Tales of the Arabian Nights


Rule Sheet v1.2 (6/23/97)

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.

Playfield Layout

Going in the standard order, clockwise from bottom left to bottom right, we have:

two of them. Know them. Use them well.

Slingshots and Feeder Lanes (Inlanes)
standard shape. The Shooting Stars are right above the inlane entrances.

the drains here are of medium difficulty, neither easy nor hard. Can be lit for a big red Special! The outlane switches are buttons, not rollovers. I wish they would have played the "Bing" sound from WCS when the buttons are hit. That would have been a perfect sound effect. There's not a lot of rubber around the outlanes, so saving will be difficult, but the Shooting Stars will save the ball for you....

Shooting Stars
near both outlane entrances are spikes which shoot up out of the playfield and grab the ball! They are similar to Freddy's claw in Freddy, but done a lot better. If Shooting Star is lit (the white lightning bolt near each inlane), they will activate and try to stop the ball from draining. There is an opto on top of each of them, which is triggered whenever the ball rolls near the outlanes, like the automatic Magna-Save in Theatre of Magic. They work a lot better, and (finally) the software will compensate when they fail to catch the ball! This compensation is turned off during Multiball, unfortunately. Also, if the opto does not register, there will be no compensation -- even if the outlane button switch is hit! This looks like an oversight to me.

Left Standup Targets
like the M-A-R Martian targets from AFM, they are right above the left inlane. They look like red squares. There are three of them, in a line vertically. They're easy to hit with a shot off the tip of the right flipper, although it is a tight angle. Hitting any one of these targets will light the Shooting Star on the left. There is a Golden Symbol here (only one of the three targets needs to be hit to score the Symbol).

Left Orbit
can be lit for Lock, Harem, or Tiger Loop. There is a diverter that will send the ball to the Jet Bumpers, otherwise the ball will loop around (passing over the Lock Magnet) and come out the Right Orbit. There is a Golden Symbol here.

Left Orb and Saucer
a captive ball that is behind another "ball" that is in a fixed position on the playfield. The captive ball is hit by hitting this fixed ball, which will transfer momentum to the captive ball behind it. It's exactly like the Tigersaw shot in Theatre of Magic, except much lower on the playfield (about halfway back on the playfield, "northeast" of the standup targets). There is a saucer in front of the fixed ball. A shot that's too weak to trigger the captive ball will land perfectly in the saucer! Ingenious! Now if only they had thought of this on Indiana Jones...

(unnamed) Lane
this is a small lane just under the diverter in the Left Orbit. If it wasn't for the diverter, the Right Orbit would exit via this lane. Sometimes the ball goes into this lane anyway from the Right Orbit, regardless of the diverter, especially on a weak Right Orbit shot. This lane is a small, tight vertical lane, kind of like the feeder to the far left flipper on Road Show. It is behind the captive ball area of the Left Orb. This lane doesn't have any scoring targets on it, it's just "there", like the lane above the top right flipper on TZ. This lane is not directly shootable from the flippers. The ball enters the top of it when a right orbit shot is missed, and doesn't have enough momentum to come out the left orbit. The bottom of this lane curves sharply around to the right, and comes out just below the ramp entrance. Watch out for SDTM drains from here-the ball goes slow enough exiting from here that you will have enough time to prepare for a slap save.

there's only one ramp on this game, but you wouldn't know it from playing! About three miles of habitrail is accessible from this ramp, which is explained in its own section below. It's like the left ramp in Road Show- easy to hit, but to successfully make it up there requires a powerful flipper shot. Can be lit for Fireball and Magic Carpet. There is a Golden Symbol here.

(unnamed) Standup Target
to the right of the Ramp entrance is a small yellow standup target. It spots a Bazaar letter when hit.

the main toy of the game. This is ingenious. A large Golden lamp is suspended on two posts, dead center in the playfield. The posts are attached to opposite sides of a rotating disc. (Think of a clock with twelve numbers on it. The lamp posts are at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock.) The disc does not move on its own -- but has very low friction so that it can be moved when the ball hits it! A good shot to the posts will send the lamp spinning wildly, around and around! This is explained more in its own section.

a big blue plastic genie, with mean-looking glowing turquoise eyes, is horizontally hinged in the middle so it can swing (slightly) forward and back. When it is pushed back, it will register a hit. The Genie is behind the Lamp, making it a challenge to hit, even though the target itself is very wide.

Genie Magnet
this is a magnet just below the Genie. When the Genie is hit and the game has some reason to stop the ball (such as starting a Tale), this magnet will activate. This magnet is small, though, and doesn't always catch the ball. There is rubber around the Genie which helps to deflect the ball to this magnet. When starting Multiball, the magnet will lower itself into the playfield, taking the ball with it!

Hidden Treasure
offset to the right of the Genie, buried behind the Lamp, is a very small and obscure standup target. It's almost impossible to see from the player's viewpoint. I didn't know it was there until I looked around from the left side of the game. When this target is hit, it registers as a Genie hit. This gives the game some slight built-in compensation in case of a broken Genie.

Right Standup Targets
like the Left Standup Targets, there are three of them. They are hidden behind the Lamp; I didn't even know they were there until I looked at the game from a different angle! The targets are arranged in an outward curve, similar to a convex lens. Hitting any one of these three targets will light the shooting star on the right. There is a Golden Symbol here! The light for the Golden Symbol is hidden by the Lamp, making it very difficult to see. It's a good idea to sometimes step over to the left when playing, so you can see if this symbol is lit.

a difficult shot to hit, not only is it very narrow, it's also obscured by the Lamp. It's a small lane that quickly bends to the left and merges with the Harem Lane. Very similar to the Lock mechanism on Twilight Zone. If you hit the ball in here but Lock is not lit, you will enter the Harem-the girls will laugh at you while giving you a small random bonus, between 7K and 50K (but usually around 20K).

Harem Lane
a small vertical lane that drops down to the Lock saucer. Balls that are held because of Lock will stack up in this lane.

Lock Magnet
just above the back entrance to the Harem Lane. The magnet will intercept shots going around the Left Orbit or Right Orbit, when Lock is lit on them. The magnet will then drop the ball through the Harem Lane, right down into the Lock saucer. This is by far the easiest way to get a ball locked. When the magnet is not on, it is difficult to enter the Harem Lane from the top, as the lane entrance is very narrow and won't stop a ball that's screaming around the orbits.

a scoop, in the same position as Final Draw on WCS (but thankfully, it's easier to hit). When B-A-Z-A-A-R has been spelled out on the lights in front of it, the Bazaar becomes lit for a random award. The Bazaar can also be lit for Make A Wish. Watch out for SDTM drains from here; like Twilight Zone's Slot Machine, the Bazaar gets knocked out of adjustment quite easily.

(unnamed) Standup Target
another small yellow standup target, to the right of the Bazaar entrance. It's like that target next to the Slot Machine on TZ. It spots a Bazaar letter when hit.

Jet Bumpers
way, way back in the far upper right corner of the game sit three Jet Bumpers, lonely and neglected. If these bumpers were any more separated from the rest of the playfield, they would be outside the cabinet. The diverter on the Left Orbit will allow the ball to roll there instead of coming down the Right Orbit. Also, a weak ramp shot will drop off the ramp and into this area. Each bumper hit will add 1K to the Harem Jackpot value. The game will turn off the bumpers when a timed shot is running, so you won't have to worry about the ball bouncing around in the bumpers and taking up valuable time.

Harem Sneak-In
this is a small trough, close to the back edge of the playfield, in the center. It's just below the lane that leads into the Jet Bumpers from the Right Orbit. A lucky bounce from the Jet Bumpers will send the ball here. This will score one Harem Sneak-In, and the ball will be kicked out the Bazaar entrance.

Right Orbit
similar to the Left Orbit, although there is no diverter here. Lock and Tiger Loop can be lit here, in addition to Extra Ball! When the Extra Ball is collected, the Lock Magnet will activate so the animation can be displayed, regardless of whether or not Lock is lit (this is "just for show" and will not count as a Lock). When the Right Orbit is made, the diverter in the Left Orbit will close, allowing the ball to come down through the Left Orbit. There is a Golden Symbol here.

Right Orb
another captive ball with a fixed ball in front of it, just like the Left Orb. There is no saucer here, though. This shot is lower on the playfield and closer to the edge of the playfield than the Left Orb.

(unnamed) Lane
a lane at the far right edge of the playfield, leading down from the Jet Bumpers. Balls hit into the area with the Jet Bumpers will exit via this lane (unless they go into the Harem Entrance). This lane is not easily shootable by the flippers, and there are no scoring targets in this lane, so ignore it. The ball will roll down this lane, curve sharply to the left, and exit just below the Right Orb.

Plunger and Skill Shot
the plunger is manual, like Theatre of Magic. Now we all get to see what the original prototype design for the ToM skill shot was! Instead of one hole you can shoot through to enter the playfield, there are three. They are lined up lengthwise (front to back), separated from each other by about two inches. The plunger lane is curved upward and suddenly ends, which will launch the ball slightly in the air. The ball can jump over holes to reach other holes that are farther back, so by carefully shooting the plunger, you can choose which hole you want the ball to go through. After going through the holes, the ball will drop onto the habitrail (from the Ramp) that feeds the right flipper.

That's it! The playfield isn't that complicated, but it looks crowded because of the Lamp and all the Ramp habitrails.

The Ramp

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

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.)


Skill Shot
at the start of each ball and after each Lock, you get to take a Skill Shot. A snake charmer will appear on the display, and in front of him there will be three baskets. These represent the three holes. As the instruction card says, "hit the basket with snake in it" to collect the Skill Shot. This value starts at 50K, and goes up by 25K each time the Skill Shot is made. It maxes out at 125K. You don't get to take a Skill Shot if you are re-shooting the ball because it was saved (because of Shooting Star compensation, or otherwise).

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:

Top basket
Pull the plunger all the way back, and launch the ball at full strength. (Not too hard, though, or the ball will rebound off the back guardrail and you will miss)

Middle basket
Once you have memorized the plunger strength necessary to hit the top and bottom baskets, try to average their strength and go for the middle. This is by far the most difficult basket to hit.

Bottom basket
This is the easiest basket to hit. You have unlimited chances to retry the shot if it is too weak. Take advantage of this by launching the ball very gently, so that it fails to clear the launch ramp. Gradually increase the force until the ball just barely clears the ramp, entering the bottom basket.

Super Skill Shot
if the Skill Shot is made, the Super Skill Shot will become available. As the ball rolls to the flipper, the Ramp will light. Hit the Ramp immediately. The display will show "Super Skill Shot" and award twice the value of the Skill Shot. This is in addition to the Skill Shot award that already been collected. (Thus, making the Super Skill Shot effectively triples your Skill Shot.)

Tiger Loops/Extra Ball
there are two ways to light an Extra Ball that I have found. After making a certain number of Tiger Loops (usually six), the Extra Ball will light. The second way to light it is to collect a certain number of Jewels (usually four). It's a good idea to choose the Jewels during Make A Wish, just so you can light this 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.

Harem Multiball
the Jet Bumpers will sometimes send the ball into the Harem Sneak-In, as described earlier. If you do this three times, Harem Multiball will be started. Another ball will be served to the plunger. During this Multiball, every shot will score the Harem "Jackpot"! Since the "Jackpot" starts at a very small value (10,000, or 25,000 if your machine is on easier settings), it is a good idea to boost it up in the Jet Bumpers before starting Harem Multiball.

Harem Multiball can also be started by spelling H-A-R-E-M. When Harem is lit at the Left Orbit, one of the letters in this word will be added when that shot is made. The diverter will also open, sending the ball into the Jet Bumpers area. Make five Harem shots to start Harem Multiball. Harem will always be lit at the start of each ball. The Harem shot is strange: it will relight on its own, but not until every other possible shot (Tiger Loops, Jet Bumpers, etc.) at the Left Orbit has timed out. Cradling the ball on the flipper is a good way to light Harem.

After so many games without it, the bonus count finally makes a comeback! Watch as the game plays music in time with each Lamp Spin you have accumulated, up to 119! It's not quite Swords Of Fury, but the bonus music is still neat to hear, especially when you watch the blue path count down your bonus on the playfield. The bonus count is very important in this game! Here are the scoring totals:

  • Each Lamp Spin (max 119) -- 10,000
  • Each Genie hit -- 10,000
  • Each Jewel collected -- 50,000

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.

This is a small random award, like Stroke of Luck on AFM. There are six huge, brightly lit lights on the playfield which spell B-A-Z-A-A-R. When all six letters are lit, the Bazaar scoop will award a random award. At game start, Bazaar will be lit automatically [operator adjustable?]. After Bazaar is collected, you will need to spell it to light it again. Letters are lit by hitting the Bazaar scoop when it is unlit, or by hitting a Standup Target: 3 letters per hit until Bazaar is lit again, then then 2 letters per hit until Bazaar is lit yet another time, then only 1 letter per hit thereafter.

Here are the Bazaar awards I have seen:

  • Light Extra Ball (very rare, only seen during a "poor" game)
  • Extra Ball (outright award, also very rare)
  • 3 Multipliers (adds 3 to your Bonus X)
  • 15 Lamp Spins (also adds a Wish, but does not start Lightning Lamp)
  • 250K
  • 500K ("Big points". Hah.)
  • Hold Bonus X
  • Light Locks
  • Start Multiball (only if 2 balls are already locked)
  • Light Make A Wish
  • Light Shooting Stars

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 Bazaar scoop is also used for Make A Wish, which is much more valuable than any Bazaar award (except Light Extra Ball). When Make A Wish is hit, you will be given two choices: Jewels, or a random award. The left flipper will be lit for one Jewel, or two Jewels if the Ruby is lit. The right flipper will be lit for a random award. The Ruby will turn off after making your Wish, so definitely use it to grab the two Jewels when you have the chance! (If you have already collected all Jewels, the left flipper will be lit for Start Genie Battle!)

The random awards I have seen are more valuable than Bazaar awards, but most are still not as important as getting Jewels:

  • Collect Bonus
  • 3X Fireball Value (usually appears during the Fireball countdown)
  • 3X Lamp Scoring (usually appears when Lightning Lamp is running)
  • Lightning Lamp
  • 3 Tiger Loops
  • Extra Ball (also very rare and seen only during a "poor" game)

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?]

A countdown award. When the purple light is lit on the Ramp, hitting the Ramp will start Fireball. The award for Fireball will be shown, quickly dropping down (like Thing Multiball on TAF). You will have about 20 seconds to hit the Genie, before the countdown drops to zero. It can be difficult, especially if the Lamp gets in the way. Fireball is lit by landing in the saucers a number of times, usually one or two (indicated on the display). After each Fireball, the number of saucer hits necessary to light it again goes up by one.

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.

Shooting Stars
the Shooting Stars are your FRIENDS. They will save the ball from draining down the outlanes!

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.

also known as the Necklace, it will cause Make A Wish to award _two_ jewels instead of just one! To light the Ruby, you must have Make A Wish already lit, and one of the Shooting Stars already lit, at the time you light the other Shooting Star.

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.

Tales (Modes)

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 Left bank of Standup Targets
  • The Left Orbit
  • The Ramp
  • The Right Orbit
  • The Right bank of Standup Targets (the ones hidden behind the Lamp, this
  • Symbol is very difficult to see)

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:

Sinbad (and the Rocs)
The Jet Bumpers come alive in this Mode. The left orbit will light, and the diverter will open, always sending the ball to the Jet Bumpers. Each bumper hit will smash one Roc (a bird of unusual size), sending feathers flying all over the display and making a very satisfying sound effect. You only need to hit one bumper to light the Jewel, the additional Rocs are just for fun (and points)!

Ali Baba
What's the magic word to open the cave? Both banks of standup targets will become lit. Hitting any of these targets will spot one letter in S-E-S-A-M-E. This is a hard mode, you might want to Wish it away. When the word is spelled, a great voice firmly yells "OPEN SESAME!". The cave opens, revealing the Jewel inside.

Flying Horse
Five statues will appear on the screen. Each of the five Golden Symbols represents one statue. Smash the statues by hitting them. The prize you need to complete the Mode is randomly hidden inside one of the statues (usually it is the last statue you hit, unfortunately). Find the statue to light the Jewel. This is also a hard mode, another one to Wish away.

The most difficult thing about this Mode is spelling its name. All Symbols will light, and all you need to do is hit one of them. After this, you can either keep hitting the Symbols for points, or end the mode by collecting the Jewel.

Camel Race
To win the tale of the great camel race, "hit yellow shots to get ahead". All five Golden Symbols will become lit. Hit them enough times [usually 4 or 5, operator adjustable?] to complete the mode. It doesn't matter which Symbol you hit; repeated hits to one Symbol are OK. Don't stand behind the camels after they've just eaten :-)

Flying Carpet (Forty Thieves)
"FLY... on your magic carpet!" This mode is my favorite one, and it's easy. The Flying Carpet becomes lit on the Ramp. Hit the Ramp, and that's it! The next Ramp shot will collect your Jewel.

"Into the orbs!" Strangely enough, the Golden Symbols aren't used in this mode. Hit one of the Captive Balls, or land in the saucer next to the left Captive Ball, to launch an Orb at the Cyclops and hit him in the head with it (ouch!). Like the Rocs, you only need to do this once, but it will remain lit so you can get extra points from it. The points for hitting each Cyclops advance with each Cyclops hit during the mode: starting at 10K, they increase by 10K each time (to 20K, 30K, etc.).

Genie Battle
This is the wizard mode in the game. You can't get this until you have all seven Jewels in your hot little hands. This is a two-stage event, like Wet Willie's in Whitewater. When you get the seventh Jewel, the Genie will become lit, to start the first stage. The red "Genie Battle" light between the flippers will start to eerily flicker, just like the Ruby.

When you start this mode, you get a really cool animation. The Princess cries out to you, trapped in her bottle, but the Genie pulls a dirty trick: he takes her away and summons many Skeletons to fight you. The Golden Symbols will become lit. Hitting each Golden Symbol will kill one Skeleton. Hitting the Orbs will also kill a Skeleton.

The Genie will summon more Skeletons to replace the ones you have killed. If you drain during this stage, you will continue where you left off, on your next ball. After defeating many Skeletons (typically somewhere around 6 to 8), the game will lock the ball and serve another one to the plunger. The final Skeleton will always be a shot that the game can use to lock the ball, typically the orbits. [Hitting the Genie may also sometimes spot a Skeleton, early on in the battle?]

After locking the ball, the game will display "Unlimited Balls Until Someone Wins". Shoot the ball, and the final Genie Battle will start! More balls will be served to the plunger, even while you have these two in play, up to the maximum number of balls the game holds (four). The Shooting Stars will always be active during the Battle [operator adjustable?].

If you drain during this stage, the ball will be instantly sent back to the plunger. Immediately launch all of these balls, you will be penalized if you don't! It helps to have a friend launch the balls for you, so you can concentrate on playing. (This is like the final mode in World Cup Soccer.)

The scoreboard will be locked on only one thing during this final multiball mode: your epic struggle to rescue the Princess from the evil Genie! The Genie appears on the left, you on the right, and spinning in the space between them is the bottle containing the trapped Princess. All five shots will light. Keep hitting these shots to pull the Princess slightly closer to you. [The Genie, and other targets, might also have an effect?] The Genie will steadily pull the Princess closer to him. Do not keep a ball resting in the plunger lane, or the Genie will pull the Princess over faster. Balls will frequently drain, because the Shooting Stars are completely disabled during this final battle.

When either you or the Genie finally grab hold of the Princess, the mode will stop and the flippers will go dead. Every ball on the playfield will drain, just like TZ resetting itself after Lost In The Zone. If you have rescued the Princess, you've won! You will be awarded 20,000,000 points! (This is a huge amount on this game. Think of getting 20 billion on AFM.) I won't spoil the beautiful ending sequence here... If you weren't this lucky (and even if you were), you get to try again: another ball will be served to the plunger. (If a ball has been left in the plunger lane, you get to use that one, another ball won't be launched.) Now, all you have to do is get the seven Jewels again... You'll probably get another game in which to do it, because the Specials will now be lit!


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:

  • Added rollover score (1B)
  • Clarified Lightning Lamp information
  • Corrected Scheherazade and Great Camel Race mode rules
  • Added only one Secret Ball Lock per game
  • Added Jet Bumper Harem Jackpot increase (1K per hit)
  • Clarified when the lit Mode changes (slingshot hits)
  • Added to Make A Wish strategy
  • Added A New Cow!
  • Added loss of ball locks during another player's Multiball
  • Added Genie speech at game start
  • Added some beta differences
  • Clarified rules about the Left Orbit and Harem
  • Added more Bazaar and Make A Wish random awards
  • Mentioned some rules changes between easier and harder operator settings
  • Added more names to the Credits section
  • Added this Changes section :-)
  • Various other formatting changes and cleanup

Credits (0.)

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.

  • Louis Koziarz
  • Bowen Kerins
  • Alison Scott
  • Chris Hehman
  • Greg Gibson
  • Aaron Mandel
  • Peo Zetterberg
  • Steve Lane
  • Martijn van Aken
  • Matt Magnasco
  • Lenny Detroit
  • Svante Ericsson
  • Gil Graybill
  • Randy Vose
  • Andy Church
  • Gabriel Dasilveira

If you want your name removed from this Rule Sheet, let me know.

Web Sites

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:

Editor's Notes

  • HTML added by David Gersic dgersic_@_niu.edu
  • E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.

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