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darkoz
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June 2nd, 2021 at 2:04:59 PM permalink
I thought the title of this thread is really interesting as it's a play on the Who song and the owner of this forum.

I am not calling myself a Pinball Wizard as in the greatest player btw, just liked the title.

This thread will be about my machines I currently own or owned in the past.

I recently sold the following so it's been gone from my home a month

ATTACK FROM MARS.





This one is highly sought after and appreciated. It's got a simple enough storyline.

Aliens are attacking the Earth. Shoot to kill aliens while defending five cities. If successful you fly to Mars and destroy their planet.





The cities are lined up in the center. Sorry I didn't take better close up pictures as I was going to sell this ( the pics were for the buyer)

The cities are: England, Germany, France, Italy, USA.



You are randomly assigned which city to defend. You do so by hitting the three targets of the center force field which then lowers exposing a single inner force field. This one takes multiple hits to lower (as you progress through more cities it takes more hits to lower). Once lowered you need to shoot the ball down the exposed center which will trigger a very satisfying explosion of the space ship. Lots of streaming colored lights, loud sounds and vibrations.

The subwoofers on this machine are phenomenal. You will feel it. Pants cuff blowing vibration!

Once saving all five cities you get animation that flies you to Mars for the final battle which is shooting the center targets, each shot blowing another hole in Mars until it's finally destroyed.



And then, yeah, you repeat everything but at a harder level.

In the meantime there are other obstacles and animations from cows being abducted to trying to build a big-o-beam.

Hit all four aliens and you go into alien MULTI-BALL (two balls)

Lock balls for standard MULTI-BALL (three balls).

If you achieve every single obstacle course prevented you go into masters MULTI-BALL (four balls at once).

There is even a video game mode where you try to shoot as many ships landing as possible (a cross between space invaders and missile command).

Overall it's one cool machine. So popular they have built new ones just for the home market while originals continue to rise in price They usually go for $8,000+.





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gamerfreak
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June 2nd, 2021 at 2:13:52 PM permalink
I have a World Poker Tour and Tee’d off.

Neither are particularly desirable like AFM, but WPT is a good game.

I am hoping to sell both soon and get a new stern, not sure which.
darkoz
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June 2nd, 2021 at 2:18:13 PM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

I have a World Poker Tour and Tee’d off.

Neither are particularly desirable like AFM, but WPT is a good game.

I am hoping to sell both soon and get a new stern, not sure which.



Yes I was sad to see it go but I wasn't playing it often anymore and space is limited in my home.

I replaced it with a HyperBall. I had created a separate thread for that so will port that over to this thread next.

Just felt I should have one dedicated pinball thread for myself
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ChumpChange
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June 2nd, 2021 at 3:24:20 PM permalink
I've only seen AFM once at the Cleveland Greyhound Bus Station in 1999. Yeah, I should be more worried about everybody else there instead of martians, but I had half an hour. I can't remember if I got 1 billion or 4 billion on my first coin in.
Johnzimbo
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June 2nd, 2021 at 4:08:28 PM permalink
Does the box fan under the machine serve a purpose, like keeping the machine cool?
darkoz
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June 2nd, 2021 at 5:12:50 PM permalink
Quote: Johnzimbo

Does the box fan under the machine serve a purpose, like keeping the machine cool?



Are you referring to the Hyperball machine?

The fan keeps the motor cool, yes.

I am unaware of a box fan in the Attack From Mars. Not saying it's not there but I was very aware of the fan in HyperBall. It's mechanism of continuous pinball shooting at high speed required it.
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Johnzimbo
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June 2nd, 2021 at 6:05:35 PM permalink
No, the AFM first two pics...it looks like a box fan on the floor underneath
darkoz
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June 2nd, 2021 at 6:40:42 PM permalink
Quote: Johnzimbo

No, the AFM first two pics...it looks like a box fan on the floor underneath



Oh, lol.

Yes that's a box fan I used to use before I put in my air conditioning. Never wanted to throw it out so it got thrown under the machine faux storage. It's not plugged in.
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ThatDonGuy
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June 2nd, 2021 at 6:44:52 PM permalink
Anybody else familiar with AFM's "sequel" machine, Revenge From Mars? It was one of two games in Williams's "Pinball 2000" series (the other being Star Wars Episiode 1), where the machine looks like a video game cabinet, and for good reason; a lot of the action consists of flipping the ball against a video screen at the top of the playfield. The games were designed to be replaced easily with newer titles, rather than having to get new machines, but they never made more than two.

There are a number of playings on YouTube - just search "Revenge From Mars Pinball"
darkoz
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June 2nd, 2021 at 6:57:18 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Anybody else familiar with AFM's "sequel" machine, Revenge From Mars? It was one of two games in Williams's "Pinball 2000" series (the other being Star Wars Episiode 1), where the machine looks like a video game cabinet, and for good reason; a lot of the action consists of flipping the ball against a video screen at the top of the playfield. The games were designed to be replaced easily with newer titles, rather than having to get new machines, but they never made more than two.

There are a number of playings on YouTube - just search "Revenge From Mars Pinball"



Yes, I owned that one first over a decade ago. I will post about it in the future. It's another amazing game.!
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smoothgrh
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June 2nd, 2021 at 10:07:22 PM permalink
The story goes that "Tales of the Arabian Nights" pinball, which came out a year after "Attack from Mars," had a toned-down scoring system in what was thought to be an out-of-control points scale — 1 billion points is a mediocre score for AFM!

The designers also wanted TOTAN to have a nicer font when displaying points.
ChumpChange
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June 2nd, 2021 at 11:06:56 PM permalink
I doubt I ever read the rules.
Attack From Mars is particularly noteworthy. The skill shot at the beginning of the game is worth 10 million points (and increases 10 million each subsequent time). Hitting the saucer in the middle scores 50 million or more a hit (and if you aim the ball right, you can score up to three hits in one shot). In the wizard mode, your goal is to earn 5 billion points, at which time you are awarded 5 billion more. https://allthetropes.fandom.com/wiki/Pinball_Scoring
UP84
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June 3rd, 2021 at 5:22:50 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

I thought the title of this thread is really interesting as it's a play on the Who song and the owner of this forum.

I am not calling myself a Pinball Wizard as in the greatest player btw, just liked the title.

This thread will be about my machines I currently own or owned in the past.

I recently sold the following so it's been gone from my home a month

ATTACK FROM MARS.


Thanks for the memories. Max Fish, a long gone bar on Ludlow Street in NYC, had ATTACK FROM MARS. Great game, I used to play it all the time.
darkoz
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June 11th, 2021 at 3:34:16 PM permalink
This next pinball was the first one I owned about twenty years ago.

It's been long sold so photos are from the internet.

BRIDE OF PINBOT



Bride is the middle game of three developed by Williams and certainly the most ummm, memorable.

PINBOT, Bride of PINBOT and Jackbot which was a gambling themed version of PINBOT.



Bride of PINBOT has a simple premise. The playfield has a female robot which needs to be constructed.

The unique aspect of this game is the female face which was a cylinder that rotated so each newly built face was replaced with the next.

Yes, this game is wildly sexual. As you play the female begs you in the sexiest computer voice to fulfill your job of building her. "Ooooh, yes, please do it. It feels so good". (I am going by memory here so maybe it wasn't quite so sensual but this game definitely had her speaking with ooohs and aaahs)

Your first task was to get your balls in her mouth. (I mean, there really is no nice way to put it). I think she was actually silent, just making cooing sounds until this first objective gives her speech. Then she begins talking sensually to you.



Once you got your ball in her mouth the face would swivel 90' exposing the second face. You now had to smack both your balls into her eyes (so she could gain sight. Who would not want an enlightened woman?)



Once that objective was finished the face would swivel another 90' to expose the third task.

You now had to get your balls down her throat (I mean, I really am not making this stuff up).



Once you had succeeded shoving your testicles, ahem sorry, balls down her throat, her face swiveled a final 90', exposing a fully formed beautiful woman you had constructed.



Now, fully formed you had to once again get your balls into her mouth (naturally). Doing so energized her, creating a whole heart beat, flashing lights, and yes orgasmic scenario where she basically then let you enter... MULTI-BAAÀALLLLL!!!!!

Yessss! Awwww, so satisfying!

I miss that game!
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sabre
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June 11th, 2021 at 3:39:38 PM permalink
It's a great game except for tournaments. The billion point shot is a random award from the big wheel. There may have been a rom update to fix that.
ChumpChange
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June 11th, 2021 at 3:45:00 PM permalink
Bella Poarch - Build a B*tch (Official Music Video) - YouTube
166,610,560 views• Premiered May 14, 2021
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLGCGc7sAUw
smoothgrh
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June 12th, 2021 at 10:30:06 PM permalink
Thanks for the pinball pics! I belong to two pinball groups, so I'm somewhat inured to them, but I still like them!
darkoz
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June 13th, 2021 at 12:54:28 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

Thanks for the pinball pics! I belong to two pinball groups, so I'm somewhat inured to them, but I still like them!



You are welcome.

I aim to please.
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darkoz
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June 21st, 2021 at 2:07:54 PM permalink
To my knowledge there were three Pinball/video game hybrids and I have owned two of them.

Here is the first.

BABY PACMAN

I sold mine a while back but most of the photos I am posting are from my for sale listing. I took a few off the internet from other users.

Baby Pac-Man is video game dominant. (The other one I owned was Pinball dominant. I will cover that one next)







It looks like an arcade video game as opposed to a Pinball machine but with Pinball flipper buttons on the side. The game also starts in video game mode for each life

The video section is Pac-Man with a few twists.

First there is an additional two tunnels at the bottom screen. Those are for "entering" the Pinball. The tunnels are open at the beginning of each life but close after first use to avoid someone simply hiding in Pinball mode.

Additionally there are no Energizer pucks when starting. You have to EARN those in the pinball game.



Pinball mode is simple. You earn fruits and Energizer pucks by hitting certain trick targets in Pinball for when you return to the video game.

YOU DO NOT LOSE A LIFE IN PINBALL MODE.

Uniquely, when losing a ball in Pinball mode, you simply return to the video game (with the Pinball tunnel door now shut). So failure to earn Energizer pucks etc has severe implications on your ability to stay alive.

(Tunnel doors reopen with a new life OR a new screen so if you can clear the board you have Pinball access again.

The pinball field is a very encapsulated version of a pinball game for obvious reasons.



One aspect of Baby Pac-Man that is notorious is there are no patterns to learn. With normal Pac-Man games if you learn a certain "route" or pattern to eating the dots, the ghost killers follow the same moves. So if you can learn and memorize a pattern that avoids the ghosts you can repeat that every game.

Not Baby Pac-Man! Ghosts are independent and from the moment you start and no matter what moves you repeat they are ON YOUR ASSSSS!.

I think the extra challenge of no patterns was looked at as a welcome challenge by the game makers but Pac-Man purists were horrified.

And Pinball purists found the truncated (Baby) pinball board less than challenging as well

Baby Pac-Man was not a huge success. Nonetheless the uniqueness of the game has kept these units somewhat in demand if not price appreciated.

Models will set you back a modest $1100 - $1800 but usually sell fast when listed.
Last edited by: darkoz on Jun 21, 2021
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darkoz
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November 27th, 2021 at 3:03:18 PM permalink
Sorry, it's been awhile but here is the second pinball/video game hybrid.

Pics are from the internet since I sold this one off in 2019.

While Baby Pac-Man is video game dominant, this one is the opposite, being pinball dominant.

It's called Caveman.



You can see the overall design is slightly different than usual. The backboard has a lipped overhang. The purpose of this was to shield the video screen at the top of the game from the glare of pinball arcade overheads otherwise it would be difficult to see the video portion.



As you can see you play normal pinball but there is a "cave" for you to enter which is the video game portion.

The "cave entrance" is your Pac-Man like tunnels on the sides.

Entering the tunnel in the video game segment brings you back into the pinball game but you can't enter from the same side so you basically have to trek it to the opposite side of the screen.

The video game portion is Pac-Man based but no dots. You walk over vegetarian dinosaurs (Brontosaurus, triceratops) for points and avoid meat eaters (T-Rex, Pterodactyl).

Unlike Baby Pac-Man where you don't lose a life when you lose a ball in the pinball section, here you do lose a life if you are eaten. The locked pinball is released and you move onto the next ball.



You can see the joystick in the center of the front bar for when entering the video game section.

The two trick shots are up the right and left sides to enter the "cave" where your ball is locked and you enter the video game.

Next I will discuss my cross country trip picking up new machines.
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ChumpChange
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November 27th, 2021 at 5:22:06 PM permalink
I've been watching a semi-elderly pinball fanatic from New Jersey on his YouTube channel. He's got a cellar-full of old pinball games from the 1960's & 1970's. I used to like most of them, except he's in New Jersey and he has the free game versions which are much lower scoring than the free ball versions I enjoyed in New York. The machines are not likely comparable because of different scoring objectives, and maybe only 4 reels for scoring instead of 5. So buying one from NJ and expecting to convert it to NY rules of the day would not work on most machines. I rarely got out of state to play the free game versions of games, so I'm not really hip to the rules of those machines. I'd rather buy the free ball versions of the machines, but NY is an exception in this country. All of these machines were illegal in NYC until after 1976 because a court decision made them games of skill and not just slot machines from 1941.

Vic Camp Pinball...Inside tour of Vic Camp's private Gottlieb Pinball Collection - YouTube - Dec 14, 2013 (240p)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR1q47yofYk
Last edited by: ChumpChange on Nov 27, 2021
darkoz
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January 16th, 2022 at 10:30:41 AM permalink
So I spent a week personally hunting down pinballs in mid-november.

It was a fun Odyssey. The goal was to inspect the machines before buying. I have had at least two lemons purchased from out of town and shipped. These are forty and fifty year old machines so they are purchased as is. And anyway who is going to ship back such monstrosities.

So here is my Odyssey or pinball trip report.

Saturday day one:.

Flew to Biloxi Mississippi. I had $300 Freeplay at the Beau Rivage and $75 free food from a past visit. I also had a friend down there who was going to drive me on this Odyssey. She had been laid off due to covid (she didn't have it just the company downsizing) and was happy to be paid daily for driving.

Sunday day two:

Rest, relaxation, gambling. Took my $300 Freeplay and won about $160. Not great!

Monday day three:

The plan was my driver gets a rental car. We drive to Texas for the first machine (everything was pre-planned based on machine location from eBay. I had texted sellers to expect me). Once in Texas we would rent a Uhaul to hitch to the back for the pinballs. Since I don't drive (I only do passengering for the highly technical forum members here) my driver brought along her friend who would swap when she was tired. The drive to Texas was nine hours without breaks.

Ten am. We are told our rental is delayed because the woman who rented the evening before dropped off the car and ran to work but forgot to leave the keys. She will return them at lunch. We are now four hours delayed. And at the rental twiddling our thumbs.

We need this specific car because it's the only one with a hitch for attaching the Uhaul. So we wait.

It finally arrived. It's an ugly cramped mess. No way we were going to be comfortable for nine hours. After waiting all that time we ask if there is anything else

They bring out a second possibility. It too has a hitch but it's a smaller car. Nonetheless the seating is wider and more comfortable (the first car was bigger but the back was like a pickup truck so no seats. Just a front row )

Hiccup. The hitch can't be used. Insurance on this smaller car won't cover hauling.

We finally come up with solution. We drive to Texas that day. Tomorrow rent a full uhaul instead of a hitch unit. One driver for the uhaul, the other drives the rental car. We were scheduled to return to Mississippi anyway.

Finally by nearly four in the afternoon we are on our road trip half exhausted from sitting around in a rental office. I slept (passenger rights) and we arrived in Texas around four am (we took dinner and bathroom breaks).

Exhausted we checked into our motel. I asked for a late check-out due to our arrival time. They wanted fifty bucks for one extra hour and a full day for leaving after one pm.

So I paid for an extra day and said we going to actually stay the extra day if I paid for it.

Now we didn't have to worry about sleep. The first pinball pickup said the delay was fine. They would meet us that evening.

Three days into my Odyssey and I hadn't even seen a pinball machine yet.

To be continued
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ThatDonGuy
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January 16th, 2022 at 10:40:35 AM permalink
Any names on these machines? I know a lot of machines have two versions with different names; one is a replay version, and one is an "add-a-ball" (what you called "free ball") version. For example, Williams's Miss-O and Cue-T are replay and add-a-ball versions of the same game, as are Gottlieb's Sing Along and Melody.

Also, if you're interested in pinball purchases, I highly recommend the Pinball Enthusiasts group on Facebook. Lots of good advice, including how to watch out for scams.
darkoz
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January 16th, 2022 at 11:03:50 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Any names on these machines? I know a lot of machines have two versions with different names; one is a replay version, and one is an "add-a-ball" (what you called "free ball") version. For example, Williams's Miss-O and Cue-T are replay and add-a-ball versions of the same game, as are Gottlieb's Sing Along and Melody.

Also, if you're interested in pinball purchases, I highly recommend the Pinball Enthusiasts group on Facebook. Lots of good advice, including how to watch out for scams.
link to original post



The games I purchased have both. I usually go for seventies to eighties games. The earlier fifties and sixties games are what I believe you are talking about?
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ThatDonGuy
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January 16th, 2022 at 12:22:09 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Quote: ThatDonGuy

Any names on these machines? I know a lot of machines have two versions with different names; one is a replay version, and one is an "add-a-ball" (what you called "free ball") version. For example, Williams's Miss-O and Cue-T are replay and add-a-ball versions of the same game, as are Gottlieb's Sing Along and Melody.

Also, if you're interested in pinball purchases, I highly recommend the Pinball Enthusiasts group on Facebook. Lots of good advice, including how to watch out for scams.
link to original post



The games I purchased have both. I usually go for seventies to eighties games. The earlier fifties and sixties games are what I believe you are talking about?
link to original post


The most recent title in the Internet Pinball Database from the "big four" (Bally, Chicago Coin, Gottlieb, Williams) I can find with different titles for the different versions, rather than a single game that can be converted by the owner, is Williams's Spanish Eyes / Granada from 1972. It became much easier to just have one machine with switchable options when solid state machines started taking over from electro-mechanicals in the late 1970s.
darkoz
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January 16th, 2022 at 12:48:54 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

Quote: darkoz

Quote: ThatDonGuy

Any names on these machines? I know a lot of machines have two versions with different names; one is a replay version, and one is an "add-a-ball" (what you called "free ball") version. For example, Williams's Miss-O and Cue-T are replay and add-a-ball versions of the same game, as are Gottlieb's Sing Along and Melody.

Also, if you're interested in pinball purchases, I highly recommend the Pinball Enthusiasts group on Facebook. Lots of good advice, including how to watch out for scams.
link to original post



The games I purchased have both. I usually go for seventies to eighties games. The earlier fifties and sixties games are what I believe you are talking about?
link to original post


The most recent title in the Internet Pinball Database from the "big four" (Bally, Chicago Coin, Gottlieb, Williams) I can find with different titles for the different versions, rather than a single game that can be converted by the owner, is Williams's Spanish Eyes / Granada from 1972. It became much easier to just have one machine with switchable options when solid state machines started taking over from electro-mechanicals in the late 1970s.
link to original post



Interesting.

One of the machines I picked up is from 1973. The others are even later. So they go by just one title.
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ChumpChange
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January 16th, 2022 at 1:38:06 PM permalink
I think I played Space Mission, the free ball version, at a local NYS bar back in the '70's. I'm guessing Space Odyssey is the free game version, but home games are on free play anyway.
ChumpChange
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January 16th, 2022 at 1:41:05 PM permalink
Spanish Eyes is not the same as Granada. They are both attractive for their own reasons. I think I liked Granada better but if I had a whole game room to fill I'd probably get both. I was just looking and the backglass for both are about the same, but the playfields are way different.
Chicago Coin did not have the best machines, Dolphin in particular.
Williams Yukon was a favorite though. Klondike was the free game version and I don't recommend that (well the playfield looks similar but the goals are very different).
Last edited by: ChumpChange on Jan 16, 2022
darkoz
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January 16th, 2022 at 1:49:55 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

I think I played Space Mission, the free ball version, at a local NYS bar back in the '70's. I'm guessing Space Odyssey is the free game version, but home games are on free play anyway.
link to original post



One of the pinballs I picked up didn't have a free play option.

They set the coin to 6 games for a quarter. When I run out of games I have to run a quarter through the door a few time. I usually do eight times so I have 48 game credits
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ChumpChange
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January 16th, 2022 at 2:05:56 PM permalink
I think one of my favorite games from 1981-82 was Medusa.
When I was in California, a free game state, I got a taste of Speakeasy (1982-83), which had Add-A-Ball features.
ThatDonGuy
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January 16th, 2022 at 2:44:08 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

I think I played Space Mission, the free ball version, at a local NYS bar back in the '70's. I'm guessing Space Odyssey is the free game version, but home games are on free play anyway.
link to original post


Space Mission had an internal setting for free play or extra ball (as well as one to disable the match feature, which I believe was also a reqiurement in New York). The difference between the two tables is, Space Mission is 4 players, while Space Odyssey is 2.

Quite a few tables have different names for different player versions. The other two I can think of off the top of my head:
Odds & Evens (1 player) / Monte Carlo (4 player)
1776 (1 player) / Freedom (4 player)
darkoz
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January 18th, 2022 at 2:59:06 PM permalink
Trip report continued

Monday day three (continued):

We slept until five in the afternoon.

I saw we were three blocks from an El Pollo Loco. They don't have those in NY or Mississippi so we all ate there. It was definitely one of the best tasting ones I have visited. Sad I only get one day to eat there.

Next we drive to the Uhaul to pick up our truck. It's a nice size with three seats.

We drive from the Uhaul to the first pinball seller which is within twenty minutes drive from our hotel.

I'm picking up an Elektra. This is a really hard to find machine and it's been on my wishlist for awhile.

It's not only in really good working order but has had a restore/refurbish. Restore is the outer look. Paint retouching bulbs and cabinet worked over so everything appears brand new.

Refurbishing is working parts. Mechanical replacements (the stuff that goes pop and ding) and new electronic boards and connectors.

$5000 paid in cash and we are.loading onto the Uhaul.

They have other machines not listed on eBay so I take a look around. I didn't see anything I like except one machine but the guy says it's not quite ready. He has some work to do.

But I want it.

So we wait about two hours. Its minor repairs. One ball lock doesn't pop the ball out when needed, etc.

It's a Fireball Classic. It was on my secondary list so not something I would go out of my way for but since it was here at a good price, why not?

Actually I wanted a Fireball. That's the original from 1973. Purely electro mechanical so they break easier. But they are also really sought after. Fireball Classic is the 1985 reissue. Solid state so less electromechanical problems but missing one of the key features of the original which were zipper flippers. The Fireball Classic sets me back another $3800.

Two machines loaded and we head back to hotel.

Hiccup. I can't find the keys for the Fireball. Finally call the pinball seller. He calls back to say he found them at his office.

We do a round trip to grab those. They could have mailed them but Without the keys you can't even put the game up.

That's because you never travel with a pinball in full open, play-ready mode. You remove the balls (don't want heavy metal loose wreaking havoc over every pothole) and of course you remove the fully painted backglass and carefully wrap it. (You can leave in the cover glass It's standard and if it gets damaged not too difficult to replace costs maybe a hundred bucks.) Additionally, the back on most machines has a flip lock so you can fold it over suitcase style.

Without the keys you can't open the backdoor to install the glass or lock the folding mechanism or open the front to put in the balls in.

(You also remove the legs so the machine is flat on the ground on moving blankets. The legs and screws get put back on at my house. This makes moving the machines up my stairs and through the corners of my house a lot easier.)

Now I had two machines. Nice start. We return to the hotel. It's ten pm. I want to get back on the road to catch up on time but exhausted we agree to start around four am.

But at four am I wake up more exhausted than ever. And I didn't do any driving!!!!

Decided not to wake anyone and went back to sleep.

To be continued
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Johnzimbo
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January 18th, 2022 at 5:14:03 PM permalink
Isn't Fireball the one with the spinning disc right in the main table? If so, worst machine ever....that dumb disc messes up every shot you take
ChumpChange
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January 18th, 2022 at 5:24:52 PM permalink
Since I only ever spend less than $10 on a game of pinball when I walk into a place that has one, I find it very difficult to rationalize buying a machine for thousands of dollars. It's over 100 miles to the nearest professional arcade that I know of and I've never been there. But I've got a plastic vitamin bottle filled with $30 in quarters. And I do worry about winning a pinball machine and having nowhere to put it.
ThatDonGuy
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January 18th, 2022 at 5:48:32 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

Since I only ever spend less than $10 on a game of pinball when I walk into a place that has one, I find it very difficult to rationalize buying a machine for thousands of dollars.


Actually, for some strange reason, the price of pinballs has skyrocketed in the past few years - not just new ones, as there seems to be a trend of making a machine featuring some rock band (the latest one: Rush), but older "classics" as well. It's a far cry from the days when pretty much any "for sale" ad online resulted in at least one person sending a money order for more than the asking price, requesting that the difference be mailed back to them while they would send somebody to pick up the machine (who never shows up, and three months later, the money order turns out to be fake (and if the seller cashed it, they are responsible for paying the entire amount back to the bank) - I heard of at least one person that pretty much wallpapers his arcade room with them).
darkoz
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January 18th, 2022 at 6:03:33 PM permalink
Quote: Johnzimbo

Isn't Fireball the one with the spinning disc right in the main table? If so, worst machine ever....that dumb disc messes up every shot you take
link to original post



Winner winner chicken dinner.

It does mess up the shots. That's the whole challenge and what makes it unique.
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darkoz
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January 18th, 2022 at 6:06:11 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

Since I only ever spend less than $10 on a game of pinball when I walk into a place that has one, I find it very difficult to rationalize buying a machine for thousands of dollars. It's over 100 miles to the nearest professional arcade that I know of and I've never been there. But I've got a plastic vitamin bottle filled with $30 in quarters. And I do worry about winning a pinball machine and having nowhere to put it.
link to original post



I get to play for free as long as I want to keep the machine, then sell it or trade it in for a different game

So I don't really see it as spending $5,000 for an Elektra. Subtract the gameplay value and then subtract the money from selling it. It's possible I even make a profit after all is said and done.
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Mission146
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January 19th, 2022 at 7:22:22 AM permalink
The hotel wanted an extra $50 per hour late checkout!? How much was the room? It's a shame you had reservations there and were beyond the cancellation deadline, otherwise I'd have told them precisely what they could do with their $50/hour late checkout.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
darkoz
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January 19th, 2022 at 10:15:42 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

The hotel wanted an extra $50 per hour late checkout!? How much was the room? It's a shame you had reservations there and were beyond the cancellation deadline, otherwise I'd have told them precisely what they could do with their $50/hour late checkout.
link to original post



Yep, I thought it was ridiculous too. Which is why it became a "beat" in my trip report.

However it worked out in the end aa you can see we needed the full extra day of sleep.

I don't remember the cost. I book all my rooms through hotels.com and they are all a blur now.

Come to think of it I may have claimed by free room. But I can't remember now. You get one free room for every ten you stay at.
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Mission146
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January 19th, 2022 at 10:25:25 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Quote: Mission146

The hotel wanted an extra $50 per hour late checkout!? How much was the room? It's a shame you had reservations there and were beyond the cancellation deadline, otherwise I'd have told them precisely what they could do with their $50/hour late checkout.
link to original post



Yep, I thought it was ridiculous too. Which is why it became a "beat" in my trip report.

However it worked out in the end aa you can see we needed the full extra day of sleep.

I don't remember the cost. I book all my rooms through hotels.com and they are all a blur now.

Come to think of it I may have claimed by free room. But I can't remember now. You get one free room for every ten you stay at.
link to original post



I retract my earlier statement. Perhaps not $50, but I'd have charged you an extra $25/hour had you wanted a late checkout. That's if you were using your free night, of course. If you were paying some other way, then I'd usually extend your checkout by two hours for free, if you wanted more, then you would have to pay for an additional night.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
darkoz
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January 23rd, 2022 at 1:36:47 PM permalink
Before getting back to the trip report here is a look at one of the machines.

FIREBALL CLASSIC

Check out the backglass. It's smoking "hot" IMO.

(It's so smoking hot that a close-up of it is more than 5mb and can't be uploaded directly. So I had to put the backglass pic on Imgur first).



The full body and side paint





(Note the moving blankets still on the floor below the machine)

And the play-field artwork.



Fireball Classic is the 1985 reissue. It's solid state electronic instead of electromechanical. I don't know if that's why they did not reproduce the zipper flippers but aside from that the game is the same as the original.

Here are Zipper Flippers from a different game. Notice they are so close the ball can't be lost down the center. They remain closed based on targets made and reopen after a time. Note the open holes behind each flipper for it to slide open. This also leaves short flippers for your game when open.



But that's what isn't included in my game. Here's what is included.



The main game board. Notice the weird orange disc in the center. It's the first thing most people notice and makes the centerpiece of the machine.

When not in play mode the middle disc is dormant.



However for the duration of the game it spins at blurry speed. When the ball rolls over the spinning disc all types of antics take place. The ball could be coming at you slow and suddenly be flung fast at you. A ball dropping towards the right flipper suddenly reverses course to the left. You could shoot the ball up the incline only to have it reversed and flung back at you. I have even seen the ball held for a gravity defying moment if the ball rolls over the spinning disc slow enough.



This feature rightfully gets the brunt of the attention but there are other fun aspects to Fireball.



You can see above two of the three bumpers aren't lit. That's not broke bulbs. It's an aspect of the game. You have to achieve a difficult skill shot to activate them making them lit and ten times more valuable as targets. You have to do this skill shot each ball to get them lit.

The skill shot is your first action. It's literally the plunger launch. It's just instinctive to pull that plunger back and let rip. This skill shot involves you lightly launching. It's so sensitive that about a 25% pullback on the plunger is probably too much.

Too far and the ball just flies into the play-field. Too little and it misses as well. Just right and the ball falls back through a ramp incline and lights the targets.

Here is the ball going too far. I drew arrows to make it easier to follow.



Here is the ball dropping back and through the metal bars (success in activating the bumpers.)



There are two bars so if you miss the first the shot can still be successful.



And here is not shooting it far enough. The ball rolls on the outside of the bars and does not activate the bumpers.



This was also one of the first multi ball games and you can see how it wasn't fully developed yet to today's multiball we are used to.

There are two ball Locks. Named after Gods Odin and Wotan. They are on the far right and left sides respectively.





Unlike modern multiball, the balls remain locked even after your game is over so that the next player can actually come along and begin play with one or both balls locked. Basically Variable State locked ball pinball!

Although not really an AP move when more than one player is competing, player one could lock both balls, lose theirs, leaving player two to unlock them thereby stealing all the work of player one.

To unlock (release) Odin you have to hit a specific bumper opposite.



To release Wotan, hit the specific bumper opposite.



With both balls locked you can release them simultaneously for three ball multi-ball by hitting the skill shot that "releases the Gods". It's a "pool ball" like shot. Hit the perpetually locked pinball high enough to hit the back target.



Pushing the trick target"pool ball" shot with my finger so you can see it better.



That's pretty much it. There is a ball save for the left drop chute which repels a "lost" ball back onto the play-field when lit.



The game is a big hit with my three year old.

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Mission146
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January 23rd, 2022 at 1:51:53 PM permalink
You sure do love pinball!

I always find it fascinating when people love various things or get deeply into hobbies simply because I don't have any.

Do all of the little flashing buttons in the main area have separate bulbs? Are the bulbs a standard bulb size? Are they a size that you normally see in pinball machines only, or that can be used for other things?
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
darkoz
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January 23rd, 2022 at 2:15:08 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

You sure do love pinball!

I always find it fascinating when people love various things or get deeply into hobbies simply because I don't have any.

Do all of the little flashing buttons in the main area have separate bulbs? Are the bulbs a standard bulb size? Are they a size that you normally see in pinball machines only, or that can be used for other things?
link to original post



Yes everything lit has its own separate bulb.

There are "standard" pinball bulbs but they aren't standard home bulbs. You can't buy them at the local shopping center. There are pinball supply stores for you to purchase from.

There are pinballs that may use non-standard bulbs. Depends on the company design.
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Johnzimbo
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January 23rd, 2022 at 2:30:27 PM permalink
Great write up on Fireball...but I still hate this game :)

Some of the favorites I recall playing were Mata Hari and Silverballmania
darkoz
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January 30th, 2022 at 2:44:31 PM permalink
Trip report continued (part three)

Wednesday (day five)

(NOTE: The previous post I incorrectly labeled Monday day three. That was Tuesday day four.)

Everyone awoke bright and refreshed the next morning. We were behind one day and I was trying to figure how to catch up. Extra days meant extra expenses. Hotel, food, payment of the driver, extra rental fees. And also it messed up the meetings I had scheduled with the pinball sellers.

We were still in Texas after picking up the Fireball Classic and the Elektra.

We drove nine hours plus breaks arriving twelve hours later back in Mississippi. It was pretty uneventful.

There was a double purpose to returning to Mississippi. First, it gave my driver's a chance to recuperate in their own home before the next leg of the trip, a drive to NY.

That saved me a day of hotel fees for them as well.

But most importantly, I had another$300 freeplay at Beau Rivage and $75 food. The offers has been split for the month, with the fifteenth one offer ending, November sixteenth starting the next. I had strategically chosen the mid week of November for the trip.

We all ate at the Beau. Then I went and played the offers. Did much better this time. I played shark something or other. Big shark teeth designed like an old style candy-land board game. I kept getting bonuses.

Each bonus you choose if you accept the amount or want to try for a better one. You get up to three chances. I have played before so I have a good idea of what amount to accept.

At any rate I turned $300 freeplay into $550 approximately. That made the two $300 FP a $700 return so good deal.

That evening I made a few schedule choices.

We were supposed to drive to Florida for a machine but the eBay seller turned into a paranoid prick. His insulting reply to my suggestion I come inspect the machine with intent to purchase (in cash) was so laughably derisive I ended up showing it to everyone.

He basically accused me of trying to scam him (with cash???) Perhaps he had just watched the Sting but I wasn't handing him the money in a brown paper bag.

Crossing him off, the next stop was South Carolina. Two machines but opposite ends of the state. Based on the availability of the sellers I couldn't make both without seriously backtracking. Driving North, then back South and then again heading North made no sense.

I eliminated the guy in lower South Carolina and suddenly, with Florida gone as well, there was my lost day in the schedule made back up.

As I went to bed thinking everything had worked out in the end, I got a call from my driver. The plan now was to return the small rental car we had driven to Texas and back and squeeze into the three seater of the Uhaul--my driver, her friend who would alternate driving and me.

Anyway, my driver called to inform me her friend the alternate driver was taken to intensive care with some type of gastro intestinal problem. Something he dealt with before but it was bad. He was admitted to hospital and would not be driving with us.

I suppose the delay in our original schedule had been fortunate. If we had been on schedule his intestinal issues would have erupted halfway to NY.

I don't even want to imagine the nightmare of that. I'm not one to abandon someone who's trying to help me. (He ended up staying two weeks in hospital. What an averted disaster!!!)

My driver felt confident she could make the trip to NY on her own. The Texas round-trip had instilled confidence in her stamina. And now we had more room in the front seats.

So down to the two of us for day six!

To be continued.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
darkoz
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February 5th, 2022 at 4:44:50 PM permalink
Here is my other acquisition.

Elektra. From 1973.

It's difficult to find an Elektra period. But in excellent condition as well is what spurred me to travel all the way to Texas for it.

Elektra was a bunch of firsts.

It is the first pinball to have multi-level play-field. Prior to this pinball machines had only a single flat play-field.

It has a synthesized voice although I believe it was maybe the 2nd or 3rd to do so.

Play is awesome even today. And I really love the artwork. Check out the backglass!





NOTE:. Below the image of Elektra is a two digit number which are called Elektra units. Keep that in mind for later.

Elektra has the main level play-field which is pretty barren of targets because it's mainly a glass or "window" to a lower play-field called the Gamma dimension (by the electronic voice). The main goal is to access this lower play-field. More on that in a moment.

The game begins with the eerie electronic voice uttering "You are entering the radiant dimension. Elektra"

The ball shoots onto the upper play-field. The upper field has flippers for you to keep the ball up there as long as possible. Nearly all the trick shots are on this level.

Gravity will eventually pull the ball to the lower main level via four different exit/entrance ramps.



The most difficult entrances are on the left which enter a difficult trick loop. The two ramps are the same trick loop, just in reverse.



The right side Ramps are easier to get the ball up onto the upper level. There are two trick shots on that side. One is a "poolball" style shot where you strike a second pinball to shoot it into a target. The other is a trick loop that locks the pinball for multiball.



There are also a series of green targets as seen above and on the main play-field red targets and blue.



But the big feature of course is that lower play-field. Let's take a closer look.





Note this lower play-field is under enclosed glass with it's own flippers (notice they are short Flippers size as well.)



You cannot access this lower play-field during your ball. Here is the unique feature.

You want to hit all the different trick targets to acquire Elektra units (remember those from the backglass)? The Elektra units add up resetting to zero each ball. If you hit enough targets to add up to more than 6 Elektra units you qualify for the lower level. The units keep adding up all the way to 99 as long as you can keep the ball in play and keep earning them by hitting your trick shots.

Now when you lose your ball finally, assuming you earned more than six Elektra units, you get a bonus pinball game in the lower level play-field.

It's really cool. The lights from the rest of the game shuts off and extra illumination comes into the lower play-field and the male synthetic voice intones "Prepare for the Gamma dimension" and your bonus feature ball shoots automatically onto the lower play-field.





The really cool feature of this lower Gamma play-field is that it's time based. Remember those Elektra units? Those start counting down and as long as you have some units still left you cannot lose you ball. The ball will be ejected back onto the play-field.

So the more Elektra units you have earned beyond the initial six needed to qualify for the lower play-field the longer you have guaranteed to play

Once the Elektra units are zeroed out ("Gamma time has expired" warns the ethereal synthetic voice) you keep the ball in play as long as you can until it finally goes down the center

The targets in the lower play-field are worth a lot. It's possible to have the lowest score but on the final ball earn your way onto the lower play-field and then score right past your opponent

It's a really rewarding feature because you feel not only the satisfaction of having earned a bonus game but it's like having up to six balls for the price of three, (three for the main game and up to three bonus lower play-field balls).

When the game is finally over, "You have been exposed to Elektras radiation. Will you return?" Goads the game.
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ChumpChange
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February 6th, 2022 at 1:41:46 AM permalink
1981 Bally ELEKTRA pinball machine - YouTube - London Pinball - Aug 2, 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Q3xL90iRo
Dieter
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February 6th, 2022 at 2:34:01 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

The really cool feature of this lower Gamma play-field is that it's time based. Remember those Elektra units? Those start counting down and as long as you have some units still left you cannot lose you ball. The ball will be ejected back onto the play-field.
link to original post



Does the ball get kicked back to the main playfield or does it stay in the Gamma basement?

All these adventures make me wish my travels crossed paths with some much cooler tables than the usual 87% functional movie themed examples with missing balls and a malfunctioning upper left flipper.
May the cards fall in your favor.
darkoz
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February 6th, 2022 at 3:49:58 AM permalink
Quote: Dieter

Quote: darkoz

The really cool feature of this lower Gamma play-field is that it's time based. Remember those Elektra units? Those start counting down and as long as you have some units still left you cannot lose you ball. The ball will be ejected back onto the play-field.
link to original post



Does the ball get kicked back to the main playfield or does it stay in the Gamma basement?

All these adventures make me wish my travels crossed paths with some much cooler tables than the usual 87% functional movie themed examples with missing balls and a malfunctioning upper left flipper.
link to original post



The lower play-field is AFTER you lose your ball in the main game. Think of it as a bonus round if you have earned it.

So no it doesn't get kicked back onto the main play-field and in fact isn't even the same ball. Physically it's an extra ball laying inert in the enclosed lower play-field while you play your active game above with a different ball.
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LoquaciousMoFW
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February 6th, 2022 at 4:42:09 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Here is my other acquisition.

Elektra. From 1973.[snip]
link to original post


Elecktra debut date is December 1981, according to Internet Pinball Database: https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?any=electra&search=Search+Database&searchtype=quick#778
Which aligns with my personal recollection that digital (VFD) scoring didn't arrive in appreciable numbers until the late 1970s.
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