playable, it only seems different when compared to a real machine).

Fren"zy (?), n.; pl. Frenzies (#). [OE. frenesie, fransey, F. fr'en'esie, L. phrenesis, fr. Gr. for disease of the mind, phrenitis, fr. mind. Cf. Frantic, Phrenitis.]

Any violent agitation of the mind approaching to distraction; violent and temporary derangement of the mental faculties; madness; rage.

All else is towering frenzy and distraction. Addison.

The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling. Shak.

Syn. -- Insanity; lunacy; madness; derangment; alienation; aberration; delirium. See Insanity.

 

© Webster 1913.


Fren"zy, a.

Mad; frantic.

[R.]

They thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head. Bunyan.

 

© Webster 1913.


Fren"zy, v. t.

To affect with frenzy; to drive to madness

[R.] "Frenzying anguish."

Southey.

 

© Webster 1913.

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