Sigma's Guide to
Version as of 04/18/94
Notes and Disclaimers
This rule compilation and tips sheet is, to the extent possible (in light of the subject matter being the property of Bally/Williams), freeware. It can be modified, updated, or revised, provided only that credit to the original author(s) remains intact. It can be published or otherwise distributed, provided only that such distribution is effectively free. Another Rules Sheet for Twilight Zone has been written by Bowen Kerins, who can be reached as firstname.lastname@example.org.
This sheet is written and maintained by Kevin Martin, email@example.com. If you have any questions or comments or additions or corrections, send 'em along to me.
Twilight Zone the pinball machine is the property of Williams/Bally, and a trademark of the licensor. The author(s) disclaim all interest in any trademarks or other intellectual property referenced herein.
I use the abbreviations "K" for a thousand points, "M" for a million points, "B" for a billion points, and "LITZ" for Lost In The Zone.
This version of the Guide should be considered final.
This is a glossary of the shots and features that will be referred to during the discussion of the game. Because Twilight Zone is a rather cluttered widebody design, this section is quite lengthy. The features are, in general, described starting from the lower right and proceeding counter-clockwise.
The normal Skill Shot from the manual plunger lane is to plunge gently, such that the ball trips one or more of the rollover switches, without landing in the scoop at the end of the plunger lane. Hitting the scoop feeds the ball to the Slot Machine kickout and scores 1M (plus 100K for the Slot Machine kickout itself). Hitting the lowest rollover switch (Red) scores 2M and advances one Jet Bumper (see "Town Square"). Hitting the middle rollover switch (Orange) scores 5M and advances two Jet Bumpers. Hitting the highest rollover switch (Yellow) scores 10M and advances three Jet Bumpers. It is possible to hit the lowest rollover switch and have the ball fall back to the manual plunger lane, in which case it is best to plunge the ball into the scoop. Normal Skill Shots feed the ball to the Rocket, which should fire it through the Hitchhiker lane and into the Jet Bumpers.
The ball easily gets stuck under or in front of the gate at the bottom of the rollover switches. A light tap on the side of the cabinet is the easiest way to handle this.
The seven Greed Targets in Twilight Zone are unlit at the beginning of each ball. During normal play, hitting the unlit Clock Target will light one of the Greed Targets (starting from the lower left and working upwards). These can also be lit by a Camera Award or the Extra Ball Buy-In. Hitting a lit Greed Target awards 5M and unlights that Target. However, due to a bug in the software, 10M is actually awarded whenever you see this "5 Million" animation! This is true through at least L-4 revisions, and applies regardless of how the target was lit.
Once per ball and only during normal play, hitting the unlit Clock Target when all seven Greed Targets are already lit will award a Clock Bonus of 10M, with an excellent sound effect and animation.
During Multiball modes, or when the 10M Clock Bonus has already been collected and all seven Greed Targets are lit, hitting the unlit Clock Target will generate a cuckoo noise. This can be helpful by letting you know there is a ball in that area of the playfield during Multiball modes.
The Greed Targets can all be lit automatically by the Camera: Lite Greed Targets award, and are also used during the Door Panel Greed Round, during Multiball, and when the Gumball Machine is lit for Powerball Mania (see "Powerball"). When the Extra Ball Buy-In is used, all seven Greed Targets are automatically lit and the 10M Clock Bonus is immediately available.
These Targets are also referred to as the 5 Million Targets.
The Clock, if working properly, is used to count down various rounds and modes (this is handled by software if the Clock is believed to be malfunctioning). In general, the most recently started round has control of the Clock. The most common use of the Clock is to count forward from noon to midnight at a moderate pace; the amount of time this requires represents the duration of a typical round or mode. A distinctive sound is made at the end of any such round or mode; there is a grace period during and briefly after this sound for almost every such round or mode.
Note that the Clock can only move forward or backwards in a normal fashion; its arms cannot be moved in any fashion other than the normal progression of time in either direction.
The three Jet Bumpers form Town Square. Town Square has a current value, which is normally reset to 7.5M at the beginning of each ball. Unlit Jet Bumpers advance the Town Square value by 100K. Lit Jet Bumpers advance the value by 200K. Flashing Jet Bumpers advance the value by 300K. The normal Skill Shot awards advance one, two, or all three Jet Bumpers by one step, from unlit to lit to flashing. Shooting the unlit Camera at any time will advance one Jet Bumper. When all three Jet Bumpers are flashing, the next unlit Camera shot will display "Jets At Max" and no further message will be displayed for the rest of the current ball. At the beginning of each ball, all three Jet Bumpers are unlit.
To collect the current Town Square value, shoot the unlit Dead End sinkhole. Doing this when Dead End is lit collects double the Town Square value (see "Dead End"). The Camera: 3X Town Square award is worth three times the current Town Square value.
The maximum Town Square value is 25M. The Town Square value can only be held over to the next ball by the Camera: Hold Town Square award; otherwise it is always reset to the starting value of 7.5M.
Every Jet Bumper hit rotates the currently flashing Door Panel clockwise. This of course skips any Panels that are already lit.
See also "Town Square Madness".
The Right Inlane (at any time) lights the Dead End sinkhole until it is collected or the current ball ends. The lit Dead End is worth double the current Town Square value. Lit Dead End shots are counted over the course of the game. On normal settings, an Extra Ball is lit when you collect the third Dead End; this value is operator adjustable between two to seven.
The Dead End Extra Ball is normally temporary. If you already have the maximum number of Extra Balls stacked when you collect your third Dead End, no Extra Ball is lit from Dead End, then or in the future. For details, see "Extra Balls".
See also "Easter Eggs".
The number of Robots you collect is counted over the course of the game. You begin the game with one Robot. The Left Ramp normally awards one Robot at any time. The Lock Lane also always awards one Robot. While the Left Ramp is temporarily lit by the Right Inlane, it will award two Robots.
On normal settings, a certain number of Robots will light an Extra Ball. This value reflexes and is typically between 6 and 14 Robots. A second Extra Ball is normally lit at 45 Robots, and this value does not reflex. See "Extra Balls".
After you collect the 98th Robot, Robots are no longer counted, and every Robot is worth a Super Robot bonus of 5M. The Right Inlane has no effect on this award.
At every multiple of 10 Robots (8 on Easy settings), the Camera is lit. Lit Cameras are stacked. See "Camera".
See also "Easter Eggs"
The Camera is lit at every multiple of 10 Robots (8 on Easy settings), or by the Camera Door Panel, which actually lights the Camera twice. There are eight possible Camera awards. The next Camera award is determined randomly, except that the entire set of eight must be completed before any of the awards can be repeated. Also, the same award will never appear twice in a row. The next award is randomly pre-determined and preserved between balls, players, games, and power cycles. The next Camera award is part of the status report. Also, whenever you collect a Camera award, the next Camera award is displayed.
The eight Camera awards are described in the following sections.
See also "Tournament Mode"
Camera: Hold Town Square
Camera: 3X Town Square
Camera: Lite Greed Targets
See also "Greed Targets"
Camera: Clock 10 Millions
Scoring at least six hits on the Clock Target during this round will award a special 20M Clock Damage Bonus (and animation) when the round ends, unless the sixth hit was scored during the ending grace period.
See also "Door Panel: Clock Millions".
Camera: 10 Hitchhikers
If the Hitchhiker Door Panel has been awarded on the current ball, this award is worth an immediate 20M.
Camera: Lite Outlanes
Camera: Collect Bonus
See also "End-of-Ball Bonus".
The number of Hitchhikers you collect is counted over the course of the game. You begin the game with one Hitchhiker. At all times except during Lost In The Zone, the Hitchhiker Lane will award at least one Hitchhiker (Hitchhikers awarded during Lost In The Zone do not count towards your normal total, although Robots do). During normal play, hitting the Hitchhiker Lane switch twice in very quick succession will only award one Hitchhiker, on the correct assumption that the ball has tripped the switch once in each direction and not fallen into the Jet Bumpers as it should. During Multiball modes, every trip of the switch awards a Hitchhiker. Shooting the Left Orbit and then the Hitchhiker Lane within the next second or two will award a Triple Pickup, which is three Hitchhikers. This is true during all modes, including Lost In The Zone.
At the award of the third Hitchhiker and at every multiple of 10 Hitchhikers, Battle The Power is lit on the Right Ramp. Lit Battle The Power's are stacked. See "Battle The Power"
After the Hitchhiker Door Panel has been awarded, every Hitchhiker for the rest of the current ball is worth 2M. The Triple Pickup is then worth 6M. The Camera 10 Hitchhikers award is then worth 20M.
During Lost In The Zone, Hitchhikers are worth 2M towards the Lost In The Zone Total.
See also "Easter Eggs"
There are many ways to light Battle The Power on the Right Ramp. Battle The Power is lit at the third and every multiple of 10 Hitchhikers. It is also lit by a Door Panel. It is also lit by every other Spiral award. It is also lit by the Red award of the Super Skill Shot. It can also be automatically lit at the beginning of the game if this option has been set in the menus.
When Battle The Power is lit, the Bridge Diverter will move aside to let the ball onto the Powerfield. The Magna-Flip&tm; flippers are then active. You have at least 10 seconds in which to attempt to defeat the Power, which is done by magnetically propelling the ball through the upper exit from the Powerfield. The Powerfield value starts at 5M, and is increased by all four scoring switches and the opto at the top of the Powerfield. The value of these switches starts at 500K. After you first defeat the Power, the switch value is 750K for the rest of the game. After the second defeat, the switch value is 1M. The switch value goes no higher. The opto at the upper exit of the Powerfield counts as two switch closures for this purpose.
Defeating the Power doubles the Powerfield value and awards the currently flashing Door Panel (and advances the flashing light as if you had hit the Player Piano), leaving the Player Piano in its current lit or unlit state (the Slot Machine will always be lit, because you just hit the Right Ramp).
Defeating the Power also lights the Power Payoff targets for 10M. This is not stacked.
The cumulative Powerfield values are part of your Bonus, to no known maximum.
Defeating the Power is detected by the combination of tripping the upper playfield opto followed by the Camera sensor in the next few seconds. During Powerball Mania and Lost In The Zone, this provides a way to "cheat" Mania Jackpots by shooting the Camera while a ball is on the Powerfield.
Note that there is a grace period during which you can get a few more shots at defeating the Power before Magna-Flip&tm; is truly disabled. However, it is possible to defeat the Power so late that you will only be given credit for shooting the Camera.
After any use of the Powerfield, a special ball search takes place to try to make sure that all balls have exited the Powerfield. This special ball search pulses Magna-Flip&tm; twice, and is of course only noticeable when a metal ball has actually become stuck on the Powerfield.
If the Powerfield is not properly leveled, the ball will frequently become stuck in either corner. The special ball search will then take effect. Regardless of what dislodges the ball, you cannot defeat the Power at this point - a lucky shot through the upper exit will behave as if you had simply shot the Camera.
Sometimes after a Multiball mode has ended, the Battle The Power light will not be lit even if Battle The Power is available. I am not referring only to the case in which the Powerball was involved in the previous Multiball and the software is unsure where it now resides. I am also at a loss to explain why the software sometimes stops balls on Spiral Helpers after a round such as Fast Lock. Perhaps the Powerball was spuriously detected during the round and now the software would like to make sure it's not on the playfield.
See also "Combo Shots"
The Gumball Machine can be lit by spelling
Loading the Gumball Machine the first time in a game (for each player) is worth 15M, the second time is worth 20M, and all subsequent loads are worth 25M. These points are awarded immediately.
Note that on newer ROMs, an automatic plunge (as from a ball saver) will not load the Gumball Machine (or start Powerball Mania).
Older machines lack a plastic piece in the Gumball Machine that keeps the balls stacked vertically. In these machines, it is possible for the balls to rotate as a ball is fed out, such that one ball is never let out of the Gumball Machine. You should probably complain to your operator if you run into this problem.
The Powerball is a ceramic ball much like a steel pinball. It is very slightly lighter and very slightly larger. It plays very differently from a steel pinball partly for these reasons and partly because it tends to spin and bounce differently. The Powerball is, of course, completely immune to magnets.
There are two Powerball Sensors (called Proximity Sensors) in Twilight Zone; one is in the trough at the next ball to be served, and the other is just above and to the left of the Slot Machine kickout, such that the Sensor is crossed by balls coming from the Player Piano, Camera, Gumball Machine, Powerfield upper exit, and Dead End, but not by balls that enter the plunger lane scoop or the Slot Machine itself.
When the Powerball is on the playfield during normal play and has been
detected by at least one of the Powerball Sensors, the Gumball Machine is
lit for Powerball Mania, and the Greed Targets are flashing. There is a
Powerball Payoff value which always starts at a base of 10M. The Greed
Targets increase the Powerball Payoff value (by 5M each) while the Powerball
is known to be the only ball on the playfield. All game features which do
not involve the use of magnets are still available at this time. Spiral
Helper magnets are disabled and Battle The Power is temporarily unavailable,
but you may still collect Door Panels, spell
Whenever the Powerball completes an Orbit, a Powerball Loop is awarded, which is worth an immediate 10M. This can be done with the left Orbit when Powerball Mania is lit, or with either Orbit during any Multiball mode except Powerball Mania itself.
Shooting the Right Orbit to the Gumball Diverter awards the current Powerball Payoff value and starts Powerball Mania. See "Powerball Mania".
Note that on newer ROMs, an automatic plunge (as from a ball saver) will not start Powerball Mania.
If the Powerball is missing from the machine, there is software compensation to simulate it. When the Powerball is being simulated by software, the "Powerball" display is in reverse video.
If the Powerball has not been detected after a certain number of consecutive
loads of the Gumball Machine (five or six?), it is simulated and Powerball
Mania begins immediately (there is no round in which to build up the Payoff
value). It is possible to encounter this form of compensation while the
Powerball is resting in the trough (rather than truly missing), by using
stacked Gumball's from previous spellings of
This simulation of the Powerball may also be dictated by a menu adjustment, which will cause the Powerball sensors to be ignored. In this case, the Powerball is simulated for every second ball released from the Gumball Machine, and a normal Powerball Payoff round is available while Powerball Mania is lit.
Note that if the powerball is being simulated (normally as the result of a menu adjustment), every other ball dispensed by the Gumball Machine for each player will be designated a Powerball.
The software attempts to deduce which ball is the Powerball by keeping track of which balls are not the Powerball, although it is difficult to make good use of this knowledge. The most helpful consequence of this is that the Powerball is kept track of in the Lock Lane even though there is no Proximity Sensor there. However, I have seen this lead to unusual behavior on some machines, where a steel ball is released from the Lock and identified as the Powerball.
The software also keeps virtual track of where it thinks the Powerball is in the Gumball Machine, as additional but not necessarily helpful verification that the Machine and Proximity Sensors are working properly.
Powerball Mania can only be started by loading the Powerball into the Gumball Machine when the game knows the Powerball is the only ball on the playfield, or by every second load of the Gumball Machine when software compensation is active as described under "Powerball".
Starting Powerball Mania immediately awards the current Powerball Payoff value, which starts at 10M (5M on prototype ROMs) and is increased by the Greed Targets before Powerball Mania. The Powerball is loaded back into the Gumball Machine, one ball is fed from the Gumball Machine, and two other balls are put into play. These other balls come from the Lock if possible, otherwise from the trough by way of the automatic plunger.
The Clock counts down at the beginning of Powerball Mania. Until it reaches the end of its cycle, all targets credit 250K to the Powerball Mania Total, which is part of your End-of-Ball Bonus. The Powerball Mania Total begins at 5M. The Clock never pauses when timing this initial Frenzy, even when all balls are out of play (that is, locked or being launched).
There is a short grace period at the beginning of Powerball Mania, during which balls that drain will be relaunched into play by the automatic plunger. It is possible for all three balls to drain and be relaunched into play.
During Powerball Mania, the Right Ramp is flashing for a special version of Battle The Power. You can shoot any number of balls up the Right Ramp to enter the Powerfield, where Magna-Flip&tm; is active while the real flippers are also active. Each ball that enters the Powerfield resets the timer for Magna-Flip&tm;. The Powerfield switch value is always 750K during Powerball Mania, and this is credited to your Powerball Mania Total. Therefore, during the initial Frenzy, Powerfield switches credit a total of 1M each to the Powerball Mania Total.
Defeating the Power during Powerball Mania awards a Mania Jackpot, which is always 50M. This value is credited towards your Powerball Mania Total. After defeating the Power, the timer continues for any balls remaining on the Powerfield, but the Right Ramp no longer feeds the Powerfield. Hit the Left Ramp to relight the Right Ramp to reach the Powerfield. After each Mania Jackpot, the Powerfield timer becomes shorter, to a minimum of roughly four seconds. This shorter timer applies to all subsequent Powerball Manias. It also seems that a very quick drain from the Powerfield will make the next Powerfield timer more generous.
You can collect "cheat" Mania Jackpots during Powerball Mania by shooting the Camera after a ball has tripped the upper opto on the Powerfield. This can be used to collect several Mania Jackpots with only one ball on the Powerfield.
It is possible to defeat the Power twice in very quick succession, such that only one ball will be detected and only one Mania Jackpot awarded. This was corrected in ROM revision L-4. The corrected version also makes it easier to "cheat" multiple jackpots as a result.
As in all other Multiball modes, Door Panels, Combos, Spiral Values, and the Camera are unavailable during Powerball Mania.
Powerball Mania ends when you drain at least two of the three balls in play.
The Low Line menu option applies to Powerball Mania. This option disables the upper flippers during this mode, which provides more power to the Magna-Flip&tm; magnets. These magnets invariably have less power while the flippers are active.
Locks are lit at the Lock Lane by spelling
On normal settings, only one Lock is needed to light the Left Ramp for the
first Multiball, and the second and third Locks are effectively lit for free.
For the second Multiball, locking the second ball will leave the Lock Lane
lit for the third Lock without spelling
The Super Skill Shot on the Left Ramp takes precedence over starting Multiball. See "Door Panel: Super Skill Shot".
Locking the third ball or hitting the Left Ramp when lit for Multiball immediately starts Multiball. Multiball cannot be started during any other Multiball mode or when the Fast Lock countdown is running. However, it is compatible with all other rounds.
When Multiball starts, the Jackpot is immediately lit at the Player Piano. Its starting value is 15M if only one ball was locked before starting Multiball (this is normally only possible for the first Multiball); otherwise it starts at 40M. On prototype ROMs, these values are each 5M less.
During Multiball, the Greed Targets are always flashing, lit to increase the Jackpot value by 5M each. When a Greed Target is hit, it remains unlit until all seven Targets have been hit or until a Jackpot has been collected, which resets all seven Targets. When all seven Targets have been hit and the Jackpot has still not been collected, one Target is lit at a time, proceeding in order from the lower left set of three, to the far upper right, then from top to bottom in the set of three at the Slot Machine. The Jackpot can be increased to a maximum of 255M by hitting the Greed Targets.
Greed Targets which were lit by the unlit Clock Target during normal play before Multiball remain lit during all Multiball modes but this is unrelated to the Jackpot value.
Hit the Player Piano to collect the Jackpot. This resets the Jackpot to its previous base value plus 10M. It also resets the Greed Targets and leaves the Jackpot unlit. Relight the Jackpot by shooting the Camera. This sequence proceeds as long as at least two balls are in play. There is a grace period for shooting the Jackpot, during which a Door Panel will also be awarded from the Player Piano after the Jackpot animation (if the Player Piano is in fact lit).
The base Jackpot value will only increase five times. This limits the base Jackpot value to 65M or 90M, depending on how many balls were locked before starting Multiball.
During the Jackpot animation, no balls are kicked out from the Slot Machine or automatic plunger.
Spiral Helpers will help you with both the Jackpot and Camera shots as appropriate, unless the Door Panel Spiral Round is running, in which case its rules take precedence (see "Spiral Helpers"). When the Jackpot is lit, the left Spiral Helper is active. When the Camera is lit to relight the Jackpot, the right Spiral Helper is active. Note that during Multiball, both Spiral Helpers will always be reachable from either Orbit. When the Spiral Helpers are active (they can only be overridden by Spiral Breakthrus), a completed Orbit will be credited as a Powerball Loop for 10M, on the assumption that the Powerball completed an Orbit and was of course unaffected by the Spiral Helpers.
The Right Ramp will also neatly present the ball to the upper left flipper for a shot at the Jackpot. When the Right Ramp is hit and the Jackpot is lit, other kickouts will be delayed until you've been given a brief but clean shot at the Jackpot. In fact, given a choice between dropping a ball from the Bridge Diverter and activating other kickouts, the Bridge Diverter will take precedence regardless of whether the Jackpot is lit or not. This is somewhat unfortunate. However, when there is a ball in the Lock Lane or on the Right Spiral Helper and the Camera is lit to relight the Jackpot, the Slot Machine kickout will be delayed until you've been given a very brief but clean shot at the Camera.
Shooting the Jackpot with the Powerball (if properly detected) will award double the Jackpot value. This value is displayed as doubled without regard to internal 8-bit overflow, such that a 255M Jackpot becomes 254M when doubled, 140M becomes 25M, etc. This is merely a display error, however; the correct value is still added to your score.
Double Jackpots depend entirely on the Powerball Sensor at the Slot Machine; they can be awarded even when the Powerball is obviously somewhere else. This most commonly happens when a ball falls into the Slot Machine immediately after a Jackpot registers; the software sees the ball at the Slot Machine before the intervening Proximity Sensor detects a metal ball, so it assumes that the Powerball passed from the Jackpot switch to the Slot Machine switch.
Double Jackpots are not available when menu adjustments indicate that the Powerball is missing, because the Powerball Sensors are then categorically ignored.
There is no grace period for relaunching balls during Multiball. If you drain two of the three balls without collecting any Jackpots, the Lock Lane will be lit for a Multiball Restart for 15 seconds. The Restart will resume Multiball as it was before, with the Jackpot value as it was before, although subsequent Jackpots will progress as if Multiball had been started with only one ball locked; that is, the second Jackpot is 25M, and the maximum base value is 65M.
There is no grace period on the Multiball Restart, even though the music runs for a second or two after the timer expires. There is, however, a lead-in grace period. That is, if the last thing you shot was the Lock Lane when the other balls drained, you may be given credit for the Restart immediately, even though the ball has already been ejected from the Lock Lane. This is much appreciated.
In all Multiball modes (normal, Fast Lock, and Powerball Mania), Door Panels, Combos, Spiral Values, and the Camera are unavailable. During the Multiball Restart period, the only difference is that Combos are available.
Multiball ends when you drain at least two of the three balls in play, with the exception of Multiball Restart as described above.
Spiral Values are represented by a row of six lights directly above the lower flippers. The Spiral Values are, in order:
On normal settings, the first two lights are lit at the beginning of the game, and the third light is flashing. The flashing light represents the next Spiral Value to be awarded. Collect a Spiral Value by shooting a lit Orbit. The Right Orbit is lit by the Far Left Inlane, while the Left Orbit is lit by the Right Inlane. Also, shooting either Orbit when unlit will light that Orbit. Orbits only remain lit for a few seconds, and the timers do not ever pause. Shooting a lit Orbit does not leave it lit for an additional Spiral Value.
Shooting an unlit Orbit does not light that Orbit for a Spiral Value if the Spiral Helper on the near side was active, as this would make Spiral Values too easy to collect under certain conditions (such as when the Camera is lit in normal play). See "Spiral Helpers".
Normally, the Extra Ball lit by the last Spiral Value is a temporary Extra Ball. See "Extra Balls".
On prototype machines, lighting Battle The Power was not part of the Spiral Values.
Here's a truly bizarre case: If the Right Spiral is lit and you shoot the Lock Lane but the ball jumps leftwards and over the divider that separates the Lock Lane from the Gumball Diverter sinkhole, the Gumball Machine will be loaded (with points awarded if the Gumball Machine was lit), and the next Spiral Value will be awarded as compensation!
The Spiral Helpers are magnets located on either Orbit. These magnets are triggered by accompanying opto sensors and activated when appropriate. The exact conditions for each Spiral Helper to be active are complex, and this section attempts to describe all possible situations. Thanks go to Mark Phaedrus, firstname.lastname@example.org, for the format of this explanation. The conditions are listed below, with precedence from top to bottom. If no information is presented for one Orbit under a given condition, that condition does not affect Helpers on that Orbit shot.
Powerball is known to be the only ball on the playfield (obvious case):
Spiral Round running, fourth and later Orbits for Spiral Breakthru:
Lost In The Zone running:
Gumball Machine lit for
Automatic plunger during Multiball:
Automatic plunger for ball saver:
Jackpot lit during Multiball:
Camera lit during Multiball:
Town Square Madness running:
Camera lit during normal play:
Spiral Round running, first Orbit:
Spiral Round running, second Orbit:
Spiral Round running, third Orbit:
Spiral Value lit on left Orbit:
Spiral Value lit on right Orbit:
Note that none of the Helper behaviors prevent the award of lit Spiral Values, although some cases make it easier to collect a Spiral Value. Specifically, if a Spiral Helper is active on the near side of a lit Spiral, credit is given for the entire Spiral shot when the ball reaches the near Spiral Helper, provided that the ball appears to reach that Spiral Helper before the opposite Helper. For example, when the Camera is lit in normal play, a weak Right Orbit shot can collect a lit Spiral Value by only reaching the right Spiral Helper, rather than having to go all the way around to the left Spiral Helper.
Credit is given for the lit right Spiral whenever a ball is loaded into the Gumball Machine.
Also, shooting the Left Orbit to the right Spiral Helper when Town Square Madness is running or the Camera is lit (in normal play) does not disallow collecting the Triple Pickup by shooting the Hitchhiker Lane.
When Spiral Helpers are lit during any Multiball mode and a ball completes an Orbit without being properly caught, a Powerball Loop will be awarded for 10M, on the assumption that the Powerball has just rightfully ignored the Spiral Helper magnets. Note that in order to detect legitimate Powerball Loops, the Spiral Helpers are enabled when the Powerball is known to be the only ball in play.
The Spiral Round can be very confusing. The basic idea is that the left Spiral Helper is used no more than twice and the right Spiral Helper is used no more than once. When shooting an Orbit, if the near Spiral Helper is still available according to these specifications, it will be activated; otherwise, the far Spiral Helper will be activated. After three Spirals have been collected, Helpers are deactivated for the remainder of the Spiral round.
During the Spiral Round, loading the Gumball Machine behaves as if a normal right Orbit was completed, counting as one use of the right Helper if it had not been used previously, otherwise counting as a use of the left Helper. Also, a ball ejected from the Lock Lane can trip the right Helper and give credit for a Spiral award if the right Helper had not yet been used.
If fewer than two Spirals have been collected during the Spiral Round and a ball is automatically plunged, two Spiral values are awarded, one for each Spiral Helper.
Similarly, if the Powerball is used to complete an Orbit during the Spiral Round (before two Spirals have been collected), two Spiral awards will be given, plus the 10M Powerball Loop. This is usually only possible on the left loop when Powerball Mania is lit, although it could also theoretically be done during Multiball if the autoplunger failed to collect more than one Spiral award automatically.
If the ball is launched from the automatic plunger when this is not expected (due to some hardware failure), the overrides described above for the automatic plunger do not apply. In particular, the ball can be launched directly onto the active Right Spiral Helper, which does a very impressive job of decelerating it.
In general, the right Spiral Helper gets more use than the left one.
The Outlanes can be lit by a Camera award or by the Orange award of the Super Skill Shot. The Left Outlane lights for an Extra Ball (the only Extra Ball which is not awarded from the Lock Lane), and the Right Outlane lights for Special. On normal settings, Outlanes are "hard", which means that only one Outlane is lit at a time (starting with the left for Extra Ball), and the lit Outlane is steered by the slingshots. Hitting either slingshot moves the light to the opposite Outlane. When one lit Outlane has been collected, the other will be lit on every second slingshot hit.
Strangely, the light is also moved to the opposite Outlane when you collect an Extra Ball, either at the Lock Lane or from the Left Outlane itself.
When the Outlanes are set to "easy", both Outlanes are lit at once and the slingshots and Lock Lane have no effect on the Outlanes.
Lighting the Outlanes when they are already lit has no effect unless one Outlane has already been collected, in which case the Outlanes are reset to normally lit. You cannot have both Outlanes simultaneously lit on the default "hard" settings.
The Door is arguably the most central feature of Twilight Zone. The Door is
a large collection of lights in the lower middle of the playfield,
representing a grid of awards and progress towards Multiball. The four large
red lights indicate progress in spelling
On normal settings, collecting the Yellow award from a normal skill shot will spot the 10 Million Door Panel. Menu adjustments also allow the free spotting of the Battle The Power and Lite Gumball Door Panels whenever that award has been accomplished in some other fashion. These rather unusual settings are intended to make it easier to reach Lost In The Zone by reducing the number of times one must shoot the Player Piano or the Slot Machine or defeat the Power.
Collecting any Extra Ball disables the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel on the current Door, regardless of settings. Also, if you have the maximum number of Extra Balls stacked when you begin a new Door, the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel will be spotted. See "Extra Balls".
Starting Multiball makes many noisy references to the Door. See "Quotes".
During normal play and when lit (yellow light), the Player Piano awards the currently flashing Door Panel. The flashing light then advances clockwise to the next available Door Panel (or to the Door Handle), and the Player Piano remains unlit unless Lost In The Zone is the next award. The Player Piano is lit by the Left Ramp. On normal settings, the Player Piano is automatically lit at the beginning of each ball. This is not true on hard settings or for five ball play.
During Multiball, the lit Player Piano (red light) awards the Jackpot.
When the Player Piano is unlit or unavailable because of a running Multiball mode, it awards Odd Change. This is a random value between 10 and 9,999,990, inclusive. The distribution of these values is certainly not even. It seems most likely that a random number of digits (two to seven) is selected and then the digits are generated. During Lost In The Zone, however, Odd Change values are always seven digits.
An Odd Change value of 10M is not possible.
During normal play and when lit, the Slot Machine awards a random Door Panel. If at all possible, this is not the currently flashing Door Panel or the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel. Unless the currently flashing Door Panel was awarded, the flashing light is not affected by this award. The Slot Machine remains unlit until relit indefinitely by the Right Ramp or temporarily by the Near Left Inlane. On normal settings, the Slot Machine is automatically lit at the beginning of each ball. On hard settings or for five ball play, this is not the case.
The unlit Slot Machine awards 100K.
Hitting the Slot Machine immediately after a kickout from the Slot Machine awards nothing, on the assumption that the ball was not properly kicked out. The timing for this is flawless and it should be impossible to hit the ball back in quickly enough to have a problem with this.
The Slot Machine tends to favor the weaker awards, such as 10 Million, Lite Gumball, Battle The Power, and Super Slot.
There are fifteen Door Panels, counting the Handle. During normal play, the currently flashing Door Panel is awarded by the lit Player Piano or by defeating the Power, and a random Door Panel is awarded by the lit Slot Machine. There is no other way to collect Door Panels.
Lit Door Panels have already been collected or spotted, and cannot be collected again until after Lost In The Zone has been completed. The flashing Door Panel is rotated clockwise by the Jet Bumpers.
At the beginning of the game, one of four Door Panels will be the currently flashing award: Town Square Madness, Clock Millions, Camera, or Clock Chaos. This is not necessarily the same for each player in a multi-player game.
The Door Panels are described here in clockwise order, starting in the upper left corner.
Door Panel: Town Square Madness
When Town Square Madness is running, the right Spiral Helper will catch balls to allow a shot at the Hitchhiker Lane, subject to various conditions. See "Spiral Helpers".
Door Panel: Lite Extra Ball
See also "Extra Balls".
Door Panel: Super Slot
Door Panel: Clock Millions
Scoring at least six hits on the Clock Target during this round will award a special 10M Clock Damage Bonus (and animation) when the round ends, unless the sixth hit was scored during the ending grace period.
Door Panel: The Spiral
Door Panel: Battle The Power
This Door Panel can be spotted by lighting Battle The Power in any other fashion, if the appropriate menu adjustment has been made.
Door Panel: 10 Million
This Door Panel is spotted by the Yellow award from the normal skill shot on normal settings.
Door Panel: Greed
A Greed Total of 25M or more will earn a familiar quote from Rod: "There, see what Greed will get you?"
Door Panel: Camera
Door Panel: Hitchhiker
Because the maximum number of Hitchhikers is 100, the maximum value of this award is a pleasant 200M.
On L-4 ROMs, the volume is turned down considerably during this award.
Door Panel: Clock Chaos
Scoring at least six hits on the Clock Target during this round will get you a special quote and adds 25M to the Clock Chaos Total; see "Easter Eggs".
Hitting the Clock Target during the grace period will credit 12M to the Clock Chaos Total and resume the Clock Chaos round! At least once, however, I have received a mysterious 63M towards my Clock Chaos Total for doing this.
Clock Chaos is undoubtedly the worst time for the physical Clock to be disabled because the software believes it is malfunctioning. It is much, much easier to read the current time and direction of time from the real Clock than it is from the display, especially during Multiball modes.
The good news is that if the Clock is indeed working, Clock Chaos will always take precedence over any other round that wants to use the Clock.
Door Panel: Super Skill Shot
For the Super Skill Shot, all three awards and the scoop award 10M, regardless of skill. The Red award lights Battle The Power (see "Battle The Power"). The Orange award lights the Outlanes (see "Lit Outlanes"). The Yellow award lights a temporary Extra Ball (see "Extra Balls"). Missing simply awards 10M and ejects the ball from the Slot Machine Kickout.
Super Skill Shots cannot be stacked.
Door Panel: Fast Lock
Sometimes you will hear a spurious quote from a previous machine just as FasDuring Fast Lock Multiball, the Lock Lane is lit for the same value that was collected at the beginning of the Multiball. As in all other Multiball modes, Door Panels, Combos, Spiral Values, the Camera, and other Multiball modes are unavailable during Fast Lock Multiball. Strangely enough, however, the Lock Lane will no longer award Robots during this round.
Fast Lock Multiball ends when you drain at least two of the three balls in play. There is no grace period at all for relaunching balls. However, there is a brief grace period for collecting one last Fast Lock value.
Door Panel: Lite Gumball
This Door Panel can be spotted by lighting the Gumball Machine in the usual
fashion (by spelling
Lost In The Zone
The last Door Panel is the Handle. When the Handle is flashing, the Player Piano and Slot Machine should automatically be lit (although there are some strange cases on machines that do not automatically relight both at the beginning of each ball). The Handle can also be awarded by defeating the Power during Battle The Power.
The Door Handle awards Lost In The Zone. This is a slow timed round (total duration is 45 seconds) during which almost every playfield feature is active and all six balls are kept in play by the automatic plunger (the Gumball Machine is emptied at the beginning of the round). During this round:
When the round ends, the flippers go dead and your Lost In The Zone Total is computed:
All values which are part of the Lost In The Zone Total are reset to zero. The only values which will remain for your current End-Of-Ball Bonus (other than the base) are Clock Chaos and Powerfield.
While this total is being computed, the automatic plunger attempts to reload the Gumball Machine.
With the exception of Fast Lock, rounds that are running at the beginning of Lost In The Zone continue to run throughout the round. This is especially nice in certain cases:
However, rounds which are automatically started as part of Lost In The Zone do not run twice, so to speak, if they are running when Lost In The Zone is started. It is better to maximize the points from that round before starting Lost In The Zone, as those points will then go towards your Lost In The Zone Total.
Combos, Spiral Values, the Camera, and of course Door Panels are unavailable during Lost In The Zone. Lit Outlanes can be collected, however, as can lit Extra Balls from the Lock Lane.
The Town Square value is increased normally during Lost In The Zone (to its usual maximum of 25M), and the unlit Camera will advance a Jet Bumper if the Jets are not at maximum.
Collecting a Special from the lit Right Outlane during Lost In The Zone will delay its animation until Lost In The Zone has ended. Strangely, the animation will display REPLAY rather than SPECIAL.
There are many ways to get Extra Balls in Twilight Zone, and there are some unusual interactions to be noted. Almost all Extra Balls are lit at the Lock Lane, and almost the only way to collect an Extra Ball is to shoot the Lock Lane. There are only two exceptions - see "Extra Ball Buy-In" and "Lit Outlanes".
The most obvious Extra Ball is lit by a Door Panel award. However, collecting any Extra Ball will disable this Panel on the current Door, robbing you of one potential Extra Ball. This cannot be prevented by any menu adjustment. Also, the Slot Machine will not give out the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel unless it has no choice (which is an unlikely situation, to say the least).
An Extra Ball is lit by Robots; typically between 6 and 14 Robots are required (this value reflexes). Another Extra Ball is lit at 45 Robots.
All other Extra Balls are temporary; that is, if they are not collected on the current ball, they will no longer be lit. This also applies with the Extra Ball Buy-In; any temporary Extra Balls that are lit will disappear when you use the Buy-In.
The sixth Spiral Value lights an Extra Ball. This can only be achieved once per ball, and the Spiral Value is fully reset to the first award at the beginning of every ball after lighting the Extra Ball in this fashion.
The left Outlane awards an Extra Ball when lit. See "Lit Outlanes".
A temporary Extra Ball is lit at a certain number of Dead Ends, typically 3, but menu adjustable between 2 and 7, inclusive.
The Yellow award of the Super Skill Shot lights a temporary Extra Ball. This is the only temporary Extra Ball which cannot be made permanent by any menu adjustments.
There is normally a limit on the number of Extra Balls you can collect at any one time. When you have reached this limit, no more Extra Balls will be lit; instead, they are simply skipped. This is particularly rude when you consider that most such Extra Balls cannot then be lit at some later time. The normal limit is to allow no more than four Extra Balls to be collected at any one time. If you do manage to light Extra Balls such that you can collect more than four at once, you will still only have four Extra Balls, although the only way to verify this is by examining the Status Report (that is, the animations proceed normally).
If you have the maximum number of Extra Balls stacked when you complete Lost In The Zone, the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel will be lit and therefore unavailable on the new Door. If you have the maximum number of Extra Balls stacked when you hit the Super Skill Shot, the Yellow award will be only 10M. Lighting Outlanes when you have the maximum number of Extra Balls stacked will only light the right Outlane (on the default "hard" settings, this means it is lit only for every second slingshot hit).
During Multiball modes, including Lost In The Zone, lighting an Extra Ball while a ball is being briefly held in the Lock Lane will award the Extra Ball immediately. Collecting an Extra Ball during Lost In The Zone does not necessarily (but see above) spot the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel on the next Door.
Most of this information comes from Bowen Kerins and other netters, as I have personally made limited use of Combo Shots in Twilight Zone. There are plenty of these shots, however.
The only 2-way Combo is the Gum-Ball Combo, which is Left Ramp followed by
Right Ramp, when neither
These are the 3-way Combos, each worth 10M:
These are the 4-way Combos, each worth 20M:
These Combos do not actually exist, but have been listed here previously in error:
Note that in non-prototype machines, there is no opto sensor in the Hidden Lane (and even when present, such a sensor is ignored by newer software); Combos which involve the Hidden Lane can actually be scored without passing through it, usually through a very strange bounce. However, a certain delay seems to be necessary in order to receive credit. Also, Combos are sometimes mysteriously not awarded, for no apparent reason. For the most part, hitting miscellaneous targets while completing a Combo does not interfere with collecting that Combo.
Combo Shots are unavailable during all Multiball modes. However, they are available during the 15 second Multiball restart (except the Gumball Combo, of course).
Collecting a Replay while the ball is sitting in the Bridge Diverter will prevent you from completing any Combos you were working on.
The Bonus Multiplier is increased by the Left Ramp when briefly lit by the Right Inlane. It progresses to 2X, 3X, 4X, and a maximum of 5X. This is available at all times. The Bonus Multiplier is never held over between balls.
Whenever the Bonus Multiplier is increased, the Left Ramp also awards two Robots rather than one (unless, of course, you have reached Super Robots). After reaching 5X, the Left Ramp will only award one Robot.
End-of-Ball Bonus is the sum of many different things. Some of these subtotals are also part of the Lost In The Zone total, which resets such subtotals to zero. Your entire current End-of-Ball Bonus is awarded (but not reset) by the Camera: Collect Bonus award.
The base upon which End-of-Ball Bonus is built is:
The subtotals from all appropriate rounds are then added to this base. A grand total of 100M or more earns a quote from Rod: "Big risk, big reward... in the Twilight Zone". You can speed up the Bonus countdown by holding both flippers; doing so will also eliminate the quote.
Other elements of the End-of-Ball Bonus are:
See also "Easter Eggs".
By default, there is no ball saver during the course of a normal game of Twilight Zone. A ten second ball saver is enabled after the Extra Ball Buy-In, and a ball saver can be operator selected for up to fifteen seconds, but only on the first ball of the game! Both of these ball savers have timers which run regardless of other activity, once the ball has been put into play. This is most unfortunate.
There is at least one ball saver as compensation for what the software believes to be failed hardware. If a successful Skill Shot is made (this includes the Super Skill Shot) and the ball does not land properly in the Rocket Kicker and drains shortly thereafter, the ball will be autoplunged. This can be relied upon if you're being tricky.
Normally, a ball which is kicked out of the Slot Machine and drains without hitting anything is considered a true drain. However, very rarely, the ball will quietly be returned to the manual plunger lane, even though points have been scored. I have also seen this happen at the end of Powerball Mania, for no apparent reason.
Tips, Tricks, Strategies
My tips, tricks, and strategies are presented in an order that roughly corresponds to the order of analogous sections in the rest of the Rules Sheet. Think of this section as wholesale undiluted opinion and advice that builds upon the mechanics and semantics described in other sections.
In my opinion, the foundation of Twilight Zone is its ramps, particularly the
Left Ramp. The ramps are used to spell
However, the most important "shot" to master is gaining control of a ball coming from the Slot Machine kickout. Unfortunately, this kickout is generally very inconsistent from machine to machine and, in fact, from minute to minute. Your options include a drop catch, holding the right flipper up (which may also lead to a perfect bounce for a catch on the left on some machines), or just letting the ball bounce over. A particularly tricky option is to attempt to live catch the ball. If the kickout is reasonable and reliable, I prefer to simply attack the ejected ball, shooting for either ramp or the Left Orbit, whichever is appropriate at the time.
The most disagreeable shot is certainly the Lock Lane, because of its narrow sweet spot and its tendency to bounce back out towards the center drain even when hit fair and square. Shooting the Slot Machine is tricky for similar reasons. Most other shots in the game are, to varying degrees, easily mastered.
My first bit of advice for playing Twilight Zone is that in most cases the Skill Shot should be avoided. The payoff is relatively slim, and because the ball is automatically delivered into the Jet Bumpers afterwards, there is a significant risk of a quick left drain. In fact, Pat Lawlor has been known to describe this design as "not one of my shining moments as a designer". If a ball saver is active, it is quite reasonable to go for the Skill Shot. In particular, collecting the Yellow Award has the benefit of spotting the 10M Door Panel. Also, it is important to master the manual plunger in order to reap the benefits of the Super Skill Shot.
One trick which is helpful with the Skill Shot and especially the Super Skill Shot (because if you have collected the Super Yellow Award, it is essential to collect the lit Extra Ball as soon as possible) is shaking the ball out of the Rocket Kicker. If a nudge is given as the ball first lands in the Kicker, a good bounce and a few additional nudges will encourage the ball to fall out of the Kicker and come to the lower right flipper. This can be done even with fairly sensitive Tilt on the machine. Doing this after a Skill Shot has the added advantage of enabling a "secret" ball saver. In fact, you may want to purposely let the ball drain in order to have it autoplunged.
You can generally ignore the unlit Clock Target unless you see that all or nearly all of the Greed Targets are lit and you just can't resist going for the 10M Clock Bonus. Note that the 10M Clock Bonus is also lit for free when you collect Camera: Lite Greed Targets or use the Extra Ball Buy-In.
I generally ignore the Town Square value. In the course of a good ball, it will reach a high enough value to make Dead Ends and the Camera: 3X Town Square award attractive, but it is too dangerous to shoot for Town Square specifically. The best exception to this is various Multiball modes, particularly Fast Lock. During these modes, it is slightly less dangerous to put the ball in the Jet Bumpers, simply because one quick drain won't necessarily end the current ball.
Dead Ends are a lot of fun to shoot for, or at least some people think so. The Dead End can become a very important shot towards the end of a very long game, when Extra Balls are becoming very scarce. Lost In The Zone can also be a very good time to pick up Dead Ends, because it is always lit. Note that if you are playing on a fairly shallow but fast machine, the Jet Bumpers will tend to knock the ball up into the Dead End sinkhole automatically, which is very pleasant, as it also provides a safe exit from the Jet Bumpers. Actually, the Jet Bumpers can also knock the ball around the Dead End sinkhole and backwards down the Hitchhiker Lane!
The Dead End Bonus of 100M isn't necessarily worthwhile in terms of points, unless you find yourself very close to it, but it's awfully cool and worth seeing at least once if you get the chance.
The first Extra Ball lit by Robots reflexes (I've never seen it higher than 14, but this proves nothing). A high value for this can actually be a good thing, as it provides more time for you to try to collect the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel before collecting (or better yet, lighting) any other Extra Balls. Of course, it also makes it harder to collect any Extra Ball other than the one from the Door - that's the entire idea of reflexing, after all.
I do not feel that Super Robots are especially worthwhile. The 5M award was noteworthy on The Addams Family (for Super Bear Bonus, which is clearly the origin of Super Robots), but not really in line with the scoring on Twilight Zone. But the real problem is that once you have reached Super Robots, the only way to light the Camera is the Door Panel, which will usually only be collected a very few times during the course of the game. In a long game, the Camera will eventually become unavailable and gameplay is at least slightly weakened as a result.
With a few exceptions, I try to collect all lit Camera awards as soon as possible. If the award is fairly uninteresting (20M, Hold Town Square, 3X Town Square, for example), collect it in order to get it out of the way and see what the next award is. You may want to hold off a bit on the other awards, however. Lite Greed Targets is sometimes almost completely unhelpful (for example, most or all of the Targets are already lit). Clock 10 Millions is best when used in conjunction with Door Panel Clock Millions or any Multiball mode. 10 Hitchhikers will light Battle The Power; if it is currently unlit and you have a useful Door Panel lit at the Player Piano, you may prefer to have the clean shot from the upper left flipper instead of having to defeat the Power. Lite Outlanes is best for Multiball modes; in fact, lit Outlanes are sometimes the best reason for starting Multiball modes, especially Fast Lock.
And last and most notably, the Collect Bonus award from the Camera should not be wasted. Your End-Of-Ball Bonus can be well into the hundreds of millions. Battling the Power a few times or having a good Powerball Mania or a few more Door Panels or even a better Bonus Multiplier will provide double rewards when you use the Collect Bonus award, and there's nothing as disappointing as picking up the Collect Bonus award at the beginning of a ball.
Hitchhikers are generally dangerous to shoot for, just because the Jet Bumpers are dangerous. The best time to pick up Hitchhikers is during Multiball modes, especially Fast Lock. Triple Pickups are the most efficient way to pick up Hitchhikers, of course. On many machines, a Triple Pickup can be automatically collected by simply holding the upper right flipper up after a fast Left Orbit shot. Be careful, though - if this misses, you may find the ball in the Right Outlane. Whether or not this works is almost entirely dependent on the speed of the table, and to a lesser degree to its angle of steepness.
I highly recommend trying to pick up 100 Hitchhikers, just to say you've done it. Collecting the Hitchhiker Door Panel with 100 Hitchhikers is particularly thrilling.
There are many strategies for battling the Power. The most important thing is to get the hang of flipping for just long enough to maximize the effect on the ball. Flipping too briefly will not impart enough velocity, while flipping for too long will slow the ball down on its path away from the magnet. The best way to practice this is to battle gently - flipping once and watching where the ball goes, then flipping again, and so on. You may wish to adopt this "gentle" style for real battling, but its disadvantage is that it does not build a very large Powerfield value at all.
Another strategy is to flip repeatedly with the Magna-Flip&tm; that the ball is nearest, bouncing the ball off of the two nearest walls many times until it is eventually thrown free, hopefully finding its way to the upper exit. This is not quite as haphazard as it sounds, once you learn when to recognize an escaping ball and stop flipping to give it a chance, and once you find the right frequency at which to flip. This correct frequency varies according to machine, Powerfield angle, and the speed (cleanliness) of the Powerfield surface. It seems to me that a faster surface requires a slower frequency, although I am at a loss to convincingly explain why. It does certainly seem, however, that the worst thing to do when you're having trouble with the Powerfield is to flip as quickly as possible. And you should never use both flippers at once! Also, a small nudge with one solid shot will encourage the ball towards the upper exit quite reliably. You can, of course, Tilt while the ball is on the Powerfield, though, so be careful.
One useful trick for battling the Power, which is dependent on how quickly the ball is moving when it enters the Powerfield more than anything else, is to flip once with the right Magna-Flip&tm; as the ball enters the Powerfield and drops past the right magnet. With the appropriate timing, this can quite often throw the ball directly through the upper exit.
Often when the ball goes through the upper exit of the Powerfield quickly, it will roll up the Gumball exit lane and trip the Gumball Geneva switch. This is harmless, as the software wisely ignores it.
Over the course of the game, you can stack an amazing number of lit Gumball Machine shots if you concentrate on starting Multiball. Be sure to cash in on these shots at some point before the game ends. At 25M each, this can add up nicely, and it's relatively easy points. This is particularly tempting if the Powerball is in the trough. In fact, if you can safely let the ball from the Slot Machine kickout bounce over to the left flipper for a quick shot at the Right Orbit, every second load of the Gumball Machine will also collect a Spiral Value.
Don't forget that you can also make good use of these lit Gumball Machine shots when you want a Powerball Mania - for example, to run up your Bonus before starting Lost In The Zone, in order to get a better total, or to get better use of the Collect Bonus award from the Camera.
In my opinion, there is usually only one reasonable thing to do with the Powerball, and that's to get rid of it as soon as possible. If you're lucky, you can let the Powerball bounce over after the Slot Machine kickout and you'll get a nice easy shot at the Right Orbit from the lower left flipper. Otherwise, you'll have to make a trap or running shot from the lower right flipper (preferably at the Left Ramp) in order to get the Powerball to the lower left flipper.
I avoid doing anything else with the Powerball because, on most machines, it is quite uncooperative, especially in the Bridge Diverter and the Lock Lane. There are also problems arising from airballs, the worst of which send the ball from the upper playfield directly to the Left Outlane, below the sensor.
The only other reasonable thing to do with the Powerball would be to lock it (if the Powerball has any chance of staying in the Lock Lane on your machine; it may be too fast to avoid bouncing out) or shoot the Left Ramp to start Multiball. This is only useful because collecting a Multiball Jackpot with the Powerball doubles its value. Otherwise, the Powerball is still difficult to control and of course immune to the Spiral Helper magnets.
Some have suggested that when you have the Powerball on the table, you can just shoot for Powerball Loops instead of starting Powerball Mania. Needless to say, I don't recommend this. In fact, I recommend ignoring Powerball Loops except for one case - if you have the Powerball on the lower left flipper during Multiball with the Jackpot lit, a Right Orbit shot isn't a bad idea at all.
Powerball Mania can be quite lucrative with a little luck and a reasonable amount of skill. The most important thing is being able to shoot the Right Ramp from either lower flipper at almost any time. Keep as many balls on the Powerfield as possible, and never try to hold other balls on the flippers while you are trying to use Magna-Flip&tm;.
Your strategy for defeating the Power during Powerball Mania should be the same as during a normal battle, except that Magna-Flip&tm; will be at least slightly weaker and this makes the battle more difficult (but hopefully not impossible). The only other thing to watch out for, other than keeping the other balls in play of course, is the opportunity to collect a "cheat" Mania Jackpot. This is done by shooting the Camera during a few seconds after a ball on the Powerfield has tripped the opto by the upper exit. Such a "cheat" Mania Jackpot can be collected even after all balls have drained from the Powerfield. This trick also works with the Dead End sinkhole. The strangest case of all is when you fail to defeat the Power, but the Jet Bumpers immediately knock the ball into the Dead End sinkhole and you are given the Mania Jackpot!
I always try to lock two balls for the first Multiball. It makes quite a difference in the Jackpot values you will be collecting, especially if you only get a couple of Jackpots. But of course it's better to go ahead and have a Multiball with low-value Jackpots than to drain while trying to lock the second ball, so use your best judgment.
Multiball is a lot of fun on Twilight Zone. Obviously you want to pick up as many Jackpots as possible, as quickly as possible. This is actually easier with only two balls in play, and as there is no real penalty for losing just one ball, don't try too desperately to keep all three in play.
If any balls are being autoplunged at the start of Multiball, it's a very good thing to collect the first Jackpot from one of those balls. Since the Spiral Helper magnets will be disabled for the autoplunge, you'll have to get the hang of a running shot at the Player Piano from the upper left flipper. The most common problem with this shot is flipping too late.
If all of the balls are coming from the Lock or the autoplunge is not making it all the way around, you can either shoot the balls into the Camera (they should then be ejected from the Slot Machine kickout one at a time), go for the Hitchhiker Lane, or attempt a bounce shot into the Player Piano. Such a bounce shot has the advantage that the next ball from the Lock can be put into the Camera to relight the Jackpot immediately.
The easiest way to relight the Jackpot is to shoot the Right Orbit for the Right Spiral Helper to line up a shot at the Camera. Shots at the Left Orbit or the Lock Lane are not unreasonable but are usually trickier. You can also backhand the Right Orbit from the lower right flipper, or even from the upper right flipper.
When the Jackpot is lit and balls are being ejected from the Slot Machine (hopefully one at a time), you have three options for going after the Jackpot. One is a quick shot at the Left Orbit, where the ball will be caught and the other kickouts delayed to allow a brief but clean shot at the Jackpot. You can also shoot for the Right Ramp with similar consequences. I happen to prefer the Left Orbit shot, although it's a bit tricky. Your third option is any of a number of trick shots, bouncing the ball off of posts or Greed Targets or the Clock Target and into the Player Piano.
You can also, of course, shoot balls up the Left Ramp, which may be easier and more reliable. From the lower left flipper, you can shoot the Right Ramp, the Right Orbit, or go for a bounce shot into the Player Piano.
If the Spiral Round is running, you cannot rely on the Spiral Helper magnets. To safely reach the Camera, use the Lock Lane. To safely shoot the Jackpot, use the Right Ramp.
In general, there are many options in Multiball, even though it is a relatively simple mode. I generally ignore the Greed Targets, as they are hit often enough by wandering balls (and tend to be quick drain shots besides). The only possible exception is the Greed Target directly above the Player Piano - you can hit this on your way into the Player Piano when collecting the Jackpot.
You can shoot the lit Jackpot and the Camera at the same time, such that the Jackpot is awarded but its red light never even flickers off.
Sometimes, if you shoot a ball into the Slot Machine right after shooting the Jackpot, the machine will decide that you used the Powerball and will double the Jackpot value accordingly, even though the Powerball is not even on the table.
Don't forget the grace period at the end of Multiball. There is no better time to go for a wild bounce shot into the Player Piano if the Jackpot was lit. Also, if you see the other ball(s) draining and the Jackpot is lit, shoot for the Right Ramp immediately if at all possible.
Keep an eye on the Spiral Values. Usually, if you haven't yet collected an Extra Ball from the Spiral Values, you should shoot for any lit Orbits that present themselves, especially the Right Orbit. After the Spiral Values have reset, however, it's difficult to get interested in trying to collect all six of them in the course of one ball, although it's by no means impossible.
Learn most of the cases for Spiral Helper behavior so that you'll never be caught by surprise. Unfortunately, there are some cases that are completely inexplicable. For example, I have found one or both Spiral Helper magnets fully active throughout a Powerball Mania or Fast Lock mode, for no reason at all. When this happens (it is thankfully rare), you cannot help but be surprised.
When the Outlanes are lit (assuming they are on the default "hard" settings), I prefer to keep the left Outlane lit whenever possible. Also, when the left Outlane is indeed lit, shots to the Hitchhiker Lane are much safer, as is the Skill Shot.
If you can do Bang Backs and/or Death Saves, you may want to go ahead and pick up lit Outlanes as soon as possible (fearing a center drain). Otherwise, the best thing to do is start a Multiball mode. This is the best use of Fast Lock, for example. The best case is Powerball Mania, during which you can quickly side drain a couple of balls and actually get them back at no penalty whatsoever.
The most reliable way to collect Door Panels, in my opinion, is by shooting the Player Piano from the upper left flipper. Mastery of this shot is extremely helpful for progressing towards Lost In The Zone and for controlling the flow of your game in general. If you are having trouble with this shot, try leaning over the machine and watching the ball very carefully. The ball should travel along the bright yellow path drawn from the upper left flipper into the Player Piano. Remember, if the ball is going above the Player Piano, you're flipping too early, and if it is going below, you're flipping too late. Simply adjust your timing accordingly. Also, the timing is dependent on the speed of the ball. This is obvious for autoplunged balls such as you will encounter in Multiball, but the trickier case is a ball which rolls up in front of the upper left flipper and is moving more slowly than normal.
If the Player Piano switch is flaky on your machine, you can sometimes receive credit for shooting the Slot Machine by hitting the Player Piano. The disadvantages of this are obvious, but it can sometimes be helpful - if, for example, the Player Piano is currently unlit.
The Slot Machine may be a relatively easy shot on your machine, or more likely it's quite tricky. You'll fare better if you aim very slightly to the right of the scoop, where the post can help guide the ball in. On the left side, the narrow Greed Target is less helpful, and, as it is slowly bent backwards by repeated attacks from fast moving balls, it tends to form a small ramp that encourages airballs from missed Slot Machine shots.
Don't forget that defeating the Power awards Door Panels as well, and if you battle the Power when something especially attractive is lit on the Door, such as Lite Extra Ball, there's the added pressure that failing to defeat the Power will drop the ball into the Jet Bumpers, changing the lit value to something less attractive.
You can ignore Odd Change. However, don't forget that you can also shoot for the Greed Target or the Power Payoff targets right next to the Player Piano if it is unlit.
Town Square Madness never seems to pay off like it should, especially when you consider that it's dangerous to shoot for the Jet Bumpers to increase the switch value. The best Town Square Madness Totals I've seen (70M or so) have come during Multiball modes.
If you have a good opportunity, try to pick up the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel before you collect any Extra Balls. In particular, if you start the game with Town Square Madness as your flashing Door Panel, collect it, relight the Player Piano, and collect that as quickly as possible. Note that the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel comes immediately after the Town Square Madness Door Panel, tempting you to shoot for the Jet Bumpers for a better Town Square Madness, thereby unselecting the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel. This is exactly the same reasoning behind the layout of The Addams Family Mansion, in which Raise The Dead is followed immediately by Light Extra Ball.
If you want to do anything with Super Slot, try to get in a rhythm of shooting the Left Ramp followed by the Slot Machine and repeating. This will collect Door Panels along with Super Slot values.
When Clock Millions starts, try to hit the Clock Target once right away, unless you have something more interesting to shoot for (such as Multiball on the Left Ramp). If you don't hit the Clock Target during the brief initial period for 12M, it's not a worthwhile shot for a while. Ignore it until it's worth more; a 3M shot at the Clock isn't worth losing control of the ball.
I have become very fond of the Spiral round, although I cannot really explain why. I particularly enjoy having a Multiball mode in conjunction with the Spiral round, and I try to collect as many Spiral Breakthrus as possible. These are quick and relatively easy points, especially since they are awarded for shots that you might be making normally, such as the Right Orbit for the lit Gumball Machine.
One particularly useful trick is to start the Spiral round right before Lost In The Zone. Almost every autoplunged ball will count as a Spiral Breakthru for an immediate 15M!
Note that the 10M Door Panel comes immediately after the Battle The Power Door Panel, such that proceeding to defeat the Power immediately will only net you 10M.
I usually ignore the Greed round, much as I ignore the Greed Targets during Multiball. Ball action will generally collect a few Targets for you with no additional effort. It's not too unreasonable to shoot at a few Targets in the upper half of the playfield, though, if you get the chance. Also, having Greed running during Multiball will make the Greed Targets even more attractive than usual.
Don't worry about collecting the Hitchhiker Door Panel even when you have few Hitchhikers. It takes a while to build up a significant number of Hitchhikers, and any you collect on the current ball will still be worth the 2M bonus after you collect this Door Panel. Of course, if you're towards the end of a long game and have quite a few Hitchhikers, this Door Panel is very tempting - go for it!
Clock Chaos is another of my favorite rounds in Twilight Zone. Since the Clock first winds in reverse, it's best to shoot for the Clock Target as soon as possible. Early in this round, you'll want to hit the Clock Target while it's on the later (ie, more valuable) times, but eventually you'll have very little time in either direction, so you'll want to hit the Clock Target while the Clock is close to finishing on the side it's headed towards. In any case, don't forget about the grace period - not only does it provide you with 12M, it restarts the round!
One other useful thing to remember about Clock Chaos is that the Clock pauses while certain things are happening, such as collecting a Jackpot during Multiball. During this time, you can pick up several Clock Target values safely. Of course, you should try to remember which way the Clock will resume winding after you score these "free" hits.
The Super Skill Shot can be quite frustrating. You can hardly avoid having to eventually use it once it's lit - only Multiball modes prevent the Left Ramp from diverting the ball for the Super Skill Shot, and therefore that is your only chance to relight the Player Piano before using it.
If Outlanes are set to "easy" on your machine, the Orange award from the Super Skill Shot is likely your best choice, especially if you can perform Death Saves or Bang Backs. Otherwise, try for the Yellow award. The problem is that the ball will be automatically delivered into the Jet Bumpers for any of the three awards, and you may never even get a shot at the temporarily lit Extra Ball. This can be avoided by nudging the ball out of the Rocket Kicker immediately after the Skill Shot. This is most easily done with a good nudge as the ball first lands there, followed by several back-and-forth nudges to rattle the ball out. With practice, this can be done even on fairly Tilt sensitive machines, and is often quite worthwhile, as it also enables a brief, "invisible" ball saver.
If you choose not to shoot for the big awards from the Super Skill Shot (for example, you have already stacked the maximum number of Extra Balls), you can still safely collect the Red award by plunging the ball just hard enough to reach under the gate, trip the Red rollover sensor, and fall back to the plunger, from where you can plunge into the scoop.
I do not feel that Fast Lock is worth shooting for in and of itself, as it delays progress towards other Multiball modes and Lost In The Zone, and because of the generally difficult nature of the Lock Lane, it is hard to make this Multiball pay off. However, Fast Lock is a perfect opportunity for collecting lit Outlanes or maximizing the payoff from Door Panel awards such as the Spiral Round, Town Square Madness, and various Clock rounds. You can also collect Hitchhikers "safely" during Fast Lock, although I try to avoid having all of the balls in the Jet Bumpers at any one time.
Lost In The Zone is a thrilling and almost overwhelming round, especially the first time you get to it. There are several strategies for maximizing the points collected during Lost In The Zone, but the single best strategy for having a high Lost In The Zone total is very simple - maximize your Bonus before you start Lost In The Zone. The easiest way to do this is to have a good Powerball Mania or two on the same ball first. Even Clock Millions or Town Square Madness can be very helpful. Regardless of how well you play during the actual Lost In The Zone round, the Lost In The Zone Champion will almost always be held by someone who had at least 200M in Powerball Mania when they started Lost In The Zone.
During Lost In The Zone, I like to shoot for the Right Ramp early. This gives you a good chance at one or more "cheat" Mania Jackpots from shooting the Camera, along with the credit towards your Powerball Mania total for each wall hit, and the usual chance of a real Mania Jackpot. Towards the end of the round, the Clock Target becomes quite valuable. At all times, the three Greed Targets in the lower left corner of the playfield are worthwhile shots, as they are very quick and if you miss, the ball will likely go into the Jet Bumpers to increase your Town Square Madness Total.
I recommend mostly ignoring everything else during Lost In The Zone. Balls wandering around and being hit by the upper flippers (unless the Low Line option is set) will pick up a reasonable amount of everything else with no attention or effort on your part.
If you start a game with Town Square Madness lit, I recommend shooting for the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel as soon as possible. Otherwise, don't worry about it too much unless it happens to come up. My worst games have been those where I worried too much about collecting this Door Panel and failed to do anything else useful at all. My only other advice about Extra Balls is that you become familiar with the various ways of lighting them, and always keep an eye on how many you have (on default settings, having four at a time prevents lighting or collecting any more).
Most of the Combo Shots in Twilight Zone can safely be ignored. You will most likely run into the Gumball Combo and the ensuing 3-way Combo (to the Player Piano) most often. If the Player Piano is not lit, you may wish to shoot for the 4-way Combo by aiming for the Hidden Lane. After a fast Right Orbit shot, you may be able to put the ball through the Hidden Lane by simply holding the upper left flipper up.
Bonus Multiplier becomes very valuable later in a long game, if, for example, you have 50 Hitchhikers and 30 Door Panels, in which case the Bonus Multiplier is worth 40M.
Don't forget the Flipper Bonus. Everything counts.
These are some of the miscellaneous scoring values in Twilight Zone:
There are plenty of trick shots in Twilight Zone, and some of them are even reproducible. Examples include:
There are plenty more, but some of them are too unusual to be described or even believed.
There are a few techniques that can be used when Twilight Zone that might be considered cheats. All such cheats that I know of are described in this section.
As has already been described elsewhere, you can collect "cheat" Mania Jackpots during Powerball Mania and Lost In The Zone by shooting the Camera shortly after tripping the upper exit opto on the Powerfield. This is probably the most reliable and helpful of the cheats listed here.
If the Extra Ball Buy-In is enabled on your machine, you can use it in a multi-player game as a cheat. When the Buy-In is offered to Player One, wait for the ball to be delivered to the plunger lane (this happens long before the Buy-In expires). Plunge the ball while the Buy-In is still being offered and, before the ball reaches the gate in the plunger lane, press Start or flip both flippers to abort the Buy-In. The software will not notice that you tripped the Skill Shot Rollovers. Instead, it will see the ball in the Slot Machine and award a random Door Panel as if you had hit the Slot Machine fairly. This will not work, of course, if your machine does not relight the Slot Machine automatically and it was previously unlit. This trick works even on L-4 ROMs.
I have been told that if there is at least one ball sitting in the Lock Lane and you have an Extra Ball lit, you can pick the machine up and trip the Lock Lane sensor with that ball to collect the Extra Ball. Supposedly, this will work even when the machine has Tilted or when the Extra Ball Buy-In is being offered, but I have not verified this. I have, however, had the machine mysteriously award the lit Extra Ball after a Death Save - this is likely the same effect.
When Lost In The Zone starts, any balls in the Lock Lane are ejected, of course. However, these balls are ejected early in the opening animation, before other balls are put into play. If you are careful, you can get this ball up the Right Ramp right away, and if you trip the upper exit opto, the balls coming out of the Gumball Machine will be counted as Mania Jackpots!
Death Saves and Bang Backs
Death Saves are possible from the right drain on Twilight Zone, and are only moderately difficult. However, due to the distance from the trough to the flippers, it is difficult (but not impossible) to get a Death Save on a machine with sensitive Tilt.
Bang Backs are extremely easy on most Twilight Zone machines, from either side drain. The left drain requires a harder hit because the lower lane is much wider than on the right side. I think that Twilight Zone is definitely the best machine on which to learn how to do Bang Backs.
In Tournament Mode, Camera awards are parallelized; this means that the same award is offered to each player even after another player has collected it, although Camera awards are still selected in the usual restricted but random fashion.
When Extra Balls are disabled (as is common in tournament play), the Lite Extra Ball Door Panel is automatically lit.
At the beginning of the game, Clock Millions is the currently flashing Door Panel, and the Slot Machine will always award the next available Door Panel starting with Lite Gumball and proceeding counter-clockwise (that is to say, the Slot Machine is no longer random).
Another reasonable modification for tournament play is to remove one ball from the machine, such that only two balls reside in the Gumball Machine. This makes it easier to get a fair chance at playing the Powerball. Even better is to remove the Powerball and have it simulated by software (use the menu adjustment to indicate that no Powerball is present), although this arguably detracts from the game a bit.
This option, enabled by default, allows the player to purchase an Extra Ball for one credit. The game proceeds as if an Extra Ball had been collected in some other fashion. Temporary Extra Balls become unlit. There is normally a ten-second ball saver for the purchased Extra Ball. Also, all seven Greed Targets are automatically lit, just as if the Camera: Lite Greed Targets award had been collected. And of course there's a quote: "Greeeeeeed".
The Buy-In is especially useful when you're very close to some useful goal, such as Lost In The Zone, one or more Extra Balls, or the Grand Champion score. I would never recommend using real money to purchase the Extra Ball; you should instead be able to use a credit from a Replay or a Special.
This section includes semi-secret information, not all of which is really an Easter Egg.
In the first Extra Ball animation, the Extra Ball blows up. In the second, it grows legs and a hat and walks away. In the third, it turns into a deflating balloon which lands on Talking Tina's face. All subsequent Extra Ball animations are the same as the first.
Once per ball and only during normal play, hitting the unlit Clock Target when all seven Greed Targets are already lit will award a Clock Bonus of 10M, with a nifty sound effect and animation.
Scoring at least six hits on the Clock Target during a Clock Chaos round gets a special quote from Rudy of Funhouse fame: "Quit playin' with the clock!" This also adds 25M to the Clock Chaos Total.
After the 98th Robot, Robots are no longer counted. Subsequent shots to the Left Ramp or Lock Lane awards a Super Robot, which is an immediate 5M. The Camera can no longer be lit by Robots once Super Robot is reached. The Right Inlane has no effect on the Super Robot on the Left Ramp.
The maximum number of Hitchhikers is 100. When the 100th Hitchhiker is awarded, the display is slightly messed up. There is no display for any further Hitchhikers collected, only a sound effect. The 100th Hitchhiker lights Battle The Power for the last time by this method.
There is a secret award at the 8th and 20th Dead Ends, in P-3 and newer ROMs. When these Dead Ends are collected, the animation changes - the car suddenly drives through the Dead End wall, with a twinkling effect and sound, and a Dead End Bonus of 100M is awarded. Very cool.
There is a cow in the Replay animation. Watch the center reel of the Slot Machine.
If a Replay is awarded by collecting your End-Of-Ball Bonus at the end of a ball, flipping both flippers simultaneously will award a Flipper Bonus of 5M. If you wait until the first reel of the Slot Machine has come to rest, this will be accompanied by a pleasant sound effect.
There is a mysterious joystick on the backglass.
There is a miniature T-Rex on the backglass, being towered over by Rod Serling. There are also some brontosaurs, but they seem irrelevant.
There is at least one attract mode sequence to display an Easter Egg: an extended version of the credits. This sequence "has not yet been published". Feel free to pass any such sequences along to me, though :)
There are persistent rumours and reported sightings of the Super Stunt Cow in Twilight Zone. It has always been reported in a particular context: collecting a replay by loading the Gumball Machine. Variations specify a lit right Spiral, a Powerball in play, lighting Extra Ball from the lit right Spiral, etc. I have not seen this or been able to reproduce it, so if it exists, the conditions are likely very picky.
There have been many changes from the rules of prototype Twilight Zone machines. These are mostly trivial and pointless to remember, but sometimes it's interesting to know. The changes of which I am aware include the following:
Camera awards were at the Player Piano instead. The Camera was the Jackpot during Multiball. There was no Super Slot round. There was a Quick Multiball round (other than Fast Lock). There was a Door Panel for 5M instead of Lite Gumball. Spiral Values did not include lighting Battle The Power. The Clock Target was where the Power Payoff target is now. Seven balls were installed in the machine, with four residing in the Gumball Machine. There was an opto in the Hidden Lane. There were two optos and Spiral Helper magnets on the Right Orbit.
Cosmetic changes include the following:
The Powerfield lacked point value labels and the FLIP HERE message. The sign above the upper right flipper did not indicate anything about the Gumball Machine (apparently this was handled by a small light where the Spiral lamp is now). There was a sign above the upper left flipper indicating the purpose of the yellow lamp there (lit Spiral). There was no Bonus X lamp on the Left Ramp. The flasher above the central Clock Target was red. The Dead End lamp was red. Why are you reading this paragraph? A pair of glasses appears in the artwork atop the Slot Machine. The Lock light was green.
The main theme music of the Twilight Zone machine is derived, strangely enough, from the song "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring. Hey, why not? There is also some use of the original Twilight Zone theme music, of course, and the other musical pieces are original compositions.
A listing of Twilight Zone quotes ("Quotes/tzone.quotes") has been compiled by Brian Dominy, email@example.com, and thanks go to him and everyone who helped him out. This section has, of course, benefited greatly from his compilation.
Quotes from Rod Serling (impersonated by Fred Young):
Quotes from the Robot:
Quotes from the Power:
Quotes from Tina:
Quotes from the Hitchhiker:
I don't brag anymore. I just don't enjoy it like I used to. But yeah, I've rolled the game over, and even got over 7B once with the Tilt installed. Ah, in my heyday... ;-)
With Bang Backs, scoring is potentially unlimited...
Credit must be given to Bowen Kerins firstname.lastname@example.org, who first wrote a Twilight Zone Rules Sheet and Spoiler file. Mark Phaedrus email@example.com posted a very helpful article on the behavior of Spiral Helpers. Thanks go in general to all other netters who have contributed directly and indirectly...
And don't forget the Pinball Archive, the Fount of All That is Good:
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