Rescue 911


Rescue 911 rules sheet,
version 2.0 (July 10, 1994)
Author: Michael Dunn

Changes from version 1.0

At long last, I found a place that has R911! So this is a bigger and better version than 1.0 -- I added info to just about every section of the rules. Most notably: I found a couple of standup targets that I hadn't noticed before, made it clearer which targets are in which portion of the playfield, and FINALLY figured out how the modes and Multiball interact. Also, to the best of my knowledge, Neil Shatz's name is still spelled correctly. :>

General Stuff

Just a reminder that while I now have access to R911, it's a pain to get to it, so I'm relying on the kind Internet folks to help me out. Kevin Martin, Bowen Kerins and Michael Falkner have given me lots of helpful info. The Multiball exploit section uses info from Kevin and Keith Johnson. When I'm describing something that I have unconfirmed or conflicting info about, I'll usually say who gave me that info. This is more for me, so I can keep track of who told me what. If you have confirmation or clarification of anything in this sheet, please feel free to e-mail me. :>

The first time I saw this machine was at the Pinathon on May 14, where R911 was the game we played in the final round.

Many many many thanks go to Neil Shatz. He was in the final round too, and he was the only one who knew anything about the game. Before the finals started, we were all crowded around the machine while Neil was giving us a quick briefing. It was quite a sight to see ;>

Since this is a Gottlieb game, there are a few quirks I should tell you about. R911 has "hurry-up" shots, but they are what we'd normally call shots that time-out. R911 also has "countdown" shots, and those are true hurry-up shots, i.e. their values decrease over time. I'll be using "hurry-up" and "countdown" the way R911 uses them. All normal r.g.p abbreviations apply, too.

There are also a couple of things that don't have common names, so I invented names for them here. One is a standup-kicker. It's a double-wide standup target that kicks the ball like a slingshot when it's hit. The other is a "one-time" shot. This is a shot that is lit by doing something, but which turns off if any other target is hit first (Bowen helped with this name).

General Layout

The playfield is divided into three areas. The lower half of the board has the highest-scoring targets. The upper left quarter is the bumper area, and the upper right quarter has the top flipper, lock shots, and a mode start shot.

The upper two quarters of the playfield are separated by a wall, so the ball can't go directly between those areas unless it goes airborne (but I've never seen that happen). There is a lane leading from the lower half to each of the upper quarters. The ball can be dropped off the Helicopter into the bumper area, and the Ramp feeds the ball to the Top Flipper.

Lower Half of the Board

Left in/outlanes
The setup is tough to describe. The inlane is wider at the top than the bottom, but the surrounding rubber and posts tend to steer the ball to the outlane. The inlane lights "Hook & Ladder" for a one-time shot at the ramp. The outlane can be lit for a Special.

Advance X target
This is a single standup target, at a similar angle as the Retina Scan ball in DM. This target lights every 3 slingshot and/or bumper hits. Hitting the target does NOT unlight it.

E-K-G standups
Completing the targets advances the bumper value for a short time. Sometimes, one target will be flashing, and other times you'll need to hit all three. Once you start to re-run modes, hitting the K target relights the Helicopter.

This is a U-turn lane. It can be hit with either flipper, but due to the way the lane is constructed, it's easier to backhand it with the left flipper. At the end of the lane is a kicker that sends the ball back out the lane, and a post that raises the ball up so it can be picked up by the helicopter. If the machine is clean & fast, the ball may have a tendancy to spin out of the lane if it's shot in quickly. The lights at the Helipad are, from top to bottom: Advance Jackpot, Activate Helicopter, Collect Jackpot, Call 9-1-1.

Captive Balls
This is definitely the 2nd coolest thing in the game, second only to the helicopter. :> There are three captive balls in a short straight lane with a standup at the end. The ball closest to the player and farthest from the player are clear (plastic maybe?), and the middle ball is steel. What's cool is that when the captive balls are available in a mode, lights under the balls turn on, so the lower ball turns red and the upper ball turns blue. There two bonuses called "red value" and "blue value" which are alternately available here during one-ball play. Shooting the captive balls collects the lit value (up to 60M max). The lit bonus alternates every few seconds. Be careful, though, since missing this shot to either side can lead to a SDTM drain. Lights are Hurry-up EB, Red Value, Blue Value.

Middle Standup
This is a white standup target. The lanes leading to the upper portions of the playfield run by either side of this target. When hit, it adds 3M to the currently lit bonus (blue or red). It is lit for a hurry-up 30M at 20 lives and after every 6th mode. The red and blue bonus lights alternate every few seconds, just as the captive ball lights do. The bonus lit here will be the same color as the one lit at the captive balls. This is also a potential drain shot. But when it's lit for 30M, it's definitely worth the risk. Lights are Hurry-up 30M, Blue Bonus, Red Bonus.

The entrance to the ramp is at a weird angle -- it looks identical to the right ramp on Cactus Jack. Once the ball makes it up the ramp, it goes straight all the way back to the back side of the playfield and falls into a lane that feeds the top flipper. There is a post in the lane that catches the ball if an award needs to be displayed. The ramp can score Player's Choice, advance "Hook & Ladder", score Med-Alert (a random award), save lives in modes, and start Life Force. Lights are Player's Choice, Med-Alert, Hook & Ladder.

Rescue target
This standup-kicker faces left, and is below the ramp entrance. It adds letters in RESCUE when lit, which when built up lights Player's Choice at the Ramp. (There is a long story behind this target, which I'll spare you. Mail me if you really want to know about it. :)

Right in/outlanes
Same setup as the left side. The inlane lights the Rescue target. The outlane can be lit for a Special.

A manual plunger. There is a bwee skill shot--three lights in the plunger lane (advance X, 10M, flipper shot) are lit in order. You launch the ball, and whatever is lit when the ball hits a switch in the habitrail, you get. The ball is fed to the right flipper after it's launched. If you get "Flipper shot" from the plunger, one of the following shots will be lit for a one-time shot: captive balls, standup-kicker in the bumpers, middle standup. Shooting the lit shot scores 20M. (The shot doesn't light immediately, so you need to catch the ball and wait before shooting.) On the machine we played, if you launched the ball at full strength it would sometimes fall off the habitrail and back to the plunger.

Mode lights
There are 7 lights. 6 in a row, one for each mode, and one below them that lights when the Life Force mode is available. The lights work as usual: completed modes are lit solidly, the currently available mode is flashing.

Slings and flippers
Two of each, in the normal places. Balls coming from the Plunger and Main Habitrail are fed directly to the flippers, and are always catchable. The slings are rectangular, instead of the more common triangle shape, which makes the inlanes angled toward the center of the board. This also makes outlane drains more likely. If the left flipper becomes weak, complain, since if you can't hit the Ramp you lose many chances for points and lives.

Bumper Area: Upper Left quarter of the board

There are three very funny-looking flat-top jet bumpers. At least they SOUND like jets--not like that wimpy sound that DE bumpers make. ;> There is also a standup-kicker that counts as a bumper for scoring purposes. The only way out of this area is down a lane between the captive balls and the middle standup target. The bumpers are used in the Hostage mode. Each hit to a bumper during one-ball, non-Hostage mode play adds 100K, 500K, or 3M to your end of ball bonus. The value is increased by hitting the Cave-in Standup or completing E-K-G. Lights are 3M, 500K, 100K, to indicate the bumper value.

Random Standup
There is a white standup target to the right of the standup-kicker. It makes a neat sound when hit. What does it do? Who knows.

Left helicopter dropoff point
If the ball is not dropped off the helicopter by the player, it will automatically be released here when the helicopter completes its flight. The ball rolls under some plastic mountains and onto the habitrail that feeds the left flipper.

Back helicopter dropoff hole
This is a sinkhole behind the bumper standup-kicker target. The only time the ball is supposed to fall in here is when it's dropped off the helicopter at the start of a mode. Hitting this hole will credit a shot to the Emergency Room if that shot is part of the mode. The ball will be kicked out of the Lock Sinkhole.

Right helicopter dropoff hole
This is a hole in the plastic to the right of the bumpers. If the ball is dropped off the helicopter into this hole, it will roll nicely into the bumpers. This hole is only useful in the Hostage mode.

Top Flipper area : Upper right quarter of the board

Top flipper
There is a full-size flipper way up near the top right corner of the board, at the exit from the ramp. It is used to hit the cave-in targets, the Lock Sinkhole, and the Emergency Room.

Cave-in targets
Two drop targets covering a single standup target. They are used in the Cave-in mode. During normal play, hitting the standup advances the bumper value for a short time. When both targets are hit, two red globe lights on the plastic above the targets will flash to indicate a timer. When they time-out, the drop targets will reset.

Lock sinkhole
This is one place to lock balls and start modes. Balls are kicked back out of the sinkhole onto the main habitrail. Lights are Lock, Call 9-1-1.

Emergency Room lane
This is a very tough shot due to the low angle and the bend halfway up the lane. This shot scores "Progressive Award", collects jackpots, and locks balls. Balls that are shot up this lane are kicked up out of the Lock Sinkhole. Lights are Lock, Emergency Room, Collect Jackpot.

Dispatch Target
I didn't notice this while I was playing; Kevin had to tell me it was there. :> It's below the entrance to the Emergency Room, and scores 2 lives when lit. It is lit after you complete all the modes once.

Enigmatic Standups
There are 4 white standups on the right side of the lane leading to the Top Flipper area. There are no lights pointing at them, and they are not labeled at all. *shrug* I like Bowen's explanation of these targets: they originally spelled TREK, in reference to William Shatner and Star Trek:TOS, but Gottlieb didn't get the rights to use Shatner's voice in the game. :>

Above the board

Main habitrail
This is the habitrail that carries balls that are kicked out of the Lock Sinkhole. There is a post near the top end of the trail that holds locked balls (think SF2). The trail crosses the board and joins up with the plastic trail that leads from the Left helicopter dropoff point, and then feeds the left flipper.

This is the game's cool toy. It is normally parked above the bumper area, but when you start a mode at the Helipad when the Helicopter light is lit, the Helicopter will fly down and pick the ball up. See the description above of the 3 dropoff points for more info. The Helicopter light is always lit the first time through the modes, but for later modes you must hit the K target (in the E-K-G bank) to light the Helicopter.


Multiball can be started in two ways. Locking two balls in the Main Habitrail will start 3-ball multiball when you launch the third ball. The other way is to start Cave-In or Jaws of Life during your first run through the modes. Getting multiball this way will start a 2-ball multiball if there is not a ball locked in the Main Habitrail, and 3-ball if there is a ball locked there. (Note, you don't actually have to play Cave-In or Jaws of Life. See three paragraphs down for more info.)

The object of Multiball is to collect jackpots. The first jackpot can be collected either at the Helipad or the Emergency Room. After that, only the Emergency Room awards jackpots; the Helipad increases the jackpot value. The jackpot starts at 10M. Each shot to the Helipad to increase the jackpot adds 30M, and collecting a jackpot makes the next jackpot double the value of the one just collected. The jackpot value maxes at 300M.

Here's how Multiball and modes interact: they don't. The two are totally independent. You can start a mode during Multiball, and Jaws of Life and Cave-In automatically start Multiball the first time through the modes.

But, here's an exploit. At the beginning of a ball, select Jaws of Life or Cave-In. Then shoot a mode start. That will lock a ball and serve another to the plunger. Before you launch that ball, select one of the other modes. That new mode will be the one you play, but it will be Multiball. So the end effect is that you can have Multiball up to 6 times the first time through the modes. (But don't do this with Stork EB, it's hard enough as it is without balls flying around and hitting each other.)

When a mode is started during Multiball, or when a mode starts Multiball, and if the Helicopter is lit, the ball will always be dropped in the Left Dropoff point. However, if you drain the other one or two balls (however many were locked) before the Helicopter picks up the ball in the Helipad, you will be able to control when the ball is dropped. Also, when a mode starts Multiball with the Helicopter lit, you can shoot the ball coming off the plunger into the Helipad for a jackpot and take a quick break while the Helicopter does its business of picking up the locked ball.

One last note: the Bumpers do NOT add to your end of ball bonus during Multiball.


The modes are all pretty straightforward. When you start a mode, some shots will be flashing. Shoot them to save lives. Don't look at the display for help, though--you have to rely on the lights to know what to shoot for.

To start a mode, shoot one of the "Call 9-1-1" shots--either the Helipad or the Lock Sinkhole. The first time through the modes, both mode start shots are lit, but afterwards, the lit shot alternates with each bumper and slingshot hit. If you shoot the Helipad, and the Helicopter light is lit, the helicopter will swoop down and pick up the ball. You must release the ball by pressing either flipper button. Dropping the ball in the Back dropoff hole saves 1 life, and counts as a shot to the Emergency Room. If you don't drop the ball, it will be dropped in the Left Dropoff point, which won't award any lives.

Whenever the ball is at the plunger, you can use the flippers to choose which mode will be available first. It's similar to Dr. Who, where you could choose which Doctor bonus was in effect.

The Helicopter will be lit at the start of each ball the first time through the modes. After that, it will be lit for you at the start of a ball *unless* you choose Stork EB before launching the ball. But that's no big deal, really, since the Helicopter is pretty easy to light.

The Helicopter will also automatically relight after every mode during the first time through the modes.

When you start a mode, there are some pretty good sound effects that simulate a call to 9-1-1 emergency. They describe a situation in which lives are in danger. Shooting the flashing shots saves lives. Unfortunately, the sounds don't tell you WHAT exactly to shoot.

Jaws of Life and Cave-In are automatically multiball modes the first time through the modes. They are usually 2-ball, but if you have locked one ball on the main Habitrail beforehand, they will be 3-ball.

There are actually some instructions on how to play the modes, but the trouble is that they are only available during attract mode! Hold down both flippers to see them. I haven't had the chance to write them down yet, so if you have any info to add here, please email me.

Here are the modes. All modes last for 15 seconds or until all the relevant shots are hit.

Stork EB
Shoot the Emergency Room (or drop the ball into the Top Dropoff hole) within 15 seconds. Doing so lights the EB at the Captive Balls on a 5 second timer. The mode ends when either timer expires or you collect the "Extra Bawl" (har har).

Flash Flood
The following shots are lit: Emergency Room, Helipad, Captive Balls, Middle Standup, Ramp. Successive shots to lit targets score token points and 2, 4, 6, 8, and then 10 lives.

Wild Fires
The following shots are lit: Emergency Room, Helipad, Ramp. Each shot scores 2 (?) lives and collects your end-of-ball bonus.

Jaws of Life
Shoot the Middle Standup for 10M and 2 lives, then the ramp for 20M and 4 lives, then the Captive Balls for 30M and 6 lives, and finally the Lock Sinkhole for 100M and 10 lives.

Shoot the Cave-in drop targets to save 2 lives each, and the standup target for 10 lives. Simple, eh? The drop targets do not reset until the mode ends.

This is the mode where you should drop the ball from the helicopter into the Right dropoff point. Each bumper hit adds to a meter in the display. 4 hits will fill the meter, which counts as two lives. Hitting the Captive Balls saves 4 lives. During this mode, the Bumpers do NOT add to your end of ball bonus.

Life Force (Wizard bonus)
When you have saved 50 lives, shoot the ramp. A really nice sound and light show starts. All the major shots flash in time to a heartbeat sound. (It's similar to the Metamorphosis effects on Bride of Pinbot.) There is a 30-second timer running, and hitting one of the following shots awards 1M and a neat sound effect (but no special display): EKG Targets (hitting one target is enough), Helipad, Captive Balls, Middle Standup, Ramp, Rescue standup-kicker. Hitting a shot unlights it, and hitting all 6 awards 300M. Once again, the display is totally useless, no instructions, no hints, no nothing. *shrug*

Strategy tip: When the ball comes off the Ramp, let it fall down to the lower part of the board. There's nothing worth hitting at the top of the playfield.

At 120 lives, Super Life Force is available. It's the same as Life Force, except that an additional shot to the emergency room is required, and the bonus for hitting all shots is 1B!

Saving Lives
OK, I've been talking about saving lives all this's how they work. Lives are a sort of count-up feature, but they're also designed to be the Life Force wizard bonus. The catch is that you have to actually play the modes; you can't just hold the ball and let the mode timers run out. Awards you get for saving lives are: Light hurry-up 30M at 20 lives, light hurry-up EB at 35 lives, start Life Force at 50 lives, start Super Life Force at 120 (although I have also heard 125 and 150).

At the end of the game, you get a bonus of (100K * last ball's bonus multiplier) for each life you saved during you game. There is also a place on the high scores table for the most lives saved. Beating the old record for most lives saved awards a special. Kevin says that lives max out at 255, after which only Multiball is worth going for.

Other Scoring

Hurry-Up 30M and EB
Pay attention to how many lives you have! There are NO special sounds or eye-catching displays when you light either of these shots, and if the shot happens to be lit for a mode, it's tough to tell if the Hurry-Up award is lit. So, after each mode, take time to check the status report, and if you're getting close to lighting either of these shots, stay alert for the rapidly flashing Hurry-Up lights.

Bonus Multipliers
The multiplier can be advanced by the Plunger, the Advance X target, or a Med-Alert award. The multiplier goes from 1x to 2x, 3x, and finally 5x.

Progressive Award
Shooting the Emergency Room when it's not lit for anything scores the "Progressive Award". Awards are 2M, then 5M, then light Hurry-up EB, then 10M for the rest of the ball.

This is a random award. Shoot the ramp to collect it. It's lit at the start of each ball an at the end of each mode. Awards include: EB, Hurry-up EB, 1 life, 3 lives, 5 lives, various points, 10M, 30M, 100M(!), advance "Hook & Ladder", Instant Multiball, 20M Countdown (at the Cave-in Standup), Advance Blue Bonus, Advance Red Bonus, Bumpers at Max, Advance Multiplier, Multiplier at Max, and Light Special.

Player's Choice
Spelling RESCUE lights the Ramp to collect Player's Choice. The only awards are Super Countdown (50M at the Cave-in standup) and 5 lives.

"Hook & Ladder"
This is a carry-over feature, similar to RANSOM in BK2K and WILLIAMS in Rollergames. The Left Inlane lights the ramp to spot the next letter (this is a one-time shot). This is a multiball round, where every switch scores 3M, and the max you can get during the round is about 300M. The total is awarded at the end of the ball. In all, there are 11 letters, and one letter is spotted automatically at the end of each game, unless there are already 10 letters lit, in which case nothing is spotted.

Fun with Bonus
The only thing that adds to your bonus is the bumpers. Bowen has reported having a 50M (well, 5OM actually) bonus! Is there a limit?

Outlane specials
I've never seen them lit.

Abuse during Multiball

In addition to the exploit that lets you play every mode as a Multiball the first time through the modes, you can exploit the jackpot shots once Multiball is going.

Catch one ball on each flipper. Shoot the ramp with the left flipper, then pass the other ball to the left flipper, and catch the ball coming off the ramp on the top-right flipper. Shoot the jackpot.

Afterwards, it's easy. Shoot the ramp, catch that ball on the top flipper, and catch the ball you just shot into the jackpot lane as it comes off the main habitrail.

If you happen to have one ball in the upper flipper and the other on the lower right flipper, you can still shoot the Emergency Room lane while holding the ball on the lower flipper, because the flipper button has the same two-stage control as on Williams games (except DM).

Tournament Settings

The bonus for completing Life Force is 100M. The bonus for Super Life Force is 300M.

Maximum jackpots for Multiball are 100M, and the Helipad advances jackpots by 10M.

Each player's "Hook & Ladder" sequence is kept separately, and always begins at the "a".

Our games at the Pinathon were supposedly played under tournament rules, but after reading Bowen's and Kevin's mail, I'm not so sure now. Among other things, extra balls were awarded!

Closing Remarks

Well, I always wanted to maintain a rule sheet for a new game. :) Thanx go out to the folks at the Pinathon for giving me the chance to see some new (and old) Gottliebs that I'd only heard of before.

Post passing works fine, but if the flipper rubbers are new, they may create too much friction and prevent the ball from rolling over to the other flipper. Rick Stetta did a few lane passes, though. (That really knocked my socks off--I'd never seen a lane pass before. :) Bounce passes work fine.

All in all, I feel the game has potential, but play is ruined by bad displays and a lack of instructions during modes.

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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