Keefer's Guide to Stargate
Version 1.1 - 14-Jun-95
This is a rulesheet for the Gottlieb (Premier) game Stargate, based on the movie of the same name. All trademarks and what not are hereby acknowledged belonging to Premier and whatever movie company produced Stargate.
This rule is copyright 1995 by Keith P. Johnson. It may be freely distributed with or without changes, provided no profit is made from said distribution and acknowledgments are given to the author (me) and all those who are listed as having contributed to the effort. I retain any and all rights to this guide.
Comments, corrections, and additions are welcome. You will, of course, be credited for information you provide.
The Sarcophagus typically alternates between Multiball and award 3 Quartz, in that order. However, it seems that it can be set to also start a mode sometimes, though the conditions where this is awarded aren't entirely known. It may just be every 3rd shot.
The Sarcophagus is one of the Stargate Segments.
The right drop target is controllable (retractable) by the game for when autolaunched balls and when certain awards are lit on the right lane. It doesn't really have anything else to do other than block the shot (well, shooting it lights "double" on the 2 bank I think as well).
When all 5 of the regular drop targets are up, the leftmost target on the 3- bank will be flashing (for 5M). Shooting this target before shooting any of the other 5 scores 5M and lights the next one for 10M. Likewise, shooting the 10M target before any of the remaining 3 scores 10M and lights the 3rd for 20M. And so on, for 40M on the lower of the 2-bank targets and 80M for the topmost 2-bank target.
After the 5M shot, the values will time out after some time. The higher the value, the faster the shot will expire. It's quite long for the 10M, pretty long for the 20M, but for 40M it's about 4 or 5 seconds, and then 1 or 2 seconds for the 80M shot. The best way to get the 80M is probably to sweep the 2-bank. Completing the sequence, then, is worth 155M. Hitting any of the 5 targets out-of-order aborts the drop target millions sequence until all 5 of them are standing again. This is (obviously) lit at the start of the ball, then.
If only the middle target on the 3-bank remains standing, it will be lit for 1 Quartz. (The 2-bank targets do not affect this award.)
Sweeping either bank (that is, hitting all targets in a bank at once) scores Ra's Power. It starts at 5M for each ball and goes up each time. I'm not really sure yet how it goes up, though... Either it's 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. or 5, 10, 20, 30 or 5, 10, 20, 40. Shooting the right drop target seems to light the 2-bank for "Double" which probably awards double the next Ra's Power value. Maybe it even doubles the drop target millions values?... Generally, the only way you'll be able to sweep the 3 bank is by a lucky kickback (due to the fact they're facing right at your flipper).
The value is held for the whole game (i.e. you don't need to make all 3 Hurry-Ups on one ball to get the extra ball), though that's probably adjustable.
Collecting the Hurry-Up award is one of the Stargate Segments.
After getting a total of 10 combos, Hurry-Up is activated (see that section). The next award is after a total of 30 combos, and that is flash extra ball. After that, not sure.
The combo shots don't time out (or if they do, it takes a long long time). However, the first switch that you touch that is wrong ends the sequence. This excludes the right inlane, but not anything else, including a pop bumper on the way up the left lane, or the left lane misfiring (ball doesn't get out of the VUK). You can even start the combo sequence in a multiball (depends if anything can be lit on the left ramp or not), but the "hit any wrong switch" rule still applies, so it's not very likely you'll get very far.
He who gets the most combos in a game gets to put their initials on the high score board. However, this is quite flaky, as I've often gotten above the high # of combos and not been awarded anything.
Making the 2nd combo shot (the right ramp) awards the Combo Stargate Segment.
They do not seem to be lit in any particular order, but only one is lit at a time. Making one turns its light solid and lights another one. Completing all 7 gives you some award: So far all I know of is 5 Quartz and 30M for the first 2. I think it may just alternate between those 2 awards. Shooting one that is flashing or already lit may tell you what the next award is.
Completing the Pyramids awards the Pyramid Stargate Segment.
Completing STARGATE the first time awards the Spell Stargate Segment.
The first 4 awards are always the same POSSIBLE 4 awards, but the order that you get them in is switched by hitting the left Glidercraft target. You can see the next award in the status report and after you hit the left Glidercraft. The first 4 awards are (in this order):
The first 3 are fairly obvious; the last award (3x scoring) probably is as well, but I'll point out that it multiplies every possible point scored, including super jackpots! AND, on top of that, there is a bug (I assume it is a bug, I can't imagine the rules actually being designed this way) that during regular Multiball, Stargate Multiball, and Eye of Ra Multiball the timer STOPS, giving you 3x scoring for the entire multiball! Sheesh! Sandstorm may stop it as well, but I haven't found out yet for sure.
The 5th Transporter award is Sandstorm. See that section for details.
After 5 awards, the pool is reset. The next Sandstorm is 11 Transporters away, and the pool grows accordingly (i.e. 11 possible awards). Some of the awards in the 2nd pool include:
I'm not positive about any others. Advance SJ may be one of them; I'm pretty sure Extra Ball is not.
After making an award, the game will usually tell you the next one (until it gets switched by the Glidercraft) as well as how many Transporters until the next Sandstorm.
Making the Transporter the first time awards the Transporter Stargate Segment.
The amount it goes up is the same as the starting value, except, obviously, for the double advance (goes up 200M or 100M).
The value is held for the whole game. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
You can get the Super Jackpot in regular Multiball, Stargate Multiball, Eye of Ra Multiball, and as a Quartz award. See those various sections for details.
You can gain Quartz by:
Also, shooting Trade Quartz gives you one more Quartz.
When you shoot Trade Quartz, you are given a choice that you can either accept or decline by hitting the right or left flipper, respectively. The intervals are not exactly known, but I will get as close as I can and the list will get more exact over time. Entries with an exclamation (!) are known for certain.
I'm not sure if there's anything after Super Jackpot; I tend to doubt it. I have seen up to 48 Quartz, and it was Super Jackpot that was offered.
When you trade in your Quartz for an award, you trade them all and must work your way back up from 0 again. So, at this point, my suggestion is as soon as you hit Super Jackpot, you might as well take it because you won't gain anything for holding on to those Quartz (well, your bonus will be a little higher, but that's not worth very much). Aborting this animation assumes an answer of yes to trading.
Shooting Trade Quartz the first time lights its Stargate Segment.
Regular Multiball is started by every odd-numbered shot (including skill shots) to the Sarcophagus. It starts out as a 2-ball multiball, but getting just one Jackpot launches a third ball into play.
There are 2 "levels" of Multiball. You always start regular Multiball at Level 1, which has 3 Jackpots lit (2 on harder settings, e.g. 5-ball). The Jackpots are lit in this order:
Jackpots are worth 10M. Making either Jackpot lights the next one down the list. After 5 are made, there will only be one lit. Completing all 6 lights the Pyramid for the Super Jackpot. If you get the SJ, you go to Level 2. Now only 1 Jackpot is lit at a time (regardless of the difficulty), and in a different order. I'm not sure exactly what the order is, but it starts like:
You still need to make 6 Jackpots (still worth 10M). However, getting all 6 lights the Pyramid for a double Super Jackpot. Making this starts Level 2 again.
This is a 3-ball multiball where every major shot (guardians, ramps, Pyramid, right lane, Ra kicker) is lit for 10M (or 5M in reduced scoring). This differs from other Gottlieb games that have awards of this nature in that it's not just every switch that scores, but only "shots," and as such isn't worth nearly the points as other similar awards are (e.g. Slammin' Jammin' on Shaq Attaq).
It seems that some shots will unlight (specifically, the right ramp and the Pyramid) during Sandstorm, perhaps to prevent a exploit of some kind. It's a little difficult to exploit Sandstorm, though, because both of the Guardians are down. Why they exploit-proofed this mode and not others is beyond me.
There may be a ball saver, but if there is, it's very short. The mode ends when there are less than 2 balls left, and you aren't awarded the points until the end of the ball (so don't tilt!).
Stargate Multiball (wizard award)
The circle on the playfield closest to you has 7 different features on it ("Segments"). The 7 Segments are:
You know you are awarded a Segment when you see a Wheel-of-Fortune-like animation (Wheel-of-Segments?). Each Segment is described in its own section above. When you complete all 7, you start Stargate Multiball. (If you're in another Multiball or a mode, though, Stargate Multiball won't start until it is over.)
[Movie spoiler alert]
For some reason, the opening animation has nothing to do with the Stargate. The scene from the movie that the animation is taken from is actually Ra's ship being blown up at the end of the movie. Oooooookaaaaay...
[End movie spoiler alert]
Stargate Multiball is a 3-ball multiball, and all 7 major shots are lit for Jackpots (of 20M) at once. They are:
Simply make all 7, and you get the Super Jackpot (the 7th shot awards the Jackpot THEN the Super Jackpot... weird). Then all 7 shots relight again, and you repeat the process. Just keep plugging away until you have less than 2 balls left in play.
You do have a short ballsaver, though the game doesn't indicate that anyhow. The thing is this: You can only get Stargate Multiball once per game. If you blow it early, then that's it. No more chances.
At the end of the game, you get a Segment Bonus of 10M per Segment. (It gives it to you before you are asked if you want to continue which is a slight departure from their earlier games.) If you tilt Ball 3 (or Ball 5 or whatever your last ball is), then you do NOT get the bonus!
There are 6 modes in Stargate, several of which are multiball modes. Multiball modes run until less than 2 balls remain; the rest of the modes are just timed.
For any multiball mode, you start with 2 balls. Hitting any of the pertinent targets launches a third ball into play (once). There is no ball saver.
If you're not in a mode or Multiball, then shooting the Pyramid will start the currently flashing mode (usually - seems there are problems after going through the modes once entirely). The mode lit at the start of the game is random, and the lit mode is changed by the slingshots.
In no particular order:
The mode ends when the value gets to 10M. The best thing you can do during this mode is ignore it (hold the ball and wait), maybe shoot the right ramp for a STARGATE letter.
Quartz (Multiball mode)
Hit either ramp to launch the third ball. The mode ends when less than 2 balls are left.
This mode can be worth a ton of points, as the shots feed to each other. Combined with the Catch-All flippers, all you need to do is make a shot, hold the flipper up to catch the returning ball, and make an easy shot at the next target. This can go on for a lot more than the initial allotment of 20 seconds, as each shot adds 3 seconds to the timer (never higher than 25 seconds, though).
In reduced scoring mode, the Horus bonus is worth 1/2 the regular scoring value. Battle ends as soon as the timer hits 0 (no grace period).
Rebellion (Multiball mode)
To get the third ball, you need to hit the left guardian's standup. Rebellion ends when less than 2 balls remain.
Ra's Temple (Multiball mode)
This mode can be quite lucrative if you have the Pyramid shot down. It ends when less than 2 balls remain in play.
Glidercraft (Multiball mode)
The first Glidercraft hit launches the third ball. The mode ends when less than 2 balls are left in play.
Eye of Ra (wizard award)
This is a 3 stage 4-ball multiball. There is a very short ball saver at the start of the mode. There are certain tasks you must do to finish each stage. Completing a stage awards the Super Jackpot. After the first 2 stages, any drained balls are replenished (no ball saver). The 3 stages are:
If you make it through all 3 stages and still have more than one ball in play, then you enter normal Multiball at Level 2 (no new balls are launched, though).
Eye of Ra will end any time you wind up with less than 2 balls in play.
After Eye of Ra is over, all the mode lights go off and you start over. At this point, the slingshots toggle whether the Pyramid is lit for a mode or not! Nothing like a little randomness for a very major part of gameplay...
Strategies and Tricks
Stargate has a switch-test mode available to the normal player! To activate it, hold down the start button (with no credits, obviously) and tap the right flipper button. The game will cycle through all of what it believes are bad switches (if there are any at all).
There are about 27 screens of tips basically explaining to you in a pinch what lights or awards what. They are even mostly right. ;) Hold down the left flipper to bring up the first screen then page through them with the right flipper button.
Always go for the Sarcophagus skill shot. Multiball can be worth quite a bit if your SJ is high (not so much if you don't make it, though). Possible exceptions to this rule are: the Sarcophagus kickout really blows on your machine or you really need to make the combo shot (like it's the last thing needed for Stargate Multiball).
When a ball is going to be autoplunged, consider launching it yourself. You can often put more force on the ball than can the autoplunger, and most multiballs require a shot at the left ramp fairly early on, so give yourself a guaranteed shot at it (autoplunger will often not get it all the way to the upper hole).
Remember: This is a Gottlieb game! Catches are easy, and on most machines, you can just hold the flipper up when the ball is coming down from a ramp return and usually the ball will not have enough uumph to clear the flipper, and you catch it.
You should spend quite a bit of time at the start of your game just increasing the Super Jackpot. You can do it by 12 right ramps, the Transporter, and most importantly, the Trade Quartz double-advance. It is paramount that you have a high SJ for Eye of Ra and Stargate Multiball, or they'll mostly be wasted. A good value would be 500M (250M reduced scoring).
If you want to use the 3x scoring bug (or exploit), then avoid that Transporter award like the plague until you are absolutely ready to start Stargate or Eye of Ra or both. If you do accidently get 3x at the wrong time, then you can try to make the best of it by starting a decent mode (Battle can score ridiculously high with 3x, as well as Glidercraft and Rebellion). Another possibility is to shoot the Transporter like mad until 3x comes around again.
There's also a couple mode exploits you should know about:
Saving Sari serves 100% no useful purpose. Ignore it completely.
For Multiball, learn how the jackpots light up. That way you can already be shooting the next shot while the previous one is registering.
During any multiball, never be afraid to put a ball out of the way for a short time, especially if you need to shoot the right lane. If you have a ball on each flipper, shoot the left lane with the right flipper, then you can have a clear shot at the right lane for whatever's lit there. Another good place to get the ball out of the way is the Pyramid.
Don't forget, also, that the right flipper button is a 2-stage flipper. If you are very careful, you can lower the upper right flipper while keeping the lower one up. This is very handy when you have a jackpot shot lit on the right lane (which the upper left flipper blocks) and a ball (or more) on each flipper.
You should probably generally ignore the Ra kicker target. It's not worth it. Also, ignore the drop target millions unless you have the 20M target lit. Then, try to shoot it and sweep the 40M and 80M targets for another 120M.
The White Pyramid shots generally aren't worth going out of your way for unless you need to finish them for Stargate Multiball.
NEVER choose Sandstorm from Trade Quartz. Just a few more Quartz and you can have Stargate Multiball or Super Jackpot, either of which is 99% guaranteed to be worth more than Sandstorm. It may not be a bad idea to go for Sandstorm from the Transporter, but don't sacrifice your 3x scoring for it.
Thanks to the following people for providing information...
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