Star Wars: Episode I Rulesheet v0.3 Written by Milen (email@example.com) Started: Jan. 8, 2000 Updated: Feb. 15, 2000 ============ Introduction ============ I'm not a regular, or even a lurker, on the rec.games.pinball scene, but I've waited and searched for so long for a rulesheet for Episode I that I figured I might as well get the ball rolling (pun unintended) myself. In a bit of a switch for FAQ and rulesheet licenses, I not only don't mind if you appropriate the information presented herein in your own document, I encourage it! I merely ask that you make some reference as to the original source. Playing Star Wars: Episode I Pinball, a Pinball 2000 release, is a bittersweet experience for me. Sweet because it, indeed, is a fun game, powered by one of the few licenses I can think of that is truly better than Addams Family (another of my favorite pins), and is one of the most enjoyable, fun-filled flipper games I've seen for a long, long time. Bitter because, as we all know by now, it is the last pinball machine to be produced by WMS Industries, meaning both the Williams and Bally lines are now kaput. I have never, ever enjoyed a pinball machine that did not bear one of those two names, so this could very well be, for me, a farewell to pinball, at least for modern tables. Oh, all the more melancholy that it is only the second game to use Williams' revolutionary Pinball 2000 system! Pinball 2000 was supposed to make pinball both more enjoyable to play, with the incorporation of a cunningly-placed video monitor that reflects off the upper portion of the glass, and economical to maintain, with a modular arrangement that would have allowed operators to switch out table "cartridges" and game software. Alas, the only games made using this system have been Ep. I and Revenge From Mars, which I have never played, the sequel to the previous hit Attack From Mars. Housekeeping ------------ The contents of this rulesheet are copyright 2000 by Milen. You are permitted to freely distribute them in whatever manner you wish, and incorporate them in your own rulesheets for this game. Milen takes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of these rules. If you do use any of this document in your own work, you assume sole responsibility in all matters pertaining to the new version. If you have corrections or additions to make to this rulesheet, you can notify Milen at firstname.lastname@example.org and (if I like them) they will be included in the next version of the document. Credit will be given in this section. In all cases, credit will go to the first submitter to offer the information in a usable fashion (so if you submit, say, in code or a language other than English, or more realistically, in a garbled manner I cannot decipher, no dice). Some of the information for this rulesheet was gleaned from Williams' Star Wars: Episode I pinball site at http://www.pinball2000.com. This rulesheet is based upon software version 1.3. Credits ------- Thanks to... WMS Industries for producing this game. John Popaduik, Jr., and I am not at all sure about the spelling, for designing it. Anti-thanks to... WMS Industries, for never producing another pinball game from either the Williams or Bally lines. I can only hope Pat Lawlor switches to Stern. History ------- v0.3: Credits added, many clarifications and corrections, some grammatical fixes, various other things. v0.1: First version. ================ Playfield Layout ================ Flippers The standard pair, situated in the standard location. These are the only flippers on the table. Slingshots The standard slings, situated between the inlanes and the flippers. The rest of the playfield, from left to right... Left Outlane Can't be lit for anything. Really, there is no light here at all. There is a rubber post above the outlane/inlane dividing wall. Outlanes seem not too be too horrible on this machine; I seem to lose most of my balls down the middle, but I'm no expert. There is rubber on the dividing post between this and the inlane. Left Inlane Again, apparently doesn't light for anything. Balls sent up the left ramp end up here. Left Target Bank A set of three targets beside a blue "Power of the Force" light. Completing this bank lights the left Power of the Force and awards 100,000 bonus upon end of ball, up to 1,000,000. When both this and the other Power of the Force are on they flash and unlight, awarding one bonus multiplier up to x5. Left Orbit (C-3PO) Leads into the jet bumper chamber. During most of the game, each shot to this lane advances the build status of C-3PO. Eventually grants miscellaneous awards, starting with Extra Ball, and is used in a couple of modes. A rollover target registers hits to this lane. No attempt is made to judge ball direction, and it is not uncommon for incomplete shots to be counted twice. Sometimes a ball will come out of the jet bumpers through the left orbit, and these also award the shot. Left Saucer (Watto's Junk Shop) One of two real, honest-to-goodness ball locks. When the associated light is flashing, these holes each lock a ball towards multiball. At that time the game also grants a random award. The hole is small; a direct (I mean DIRECT) shot to this hole will have its impact absorbed by a fixed ball behind the saucer, but this is rare. Usually balls end up here because they've been drifting around the upper reaches of the board. This is the second hardest shot in the game. A side note: depending on how level your machine is, balls ejected from here have a nasty tendency to head right between the flippers. Left Ramp Used in many of the modes, and for combos. Is a Jackpot shot during Multiball. The entrance to this ramp is almost always hidden by the image from the video screen reflected off the glass, but the player is clued in on its location by images on the display. When no mode is running this image is a "virtual spinner" that awards a small number of points whenever a ball reaches the ramp entrance. Unlike a real spinner, this always spins the same number of times regardless of how hard the ball was hit. During mode play, if the ramps are important shots there is usually an image on the display that clues the player in on their location. Note that in many cases a complete ramp shot is not necessary to score a hit on that ramp; any ball touching the entrance counts as a hit target. Cases where complete ramp shots are required are mentioned in the mode descriptions, below. And last, there is a drop target at the entrance to this ramp, also hidden by the display. A few modes use this to block entrance to the ramp, giving the amusing impression that the ball bounced off some object on the screen -- amusing right up until the player is caught off-guard and loses a ball by this action. Then "amusing" becomes "annoying." Left (Side) Center Target Another shot that is mostly hidden by the video screen. This is angled slightly to the right, so shots that hit this target don't tend to drain as often as center shots on, say, Attack From Mars. This is used in lots of modes. Many times modes that require you to hit a ramp or the center retractable target will also count hits to the closest "Side Center Target." Center Retractable Target In approximately the same place as the center standup array in Attack From Mars comes the return of the All-Important Drain Shot. Easily the most important shot in the game. If the retractable target is down then good shots to this area between the Side Targets fall into a hole, and are returned to the player at an inlane. If it's not down, however, the ball bounces off, very often Straight Down The Middle. This shot is often important no matter what the state of the target. But even worse! Unlike AFM, this target is completely obscured by the video display. It is so obscured that I STILL am not quite sure how this target physically works. One of the important steps towards getting good at this game is to memorize the behavior of this target, so you'll know what to expect at any given time. Video screen The central gimmick to Pinball 2000, and a seriously cool part of the game. Clips from the movie show at the start of different modes, the part of the screen that overlaps the playfield targets shows little icons to help you aim your shot, characters rise up and taunt you or get abused by the ball, and all sorts of other goodness. Right (Side) Center Target The table is so symmetrical that most of the elements on the left side of the board have identical counterparts on the right side. Go see the description for the Left Center Target. Right Ramp Serves most of the same purposes, at most of the same times, as the left ramp, with two important exceptions: the return off the right ramp is where the ball gets sent after a missed skill shot, and after spelling GUNGAN in the jet bumpers, this ramp starts granting letters in JAR JAR. Other than that, basically identical. Right Saucer (Mos Espa) Named differently from and gives you a different animation than the Left Saucer (Watto's Junk Shop), but pretty much the same thing. Oh, except instead of a fixed ball, a couple of rubber deflectors, bracketing the saucer and angled downward, are the means chosen to absorb the ball's momentum. This is even worse than the fixed ball, and makes this the hardest shot on the board. Jet Bumpers The jet chamber has openings to the playfield below (shots are made from the left flipper) and to the left orbit in the back. Awards miscellaneous points. The jets seem to almost be merely a place to put the ball for a while in this game, except that sometimes a ball comes out of the jets headed for the flippers at high speed. After this happens a couple of times you learn to respect the jets. Flythrough Lane About the only things this lane seems to be used for are Skill Shots and Extra Balls. It is murder to hit this lane from the flippers; usually the ball just drifts there, most commonly when coming out of the jet chamber. Very nicely, the Skill Shot collects any Extra Ball that happens to be lit. Sith Droid Magnet A magnet under the table, corresponding in position to a drawing of a "Sith Droid" in the artwork. Turns on for a couple of seconds whenever the Right Target Bank is hit. Right Target Bank These targets have their own "Power of the Force" light, maintaining symmetry with the bank on the left side of the table. These also turn on the Sith Droid magnet for a couple of seconds. Right Inlane Practically nothing. The ball is returned here after going up the right ramp. Right Outlane Practically nothing. Just wave goodbye to the ball. There is rubber on the dividing posts between the outlane and inlane. Plunger and Skill Shot The skill shot is a simple hole in the assembly coming up off a manual plunger. The hole leads to the Flythrough Lane, and this will collect an Extra Ball if one is lit there. Playfield Notes This table is almost as symmetrical as Attack From Mars. A nice, uncluttered design. Star Wars: Episode One is not the most complicated pin game in the world, but I kind of prefer that. ========== Objectives ========== The objective of the game is to become a great and powerful Jedi by collecting, um, letters in the word JEDI. I'm sure Yoda worked his way to the top in exactly the same fashion. The primary method in which you earn letters is by completing modes, a.k.a. scenes. After every mode, regardless of how well you did, you get one of those all-important letters. Every time you spell JEDI, the Center Retractable Target goes down, and by hitting it you get to play Saber Battle against Darth Maul. This is explained below. After winning this (I really don't know what happens when you fail, it's THAT easy), you advance one Jedi Rank, first to Jedi Youth, then Jedi Knight, Jedi Master and Jedi Spirit. What happens when you reach Spirit? I don't know! I'm still working on that. I've yet to hear of anyone, myself included, reaching Master. My record is three letters past Jedi Knight. Can anyone enlighten me as to what happens later on? Jedi letters can also be earned: - The second time you Build C-3PO, - after making three Skill Shots, only once per game, - as one of the potential awards in Jedi Musical Chairs, - and sometimes a Jedi Letter is granted as the random award after a ball lock. The Projector ------------- At the start of a new game, the main, retractable center target is down. One hit to this (whether it catches and is sent to an inlane or whether it falls out) activates the Projector, which then displays a large image on the video display representing one of the thirteen modes in the game. This image can be changed to one of about seven different possibilities using the Action Buttons (small crescent-shaped buttons wrapped part way around the main flipper buttons on the sides of the machine). The center target remains down, and a solid hit (this time it's required that the ball catch) begins the mode represented by the image on the projector, kicking off with a short video clip. Modes DO NOT END with the ball; they continue, during your turn in a multiplayer game, until complete or the game ends. Even if you manage to finish JEDI through other means, you cannot start Saber Battle until the mode is done. (Amendment: if the letter is awarded as one of the random awards in Jedi Musical Chairs, I've seen the game end the scene immediately.) Scoring for each mode is different, but upon completion you always earn at least one million points. Some modes award perfect shooting, meaning not hitting major targets that do not advance your standing in the mode, with three million instead, but such flawless play has no other reward. If you lose a ball during a mode, it does NOT count against you for the "Perfect Shooting" award. Modes known to award the "Perfect Shooting" bonus are: Destroyer Droids, Sith Droids, Ground Battle, and Space Battle. Using the lasers in Space Battle also doesn't count against you. (Unless you miss with a laser? Unknown.) The first mode only requires one shot to start. Subsequent modes require three hits to activate the projector; the retracting target only opens for a safe shot for the third hit. Then a solid fourth hit to the center starts the next mode. It seems that up until the player reaches Jedi Youth, both the center target and the targets to either side count as hits to the projector. After Darth Maul has been battled the first time, this behavior changes so that only center shots count. When a mode is completed, it is removed from the modes available on the Projector and replaced with another from those not yet played. When all the modes are introduced no others are added, limiting your choices. I do not know what happens when all the modes are exhausted, or if this behavior changes. The game seems set on making sure you play all modes once before giving you any more. ===================== Modes (a.k.a. Scenes) ===================== RELATIVELY SIMPLE MODES: Sub Escape Projector Image: Submarine Video Display: An underwater scene in which our heroes, in their submarine, are chased by a sea creature. This is the easiest mode in the game. On the left side of the screen is a progress bar, usually starting at around half-full. Making ANY of the main shots, being ramps, the big retractable center target or the smaller targets which bracket it grants progress on the bar. The ramps are definitely the best things to aim for in this mode, since a complete ramp shot maintains control of the ball, but incomplete ramp shots still grant progress towards finishing the mode. If this mode lasts for a while, the progress bar will begin to empty. I've never seen this bar run out. If you lose a ball, the bar will remain stable until a playfield switch is hit, usually from the Flythrough Lane (after a successful skill shot) or the Right Inlane (if the shot was failed). As a side note, all game timers seem to freeze when a ball is waiting to be plunged (except after the first ball of Saber Battle). On the other hand, no game timer will wait just because a ball is in the jet bumpers. The Episode I Pinball website seems to indicate that shots to the lanes will advance the progress bar in this mode. If this is true I haven't noticed it. Ground Battle Projector Image: Ordinary Trooper-Droid Display: A peaceful forest scene on Naboo which a troop carrier spoils by littering with droids. This mode would go under the "Hit-Lots-Of-Targets Modes" section if it weren't for the simple fact that you don't actually HAVE to hit those targets. The droids are worth points and can be shot with the lasers, but it is by no means essential that you do so. This is one of those modes which uses the drop targets in front of the ramps; whenever a droid is on the ground in this scene, the corresponding drop target under the droid image is up. You can lower those targets by hitting them, in which case they remain down until they are replaced by the carrier, or by shooting them with the lasers. Getting rid of those droids allows you to hit the droids in the air behind them (with complete ramp shots), worth some funky bonuses such as "Super-Dooper Secret STAPP Bonus." Gee, thanks. All this is a distraction from the actual goal of the scene, which is basically to shoot the center retractable target three times. After two hits the target retracts, making for a safer final shot. R2-D2 Astrodroid Projector Image: Our Favorite Ambulatory Garbage Can Display: The astrodroid bay on the Queen's ship, with the doomed robots solemnly awaiting their fate outside the doorway of their destruction. This can be one of the higher scoring modes. This scene is basically a series of six consecutive hurry-up shots. Each shot is made by hitting either the center retractable target or either of the side targets. The side targets tend to be hit a lot just from the ball roaming the board, so this tends not to be such a difficult scene. If you only want to do is finish the scene, all you have to do is hit these targets six times, with each shot sending a droid through the doorway. A point total starts at 500,000 points, which after a brief grace period begins to rapidly count down to 50,000, remaining there until you collect the shot. While the total is counting down, complete ramp shots reset the timer to its base value plus 100,000, with no known limit. If you're good at the alternating-ramps combo you can get a fair number of points here, from combo scoring and hurry-up bonuses. Missed ramps tend to collect the shot, though. Hitting a ramp when the value is at 50,000 does nothing. After a shot is collected the next droid's value resets to 500,000. This mode is not in the initial rotation of scenes at the start of a game. It seems to be the first of the scenes that are added to the mix as you start finishing scenes. MOVING TARGET MODES: Sith Droids Projector Image: Pistol Display: Amidala shooting probe droids on Tatooine. A pistol icon appears on the screen, moving back and forth. The idea is to hit the target the icon is over, at the instant the icon is over it. Since the different targets that register hits in this scene (ramps, side-center targets and the big center retractable target) are of different sizes, you can sometimes be fairly far off with your aim and still get credit for a hit. As in many modes, a complete ramp shot is not necessary to score a hit to the pistol; all that is required is that the ball reaches the entrance to the ramp. Three hits is what you need to finish the mode. If all your shots during this mode hit the icon, you get three million for "Perfect Shooting" after this scene instead of the usual one million. Gungan Battle Projector Image: Weird-looking Hovertank Display: The fields of Naboo, with the tanks coming over the hill. This is basically the Sith Droids mode reprised, with different graphics, a faster target and with six shots to make instead of three. This is not among the scenes in the initial rotation. Destroyer Droids Projector Image: "Destroyer" Droid Display: Inside the Queen's Palace on Naboo To paraphrase myself: This is basically the Gungan Battle mode reprised, with different graphics and an even faster, very erratically-moving target. The movement of the target, surprisingly, sometimes makes the mode easier, since the center shot becomes a safer bet. This mode isn't selectable when the game begins. Watto's Chance Projector Image: The Schnozz Himself Display: Watto in his shop hovering over three "chance cubes." This scene is a breeze compared to the other moving target scenes. Watto slowly moves from cube to cube, and all you have to do is hit the cube he's over. Shots to the side cubes are registered for completed ramp shots; you have to hit the center target (not retracted) to count as a hit on the middle cube. This scene cannot be selected at the start of the game. HIT-LOTS-OF-TARGETS MODES: Space Battle Projector Image: Enemy Spaceship Display: The cockpit of Anakin's ship, looking out into space. This is my favorite mode in the game, and one of the few modes that lasers are basically there for. Spaceships fill the screen, over the ramps and the center target. Ships on the sides can be hit with laser fire or incomplete ramp shots. (Craft higher up on the screen require completed ramps.) The drop targets in front of the ramps are up whenever ships hug the bottom of the screen; hitting them with the ball or laser fire will clear them. Ships in the center can be hit with shots to any of the three center targets. The jets are a good place for the ball during this mode, so you can spend some time picking off targets with the lasers. When you make a shot or fire the laser the remaining ships scatter around the screen. They also periodically move around on their own. Once they're all destroyed the center target retracts, allowing a safe shot to destroy the control ship and end the mode. Hangar Escape Projector Image: Anakin's spacecraft from the movie Display: The hangar of the control ship. Another good laser mode. This one works a lot like Space Battle, in that shots to the center and the ramps make the mode. The drop targets don't rise for this mode, however. I'm unsure whether you need complete ramp shots to hit droids on the side; I always pick them off using laser fire. I've noticed that the first droid in the scene ALWAYS appears in the center, and no other droids show up until it has been destroyed. When droids show up in this mode, they are depicted as walking in from the background. Until they stop walking, they cannot be harmed; ramp shots have no effect on them, and lasers are just wasted. Once in position, the droids don't move from shot to shot like the fighters in Space Battle. Once all the droids are rubble, a final shot to the (now retracted) center finishes the mode. COMPLICATED MODES: Podracing Projector Image: Podracer Display: The most visually active mode of them all, racing your podracer over Tatooine in a scene very reminiscent of the Nintendo 64 Podracing game. Three icons appear on the display, one over each major shot (ramps and center). Beginning to pick up on a pattern? All the center targets count as the same shot, and incomplete ramps work just as well as solid hits. The object is to hit the "checkpoint" icons, which have a checkered flag on them. You can affect the scene for points and fun by hitting the other icons, in order to steer and speed up. The game tells you what place you're in overall and keeps you up to date on your current speed, but I don't know of any real purpose for these values. The icons themselves appear to be randomly selected, and change when they are hit. Sometimes you end up with no checkpoints to choose from, and you have to make shots to make them appear. Three checkpoint shots is enough to win the race and finish the mode. Queen's Game Projector Image: Queen Amidala's Seal Display: Queen Amidala's Throne Room This is perhaps the most difficult mode. I like to refer to this one as the "Queen Amidala Dress-up Round." Queenie stands in the middle of the scene, before a big wheel holding six blank panels. Two of these panels are situated over the ramps. Shots to the ramps (or the adjacent center targets) flip over their corresponding panels. Shots do not have to travel up the entire ramp. Shots to the center and the laser buttons spin the wheel. The game usually seems to give you at least one uncovered panel each spin. Uncover all six panels to finish the mode. You can't play this mode at the start of the game. RANDOM AWARD MODES: Jedi Musical Chairs Projector Image: Yoda, ensconced in comfy seating Display: The Jedi Council Chamber Five Jedi Council members sit before you on the screen, each with their own award (no duplicates among those offered) while the music plays. At this time the ramps and center targets randomly mix up the council, usually so a different one is in the middle. At a randomly-determined time, all the Jedi except the one centered goes dim, with the one above the center target remaining lit on a 20-second timer. The jet bumpers do not pause this timer. Hitting the center shot (the two side targets don't count) collects that Jedi and his award. If the timer runs out or the ball drains then that award is removed uncollected. Either way, the music then restarts with the remaining members. The mode continues until three awards have been collected. The awards range from 1,000 to 2,000,000 points. Occasionally other awards crop up too, most often Advance Bonus Multiplier, Hold Bonus and (!) Add Jedi Letter. In my opinion, Add Jedi Letter is the sole interesting thing about this mode. (I have come across one bug in this round; see Bugs, at the end of this document.) Jar Jar Juggling Projector Image: Jar Jar Binks, He Who Must Be Destroyed Display: The Jarster, balancing (and then, not balancing) junk in Watto's shop Jar Jar Binks appears on the display, balancing junk in that special way in which Jar Jar Binks balances junk. Below appears the message "Trip Jar Jar!" Dare I DREAM? A hit to the center target knocks Mr. Comic Relief to the floor, along with the five pieces of junk, which conveniently scatters one piece above each ramp and center target. Collect the junk and an associated award by hitting that shot; three shots ends the mode. Very entertainingly, you can continue to trip Jar Jar even after scattering the junk. The value of each award is not revealed to the player, but is consistent with each type of junk. The pieces that glow green, for example, are worth 2,000,000. Look out for the pinball with the golden aura! This rare piece of junk lights extra ball when collected. ============== Other Features ============== Skill Shot ---------- The manual plunger feeds the plastic habitrail coming down from the right ramp to the right inlane. A strong shot will overshoot a small hole in the plastic leading to the Flythrough Lane. Hitting the ball just strong enough to go through this hole earns 1,000,000 the first time, 2,000,000 the second time and then 3,000,000 plus a Jedi Letter. From then on it just scores 3,000,000 points. This is nothing to sneeze at -- you get a chance at the skill shot at the start of each ball, after every lock for Multiball and both before AND after Saber Battle. Basically, every plunged ball except those in the middle of Saber Batter can be worth a skill shot. Assuming six balls in most games (not an unfair assumption on standard settings), one multiball and one Saber Battle, that's nine Skill Shots right there, worth 24 million plus a free Jedi Letter. This game tends to score low, lower than Addams Family (but not nearly so low as some recent machines) so these points are nothing to ignore. Plus, the skill shot collects lit extra balls. Build C-3PO ----------- Shots to the left orbit award pieces of C-3PO. The lights on the orbit show you how close you are to finishing him; solidly-lit components are already collected, and the flashing component shows what part will be awarded next. On standard settings, he begins the game half-completed. When he's finished, the player earns the next award on the list: Light Extra Ball Add Jedi Letter 2,000,000 Points Hold Bonus There could be more awards, but I don't yet know what they are. GUNGAN and JAR JAR ------------------ While in normal play, an image of seaweed and bubbles appears on the display around the place the bumpers are located. During normal play only, getting the ball to the jet bumpers awards one letter in GUNGAN. Usually you only get one letter per trip to the bumpers, but if the ball somehow doesn't trip any bumper for a couple of seconds, the game will assume the ball left and returned and will award an additional letter. Spelling GUNGAN replaces the seaweed with Jar Jar Binks, and now hitting the bumpers causes him to feel arbitrary, sourceless pain and suffering. This is basically Super Jets (though I haven't noticed the scoring). Furthermore, you'll notice that now the "Star Wars" virtual spinner over the right ramp has changed appearance. Hitting that ramp now awards letters in JAR JAR. I don't know what this is for; does anyone know the purpose for this? GUNGAN and JAR JAR can only be worked towards during normal play. Modes, Multiball and Saber Battle each prevent further progress from being made. Since the primary objective of the game is to earn Jedi status, which basically hinges on having modes running at every possible moment, we don't see much progress made towards these goals. Worst of all, each ball resets all progress made. Ramps ----- In addition to JAR JAR, hitting a ramp, either with a strong hit or with weak shots that don't complete the entire ramp, spins the "virtual spinner" at the base of the ramp. This is worth 10,000 the first time, then 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, etc., up to 100,000, not resetting until a moderate amount of time goes by without a ball entering a ramp. These points are only awarded during normal play, when no mode is running. Combos ------ The only known combo in the game is alternating ramps. At any time except during Saber Battle, making consecutive ramp shots starts building on a combo. Upon missing a ramp shot, if you manage to quickly regain control of the ball and then hit EITHER ramp, the combo can be continued. It doesn't matter if other switches are triggered. The scoring starts for 200,000 for a two-way combo, and then increases by 100,000 for each additional ramp shot made with no known limit. (However, I haven't been able to test many limits. Whatever it is, it's certainly over a million.) The player with the longest Ramp Combo gets to post his initials as the Combo Champion at the end of the game. Combos do count normally during multiball. Combos are detected during Saber Battle, but there have a different, special purpose; see the corresponding section. Watto's Junk Shop & Mos Espa ---------------------------- Games start with both of these saucers flashing. Hitting one earns a pseudo- random award from the following list: 500,000 1,000,000 Activate Projector Advance C-3PO Five Lasers Ten Lasers Increase Bonus Add Bonus Multiplier Hold Bonus Award Jedi Letter Light Extra Ball For Mos Espa the award is selected from a list of four; for Watto the award is just granted. Light Extra Ball seems to come up a bit more often when the player has had a poor game, but I could be wrong. (This also seems true of the extra ball in Jar Jar Juggling.) I've only seen Activate Projector be selected when no mode is running and the Projector is not yet active. After the award the ball is left in the saucer and another ball is served; the holes serve as the ball locks. The game's web site says that locks can be stolen from other players in a multiplayer game, but the only machine on which I've been able to observe multiplayer games uses a form of software compensation to handle stolen locks. The rule is, if you lock your first ball when the other saucer already contains a ball, then that other ball will be ejected into play. This means that, if a previous player locks a ball before you, you can only lock your first ball in the remaining saucer, making it a bit more difficult to get into Multiball. I don't know what happens when a player locks a ball, then a later player starts Multiball, unlocking all balls and leaving the first player with a bit of a problem. After the first Multiball, both the saucers are unlit. The first ball to land in one of these holes relights the holes for ball locks and random awards and is then ejected. Each subsequent Multiball then requires one additional saucer hit before the game again begins to start locking balls and giving awards. On the machine I've played the most, Watto's Junk Shop has a nasty habit of ejecting balls that head right for the center drain. This can be a serious problem if it happens consistently. Balls can be locked and saucer hits earned during any normal mode, but don't count during Saber Battle or (understandably) Multiball. At these times balls landing in saucers are simply ejected. Multiball --------- Multiball is remarkably difficult to start on purpose on this machine. Not quite as bad as, say, Twilight Zone but still very annoying. It is possible to intentionally lock balls, but your aim has to be spot on, especially for Mos Espa, which likes to rebound misses towards the drain. Much more often balls drifting around the upper portion of the board will just sort of fall into the locks, or you'll accidentally lock balls that were intended for C-3PO or the jets. If you *can* intentionally lock balls, however, then the high score table just opens up before you, because Multiball is so incredibly high scoring. After a remarkably invigorating start quote (often either Jar Jar or Anakin shouting "MULTIBALL!!"), a ball is served to the plunger. You can earn a skill shot on this. After the ball trips a playfield switch, the two locked balls are ejected from their saucers and glorious mayhem ensues. Any mode running before multiball continues to run. Sometimes if you're in a particularly difficult mode it can be a valid strategy to start Multiball, because all the balls flailing across the board tends to make quick work of most scenes. After the scene ends, the Projector does not reappear until Multiball is over, and no new modes can be started. Regardless of the currently running mode, the game overlays a big Jackpot icon over the center targets. Hitting either the big center retractable target (which is closed in this mode) or either of the targets to either side earns a Jackpot, at one million points, and the collected Jackpot is removed from the board. Then, a Jackpot appears on each of the ramps. Each of these are also worth one million, and a ball needn't make it all the way up the ramp to collect. After those are scored all three Jackpots return at once. The first two are worth one million, but the last earns a Super Jackpot of five million. Then the cycle repeats until Multiball ends. It's that simple, and just making it through one cycle is worth ten million. I often last for three cycles; 30 Million is a fairly decent award for this game. Remember, on default settings extra balls are awarded at 20 million and 60 million points. C-3PO is still active during Multiball, but no GUNGAN or JAR JAR letters seem to be awarded regardless of whether a mode is running at the time. If two of the three balls drain before even a single Jackpot is scored, the game begins a brief Multiball Restart timer, about 15 seconds if I remember correctly. Hitting any saucer (the center retractable target, which will be open now, counts) serves one additional ball and allows Multiball to continue. Getting huge scores during Multiball is not at all difficult, and is really the only likely way a score can break out into the stratosphere without slogging through the modes. Multiball is also just plain out FUN, with Jar Jar and Anakin shouting out encouragement and complements almost every other second, and going nuts whenever a Jackpot, and especially a Super Jackpot, is collected. The music is also G-R-E-A-T and really serves to add an air of urgency to your efforts. Bonus ----- Bonus appears to be of two primary types, individual bonus count units worth 100,000, signified by lit sections of Anakin's spaceship on the playfield, and multipliers. The un-multiplied bonus can reach up to 1,000,000, and with a x5 Multiplier can get as high as 5,000,000, not so bad for this game. Best of all, I would say the entire point to the bonus count on this game, the bonus music changes if you manage to reach 5,000,000, becoming a great John Williams-esque fanfare with matching lightshow. Great stuff! Your current Jedi status is also reported during the bonus count. Each player, instead of "Player One" or "Player Two," is given the name of one of the Episode One characters, and this is also presented at this time along with a video clip. Saber Battle ------------ Instead of one big wizard mode the end of the game (presumably -- I don't know if there is a big wizard waiting or not, I've not gotten that far yet), you instead earn several "little" wizard modes throughout. This is a great idea, one I hope Stern Pinball picks up on. (That, and hopefully they'll also start making some good games.) The game basically allows players to choose a goal appropriate to their skill. Even novice players have a chance of making it to the first Saber Battle, while reaching Jedi Spirit should provide a good challenge even for wizards. When Jedi is spelled and no mode is running, the image of the Projector is replaced with that of a lightsaber hilt. If the locks are flashing they stop; Multiball cannot be started at this time. The center target retracts, and a good solid hit that catches is required to begin Saber Battle. After a video clip, a second ball is served to the plunger. A skill shot can be made on this ball alone. The battle doesn't properly begin until the ball enters play, usually detected at the Flythrough Lane or the Right Inlane. At that time the first ball is released back into play at an inlane. Soon after a third ball is served to the plunger, but this can be ignored if you wish. Saber Battle is basically a direct fight against Darth Maul. Qui-Gon Jinn stands on the left side of the video display and Maul stands on the right. At the top of the screen the score disappears, replaced by energy meters for both Qui-Gon and Maul. Making major shots does damage to the Sith Lord's energy meter. Ramp shots appear to only count if they make it completely up the ramp. I'm not sure, but I think the side center targets do not count in this mode, though it seems that C-3PO's orbit DOES count. The alternating ramps combo does additional damage. If too much time passes without making a shot Maul does a hit of damage to Qui-Gon's energy bar. All lost balls are automatically returned to the plunger after a short delay, but since it's a manual plunger you'll have to take your hand off the flipper in order to launch the ball. It generally is best to have as many balls in play as you can; you may want to enlist the aid of a friend to sit there and plunge balls as they are returned. After Darth Maul's energy is completely depleted he emits a hideous wail and the flippers lock, allowing all balls to drain. You get five million points for defeating Darth Maul, you earn one Jedi Rank, one ball is returned and the Projector reappears, allowing you to try spelling Jedi once more. So what happens when your energy bar runs out? That's the thing -- Saber Battle is really so easy that I've never lost. A couple of times I've been taken down to one energy unit left, but even more often I've not lost any energy at all. I don't know if there's an award like "Perfect Shooting" for not losing any balls during Saber Battle; so far I've always lost at least one. Extra Balls and Replays ----------------------- There are basically three guaranteed extra balls in the game: Build C-3PO (first time) Reach 20,000,000 points (probably operator adjustable) Reach 60,000,000 points (also probably adjustable) Most good games easily achieve all three extra balls. Sometimes I refer to it as a "six ball game" because of this. Sometimes lit extra balls crop up as a random award, or as one of the pieces of junk in Jar Jar Juggling, but these cannot be relied upon. I've heard one player say he got a lit extra ball from spelling GUNGAN, but I've spelled GUNGAN before and didn't get it. Maybe if you spell JAR JAR? By default the game is not set up to award replays, not even for high scores or Grand Champion, which is really too bad. No buy-ins are allowed. Free games *are* awarded on a match. Action Buttons -------------- The Pinball 2000 action buttons are used to fire lasers during some modes. There is a total number of lasers that accumulates throughout the game, shown in the upper-right-hand corner of the display. You begin with ten, and miscellaneous targets and random awards can add to that. In general, you aren't going to run out of lasers unless you shamelessly overuse them. As long as they're used intelligently and only at times when they're of some value you should always have enough. Lasers make short work of two or three of the modes, so it's best to use them whenever they're good for something. When a mode is not running but the Projector is active, the action buttons flip through the available modes. Vanity Boards ------------- There sure are a lot of these! In addition to the standard Grand Champion plus four scoreboard, there's a Ramp Combo champ besides, and one ten-entry board for each level of Jedi mastery! This basically collects the initials of the last ten players to reach each level. On our machine, the top name on the Jedi Youth list scrolls completely out daily and sometimes even faster, but Jedi Knight takes a few days. No one has managed to register on the Jedi Master board. Tournament Mode --------------- During attract mode, insert a credit then hold both flipper buttons for a couple of seconds. Eventually a box will say you can start Tournament mode by pressing Start within ten seconds. I've not seen any differences in Tournament mode, but probably the random awards are derandomized. Bugs ---- Sometimes hits to the C3PO target orbit trigger the rollover so quickly that credit isn't given. This is moderately annoying, especially when you're one shot from Light Extra Ball. I've only seen this once, under version v1.3 of the software: sometimes when scrambling up the Jedi Council during Jedi Musical Chairs, after already collecting at least one member right when the music stops things will go a little nuts, and you'll end up without a lit council member. The mode still tries to continue. The display, instead of saying "Collect Yoda," "Collect Mace Windu," etc. says "Collect Member." The timer continues to progress normally. In my case hitting the center shot collected 10,000 points, which could have been the value of the (invisible, previously collected) member. The timer doesn't reset, and no member is removed. The shot remains active. When the timer runs out it sticks at '00' and the mode doesn't end. I could continue to hit it for 10,000 a pop. The game is basically stuck. Losing a ball seems to fix the problem, unsticking the round. It is unknown if this bug can be exploited to gain unlimited Jedi Letters. Cows ---- None spotted yet. Strategy -------- There appear to be basically two ways to get lots of points: - Multiball. This is the quick, high-risk method. Dangerous to start, but lucrative once underway. 30M is really not too much to ask, even when just flailing at balls. I shudder to think of how much a true wizard could make on this thing. - Collect Jedi Letters, play modes and work towards Saber Battles. This is the long-term method. If you just work towards finishing modes, you'll have about 45-50M by the end of the first Saber Battle, and around 90-100M after the second. Regardless of your focus, you *always* want to have a mode running. Modes generally mean more points, and even if you don't try to fill any of the scene's requirements it will eventually finish anyway just from random motion of the ball. Every mode out of the way means one step closer to Saber Battle, which is basically a bunch of almost risk-free points. The skill shot may not seem like much, but it adds up. I usually hit the plunger with the flat of my hand instead of pulling back and letting go. This way I get the skill shot at least 80% of the time. Three skill shots means a free Jedi letter, and most of the time you'll be getting three million per shot. Remember, that first extra ball is at a paltry 20 mil. The Ramp Combo can be worth something as well, if you can keep it up for more than ten shots. After the tenth shot the combo has earned a total of 7.4 million, and the value just keeps increasing as long as you keep it up. Extra balls are plentiful, up to the third, at which point the only remaining sources are random. It might be worthwhile to put off Jar Jar Juggling, despite its obvious appeal, until balls are getting scarce in an attempt to elicit the game's pity. It may be only me, but it seems that the modes themselves somehow get more difficult as you progress. This may just be because the modes that ask more of the player don't show up in the initial rotation, but I think some ask you to make more shots as the game continues. I think I caught shots during Sub Escape, for example, giving you less credit later in the game. I will bow to more informed opinions. Scoring ------- The game scores interestingly, since there are far fewer "giveaway" points than in most other pinball machines. Except for Multiball, there is no really huge award on this machine. Even winning a Saber Battle is worth only five million. This machine makes you earn each and every point. The local Grand Champion score (keep in mind that this is not what I'd call a pinball town) is 189M. My highest score to date is nipping on its heels at 180M. Since extra balls are awarded at fairly low scores, high scores tend to get that much higher. Appeal ------ This really seems to be one of the best pinball licenses I've seen, even better than Adams Family despite the lack of quotes from cast members. (They only got Jar Jar and Anakin doing new dialogue for the game.) While this game won't make me forget my favorite machines (Attack From Mars and anything by Pat Lawlor), it definitely has its strong points. This machine is ALWAYS BEING PLAYED at the local arcade. *ALWAYS*! By little kids, disreputable Gen-X types and grown men alike. And Brunswick is not exactly a hotbed of pinball activity. I think Williams made a big mistake in abandoning both pinball and Pinball 2000, regardless of what Wall Street may think. Local reaction to this game seems to be on my side.