CAPCOM PINBALL MAGIC
Author: Ad Jonker
Date: 95-10-16 19:01:56 EDT
(These are taken from the preliminary release plus three hours of playing and therefore may be changed when the games goes into production.)
No real modes here although hitting the captive ball will light some extra scoring features.
Most important are the three rounds which leads you to a scoring feature must like the 'grand finale' in ToM.
Behind the drop targets is a plate with two holes on top of it. The magic wand will point over them. Shoot the left ramp to feed the ball under the magic wand and push a flipper button to let the ball fall in the lit hole. Continue to load the ball under the wand until both lights are off, then round two starts.
Two balls must be locked in the trunk. The third ball will enter the playfield and as long as at least two balls are in play all scores are tripled. If your ball is lost with only one ball locked you must start again in the next ball, thus locking two balls in the trunk.
This may be compared with Tom's Grand Finale. The display shows the face of Queen Magna Matra being quite unfriendly. Hit all main shots and she will scream and turn older. The number of needed shots is unknown (probably ten). On the last three shots a gun is pointed to Matra and the final shot will turn her into a skeleton scoring 500M.
When you've finished round three it starts all over again.
Other shots. Most, but not all, may coincide with a trick shot needed to impress the lit magician.
Shoot the ball and let it drop into the hat. Scores 5M or start Mayhem when lit.
Timer counts down to zero. Display offers player choices. Hit either flipper to choose. A bad decision ends the session. For each good choice additional points.
Shot up the Showtime ramp onto the Stage and in the Star Pit. Hits will increase the Box office points. When the ball is diverted to the right habitrail repeat the shot until all of the Box Office Marquee is lit. When done the box office point value is added to the score. When box office flashes back and forth and show time is lit shoot the ball onto the stage and then hit as many targets as possible with the timer running down. Each next switch will score more.
THE SECRET PASSAGEWAY.
Shooting the ball up the left ramp divert the ball either to the right habitrail or to the magic wand. The wand is mostly pointing to the left feeding balls to the magic trunk. When Silence the Critics is active (Matra Magna's first challenge) it point to the right and every now and then it is weaving (you must have done something wrong I guess).
THE CRYSTAL BALL.
A bit complicated. This is from the book since we couldn't figure it out while playing. First hit the target at any time. The colour should be displayed (probably somewhere amongst the magicians and not on the display). Try to hit the target again when the same colour is lit for many more points. When the target is hit again with a colour match Presto Changeo is lit. Colours extinguish when hit. Turn off all colours to complete trick and collect full point value.
Hit the captive ball until 'Light Showtime' is made. Shoot the ball onto the Stage, then in the Star Pit. As long as the timer is running a nice score is given for each hit in the Pit.
MAGIC MAYHEM. (Another name for Multiball).
Hit all three Morph targets and lock 1 will be lit above the left ramp. You can lock one or two balls. When one ball is locked the magic hat will start mini mayhem, with two balls locked it is magic mayhem. According to the book jackpots can only be made with magic mayhem but it will happen with either at the same point value.
The Jackpot will be awarded by making the left ramp during multiball. It start with a fixed value (20M). Once made shoot the right loop. This will start 'Build Jackpot timer'. When ti mer runs out another timer will lit Jackpot. Shoot the left ramp within the time to collect the total build jackpot. This sequence repeats itself until multiball ends.
Hit the captive ball until 'Lite Extra Ball' is made. A timer start. Collect the extra ball at the small green target just above the Genie Bottle before the timer runs out. To our belief the captive ball lights reset when completed. Otherwise there can be only one extra ball per player per game.
Is always scoring but will give many more points when 'Lite Spinner' is made with the captive ball.
Neither of the players liked that name but is just another name for a ball saver.
Is the kicker in the left outlane. Can be re-lit by completing the Morph three bank.
A ball via the right outlane is always lost. It is funny the read the manual. With all shots there is a comment in the column 'Player action'. For the right outlane it says "Avoid this Out Lane as long as possible". That makes sense to me.
The flipper inlanes light a loop each for more points.
Talking points. All scores are a bit down to Earth again. The test game was set for ten-ball play to let the players have more change to see what there is. The best score with five buy-ins was a low 2B.
There is no special!
Completing the rounds with a three ball game may be considered impossible. You can however make a lot of shots and have a good game. But it means it may cost too much for players to try to get to the end to see what happens.
Lights don't flash, they fade on and off. Here is the only real negative point to me on this game. When the volume is turned down and some lamps are broken you have to know the shots by heart to continue through the rounds. More visible lights may help to ease this.
ToM had a theme as if you visited the Theatre for a night out. PM is more a school were you are a pupil. Well, not exactly. Matra Magna was banned from the real world many years ago for an unknown reason and she formed the Society of Masters. She never has completely disappeared from her old haunts. She and her crew broke through the barriers of time and space to cause trouble with the mortals. She did it by taking over a pinball machine. Well, this way I don't really mind her doing so.
The sounds are less friendly. Two I remember best since I liked them best. One is losing the ball with the saver on: "Lost something?", the other making jackpots: A rather panicky voice "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, JACKPOT"
The test game had a steep slope for the play field and was very fast. When the slope is reduced and the games seems too fast there is an option of lowering the flipper power simply by adjusting it in the menu.
The overall thought is this game can stand next to ToM and will do fine. Many shots can be found in other games. Nowadays the differences are marginal. Capcom did a fine job. Those asking themselves which was there first, ToM or PM, I don't know. I do know that Capcom worked on this game for two years and three more games are already developed.
And now: "Let the game begin". Enjoy it.
Anybody which can use a bit or all of this rules is free to do so. That's what the Net is for to me. Ad Jonker.
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