Bram Stoker's Dracula
Sigma's Guide to Bram Stoker's Dracula
by Kevin Martin
Version of July 13, 1995
Notes and Disclaimers
This rule compilation and tips sheet is, to the extent possible (in light of the subject matter being the property of Bally/Williams), freeware. It can be modified, updated, or revised, provided only that credit to the original author(s) remains intact. It can be published or otherwise distributed, provided only that such distribution is effectively free.
This sheet is written and maintained by Kevin Martin, email@example.com - if you have any questions or comments or additions or corrections, send 'em along to me.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a trademark of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. The author(s) disclaim all interest in any trademarks or other intellectual property referenced herein. I do not speak for my employer, my friends, my relatives, or my cat. In fact, I hardly even speak for myself.
I use the abbreviations "K" for a thousand points, "M" for a million points, "B" for a billion points, and "GC" for Grand Champion.
The term "newer ROMs" generally refers to the production ROMs,
which were labeled
This version of the Guide should be considered final.
Destroy Dracula. Destroy Dracula's Concubines (the Three Sisters). Destroy Dracula's Werewolves (Children of the Night). Destroy Dracula's Rats. Scare Dracula's Bats. Wash Dracula's Car.
This is a glossary of the shots and features that will be referred to during the discussion of the game. Some of the shots have names which are less than obvious; I'll try to provide and use more obvious names instead.
The Skill Shot is purely a matter of
timing. The display will show a three-faced
gargoyle, with each face flashing in turn. When the ball hits the Drop
Target after being launched, the Skill Shot award depends on the face which
is lit. The left face awards
If the ball misses the Drop Target, the faces continue flashing, and the first sensor hit will award the lit face. Unfortunately, this is little more than blind luck.
If you press the autoplunger button while a ball is not in the lane (the game is still trying to kick it out), the game may then launch the ball as soon as it does get the ball into the lane, effectively ruining your Skill Shot. It may also decide that it wants to lock a ball, and you have no way of knowing this until you wait to make sure it doesn't raise the Plunger Ramp.
If you start a game and there are somehow no balls in the trough, none will be supplied to the plunger lane, only one ball search will be performed, and nothing except power cycling the machine (and thereby losing your credit) will get the balls in the correct locations. Check the trough before starting a game!
Due to the way the ball goes up the lane and jumps onto the playfield, the timing of the Skill Shot may be inconsistent.
The lights on these lanes are steered in both directions by the flippers.
Exactly how the machine behaves when you light all three lanes depends on
the ROM revision. Newer ROMs advance the Bonus Multiplier by one factor
each time you complete the lanes, to a maximum of
On Extra Easy settings, the Tunnel is lit for a Mystery Award at the beginning of each ball. On Extra Hard settings, the Tunnel is only lit by rolling through the Right Inlane. Otherwise, the Tunnel is lit once at the beginning of the game. The Tunnel can be lit for a Mystery Award by rolling through the Right Inlane (almost any time); however, it will time out (8-10 seconds on Easy and Extra Easy, 5 seconds otherwise).
Mystery Awards are:
The Castle Lock that is lit by the Mystery Award does not time out, unlike regular Castle Locks. Light Coffin Lock will not be awarded if the Coffin is already open, but Light Castle Lock may be awarded if a Castle Lock is already lit. This can actually be helpful.
On newer ROMs, the Mystery Score can be
This is a rather difficult ramp. The number of times you hit it over the course of your game is counted, and certain awards occur at certain intervals. The game also tracks this value for Loop Champion, much like Dr. Who. In fact, shots on this Ramp are called Loops. Unlike Dr. Who, however, the machine does not become confused at 100 Loops. It will properly recognize and remember Loop counts and Champions in excess of 100 Loops. In fact, it will properly handle Loop counts in excess of 255!
Loops are worth
The typical sequence of awards from the Castle Ramp is:
The Extra Ball is lit at various intervals, which are adjusted according to the desired and actual Extra Ball percentages. These adjustments are not always by small amounts.
The Bonus alternates between lighting the Castle Lock (subject to the usual time-out) and advancing the Coffin Ramp by one step. The first Bonus is to light the Castle Lock. If the Coffin is already open or Coffin Multiball is running when the Bonus would advance the Coffin, a Castle Lock will be lit instead. If a Castle Lock is already lit when the Bonus would light a Castle Lock, the Coffin will be advanced instead. If neither is possible when you reach the Bonus, nothing is awarded. Regardless of whether or not the Coffin is open, if the next Loop would award a Bonus of Light Castle Lock and you have a Castle Lock already lit when you shoot that Loop, the game will not light another Castle Lock for you, even though the shot you made used up the currently lit Castle Lock.
When an Extra Ball is lit, shoot the Tunnel to collect it. Extra Balls can be stacked on the Tunnel with no apparent limit. Factory settings probably limit you to actually having 4 Extra Balls at any one time, however. Since it's very difficult to get more than six or seven Extra Balls on Dracula, this doesn't really matter.
A weak shot up the Castle Ramp which falls into the Castle Lane even though
the Castle Lock is not lit will trigger an animation and award an additional
The Bats sequence is triggered by the appropriate number of Castle Ramp
shots. When started, the ball will be diverted to the Castle Lane, then fed
to the Plunger Lane and autolaunched back into play. In Bats mode, you have
a certain amount of time (typically 15 seconds) to scare away a certain
number of bats (typically 15 of them). The faster you do this, the higher
your awarded Bats Bonus will be. The Bonus begins at
Shooting the Right Orbit during Bats will suspend the countdown until the ball hits another target, except the Drop Target, which will scare away a bat but not restart the countdown.
The Bats Bonus is subject to the Multi-Multiball Jackpot Multiplier that is
in effect when the Bats mode begins. A single Bats Bonus can therefore be
as high as
If you do not manage to scare away all of the bats, you get no Bats Bonus.
If you scare away all the bats almost immediately - for example, if you
start Castle Multiball by hitting the Castle Ramp with Bats lit - you will
sometimes receive a Bats Bonus of slightly
more than the initial
The outlane switches scare away three bats at once. This is one of the few times Dracula is kind to you.
If you make a Death Save or Bang Back, the timer will be suspended until the ball trips a switch.
The Bats Bonus is carried over between balls, and awarded at the end of every
ball. This can add up quite nicely if you get Bats during Multiball on your
first ball. Otherwise, the minimum
The number of times you shoot this kickout hole over the course of your game is counted, and certain awards occur at certain intervals. There are only two such awards:
After the ball is kicked out of the Altar, Love Never Dies is active only for the Left Outlane, briefly. Unfortunately, a bad bounce can still cause a center drain. The ball should move past the right Slingshot without being hit by it, to land safely on the right flipper.
The Rats sequence is started by the appropriate number of Altar shots. In
this sequence, you have a certain amount of time (typically 15 seconds) to
destroy a certain number of rats (typically 15 of them). Every switch
tripped destroys one rat. The value of each rat is something like
What happens when you have destroyed all rats depends on your current mode
and your ROM revision. On prototype ROMs, you can (as best I could figure)
always continue to destroy Rats for more points (a reasonably valuable frenzy
mode). On newer ROMs (
If you do not manage to destroy all of the rats, you get no Rats Bonus.
The outlane switches destroy three rats at once. This is one of the few times Dracula is kind to you.
If you make a Death Save or Bang Back, the timer will be suspended until the ball trips a switch.
The Rats Bonus is carried over between balls, and awarded at the end of every ball. This can add up nicely if you get Rats during a Multi-Multiball on your first ball.
Castle Locks are lit by the appropriate number of Castle Ramp shots, by completing one of the sets of Bank Targets, or by a random award from the Mystery Tunnel. A set of Bank Targets is completed by hitting the two outer targets (in any order) and then hitting the center target. The Castle Lock is on the Castle Ramp, and it times out (in 13 seconds on normal settings, 20 on Extra Easy, 10 on Extra Hard).
You must lock three balls in order to start Castle Multiball. When you do so, three balls are launched into play. If you already have other Multiball modes running, all four balls should be launched into play.
During Castle Multiball, relocking one ball on the Castle Ramp will light the
Castle Jackpot on the Tunnel. The Castle Jackpot value starts at
If there are three or more balls in play, you can relock a second ball on the Castle Ramp to light the Double Castle Jackpot, although the Castle Lock light may not be lit to indicate this. Relocking the second ball effectively doubles the Castle Jackpot value, keeps two balls safely out of play, and restarts the Castle Jackpot timer at 20 seconds.
The timer on the Jackpot or Double Jackpot does not start until a target is hit. This is important when there is a ball stuck somewhere. The Ball Searches will begin even before the timer starts to count down.
When you collect a Castle Jackpot, its base value resets to the next higher
When the Castle Jackpot times out or you collect it, the locked ball(s) are released by autolaunching from the plunger lane. Note that you cannot lock a second ball for the Double Jackpot if there are only two balls in play.
During Castle Multiball, completing the Bank Targets again will award some
sort of Carriage Bonus (with its own animation and cool sound), which is
usually in the
During Castle Multiball, the Castle Jackpot light on the Tunnel will flicker faintly all the time, even when the Castle Jackpot is not lit. It should actually strobe brightly when the Castle Jackpot is lit.
Castle Multiball should be a three-ball multiball, although the machine will sometimes only deliver two balls, or will sometimes deliver three and end Multiball when any one ball drains.
When Castle Multiball begins, Love Never Dies is active briefly.
"Here's a killer feature!" - promotional flyerMist Multiball is lit by the appropriate number of Castle Ramp shots. Trigger Mist Multiball by shooting the Tunnel when it is lit. A ball will slowly cross the playfield along the Mist Lane. Another ball will be fed to the Left Inlane. To actually start Mist Multiball, use this ball to knock the other ball free of the magnet's control (be careful not to just swap your ball for the Mist Lane ball). Normally, the ball will start at the right end of the Mist Lane and proceed to the left. However, if Mist Multiball has been recently attempted and missed, the ball will still be sitting in the left gate, and will proceed in reverse (note that this is much easier to hit, in my opinion).
During Mist Multiball, all significant shots in the game are worth a Mist
The Mist Jackpot shots are: Castle Ramp, Coffin Ramp, Coffin, Tunnel, Right Orbit, Asylum, Top Sinkhole (if the Drop Target is malfunctioning, autolaunched balls will land here and be credited as a Right Orbit shot), and the Altar. Completing the Rollover Lanes or a set of Bank Targets does not count as a Mist Jackpot.
On normal settings, if you have not lit Mist Multiball by the beginning of your third ball (not counting Extra Balls), it will be lit for you automatically (except on Hard settings).
Lighting Mist Multiball twice does not stack it at the Tunnel. Mist Multiball can be lit while Mist Multiball is running, although it will not actually be awarded if Mist Multiball is currently running (thankfully). This may vary according to machine and ROM revision, of course.
Mist Multiball is a two-ball multiball. If the motorized magnet has been disabled on your machine, hitting Mist Multiball will immediately start it, without carrying a ball across the Mist Lane. Also, if you have two balls in play because of a Ball Search, Mist Multiball will start immediately, and draining one of those balls will end it, as if you had started it normally.
When Mist Multiball begins, Love Never Dies is active briefly.
The initial value of the Coffin Ramp is
When you lock the third ball, Coffin Multiball begins. Be sure to check out
the morphing animation for the third lock. Also watch for
On normal settings, the Coffin Ramp is advanced one stage for a successful Skill Shot, regardless of how many times you have started Coffin Multiball already. This will go as far as opening the Coffin, but will not give you credit for locking balls unless you actually hit the Coffin.
If the Coffin Ramp gets stuck in the raised position, the game compensates by advancing the Coffin Ramp for an open Coffin shot, but does not attempt to re-lower the ramp when this happens. Similarly, if the Ramp is stuck in the lowered position, the Ramp sensor behaves as the Lock sensor should.
"Players will be 'coffin up' quarters to lock three balls for Coffin Multiball!" - promotional flyerDuring Coffin Multiball, the Coffin remains open. Coffin Jackpots are collected by spelling
The Coffin Jackpot value is
When you collect a Coffin Jackpot, you immediately begin work on spelling
Coffin Multiball should be a three-ball multiball, although the machine will sometimes only deliver two balls, or will sometimes deliver three and end Multiball when any one ball drains.
When Coffin Multiball begins, Love Never Dies is active briefly.
(Note that in the movie, the scenes corresponding to Coffin Multiball did not involve Dracula; rather, they were attempts to kill Lucy.)
"This will really slay the pinball pro!" - promotional flyerMultiball modes are non-exclusive in Dracula. This means that you can light Locks and start other Multiballs while one or two Multiballs are already in progress. If two Multiballs are in progress, all Jackpots are doubled. If all three Multiballs are in progress, all Jackpots are tripled. This Multiplier also applies to Bats mode, Rats mode, and the Carriage Bonus. This allows for maximum Coffin Jackpots of
If two or three Multiballs are in progress, four balls should be put into play. At a minimum, starting another Multiball will place at least one more ball into play, unless you already have all four. You only need to keep two balls in play in order to maintain all of your current Multiball modes. The machine usually keeps excellent track of the number of balls in play, although it may occasionally become confused when all three Multiball modes are running ("confused" means it ends Multiball when two balls are left, and ends your entire ball when one of those drains, or that it ends both Multi- Multiball and your entire ball when one of the last two balls drains).
Note that once you have started all three Multiball modes simultaneously and Love Never Dies has expired, there is no longer any way to put additional balls into play.
The lamps just above the flippers indicate which Multiball modes are in progress, and what the current Jackpot multiplier is.
Shooting the Right Orbit or making a successful Skill Shot spots a letter
If Video Mode is lit when a ball is launched into play and no Multiball modes are active, sometimes the Drop Target will be lowered and Video Mode will begin, sometimes not.
During Video Mode, use the flipper buttons to fire your handgun left and
right at incoming werewolves (Children of the Night).
You have five more bullets than
there are werewolves. Merely completing Video Mode is worth a base value of
If you are too slow to shoot a werewolf (this is unavoidable if you have run out of bullets), it will eat you, ending Video Mode for no additional bonus. The next Video Mode you begin will be the same as the one you failed to complete.
Typically, an Extra Ball is awarded for successfully completing the second wave of Video Mode. Otherwise, it is not especially point-rich. Get more points out of it by shooting werewolves late, or have more fun by shooting them early (quick draw).
On Extra Easy settings, three letters in
At the end of Video Mode (successful or not), the ball is kicked out of the
Note that you can Tilt during Video Mode.
This catch area is almost completely worthless. Renfield is kept in the
Asylum, and dropping a ball in here (which is always by accident; it is not
actually shootable from either flipper as far as I can tell) shows a brief
animation and awards
If a ball wanders into the Asylum during any Multiball mode, you will see
a brief animation of a hand grabbing or chasing some sort of scorpion or
other nasty little creature (a reference to Renfield), which awards
I'm not sure how the End-Of-Ball Bonus is computed, but the graphics for it
are beautifully gross. Most likely, targets such as Jet Bumpers and
Slingshots contribute to the End-Of-Ball Bonus. The main part of the Bonus
is not held over, but all other parts (Rats, Bats, and Bonus Multiplier) are.
The game next shows the Rats and Bats bonuses, which are not subject to the
Bonus Multiplier, thank goodness. The graphics for the Bonus have been
changed slightly between prototype and
Note that in newer ROMs, there is a bug concerning the End-Of-Ball Bonus. If you get a Tilt warning just as the ball crosses the Outlane sensor or lands in the trough (I'm not sure exactly which, possibly both), the game will pause and then proceed to the next ball without awarding ANY of your Bonus! The game is not Tilting, but simply cheating you. This is verified as a bug, not intentional behavior. (I have seen the same behavior, albeit very rarely, from Dr. Who.)
Jet Bumpers are
During the game, a close-up of Dracula's eyes appears on the display at
random intervals. When his eyes are crossed (typically during idle periods
early in a game), press the Start button for a picture of Fluffy the Vampire
(he looks suspiciously like one of the Doctors from Dr. Who!) and
You can also consider the Asylum behavior described previously as an Easter
Egg. Flipping during the Renfield animation awards an additional
Cows: As far as I am aware, there are none. Please tell me if you know otherwise. I'd like to see a Cow in Video Mode somewhere. :-)
Multi-Multiball is the real key to super-high scores on Dracula. Starting
more than one Multiball mode gives you nice things to shoot for from both
flippers, and provides some insurance against quick drains. I tend to avoid
starting any Multiball until I am very close to starting at least two of
them. This means not shooting the Tunnel for Mist Multiball until there is
only one Coffin Lock left, or starting Castle Multiball while the others are
lit. Multi-Multiball also multiplies your Jackpots. If one of your running
Multiballs is Mist, everything will be worth at least
Mist Multiball is easier if the ball starts at the left end of the Mist Lane, but this will only be true immediately after triggering Mist Multiball but not knocking the ball free. If you are not already in a Multiball mode and you miss the traveling ball, it's quite difficult to get a clean second shot at it, if any. You may want to hold up the left flipper and try to bump the ball over for an easier shot at it from the right flipper.
Bats mode is usually nothing but frustration. Both Bats and Rats are best when run during a Multiball mode; this can build both bonuses into the hundreds of millions! I think that having the Bats and Rats bonuses carry over between balls is a terrible idea which places far too much value on getting good Bats and Rats bonuses in early balls.
Always keep track of which Multiball will be advanced by the next Bonus from Loops, and of how many Loops you have and what is awarded when. Be careful not to waste Bonus awards which light Castle Locks, or to light Mist Multiball when it is already lit. It's better to start the current Mist Multiball and use it up, if you're about to light another anyhow, as you can safely light a second Mist Multiball during that Mist Multiball.
You can shoot the open Coffin from a ball trapped on the right flipper. Release and flip as soon as the ball will clear the slingshot, and the ball should go up, hit the inside left side of the Coffin, and land in the sinkhole. Of course, this may be somewhat machine dependent.
You can shoot the Tunnel from a ball trapped on the left flipper. Release and flip as soon as the ball will clear the slingshot, and the ball should go straight up, just missing the post at the right edge of the Castle Ramp, and straight into the Tunnel. If you miss, it will rattle around and may get knocked in by the Jet Bumpers. This is actually (in my opinion) an easier and safer shot than from the right flipper.
To pass the ball from the left flipper to right, shoot the Coffin Ramp if it is lowered, then hold the left flipper up and bump the ball over. To pass from the right to left, shoot the Tunnel. Normal flipper passes are a bit trickier than usual because of the short flippers.
Find out if you can catch balls ejected from the Altar on your machine. This can be very useful. The ejected balls should come past the right slingshot and neatly to the right flipper, if the kickout is properly adjusted.
Death Saves don't seem especially difficult on this machine, even with a sensitive Tilt. In general, Dracula is very good about keeping track of the number of balls in play. If you manage to shake a ball loose from a lock (the lower left end of the Mist Lane is a very good example), it will promptly put a ball in the Plunger Lane, raise the lane ramp, and relock a ball to make up for it. It can get confused with all three Multiballs running at once, though. ("Confused" is bad, remember?)
Bang Backs can also be achieved from either side, although the right side is of course somewhat prone to a Slam Tilt.
If there is a ball sitting behind the gate at the left end of the Mist Lane, you can easily shake it free at any time (the gate is not held down by anything but gravity), and the machine will understand what has happened. This can be a free Extra Ball if you're quick enough.
If the Tilt is especially liberal on your machine, you can get Mist Multiball by simply shaking the machine front to back to get the traveling ball to fall from the Mist Lane.
The center set of Bank Targets are extremely dangerous to shoot for; they tend to direct the ball towards the center drain. Unfortunately, the left set is very difficult to hit at all. This, combined with the fact that Castle Locks time out, makes starting Castle Multiball a bit more difficult and unpredictable than it should be.
The diverter on the Castle Ramp is only active when the game sees a ball go up that ramp. It may come down too slowly on some machines, which will tend to knock the ball into the return lane of the Coffin Ramp. The worst possibility is that the ball will completely miss the scoring sensors for both ramps, awarding you nothing. Otherwise, you will get credit for hitting the Coffin Ramp or the Coffin itself, if it is open. This makes it possible to get quite a few Coffin shots from the Castle Ramp by making a fast shot when the diverter is active, and then holding the left flipper up and repeating the process until the diverter functions properly. If you manage to start Coffin Multiball and/or score Coffin Jackpots this way, shame on you.
Dracula very much feels like a Bally game, specifically Dr. Who. It has DotMation and the same Status Report. The Castle Ramp instantly reminded me of the Cliffhanger ramp on Dr. Who. The yellow flippers with black rubber are just like Dr. Who. Having Jackpot values be somewhat dependent on the number of balls in play is also reminiscent of Dr. Who. Since Barry Oursler is the principal designer here as well as on Dr. Who, this isn't much of a surprise.
In layout, however, Dracula strongly resembles Bad Cats, of all things. Since Barry Oursler is the principal designer here as well as on Bad Cats, this isn't much of a surprise.
Note: flipping will abort almost any animation which is delaying gameplay while the ball is being held somewhere. Unfortunately, this means you may not see what your Mystery Award was. This feature is best for skipping the rather lengthy but repetitive Replay animation (nice music and graphics, though).
In general, Dracula is a much simpler (but not necessarily easier) game than many other recent releases. It has great graphics and sound...
I believe that this quotes listing is quite accurate and almost complete, except for the mumbling of the Sisters when Castle Locks are made.
I've seen it, liked it quite a bit. I verified most of the quotes listed herein by listening closely to the movie.
My Loop Champion is
Thanks to everyone who has sent notes and information which has contributed to this Guide.
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