The Addams Family Gold Edition
Keefer's Guide to The Addams Family Special Collector's Edition
(Popularly known as The Addams Family Gold Edition)
V 1.1.1 - 10-Jun-95
This rules compilation is freely distributable. I retain any and all rights to this guide. You may take this guide and change it or use it in other manners so long as the new version remains freely distributable, this notice remains at the beginning of the work, and all persons' names that appear in this guide as contributors are included. No charge may ever be made for distributing this guide. Use of this guide in any manner not expressly permitted here requires my prior permission.
The game and layout and various other stuff is probably copyrighted by Williams. The subject matter and characters and other stuff (the license this game is based on) is probably copyrighted by Paramount Pictures. Etc. etc.
If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, flames, or whatever else I might have forgotten, then you may send them to me.
The Addams Family (TAF) was an amazingly popular pin released in early 1992, based on the movie by the same name. It is a Pat Lawlor design, who is famous for his other works including Whirlwind, FunHouse, and Twilight Zone. This pin was so popular, it broke the production record of most pins manufactured (of the same type) which was like 22,000 held by former champ Eight Ball Deluxe (early 1980's). It is said that the machine that broke the record was all made up in gold (like gold legs, gold metal around other parts of the machine, etc.). Whereas details of this record-breaking machine are sketchy to say the least, these characteristics hold for this new limited edition release of TAF.
Obviously, most of the parts are not pure gold, but more than likely are gold-color painted. Lots of other parts of the machine (other than the metal outside) are also gold-colored: the vault, the tops of the pop bumpers, Thing's box... Each machine of TAF Special Collector's Edition (TAFG, for TAF Gold) is numbered (out of supposedly 1000 machines - a very limited run indeed) and includes a certificate signed by the members of the design team. The number of the machine is located on a gold plate on the lower right-hand corner of the front of the machine. FWIW, the machine I've been playing is #0959. :)
WARNING - This guide may contain SPOILERS that you don't really want to know about right away and find out for yourself (the "?" of the Mansion comes to mind). Most sections are labelled pretty carefully, so you should be able to avoid reading that which you don't want to read. However, I take no responsibility for you finding out stuff you didn't already know. :)
K = 1,000; M = 1,000,000; B = 1,000,000,000. The notation "xM+yM to zM" means it starts at xM points, goes up yM points every time it is awarded, but never goes higher than zM points.
Most people are more than likely familiar with the original version of TAF. In the interest of completeness, though, this will be a guide to the entire game. This section briefly describes the differences between the old TAF and TAFG.
There may be other things that differ that we don't know about yet. Also, some things have not yet been accomplished on TAFG. In these cases, the limits set forth in TAF (which have been well documented) will be used. For example, I have not gotten to the maximum value of the Graveyard yet, but in TAF it was 4M. Therefore, I assume that the maximum is 4M for TAFG as well. Should anything ever be found to be different, you can bet that it'll be changed in this guide.
I'll start at the bottom center and go clockwise around.
There are 2 main objectives to TAFG: Getting Mansion rooms and getting Multiball to score Jackpots. Both the Mansion and Multiball have their own sections in this rulesheet. However, there is also tons of other stuff you can do to score points in this game. Scoring was pretty high when the original TAF first came out, but by games of today's standards, TAFG tends to be on the lower side. On an average machine, the replay will probably hover around 100M +/- 20M depending on the machine itself and the ability of the locals, assuming auto-percentaging is on. The default replay boost is 8M.
For the skill shot, try to plunge the ball just hard enough to get it to land in the kickout saucer. The skill shot is worth 2M+1M up to 5M points each time you make it. You can get the skill shot any time you plunge the ball when it is served to you by the game to the plunger lane. If a ball airballs into the plunger lane, you can't get a skill shot.
If the ball doesn't quite make it up the plunger ramp, then it'll fall into the Swamp. ("Don't torture yourself, darling." or "You should know better." or "Have a nice swim!" or "The primeval ooze.") If the lock was lit at the Swamp, then the ball gets locked ("Good thinking!").
If the ball goes beyond the kickout saucer but doesn't hit anything AT ALL (meaning you have scored 0 points) and drains then you are simply given the ball back to try again. Note that the outlanes score points! This is applicable ANY time you are given the ball at the plunger, including the start of Multiballs! Basically, if your score is still flashing (as opposed to being swept off and back on), then you can let it safely go.
THING letters are on the backglass. On normal settings, you start the game with 3 letters (THI). Every time you shoot the left ramp, you get the next letter. When THING is complete, you may shoot the Thing ramp to get the THING value. Thing will then come out of his box and pick up the ball ("No, no, no!" or "No time for that now, Thing."). He'll then come back out of the box and put the ball back into the kickout saucer. THING is worth 5M the first time, then 10M, then a maximum of 15M. For each star you have (up to 2), you get an additional 5M from the THING value. You get a star by making a left loop->left ramp combo (shooting the left ramp when "light star" is lit). Therefore, you can get up to 25M from THING at one time.
If lights are burned out or something, the display will tell you which letters you have already gotten when you shoot the left ramp. Also, it is mentioned in the Status Report.
There are 5 letters scattered over the playfield that spell GRAVE. The G and R are located just to the right of the Thing flipper, the A is just to the left of the middle ramp, the V is the middle ramp, and the E is the Swamp kickout. Each time you hit an unlit letter, you spot one of the pop bumpers. The bumpers always start each ball unlit, and are spotted starting with the top one and working down. The first time through will light each bumper, and the second time will cause them to flash. Therefore, spelling GRAVE completely two times on one ball will flash all of the bumpers. The bumpers themselves are worth token points depending on their status. Their real value lies in increasing the Graveyard.
The left ramp awards the next unlit letter in order in GRAVE.
The GRAVE value is awarded instantly upon completing GRAVE. It is worth 2M+1M up to 10M. The value is held throughout the game (it never goes down).
The Graveyard value starts at 1M at the beginning of each ball, unless it was held by a Train Wreck from the last ball (see next section). Each pop bumper hit increases the Graveyard value by 10K if unlit, 20K if lit, and 30K if flashing. (See previous section for spotting bumpers.) The Mansion award "Graveyard at max" will instantly make all bumpers flashing.
The Swamp will award the current Graveyard value. The Swamp can be lit if the ball goes through the lane just above the Thing flipper for 5x the current Graveyard value ("Quicksand, fumes, toxic waste... It's all ours!"). The maximum value the Graveyard can reach is 4M.
Every time you hit the Train shot, you are awarded 1M points. However, after a certain number of hits, you are awarded a Train Wreck instead, worth 5M points. On normal settings, the 2nd Train hit will earn you a Train Wreck ("Good show old man!"). After that, the number of hits for a Train Wreck will go up by one. The maximum number of hits you can ever need for a Train Wreck is 6 (I think).
On harder settings, more hits will be required for your first Train Wreck, and will go up from there. A typical 5-ball setting is to have the Train Wreck need 3 hits for the first one.
Train Wrecks are good for 2 reasons: Every time you get a Train Wreck, you hold the value of the Graveyard to the next ball (instead of it resetting to 1M). Also, 4 Train Wrecks will light the extra ball. (That means 14 Train hits: 2+3+4+5. Or more, if your game is set harder.) Nothing special happens after the 4th Train Wreck (it will still hold the Graveyard, though).
You start the game with 1 Bear Kick. Every time you shoot the middle ramp, you get 1 more Bear Kick, or 2 more if it was lit from the right left inlane. At 6-14 Bear Kicks, the extra ball is lit (self-adjustable). An extra ball is also lit at 50 Bear Kicks (though this may change with difficulty settings). At 15 Bear Kicks, the currently flashing Mansion room is spotted (awarded). Every 10 Bear Kicks after that will also spot a Mansion room, up to 95. However, Mansion rooms will never be spotted during any Multiball, and if you pass 1 or more spot Mansion points during a Multiball, they'll be queued up and awarded to you one at a time with each ramp shot after Multiball ends. The Bear Kicks will never spot the "?" room. If the "?" is lit when you pass a spot Mansion point, then it is wasted.
After 98 Bear Kicks, every shot to the ramp scores a "Super Bear Bonus" of 5M. "2x Bear Kicks" doesn't do anything anymore (in fact, it may not even be lit). Quite nice, really.
This is a really cool feature. If the ball goes through the left left inlane, it lights the middle ramp for Thing Flips. (The only time this light won't be on is during any Multiball and if either Thing Multiball is lit.) If you shoot the middle ramp before it times out, the ball will go on down to the Thing flipper ("Let's go, Thing!"). Here, the game will disable any control YOU have over the flipper and attempt to make the shot to the Swamp (lit for 5x Graveyard now) by itself! It does this by timing from when the ball crosses the opto then calculating when to activate the flipper. If it makes the shot ("Well played, Thing, you're really on the ball!"), then you get 5x Graveyard. Otherwise, the ball will hit one of the Swamp Millions ("Nonono!" or "Slow down, Thing.") targets, and the game will use which one the ball hit first to judge whether to speed up or slow down the shot.
If the game misses the shot 4 times in a row (that is, doesn't hit the 5x Swamp OR any of the Swamp Millions targets), then it will throw out all of its previous data and start from scratch in trying to realign itself. Generally, the only time this would happen is if the playfield angle drastically changed from what it was before. There is also a "new location" setting the operator can use after moving the game which makes the game throw out all of its Thing Flips data immediately.
There is a 4-way combo in TAFG: Shoot the middle ramp, then the left loop, then the left ramp, then the Swamp in quick succession. Shooting either the first 3 (middle ramp->left loop->left ramp) or the last 3 (left loop->left ramp->Swamp) will earn you a 3-way combo. A 3-way combo is worth 5M and a 4-way combo is worth 10M.
4-way combos are very valuable indeed: Not only do you get the 10M, but you also get the 5M from the 3-way combo right before it, a THING star, Adv. X, and 5x Graveyard. That can easily add up to 25M or more in the long run.
Extra balls can be lit in a large number of ways:
Extra balls are lit at the Thing ramp/kickout saucer. By default, all of them but the Tour extra ball will still be lit if you drain.
If more than one extra ball is lit, and there is a difference in the types that are lit (i.e. may or may not go away when you lose your ball), then the "temporary" extra balls will be awarded first. So if you have a temporary extra ball lit and a permanent extra ball lit, collect one, then drain, you'll still have an extra ball lit next ball.
When you start an extra ball, you may hear: "Keep the ball, I have a whole bucketful!" or "That's the spirit! Shoot again!" or "Good show old man! Shoot again!"
There is available on TAFG an extra ball buyin. Here, you may spend one of your hard-earned credits on ONE extra ball with your score and everything else the same. For all intents and purposes, it is just an extra ball. Buying it doesn't seem to give you any advantage or light anything new. Yes, you can still get high scores after buying in. The default is to allow one buyin, but can be set to 99!
The left loop is lit for Adv. X when the ball goes through the right inlane (including coming down off of the middle ramp). Shooting it advances your bonus multiplier by 1, up to 5x. The bonus multiplier only affects the Mansion room and Bear Kick bonus. When you have gotten 5x bonus, the "light adv. x" light goes off.
As with all other Pat Lawlor games, you are given bonus based on your accomplishments, not ball time or number of switches hit. Your bonus is:
(100K * Bear Kicks + 500K * Mansion rooms) * bonus multiplier + any round bonuses you may have gotten that ball (from Cousin It, Mamushka, or Raise the Dead).
Getting a bonus OVER 20M that includes a round bonus earns the quote "Who says you can't take it with you???" You won't get it if you have merely a multiplied bonus without any rounds, nor will you get it for exactly 20M.
Holding one flipper button in for a few seconds will bring up the Status Report, assuming there isn't a ball hitting switches somewhere. Using the other flipper button, you may page through (or just wait and it'll change pages automatically) and find out lots of neat stuff about your current game. It'll tell you the replay value, number of credits left, number of extra balls in reserve (default is no more than 4 balls at a time, BTW), status of GREED and THING, Graveyard value (and whether it's held or not), Train Wrecks and number of hits for the next one, bonus, bonus multiplier, Bear Kicks and when the next extra ball is lit, the high scores, and probably other stuff I've forgotten. If you wonder about something, it's more than likely in the Status Report.
Not surprisingly, tilting the ball means you lose it along with any bonus you might have had coming that ball. ("Heheheh, you're a funny guy!") It is for this reason that I don't recommend it if you have a 20M Cousin It bonus... The tilt warning quote is "Careful!" for each warning.
There are 13 rooms in the Addams' Mansion, apparently. Each of them has an award or a round tied to it. Rooms that start rounds are orange-colored. Rooms that just award points are white. Rooms that start Multiballs are green. The extra ball room is red, and the "Graveyard at max" room is yellow.
Normal behavior for TAFG is to have the Electric Chair lit at the start of every ball, though this is difficulty-adjustable. When the yellow light above the Electric Chair is on, shoot it or the Swamp kickout to collect the currently flashing room. (You may not be able to collect a room from the Swamp kickout depending on the difficulty setting.) Doing so awards the room (see descriptions below), leaves it permanently lit, and advances the flashing room to the next one to the right, going up a row to the leftmost room if the rightmost room on a row was awarded, going back to the bottom left from the top right. The "?" on top of the Mansion will not start flashing until all other rooms have been collected (lit). It will skip over rooms already collected, obviously. If the Chair is unlit, going through the right inlane will light it for about 5 seconds. Shooting either the left or middle ramps will light the Chair permanently. The Chair will always be lit if the "?" is flashing. Shooting an unlit chair the first time after the last award will earn you the quote "It's not plugged in yet." Bear Kicks can also award rooms (see the Bear Kick section under Gameplay above).
If you drain when the next room to be awarded was either 3M, 6M, or "Graveyard at max," then the flashing room will be advanced to a room that ISN'T one of those 3. However, if the only remaining rooms are among those 3, then the game will not change the current room. The pop bumpers advance the room to the next one available. A new Mansion (including the start of the game) will always start with either Cousin It or Mamushka flashing (seems to be a 50-50 chance).
There is a small chance you may find something belonging to Cousin It... See the next section.
This award is actually "Pugsley's and Wednesday's Trap Door." It awards 3M, the quote from Tish "Look, darling," and another totally random room whether you've already gotten it or not. It will NOT award the "?". If you haven't gotten the room it gives you already, it'll light it for you, and advance the lit room to the one after the second room. If you've already gotten the second room, you get the award/round again, and it STILL counts towards your end-of-ball bonus (number-of-rooms-gotten-wise).
Graveyard at Max.
Makes all of the pop bumpers flashing. "Out to the cemetery! Come on everybody!" (See Graveyard under Gameplay for more details on the ramifications of this award.)
This starts a 20-second round in which all switches score a certain value ("It's Cousin It!"). You get 1M for starting the round (every time it was started, if more than once on that ball). Cousin It is now flashing on the playfield, and any time you hit the Cousin It targets, you get an amusing picture of a pinball hitting him in the head, 1M points added to your total, and the switch value increased by 50K (it starts at 200K). I do not know of a limit on the switch value. If started more than once on a ball, the value goes back to 200K. You are not awarded the total until the end-of-ball bonus, so if you tilt, you lose it!
A 20-second round where all switches score a flat 250K ("Thuuuuuh Maaaaaaamushkaaa!"). You get 1M each time you start it added to the bonus. It isn't awarded until the end-of-ball bonus, same deal as Cousin It.
You get 6M points. That's it. Really. Oh, Gomez says "Six million!" BFD.
Lights the Thing ramp/kickout saucer for a 2-ball Multiball (Gomez says "Quickmultiball!" really fast). Shooting it makes Thing pick up the ball and drop it into the Swamp. If there is at least one ball still in the trough, then it'll be served to the plunger. If all 3 balls (or all the balls in the machine) are in the Swamp, then you'll get a Swamp kickout warning from the display and 2 balls will be kicked out. If you get to plunge, then the second ball is kicked out after you hit a switch.
The goal for Quick Multiball is to shoot the vault (which is now open) for Vault Jackpots. The starting value is 5M. Shooting the vault for the Jackpot OR shooting the middle ramp increases the Jackpot by 1M up to a maximum of 10M. The Power is active during this Multiball, as with any other Multiball. Quick Multiball ends when at least one ball drains. :)
The default is to let this award stay on between balls, but on hard and 5- ball settings, Quick Multiball turns off after you drain.
Fester's Tunnel Hunt
This is a 20-second round where you are supposed to search the 3 different holes for treasure or something ("Look, darling, just what we've been searching for." from Tish). The three shots are the Electric Chair, the Vault (which will be revealed if it isn't already), and the Swamp/Swamp kickout. The first shot (doesn't matter which of the 3) earns 5M and "Perhaps it's in here?" The second (of the remaining 2 shots) is worth 10M and "There it is." The last shot is worth 15M and "Just what we've been searching for." If you don't make all 3 in 20 seconds, well, nothing BAD happens, the round just ends.
Seance is a 20-second round in which you are supposed to shoot any 3 ramps (either the middle or left ones). "Knock 3 times!" The first shot is worth 5M ("That's once."), the second shot is 10M ("Twice."), and the third is 15M ("Thrice! Well done!"). The real kicker is that the Power is active during this round. :( The replay knocker (it's a lot softer in TAF and TAFG than normal games, BTW) is knocked one time, two times, and three times depending on the shot.
During Seance, the ball always goes to the Thing flipper from the middle ramp unless you got it right at the end of the round on the grace period or Thing Multiball is lit.
There is a chance (not sure, but it seems to be 25%-50%) that instead of a Seance, you'll get a Super Seance. Same deal, except the shots are worth 10M, 15M, and 20M. This is really worth going for. It may also pop up during the Tour (same probability).
This is not unlike the 6 Million award.
Simply labeled "Thing" on the playfield, this room starts a 15-second countdown to get the ball to the Thing ramp/kickout saucer ("Look, darling!"). The display changes to show you 15M points which counts down at the standard rate of 1M/second down to a minimum of 3M. When it reaches 3M, you have about 3 more seconds to try and shoot for it. If you do get it, Thing will pick up the ball ("And that's not all!"), and a 2-ball Multiball will start exactly like Quick Multiball. However, the value of the Vault Jackpots is the value at which you shot the Thing ramp and cannot be increased.
Thing Multiball can be operator-set to start at anywhere from 10M-20M. If it's set lower, you have less time (always 3-5 seconds after it hits a value of 3M); likewise, if it's set higher you get more time. This is because the countdown rate (1M/sec) cannot be changed.
When Thing Multiball is lit, the middle ramp will always feed to the right inlane regardless of Thing Flips or Seance. All returns to normal after you collect the value or it times out.
Raise the Dead
This is a dreaded pop bumper round, though since this is not a DE game, it is livable. "Raise the dead! Out to the cemetary, come on everybody!" The Graveyard picture (of all the graves) takes over the display with a number on each grave representing the number of hits of that bumper needed to raise the dead person from that grave. Simple observation will show you which grave represents which bumper. It's roughly perspectively equivalent to their positions on the playfield. (Got that?)
Each bumper hit adds 100K to the total (2M each time the round is started) for 30 seconds. Hitting each bumper the required number of times (which is usually 4, but can be set from 3 to 9) adds 3M to the total. This is end-of- ball bonus, BTW! It is potentially a very lucrative round if you can get the ball into the bumpers... Nothing special for raising them all, except that you'll have at least 19M points. After a bumper has been "raised", it still scores 100K for the rest of the round.
The bumpers all flash at the start of the round, and the fewer hits a bumper needs to be "raised" the faster it flashes. It stops flashing after being "raised." If everyone is raised, the round ends.
Light Extra Ball
YOU figure it out... "Get the extra ball!"
Tour the Mansion!
Tour the Mansion! Only available after all other rooms have been collected, this is the Wizard Bonus of TAFG. It can NOT be started by spotting from Bear Kicks. When it is lit, the Electric Chair is automatically lit. Collecting it does the following:
Right before the first room is awarded, when the display goes back to the Mansion for the room zoom-in, the Mansion picture is briefly mutilated for some unknown reason. Just a display bug.
During the Tour, no GREED letters may be spotted. Also, if the lock was already lit, you can't lock balls.
If you go through everything, then at the end of Thing Multiball, everything is solidly lit and the Mansion is effectively out of play for the rest of that ball. GREED or the status of the locks are restored to what it was when you started the Tour. Since you can't get any more Mansion rooms now, just about the only major thing to go for is Multiball...
Cousin It's Hideout
The game can be set to give a certain number of extra awards per mansion. These are from Cousin It's Hideout, and it is just a random bonus with awards as described below:
The range "per mansion" is from 1-4, and the default is 2. However, after going through 1 or 2 mansions, I never got any extra items. It may be just for the first mansion. :(
There are only a couple of rules that I'm aware of... It doesn't appear that you will get a Hideout for Pugsley's and Wednesday's Trap Door (3M room), though you may from the room awarded after that. You can get Hideouts from rooms spotted by Bear Kicks just as if you had shot it, and you can also get a Hideout from the Cousin It round (same possibility as any other room).
I also encountered an interesting bug: I got Cousin It's Car Keys at the start of a Tour once! That was weird, but then for each room I went through (drained after starting 3 rounds), it gave me the animation again for it. This has since been confirmed by other people, and it turns out that you do NOT keep getting the award though it keeps showing you the animation.
Multiball can be a lot of fun on TAFG. The way you light it is by spelling GREED. Each time you hit the Bookcase, you get the next letter in GREED. For the first Multiball, the start of each ball will spot you the next letter in GREED (so you basically start the game with G lit). Also (for the first Multiball), tilting the ball will spot you another GREED letter for reasons beyond my comprehension. Upon completion of GREED (alternates between "Greeeeeeeed" and "There, see what greed will get you?"), the Bookcase swings open revealing the Vault.
At times you may get really lucky, and the ball will fly into the Vault even though the Bookcase is still closed. Well, this situation was anticipated, and should it happen, the game will immediately spell GREED, open the Vault, and lock that ball! "Dirty pool, old man... I like it!" I thought this was the coolest thing I'd ever seen a game do until R&B (a DE game of all things) came out with its "Good boy, Sherman" award. :)
At this point, the lock(s) is(are) lit (any shot with a green flashing light above it). For the first Multiball, you may lock balls at the Thing ramp/ kickout saucer (adjustable). For the second lock on your first Multiball, you may also lock the ball in the Swamp. After 2 balls have been locked, you may start Multiball from either of the shots with a flashing red light above it - the Vault ("Not the Bermuda Triangle!") or from the Electric Chair ("Now you've done it." the first time and "It has to warm up... So it can KILL you!" the second). The Electric Chair will only start Multiball the first 2 times (adjustable), and the Swamp kickout shot will NOT work to start. I might point out that when start Multiball is lit, the Power is active...
The start of Multiball is probably the biggest buildup of any game yet... All the playfield flashers go off and get lit row by row alternating every other lamp while the sound gets louder and louder and the flashing gets faster and faster. Finally, Gomez yells "SHOW-TIME!", there are 3 more booms, and Multiball starts.
The balls are kicked out one at a time - first one from the Swamp kickout, second one from the Swamp kickout or Electric Chair (depending on whether or not you started Multiball from the Chair (i.e. there's a ball there)), and the last one from the Swamp kickout.
The object now is to shoot either the Train for Jackpot or the left ramp for the Super Jackpot. It's an either/or situation, so chances are you'll want to go for the Super Jackpot. The Super Jackpot is a double Jackpot the first Multiball, and a triple Jackpot for each Multiball after that.
So, just how much IS the Jackpot worth? Good question. But, we seem to finally have an answer! On L-1 and L-2 ROMs, it is worth either 5 or 15M. If you've had 6 or more skill shots (may just be skill shot attempts), then it is 5M. 5 or fewer and it is 15M. On L-3 ROMs, the jackpot is worth 10M for starting it from the Electric Chair, and 15M for starting it from the Vault.
Whatever the starting value, each hit of the Bookcase or each shot of the middle ramp will increase the Jackpot by 1M, up to a maximum of 25M.
Collecting the Jackpot keeps the value of the Jackpot the same. Collecting a Super Jackpot sets the value of the next Jackpot at 10M. In either case, the Bookcase will reopen, and you need to shoot the Vault to relight the Super Jackpot. (You don't get to shoot for the Jackpot after either one is collected the first time, but who cares?)
If you get Dirty Pool during Multiball (the ball goes into the Vault, which is closed because the Jackpots are lit), then you are awarded the Super Jackpot, the value is reset to 10M, and the Super Jackpot stays lit on the ramp. Cool! Oh, and the Jackpot goes away if it was lit.
Hearing Gomez yell "Triiiiple Jackpot!!" is very cool and very satisfying. You MUST hear this. :)
Gomez says something near the start of Multiball during the initial flail- around period, but I've never understood it. If you get a Jackpot or Super Jackpot and still have more than one ball on the playfield, Gomez says "There's more where that came from!"
If through some vast misfortune you don't get a single Jackpot, all is not lost. You get a 20-second period in which you can shoot the Thing ramp/ kickout saucer for a 2-ball Multiball restart. Thing will pick up the ball, and you will get a ball served to the plunger lane. The Jackpot value remains what it was when the 2nd ball drained. Be absolutely sure that this ball makes it off of the plunger ramp, because the Jackpots are lit right away and this is an easy opportunity to make one. If you miss the skill shot, but the ball still makes it to the upper right flipper, then you can shoot either shot before the other ball has a chance to come out. If you make the skill shot, generally there is just enough time for the other ball to get kicked out before being awarded a Jackpot. If you don't make the Multiball restart, Gomez says "Sorry, old man."
When Multiball finally ends, the Bookcase closes back up if it was open and everything begins anew. However, after the first Multiball, no more GREED letters will be given out for free and you must lock balls in the Vault.
If, during a multiplayer game, someone steals your locked balls from you, you may simply drop a ball into the Swamp from the plunge to relock it. A very nice feature indeed. Also, at the end of the game, any locked balls are kicked out into the trough (adjustable).
As soon as you plunge the ball into the skill shot, you immediately have a choice to make. Do I shoot the left ramp? The Train? Maybe slam it into the Bookcase instead... Generally, the best thing to do is shoot the ramp. You can hit the Bookcase from either of the bottom flippers if you want to go for Multiball, and Train Wrecks usually happen more or less by accident as the game goes on. Generally, the ONLY time I'll shoot the Train is if the Graveyard value is very high (so that it'll carry over to the next ball) or if I'm very close to getting the extra ball from the 4th Train Wreck. Besides, shooting the left ramp increases the value for the rest of the ball and gives you a letter in THING.
As for deciding whether to go for the Mansion or Multiball, the same kind of logic generally applies. Mansion rooms are much harder to shoot than the Bookcase, and generally the ball will wander up and hit the Bookcase a few times by inself anyway. After a Tour, of course, you CAN'T go for the Mansion so you might as well go for Multiball.
The 2 most important shots to master are probably the Electric Chair and the vault. They can be tricky but generally aren't that difficult. Most of the other shots are pretty easy (even that left ramp is much easier than it looks). Also extremely important is to learn how the balls come out of the Chair and the Swamp kickout. Can you catch them? Can you let the ball bounce over to the other flipper for an easy shot somewhere else? Is it really fast? Will it run into the slingshot on the way down? Answering those questions is key in keeping good ball control.
When you light the locks for Multiball, it's generally a good idea to go ahead and get it out of the way.
During Multiball, always go for the Super Jackpot. The only time it's mathematically to your advantage to shoot the Jackpot is when you're on your first Multiball (Super Jackpot = 2x) and the Jackpot value is >20M. You can figure out why if you want, but the difference is small enough that you might as well shoot for the Super Jackpot anyway. Besides, it could wind up NOT being to your advantage, but I don't want to get into all that now... Email me if you really care. :)
If you're not sure what to do when the ball is at the upper right flipper, shoot the left ramp. The only exceptions are described above and when Cousin It is running. It's worth nailing It a few times near the beginning of the round, but when there's only about 5 seconds left, just shoot the ramp. The exception to THAT rule is if you are in Multiball. During Multiball, any timed round has the timer paused any time ANY ball is in a hole or kickout saucer or something. This can lead to insanely high Cousin It scores (like 45M), as well as good Mamushka scores. High Cousin Its are much more likely if you take the time to nail him during Multiball, though. One more exception: If the Super Jackpot is lit, shoot for that at all costs. One measly hit on It is not going to make up the difference in the long run no matter what!
For either of the frenzy rounds (Cousin It and Mamushka and especially Raise the Dead), it makes sense that the best place for the ball to be is in the pop bumpers. This is just about the only reason to learn the right loop shot. You can also plunge a ball directly into the bumpers after locking a ball, but you should only do this when Multiball is ready to start or the only place to lock the ball is the Vault, and when the round is Raise the Dead. Otherwise, it's usually worth going for the skill shot instead. (For Mamushka, you need 20 bumper hits to make up a 5M skill shot, and the chances of that happening are not great, though it could.)
For Quick Multiball, a good idea is to jack up the Jackpot value to 10M by shooting the middle ramp a few times first. Then just plug away at the Vault!
There's not much to say about Tunnel Hunt... One thing I like to do is to flail the ball directly into the Vault from the Electric Chair kickout (not a hard shot once you get used to it), then flail it into the Electric Chair from the Swamp Kickout, then catch the ball from the Chair and try to shoot the Swamp kickout. If you light Thing Flips and you haven't gotten the Swamp yet, by all means shoot the ramp and hopefully Thing will make the Swamp for you (you DO get credit for it during Tunnel Hunt).
Seance is definitely tricky. The normal Seance is often not worth the frustration of dealing with the Power, though this is certainly machine- dependant. You can't just hold onto the ball, though. Generally the Seance timer will stop after the Status Report starts showing on the screen. However, this often turns the Power off until you hit another target. This gives you a nice clean shot at the middle ramp. (You can turn the Power off in this way just about any time, so you can give yourself a clean shot at starting Multiball as well.) If you get a Super Seance, though, it is definitely worth going for, since the total for finishing it would get you 45M. When you shoot either ramp, it's generally OK to NOT shoot for 5x Graveyard and just let the ball dribble into the inlanes. But be careful here! It's also quite possible that the ball will bounce right into the outlane. If you're really lucky, you'll shoot the ramp, the ball will go through the "light 2x Bear Kicks" inlane, you'll shoot the ramp, the ball will go through the "light Thing Flips" inlane, you'll shoot the ramp, and Thing'll make the shot and you'll get 5x Graveyard, too.
For Thing Multiball, the best thing to do is to let the ball bounce over to the right flipper and shoot the Thing ramp right away. Alternatively, if you can't bounce it over, flail the ball up the middle ramp (which will ALWAYS deliver the ball to the right inlane while the Thing timer is counting down) then shoot the Thing ramp. Either way shoot net you over 10M easily if you don't miss. The middle ramp->Thing ramp combo generally gives you around 12.5M and the bounce-over method generally give you 13.8M. If when you start Thing Multiball the value is pretty low (like below 5M), then I concentrate on hitting things other than the Vault. For example, this is a great time to shoot the left ramp and build up your Million Plus value quite a bit, which can easily surpass the Thing Jackpot value.
During Raise the Dead, if you're ever given the ball at the plunger lane and there's no easy lock (skill shot or Swamp), then launch it to the bumpers. Chances are good that you'll get a couple of graves which will give you around 7M points. Raise the Dead is probably the most easily ignored round in the whole game because the ball often doesn't make it to the bumpers by itself, and no shot really puts the ball there except for the (generally useless) right loop. However, Raise the Dead, if actually shot for, can easily be worth more than Cousin It and Mamushka combined.
If THING is lit, but so is Multiball, make sure you collect THING first. You can't get it during Multiball, and since your main goal is to shoot the left ramp, you'll miss out on letters for the next THING you would have otherwise gotten. It's pretty easy to go through all 5 letters during one Multiball.
If something is lit at the Thing ramp and you have a ball at the plunger, be sure to err on the launch-too-hard side. This is because hopefully if the ball goes beyond the kickout saucer, it won't go TOO far and you can let the ball drain silently and get another chance. This is especially important if an extra ball is lit there.
Know what's going to happen when you're about to spot a room. For example, if Thing is flashing and you shoot the 15th Bear Kick, then you should shoot the Thing ramp before the room is even awarded to you and you instantly get 15M points. Also, during the Tour, when Raise the Dead is about to come to a close, hold the ball on the right flipper and wait for it to end, then shoot the Thing ramp for a very high Thing value.
There ARE cows in TAFG. :) The designer credits are in there as well.
When to use the buyin? Well, if you're really close to the Tour or you have an extra ball (or more) lit or if you're getting bored and want to get rid of credits, then go ahead and use it. The button is on the middle right of the front of the cabinet. Otherwise, hit start or both flippers together to abort it.
Special thanks to...
The end. (For now.)
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