Lost World


From krellan@netgate.net Tue Jun 24 07:57:30 1997

An arcade around here (Playland) got a Lost World game! My impressions:

It's *hard*. The outlanes aren't the world's friendliest, and there are at least two traps which send the ball SDTM: the "S" standup in SITEB, and the left exit from the jet bumpers.

The egg toy is OK, I wish the shell opened more. It barely opens enough to see the dino inside it, once it's fully open. And, I see TJ has found another place to put a Martian in! I can see this becoming the next pinball in-joke...

I have mixed feelings about the "Snatcher" toy. It is fun to watch the first few times, then it gets dull, as it holds the ball out of play for a long time as it moves (like the Crane on LAH).

The "Snatcher" runs on thin plastic pulleys and chains? I think I once put together something more sturdy with Legos when I was a kid! I estimate three days until it breaks. When I was playing, the people around me estimated anywhere from one day until a week, let's see who's right...

I didn't get very far into the game. There are five "modes" to play, and completing them all gets you to San Diego (the wizard mode). In my best game of the night, I was only able to complete two of the five. (In not one game did I get a replay!)

They are not your typical "modes". There is no Mode Start target! To start each "mode", you complete the targets in a certain area of the playfield. They are:

Site B:
Spell SITEB (standup targets on various posts throughout the playfield, like the Greed targets in TZ)
Mobile Lab:
Spell TREX (inlanes and outlanes, lane-changeable, like lighting Stroke of Luck in AFM)
Spell RAPTOR (RAP and TOR banks of standup targets, placed almost identically to the ROCK standups on GnR)
Hit the left ramp three times, and the right ramp three times
Hit the Egg scoop several times

When you complete one of the above requirements, one of the targets of that requirement will start to flash. (e.g. if you're starting Raptor mode, one of the RAPTOR standups will start flashing) Hit that target to start the mode. Now, you get *Multiball* to play the mode with! You have to do something during Multiball, usually involving the targets of that mode, in order to complete that mode.

If you don't succeed during Multiball, you do *NOT* get credit for that mode, and must start it again! I believe all five modes have Multiball and work this way, but I'm not sure.

This is in addition to the main "Lock 1, Lock 2, Lock 3" Multiball of the game (that uses the Snatcher). So, assuming San Diego is a Multiball, the game has *seven* multiballs! Cool.

The main Multiball is kind of cool. You hit both ramps (they're easy, not as hard as they were on JP), then you hit both loops, then you do some more stuff I didn't get to because all my balls drained! ;-(

The rulecard has a *lot* of explanations on it, especially for a Sega game! It says how to play and start each of the five modes. Good to see a more descriptive rulecard, even if the font is so small and packed together that it is difficult to read...

I noticed a *lot* of animations had been directly taken from the old DE Jurassic Park game. The dual jackpot score animation during the main Multiball, the "Add X coins for Y credits" screen, the Smart Missile animation, etc. Even the "Isla Nublar" (or whatever the name of Site B is) animation at game start is very similar!

I was half expecting to see "They should all be destroyed!" when I started my Extra Ball... :-)

Audio complaints: Like SWT, I notice a definite *decrease* in sound quality. Twister was the last game I remember with really good sound (it went downhill starting with ID4). The sound and music sounds shallow and tinny, like it was heard through a telephone.

The sampling rate seems very low (8khz?). Even turning the volume up loud, as this game was, did not help to clarify the sound. What is happening here? Frankenstein (the first Sega game) sounds so good, and it all seems to have gone downhill...

I noticed that the game only has *ONE* backbox speaker! The right speaker cutout has been replaced with a flat piece of plastic, with the Lost World logo. I was wondering why all the sound was coming from the left, until I took a closer look.

I looked under the cabinet, and saw the lower speaker is still intact. It has been moved more forward, hopefully closer to the player. Wouldn't it get in the way of the coin bucket? (Maybe with pinball earnings nowadays, they've gone to smaller coin buckets? :-))

Well, it's a decent game, I will go back sometime soon and play it some more (maybe even writing a real rulesheet for it?)!

\Josh/ Lehan
 \  /  mailto:krellan@netgate.net
  \/   http://www.netgate.net/~krellan/

From krellan@netgate.net Wed Jun 25 03:52:13 1997 I went and played some more LW tonight, and also got to see it with its glass off, so here's some more info:

Only two of the five modes have Multiball: Mobile Lab and Raptor. In Mobile Lab, hit the spinners a certain amount of times to launch another ball into play and get the points, and repeat. In Raptor, hit the Raptor shot then hit any Raptor target to relight it, and repeat.

The Smart Missile *SUCKS*. It no longer can be used to score every target! It's only useful for starting Multiball when it's lit, something that is easy enough to do already. The SM should be usable to hit everything, including the Super Jackpot (what a perfect opportunity for it!), but it can't.

GPS seems unfair: if you fail to complete the mode in time, the next GPS you start is *harder*. The number of ramps you must complete goes up by one. So, if you fail to complete GPS early in the game, you will probably -never- be able to complete it, because it keeps getting harder and harder, even when you keep losing! This is a very poor design in my opinion; it should only get harder if it's successfully completed.

San Diego isn't very valuable, considering how hard it is to get. It's a timed multiball mode, like Lost In The Zone. Hit various targets to boost a value that starts at 500K, and hit various shots to collect the value. You can collect it as much as you want without lowering its value; it will not go down when collected, so it potentially could be worth big points.

But, considering the mode is timed, it cuts out too early, so isn't worth very much. If the mode lasted until all balls were drained, it would be better. As it is now, it is only about as good as a normal Multiball. The sound is poor, the announcer just mumbles "The T-Rex is loose in San Diego".

SPOILER: When you collect the points in San Diego, you see an animation of the dinosaur munching on some guy, and blood and guts ooze out of the dinosaur's mouth as it is chewing! It's the most bloody/gross animation I have ever seen in pinball (Dracula included). The dinosaur even burps after he's done eating...

The speech on this game is quite poor. With a Jurassic Park license, I expected to hear a lot more from the movie! The quote "Here come the pinballs" is just stupid. Same with "Ow, the Snatcher got my ball." Pathetic.

The game isn't very in-depth at all! We started Multiball from the Snatcher, did the five modes, then did San Diego. That's *IT*. Nothing more to the game!

Oh yeah, there's an Extra Ball at 6X and another one for hitting the Raptor lane four times. No Special ;-(

The game doesn't make good use of the memorable movie scenes. I was hoping for a mode where the convoy of hunters storms through the island, and a "shooting gallery" mode where people run through a tall grassy field and drop like flies :-)

Two people now have said that the "Smart Missile!" quote the game makes is Bowen's voice. Is it?

The "squish/splat" sound effect for the skill shot is from Tales Of The Crypt, I've heard. Many of the fonts and writing in the game is in that old DE-style font, as used in LW3 and other early dot matrix games. It seems they're dusting off a lot of old stuff and reusing it.

The playfield is noticeably barren, there's not much to do on it at all. The ball is visible almost everywhere in the game, there are no hidden areas it goes to (except the Snatcher, of course). It's easy to see the ball as it goes around the orbits, there's nothing back there to block the view. The downside of this is that the game quickly gets boring, though, because there's not much there to explore...

I must say that the playfield looks *sharp*, though. The graphics are bright and clean, without being boring like the later Gottlieb artwork. I like Sega's use of transparent plastics! The inlane area and habitrails look elegant and nice. The transparent colored standup targets are a nice touch, the game really looks crisp.

The music is good, but repetitive. The dino yells are nice, but not used nearly enough. The other voices seem to have been thrown in without much thought, unfortunately (I'm sure they could have thought of a better quote than "Here come the pinballs!")...

Sega puts together a nice package with their lockdown bar and coin door (consistently better than WMS), and playfield appearance. I wish the gameplay and sound was kept to the same standards, though.

Idea: Why not cross-promote Sega's pinball games in the background of Sega's simulator games? They have a lot of fake "billboards" along the racetracks and skateboard parks of their simulators, why not put their pinball games in those billboards?

\Josh/ Lehan
 \  /  mailto:krellan@netgate.net
  \/   http://www.netgate.net/~krellan/

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