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.
Lots of stuff, huh? And those are just the basics...
"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.)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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
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
Lite 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.
Oh you think I'm gonna tell you that? Guess what... see the spoilers.
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...
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.)
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 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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Help, I'm steppin' into the Twilight Zone
Um...yeah...ok. The entire lyrics are available by request.
The Joystick Conspiracy
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.
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:
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.
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. :)
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)
? = Lost in the Zone
Every ball is released from the trough!
Everything is lit! Well - almost everything:
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 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
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