Keefer's Guide to Hurricane
V 1.2.1 - 10-Jun-95

This rules compilation is freely distributable. I retain any and all rights to this guide. You may take this guide and 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 for the distribution of this guide and no one may make a profit from it. Send comments/updates/ suggestions/corrections to me.

Hurricane is probably a registered trademark of Williams Electronics, etc. etc. So there.

Important Things

This section describes key elements and/or shots to be made in Hurricane. They will be constantly referred to in the play discussion.

This is the main ramp in the game. The entrance is on the right side of the field, and the ball goes around the back, down the left, around the front of the field, and finally into the left return lane. Note the ball also enters the Hurricane ramp (though no credit is given for hitting the Hurricane) via the plunger shot and the Ferris Wheel.
The ramp right in the middle of the field. It can easily be shot from either flipper, and the ball is returned to the right return lane.
Ferris Wheel
The entrance to the Ferris Wheel is the furthermost left lane towards the back of the field. The ball goes on the first wheel, then the second, then onto the Hurricane ramp to the left flipper.
This is the bull's eye target in between the Hurricane and Comet ramps.
The big blue box in the middle of the back of the field. Shoot it up the lane between the Comet and the Ferris Wheel lane. Usually much easier to backhand it with the left flipper than to "normally" shoot it with the right.
The 4 stand-up targets with green lights on the right side of the playfield, below the Hurricane shot.
The 3 drop targets on the left side of the field.
The 3 pop bumpers hit when the ball comes out of the Juggler.
Letters earned by hitting the skill shot or by Hurricane millions or by hitting the Hurricane shortly after completing the Ducks or Cats. Lighting PALACE lights the jackpot.
Starts at 5M, maxes out between 15M - 16M. Shoot the Juggler to get the Jackpot when lit.
Clown's Face
There are 6 different things to hit to light up the Clown's Face. Hitting all 6 lights Clown Time.
Clown Time
When lit, hit the Hurricane to start Clown Time. This is a frenzy-type scoring time for 25 seconds, where all targets are worth 50K. MAJOR shots (i.e. Hurricane, Comet, Ferris Wheel) score 500K for the first one, 750K for the second one, and 1M for each one thereafter.
Quick Score
Given for shooting the ball into the Ferris Wheel directly after the ball goes over the switch in the right return lane.
When this is lit, shoot the Juggler for a "random" mystery score.
Ball Locks
When these are lit, shoot the Juggler to lock a ball.
After 2 balls are locked, launching the 3rd ball starts Multiball. Hurricane is worth 1M, 2M, and 5M in order, then starts over.
Skill Shot
After launching the ball around the Hurricane, shoot the ball back up the Hurricane ramp to get a Palace letter and the skill shot value (which is 500K and goes up 500K each time you make it up to 2M).
Awarded by hitting the Hurricane when it's lit. Lit by Mystery Score or by starting your 3rd Multiball.
Status Report
Hold down a flipper to get some neat information. After a couple of seconds, it will tell you how many extra balls you have, credits, replay score, bonus x's, # of ramps for Hurricane millions, # of multiballs that special is lit on (is it ever different from 3?), and the high scores. While holding one flipper, you can hit the other one to speed through the report, just like every other WMS/BLY game since about Whirlwind (and, for some reason, except CFTBL).

What Lights What

The Hurricane, Comet, Mystery Score, and Ferris Wheel are all lit at the beginning of the game. Furthermore, the Comet is relit at the start of each ball.

Hitting the Hurricane during normal play awards 200K, 225K, unlimited millions. This is a timed shot, so if you miss it, you still have a chance to get it back up there for the next value. After you get the first million, the Hurricane is lit for 1M AND a Palace letter. So no more than 7 Hurricane millions will light the Jackpot for you. After you finally miss a million shot, and the Hurricane times out, it will stay unlit until you hit all of the cats. After you relight the Hurricane, it will take one more ramp than last time to light the million shot. So the second series of shots will go 200K, 225K, 250K, millions. The number of ramps need for the million is kept in the Status Report.

If you perfect the Comet, you can easily score millions of points. The Comet starts the game lit at 100K. The next 2 shots are scored 200K then 300K. These are timed shots, like the Hurricane. Every shot after the 300K results in 1M points. However, the Comet unlimited millions is not only a timed shot, but an accuracy shot. If you touch anything other than the Comet or the right return lane switch, AFTER getting your first million, then the million shot is turned off. And if you don't shoot it for awhile, it'll time out like the rest of the shots. If you don't get the million, the Comet will reset to 100K. After you've gotten just a single million, whenever the ramp resets, it'll start at 50K, making it one shot harder to get a million. After a million is scored, and eventually you miss or it times out, it'll stay unlit like the Hurricane until you hit the Ferris Wheel. If you lose the ball, though, it resets the Comet for you.

The Ferris Wheel scores the Ferris Wheel Bonus when it is lit. The bonus is lit by hitting all 3 ducks and at the start of the game. Base value is 250K, but that increases by 15K every time you hit a bumper or a duck. The maximum value the Ferris Wheel can get to is 1M. Scoring the bonus turns it off until the ducks are hit again. The base Ferris Wheel value does not go up if it isn't lit.

Also on the Ferris Wheel lane is the Quick Score. If you hit the Ferris Wheel directly after the ball goes down the right return lane, you score the Quick Score. It starts at 250K and goes up 100K every time you get it. I believe the maximum is 750K. You can get the Quick Score even if the Ferris Wheel isn't lit.

After shooting the Ferris Wheel, as the ball goes down the left return lane, it will light the Dummy shot. The Dummy stays lit for around 20 seconds. If you hit him, you advance your bonus multiplier. If you get your bonus multiplier up to the blinking value (usually 3x for the first time), you light the return/out lane extra ball. If the Dummy is unlit, shooting it will light it for the same 20 seconds.

Both the cats and ducks serve multi-purposes. The cats, in addition to lighting the Hurricane, will light the Juggler Mystery Score. The ducks light the Juggler Ball Locks for Multiball. For the first Multiball, hitting the ducks will light BOTH ball locks for you. After that, you must hit the ducks once for each ball to lock, though you don't have to lock a ball before lighting the next lock.

As previously stated, the Clown's Face has 6 different targets to hit. They are:

  1. Left eye - the Ferris Wheel.
  2. Right eye - the Hurricane.
  3. Nose - the Dummy.
  4. Left cheek - the Ducks.
  5. Right cheek - the Cats.
  6. The mouth - the 300K shot of the Comet.
When all 6 are hit, the face starts blinking, and the next shot up the Hurricane starts Clown Time.

Clown Time and the Palace Jackpot are kept between players and between games. That is, if you had PALA lit one game, if you started another game right after that, PALA would still be lit. So sometimes you get lucky and start a game where PALAC is lit and the Jackpot is worth like 15.5M. If one player lights Palace, then that person has 30 seconds to shoot the Juggler to get the Jackpot. If he/she misses, then Palace reverts back to PAL and the Jackpot stays the same.

The real kicker about Clown Time is that if one person goes and hits all 6 targets then loses the ball, then the next player need only shoot the Hurricane, and HE gets Clown Time. Whatever was lit on the face at the end of a game carries over to the next game. The only exception is if the whole face was lit, but no one got Clown Time. The next game, the face is lit except for the nose (the Dummy shot).

Misc. Scoring

The Cats are worth 100K the first time you hit all 4 of them, and the value increases by 100K each hit up to 1M. The ducks score no big amount of points.

Hitting the dummy after maxing out bonus (6x) scores 1M. BTW - the maximum bonus for any one ball is 500K x 6 (3M). Kinda bwee if you ask me. (Can you imagine a BoP with a bonus cap? No more 11.9M bonuses!)

Hitting either ramp increases the Jackpot by 130K. It starts at 5M. If the total hits 16M or more, it "wraps-around" to 15M again. For example, if the jackpot is at 15,900,000, the next ramp puts the jackpot at 15,030,000.

If you get more than one Clown Time in the same ball, the Clown Time score you had before is put up and you keep adding to the total. Major shot scores continue where you left off. I.e., you don't need to hit the 500K - 750K shots first this time... All shots will be worth 1M. The best Clown Time total I've had is about 25.75M, which was 3 really good Clown Times on the same ball. The game keeps track of the best Clown Time (resets as often as high scores 1-4) for a single ball. There's no award for getting the best Clown Time (i.e. no credits), but you DO get to put your initials in.

Hitting the Mystery Score shot will award you one of the following:

  1. 1M, 2M, 3M, or 5M.
  2. Light Extra Ball, Extra Ball.
  3. Light Special, Special.
  4. Palace Letter (NEVER gives you the last 'E', though).
  5. 2x, 3x, 5x playfield scores for 20 seconds.
  6. Clown Time.
  7. Instant Lock.
  8. Bonus Multiplier (can lead to lighting Extra Ball).
  9. Absolutely Nothing (IMHO, less insulting than Dr. Dude's "A measly 10 points").
So, in total, you could earn 1 of 16 different awards. They should all be self-explanatory. Getting Instant Lock is just like shooting all of the ducks just before hitting the Juggler. Very nice sometimes, when your aiming just sucks for some reason.

The rest of the major scoring shots were discussed above. All that's left to cover is...


As stated, shoot the ducks to light the locks, and shoot the Juggler to lock the balls. After 2 balls are locked, multiball starts. If your machine is missing a ball, locking the second ball starts Multiball right away (no warning).

The main thing in Multiball is the Hurricane ramp. The first shot is worth 1M, the second 2M, and the third 5M. Then it goes back to 1M and starts all over again. So every 3 Hurricane shots is worth 8M.

During Multiball, the Comet is just a timed shot. So once you light the million, you can keep it lit for a long time and not worry about shooting something else. A couple things to note: Holding a flipper while shooting the Comet seems to reset the value after getting a million. They probably don't want you to just hold a ball and continuously shoot the Comet. BUT, if you shoot a ball into the Juggler, then while you're shooting for Comet millions, it won't pop the ball out. So you don't really NEED to hold a ball on the flipper if you can get it to the Juggler. The ball WILL pop out if you're not up to the million on the Comet yet. Also, after the million times out, it resets to 50K right away. So you don't have to shoot the Ferris Wheel to relight it. Plus, the Comet is lit at the beginning of Multiball if it was previously turned off.

Shooting the Ferris Wheel during Multiball will award you 750K. If you get a second ball up there fairly quickly, you'll get 1M. And if you get the third ball up into the Ferris Wheel, you get 2M points. No Ferris Wheel bonus given during Multiball. (But with Quick Scores like that, who cares?)

If you hit the ducks and cats during Multiball, you can still shoot the Hurricane for the Palace letter, and you can still light the Jackpot. If you light the Jackpot by shooting the Hurricane right at the start of Multiball, you won't be awarded the Jackpot until ALL balls have left the Juggler. Thankfully, the timer won't start until after all the balls have left as well, so it evens out. Basically, you can't backhand the ball into the Juggler until the 3rd ball has been shot out. If you do, then you must wait until THAT ball has cleared out as well.

Keeping Multiball active for a long time is a really good thing to do, because after you lose 2 balls (or 1 for a 2-ball game), you go into multiple-scoring mode. For each second of Multiball you had, you get a second of multiple scoring (minimum 15 seconds, not sure of a maximum). The playfield multiplier seems totally random, though I could be wrong. At any rate, there is a possible 2x, 3x, and even 5x playfield scores. This means that anything and everything that scores points is multiplied by that amount. This even includes the Skill Shot, but EXCLUDES the Jackpot. (5x a 15M Jackpot might be a little unfair. %) ) So all millions, all Mystery awards, etc. are multiplied.

One other word about holding the flippers up during multiball: Any time a flipper is up, the multiball timer for multiple scoring does NOT increase. It won't reset your timer, but if you're holding a ball or something, the timer stays where it is. I've had upwards of 30 shots on the Hurricane during multiball, then after losing a ball right after missing, only gotten 15 seconds of multiple scoring.


ALWAYS shoot for the ducks. Multiball is the key to high scores in this game (as well as the multiplied scoring). If you hit the ducks right, then you'll wipe out the bottom 1 or 2 ducks, then catch the ball with the right flipper again, shoot the last target, and usually it'll bounce right into the Juggler. Ball locked. If this works, then the Skill Shot will be worth *TWO* Palace letters (one for Skill Shot, one for just hitting the ducks). You can light the Jackpot very quickly this way.

Don't actively shoot for the Dummy. It's usually a death shot if you miss it. DO aim for it if the next bonus x's will get you extra ball lit. (Don't forget that the bonus x's number that's flashing is what you need to light the extra ball. On every game I've seen, it starts on the 3x, and after you get that goes to 6x. After 6x, it doesn't light anymore. So off the Dummy, you can get 2 extra balls. Don't forget that when extra ball is lit, the flippers change the lane the extra ball is in, so shoot a ramp and move the extra ball to the return lane where the ball will go.)

Don't shoot the Comet millions until your first multiplied scoring. It will take you one less ramp to start getting 2, 3, or 5 million. After you've gotten your first million run, though, it can't hurt to hit it whenever you feel good or lucky.

If your next-to-last ball is about to drain in Multiball, start shooting the Comet right away. That way, you'll almost have million lit when multiple scoring kicks in. If you cut off the million shot somehow, you have a couple of choices: Shoot the Ferris Wheel to light the Comet again (if you have a LOT of time left!) or thrash at the ducks again. If you can lock a ball with a couple of seconds left on multiple scoring, you can get a multiplied skill shot. And this can be quite nice if your skill shot is up to 2M...

ALWAYS ALWAYS shoot for the Mystery Score in the Juggler if it's lit during multiple scoring. If you haven't done anything else at the start of multiple scoring, then this should be your first target. If you're shooting the Comet, you should leave enough time to take a whack at the Mystery Score. What many people fail to realize is that chances of getting millions on the Mystery Score are pretty high, and when it's multiplied by 2, 3, or 5, it can be very nice indeed. A lot of people think that the Jackpot is the highest-scoring single shot in the game. Wrong. If you're on 5x playfield scores and shoot the Mystery Score and get 5 million, that's 25 million points! And even if you only get the 1, 2, or 3, that's still a pretty good haul. And if you don't get a points award at all, well, you can't win them all. Personally, in all the times I've played Hurricane (and that's a lot), I've only gotten the 25 million shot twice. But it's so neat when you do get it! :)

During Clown Time, the best strategy is to shoot the Comet as soon as the ball returns from the Hurricane and just keep hitting it over and over. If you NEVER miss, you should be able to rack up around 12.5M during a single Clown Time.

If you can hit the Hurricane easily (our machine has a *great* left flipper, well, great for hitting the Hurricane ramp), don't bother going for the jackpot. Just keep hitting the Hurricane. If you miss, then go ahead and shoot for the jackpot. If you keep hitting it, eventually the jackpot will time out. After the jackpot round is over, you need to hit the ramp once more to light if for letters again, then 3 more shots to re-light the jackpot. ONLY keep going for the ramp if you are getting millions. If you light it right away from, say, a skill shot, then go for the jackpot to get your easy points, and save the extra ramp hit that you'd need to relight the millions.

Hurricane is a great game to learn multiball ball control. Once you get a ball or two on the right flipper, just sit back and keep hitting the Hurricane. If you miss, and 2 or 3 balls wind up on the right flipper, just do a quick flip to (hopefully) send 1 ball airborne so that it might bounce over to the left. Then hit the Hurricane some more.

When you get bored of constantly hitting the Hurricane, you can send a ball that's sitting on the right flipper up into the Ferris Wheel, which will come to the left flipper, where you can shoot BOTH (or all 3) balls at the Hurricane to increase scoring 2X as fast. :) It's more exciting than shoot, wait, shoot, wait, etc.

Using these strategies, you should be able to do pretty well. I've gotten 269M on our local machine, which was probably a little liberal in the tilt department at the time, but not overwhelmingly so. Just remember to hit the ducks for Multiball and wail on the Hurricane when you get there.

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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