Barracora (Williams 1981)

Barracora (Williams 1981)

Playfield features

Top lanes 1-2-3 / 4-5-6: Lane change is controlled by left and right flippers. Right controls 1-2-3 and left controls 4-5-6. Completing 1-2-3 advances the value of the left saucer 30k 60k 90k. In order to complete 4-5-6 the ball must roll through a lit 1-2-3 lane insert while to claim an unlit 4-5-6 insert. Completing 4-5-6 advances upper right stand up target 20k 40k EB. Completing both 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 lights collect bonus and upper left saucer. Rolling through a lit or unlit lane advances bonus score.

Inlanes: Rolling over an inlane switch advances bonus.

Outlanes: Rolling over an outlane switch advances bonus, awards 5k and collects special when lit.

Lower left saucer: Collects lit value and/or becomes ball lock when lock insert is lit.

Upper left saucer: Collects bonus when lit and becomes ball lock when lock insert is lit

B-A-RR left drop target bank: Competing the left drop targets in sequence lights lower left saucer for ball lock, advances bonus multiplier, lights green insert in front of bank and lights spinner for 1k a spin.

A-C-O-R-A right drop target bank: Completing the right drop targets in sequence lights upper left saucer for ball lock, advances bonus multiplier, lights green insert in front of bank and lights spinner for 1k a spin.

Spinner: The spinner is worth 100 per spin unless lit. To light the spinner for a 1k a spinner complete either the left or right drop target banks. The spinner is only lit for 1k for a short time after a drop bank completion.

BARRACORA lane/spinner lane: The spinner seems to advance the BARRACORA inserts for visual effect only. There is a switch at the end of the lane which advances bonus.

Center touch targets, target score inserts, target score multiplier inserts and scores target bonus u-turn: In the center of the playfield there are two touch targets. The left target advances a point value (5k 10k 15k 20k 25k) and the right target advances a multiplier (x2 x3 x4 x5 x10). Shooting the u-turn in the upper right of the playfield scores the lit value and multiplier. After the target bonus is collected the values reset to base unless the target score and target multiplier are at the same level (20k x5). If the target score is at the same level you can collect the same value again by shooting the scores target bonus u-turn.

Bonus score, bonus multiplier, super bonus multiplier inserts and green inserts in front of drop target banks: Several switches and targets increase bonus score throughout the playfield. Inlanes, drop targets, top lanes, barracora lane switch etc. Bonus score can be increased to 29k.Bonus multiplier (orange inserts) can be advanced by completing either drop target bank. Super bonus multiplier can be advanced by clearing both drop target banks and does not reset between balls. The green insert in front of each drop target bank indicates that bank has been completed. Super bonus is awarded after the bank with the unlit green insert is completed. Bonus multiplier and super bonus multiplier are also multiplied. The maximum combined multiplier is 25x


Barracora has two and three ball multiball. To start two ball multiball, complete the left drop targets in sequence to light the lower left saucer for ball lock. Once the ball is locked a new ball will be placed in the shooter lane. Two ball multiball begins several seconds after the ball is plunged. To start three ball multiball both drop target banks must be completed. You must also shoot the ball into the upper left saucer first before the lower left saucer. Once both balls are locked a new ball will be placed in the shooter lane. Three ball multiball begins several seconds after the ball is plunged. There are no jackpots or multiplied scoring opportunities during two or three ball multiball. You can not relight locks during either two or three ball multiball.

Strategy, Tips and Tricks

The basic strategy for Barracora is to build, multiply and collect bonus. Barracora is also a game where strategy can change based on post settings, tilt sensitivity and how the lower left saucer kickout behaves.

The most important thing to know about Barracora is that the upper left ball lock is not held between balls and is ejected if the ball in play is lost while a ball is locked in the upper left saucer. Completing the right bank of five drop targets will essentially award an extra ball once the upper left saucer ball lock is made. This can not be adjusted or turned off. The main strategy of Barracora is to exploit this feature in order to prolong your turn and progress the bonus and bonus multipliers.

If the Barracora you are playing is not difficult there is almost no reason not to shoot the right drop target bank to light the upper left lock from the beginning. Once completed shoot the upper left lock. As long as there is a ball in the upper left lock you can not lose your turn. Now there are several priorities to consider. I feel that completing the right side bank down to two targets is top priority so your next upper left ball lock is easy to get back to. Next, I would consider completing the left drop target bank. After completing this bank you should now have 2x super bonus and 3x regular bonus or 6x. At this point I would prioritize the spinner in order to advance bonus score to maximum. You should also be aware that three ball multiball is available at the lower left saucer but, I tend to avoid it as much as possible unless all of my other priorities are met first. This is part of what makes Barracora an amazing game because you are faced with an interesting risk reward decision. While it is safe to leave the last two targets on the right bank in order to get back to your extra ball lock, you can not advance super bonus multiplier to the maximum without completing both banks. Personally I almost always choose to shoot the spinner and pick up whatever points I can until my ball drains and the upper left ball is ejected back on to the playfield.

During the above process you should also be very aware of lighting your bonus collect with the top lanes. As soon as you go back to the upper left saucer for your next lock you want to also collect whatever bonus is available. Because you will eventually shoot the spinner back to the top lanes in order to advance bonus you need to remember which sequence of top lanes you have completed so that you can complete the other and relight the bonus collect. Early on in the game you can use the value of the lower left saucer or right touch target to keep track of which needs to be completed next. I tend to work on 4-5-6 first. Pop bumpers also tend to send the ball back up into the top lanes for more completions and bonus. Once both the lower left saucer and right touch target values are maximized, you will need to remember your last completion to make lighting the upper left saucer for bonus collect easier. If you have already lit bonus collect and shot a ball into the upper left saucer for a lock, try not to complete 1-2-3 or 4-5-6 instead save it so its easier to relight your bonus collect again.

This is the basic strategy and you should try to repeat this until you have the maximum bonus of 25x. At this point priorities shift slightly. Because the bonus multiplier and super bonus is maxed your priorities should be making the five bank ready and shooting the spinner to advance bonus and relight bonus collects. This is where scores can get huge since full collects are worth 725k. This would be one of the only times I would also actively try to start multiball after bonus score is maximized. Because you have a ball in the upper left saucer you can not collect another 725k. Once the bonus score is maxed and the five bank is ready, start MB. The only objective of this MB is to relight the collect, claim the bonus while avoiding the last two targets of the right drop target bank at all costs. If you can continue to repeat this cycle you will roll the game easily.

If the Barracora you are playing is setup to play very difficult, no outlane posts, tight slings and nasty lower left kickout, you may want to change your strategy slightly. Because there are more drop targets to hit in the right side bank you may want to consider hitting the left bank first and starting a two ball multiball to make progress on the right bank safer. This is also totally dependent on the behavior of the lower left saucer kick out. I have played many Barracora where the lower left saucer will kick straight down the middle or very close to it. In that case you may want to avoid the lower left saucer at all costs or start two ball multiball using the following technique. Instead of hard plunging the ball to the top lanes you can soft plunge the ball and get control of the ball before the second ball is kicked out of the lower left saucer. You can use the first ball to deflect the second ball away from a straight down the middle feed. If you do not touch any switch at all you can drain to feed the ball back to the shooter lane and try again. If both target banks have three drops remaining always shoot for the right side bank.

The only other scoring to consider is the score bonus u-turn and targets. The targets are drain shots and balls often deflect into the drop targets after a solid shot to either target. I would not advise shooting these targets especially if you have two targets remaining on the right bank. Often a shot to the right target will hit the last two drop targets requiring you to complete another set in order to get back to your upper left ball lock. This scoring feature should not be totally ignored though. You can score 250k if both bonus levels are maxed and shoot the u-turn again for an additional 250k.

ROM updates?

If anyone has the know how to modify and update system 7 ROMs please let me know. I spoke with Josh Sharpe briefly about this but, it’s my understanding that Rodger Sharpe envisioned or at least assumed 2x 3x playfield scoring during multiball was already part of the rom. I think this addition could make multiball a more viable option for scoring and necessary for collects which would also be 2x or 3x. This addition alone would make Barracora a more amazing game than it is now!

Special thanks to @MHS for his Barracora game play video! I bought my Barracora in 2009 only a few days after watching Mark’s game play video from a chance craigslist ad. I would have never known this game existed if it weren’t for Mark’s video. Since Barracora has turned out to be one of my all time favorite games, if not my all time favorite, I can’t express my appreciation enough. Thanks to Mark and the PAPA crew for everything that you do!


Anyone who wants the 2x/3x playfield scoring during 2-ball/3-ball multiball rom image shoot me an email :smile:

If someone can burn me a rom out of that image that would be awesome too since I haven’t had a chance to try it out myself yet.

The normal bonus collect meltdown of 29K at 25X (725K) is awesome . . . the idea of being able to do that while keeping 3 balls in play for a 2.175M collect sounds so damn fun to try.


This is going to be amazing! Can’t wait to make a video for this!

I dub this rulesheet: The Biblecora


I just got a copy of the updated ROMs and put them in my Big-Nosed-Brooke-Shields-Shellfish-Pin.

2 ball multiball multiplies the PF scores 2x and 3 ball multiball multiplies the scores 3x. But then I noticed some shots were scoring much more than 2x/3x. What the heck is happening?!? I ended up reading the manual for the game and found this on page 26:

"Scores for switches 09 (BARRACORA lane rollover), 11 (Lower Eject hole) and 33 (Upper right bullseye standup) are doubled and tripled during 2-ball and 3-ball play. With the addition of the PF multiplier, this means these shots are 4x (2 ball) and 9x during (3 ball) multiball play! I have found that this also seems to affect (still testing this) the bonus collect from the upper saucer as well as the pf collect from the center standups. This makes a huge difference in the game strategy and multiball play. I’ll keep y’all posted with anything else I find out!

Do you guys do anything to make the game harder? I bought one a year ago but still haven’t picked it up because I remember it being so easy…

Right now I have mine setup with the outlane posts up as high as they will go(up under the plastics), no tilt warnings, no extra balls, steep(gottlieb legs in the back) and its still not terribly difficult. I have had all of the above and lightning flippers which makes it more fun imo but, switched back to regular flippers for my last tournament. Compared to a Paragon, Frontier and other games of the same era that kick my butt, its easy imo. It’s still fun though and one of my favorite pins of all time.

One thing that I think every Barracora should have is the left saucer kick out of death SDTM. Mine will kick a ball in the saucer for the lit saucer value out safely unless the ball has time to settle in the saucer then its 90% SDTM. The only way to start 2-ball MB on mine is to short plunge, get control of the ball and hit the ball as its coming SDTM from the left saucer. Hopefully we get a circuit event next year in Austin!

I removed the upper right gate on mine after playing PAPA’s that way.

Makes the game far more challenging and more fun IMO. Has a Warlock feel to it when you shoot that left orbit as the ball comes back around and on mine at least it fires into the left slingshot. I remember my dad hitting that shot for the first time and following up with a “What the hellllll . . .” as the ball came flying back around towards his flippers :smile:

By opening that gate you also can’t complete your 1-2-3/4-5-6 lanes via the left orbit, so you have to actually focus on hitting the right orbit more often to progress through the game to light your Bonus Collects, etc.

Have you had a 2x 3x Sharpe throwdown? I haven’t gotten around to bugging my buddy with the rom burner for another 2x 3x set yet. What do think of the 2x 3x roms?

I was able to get it installed in time for hosting our Chicago League, and I picked it for my game choice just to give the roms a shot.

I think it’s awesome. Brings some interesting situational play to the game when you have a big cash out ready (either for the Bonus Collect or for the mini-loop to score the Target Bonus). Now knowing about the additional 4X/9X scoring potential for the lower eject hole and bullseye targets, I look forward to focusing on those situations.

I know at some point in our league match Dave Hegge was killing it, and I actually tried setting up the max mini-loop Target Bonus collect which is typically 250K twice, and trying for the 750K cash in twice to get a ‘quick’ 1.5 mil.

I’m curious as to what the Barracora Lane Rollover does during multiball (when it’s at 4X/9X). I never noticed my bonus advancing by 2X/3X the number of letters I had during multiball, so I doubt it now advances by 4X/9X. That would make one spinner shot add 32,000 to bonus assuming you had all 8 letters collected during that ball in play (so it would max with every shot up that orbit). I’ll have to try it at home to see for sure.

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Wait the Barracora inserts in the spinner lane do something?

Adds to bonus. +1K for each letter in Barracora you have (“RR” counting as one letter).

If you finish a ball with one target on each bank remaining, it actually will spot you the 6 letters on the lane at the start of the next ball.

All that stuff above, yeah, it definitely isn’t going to work or anything. :smirk: So when you get tired of sitting on it, lmk… would love to own one someday. :raising_hand:

Well it’s sitting in Arkansas lol

I’ll call an Uber.

I took the 1 way gate off of the upper right hand side of the pf above the 123/456 lanes. Makes any shot to the right lane valuable as the spinner shot will orbit around the pf. Other than that, sensitize the slings and then if nothing else works, lighting flippers.

That’s about it for me.

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I presume you can’t put the updated ROMs on the replacement combo System 7 MPU/Driver board? I’ve just bought a Barracora and I’m having trouble with the boards, I won’t buy the combo if it removes the opportunity of putting in the updated ROMs.

Nope, although you might be able to change whatever rom is on that board to have it in there instead. This is the main issue with the replacement all in one boards (alltek, rottendog) is that if you want custom software… you can’t “officially”.

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How did those 4x/9/x opportunities turn out?

I haven’t even noticed the 4X/9X stuff . . . but the 2X/3X bonus collects and Target Bonus awards are enough to satisfy my appetite.