Berserk Reloaded

15 January 2010

The recent poll has shown that interest is split between Berserk! and AliensRL. Taking my bias into account and the fact that the former is easier to quickly set up, I decided to use Berserk! as my testing platform for Neko. However, taking this chance I decided to redesign Berserk! a little…

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Fear not! It’s going to be the same game of tactical bloodshed that you so much love! I decided to keep the factors that made Berserk! unique and expand on them, adding in features that proved successful in DoomRL.

Less random combat

Although randomness is a big yes usually, what made Berserk! fun to play was it’s chess-like combat. However it is sometimes annoying that you can’t rely on some weapons, like the thrown knife to take out that ranged opponent. More randomness means more stupid deaths, especially for those who know the Way of the Berserk, and play on edge.

While I can’t remove all random factors from combat (it would be impossible and boring), I can reduce their impact on gameplay. For example, all ranged weapons will have constant damage, maybe melee attacks also. ToHit will stay random, but I’ll probably reduce the randomness of it.

Gameplay modes

Berserk’s design is especially suited to different game modes — the rules are simple, the possibilities endless. Five modes that could make it into the final version would be:

  • Campaign — a story mode where Guts travels from one battlefield to another, with a story behind it. Leveling would be based on experience, items could be gained, and the Berserker armor could be found ;). The story mode would not be fully linear, allowing you to choose paths on an Adom-like map.
  • Tactics — this is a mode inspired by the Dynasty Warriors 6 on the PSP — you have a chessboard-like battlefield that you can travel upon, and do battles. No idea about the exact objectives yet, but it’d be cool ;).
  • Endless — the day after day endless mode, with level ups and special events each end of night.
  • Massacre — choose your character, upgrade it — you get your gear, and see how long it takes before they kill you…
  • Scenario — preset quick-play scenarios, usually with a twist.

Character classes

There will be 5 classes in Berserk!, 2 of which will be hidden to be unlocked. The hidden ones will remain a secret for now, as for the rest:

  • Berserker — pure Guts, basically what you had in the last Berserk! version, with the same rules and a special knack for berserking.
  • Fencer — think Serpico, a speed based class, specializing in fast movement and finesse. As the Berserker can always take a HP boost, the Fencer will always be able to take a raw speed boost. No berserking however, and different items.
  • Witch — of course Schierke — this will be the most challenging character to play because… it will have no melee attack! Instead the Witch will rely on magic alone. As a unique feature she will be able to plane-shift into the spirit world, and her spirit will function somewhat similar to the berserker gauge.


Berserk! will have a similar feature to DoomRL — player data files with “general progress tracking”. Apart from the fun of watching your stats grow, and getting awards, you’ll be able to unlock some things:

  • Two character classes — the two remaining character classes will be able to be unlocked sequentially by special endings in the campaign mode.
  • Companions for Tactics mode — kind of similar to unlocking Lieutenants in Dynasty Warriors.
  • Special scenarios — the scenario mode will be initially locked, because there will be no scenarios to play. Once you achieve some goals, scenarios will be unlocked (this will be featured in DoomRL 2 too).


These are most of the changes planned so far. I hope that these would address Berserk!‘s weaknesses, not taking away it’s main spirit. Comments welcome!


Cyber Killer · 15 January 2010, 05:48

Boooo… :-( I was really hoping for AliensRL.

MDM · 15 January 2010, 06:07

Orininally I voted for DiabloRL, but this sounds like a lot of good features.

Tavana · 16 January 2010, 01:14

You’re making me drool. <3

Luke Schubert · 19 January 2010, 03:46

Sounds great – I like the sound of those different gameplay modes!

yns88 · 20 January 2010, 15:44

Interesting, a roguelike where damage isn’t based on dice rolls. I guess that’s kind of similar to the Castlevania roguelike.

It’ll also be nice to see persistent levels (which is what I’m assuming with what you said about campaign mode).

Also: The comment box says that e-mails are hidden, but they’re not hidden when you leave the website field blank. You should fix that so that people don’t get spammed.

Kornel Kisielewicz · 20 January 2010, 15:49

Persistent levels may make it into the game. The idea of constant damage was with Berserk from the beginning, and actually appeared in a way in AliensRL.

As for your comment about e-mails — I’ve fixed it, thank you for reporting :)