The berserk powerup (called berserk pack in the manuals) is an item that looks like a dark gray medikit. Picking one up boosts the player's health to full normal health (100 percent, unless it was already 100 or more), greatly increases the damage inflicted by the fist and also fills the screen with a gradually decreasing red haze.
Of the available items, it is the only one that affects the player's ability to attack in a direct way, by increasing damage, and is thus sometimes considered as an additional attack mode, akin to a weapon.
Unlike weapons, when it is picked up the sound for powerups being obtained is played, only a short name-only HUD message confirming the acquisition is shown, and it is counted in the items percentage displayed at the end of each level.
The berserk pack increases the strength of the player's punch attack tenfold, but only until the current level ends. On the following levels, fist damage is back to normal unless another pack is acquired. The damage increase is powerful enough to often smash humanoids to a pulp, or even sometimes kill a demon with a single blow.
The red haze of the berserk lasts approximately 20 seconds. This haze is relatively intense (applying palette 3) for seven or eight seconds, and then less so (now palette 2) for the rest of the period. In addition to representing the character's altered state, this haze is a slight drawback of the powerup, due to the reduced visibility.
When a berserk pack is collected, the player's current weapon will switch to the fist. While giving the impression that the player has "gone berserk", this may be seen as a disadvantage meant to balance the power of the item, in addition to that of the haze. Players picking up the powerup may find themselves suddenly unarmed and forced into melee combat until they have the opportunity to retreat and switch back to a weapon.
A berserk punch is somewhat more damaging than the chainsaw, since it kills quicker and does not "latch" on an enemy. The berserk fist does have the disadvantage of not doing continuous damage, which leaves the player open to counterattacks, and requires relatively careful aim. This makes the berserk fist less efficient than the chainsaw against some monsters; for instance it is not very safe to use against cacodemons.
Due to its power, the berserk punch is best used for hit-and-run situations, running up to the foe to throw a punch and then quickly retreating or dodging. Since punching requires good movement skills to avoid attacks from enemies that are very close, newer or slower players tend to save this powerup for healing purposes, while more proficient ones often pick it up earlier to save weapon ammo.
- Most levels of Doom, The Ultimate Doom and Doom II include a berserk powerup (excepting Knee-Deep in the Dead, because it is one of the various items excluded in the unregistered version). Its powers can also be obtained with the cheat code idbeholds.
- A berserk-powered player that has obtained or obtains the chainsaw is able to switch to the fist by pressing 1 on the keyboard. That is, instead of allowing only the chainsaw, as with respect to the normal fist attack, the key press will toggle between the two types of attack as long as the berserk powerup is operating. When switching from another weapon slot (2 or more) the chainsaw is raised, while the berserk fist is produced with a second key press.
|Thing type||2023 (decimal), 7E7 (hex)|
|Appears in||Registered Doom|
Doom II/Final Doom
|The Ultimate Doom||19||20||20|
|Doom II: Hell on Earth||33||33||32|
|The Plutonia Experiment||16||16||16|
In Doom RPG, the berserk powerup is called a berserker and looks like a red supercharge. Unlike the original, it increases the damage done by all weapons by a factor of 3, and does not heal the player. The increased damage lasts for 30 turns.