Evil Otto. Just saying the name gives me shivers. I'm haunted by this bastard. I can't see a smiley face of any kind without breaking out in a cold sweat. Todays kids may see this and or course will think of The Comedian from Watchmen. Well, lemme tell ya, there was a time when this little guy was more than just the calling card of a mentally ill "super hero".
Evil Otto first appeared in the arcade game Berzerk (1980), which was then ported to many other gaming systems including the Atari 2600. Players controlled "The Humanoid" who had to navigate endless mazes filled with deadly robots armed with lasers. Everything is better with lasers, don't you think? Anywhoo....Evil Otto here would appear out of no where, shouting "Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert!" and would then proceed to chase after you. This guy could move through walls, he had absolutely no regard for his minions, because he'd destroy any standing in his way just so he could get to you! Evil worse, Otto was completely unstoppable. He was a virtual killing machine that could not be reasoned with and could not be destroyed. Like an evil bouncing yellow smiley energizer bunny from hell.
Now you may be asking "Okay....so it was The Smiley Terminator....so what?" Well, beyond being listed as #78 in IGN's list of the Top 100 Videogame Villians as well as #1 in Cracked.com's 10 Most Terrifying Video Game Enemies of All Time, Evil Otto has the distinction of being in the first video game to be directly related to not one, but TWO deaths! In January of 1981, Jeff Dailey (age 19) died of a heart attack after acheiving a score of 16,660 points in Berzerk. Hold on...can we look at that score again?
No, I'm not making that number up. That is the score that Jeff got before he died. Okay, so quite possibly Evil Otto is Satan. Victim #2 died in October 1982. Peter Burkowski (age 18) also died of a heart attack after making the Berzerk Top Ten High Score List twice in 15 minutes. Apparently Evil Otto don't like being messed with and if you REALLY piss him off he WILL kill you for real!
Hey, you know what that made me think of? Rememeber an anthology movie from the 80's called Nightmares?
The segment I'm talking about was called The Bishop of Battle and starred a young Emilio Estevez.
Take a look at these screen shots and tell me if anything looks kinda familiar: