Popeye Saves The Earth
Version 1.2 by Adrian Donati
This represents my second attempt at a rulesheet (well, can't let Bowen
and Cameron do them all .. :) ) and they say you get better with
practice, so maybe this one will be a little more organised than Indy.
Given that the subject matter is undoubtedly copyrighted by somebody,
this sheet is freely distributed on condition that: 1) No attempt is made
to make money out of it without asking me first, and 2) No alterations
are made which will remove or invalidate these conditions.
Thanks go out to:
- Me (Adrian Donati)
- Don Coons
- Kevin Martin
- Shawn Dohery
- John Gantert
who share the iffy distinction of having played Popeye, and still come
back for more! (not counting early PAPA IV finalists .. :)
Current known software versions are: PA-0 PA-5 LA-2 LA-5 PX-3
My opinions are derived from a PX-3 machine.
My initial opinion of this game was not particularly high. It
improved a little while the hardware was still working and I had some
idea what I was doing, but after substantially more play I have decided
that this is the worst game I can think of in Bally history! Arriving
hot on the heels of ST:TNG didn't help it any either.
The newer software seems solid, if somewhat useless, but the hardware
has some major problems: notably a weak plunger and a very bad lock
hole. Graphics/animation and the sound are both good quality but really
only provide a distraction to the player - they do nothing to let the
player know what is happening, and it is pretty rare you see your score
Continuing the current trend, this is another widebody and plays
on two levels. The playfield is a little cluttered with a good number of
shots hidden from normal view making them hard to hit consistently. We
also see a return to the 'Mutant Pygmy' flippers making the centre drain
The following is how the playfield is laid out starting on the
lower level from the cavernous centre drain and working clockwise:
- Sail Again
- A small light between the flippers, flashing when the Ball
Saver is active and hard on when Extra Ball has been awarded.
Note: the default setting for the Ball Saver is off so don't
be surprised if yours does not work.
- Left Flipper
- Short, 2.5 inch variety. (yuk!)
- Left Slingshot
- Standard triangular type, although apparently aligned
such that flipper passes are next to impossible.
- Left Inlane
- Nothing special here either. Lights right loop when lit.
- Left Outlane
- No kickback. Collect Extra Ball when lit.
- P-O-P Targets
- Bank of 3 stand up targets making up the first half of
POPEYE. Spell POPEYE to light a Spinach Can (more later).
- Left Loop
- Called the 'Round House' loop. Potentially BIG point scorer
and used to collect animals. This is one of the shots with a
- SEA Target
- One half of SEA-HAG which lights Collect Item at the Left Ramp.
- Left Ramp
- Increments the 'Ramps' count which has a similar function to
Bear Kicks in TAF. Collects Jackpot during Multiball, and an Item
when lit. This shot also has a Spinach Can and feeds to the
- Animal Sinkhole
- Feeds to the Animals on the upper level. Starts
Instant Multiball when lit and is another shot with a Spinach Can.
- Left Jab Target
- Single stand up target used to light Lockjaw and
during Fight Bluto rounds.
- Sinkhole used for locking balls for Multiball and relighting
Jackpot once collected. This is also the Multiball kickout.
(see below: Miscellaneous)
- Right Jab Target
- Same as the Left Jab above.
- Jet Bumpers
- Situated Behind Jab/Lockjaw/Jab (ie Bluto's head) is the
usual combination of three pop bumpers. Ball can exit these into
the Animal & Fight Bluto sinkholes, either side of Bluto's head,
and up through the O-Y-L rollovers.
- O-Y-L Rollovers
- Spell OYL to advance BonusX by 1 and light Fight Bluto.
O-Y-L lights are rotated right by both flippers.
- Fight Bluto Cartel
- Sinkhole which feeds to the right inlane. Starts a
Fight Bluto round when lit. This shot has a Spinach Can too.
- HAG Target
- The other half of SEA-HAG. Shoot SEA-HAG to light Collect
Item at the left ramp.
- Right Loop
- Called 'Round House' loop. Collects Animals and scores good
points. Another shot with a Spinach Can.
- Access to the upper level. When lit will allow you to select
a random award (more later) before sending the ball up.
- E-Y-E Targets
- The other half of POPEYE. Shooting POPEYE will light a
- Right Outlane
- Nothing unique about this. Collects Special when lit.
- Right Inlane
- Bog standard lane fed from left ramp, upper playfield and
the skill shot. Lights Left Loop when lit.
- Right Slingshot
- Another basic triangle.
- Right Flipper
- Short, 2.5 inch variety.
As well as the lower playfield, there is a basic upper playfield
made up of two sections which can be accessed in one of two ways: via
the Escalator which will access both, or the Animal Sinkhole which just
feeds to the Animals.
- This is of a similar size and location to IJ's Path of
Adventure gadget although it is fixed. The ball is fed from
either Kneedeep (the mini upper playfield) or the Animal
sinkhole. The left flipper fires a kicker which diverts the ball
into an Animal which eventually drops into the Left Inlane.
- Kneedeep Playfield
- Fed from the Escalator, this is a true mini-playfield
with two short (ala Thing) flippers in the appropriate position
and a centre drain hole which drops the ball down through
Bluto's head to where Lockjaw kicks out.
- Super Animal Targets
- Two stand up targets which light Super Animal
when hit are left of the left flipper.
- Super Animal exit
- Just above the targets is a gap which feeds left to
the Animals section. It is lit for Super Animal if the targets
have been hit.
- Swea' Pea
- Directly opposite the flippers is a short, steep ramp which
leads to three gates. Shooting these gates searches for Swea' Pea.
This feeds around the back of the Super Animal targets to the
upper left flipper.
- 2X Wheel exit
- Right of the Swea' Pea gates is an exit to the Skill Shot
wheel. Collects Extra Ball when lit and doubles value of the
wheel when lit for that.
- Below the 2X Wheel is the exit from the Escalator. If the
ball finds its way down here it is sent straight back up.
- Skill Shot Wheel
- A rotating wheel is roughly the same position as IJ's
Idol and containing 8 awards. The ball arrives from either the
plunger shot or from the Kneedeep playfield and feeds to the
Right Inlane. See below for list of awards.
The following section provides some detailed descriptions of
what's worth what and how to get various awards. I suspect that there is
a bit more to this game than first meets the eye, but I doubt it will
ever get enough play for us to ever discover everything. Also, since
you cannot see your score half the time, it's been very difficult to
find out what shots score what.
- Skill Shot
- With a bit of practice and no hardware problems (more
later), this is a fairly easy thing. The ball is launched up a
short habitrail and drops onto a rotating disc which contains
8 different awards in order as follows:
This skill wheel may also be fed from the Kneedeep playfield.
If this is the case you have no control over the ball and if 2X
Wheel was lit the above awards are doubled.
|100,000 points||10M points |
|Lite Lock ||Spinach Can|
|OYL ||Spot Animal|
|2M points ||Spot Item |
- Round House Loops
- When lit, consecutive loop shots are worth
2M^(no. of loops) with a maximum (if any) of at least 32M. Note
that consecutive shots means just that; if you hit any other
switch between two loops, the loop value is reset to 2M although
the loop still remains lit for a few seconds. Lighting loops is
done as follows:
- From the inlanes. There is always one and only one inlane lit
for Lite Loop and this swaps on each flipper press. If
collected, the opposite loop is lit so the left inlane lights
the right loop and vice versa.
- During Save the Animals where each loop saves an animal as well
as scoring points. They do not have to be consecutive to save
- During Fight Bluto loops will often be lit. Again, in addition
to points, a loop will also help towards defeating Bluto.
The animation of Bluto getting a right hook and his head spinning
around is quite good, especially if you manage to hit a few
- When the ball finds its way up to the Animals area, you have
to divert it from the left lane into the right lane where the
Animals (Rhino, Panda, Leopard, Eagle & Dolphin) are by means
of a kicker controlled by the left flipper. If you are
successful in collecting an Animal you have a limited amount of
time in which to shoot loops and save them. Saving at least one
should be fairly easy since the ball is dropped from this upper
area into the left inlane. Animals are worth 5M each.
If you manage to save all five, this starts a Hurry Up counter
at 50M (maybe 40M) and shows an animation of Bluto being
chased by the Animals. Shoot the Left Ramp to collect the points.
- Super Animal
- This is the top left exit from the Kneedeep playfield and
is lit by hitting one of the two targets on Kneedeep. It feeds
to the Animal lane (surprise). The 'Super' bit just means you
get double the points you would for an ordinary Animal.
- 2X Wheel
- The top right exit from Kneedeep. Collects Extra Ball if lit
and awards double the Skill Wheel value it lands in. This is by
far the best thing to go for up there.
- POP & EYE Targets
- Spelling POP or EYE awards 2M, or 3M if it was done
- Spinach Can
- Spelling POPEYE lights one of the five Spinach Cans which
correspond to various playfield shots (see playfield layout for
locations). Once a Can is lit, it stays lit for the rest of the
ball or until that shot is hit. Making a shot with a lit Can
scores double the value of that shot including anything else
that may be lit there (ie Jackpot).
If you light enough Spinach Cans, you hear a sort of 'hurry up'
type of sound effect. Buggered if I know what you are meant to
do though - the display didn't help and there were no lights
- Escalator Award
- When lit, a shot to the Escalator allows you to select
an award before the ball is pumped up to the Kneedeep field.
The awards are displayed and can be advanced by pressing the
flippers. There is a time limit to this (operator settable) and
once that time expires, the award currently displayed is given.
I understand that the awards are also shown in the same sequence
every time so if you have enough time you MAY be able to cycle
through them if you have missed a good one - I would recommend
you take more care in the first place. The following is a list
of known awards:
|Spot POP ||Spot EYE|
|Spot OYL ||Lite Lock|
|Spot Item ||Spot Animal|
|Spinach ||Jets at Max|
|Special ||Extra Ball|
|Light Escalator ||Points (various values from 20 up to 10M)|
Note that the Extra Ball only lights the 2X Wheel exit from the
Kneedeep playfield for an EB. You have to score that shot to
- s to the left ramp are recorded in a counter (think
Bear Kicks, Robots) and an award is made every 4 loops so this
could be quite useful. The first few are as follows:
It would appear that every other award is Light Spinach. If this
is the case, it should not be too difficult to collect loop
awards since the first Spinach Can to be lit is always at the
|4 loops||Light Spinach|
|8 loops||Light Extra Ball at left outlane (!!!!)|
|12 loops||Light Spinach|
|16 loops||Spot Animal (?)|
|20 loops||Light Spinach|
- Find Swea' Pea
- When on the Kneedeep playfield, shoot the three gates
to search for Swea' Pea. The display shows a picture of three
doors, with a miniature map to the left. The 'X' on the map is
where Swea' Pea is hiding, and the doors match up with the gates
on the playfield. Shooting a gate will move you through the
corresponding door unless it is not available (you can tell this
by lights at the entrance to the gate, or from the map).
If you actually manage to find Swea' Pea (and it's bloody hard),
you might be forgiven for not noticing. On our game, there is
nothing special on the display, and only a 'ding ding' sound
effect to give you any hint that you've found him - you don't even
get to see how many points it's worth (apparently 50M).
- Sea Hag Multiball
- This is the Instant Multiball which can be which can
be lit at the Animal sinkhole. Lighting it is done by collecting
all four Items (Can Opener, Baby Bottle, Ketchup, Flower) from
the left ramp when lit or from the Skill Wheel. Lighting the
left ramp is done by hitting the SEA & HAG targets.
Once this 4 ball Multiball is running, you need to return the
Items to their owners to collect a mammoth number of points.
(OK, 50M ..:) I believe you need one POPEYE target to return the
Can Opener, one OYL target to return the Flower, hit a Find
Swea' Pea gate to give the bottle back and the 2X Wheel shot for
- Bluto Multiball
- Lock three balls in Lockjaw to start the Bluto
Multiball. Lockjaw is lit either from the Skill Wheel, an
Escalator award or shooting the two Jab targets.
When it starts, Sail Again (the ball saver) is active for some
time while the balls are kicked out. This is neccessary since
the balls are kicked SDTM (like JP's Raptor Pit). The objective
is to shoot the left ramp to collect the Jackpot, shoot Lockjaw
to relight it and so on until there are less than 2 balls in
Successive Jackpots are worth 30M x Jackpot number. A Spinach
Can lit on the left ramp will double the jackpot, although no
jackpot (doubled or otherwise) will exceed 180M.
If you drain 2 of the 3 balls without collecting a Jackpot, you
get about 20 secs to restart Multiball by shooting Lockjaw.
- Stampede Mode
- Just above the flippers in the centre of the playfield
is the Geomap which contains the 5 Animals from the upper area.
Spotting all 5 of these Animals via the Skill Wheel (no doubt
among others) will start the Stampede Mode. Don Coons tells me
this is a frenzy type mode in which all switches are worth 100K.
- Fight Bluto Cartel
- This is Popeye's addition to the recent Mode craze.
Fortunately there is only 4 of them - Unfortunately, the only
difference between them is the animation and the name. During
each one Bluto is doing something bad and you have to shoot the
flashing targets to stop him. It appears that there is no time
limit, it's a simple case of you beat him or he beats you. The
4 Fights are:
- Earth Pavers
- Bluto is building a wall of blocks. Shooting the
targets destroys them a few at a time. If the wall gets
to 15 blocks Bluto wins, 0 and Popeye does. Aim for the
jet bumpers here, each pop smashes 1 block.
- Never Green Logging
- Bluto burns trees, Popeye plants them -
six trees on the display is victory for Popeye, none and
- Blutonium Waste
- Bluto is dumping waste in the river and Popeye
removing it - 6 barrels in and Poeye loses, 0 and he
wins. Probably the toughest one this.
- Spill Oil Co.
- Display shows Popeye on the left, Bluto on the
right and a wall in the middle. Both are waist deep in
oil and cranking a handle to change the oil level.
Whoever doesn't drown wins ... :)
- Mutant Spinach Multiball
- I am led to believe that you enter a mad
5-ball Multiball upon completion of the four Fight Bluto modes.
I have no information on it, but am assuming that you actually
have to beat Bluto 4 times to start it as opposed to ST:TNG
where just starting a Mission counts toward Final Frontier.
- Rescue Olive Super Jackpot
- Six ball Multiball where the objective is
to collect all 5 Spinach Cans and then shoot Lockjaw to rescue
Olive for the Super Jackpot.
This is almost a carbon copy of the Vacation Jackpot from
WhiteWater. To start it, you need to complete the Sea Hag
Multiball, all 5 Animals, the Bluto Multiball, Find Swea' Pea,
and the 4 Fight Bluto modes - not an easy task by anybodies
standard. THEN you have to collect the 5 Spinach Cans and
shoot the Lock to collect the jackpot!
The best strategy is to play a different game. I mean it - this
game might appeal to a casual player who never looks at the display and
just wants to bat a sliver ball around a bit, but anybody who has even a
passing interest in pinball is likely to be turned off pretty quick.
Anyway, by all accounts this is a one objective game, that objective
being Bluto Multiball which can be started with just 3 shots! (ie Light
Lock from skill shot, shoot lock, repeat). Once it's going, shoot the
Left Ramp for Jackpot then Bluto to relight it.
I don't fully agree with this. There is good value in Round
House Loops, and Ramp Loops, and the Animal jackpot is worth 50M so
is also worthwhile. Sea Hag Multiball is only really good for spotting
a few targets/loops in quick succession coz it's too hard to complete.
There is definitely something on Popeye that is worth points since my
personal best is 977M but I have no idea what I shot to get that much!
One or two tips:
- Shoot Bluto when unlit. The Ball Saver is active for the
kickout so you get a free (random) item from the Skill Wheel.
- Avoid Swea' Pea. When on Kneedeep, hit the standup targets
then shoot Super Animal or 2X Wheel.
- Play Star Trek: The next Generation instead ... :)
This is the odds 'n ends section where I put stuff which does
not logically fit anywhere else. The following comments are mostly my
opinions/experience and in no particular order:
- The Skill Shot is ruined by a hardware problem on the local machine.
Think back to DrWho where a short habitrail fed the right inlane. This
rail had a nasty piece of blue rubber designed as a stopper for the
ball which caused bad things to happen. Well, a similar piece exists
at the end of the habitrail the ball is initially launched up and this
causes it to bounce back down to the plunger. Not only does this make
the Skill Shot next to impossible, but it causes big problems during
Multiball when Sail Again is active. Add a weak plunger to this and
the problem is chronic.
- On the subject of Sail Again (this is the ball saver), it is active at
the start of each ball, and each time a single ball is kicked out of
Lockjaw (different rules apply during Multiball). This is operator
settable and defaults to OFF which is another really bad thing.
- The Lock/Kickout arrangement is really bad. Whether it is due to bad
software, bad hardware or a combination of both, I don't know, but the
game rarely knows how many balls are locked, and often won't register
a hit to the lock at all.
- The awards from the Escalator appear to be much better if you are
having a lousy game than if you are having a good one.
- Hitting the Swea' Pea gates is harder than you might think since the
gap between each gate is pretty narrow and there is a lot of rubber
- The ball saver timer starts counting as soon as you launch, not as
soon as the first switch is hit. Combined with the above problem,
I have had balls where Sail Again has timed out before the ball is
actually in play.
- The Fight Bluto timers keep counting even when the ball is out of
play ie after a Lockjaw kickout or while selecting an Escalator
award. This may, or may not, be a bug. Whichever way, I don't
- Extra ball buy in exists with a limit of one. Nothing special is
awarded for using EB buy-in.
- EB on the outlane is fairly easy to light by shooting 8 Left Ramps.
However, this is the most ridiculous set up I have seen since you have
to drain to collect it. I suppose if you look at it as a kickback
then it's not so bad.
- Death Saves and Bang Backs are out.
Not a lot more I can add really, and since I have no intention
of putting in any serious time on this machine until I can access it
during cheap lock-in sessions, don't expect much more in the way of
updates unless somebody out there gets really keen on it or I get to
play with it with the glass off for a while.
Good Luck - You'll need it with this one.
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