Author: Joseph W. DeVincentis
OK, this should pretty much be the finished version of the rule sheet. There are still some areas that could use some more work (quotes, tournament rules, etc.) but the basic rules as used in the typical game on location are pretty much finished.
I think I have gotten most of the rules on here complete now, so I'm going to call this version 2.0. Adrian Donati wrote version 1.0 of this rule sheet, and in a few places the "me" in play experiences still refers to him. Since then I have made a lot of additions with a lot of help from various people.
Distribution and Copyright:
[This was from Adrian's version 1.0. I agree with Adrian that I'd like to see this distributed freely, as long as it is not for profit.]
It has been suggested to me that I retain copyright on this sheet. However, I do not know of the legal standpoint here of whether I could even do that. Whatever the case, I am quite happy for this to be a freely distributable sheet as long as:
It must also be remembered that the subject material of this document (ie the 'No Fear' pinball game) is copyright to Williams Electronic Games Inc.
Other Contributors and Acknowledgements
All corrections/contributions/suggestions etc should be sent to me, and I will add them as appropriate. However, please remember that modern pinballs have settings which can be adjusted dynamically by the control software so one persons local game may well play a bit differently to another. Where possible, I will try to list the range in which such settings can fall.
Abbreviations used here:
Non-pinball related abbreviations:
What's New in this Version:
The theme of the game, as suggested by the artwork, audio track, modes etc., is dangerous sports (it also says it at the bottom of the backglass which is the real pointer :) . My first impression was that it had a lot in common with The Getaway but there are similarities with T2, Demo-Man and others. Play is fairly fast with a big emphasis on loops and ramps and not much else.
As is the convention these days, I'll start at the left flipper and go clockwise around playfield. This should be pretty simple since the centre is one of the most open I've seen in a long time; reserved mainly for lights.
Flippers and slingshots retain a traditional configuration with the flippers being of standard (ie not 'mutant pygmy' variety) length, and the slingshots being the common triangular type. Plunger is the common large button auto-plunger used on many games today.
Gameplay and FeaturesStartup/Skill Shot
As is the norm these days, No Fear is a mode based game. These modes are called Challenges (see later) and basically have some adrenalin-pumping sport associated with them. As a general rule of thumb, shoot the flashing arrow should be a fairly effective strategy, but I'll discuss strategies later.
Starting a game is just like ST:TNG; one of five features will be started when you fire the old silver sphere. These are:
They automatically cycle but can be speeded up by the flippers. To score the Skill Shot, you have to make the Jump Ramp for 50M.
There are a couple of things to note here: Firstly, when you have an EB and the game is going through its 'Shoot Again' animation, it is still cycling the plunger options so that if (like me) you watch the animation then plunge, you are probably going to get Super Cross Level and not Start Challenge which can be really annoying. According to Matt Coriale, this is fixed in the latest ROMs.
Secondly, Start Challenge is not available if either Lock 3 is lit (i.e. start Multiball) or if the next challenge is one of the last three. Furthermore, Lock Ball is not lit if it would be the third ball locked.
In very early ROMs, the Skill Shot choices start with 'Start Challenge' even if it is not supposed to be offered, but when it starts cycling through the choices, it never returns to it. If you choose it when it is not supposed to be lit, you may not get it, anyway.
There are 8 challenges which I'll break down into 5 minor, 2 major and a Final Challenge. The general principle behind each one is that it is a timed mode in which you have to shoot the flashing arrows. Usually, one of the shots has a special function. They can all be started via the plunger Start Challenge option or by shooting the Skull scoop when lit. Note that the scoop is always lit when you are not playing a Challenge, unless the third lock is lit there instead (starting Multiball) or if you need to spell "No Fear" to light it (see "Major Challenges").
The minor challenges are as follows:
Note that where you see C: & S: below, these are quotes from the commentator and Skull (Bone Head).
C: Welcome to off road racing.
This is a 30 sec mode during which you shoot the ramps for points. Value starts at 5M per ramp and every shot (ramps, loops, etc.) advances that by 5M to a max of 20M, although only the ramps award the points.
There's a nice animation of a truck crashing through a gate when you hit a ramp; the gate is labeled "Checkpoint XX" before the truck hits it, where XX is the number of ramps hit in this mode so far. The jump loop counts as a ramp in this mode, and also gives the usual 5/10/15/20/25M scoring for jumps.
Rob Chesnavich pushed this mode past 100 checkpoints with the glass off, and there seemed to be no limit.
C: Welcome to Nascar Racing with Robbie Gordon.
Shoot the Track arrows to orbit Skull, or shoot the Skull scoop itself and score 50M, 75M and 100M. Mode ends after three orbits have been made, or the timer runs out (30sec?). During this round, the normal Steering Wheel awards are not advanced; the lights for Steering Wheel are used to indicate how many shots you have made in this mode. If you shoot the jump ramp in this mode, the magnets divert the ball to the left flipper. If Skull isn't too busy saying something else, he says "Second place is the first loser!" after the second shot.
C: Water Skiing with Sammy Duvall.
This is a lot like Time Rift from Star Trek TNG.
Timer starts at 30/25/20(?) secs and counts down. Shoot the flashing arrows for points, and shoot the Tube saucer to increase the amount of time left and the amount the lit shots are worth. Mode ends when the timer runs out.
Initially, the shots are worth 10M with each shot to the Tube adding 5M to each shot and 10 seconds to the timer, but the timer will never exceed 30 seconds, and once you have maxed out the shots at 30M, you cannot add more time, either.
When the time is running out, the commentator yells at you to shoot the tube.
There are some great quotes when you hit shots in this mode (like "This guy's insane", "He's nuts", etc.) but I don't have a list of them.
C: It's extreme skiing with Glenn Plake.
A 30 sec timer starts and you have to shoot the Down Hill to end the mode. During this mode, a shot to the Jumps Ramp will be stopped by the magnets and fed to the left habitrail so you are set up for the Hairpin Ramp. The Jump ramp and the Summit each score 10M and add 10M to the value of the Hairpin ramp which is initially 50M and maxes out at 100M.
C: It's a beautiful day for skydiving.
Drop target at the entrance to Skydive lock is lowered and a countdown from 25M starts, it stops at 10M if you haven't hit the skydive by that time. Shoot Skydive to freeze the countdown after which the arrows are lit for that amount. You have 30 secs in which to make all the shots and collect 75M for doing so.
The shots are: Tube, Left Orbit, Jump Ramp, Skydive, Track Orbit (the two sides count as only one shot), Skull, Hairpin Ramp, and Right Orbit.
This is just like Asteroid Threat on ST:TNG.
Also read the "Easter Eggs" section for info about this mode.
Note that these challenges can be played in any order. Whenever Start Challenge is lit, the next one to be played is indicated by the lights in the center of the playfield just above the flippers. The slingshots change the lit mode. Another point to note is that the timers for the modes are stopped if no switches are closed within a certain time which prevents you from trapping a ball and letting the Challenge time out.
An interesting point about the quotes for the modes is that they are not entirely fixed. The first line the commentator says is always the same, as is the response from skull. However, the second line the commentator says which asks Skull to tell you how to do it is a random selection from a list. See the section on quotes for more info.
The major challenges follow a similar pattern, but you need to spell No Fear before Start Challenge will light to start the second one. There are two of them as follows:
S: No Limits. Everything is lit.
This is a 3 ball multiball with a 15 second ball saver. All major shots are lit for 20M and each one collected adds 1M to the amount they are worth. Unlike the name implies, the mode does in fact max out, at 70M per shot. It ends when less than two balls are in play.
S: Welcome to the Fear Fest.
Another 3 ball multiball where the objective is to shoot Skull or Skydive for the Fear Fest Jackpot. The value of this starts at 80M and each major shot adds 20M to this value. Once it has been collected, Jackpot resets to 20M and 4 major shots are needed to relight it making the second jackpot start at 100M (20M plus 20M each for the 4 major shots). This one has a 25 second ball saver. There's no apparent limit to the size of the jackpot.
Mark Phaedrus comments that this is similar to cryoprison multiball in Demolition Man.
Note that Fear Fest is not immediately lit after No Limits completes. Instead, you have to complete 'No Fear' by shooting the various loops/ramps to light it and then shoot Skull to start.
And of course, there is the Final Challenge:
Meet Your Maker
S: "It's time to Meet Your Maker! And I'm driving!"
This is a four ball multiball in which all switches are worth 250k. 50M jackpot is lit at Skull, 200M jackpot is lit for Jump Loops, EB is lit, Super Spinner is lit, Hurry up is lit, raceway orbit is maxed out at 25M, 20 sec ball saver and so on. Basically, everything is lit ...:)
Payback Time is not started, but the first two supercross levels are completed, so you only need to shoot each ramp once to start it.
The 200M jackpot stays lit during MYM, so if you catch some balls on the left flipper, and shoot jump loops with the right flippers with one other ball, you can really rack up some points.
This mode ends when less than 2 balls are in play and (like Fear Test) you need to spell 'No Fear' to light Start Challenge to get into this mode.
The first time you hit the Skull or Skydive after this mode ends, a new ball will be plunged, because the ball that is usually stored in the feed to the right inlane is used as one of the 4 balls in this mode.
Other Game Features
There are numerous other play features which are not specifically tied into modes as such and these are listed below in no particular order:
Possibly one of the better scoring possibilities in this game is the regular Multiball. This is a three ball job which starts as soon as the third ball lock shot is made.
To light lock, you have to shoot the Skydive drop target once, and then shoot either Skydive, or Skull to lock the ball. Ball Lock is also an option when you start a new ball at the plunger - this automatically lowers the drop target and fires the ball into Skydive.
Upon locking the third ball, the display shows an animation of a number of motorcycles taking off from the starting grid in a race and then three balls are pumped into play. The objective is to score jackpots which are lit and collected in the following order:
Repeat until less than 2 balls are in play. You may be able to get credit for the Jump Loop by sending 2 balls up the jump ramp in quick succession. On some machines this may even be possible outside of multiball.
Jump loops also score 25M (instead of the usual 5/10/15...) when not giving the super jackpot 200M.
If you manage to get down to 1 ball without even hitting the Skull for the first jackpot, there's a 'Last Chance' -- all jackpots are lit for 10 to 20 seconds (varies between different machines). In my experience, each one stays lit until the timer runs out or until you hit it once. Other people have reported having all the jackpots go out when you hit one (so the obvious strategy is to shoot the jump for the super jackpot).
Subsequent multiballs perform the same way, but are somewhat harder to start. The second time around, you have to hit the drop target to light lock for each ball, and third time the same applies but now you can only lock in the Skydive hole.
When the third lock is lit, you cannot start Challenges (the skull starts Multiball instead). If you start Multiball during a Challenge, the Challenge and its timer stops, and continues when Multiball is over.
I'm open to suggestions here. I find the best bet is to Start Challenge with each ball, and make a special effort to exploit the Raceway for EB's. Doing this, multiball seems to just happen naturally and I can (rarely) get a decent score. The major challenges are worth a lot of points.
An alternative is to always choose supercross level, so you are guaranteed to get payback time, but I find payback time easy enough to get anyway.
If in doubt, the old favourite 'Shoot the flashing arrow' should work pretty well, and there is probably something to be said for the Flipper Skill Shot if you know you can hit that ramp.
Another effective strategy during multiball(s) is to trap a ball on the left flipper, and exploit the left ramp/Jump This loop. The Jump loop may be good in general, since each jump adds 5M to your bonus for every ball for the rest of the game. Outside of multiball, each jump scores at least 5M, with 5/10/15/20/25M for consecutive jumps (max of 25M). During multiball, jumps are always worth 25M.
There's also the Payback Time during Multiball strategy, as with T2. Matt Coriale suggests trying to get Payback Time and Over The Edge running together.
No Fear is a very talkative game. In most cases the quotes are easy to understand and very useful.
The dialogue is basically done as a commentary between two observers of various sports; Skull (or BoneHead) and another commentator, and blends in with the game extremely well. Congrats to the programming team on a job extremely well done (IMHO at least :) The voice for the skull is apparently done by Steve Ritchie himself.
At the start of a ball:
During Snow Challenge:
[This is pretty incessant - bit like 'Shoot the Transporter'!]
After shooting jumps and/or outer loops:
[Skull has an annoying tendency to say "Do it again!" after you've just made the last outer loop needed to light extra ball, before he gets around to telling you the extra ball is lit.]
After shooting roughly 6 or more consecutive jumps:
After lighting 2nd place on the steering wheel award, or after hitting
the second shot in Asphalt mode:
During the buy-in timer, if your score is second place on a high score list
During Jump This:
After losing the ball (mainly on outlane drains, when there is more time):
After losing the ball when autofire gives it back:
When pressing flipper buttons in attract mode:
In multiplayer games, when one player's score passes another (if it's not
too busy saying other stuff):
In the sound test, but not apparent in the game:
The cabinet for No Fear is of standard width with nothing out of the ordinary attached. There is a regular flipper button on either side, the Start and EB buyin buttons at the front on the left, and the plunger button at the front on the right. Power switch (for those who really care) is located in the usual spot under the cabinet on the right. Four balls are installed.
The hardware is really pretty basic; a few habitrails, ramps, lanes and a distinct lack of flash gadgets which might cause potential problems and I noticed that the inlanes were back to good old rollovers as opposed to proximity switches. Also worth noting is that the Tube saucer is very solid and invariably retains balls that land in it (unlike Start Mode on Indy!)
Of interest, if little value, is that the Cliff Standups are apparently mounted upside down. Also, there are no pop bumpers!
It seems No Fear keeps track of 100B+ scores, but does not display the hundred-billions. Rob Chesnavich says after reaching 100B, the score display showed leading zeroes (i.e., 00,123,456,780)
There is only one item whose failure might affect the game, and that is the trio of magnets incorporated into the Jumps Loop. They are used to help the ball up the ramp, or stop it as appropriate, and to keep it going around the Jumps Loop. If they die, a major feature will be lost although I doubt that it would be disastrous to play. See below in "Magnet Problems".
Some people have reported that on early No Fears the magnets were too strong, heat from the coils would eventually melt the plastic of the ramp above it. Later roms fixed this.
A problem with the magnets has developed on some No Fear machines commonly referred to as the Infinite Loop bug. When the magnets are trying to pull the ball up the ramp, it is possible for the ball to not make it through the gate. When this happens, when the ball trips the opto again on the way down, the magnets pull it back up, but again it fails to get through the gate. This continues, essentially forever.
There is supposed to be a fix for this in newer roms.
Easter Eggs and other Nice Stuff
The biggest surprise I had when I first encountered this game came from the attract mode which displays:
Email suggestions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is legit although you only get an automated reply thanking you for your interest. I assume that these messages are read and that anything of true value to the design team is acknowledged.
Cameron Silver discovered this button code:
If you hold down the extra ball button at the beginning of Air challenge, and hit the skydive while holding it down and while it's still at 25M, you get 50M instead, and an MK3 hint. Skull says "Congratulations." I am told that in MK3, there is a secret "move" which doesn't do anything, but displays the message "NO FEAR - EB BUTTON, SKYDIVE, MAX COUNTDOWN." The MK3 Hint screen had "MK3 Hint" in big letters with 6 boxes below it, and there was a picture (a face?) in the 3rd box.
Like most Williams games, there's a cow in No Fear. If you get a high score and enter the initials MOO, Skull will say "Moooo!" after you get the credit(s) from the high score.
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