Tales of the Arabian Nights
Rule Sheet v1.2 (6/23/97)
- IT'S ABOUT TIME!
By Joshua Lehan
This is another great game by John Popadiuk Jr. It is clearly inspired by his earlier success, Theatre of Magic. The difficulty level is about the same; even though it is much easier to progress through the modes and reach the final mode, the playfield is more difficult. The game is based on the Arabian Nights, of course, with a Lamp, a Genie, and a flying carpet ramp. It has a beautiful and detailed backglass, which reminds me of a Magic card - can you guess which expansion it would be from? :-)
Surprisingly, it is a very low scoring game. Williams seems to have done what Mexico did a few year ago, and chop three zeroes off their "currency". Scores are about one thousand times less than Attack from Mars. Replay is usually around 10-20 million, high scores around 40 million or so, anything over 100 million is a world-class score. Highest score I've ever seen is over one billion! The font for the high scores is the same as AFM, there's a lot of empty space where the billions would have been. The game rolls over at one billion, good luck getting there...
Another unique thing about Tales from the Arabian Nights (TOTAN) is that it goes out of its way to tell players free games are available. Instead of "Replay at..." it flashes "Free game at..." at the start of the last ball. During Match, it tells the players that a free game is possible if they match. This is a good feature for people new to pinball, who might not know about the Match feature.
I would like to thank the people who helped me with this. Their names and email addresses are listed at the end of this Rule Sheet.
Going in the standard order, clockwise from bottom left to bottom right, we have:
That's it! The playfield isn't that complicated, but it looks crowded because of the Lamp and all the Ramp habitrails.
There's only one ramp in this game, but with ramps like this, one is all you need. There are at least five possible paths the ball can take. There's about three miles of habitrail the ball can go on (I'm only exaggerating slightly here).
When the ball is hit up the Ramp (on the left side of the game), it will curve around the back of the game. It will go around the Genie, loop all the way around to the upper right, and pass through a diverter. If the diverter is closed, the ball will enter a spiral (like on Pin-Bot). Unlike Pin-Bot, the spiral is clockwise. The spiral is one huge plastic, suspended above the Jet Bumpers. It's transparent, so it doesn't obscure the playfield below it.
If the ball doesn't have enough power to clear this spiral, it will drop down into the Jet Bumpers, in one of two places. There's a high place, which will usually get some bumper action, and a low place, which will just trickle down the lane below the bumpers most of the time. If the ball makes it through the spiral, it will drop down onto another habitrail, which will return the ball to the right flipper.
The diverter will prevent the ball from even entering the spiral, when it is active. (It activates when there's something useful on the left side, such as collecting a Jewel or starting Fireball.) When the ball goes through the active diverter, it is being sent back up the playfield, so considerable flipper power is needed to get through (the ball has looped all the way around and to the right by this time, so it will have lost a lot of its energy). If the ball gets through, the lane it enters will send the ball back around the way it came, arriving back at the upper left side of the playfield. There, it will meet up with another diverter! It's the Spirit Ring from Theatre of Magic, turned on its side. (It looks like a tire.)
If a Jewel is being collected or Fireball is being started, the Spirit Ring (or whatever it is called now) will activate and hold the ball while the animation is being played. The ball will then be released onto another habitrail, which will turn into a wireframe that crosses over the playfield and meets up with the habitrail that feeds the right flipper. If the Spirit Ring is not active, the ball will continue on the habitrail it was on, going down to the left flipper. This is one of the few ways to feed the left flipper in this game.
Sometimes, the ball will fall off the plastic spiral ramp. This is good, though, because the game will award a Secret Ball Lock! Just like Theatre of Magic, a weak shot will fall into the Lock area, and the game will automatically light all Locks and credit you with one! However, on this game, the animation isn't as good as ToM. The edges of the spiral are positioned just over the Harem Lane, so the ball should roll down into the Lock saucer if it falls off. Also unlike ToM, you can get only one Secret Ball Lock per game.
The Lamp can be spun around, and a lot of strategy in this game revolves around the Lamp. Every time the lamp turns by about 180 degrees, a Lamp Spin is counted. A good powerful shot to the lamp posts can score a dozen spins at a time on a well-maintained machine with little friction.
There are lights on the playfield which will tell you how many Lamp Spins you have. There is a winding path of fourteen blue lights. Each spin turns on one light. When all fourteen are lit, spin the lamp once more and Lightning Lamp will start (you can tell by the sound effects). When this happens, Make A Wish will light, and one Wish will be added (up to a maximum of three Wishes).
One of the best features of this game is that it has an actual Bonus Count that counts up one by one! Each Lamp Spin is counted, and scores 10,000 bonus (multiplied by the bonus multiplier). In addition to the fourteen lights for Lamp Spins, there are lights for "15", "30", and "60". The bonus count maxes out at 119, when all of these lights are lit.
The count of Lamp Spins is reset with each ball, but if you have "15", "30", or "60" lit, they will remain lit (like Centaur). Completing the path of blue lights will add 15 to these numbered lights, so if you are close to finishing the path, it is a good idea to try and complete it, lest you lose your progress when you drain.
During Lightning Lamp, no additional Lamp Spins will be counted. You can complete a mode or Wish it away during Lightning Lamp, but you cannot start a new mode during this time.
Lightning Lamp is a timed feature, starting at around ten seconds and counting down. Each spin of the lamp will award points and reset the Lightning Lamp timer. Hitting the lamp really hard, for multiple spins, will score a large amount of points, more so than if each spin had been counted individually. You'll know this has happened when bolts of lightning light up the scoreboard, sound effects start playing, and the Lamp becomes a spinning blur!
After Lightning Lamp times out, the lamp returns to normal and you can work on building up the path of blue lights again. Every 15 Lamp Spins, Lightning Lamp will start again. When you max out the bonus count, you won't be able to see your progress on the blue lights anymore (because they are all already lit), but you will still get Lightning Lamp every 15 spins.
Scoring for Lightning Lamp starts at a base of 250K per Lamp Spin. Each additional Lightning Lamp you start awards higher values per Lamp Spin [what exactly is it? is there an upper limit? do values still increase after maxing out the bonus count?]
To light the Locks for Multiball, hit the Genie five times to spell out G-E-N-I-E. When this is done, Lock will light up in three different places: left orbit, right orbit, and the center Lock lane. After locking the ball, the Locks will remain lit (if this is your first time playing Multiball during this game). Another ball will be served to the plunger. Lock the ball a second time and the Locks will no longer be lit, but the Genie will.
When the Genie is lit, hit the Genie to activate the Genie Magnet. After it catches the ball, it will lower into the playfield, taking the ball with it. (If compensation is active, you can also start Multiball by hitting the Bazaar scoop.) The animation for the start of Multiball is neat: a gigantic Genie rises over a medieval Middle Eastern cityscape, and starts "digging" through the city, smashing buildings to bits!
Unfortunately, if the Genie Magnet fails to catch the ball, the game will not give you credit for hitting the Genie, and you will have to hit the Genie again before you can start Multiball.
When Multiball starts, three balls will be kicked out of the Lock saucer. The Genie will be lit for Jackpot! Spinning the Lamp will increase the Jackpot value with each spin. If you hit the Genie, you will collect the Jackpot, and "Lock" will be lit on one of the orbits. It's either the left orbit or the right orbit (it's random, to my knowledge). If you make the lit orbit, it will relight Jackpot. It's quite easy to hit multiple Jackpots in this game. I haven't discovered a Super Jackpot yet, though.
There is no compensation for missed Shooting Stars during Multiball, and no ball saver timer at the start of Multiball, so be careful. If you lose all but one ball during Multiball, without scoring a single Jackpot, the Bazaar will be lit for Rematch. Hit the Bazaar before the timer runs out, and another ball will be served to the plunger. Multiball will then restart. (There are no animation or sound effects for this, it just says "Rematch Granted" in plain-looking generic text. Seems that this wasn't finished. It's so easy to score Jackpots that Rematch is almost never seen, though.)
Note that the Skill Shot targets are not very reliable. They will frequently fail to register hits. Sometimes they will even credit you for a hit when you miss! Assuming they work, here is how to consistently hit each basket:
Super Skill Shot
Tiger Loops/Extra Ball
Each inlane lights the opposite Tiger Loop orbit shot, like the Freeways on High Speed. They are an easy shot when the ball is fed to the flipper. Each orbit will continue to remain lit if it is repeatedly hit (like the right orbit on Terminator 2). On some machines, it is very easy to repeatedly loop the orbits, scoring Tiger Loops each time. If you can do this, definitely do it, as it is easy to light the Extra Ball this way. A second Extra Ball will light if you can get 20 Tiger Loops! (Rumor has it there is yet another Extra Ball at 40 or 50 Tiger Loops?)
Tiger Loops may not be lit during a Mode that uses the orbits. Unfortunately, this is also true of a lot of other shots as well; Modes prevent many features from being scored.
all times the Bonus X (max 12X[?]).
To increase the Bonus X, fully hit the lit captive ball. Each full captive ball hit adds 1 to the Bonus X. The maximum is 12X [operator adjustable? possibly as high as 28X?]. Even if it is maxed, it still may be possible to increase it via the "3 multipliers" Bazaar award. Bonus X resets to 1X with each ball (unless held by the "Hold Bonus X" Bazaar award). Some modes (like Cyclops), unfortunately, preempt the awarding of Bonus X when the captive balls are hit. (If your game is set to hard settings, only one captive ball will be lit at a time, alternating between left and right as the slingshots are hit.)
Notice that hitting the Genie when he isn't lit for anything else will add 10K to your bonus. This is not worth going for, the Lamp is much more lucrative and easier to hit. The Jewel bonus is also insignificant, except after getting many Jewels, but by then your score will be so high that the Jewels won't make an impact. The maximum bonus possible through the Lamp is 14,280,000 (119 * 12X), higher than the replay score on most machines! So spinning the Lamp and cranking up that Bonus is very important.
Here are the Bazaar awards I have seen:
After collecting a Bazaar award, the lights will reset. When Make A Wish is lit at the Bazaar scoop, the Bazaar award cannot be collected.
Make A Wish
The random awards I have seen are more valuable than Bazaar awards, but most are still not as important as getting Jewels:
If Make A Wish is hit during a feature (such as Lightning Lamp), the "random" award will be something related to the feature (such as 3X Lamp Scoring).
[I don't know much about these awards, because I rarely choose them. I always pick the Jewels, unless I'm 3 Tiger Loops away from an Extra Ball! I know there must be more awards than this. Is is possible for the Extra Ball award to be lit on the left side, instead of a Jewel?]
The base value for each Fireball is 400K. Another 200K will be added each time you land in the saucers, so the later Fireballs (which require many saucer hits) can be worth big points. Hitting the Ramp again during Fireball will add 200K to the countdown, but will not raise the countdown above its starting value.
Make A Wish will always give a choice of "3X Fireball Value" if Make A Wish is hit during the Fireball countdown. Other Make A Wish awards may also be keyed to whatever is running at the time.
When lit, the Shooting Stars will shoot out of the playfield and capture the ball! A circular arrangement of metal pins will shoot out of the area just above the outlanes and inlanes. They will attempt to catch the ball, releasing it to the inlane if they succeed. If they fail to catch the ball, the game will compensate by letting you reshoot the drained ball! This compensation is turned off during Multiball, unfortunately. Watch out for airballs caused by the metal pins lifting the ball as they shoot upward.
Hit the left bank of Standup Targets to light the left Shooting Star. Hit the right bank of Standup Targets, behind and to the right of the Lamp, to light the right Shooting Star. The right one is much harder to light than the left, because of the placement of the targets. Beware of this, since right drains are common in this game.
The Shooting Stars are almost exactly like Hocus Pocus in Theatre Of Magic. They are timed, and you can't reset this timer until the time runs out. When the Shooting Stars are used, surprisingly, they will remain lit! So, get in the habit of relighting them every so often, to protect you from drains.
When these three things have all been lit, a female voice will say "My ruby is yours!". The Ruby is a small vertical red light, just above the Mode lights, between the woman's two breasts. When it is lit, it will flicker sporadically -- it looks like the bulb is loose, but this is just a display effect. The Ruby will go away at the end of each ball, and is also used up when you collect the two Jewels during Make A Wish.
There are seven Modes in this game, representing seven Tales of the Arabian Nights. There is one Jewel associated with each Mode. To collect the Jewel for each mode, you must complete whatever is required for the Mode, then hit the Ramp. The red "Flying Carpet" light at the Ramp entrance will become lit, to let you know the Jewel is ready to be collected. Only one Mode can be running at a time. Modes are not timed, and are carried over from ball to ball! If you lose the ball, the Mode will continue off where it was, on your next ball. When you finally do complete the Mode, you can not start the next one until you have collected its Jewel.
Like many recent games, there is one generic symbol that can be lit on all major shots (e.g. ST:TNG's Starfleet emblems) that tells you what to aim for when playing a Mode. On this game, this symbol is a yellow circle containing a strange-looking figure (that reminds me of the Running Man from that old movie).
There are five of these Golden Symbols throughout the playfield, on these shots:
The "Mode Start" light is difficult to see. Just below and to the left of the Genie Magnet, there is a picture of the Princess trapped in a bottle. There are lights below this picture, which will make it slowly pulsate on and off. When this is going on, you can hit the Genie to start a Mode. Mode Start is lit at the start of the game. To light it again after starting a mode, you must first collect that mode's Jewel (by hitting the Ramp).
At the start of each ball, you may choose which Mode is lit, if no mode is already running. Hit the left flipper to cycle through the modes and choose which one you want. (This also works on Theatre of Magic!) The Mode that is lit will change when the slingshots are hit, so if you want to start the Mode you have chosen, you should hit the Genie as quickly as possible after starting the ball.
Make A Wish is very important in progressing through the game. It spots modes for you! One of the choices in Make A Wish will always be "Collect A Jewel". IMHO, you should always choose this, especially when the Ruby changes it to "Collect Two Jewels"! If a mode is in progress, that mode will be automatically ended and you will be given the Jewel for that mode (and the next mode as well, if you are collecting two jewels). Otherwise, the currently selected Mode will be awarded. Whenever you collect a Jewel, either by Make A Wish or by hitting the Ramp, everything that was lit because of that mode will become unlit.
The seven Modes are, from left to right:
The key to this game is BONUS. Spinning the Lamp (racking up Lamp Spins) is the best way to get a lot of bonus. Since the count of Lamp Spins drops down to the nearest multiple of 15 when you drain, concentrate on hitting the Lamp when you notice your Lamp Spins are getting close to one of these 15-count thresholds. The blue path is helpful for this, but it maxes at 14, not 15... you will know you have crossed a 15-count threshold when the thunderclap sound effect starts for Lightning Lamp.
Make A Wish also lights at the same time Lightning Lamp starts (every 15 Lamp Spins). Go for this! The Bazaar shot is dangerous, often rebounding down the drain if you miss, so shooting for the Bazaar is only worthwhile when Make A Wish is lit.
You can store up to three Wishes. Try to save your Wishes until they will do the most good (e.g. when you have lit the Ruby). If you are on your last ball, however, definitely collect your Wishes as soon as possible! (Especially if you haven't lit the Extra Ball from the fourth Jewel yet!) Always choose to collect Jewels from Make A Wish, unless you are getting close to an Extra Ball and need those 3 Tiger Loops. The other random awards just aren't worth it, compared to Jewels (and the Genie Battle they lead to).
Don't shoot Make A Wish if you already have a Jewel lit at the Ramp. Make A Wish will collect that Jewel, which is a waste, because the Ramp is much easier to hit than the Bazaar scoop. Go for Make A Wish right after you get that Jewel on the ramp.
If you shoot Make A Wish when no Mode is running, you will not have to play the Mode, you will immediately be given the Jewel for it! This is the best time to shoot Make A Wish. During the Wish animation, you can quickly hit the left flipper to change the lit Mode, so you can choose which Mode you want to Wish away!
Try to get into a "groove" where you can consistently hit the Genie (to start modes), the Ramp (to finish modes and collect Jewels), and the Bazaar scoop (Make A Wish). Like that old Daffy Duck cartoon, you'll soon be hauling away mounds of Jewels from Ali Baba's cave!
When you're playing Modes, you might want to avoid Make A Wish if you are in an easy mode (e.g. Flying Carpet), so you can save your Wishes for when you really need them. When you're in a hard mode (Rocs, for instance, on a machine with weak Jet Bumpers), just close your eyes and Wish that mode away! (you might need to open your eyes to hit the Bazaar scoop, unless your name is Tommy)
Occasionally, it may be worthwhile to not collect the Jewel from Make A Wish. If "3 Tiger Loops" is lit and you are close to an Extra Ball, get that. If "Collect Bonus" is lit, get it if you have racked up a large Bonus and a high Bonus X. Getting "3X Lamp Scoring" is very helpful if Multiball is lit, because of all the Lamp activity during Multiball.
The bonus count is held over from ball to ball, like the classic KISS machine. Because of this, try especially hard to "rub the lamp" during your first ball(s)! The bonus count will stick with you for every ball you have after that, so you will be effectively multiplying your bonus count, because you get to collect it at the end of each ball.
If bonus count is important, Bonus X is even more important. On your last ball(s), do everything in your power to crank up the Bonus X! Because bonus count has been building up over the course of the entire game, getting a high Bonus X on the last ball is very lucrative. "Hold Bonus X" from the Bazaar is too random an award to count on, unfortunately. Bonus X maxes out at 12X [or more? operator adjustable?], and the game does not tell you when you've maxed it out, so if the captive balls suddenly stop responding (and you're not in any Mode that would cause this), assume you've maxed it out and work on the Lamp (if you haven't already maxed that too). Trap the ball and hold the flipper for a Status Report if you aren't sure. Also, on your last ball, check the Replay score in the Status Report to see if you're getting close... (or GC score, or rollover score, or whatever)
When Lightning Lamp is running, you can not collect any more Lamp Spins, even if you spin the Lamp! You have to wait for Lightning Lamp to time out, and the blue path to reset. The points awarded for Lightning Lamp are worth a lot, but if your bonus is greater than around 7X or so, you might want to just trap the ball and wait for Lightning Lamp to end. Also, keep in mind that bonus count is held over from ball to ball, when deciding whether to collect points now (Lightning Lamp) or later (Bonus/Lamp Spins).
The position of the Lamp's posts will determine what happens when they are hit:
When the two posts are aligned vertically (e.g. at "12:00" and "6:00", if the Lamp was a clock, facing the player), it will be very difficult to get good Lamp action (and lots of Lamp Spins) out of it. It's difficult to knock the Lamp back into the (better) horizontal position using the flippers, it's best to wait for a lucky rebound from the Genie and other targets to hit the Lamp. Those other targets will also be much easier to hit, because the Lamp won't be blocking them as much! The right bank of Standup Targets, the Lock, and the Genie all become easy shots when the Lamp is in this position. Do not aim for the Lamp when it is aligned vertically, it becomes an immobile SDTM drain monster.
When the two posts are aligned horizontally (at "9:00" and "3:00"), the Genie (and all those other back-playfield shots) are almost completely blocked, but the Lamp is ripe for a good solid whacking! Hit one of the posts as hard as you can, with a good firm shot from the flippers. If the Lamp doesn't have a lot of friction and the flippers are strong, you can complete the blue path in a single shot... If you're feeling lucky, you can also try to send the ball right between the two posts; it will go directly into the Genie! If one of these horizontally-aligned posts is slightly farther back from the other (e.g. "10:00"), aim for the post that's farthest back. This will help ensure that the ball doesn't take a bad hop from the post and drain.
During Multiball, the Lamp is very easy to hit. Use this to your advantage by starting Multiball when the blue path isn't lit very much. By the time Multiball ends, it should have been fully completed at least once! In Multiball, all the rebounds of the balls help to push the Lamp around into convenient positions, often completing several Lamp Spins in the process.
Harem Multiball might be good for a few extra points, especially if you have a game with good Jet Bumpers. Trapping the ball and waiting will cause Harem to light after a while, most of the time. Use this to your advantage, by hitting Harem when it lights.
In the final Genie Battle multiball, with unlimited balls, whack the Genie! It will hurt him and cause him to loosen his grip on the bottle if you whack him enough, allowing the bottle to slide over to your side where you can grab it and win. Also, you don't need to worry about the Lamp deflecting your ball down the drain, you have unlimited balls! You can also hit the left bank of Standup Targets, they are another easy shot during this battle, and they also will rebound into other useful stuff like the right Standup Targets and the Lamp!
Many of the features in the game are not collectible if another feature is already lit on the same shot. The game gives out only one award at a time, it seems. Watch out for this when planning shots. Shooting the Orbs during Cyclops mode will not give Bonus X. Bazaar will not be awarded if Make A Wish is lit there. Tiger Loops will be ignored when Harem is lit [and possibly also during the Fireball countdown]. Many other items are like this. I wish this game was like IJ and AFM, where you can hit one shot and watch multiple awards pile up! Can't have it all, I guess...
Cows? When you are getting Bazaar awards, quickly hit both flippers to stop the animations. Do this for three Bazaar awards, and the fourth one will then award A New Cow, worth one million points!
There may also be another way to get A New Cow: if you start the Great Camel Race while Bazaar is lit, and make the first Symbol shot, you will hear a "moo". Immediately shoot the Bazaar, hit both flippers to stop the animation, and get A New Cow.
If you are an operator of this machine, and your Genie magnet is dropping balls SDTM instead of deflecting them as it should, you can make an adjustment on your machine's settings to enable compensation. Change Feature Adjustment A2.22 (GENIE BALL SAVE) to YES. It defaults to a setting of NO compensation, unfortunately.
The game has some compensation on the Ramp for weak flippers. If compensation is active, you can score Super SKill Shot merely by hitting the ramp entry switch (without needing to go all the way around the Ramp). If a diverter is not registering, the game will know what to do and start the correct feature, even if the ball is in the "wrong" place.
In you are playing a beta game, there are a few differences between it and the released game. You can recognize a beta by the Skill Shot: on a beta, it will have two snakes in it, and you are trying to hit the one empty basket! The Ruby will also be much harder (perhaps impossible?) to light. You should ask your operator to upgrade the ROM's to the released version.
It's possible to get a lucky airball during Multiball, and bounce the ball back into the plunger lane. If this happens, you get to play a one-ball Multiball, and save the other ball for later! (This trick also works in Corvette and Theatre Of Magic!)
In case it's too loud in your arcade to hear it, this is what the Genie is saying at game start: "In ancient Baghdad, a most beautiful Princess was imprisoned by the evil genie Saleem Bagazi..."
During a multiplayer game, if one player starts Multiball, all other players will lose their locked balls! They will have to be relocked again, there is no compensation for this. So, if you're in a multiplayer game and you lock a ball, concentrate on locking the others before you drain!
I neglected this Rule Sheet for almost a year before finally updating it. Here's a few of the changes I remembered to make:
Here are the people who helped me with this Rule Sheet. A big round of applause, please! If I'm leaving anybody out here, please let me know.
If you want your name removed from this Rule Sheet, let me know.
Williams has the "official" Tales Of The Arabian Nights web site:
John Popadiuk Jr., the designer of this game, has an EXCELLENT pinball site:
Peo has his own very good rule sheet, in HTML:
Greg maintains the Southern California Pinball List:
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