Attack From Mars


Compiled by : Robert Macauley
Version 2.0 10 April 1998
HTML conversion by Chris Bonney

The following is an attempt to make sense of the Bally pinball game Attack From Mars. Most of the information contained here was compiled from limited access to an early ROM (p-3 I think) but as of late last year I finally get to play this fantastic game again. The version I now play is a L-1 rom.

Now the legal stuff. Attack from Mars and many other terms used here are copyrighted by Bally, Williams, and for all I know the Easter Bunny. This is none of my business.

This sheet is posted as freeware and may be used as such as long as I still retain some credit for it and no-one else makes any profit from its use.

This was my first attempt at a rulesheet and at the time of writing this (late 1996) I was under the impression that no-one else had done one yet. Boy was I wrong. Anyway, why should Cameron Silver have all the glory. Oh well here goes nothing..


Outlanes/Inlanes : The usual type. Each lane has a yellow light above it. Lighting all 4 relights Stroke of luck. completing them a set number of times also lights Extra Ball.

Slingshots : The usual. No strange shapes here.

Flippers : Only 2. the usual size.

Martian Targets : Spread about the lower half of the playfield are 7 targets spelling Martian. Lighting all 7 lights Martian Attack.

Left Orbit : Awards Capture and jackpots. This orbit can only be completed as a combo when Capture is completed. A bit like World Cup Soccer.

Left Ramp : Feeds the ball to the left flipper, awards Big-O-Beam and jackpots. Can also start a combo.

Center Ramp: Lights locks, awards jackpots and can start a combo if lock is not lit. This ramp is up a laneway behind the Martian saucer. Feeds to the right flipper unless lock is lit in which case the ball is diverted to the center sinkhole.

Martian Saucer: Kinda strange this one. There is a motorised bank of three targets known as the forcefield. Hitting all 3 lowers the forcefield and starts an Attack Wave. Behind the forcefield is a drop target with 1 target on each side at an angle. Behind the drop target is the center sinkhole. Above all this is a large Martian Saucer which flashes and shakes during waves.

Right sinkhole : This can be accessed either from the bumpers above it or from a shot from below. The awards are: Extra Ball, Stroke of Luck, Martian Attack and Rule the Universe. Only Martian Attack can be collected from above with one exception. During multiball an extra ball can be collected from either direction.

Bumpers : 3 bumpers identical to World Cup.

Bonus X Lanes : Once again, the same position as World Cup. There seems to be no max. bonus.

Right Ramp : Feeds to the right flipper. Awards Tractor Beam and jackpot. can also start a combo.

Right Orbit : Awards Atomic Blaster and jackpot. Like the left orbit this canít be completed unless Atomic Blaster is completed.

Scattered about the playfield are 5 small saucers which flash strobe lights and 4 tacky green Martians which jump during Martian multiball. Just like the boogie monsters on Elvira.


The main objective is to follow Manís basic instincts: Rule the Universe. This is achieved by completing the 6 tasks displayed between the slingshots. 5 Way Combo; Total Annihilation; Martian Attack Multiball; Super Jackpot; Super Jets; Conquer Mars. These can be completed in any order. Some are harder than others.


Skill Shot : There are 2 skill shots. The basic skill shot launches the ball to above the bumpers. You have to collect the flashing lane like on Corvette or Flintstones. This is worth 10M + 10M for each successful shot. This also increases the bonus X by 5X.

Super Skill Shot : Holding in the left flipper when launching the ball enables super skill shot. The ball continues around the orbit and the object is to hit a ramp, orbit or the gate for 50M. This also completes the feature on a ramp or orbit and starts an attack wave if you hit the forcefield.

Attack Waves : Opening the forcefield starts one of 5 Attack Waves. The object is to protect one of 5 countries from alien attack by hitting the drop target repeatedly. The countries are: France; Germany; Italy; England; USA. The display shows a saucer damaging one of that countries National Treasures, e.g. stealing the Statue of Liberty. The display also shows a damage meter which decreases each time you hit the drop target. Hitting the targets beside the drop target multiplies the damage caused and the points awarded. The drop target is worth 50M per hit 1st wave, 60M 2nd wave and so on. When the damage meter is empty the drop target stays down and a shot to the center sinkhole destroys the saucer. This is worth 200M 1st wave, 300M 2nd wave and so on. Completing the 2nd wave lights Extra Ball. Each wave has an assortment of quotes in that countries accent.

Attack Mars : The 6th wave is an attack on Mars. First you lower the forcefield as normal. This time the drop target stays down and you have to hit the sinkhole 10 times. Each shot takes a chunk out of Mars on the display. On the 10th hit Mars explodes and you are awarded 2.5B. After conquering Mars, each shot to the center drop target scores 100M for the rest of the game.

Multiball : Shooting the center ramp lights locks. Lock 3 for multiball. All ramps and orbits are lit for jackpot starting at 60M and increasing by 10M for each hit. After hitting all 5 jackpots a traveling super jackpot is lit worth 250M. After super jackpot, all jackpots are re-lit. After each super jackpot the value increases by 250M to a maximum of 1B. This value is held for the entire game.

Martian Multiball : Lighting all 7 Martian targets lights Martian Attack at the right sinkhole. You have 30 seconds to hit each bank of Martian targets to start Martian multiball. This is a 2 ball Multiball in which the object is to hit as many Martians as possible. Each Martian is worth 250K which is added on during the bonus count. Martian Attack Champion is displayed in attract mode.

5-Way Combo: Shooting any ramp starts the combo lights flashing. shoot any arrow to continue the combo sequence. combos are worth 10M+10M for each successive shot.

Total Annihilation : Shooting any ramp or orbit spots one of the features below it. The first shot is worth 20M, the 2nd is worth 25M and the 3rd shot lights hurry-up at the gate for 100M. completing all ramps and orbits starts Total annihilation 4 ball multiball. All jackpots are lit starting at 50M and increasing by 5M for each shot. The center ramp is the Annihilation Jackpot and is worth 100M + 15M for each other jackpot made like Cryoprison on Demo Man.

Super Jets : Each bumper hit counts down from 100. Reaching 0 starts super jets for 3M per hit. A subsequent super jets will require an extra 25 bumper hits.

Stroke of Luck : A random award collected at the right sinkhole. The awards are: Start Attack Wave, Light Extra Ball, Video Mode, Light/Award Lock, Strobe Multiball, Multiball, Hold Bonus, 25M or 50M. Stroke of Luck is re-lit by lighting all 4 inlanes and outlanes.

Strobe Multiball : A 3 ball multiball. All playfield lights are off except the strobe lights and the forcefield. The aim is to hit the forcefield as many times as possible. 10 hits lights extra ball and 20 hits awards 250M.(??)

Video Mode : You control a cannon and have to shoot at descending saucers. The flippers control the direction of your shots. If a saucer reaches the ground the mode ends. If you shoot enough saucers, you have to take on an alien mothership. 80 hits will destroy the mothership. Pressing the launch button activates a smart bomb which destroys every saucer in the display. Only 1 smart bomb can be used.

Rule the Universe

A 4 ball multiball with everything major lit. Total Annihilation and Martian Multiball are running and the super jackpot is lit . The object is to score 5 Billion points during multiball. If you get the 5B the game goes dark and kills the flippers. You are then awarded an additional 5B and the title "Ruler of the Universe". The current ruler's initials are displayed in attract mode. For the rest of that ball, all 5 arrow shots are lit for a victory lap. This starts at 100M and increases by 10M each time. Shooting the saucer relights the arrow shots. Failing to achieve 5B is fairly depressing. The game just continues on as if nothing has happened, leaving you to wallow in your sorrow.


The Importance of Multiball

On later attack wave it takes quite a few hits to destroy the saucer. Starting multiball after you start an attack wave gives you 3 balls to attack the saucer with instead of 1. Starting Martian attack can also work in the same way. Always remember to start the attack wave before multiball otherwise you will not be able to start the wave.

Another variation of this is to start Total annihilation while Martian attack is going which gives you 4 balls instead of 2 to build up huge Martian totals.

A useful trick while in multiball is to try and get a ball trapped behind the forcefield. Then when another ball hits the front of the forcefield the trapped ball will (usually) bounce straight up into the hole behind the drop target. This awards you the points for the next city and displays the words "Dirty Pool" on the DMD.

Skill Shot vs. Super Skill Shot

Avoid the temptation to use Super Skill Shot. 50M looks tempting but 5X bonus + 10M increasing with each ball can add up to a lot more. Also there is a good chance that the ball will go back up the lane off the bumpers. What goes up must come down and the lane change is very useful here. Also super skill shot lights all 3 features if you hit a ramp but you miss out on hurry-up which means 100M down the toilet. Itís just not worth the effort.


There are 3 cows to my knowledge. 1 is a cow drawing on the right ramp, cows sometimes appear when you spot big-o-beam or tractor beam. Pressing the launch button when any of these cows appear gives a sound effect. Doing it for both cows enables Cow Video Mode. The next video mode will feature cows instead of saucers.


Attack from Mars is IMHO the one of the top games of all time. Itís not a hard game to get into but reaching Rule the Universe is a challenge even for the best players. I'm no wizard by any means and due to an enforced layoff (couldn't find a machine) it took nearly 18 months before I finally made it to Rule the Universe.

The sound is nothing special, but the quotes fit the theme of the game very well, even if some of them are very corny. The graphics are good especially attacking Mars and the start of multiball.

On the gameplay side, most shots can be made without too much difficulty but the right sinkhole can be a bitch. My main gripes are the very greedy outlanes and the fact that the drop target can send the ball straight down the middle. I really miss the kickback too.

All in all Attack from Mars should offer enough challenge for players of all skill levels (no this is not an ad). The scoring is fairly high so expect scores in the high billions. The replay boost is around 1.5B which isnít really as bad as it sounds. One thing I donít miss is the extra ball buy in, which is turned off by default.


Highest score so far:  64B including 2 Rule the Universes (both won!!!). Unfortunately I drained with the 3rd RTU lit. :(


Chris Bonney


Any suggestions, comments and insults can be e-mailed to me via Chris.

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