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The Berserker is the unique unit of the Viking civilization.


Compared to the Maceman, which this unit replaces, the Berserker has an additional 10% bonus city attack, and it starts with the Amphibious promotion.

Civilopedia entry[]

Berserks (or berserkers) were Viking warriors who worked themselves up into terrible rages before going into battle. The word berserker comes from the Norse words "bjorn" (meaning bear) or "bare" (meaning naked) and "serkr" (meaning shirt); a berserker was either someone who went into battle wearing the "shirt" of a bear (i.e. someone who was bear-like in rage and strength) or someone who went into battle naked. Berserkers thought that by wearing the fur of a bear they would be possessed by the spirit of the animal and possibly even shift into its form. Berserkers were also known to have sworn allegiance to the Norse sky god Odin, and they believed that he would protect them and give them superhuman strength. The Vikings in general believed that if death came while fighting as a berserker, the deceased would travel straight to the warrior paradise of Valhalla.

No one is exactly sure how berserkers induced the crazed states of violence that have been described by contemporaries. Some theories speculate that the wild behavior was prompted by the taking of various hallucinogenic drugs, or was caused by mild epilepsy, or even a genetic disorder that caused overly large skull growth. Perhaps the most likely explanation is that before going into battle the berserkers simply worked themselves into frenzies by painting their faces, howling like animals, beating helmets and drums - and drinking large quantities of alcohol.

All stories about berserkers agree that they fought with crazed strength and were immune to pain until battle was ended. Berserkers were often portrayed as villains, slaying anything that moved - including their own family members. In battle even the Berserkers' allies usually chose to keep them at arm's length and were never comfortable in their presence. Scandinavian kings refused to employ them as bodyguards for fear that they would forget who to protect in the fighting.

In 1015 the berserkers were outlawed in Norway, and Grágás, the medieval Icelandic law code, sentenced berserk warriors to exile. After the widespread adoption of Christianity across Scandinavia, in 1100 AD the organization of berserker warbands disappeared.

See also[]

Civilization IV Units [edit]
Land Anti-TankB Archer (BowmanB Skirmisher) Artillery Axeman (Dog SoldierB Phalanx VultureB) Cannon Catapult (HwachaW) Cavalry (Cossack) Chariot (Immortal War Chariot) Crossbowman (Cho-Ko-Nu) CuirassierB (Conquistador) Explorer Grenadier Gunship Horse Archer (Keshik Numidian CavalryW) Infantry Knight (Camel Archer CataphractB) Longbowman Maceman (BerserkerW Samurai) Machine Gun Marine (Navy SEAL) Mechanized Infantry Mobile ArtilleryB Mobile SAMB Modern Armor Musketman (JanissaryW Musketeer Oromo WarriorB) ParatrooperB Pikeman (LandsknechtB) Rifleman (Redcoat) SAM Infantry Scout Spearman (HolkanB ImpiW) Swordsman (Gallic WarriorW Jaguar Praetorian) Tank (Panzer) TrebuchetW War Elephant (Ballista ElephantB) Warrior (Quechua)
Naval Attack SubmarineB Battleship Caravel (CarrackB) Carrier Destroyer Frigate Galleon (East IndiamanB) Galley Ironclad Missile CruiserB PrivateerB Ship of the LineB Stealth DestroyerB Submarine Transport TriremeW
Air AirshipB Bomber Fighter Guided MissileB ICBM Jet Fighter Stealth Bomber Tactical NukeB
Civilian Corporate ExecutiveB Missionary Settler Spy Work Boat Worker (Fast Worker)
Great People Great Artist Great Engineer Great GeneralW Great Merchant Great Prophet Great Scientist Great SpyB
W Added in Warlords B Added in Beyond the Sword