The Machine: Bride of Pinbot


Keefer's Guide to
The Machine Bride of Pinbot
V 1.1.2 - 10-Jun-95

This rules compilation is freely distributable. I retain any and all rights to this guide. You may take this guide and redistribute it and/or make changes to it as long as it remains freely distributable and this policy is stated at the beginning of it. No charge may be made from the distribution of this guide and no one may make a profit from it. Send comments/updates/ suggestions/corrections to me.

The only other legal mush to say is that The Machine Bride of Pinbot is made by (and probably copyrighted/trademarked/whatever) by Williams Electronics.

Important Things

This is more or less a glossary of the shots that will be referred to during the discussion of the game.

Skill shot
There are 5 different lanes the ball can land in. The way it is set up, the ball can get some weird spin on it and go pretty randomly into one of the holes.
The trio of jet bumpers in the upper-right area of the playfield.
Left lane
The furthermost left shot possible, right next to the Shuttle Ramp. It is a precision shot.
Shuttle Ramp
The big ramp on the left leading up to the face and the Pinbot mini-playfield.
Left loop
Starts just to the right of the Shuttle Ramp and exits down the left lane.
Heartbeat Ramp
The big u-turn ramp right in the middle of the playfield that leads back to the right flipper through a double- passageway controlled by groves in the plastic.
Does nothing except score 1000/spin.
Right loop
Starts to the right of the Jets/spinner passageway and exits just above the right slingshot and feeds to the LEFT flipper.
Standup (5K) targets
1 on the left side, above the left slingshot, and 2 on the right just under the right loop entrance. Getting all 3 increases bonus multiplier.
The big cube with the flashing lights around it. You really can't miss it! %) Since it is a cube (well, rectangular prism anyway), there are 4 faces on it. It can rotate left or right to change.
Pinbot mini-playfield
The platform on the upper-right corner on top of the Jets. When the ball goes up here, it can either fall into the Jets, feed to the right flipper via the Heartbeat Ramp return lane, or feed to the skill shot via the path opposite of the Heartbeat Ramp.

The Loops

The loops work like this: When no value on the loop is lit, you get the lowest one on there, and it starts flashing. The flashing score is the LAST score you got for that loop. Actually, more specifically, it indicates the next score you'll get by shooting the loop, which would be the next-highest non-flashing one.

Once a score is flashing, it'll continue to flash until either you get the loop again, or it times out. The amount of time depends on the loop. If a value times out, it'll start counting down on the next-lowest value (if there is one). If the loop is at its highest value, then if the value times out, the loop will be back to the bottom again.

Left loop
Scores 25K, 50K, 100K, 500K + light extra ball. The shot will time out about every 10 seconds, and you can only light the extra ball once per ball or extra ball off of the loop, even if you start again from 0. There doesn't seem to be a limit on how many you can get for the whole game, though. Technically, you could have "Ball 1" forever.
Heartbeat Ramp
I put it here because it counts as a loop. It scores 100K, 500K, 1M. It times out between 5-8 seconds. Usually easily backhanded from the right flipper for unlimited millions.
Right loop
Scores 25K, 50K, 100K, 500K + light jackpot. Like the extra ball, the jackpot can only be lit from the loop once per ball or extra ball. If the ball goes in far enough through the EXIT of the loop (to hit the microswitch at the end), you'll get a free advance bonus multiplier.

Loop combos
A loop combo is scored by shooting a number of loops in fairly quick succession (not more than 3-4 seconds between loops, if that much). The combo starts at 4 loops. Getting 4 loops pretty quickly will cause the game to start making lots of banging/explosion-type noises and say "4 loop combo - 500,000 points." After that, the number required for a combo goes up by one, and each of them are worth 1M. No matter how many you get, all except the 4-loop combo are worth 1M. The number of loops needed for the next combo is given to you in the Status Report.
10-Loop combo
Supposedly, if you work your way up to getting a 10-loop combo (this means getting the 4, 5, ..., 9-loop ones first!), you score the "Backdoor Billion." I have never done this. Someone tested the Backdoor Billion theory with the glass off by hitting the Heartbeat Ramp sensor over and over. This might not have been the best way to test it, but it did in fact give him the Billion after 51 Heartbeat Ramps. Getting a 10-loop combo means shooting 49 ramps, so it is still unclear to me if it is the 10-loop combo or hitting 51 Heartbeats in a row. (Which is a pretty damn hard thing to do.)

These do not count as loops, but the Jets bonus is displayed in much the same way as a loop score. Hitting the Jets a certain number of times (I have no clue as to the exact number; I estimate 50) advances you a Jets level, which goes from 25K, 50K, 100K, and 500K. Nothing special other than these bonus points, though. Not even the value of the Jets goes up. (It's always 10K/hit if you want to know.) After getting the 500K, the number of hits needed to get the next bonus goes up a bit.

At the end of a ball, the number of loops you got that ball is multiplied by 10K and added to your total bonus, which can then be multiplied.

Left Lane

The left lane serves 3 purposes: Spin the small wheel, collect jackpot, and "power charge" during multiball.

Small Wheel: Shooting the ball up the left lane ANYtime except during multiball and when the jackpot is lit spins the small wheel. Your awards are:

  • Light Jackpot
  • 250K
  • Extra Ball
  • LIGHT Extra Ball
  • 50K
  • 100K

This is hardly a random feature. It will give you whatever it damn well pleases (i.e. 90% 2, 5, or 6).

Collect Jackpot
The jackpot ranges from 1M - 8M and is increased by normal play (usually hitting Jets). You can light the jackpot by either getting it from the small wheel or by shooting the right loop 4 times. You get 20 seconds to try to shoot it back up the left lane.
Power Charge
This is a score you get for getting it up the left lane during multiball. It starts at 100K and goes up 100K with each shot up to 1M. These points are NOT doubled during multiball, and resets to 100K at the start of each multiball.

Shuttle Ramp

The reason the Shuttle Ramp is called the Shuttle Ramp is because of the big picture of a space shuttle in front of it. When lit, a solid shot up the ramp will send the ball into the Pinbot area. Otherwise, the ball will go into the Face.

Here is the normal sequence of events for shooting the ball up the ramp:

  1. Pinbot area
  2. Face - activate voice; 250K; Face changes to #2.
  3. Pinbot area
  4. Face - partial optical link (1st eye); 250K; launch another ball.
  5. Pinbot area (maybe)
  6. Face - 2nd eye; activates optics; 1M (500K x 2); starts multiball; Face changes to #3.

In multiball, all scoring is doubled (except for Big Wheel awards, the jackpot, and Power Charges). Also, the main goal is to get the balls back up the ramp. Here's what happens as you do:

  1. 1st ball on Face #3 - Human Influx; 500K (250K x 2); ball is locked.
  2. 2nd ball on Face #3 - Metamorphosis; 1.5M (750K x 2); changes to Face #4; balls released again.
  3. 1st ball on Face #4 - Increased Pulse; 500K (250K x 2); ball is locked.
  4. 2nd ball on Face #4 - Spins the Big Wheel; 2M (1M x 2); releases both balls to try to spin the Big Wheel again.

Big Wheel awards:

  1. 10 Million
  2. 50 Million
  3. Special
  4. 5 Million
  5. 1 Million (what a ripoff!!)
  6. Lights 1 Billion (collected by shooting Heartbeat Ramp in 12 seconds)

When multiball ends, what happens next depends on how far you got. If you DIDN'T get a metamorphosis, then your next left lane or Face shot will turn the face back to #2 (the eyes). (You're much better off trying to turn it back via the left lane since you'll get points that way. You don't get squat if you shoot the ramp.)

If you DID get metamorphosis, then at the end of multiball the next Face/ left lane shot will turn her back to Face #1! Even if you didn't get a single Big Wheel spin. Also, as noted above, getting metamorphosis causes the Shuttle to light in between eye shots on Face #2.

The face can get screwed up on some machines (for instance, only being able to turn to the right). When this happens, the machine will tend to do some strange things (esp. if it's on the 1st face during multiball %) ). However, you'll always get credit for shooting whatever you're SUPPOSED to be on eventually. (I've experienced "Partial optical link" - "I can speak!" - "Partial optical link" all with ONE shot.)

Pinbot values:
100K - 200K - 300K - 100K - 200K - 300K - 600K + light extra ball The Pinbot values are scored every time the ball enters the area. It resets after awarding the extra ball. So every 7 Pinbot shots lights the extra ball.

Misc. Scoring

The bonus and bonus multiplier seem to have no limit. I've gotten over 1.4M base bonus before (excluding loops), and a multiplier of 6x. I've heard of someone getting at least 9x bonus. The best way to rack up bonus is to shoot the Jets. If you get all of the Jets awards in one ball, your bonus will be well over 1M before loops. The highest total bonus I've gotten is like 11.9M with multipliers.

Another potentially big source of points is the skill shot. The skill shot multiplier will start at 1x for the beginning of each ball. This is ONLY regulation balls in play. EVERY time the ball goes back to the plunger, be it from the Pinbot area, shooting another ball after locking one in the eye, or starting an extra ball for that ball, the multiplier will increase by 1. I've gotten it up to around 17x, and I've heard of it being as high as 23x. That could potentially be a whopping 4.6M for the skill shot!

Since none of these seem to have limits, they can really help out your score in the long run. You'll never score a billion by just going for these scores, but they can help your standing in the high scores or Billionaire's Club.

WIMP extra ball: Lit when the game feels terribly sorry for you. If you've had a really bad game (no Shuttle Ramp shots, few (if any) loops, and a low score) then the extra ball will be lit for you. There's no warning, it just is. There are lots of games that do this; BoP is by no means unique in this regard. (What are some others? T2, HS2, Diner, Dr. Dude, Police Force, etc.)

Also on the third ball, if you haven't hit the Shuttle Ramp yet, it'll spot you the Pinbot area (well, you won't get points for it) so you can shoot directly for Activate Voice.

"High" Scores

Since BoP is a special case, some explanation is needed for the way it handles high scores.

Williams knew it would be unfair to put billion-point scores in the regular high score chart (since it can only hold 5), so they came up with the "Billionaire's Club." This separate high score chart keeps track of the top 19-20 scores for anyone who's made the billion shot.

I say 19-20 top scores, because any time you make the billion shot, you are GUARANTEED to get onto the Billionaire's Club. If your final score is lower than the lowest total in the Club, then you'll still get to put your initials in, get your 2 credits (if that's what your machine is set for), and get 20th spot in the Club.

Then there's the standard high-score table. This has Grand Champion and the other more recent top 4 scores just like any modern Williams pin. Now, though it's good that they split them up, this brings in the 50 million Big Wheel award. It's not really a problem if you get the billion too, but if you just get the 50M, that'll throw off your score more than anything else in the game. Surprisingly enough, the 50M is a bigger score-unbalancer than the billion shot! They really should have come up with something else, but what can you do?


Shoot the Shuttle Ramp.

Seriously, though, that really is the point of the game, is mastering the Shuttle Ramp. It's too bad, but if no one at your machine can make the billion, than maybe some of these suggestions will help. Even though it is obviously a one-shot game, I still really enjoy playing it because it's a good challenge and provides excellent practice in handling multiball.

Well, first I'll start with multiball. If you want to go for the billion, then you have to get the balls back up the ramp. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Hold up the left flipper as the balls come down, and give the game a little upward nudge to get the ball to the right. Shoot the first one back immediately, since you don't have a terribly long time until the other ball gets down there too. If your game isn't maintained very well (like ours), then it'll eventually get too slow to be able to do this.
  2. Shoot both balls up the Heartbeat Ramp to pass them to the right flipper. Risky, since all but 1 BoP I've played has the Heartbeat Ramp center drain you on a weak shot up the Ramp. You can usually nudge the ball back to safety, but still...
  3. Shoot the first ball through the right loop, then backhand it up the Shuttle Ramp. This actually works on our machine most of the time. This shot is also probably going to take a little practice. Also, on our machine, the backhand shot is usually the same time the second ball gets to the left flipper, so it doubles as being able to quasi- live-trap the second ball so you can take your time getting it back up the ramp.
  4. Since I can't pass balls via method 1, the way I do it all the time now (unless I want a challenge) is to shoot both balls up into the Jets! Usually the first one will stay up there long enough to get the second one up there, too. They'll both thrash for awhile (and at 20K per bumper hit, that's not bad), and usually feed out at a pretty decent interval. When the first ball comes down, I dead-trap it, and then it's in perfect position to shoot it up the Shuttle Ramp. Do the same thing with the other ball (dead-trap it).

Now some other scoring strategies since we've discussed the most important ones (to get the billion!).

Since scoring is doubled during multiball, one good idea is to hold 1 ball in the left flipper or lock it in the Face and shoot the Heartbeat Ramp. This will give you unlimited 2-millions.

Avoid the Power Charge shot; it really isn't worth the trouble it is to hit it. Especially if you consider that a miss will often hit the left rubber on the Shuttle Ramp and go down the left outlane.

Always shoot the Jets when you can. The amount of bonus you can get from them is just enormous after awhile. And usually you'll get a safe return to the right flipper. There are those times, however...

If you're getting bored with the billion, or you're really good at loops, try to shoot the left loop (extra ball) at the start of each ball. This can make your games last a long time. Don't forget about the standard lane- change feature! Except that in this game, the left flipper moves the extra ball light to the left, and the right flipper moves it to the right. This is instead of the normal "any-hit-moves-the-target-to-the-right" routine. If you shoot the Shuttle Ramp and your ball will come back, there's no reason not to get the extra ball. Note that the Heartbeat Ramp feeds the ball BELOW the return lane sensor, so you can't collect the extra ball from the Heartbeat Ramp. Tricky, huh?

I nifty shot I've developed on our machine is to get in a right loop-left loop groove. You can start by shooting the right loop, then just at the right moment, backhand the ball (still with the left flipper) up the right loop. The ball should come back in just the right spot to return it to the right loop, etc. You can get fairly high-numbered combos doing this. (I've only gotten up to a 6-loop combo, BTW.)

Don't forget that the loop combos are ANY loops. Hitting the Heartbeat Ramp 4 times in a row counts as a 4-loop combo.

If you have a high bonus (you can check with status report), then consider actually shooting for the standup targets. They are not really dangerous and can be worth a lot in the long run. Usually they'll often just hit themselves, so it's not a big deal. Just keeping the ball alive can net you some high multipliers, whether you mean to or not. Don't aim for the bottom of the right loop, though; that's usually a sure drain, and the ball will go up there by itself off of a slingshot or something.

There's a bug in the game (unless it falls into the "it's-not-a-bug-it's-a- feature" dept.) where you shoot your 2nd ball into the Power Charge at the end of multiball. If you get credit for the Power Charge while the other ball is being registered at the bottom of the drain where it kicks it back to the reserve, DOUBLE SCORING WILL STAY ACTIVE! Really! I had noticed this before, but only recently realized the circumstances at which it happened. Right after I realized it, I shot for it after the end of my next multiball, and it worked. So if you have a drain, shoot for the Power Charge as soon as you can. If you get it at the right time, you're golden. However, it WILL end if you shoot the ball back up the Shuttle Ramp. It might also end if you shoot the Power Charge again, but I'm not sure about that.

Every time you get a chance, either slam tilt or power-cycle the game (when the guys are not looking of course). It seems that the designers have put a lot (if not most) of their birthdays into the machines. After said slam tilt or power-cycle, if it's a birthday, you'll see Happy Birthday xxx and hear a couple of bars of Happy Birthday in that unusual and distinctive Bride of Pinbot style. Sounds neat! I've seen 3 so far.

Editor's Notes

  • HTML added by David Gersic
  • E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.

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