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General Pinball FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about the game of pinball and the newsgroup rec.games.pinball.

This FAQ about the game of pinball and the newsgroup rec.games.pinball was compiled and written by Keith Johnson keefer@access.digex.net with numerous contributions by others.

This guide is Copyright (c) 1995-1997 by Keith P. Johnson. Permission is granted to freely distribute this guide in any manner. You may also make any changes you wish, provided credit to those whose names appear in the DFAQ "Hallowed List of Contributors" as well as this notice are included in the new distribution and the new distribution remains FREE OF CHARGE. Use of this guide in any other manner without my permission is strictly prohibited.

What does this mean for you, the consumer? Well, it basically means that you can't go off and write a book and include this DFAQ in it without asking me first. Not that you'd do that anyway... :)

Any changes, suggestions, flames, or comments are welcomed. Mail them to the address given above for the maintainer. Any information that is sent to me by email or by posting on rgp or elsewhere becomes my property and fair game for inclusion in the DynaFAQ unless you explicitly state otherwise at the time the information is released. All contributions are of course noted at appropiate places and at the end of the document.

-1.1 - Did someone say "pinball archive?"
Sure enough. We have our own dedicated rgp pinball archive, maintained ...
-1.2 - I don't have FTP access. Can I get stuff by e-mail? (rec.games.pinball)
Yes, you can. You can use the FTPmail server provided by DEC. It is not ...
-1.3 - Can I read rgp by mail? (rec.games.pinball)
A kind soul (Bill Ung, see address below) has offered to mail off the day'...
-1.4 - Can I post to rgp by mail? (rec.games.pinball)
Currently, one mail-to-news gateway known to exist is news.demon.co.uk....
-1.5 - Where are the archive mirrors? (rec.games.pinball)
ftp.nl.net <193.78.240.1>: /pub/games/...
-1.6 - What are brag posts? (rec.games.pinball)
Just someone telling how well they've done on a game or something they'...
-1.7 - What's an ObPinball? (rec.games.pinball)
An ObPinball (or ObPinRef or anything similar) stands for Obligatory Pinball....
-1.8 - Do the manufacturers read rgp? (rec.games.pinball)
You bet they do! Some people who work for them even post on occasion. ...
-1.9 - Is there any pinball stuff on the World Wide Web?
The 2 main places for pinball on the Web are the Pinball Archive (...
-1.10 - Wouldn't it be a great idea to keep binaries of pinball games?
Yep. Unfortunately, we can't. The reason is, quite simply, our old ...
-1.11 - How about getting together on IRC? (rec.games.pinball)
IRC is almost always active. The scheduled time is Sunday nights at ...
-1.12 - Why do people put asterisks in game names? (rec.games.pinball)
This process (which has become coined as disemvowelment or a couple ...
-1.13 - Can I read and post to rgp on the web? (rec.games.pinball)
Yup. In case you didn't know, there's this nifty site ...
-2.1 - Who are the pinball manufacturers?
Currently, there are Williams (who owns Bally/Midway and also uses this ...
-2.2 - What is that loud cracking noise? (Pinball)
That is the sound of a solenoid banging the side of the pinball cabinet....
-2.3 - What is a special? (Pinball)
Usually a special is a free game. However, the reason that it's called ...
-2.4 - What is a match? (Pinball)
At the end of your game (unless your operator has disabled it), you will ...
-2.5 - Do pinball machines have magnets in them?
NO! Well, usually not. Some games have visible, purposeful magnets in them,...
-2.6 - Then what causes weird ball movement? (Pinball)
Strange things happen because the ball will develop spin. When the ...
-2.7 - So the electro-magnetic field from underneath the playfield that is generated by the lights and all the wiring doesn't affect the movement of the ball in any way? (Pinball)
No.
-2.8 - What is a beta machine? (Pinball)
Beta machines are pins that show up a while before their production run....
-2.9 - Did I just see a cow in that game? (Pinball)
Yep. Lots of recent Bally/Williams games have cows in them. The reason ...
-2.10 - Are there cows in _____? (Pinball)
If you really want to know, there is a guide to cows in pinball machines ...
-2.11 - How much does a machine weigh? (Pinball)
Around 250-350 pounds, depending on the number of toys in it, whether it's ...
-2.12 - How much does a machine cost? (Pinball)
New machines fresh from the factory retail for $3000-$3500. Sega, Gottlieb,...
-2.13 - What is the size of a pinball?
1 1/16 diameter, weight 80 grams for a regular steel ball....
-2.14 - What is the Powerball? (Pinball)
The Powerball is found in TZ. It is ceramic, and thus immune to the magnets....
-2.15 - What is the Power? (Pinball)
The Power is a somewhat recurring theme found in Williams' games. It ...
-2.16 - Are there any pinball-related or pinball-specific publications?
Yes. There is a list of books and magazines (some dedicated to pinball,...
-2.17 - What is the Broadway Arcade? (Pinball)
Quite possibly one of the finest arcades in the US for playing pinball. ...
-2.18 - What games are current and coming? (Pinball)
Williams/Bally: Producing: Medieval ...
-3.1 - Is there a good source of information for improving my play? (Playing Pinball)
In the archive, there is a file called Info/playingtips. It is maintained ...
-3.2 - How does tilt work, anyway? (Playing Pinball)
The main tilt sensor that you are probably familiar with (the one that ...
-3.3 - What is a slam tilt? (Playing Pinball)
A slam tilt is used to discourage heavy abuse of a game. If a machine ...
-3.4 - What is a death save? (Playing Pinball)
A death save is a way to get the ball back into play after it has gone ...
-3.5 - What is a bang back? (Playing Pinball)
Bang backs are extremely useful for getting the ball back from EITHER ...
-3.6 - What are combos? (Playing Pinball)
Combos are usually defined as a sequence of shots made in rapid ...
-3.7 - What are "Wizard Awards?" (Playing Pinball)
This is the general term given to an objective in a game that is ...
-3.8 - Is _____ a good score on _____? (Playing Pinball)
This is, in general, a pretty difficult question to answer. Games ...
-3.9 - What is "rolling a game over?" (Playing Pinball)
Quite simply, this is what happens when your score becomes more digits ...
-3.10 - Why is the replay score different from the other day? (Playing Pinball)
All modern games use reflexing to adjust the replay value of a game every ...
-3.11 - How does the game know when a ball is stuck? (Playing Pinball)
Well, the true answer is that it doesn't know, really... at least not ...
-4.1 - What are the major pinball leagues? (Pinball Tournament Play)
Currently, there is 1 national pinball league - PAPA (Professional ...
-4.2 - What are the major tournaments? (Pinball Tournament Play)
There are 2 very major tournaments during the course of the year. The ...
-4.3 - What are common settings for tournament play? (Pinball Tournament Play)
This depends on the tournament. All of them will set the tournament ...
-4.4 - What is a "tournament mode?" (Pinball Tournament Play)
The purpose of tournament modes is to take the randomness of a game as ...
-4.5 - How do the tournaments work? (Pinball Tournament Play)
Well, this depends on the tournament, too. Here is a brief overview of ...
-4.6 - How can I find out about tournaments? (Pinball Tournament Play)
Obviously, the best way is to read rgp! :) Other than that, most of them ...
-4.7 - Can I start my own league? (Pinball Tournament Play)
Sure, why not? If you want it to be sanctioned by PAPA, then you'll need ...
-4.8 - Who are the past tournament winners? (Pinball Tournament Play)
As of February, 1995......
-4.9 - What is this Rating System posted to rgp? (Pinball Tournament Play)
An effort to rate players worldwide. It is kind of difficult, as there ...
-5.1 - What was the first pinball game?
This depends on what exactly you're asking. Before pinball as we know ...
-5.2 - OK, then, what was the first game with FLIPPERS in it? (Pinball History)
That would be Humpty Dumpty by Gottlieb. The flippers still weren't as ...
-5.3 - What are Electro-Mechanical games? (Pinball History)
EMs, as they are affectionately called, are basically games that have lots ...
-5.4 - What are Solid State games? (Pinball History)
Basically, anything that came out after EMs died out. The first solid ...
-5.5 - What was the first Data East game? (Pinball History)
Data East Pinball released their first pin in 1987, called Laser War. ...
-5.6 - What was the first Alvin G. & Co. game? (Pinball History)
I believe their first machine was A. G. Soccer-Ball, which was released ...
-5.7 - Aren't Tri-Ball and M-Ball really stupid names for Multiball? (Pinball History)
Multiball is a registered trademark (R) of Williams. As such, they are ...
-5.8 - So why do Gottlieb and Alvin G. machines say Multiball? (Pinball History)
Because Williams has chosen selective enforcement for Multiball. ...
-5.9 - Is there a list of all the pinball games that have been made?
Well, most of the solid state games that have been produced are in a list ...
-5.10 - What manufacturers have died off over the years? (Pinball History)
There was Chicago Coin (which later became Stern) which put out a good ...
-5.11 - Do manufacturers from other countries exist? (Pinball History)
Well, after Zaccaria from Italy died out, no. At least, not that I'm ...
-5.12 - Was pinball really banned in New York City?
Yes, for quite a long time: January 21st, 1942 up until 1976. The mayor ...
-5.13 - Are replays still illegal in New York City? (Pinball History)
Well, replays were a major reason why pinball was banned in the first place,...
-5.14 - What are the most popular games ever? (Pinball History)
Here is what has been pieced together from various sources:...
-6.1 - Can the rules change on the same game? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Yep, and they usually do quite a few times. One reason is because most ...
-6.2 - So how do I see what the ROMs are on my machine? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Usually the only way is to power-cycle the machine. On Williams/Bally games,...
-6.3 - What kind of sensors are used in games? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Microswitched ...
-6.4 - What happens when the switches break?
Well, unless it is a Williams/Bally game, probably nothing. Gottlieb ...
-6.5 - What are those wiry paths called? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Well, we in rgp have taken to calling them habitrails. I've heard ...
-6.6 - How can the game get harder physically? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
On most games, things like rubber posts near the outlanes can be set in ...
-6.7 - How can the game get harder otherwise? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Most games nowadays allow you to adjust almost everything about the game ...
-6.8 - How do flippers work? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
The flipper mechanisms differ from company to company - that's one of ...
-6.9 - Can I tell if anything is wrong with the game BEFORE I play it? (Pinball Technically Speaking)
Currently, the only company which signals game problems publically ...
-7.1 - What is the 4-way combo in TAF? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
Shoot the Bear Kick ramp, then the Advance X shot to the upper ...
-7.2 - Why is/isn't there a rubber band in my TZ? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
The rubber band in the jet bumpers was removed during the production run....
-7.3 - What are the songs used in CFTBL? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
The game plays 3 out of a possible 5 every day. The 5 songs it has are:...
-7.4 - What is the Vacation Jackpot in Whitewater? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
If you get all 4 parts of the Vacation Planner some time during the ...
-7.5 - I just got the flipper bonus in TZ. How did I do it? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
If your end-of-ball bonus (NOT from the Camera award collect bonus) ...
-7.6 - What is the proper way to go in STTNG's Shuttle Simulation? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
At each split in the path, you can go left or right (you HAVE to do one ...
-7.7 - What is the Secret Mission in STTNG? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
When you shoot the Shuttle Ramp, you are told the Holodeck is ready after ...
-7.8 - Why in God's name are there 3 High Score tables in STTNG? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
Which table you get on is based on your score and how many buy-ins you used....
-7.9 - Are there really secret flipper combinations in games? (Pinball Specific Game FAQs)
Yep. We currently only know of ones in Williams/Bally games. The ...
-8.1 - Video pinball???
Pinball is in fact becoming more and more popular these days with video ...
-8.2 - How accepted is video pinball?
There are some 100% pinball purists out there that absolutely refuse ...
-8.3 - So what's available? (Video Pinball)
Due to the sheer number of programs out, I have disbanded this section ...
-8.4 - Why shouldn't I buy stuff from Amtex? (Video Pinball)
Because they supposedly sponsored PAPA 5, and then didn't pay anything. ...
-9.1 - Can I really get injured just by playing pinball?
It's possible. If you play for long periods of time often, then you ...
-9.2 - How can I avoid pinball-related injuries?
Well, the obvious answer is to cut back on your playing for awhile. However,...
-9.3 - So how do I know if I'm getting CTS? (Pinball and Your Health)
From a simple test you can do by yourself (or with a friend's help). ...









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