Twilight Zone


Rules by Bowen Kerins

Submitted for your approval: the rules for a pinball game from a place where nothing is what it seems... the Twilight Zone. (duh!) If you have any corrections, suggestions, or complaints, e-mail to the author.

"Twilight Zone" is obviously a licensed theme (though it strangely lacks the word "The" at the start); anything having to do with the game itself is probably owned by Bally/Williams.

This rule sheet is written both for those who have played TZ and those who haven't; as a result I probably have overdone certain portions, especially the description of the playfield. However, some (few) portions are purposely vague, and point to "spoilers" which are provided in a secondary post. If you want to truly enjoy this game, and the discovery of cool stuff, don't touch the spoilers (don't touch the spoilers don't touch... sorry - if you don't get that joke yet, you will soon).

Hope you like it, feel free to copy this thing as many times as you want; publish it in an Australian trade magazine for all I care. :) Extra thanx to Mike Lewis and Steve Bollinger for outstanding use of automobiles.

By the way, note the author of this piece: I'm Bowen, not Kevin - no mail for Kevin ok? :)

Playfield Description and Very Basic Rules

We'll do this generally from left to right.

Left Inlanes/Outlane
Twilight Zone has a very wide left inlane/outlane setup, much wider than that of TAF. The left-side lane dividers are wide, and plastic; the divider of the two inlanes is below the slingshot, and the in/out divider is even lower, making it difficult to save a ball headed there. The lanes have rubber posts at the top, so it's not hard to save a ball that hasn't chosen a lane yet. The outlane can be lit for an Extra Ball (via Camera or Super Skill Shot), the left inlane lights the right Spiral for a Gangway-type shot, and the right inlane lights the Slot Machine briefly if it is unlit.
Non-bumper zone
Prototype TZ machines have a plastic bar to the left of the Jet Bumpers, separating them from the left inlanes/outlane. If this bar is there, it creates an area, like Whitewater, where the ball can hit a bumper without being in them. Any ball in this area is a left drain candidate.
Jet Bumpers
there are three, located closer to the flippers than those on TAF, but at the same angle. Each bumper adds to the "Town Square Value", which is scored by a shot through the bumpers to a hole. The value of one of the three bumpers is advanced from 100K to 200K (or 200K to 300K) by an unlit Camera shot, and a Skill Shot can advance several (see that section). The Town Square Value starts each ball at 7.5M, and only carries over on a particular lit Camera shot (rare at best). The Town Square Value maxes out at 25M. The ball enters the bumpers after a Hitchhiker shot, or an unsuccessful Battle the Power. By the way, the Town Square hole serves many purposes; it takes balls from the gumball machine, Camera, and a successful Battle the Power shot.
"Battle the Power"
(aka the Powerfield) is a mini-playfield located just behind and above the Jet Bumpers (above the Town Square hole). Its shape is a right-side-up triangle, with two holes: a bottom hole, if you "drain", dumps the ball to the Jet Bumpers; another at the top is your goal. The best way to picture what it looks like is to imagine a Christmas tree shape, trunk at bottom. Shave off the top two-thirds of the tree, and you get a kind of trapezoid shape, not quite a rectangle but closer to a rectangle than a triangle. Now put a hole in the middle top, and replace the "trunk" with another hole. Sounds weird, but try picturing it or writing it down, and the mini-playfield looks quite a bit like it. There are two magnetic flippers, dubbed Magna- Flip (TM), in the positions where you might expect regular flippers to be. Operating the flipper buttons turns the magnets on and off, and the idea is to turn the magnet on, propel the ball toward the magnet, then shut it off and let the ball's momentum carry it into the scoring hole. The complete setup and a little strategy is discussed later.
Gumball Machine
a real-looking, real-working machine that spits out pinballs instead of gumballs. Almost always, one of the gumballs is the "Powerball", a lighter ceramic ball which starts the Powerball round (described later). The machine (with a working knob, check it out!) is fed by lighting "Gumball" on the ramps, then shooting the Right Spiral. It's easy to know how many Gumball machine hits are needed to get the Powerball - we can see all the balls in the machine except the one which comes out next. At the start of a game, the Gumball machine holds three balls; almost always, there should be three in there.
Hitchhiker shot
this side shot is made by the upper right flipper, which is fairly low; the shot's angle and distance is similar to that of the Trapdoor on FunHouse, only reversed. When shot, it awards a Hitchhiker Pickup (the game begins with 1 Pickup awarded), which adds 500K to Bonus, and lights Battle the Power at 3 and every 10. The shot is made automatically by the Rocket kicker, and if shot after a left Spiral, awards a "Triple Pickup" - 3 for the price of 1. The Triple Pickup animation is cool and spooky, and is described later. The sensor for a Hitcher shot is on the upswing of the shot, so it's possible to get a Hitcher without going into the bumpers. Depending on table lean, it may be possible to shoot the Hitchhiker after a Left Spiral shot simply by holding up the flipper.
Camera shot
again, made by the upper right flipper, but slightly higher (angle similar to Rudy's mouth, in the other direction - it also resembles the Load Cannon shot in Black Rose). If unlit, the display reads "Jet Bumper Added" - it only adds to the value of a bumper, not the number of bumpers. :) If the Jets are at maximum (300K each) the display reads "Jets at Max", then nothing for any additional shots. If lit (by the Door or every 10 Robots), the Camera shot gives a semi-random award; it is described later. The Camera shot also relights the jackpot in the standard Multiball mode, but any shot to the Camera is nearly impossible without raising the small upper left flipper, which blocks most of the Camera hole! Never thought flipping both flippers at once would be good for anything... actually, once raising the flipper is learned, the Camera shot is a cinch.
Upper Left Flipper
a brief comment that it is nearly impossible to SEE this flipper from a normal, standing position... it is blocked by the "Battle the Power" mini-playfield. To see the flipper, and to make the shots the flipper requires, you need to move your head to the right... so everybody'll be playing like Rick Stetta at AMOA. :)
Left Spiral
Beyond the upper left flipper is the orbit, called the Spiral. This Spiral feeds the upper right flipper; the right feeds the upper left flipper. The angle of the left Spiral is near the Thing lock shot on TAF - it's a little to the left of it, at about the same distance. Either Spiral can be shot for the Spiral Value, which is lit on the left Spiral for 5 seconds by shooting it or by rolling over the right inlane. Spiral awards are 2M, 3M + light "Battle the Power", 4M, 5M + "Power", 10M, then 10M, "Power", and Lite Extra Ball at once - in the respect of working-to-an-extra-ball, it's very like FunHouse. On normal settings, the Spiral Award is 4M to begin, and carries over ball-to-ball. After lighting the EB, any additional Spiral shots that ball are 10M; after the ball, the EB disappears and the Spiral value resets to 2M - it will reset to 2M every ball thereafter. Both Spirals are equipped with magnets, which activate after a Spiral award and in a few other instances - more on them later. You can't collect a Spiral Award during any multiball.
Left Ramp
This is almost the exact reverse of the Bear Kick ramp - it's easier to hit from the right flipper but possible to backhand, and returns the ball to the left flipper. The ramp lights the Piano if unlit, and returns the ball to the "Light Slot Machine" left inlane. It also scores a "Robot" - x Robots for an Extra Ball lit at "Lock" (ours went from 8 to 12; adjustable for 10% of games; it seems to never go below 6 Robots), Camera lit at every 10 Robots. It also spots "Gum" (the right ramp spots "Ball") - completing "Gumball" lights a Lock and the Gumball machine. The ramp has a diverter which can feed the auto plunger lane; a diverter at the lane can send the ball to the manual lane.
shoot this hole to the right of the Left Ramp, and a large, purple dinosaur comes out from under the playfield, stealing the ball. This feature has been eliminated in production machines, due to a lawsuit from Data East; it has been replaced by an identical purple groundhog. Watch the display, as each shot increases the size of Barney's stomach. Five shots make the stomach explode for a 50M "Indigestion Bonus" and a round of Intestinal Mania.
Clock Target
a single, stand-up target between the two ramps, it's hittable from either lower flipper, and even from the upper edge of the top left flipper. In regular play, the target lights one of the 7 5-million targets (their locations in a bit) - if all 7 are lit, the Clock Target scores a one-time 10M "Clock Bonus", along with incredibly startling sound, flashing light, and cool animation. Additional Clock hits (that ball) with all 5M targets lit gives nothing but a "cuckoo" noise. In certain Door and Camera modes, the Clock Target is worth lots of points and more animations.
Right Ramp
A metal ramp in the same location and design as Star Wars, just to the right of the Clock Target. If "Battle the Power" is lit, the habitrail feeds the ball to the mini-playfield. If not, it tells you how many Hitchhikers you need to light the Power as a hard-to-describe device (someone called it a "carriage") catches the ball on the habitrail, then flips upside-down, dumping the ball just above the upper left flipper for a Piano shot. If the carriage fails to deliver the ball to the flipper, look out; the carriage's movement can send the ball flying in any direction. This doesn't happen all that often, tho.
a very very small target (size and location of "Guile" on SF2) which scores locks when lit from "Gumball". 3 locks are usually needed for multiball; more on that later. "Lock" also scores a Robot, and scores the Extra Ball when lit. Shots to "Lock" feed back to the upper right flipper. Balls which are locked stay there between games, but this is not as much of a problem as it was in TAF - since Locks are scored so rarely, and multiball isn't hard to start once Locks are made, rarely are all three trough balls in Lock. The Lock shot, on some machines, is also notorious for having balls rattle around in the entrance, then coming straight back at the "Shoot Again" sign. If yours does this, complain; the ramp piece is bent/broken.
Player Piano
This is a side shot from the upper left flipper; the angle is similar to the 5x Graveyard shot of TAF, but the distance is much shorter. The Piano is lit at the start of each ball, and relit by the left ramp; shooting it plays a brief tune, then awards the lit item on the Door (I'm gonna call these "Door Prizes" :). Shooting the Piano when unlit awards "Odd Change", which is quite funny; it gives a random point award, as high as 10M, as low as... 10. Two lights are above the Piano: a solid yellow light means the Piano will award a Door Prize, a flashing red light means it will award the Jackpot, neither awards Odd Change. The Piano is relit at the start of each ball.
Not a shot; it just seemed appropriate here. The Clock is located just behind the Piano shot, and it (usually) counts down scoring rounds and things; the Clock can move at varying speeds, and once it hits 12, that's the end of the round. The Clock is a genuine, analog clock with hour and minute hands; the minute hand crosses sensors every 15 (Clock) minutes, in order to calibrate itself (watch closely when the Clock winds itself back to 12, always in the easier direction; it overshoots 12 by a few minutes, then reverses and stops on the sensor). The sensors also cause display changes during Clock rounds, so watch the display if you so desire.
"Power Payoff" targets
the only truly UNimportant targets in TZ. After shooting "Battle the Power", either of the two standup Payoff targets (which are just below the Piano) is worth a one-time 10M bonus. Yahoo! Well it IS worth something, and is a shot to make if the Piano isn't lit. A shot to these targets when unlit causes "the Power" to laugh at you - the voice is reminiscent of the Black Knight.
"Combo Hole"
won't score anything, it's just a passage just below the Payoff targets down to the upper right flipper. The combo hole is part of some 3- and 4-Way Combos. By the way, I made up the name, it's not named. Better than "Hole" though. The Combo Hole does have an optical sensor, but it appears to do nothing. Maybe it just looks like an optical sensor.
Slot Machine
the Slot Machine is located nearly halfway up the playfield, on the right side. Its location is closest to the "2" and "3" targets on Earthshaker. The Slot Machine hole is small, the size of the Electric Chair (the Piano shot is twice as wide but equally hard-to-hit); a missed shot will often result in a center drain, so it's risky. The Slot Machine will award a random Door Prize if lit, and will not award the flashing Door Prize unless it's the last one. It will also never award "Extra Ball Lit" unless absolutely necessary. Slot is lit at the beginning of each ball, and is relit by the Right Ramp. The rightmost Left Inlane relights the machine for a few seconds. The Slot Machine also serves as kickout for many shots; any ball from a missed Skill Shot comes out here, as well as balls from the Gumball machine, a successful "Battle the Power", any shot to the Piano, Town Square or Camera holes, and of course a shot to the Slot Machine. The kickout is always to the right flipper; it's fairly simple to trap, although the Slot Machine occasionally kicks the ball (especially the Powerball) too close to the center drain - it really depends on your machine. A yellow light is above the Slot: solidly lit awards a Door Prize, steady flashing awards Super Slot, flashing faster and faster awards Door Prize for a few seconds, unlit awards - yay - 100K. The Slot Machine relights at the start of each ball.
Right Spiral
located near the far right of the playfield (at an angle similar to Banzai Run's ramp, a bit further back), the Spiral scores the Spiral Value if lit from the leftmost inlane or a shot to the unlit Right Spiral. This shot also puts a ball in the Gumball machine when lit by the ramps. The Right Spiral is a difficult shot (like there are easy shots on this game), and needs to be made on the far edge of the left flipper.
Upper Right Flipper
A standard-length flipper. Just thought you might like to know.
Rocket Kickout
an accidental shot; if the ball falls in the Rocket hole (located similarly to the Handcuff hole on Police Force), it is kicked into the Jet Bumpers via the Hitchhiker shot (so it awards a free Hitcher). There's also a very brief rocket animation, which won't disturb the game. The ball also falls directly into the Rocket hole from a made Skill Shot.
Double Plunger Lanes
TZ has a unique feature which incorporates the idea of both an auto and a manual plunger (first done in Checkpoint), but like everything else, it's done better... in the Twilight Zone. :) The ball is fed from the trough into the left (auto) plunger lane, and depending on the position of the diverter, puts the ball in either the auto or manual lane. The only times a ball will be put in the auto-plunge lane are during any kind of multiball (Fast Lock, Powerball Mania, regular multiball...) or if more than one ball somehow came out of the Gumball machine (usually a mech. failure). The auto-plunger kicks the ball through the Right Spiral, either to the top left flipper or into the Gumball machine. If the ball goes into the right, manual plunger lane, you get a shot at the...
Skill Shot
The manual plunger lane has a one-way gate, followed by three color-coded rollovers. The first is Red, second Orange, third Yellow, beyond which is a sinkhole not unlike Creature's Snackbar. The shot's worth is determined by the rollovers: Red awards 2M and advances a Jet Bumper; Orange - 5M, 2 bumpers; Yellow - 10M, all 3 bumpers. Shooting the hole (100% Newbie award :) awards nothing... well, 1M plus 100K for the Slot Machine kickout. There is a "Super Skill Shot", more later.
5-Million Targets
(aka "Greed" targets) The seven 5M targets are all over:
  • one to the left of the entrance to the Jet Bumpers, another to their right
  • one, sideways, just below the entrance to the Hitchhiker shot
  • one just above the Piano shot; often a ball bounces into the Piano off the edge of this target
  • two, sideways, below the Combo Hole and to the left of the Slot Machine
  • one, frontwards, to the left of the Slot Machine.

All these targets are lit by the Clock Target, by a Door or Camera award, while the Powerball is in play, or during multiball. The Clock Target lights up one of the 7 targets, in no particular order. Hitting a 5M target turns that target off. These are small, hard-to-hit targets; I've never hit one on purpose, but then again I've never had nothing else to shoot at. Some of the 5M targets are drain shots, so make sure you know what you're doing - I find it simpler to ignore them and get lucky hits.

Right Inlane/Outlane
the Right Inlane lights three things - Dead End at the Town Square hole, Bonus X at the Left Ramp, and the Left Spiral for the Spiral Value. Dead End stays lit for the rest of the ball until claimed; the others time out quickly. It is possible to shoot Dead End quickly enough to still shoot the Bonus X after the Slot Machine kickout. The Right Outlane scores a Special if lit. The divider between the inlane and outlane is just a metal piece, making it hard to save a ball over there.
Bottom Flippers and Slingshots
they exist. Amazing. :) Well, at least the flippers are full-length. The bottom flippers are near the "Twilight Zone" playfield graphics, so in a too-well-lit room you might lose track of where those flippers are.
Death Saves and Bang Backs
both are possible on TZ! Rick Stetta successfully did Bang Backs from both sides (however, it is much easier to do from the right, a shorter distance); and on not-very-sensitive tilt settings, Death Saves aren't difficult and can be made with only the single up-&-to-the-right push. The side bar has given many a laceration, so watch it... Beware when Death Saving: bonus is quite a lot on this game, so "deal with the devil at your own risk... in the Twilight Zone." (That, by the way, is the quote given on a Tilt.)

Lots of stuff, huh? And those are just the basics...

The Door

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination." -Rod... all quotes, unless otherwise noted, are by a dead (yes, "dead") ringer for Rod Serling; take a long pause wherever you see "-" in the quotes.

The Door is not a shot, just as the Mansion is not a shot; the Door sits in the middle of the playfield, and shows your progress in several things. It gives your status on the Gumball machine - red lights, located on the top two panels of the Door light up when "Gum" or "Ball" is shot. It gives your status toward multiball - orange lights, the bottom two panels of the Door, light up for Lock 1 and Lock 2. It gives your status on the 15 (15?!) Door Prizes (ok, fine, maybe they're called Door Panels, but which sounds better?) - 14 of them, in yellow, surround the Door, solidly lit if already collected, blinking if lit at the Piano. The 15th is the white handle on the Door. The lit Door Prize is changed by the Jet Bumpers - this happens a lot, and at the beginning of most balls, so the lit Door Prize is effectively random. The Door Prize lit at the beginning of a game is also random, a choice between Town Square Madness, Clock Millions, and Clock Chaos. Following are the Door Prizes, with a description of each round, and any appropriate quotes or animations.

(By the way, the order of the Door Prizes, clockwise from upper left: Town Square Madness, X-Ball Lit, Super Slot, Clock Millions, Spiral, Battle Power, 10 Million, Greed, Camera, Hitchhiker, Clock Chaos, Super Skill Shot, Fast Lock, Lite Gumball. A Jet Bumper hit advances the lit Prize clockwise.)

10 Million
picture: "Big Points, 10 Million, Big Points". Wowee wow. quote: Rod - "Ten million points." Every quote is more interesting... when said by Rod Serling.

Yeah RIGHT, Big Points my butt. With the replay at 250 million, this reminds me of the 100K "Big Points" from T2. A nice idea: this Door Prize is spotted by a Yellow Skill Shot, which scores 10M on its own. On hard settings, the 10M Door Prize is not spotted.

Light Extra Ball
picture: a buncha balls. Yawn. quote: Rod - "An opportunity awaits you in the form of an extra... ball."

Later, the Power yells, "Get the Extra Ball!"

Extra Ball lights at "Lock". Shooting any Extra Ball provides a nice animation and sound: Talking Tina shows up and says "My name is Talking Tina. Here's your Extra Ball!" then throws the ball from the left side of the screen to the right. Then something happens to the ball - for the first EB, it explodes. For the second, it grows legs, a hat falls from above, and the ball walks away. For the third... well see the spoilers if you want to, but it's REAL funny. There is a fourth, but I can't vouch for what it does or says, since I dunno. Important: collecting any other lit Extra Ball at "Lock" spots the EB Door Prize! So make absolutely sure you get this Door Prize before getting an extra ball, else you'll get robbed. That's any EB from Robot Ramp, Dead End, Super Skill Shot, Spiral, or Outlanes.

The Spiral
animation: three of those optical illusions where circles rotate and it looks like a 3-D column of circles. One disappears for each Spiral shot in the round.

quote: "The spiral awaits you." Ooh. Later, the Power yells, "Enter the Spiral!"

As the Clock counts up (in most all timed rounds it circles from 12 to 12 again, clockwise of course :), shooting either Spiral collects a "Spiral Award" - the first two are both 10M, the third is 15M. As each Spiral is collected, cool quote from the Power: "That's once...twice... thrice" just like Seance. Didn't hear a "Well done!" at the end, it's probably not there. Some Spiral strategy: since any ball kicked from the auto-plunger goes through the Spiral, start multiball and get free credit for one or two of them. After the third Spiral shot, the display shows a single Spiral bouncing across it, back and forth. The Clock continues to roll, and shooting a fourth (fifth, &c.) Spiral awards a "Spiral Breakthrough" (Power: "Breakthru!") worth 15M. The first three Spirals stop the ball on the magnets (so a whole orbit shot really isn't required), but a Spiral Breakthrough won't be stopped.

Super Skill Shot
picture: shows the Rocket.

quote: "This shot requires skill - super skill."

Super Skill Shot becomes lit on the Left Ramp (which pre-empts multiball if lit); the ramp feeds the ball to the auto-plunger lane and then to the manual lane. Rod says, "Be careful", and you'd better be - it's very annoying to miss this one. The awards: Red rollover lights "Battle the Power"; Orange lights the outlanes; Yellow lights Extra Ball... shooting the sinkhole scores no major award. Whichever you hit, even if you miss them all, you get 10M extra - it would've been nice if the sinkhole awarded nothing at all or even deducted points. :) The Extra Ball disappears if unclaimed that ball.

Oh by the way - "Lite Outlanes" lights extra ball on the left outlane, special on the right outlane; only one is lit at a time, changed by the slingshots. The awards go away at the end of the ball - interestingly, both can be scored! If one is awarded in a multiball, the other lights every other slingshot hit.

picture: a thumb.

Hitchhiker immediately awards 2M for every "Hitchhiker Pickup" you've scored in the game - potentially this can be a big bonus (I've had 30 Hitchers), and the game counts down each one with a "Beoo..." sound (sort of). The countdown accelerates with more Hitchers, moving very very quickly if you have more than 10 or 20. For the rest of the ball, each Hitchhiker is worth an additional 2M - so the Triple Pickup is worth 6M and the "10 Hitchhikers" Camera award is worth 20M. After the counted bonus (awarded immediately), Rod says, "Note the Hitchhiker... there, by the side of the road." Additional Hitchhiker shots that ball also generate the "Beoo..." sound.

Super Slot
picture: the Slot Machine.

quote: "It seems that one of life's payoffs is ahead."

animation: while lit, the display shows slot machine awards like a cherry or a 7; when shot, we see a machine spitting out money.

As the Clock ticks away, shoot the Slot Machine for a random score award - awarded immediately, it's always between 10 and 20 million. This shot can be made several times in the round. "Can". Door Prizes are still awarded by the Machine in Super Slot round - the same rules still apply.

Clock Millions
picture: gee, the Clock... oh forget the pictures.

quote: "This clock... is worth millions."

animation: The clock sits on the screen; each hit to the Clock Target sends a pinball into the corner of the clock, damaging it.

For as long as the Clock turns around, a hit to the Clock Target scores as many points as the hour on the Clock. So if you hit the target immediately, it scores 12 million, then 1M, 2M, etc. There's a short grace period at the end in which you can hit the target for 12M again. Each hit further damages the displayed clock on the screen; five hits awards an end-of-round "Clock Damage Bonus" of 10M. Six hits awards 20M in Clock Damage. Seven, anyone? The total from Clock Millions (including Clock Damage bonus) is tacked on at the end of your ball.

quote: "The stakes are higher - in the Twilight Zone." animation: shows a cash register with a "cha-ching" every time a Greed target is hit.

The Greed total starts at 5M. As the Clock counts, hit as many of the 5-Million targets as possible; each adds 5M to the Greed total, which is awarded at the end of the ball. Upon hitting the first Greed Greed target, a voice yells, "You want more?" Then with each successive target hit, it yells "More!" louder and louder. A cool quote at the end of the Greed round: "There. See what... Greed will get you?" Rod says this, not Gomez... Like regular play, hitting a 5M target turns it off.

Fast Lock
quote: "It's time to tune in to - the Twilight Zone." animation: shows a radio dial changing from right to left.

The Fast Lock score begins at 20M, and drops to 5.3M over about 15 sec. Every 3 seconds, the radio stops at a "station", the score stops falling (making it the frequency of the station!), and we hear a quote from one of Pat Lawlor's earlier games, in reverse chronological order. Shooting "Lock" after a quote gives the current Fast Lock score, a second quote from the game, begins a musical piece from it, and starts a 3-ball quick multiball, during which (like Thing multiball) any shot to "Lock" awards that value again. The quotes and music:

  • from TAF, Cousin It mumbles, "Babadabadababa..." or whatever. Hitting "Lock" yields the sound when hitting It, and begins the TAF "get the Jackpot" music.
  • from FunHouse, Rudy says, "Hey, it's only pinball!" Hitting yields the Rudy Gulp sound ("Gulp... ptooey!"), and begins the "get the Jackpot" music.
  • from Whirlwind, "Return to your homes." Hitting: "Do not panic." Music: get the Jackpot.
  • from Earthshaker, "It's sunny drive time!" Hitting: "Ooh ooh, gimme shelter!" Music is from regular gameplay, though...
  • from Banzai Run, "Welcome race fans!" Hitting: "Go for the Hill!" (sadly not "Banzaii!!") and the standard game music, courtesy Brian Schmidt (now of Data East).

Shooting Fast Lock before Cousin It mumbles doesn't award anything different, unfortunately. Be nice to have another hidden thingy there. One thing of note is that the Earthshaker and Banzai Run quotes were clearly redone for TZ; they're close but not quite the real thing. Also, notice the sound between "stations" - ooh static. Like other multiballs, having the Powerball in play lites the Powerball Loops for 10M bonus (these are described later). Fast Lock really isn't worth that many points; during it, you might prefer to shoot things like Hitchhiker, which you normally might be afraid to shoot in regular play.

Clock Chaos
quote: "Time is a one-way street - except in... the Twilight Zone."

animation: a small robot (or astronaut) stands next to a Clock, winding it to "Pop Goes the Weasel."

As with Clock Millions, 5M is awarded automatically, and any hit to the Clock Target awards the time on the clock. However... for this round, the Clock starts at 6, and begins to move backwards. A hit to the Target stops the clock (on display: a pinball nails the guy winding the Clock, who gets mad, destroys the ball, and begins to wind the clock faster) - and also changes the direction of the Clock! If the Clock ever hits 12 on either side, the round ends - not immediately, there's a short grace period at 12 so keep trying! Potentially scoring in Clock Chaos is unlimited - however, the Clock begins to move VERY quickly after three hits. After 5 hits, a very appropriate and hilarious quote comes out... see the spoilers, but this is one you want to find out for yourself. Clock Chaos is an end-of-ball award, and can go very very high - I've gone as high as 105M on it.

The Camera
quote: "It is a most unusual camera." The Power then says, "Look to the future!" since the camera shows the future... sometimes Rod says this.

This award, as well as every 10 Robots, lights the Camera hole for an award. Lighting Camera from the Door allows you to collect two Camera awards, while every 10 Robots lites one Camera award. Camera award collections are stackable, and carry ball-to-ball. You are told what the award is before you collect it; however, the sequence of awards is apparently random (you can't say, "Oh well it's 20 million now, so next time it'll be Collect Bonus!). The awards:

  • 20 million... more "big" points. Actually it's a good award, just boring.
  • Lite Greed Targets: all 5M targets lit for immediate collection. This also means that the Clock Target is immediately lit for 10M - but they don't want you to know that. :)
  • Hold Town Square: Town Square Value stays where it is. Poor award.
  • 3x Town Square: Awards 3x the current Town Square Value. This can be as high as 75M.
  • Clock 10 Millions: A timed round. 10M is awarded automatically, and during the round any Clock Target hit is another immediate 10M bonus. The animation is exactly like Clock Millions; enough hits again awards the Clock Damage bonus. Rod begins the round (as with Clock Millions) with "This clock is worth millions."
  • Lite Outlanes: see above.
  • Collect Bonus: (right out of Tristan!) awards end-of-ball bonus immediately. Potentially, this is the largest award in the game: see the section on Bonus (Once I had a 300M bonus).
  • 10 Hitchhikers: well what do you think? Note that thhis also automatically lites "Battle the Power", since every 10 Hitchers does that.

AMOA play kept all awards except "Collect Bonus." The sequence of Camera awards is random, but an award will not be given twice until a sequence of all eight awards has been completed. For example, the sequence could run 1-7-4-5-2-6-8-3 then 8-3-1-7-... but the entire eight are given out before it begins again. The same award is never given as the last of one sequence, then the first of the next. Unusual, but oh well. If the ball is sent around either Spiral (unless Gumball is lit or if in Powerball mode), a magnet in the back right will STOP the ball on the Spiral, then release it for a slow, easy shot at the Camera. The accompanying sound is the famous TZ theme music "Doo doo doo doo..." and the display "Spiral Helper".

Town Square Madness
quote: "There is madness in town square."

animation: COOL, see round description.

As the Clock counts (round, like most, probably lasts 12 seconds), each playfield target is worth 350K; the total begins at 3M and is shown on the display. Meanwhile a picture of the town square (buildings & cars) is shown with people running about and screams in the background; each target hit throws a brick or rock at the people and store windows. The target value is increased by 25K for each hit at the Jet Bumpers; each hit generates a quite close-up animation of a panicking man or woman screaming and holding their head; VERY cool. The Madness total is added to the end-of-ball bonus; a poor round can be less than 10M, a good round can be more than 40M, best I've seen is 75M. Also, the "Spiral Helpers" are active during Madness round - they'll stop the ball in the Right Spiral, tell you to shoot the Hitchhiker for Jet Bumpers, at which time you shoot the Hitchhiker.

Battle The Power
quote: the Power shouts, "Are you ready to battle?" then usually adds, "Feel lucky?" or laughs. When Battle the Power is lit, just shoot the Right Ramp to enter the "Powerfield" - the magnetic mini-playfield. The animation shows what you see on the back of a one-dollar bill: a triangular pyramid with a single eye in one face. The Powerfield score begins at 5M for a round; hitting any of the three walls of the playfield awards 500K; should you be successful in defeating the Power during a ball, the walls are worth 750K in the next round - they become 1M if you win a second time (the limit). Each hit shoots a ball at the pyramid in the display and is deflected (or other things - look closely). Battle the Power lasts 10 seconds - typically, about 20 hits on the walls are recorded in a losing effort, any number less than that in a victory. If you lose, the Power laughs at you and Rod says, "Never underestimate the Power... in the Twilight Zone." If you win, the display shows the Power Pyramid exploding, the Powerfield total for THAT ROUND is doubled, and the lit Door Prize is immediately awarded. This is accompanied by one of the most catchy visuals and sound effects: a hand makes a fist and bangs on the bottom of the display three times, "Boom boom boom." (Knock three times...) Every time we defeated the Power, everyone playing shook their fists up and down with the animation. When Battle the Power times out, keep going - there's about a second of grace period, and a victory shot still counts. Also, a ball can be stuck in the corner of the Powerfield; if the ball search (which operates all flippers, including magnetic ones) kicks the ball into the victory hole, you get credit for a Camera shot.

Lite Gumball Machine
quote: "This is no ordinary gumball machine."

As said, the Gumball machine is lit on the Right Spiral by the Door or by both ramps. When the Spiral is hit, the display reads "Gumball Loaded", as the ball is diverted into the top of the machine. The bottom ball is then kicked out, and points are awarded - 15M for the first gumball loaded, 20M for the second, 25M for all thereafter. The points are only awarded for shooting a regular ball into the machine; loading in the Powerball does something quite different. Notice the knob on the gumball machine: pretty cool, it actually works. One further note about the Gumball machine: it is lit in regular play by the two ramps. However, once it is lit from the ramps, it can't be lit again by the ramps until a lock is made... meaning you can't just keep filling up on gumballs all day long.

  • important: the Gumball Machine is notorious for kicking two balls instead of one, ruining the game. L-2 R0Ms fix the problem, but if you have earlier R0Ms, get the operator to change the settings to "Gumball Machine Disabled". No ball will ever go in or out of the Machine, but the scoring is handled just the same. With this setting, Powerball mode is awarded for every two Gumball Machine shots, even though the Powerball never comes into play. No balls in or out of the Gumball Machine; it has its disadvantages, but I think it's worth doing to avoid Gumball Hell. Another, more difficult solution is to examine the solder joints of the optical switch at the Machine's entrance; this is what causes the whole problem.


Oh you think I'm gonna tell you that? Guess what... see the spoilers.

The Powerball

There are three ways to get the Powerball on the playfield, depending on its original location. The first (and the way you're supposed to do it) is to load the Gumball machine with the Powerball at the bottom. The second is to have a player drain the Powerball; since it's now in the ball trough, it's gotta come out eventually, and when it does, the Powerball round begins for free. The third is to have someone shoot the Powerball into "Lock", which, I used to think, was one of the dumbest things anyone could do in TZ - now I think it's not very beneficial but a lot of fun. Then if either multiball begins, or a ball needs to be kicked out of Lock (the ball in play changes with each unlit Lock shot), the Powerball pops out. Having the Powerball going during multiball (standard multiball only) can be worthwhile though annoying; why later.

The Powerball is a lighter, white ceramic ball of the same approximate radius of a regular pinball. Playing with the Powerball may remind you of playing with a pool ball; memories will come back for those who have played Atari's "Hercules". Being lighter, the Powerball moves much faster than a regular ball, and is a bit more difficult to handle. It also has a greater tendency to fly through the air, but TZ is designed well enough that this rarely happens.

The Powerball round begins when the Powerball is on the playfield; the software will know when this has happened, and if it can't tell, any shot to the Slot Machine (which must have a magnetic sensor underneath) kickout will jog its memory. Immediately "the Power" shouts "POWERball!" and then a variety of taunts: "I want it back!" "Give it back!" "It's not yours!" "Too hot to handle?" "Don't miss!" "Miss and you lose it all!" (note rhyme!) The display shows a ball trapped between two magnetic lightning fields, and also the "Powerball Payoff" value.

Almost everything on the playfield can still be collected while the Powerball is in play; only magnet-related items are disabled - i.e., "Battle the Power" is disabled during the round. In addition, the Left Spiral is worth a 10M "Powerball Loop" bonus. (This is true even if the Gumball Machine is disabled.)

During the round, all the Greed targets are lit; the Powerball Payoff begins at 10M (P-R0Ms: 5M) and goes up by 5M with each hit. Shooting the Gumball machine awards this Payoff, and shows an animation of the machine being shattered. The Payoff is fairly unimportant; don't worry about only getting 10M out of it. After loading the Gumball machine, a round of...

Powerball Mania

begins. Powerball Mania is a 3-ball multiball (one ball from the Gumball machine, two others from the trough or "Lock") during which all playfield targets are initially worth 250K. The Clock also starts ticking away; when it gets back around to midnight, targets no longer add to the Powerball Mania total. In addition, the Right Ramp is lit (to begin) for "Battle the Power". As in normal play, shooting the ramp sends the ball to the mini-playfield, activating the magnetic flippers; each wall is worth 750K, plus the 250K target value if the Clock hasn't gone around yet. Any ball can be shot to the Powerfield (the Powerball can't be in play); with skill, all 3 balls can be there at once. For each shot to the Powerfield, 5 seconds of action are awarded - you can hear a 3-2-1-zero countdown. The goal of Powerball Mania is to defeat the Power (shoot the victory hole); doing this awards the Mania Jackpot of 50 million and a big Jackpot animation. If 2 balls are on the Powerfield at the time, the second can be shot in for another 50M! After a Jackpot, the Right Ramp will not load the Powerfield until it is relit by shooting the Left Ramp once. There is a brief ball saver at the beginning of Powerball Mania... drain quick and you'll get it back.

It isn't very hard to score a Mania Jackpot; after enough shots to the Powerfield (especially if multiple balls at a time), one's sure to bounce in. My best Powerfield total is just under 300M (299.75M to be exact :). One very very important thing: DON'T TILT after getting Powerball Mania - it's part of the end-of-ball bonus.

(Sorry, no quotes from Rod in this round.)


The main multiball in TZ is fairly difficult to begin, fairly difficult to light for a high score, and fairly difficult to achieve. There are slightly differing rules for the first and second multiballs.

For the first multiball, the first Lock is lit by completing "Gumball"; always, "Gumball" will light a lock if it isn't already. After locking the first ball, the display shows a door surrounded by a magnetic field, and the quote, "Beyond this door is a dimension of sight," closely followed by someone yelling "Don't touch the door!" The display then reads, "Shoot Lock or Left Ramp, Jackpot 15M". (P-R0Ms: 10M)

A shot to the Left Ramp begins multiball immediately; a shot to "Lock" locks a second ball which yields the same animation, the quote, "Beyond this door is a dimension of sound," then "Don't touch the door!" is repeated twice in rapid succession. We then see "Shoot Lock or Left Ramp, Jackpot 40M" - obviously locking the second ball is worth the trouble. (P-R0Ms: 35M)

Then either the Left Ramp or "Lock" begins multiball - it is to your advantage to shoot the ramp, since the auto-plunger kicks the ball to the upper left flipper. When multiball begins, we see the door and the frantic quote, "Don't touch the door don't touch the door don't touch the door..." faster and faster, until the door finally explodes and all 3 balls are kicked out. Rod declares, "You've just crossed into... the Twilight Zone." Thanks, Rod! The Jackpot is scored at the Piano shot (lit immediately), so if a ball is auto-plunged, it goes past the upper left flipper at a speed suitable for shooting the Jackpot. If all balls come from the Lock kickout, shoot them at the upper left flipper; chances are good that one of them will bounce into the Piano.

While the Jackpot is lit, the 7 5M targets flash; shooting any of them adds 5 million to the Jackpot. Upon shooting the Jackpot, it can be relit by shooting the Camera - this is very difficult since it requires both flippers. The Jackpot is relit at 10M more than its value at the last time the Jackpot became lit; for example, if you started multiball at 15M jackpot, scored it at 35M, then relit it, the Jackpot would begin at 25M. If you then scored it again for 25M, then relit it, the Jackpot would then begin at 35M.

One cool thing during multiball; the Spiral magnets are active, so if a Spiral shot is made, the ball is fed slowly to either the upper left flipper if the Jackpot is lit, or the upper right flipper if the Jackpot needs to be relit. When this occurs the "Doo doo doo doo" sound effect plays, so if you're flailing away at balls it's easy to know you've got a shot at the Jackpot coming up. The same goes for a Right Ramp shot with the Jackpot lit; it tells you it's gonna dump the ball before it does it.

If, somehow, the Powerball is in play during multiball, shooting either Spiral will award a 10M "Powerball Loop" bonus; however since the Powerball is ceramic, the Spirals will not feed the Powerball neatly to the flippers, even though the "Spiral Helper" graphic and sound still plays (confusing...) BUT - awesomely, shooting the Jackpot with the Powerball (and only with the Powerball!) DOUBLES the jackpot (with a special display).

If the Jackpot is missed entirely, multiball can be restarted by hitting "Lock" within 12 seconds - this is a hard, hard shot to make. If it is accomplished, two balls are kicked from the auto-plunger (so multiball restart is 3 balls), and the Jackpot keeps its previous value (like TAF). There's no third chance. While multiball restart is lit, good music is played, with the Power (or, perhaps, the "Don't touch the door" voice) saying things at you, including "You can do it!" like Black Knight. Miss entirely, and Rod says, "You have just taken a detour out of... the Twilight Zone," or something like that.

Differences for the second multiball: both Locks 1 and 2 must be lit separately (so "Gumball" needs to be completed twice), and it isn't possible to start multiball from the left ramp. Third and later multiballs require a third completion of "Gumball" to "light Release" at Lock; all later multiballs have base Jackpot 40M (P-R0Ms something else.)

The Combos

Near as I can tell, there is one 2-Way Combo, seven 3-Way Combos, and four 4-Way Combos in TZ. The 2-Way Combo, called the "Gumball Combo", is Left Ramp to Right Ramp, and is only awarded when neither "Gum" nor "Ball" is lit to begin with. No score is listed on the board, but it must be worth something.

One of the 3-Way Combos is a continuation of this: Left Ramp -> Right Ramp -> Piano awards 10M. Two combos utilise the "Lock" shot; they are Left Ramp -> "Lock" -> Camera or Hitcher. Two 3-Ways use the Combo Hole; Right Ramp -> Combo Hole -> Camera or Hitcher. Two more use the Spiral Helpers; Left Ramp -> Right Spiral (w/Helper) -> Camera or Hitcher. I think that's all there are, but considering how many exist, there may be more. All 3-Way Combos are worth 10M.

One 4-Way Combo is Left Ramp -> Right Ramp -> Combo Hole -> Hitcher or Camera; the other is Left Ramp -> Right Spiral (no Helper) -> Combo Hole -> Hitcher or Camera. All 4-Way Combos are worth 20M.

Most people won't notice it at first (including me), but there's a VERY simple way to hit the Combo Hole shot from the upper left flipper. As the ball comes to the flipper from the Right Spiral (moving quickly), just hold up the flipper and the ball heads straight for the Combo Hole! Obviously this depends on the particular table, and may not even have been the design idea.

Bonus Count

Bonus Count can be worth a whole heckuva lot in TZ. As with all Lawlor games, bonus is determined solely on particular shots and rounds; you won't add 1,OOO to your bonus by hitting a Jet Bumper. Bonus is calculated as

(500K * Hitchhikers + 500K * Door Prizes) * Bonus X + Special Rounds

Bonus X is lit on the Left Ramp for 5 seconds after rolling over the Right Inlane. Bonus X really isn't worth shooting for; from the inlane, it's a better idea to shoot for Dead End or the Left Spiral instead.

Special Rounds can be worth a LOT of points, pushing Bonus into the stratosphere:

Powerfield: total of all "Battle the Power" rounds - can be 70M +
Town Square Madness round: 50M
Clock Millions round: 70M
Clock Chaos: 50M
Greed: 30M
Powerball Mania: 300M
for a big total of 570M

Obviously you wouldn't expect that kind of bonus all the time, but considering the default Grand Champ score is 750M, Bonus can sure help you get there. When awarding Bonus, each screen comes up as it does in TAF, and in TZ, it acts as a card and falls forward (with a slight boom) to reveal the next card; it's pretty catchy and forms a good beat to tap to. If your bonus is over 100M, you get another cool quote: "Big risk, big reward... in the Twilight Zone." The bonus count can be sped up by holding down both flippers!... the cards fall as fast as possible, but no quote for 100M bonus.

Miscellaneous Scoring, Animation, etc.

Some additional features of TZ that didn't seem to fit anywhere else:

Dead End
animation: The Town Square Value animation shows a car driving; the Dead End animation shows the same car crashing into a wall. Oh it's so cute. :)

Dead End can be lit at the Town Square collect hole, behind the Jet Bumpers. It is lit by rolling over the right inlane and remains lit until the end of the ball or until collected. Dead End scores double the Town Square value; an adjustable number of Dead Ends lights an Extra Ball (this was 3 on our machine - sounds easier than it is). 8 Dead Ends awards your bonus, and there may be a later award. The Dead End EB disappears if unclaimed that ball.

Triple Pickup

On a background of a graveyard, we see the same picture of the Hitchhiker from any ordinary Hitcher shot. (But this is no ordinary... sorry.) Then, a second appears on the same screen, with the first still there. Then a third. One (or all) of them says, "Going my way?" and then they all disappear.

Robot Ramp
< animation: Robby the Robot moves his arms. Wow.

The first EB on the Robot Ramp is adjustable and stays near 10; there is a second EB lit at 45 Robots. There may be some kind of award for 100 (or more?) Robots.

"Shoot Again"
Animation shows the one-inch astronaut walking from right to left, holding a pinball. At left he drops be ball (clunk, clunk), then turns to you and says, "Webba wobba wobba" - an immediate translation is provided: "Shoot again".

Extra Ball Buy-In

When your game ends, you're given the option to buy an extra ball for 1 credit. Hitting the "Extra Ball" button gives the Extra Ball and usually a most appropriate quote (see the Spoilers). If you don't want the extra ball, you can flip both flippers, hit the Start button, or in a multi-player game, just plunge the ball. Extra Ball Buy-In should only be used if you're close to a big feature (like the Door handle) or if you're close to a replay or high score; the local PAPA tournament immediately made up the rule that if you got a replay you could use the credit to buy an extra ball. Strange. Any high score managed because of the bought extra ball counts just the same; I think this is a good idea, but hey it's a rule sheet not a commentary. Important: you can only buy one extra ball, so no kid with 200 tokens is gonna get the high score. You have 7 seconds to decide to buy (or not) the EB. Buying an EB immediately lights all 7 5M targets, so the Clock is also lit for 10M. (Now why are those targets on? :) In addition, a ball saver comes on for around 15-20 seconds; should you drain in this time, the display reads "Player n Keep Shooting" as the ball is auto-plunged. Rod then adds, "Things are not as they first appear..." though I'll have to check that quote.

Replay animation is the same as the animation for a Slot Machine shot; the Slot Machine spins around, and lo and behold, the three wheels stop on "PL", "AY", and "RE", in no particular order. A cool add-on here: if the machine is set to award extra balls instead of replays, this display will show that instead. I haven't seen the actual display, but you can tell that as the wheels spin around to "Replay", they could've spun around to some sort of Extra Ball display.

Match animation is done very quickly (yay!): the one inch astronaut holds a gun, pointed at a match number (which doesn't match any of the players' scores), with the scores (last 2 digits, that is) below. He fires, and the match number appears immediately in an explosion. If you matched, your number lights up immediately with a click; if you didn't, your number explodes. The astronaut then flips the gun into the air, catching it after it does a full twist.

Random Quote
(it didn't fit anywhere else)

Occasionally, Rod will say, "Not an ordinary day", near the beginning of the game. Sometimes he'll add to that, "nor an ordinary place." No apparent reason...

Jackpot Animation
(didn't fit anywhere else)

Lessee... begins all dark, then a circle of light flashes out, showing the outlines of the word "Jackpot". More circles until the entire display is light, then the lights in "Jackpot" pulse bright and faint (never off), then an explosion and a display of how much you got, with the Power shouting "Jackpot!" It's cooler than that, I assure you. Oh and there's music too.

Theme Song
The Powerball Mania, jackpot, and attract mode music are based on the early 80's rock song, "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring. The song is adapted for TZ, so it's a bit different from the original. The song also had some lyrics (strangely enough), and here's the chorus:

Help, I'm steppin' into the Twilight Zone
This is a madhouse, feels like being home
My feet they can't move under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I've gone too far... (repeated)
You are gonna know when the bullet hits the bone. (repeated)

Um...yeah...ok. The entire lyrics are available by request.

High Scores
Getting one of the high scores obviously gives you the chance to put your name on the high score list. It does generate a quote from Rod: "That was neither an ordinary game, nor an ordinary player." Cool... same initial entry as every other game, GC 2 credits, others 1. An additional credit is provided for "Lost in the Zone Champion" (look at the high score table); if you had a high score, you won't need to re- enter your initials for LITZ.

The Joystick Conspiracy
TZ is the third Lawlor game to have a particular item on the backglass. Check out Whirlwind (if you can find one!) if you get the chance, and you'll see a guy holding a red joystick in his left hand, with a button at the top and what looks like a phone cord at the bottom. Now look at FunHouse - Rudy, in a shot where his body is showing, is holding the same thing, also in his left hand. Now look at the dummy in the box on TZ - same thing, same hand. Ooh it's spooky (not); someone suggested this was done by art director Youssi, but no joystick has been seen in any other Bly/Wms games.

Tournament Mode
Changes in the TZ rules for AMOA play: Lite EB is always spotted on the Door. Clock Chaos is the first flashing Door Prize. The Slot Machine first awards "Lite Gumball", then the next Prize in counter-clockwise order throughout, including the flashing Prize but not lit ones. The Camera award is the same sequence for all players. Of course, no extra balls, so the Super Skill Shot awards 10M plus Battle Power for Red, Lite Special (1M) Half The Time for Orange, nothing for Yellow.

5-Ball Mode
If your TZ is set for 5-ball play (5 balls per game, not 5 balls installed), there are minor changes: a Yellow Skill Shot won't spot the 10M Door Prize, Spiral Awards begin at 2M, Piano and Slot don't relight automatically at the start of a ball, and two locks are required to start the first multiball (it can still be started by the Left Ramp).

The Cow
Yes that's right... TZ has a cow. No I'm not telling you where, try the spoilers.

Tips, Tricks... maybe even Strategies!

There are so many things to shoot for in TZ, it's insane. Last time I played TZ I had the ball trapped on the left flipper. The Left Ramp was lit for Super Skill Shot; the Clock Target was lit for Clock Millions; the Right Ramp was lit for Battle the Power; Lock was lit; the Slot Machine was active; and the Gumball Machine was lit. SIX shots, all of which are not easy and have their own rewards. The strategy in TZ is not to light something, then shoot it... TZ always has something lit, and shooting it lights something else (or, usually, more than one thing).

As with TAF, there are several good, independent strategies - I haven't figured out yet which are the best.

  • Shoot for the Door Prizes. Each one usually rakes in at least 20M, sometimes a lot more. It's easy to relight the Piano and Slot Machine (just one Left Ramp shot) - they're not difficult shots either, and the Piano is actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. And getting the ?, like getting Tour the Mansion, is a strategy in itself.
  • Shoot for multiball. Simple enough; a lock is lit by a Left Ramp - Right Ramp combo, and once you get the Lock shot down, it isn't very hard to repeatedly get multiball. Multiball itself is hard at first, but not overly difficult. In fact... a whole lot of things on TZ are hard to deal with at first, and become much easier once you know how. Multiball is especially worth your while to master; since successive Jackpots get bigger and bigger, your score can climb very quick. (example: 4 Jackpots - 40, 50, 60, 70 - 220M. Not bad. Plus any 5M targets you might pick up.)
  • Shoot for Powerball. It never takes more than 3 Gumball shots to get the Powerball to come out; the Gumball machine is relit quickly by the two ramps. Powerball Mania is a very high-scoring round, and worth going for.

Notice: ALL of these are made easier by the Left Ramp -> Right Ramp combo. This combo is the most important thing to MASTER in TZ; if you can shoot it successfully and repeatedly, the entire game opens up for you.

Quick strategies for situations:

  • ball to upper left flipper, Piano unlit: shoot Power Payoff if that's lit, otherwise hold the flipper up for the Combo Hole.
  • ball to upper right flipper, Camera unlit: shoot Hitchhiker - adding a Jet Bumper is paltry, and Hitchhiker gets you closer to Battle the Power. Another possibility: shoot the upper left flipper! There's a good chance the ball will rattle around and into the Piano. This is especially good if the Jet Bumpers tend to drain the ball. A third choice is to shoot the upper left flipper, but then flick it when the ball arrives. With practice, this shot goes right up the Left Ramp!
  • ball to lower right flipper: shoot Dead End, Left Spiral, or Clock Target if lit, otherwise go for one of the ramps.

The lower left flipper is probably the most important, since it can shoot so many things. Of course, it's a Pat Lawlor game... all the flippers are important. :) Just look at the 4-Way Combos - all four flippers get used.

There are quite a few strategies I've seen for defeating the Power. The first is to just randomly flip - ok that's not a strategy. The second is to wait for the ball to fall below the magnet, then flip it quickly - the ball should shoot past the magnet and toward the victory hole. A third is the exact opposite - flip as the ball is above the magnet; it then flies toward the magnet, off the bottom wall, then past the magnet again and into the hole. A fourth strategy, and the one I've seen work most often (50% maybe) is to flick one magnet on and off, build up some momentum, then release the magnet and let the momentum carry the ball all over the place, hopefully up to the hole. You may have limited success in defeating the Power right away - the ball comes (usually) to the right magnet first. Flip the right magnet just as the ball hits the bottom right wall, and it just might do the trick; it won't be worth terribly many points, but it will award a free Door Prize. Mike has had the most success in defeating the Power - his strategy? "I don't know what the hell I'm doing". :) Good luck...

If you should get the Powerball in play, it's not worth shooting into Lock (unless you've never scored a double jackpot)... after all, since the Jackpot is less than 100M, and since you have only a 1/3 chance of shooting the double jackpot, the advantage of having Powerball going during multiball isn't that great. Compared to the possibility of a huge Powerball Mania bonus, it's pretty paltry.

One thing that people at AMOA may find problematic is that the Jet Bumpers have the tendency to send the ball screaming right between the flippers - and since the bumpers are so close by, there's no chance of reacting quickly enough to make a save. This is exactly like TAF, but it's more of a problem here since the ball goes into the bumpers for every Hitchhiker shot (as many as 20-30 in a good game). Because of this, advanced players may want to avoid the Jet Bumpers entirely; this was only a good strategy for me when I had the Door handle lit - and then I missed the shot... FOUR times. :(

So TZ is another well-balanced Lawlor game with many strategies for replays and high scores; as a follow-up to the (former?) #1 pinball game of all time (TAF), Twilight Zone is quite amazing. I think that TZ is better balanced than TAF - the high-scoring strategy in TAF was Tour the Mansion, then do it again. With TZ there are many different ways to get the score way up there, and I especially like the increased value of multiball.

Other Stuff

Thanks to Jon Deitch, Lyman Sheats, Kevin Martin, Mark Phaedrus, Josh Lehan, Brian Dominy, and Robert DeLoura for making additional comments and corrections. Thanks to Felix Lee for the TZ playfield program.

Slight Bragging Section: my best game is 1436M, best LITZ 360M. The Grand Champ score is somewhere near 2.5B, but it's well-known that the guy who got it isn't any good at pinball, and happens to work at the place... hmm. He "got" a 560M LITZ, so it's just slightly suspect. The best game I've seen so far was by Mark Conant, at 1.6B. Considering his highs on TAF and other games (deleted for sanity's sake), he'll go a lot higher than that. If it's anything like TAF (it is), high scores will slowly build, and build...

Well, hope you enjoyed this guided tour... of the Twilight Zone. :)


[[ The Spoilers are attached below - KJM ]]

Warning warning: this list contains SPOILERS! Spoilers, get it? Now back off before ya read somethin' ya don't want to!

You sure? You really sure?

(see - it's a Williams, um, Bally game, we need double redundancy just incase)

Well okay...

Talking Tina
Won't be much of a spoiler because you really should see the animation: the Extra Ball transmogrifies :) into a balloon, deflates, flies around the screen, and lands on Tina's face. She says, "Hee hee hee"...

Clock Chaos
Six or seven Clock Target hits (very hard to do) generate the quote, "Quit playin' with the clock!", direct from FunHouse.

? = Lost in the Zone
Every ball is released from the Gumball Machine!

Every ball is released from the trough!

Everything is lit! Well - almost everything:

  • Powerfield lit, defeating Power worth 50M (like Powerball Mania)
  • Town Square Madness lit
  • Clock Millions lit
  • Super Slot lit
  • Hitchhiker shots worth 2M
  • Left Ramp shots worth 10M
  • Greed targets lit
  • Dead End and Town Square lit (simultaneously?)

Balls are kicked from the auto-plunger as long as the Clock continues to roll; once it strikes 12, everything stops IMMEDIATELY, all balls drain, and it adds up your score (only points from LITZ round count). A good LITZ is worth upwards of 300M; the best LITZ gets on the high score table. If the Gumball Machine is disabled, LITZ will be only a 3-ball multiball, else a 6-ball. Bonus is awarded: x Hitchers, points from Odd Change (10M awarded automatically), points from Super Slot, from Town Square, from Greed, from Clock Millions, from Powerball Mania, and from the Left Ramp.

Extra Ball Buy-In
If you're greedy enough to buy an Extra Ball... :) Well figure it out; the quote is "Grreeeeeeeedd" right from TAF.

The Cow
By request of someone anonymous from Ohio, who told me not to tell people about cows, I'm not postin' it. It's easy enough to see, but I'll give you some hints:

  • the Cow won't moo, so don't expect it...
  • the Cow will be seen in less than 10% of TZ games
  • the Cow will probably NOT be seen at all at AMOA.

If you absolutely must know where the Cow is, e-mail me... but it's much more fun to find it yourself. And by the way, try not to send any follow- up posts on this one; if you have questions, e-mail should work ok. Bowen

Editor's Notes

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

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