Elton John Rulesheet

Quick Links:

Game Information:

  • Lead Designer: Steve Ritchie
  • Code/Rules: Joe Katz, Bill Grupp
  • Lead Mechanical Engineer:
  • Artwork:
  • Computer Graphics Art Director: Joe Katz
  • Sound Designer:
  • Release Date: November 2023
  • Wiki Rulesheet based on Code Rev:

Elton John is Steve Ritchie’s first game as a designer for Jersey Jack Pinball. Chronicling the life and career of the eccentric musician, the game features a wide selection of “milestones” that can be completed to access the final tour, allowing for many different ways to play the game for a high score.

Rules Overview:

  • Time the plunge at the start of the ball to collect the lit skill shot award. Short plunge and shoot either upper lane (backstage, or the side ramp) to score a super skill shot.
  • Songs can be selected at the start of the game. During each song, shoot the flashing shots to qualify wardrobe items at the backstage shot (the upper loop). Collect all three items for victory laps for the remainder of the song.
  • Shoot the drop target bank to fill out the Rocka-Box and collect albums. Each album corresponds to a different award - five timed modes are hidden among the 31 collectable albums, with a special Champ Multiball available after playing all five.
  • Shoot the Tiny Dancer target to light lock at the crocodile. Lock 2 balls at the crocodile (3 on subsequent plays) for Crocodile Rock Multiball.
  • Collect fuel by completing tasks throughout the game. After collecting enough fuel, the player can choose to either start Rocket Man Multiball at the rocket kicker, or keep collecting fuel to boost the multiball.
  • Spell ELTON JOHN by collecting all 9 stars scattered across the playfield to light lock at the side ramp. Lock 3 balls in the piano to start a Signature Stage Multiball that can be determined with the action button prior to starting it. The multiballs on the left of the display are easier than the ones on the right.
  • There are 8 different milestones that require mastery of one aspect of the game. Achieve 4 different milestones to qualify for the Final Tour wizard mode.

Layout:

Skill Shots:

There are five inserts located above the plunger lane - one is lit at a time, moving from top to bottom and back. The lit award is locked in as a skill shot award as soon as the ball passes the opto above the inserts. From top to bottom, the inserts are:

A chance for a super skill shot is available at either the backstage shot or the side ramp, if the player short plunges the ball to feed the upper flipper. The super skill shot awards “more” of whatever skill shot award was selected (ie. Dialed In super skill shots).

Songs:

At the very start of the game, the player will be prompted to select one of 15 songs from the following:

  • Honky Cat (5:13) - Three sets of shots are lit. All shots are lit at the start of the song but each level of notes decreases the number of shots that can be made.
  • Rocket Man (4:41)
  • Tiny Dancer (6:17)
  • Your Song (4:01) - Alternate shots between the left and right side of the playfield.
  • Bennie and the Jets (5:22)
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (3:12)
  • Take Me to the Pilot (3:46) - Make one shot, then make it again (all others will unlight).
  • Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (4:55) - Two shots are lit at a time and move from the left to right side of the playfield and back on their own.
  • Philadelphia Freedom (5:24)
  • Levon (5:22)
  • Crocodile Rock (3:55) - Alternate between making any major shot and the crocodile VUK.
  • The Bitch is Back (3:44)
  • Pinball Wizard (5:15) - Two shots move from the left to right side of the playfield as they are made. There are cool physical display and flipper effects during this song.
  • I’m Still Standing (3:03) - All shots are lit and reset once all have been made.
  • Your Sister Can’t Twist (2:41)

All songs play fairly similar - they will light a selection of musical note shots on the playfield, in different sequences depending on the song. Once enough notes have been collected, the backstage shot (upper loop) will light to collect an item.

There are three items per song - the first item collected starts double song for 30 seconds (all shots score 2x), the second item starts double notes for 30 seconds (all notes count 2x towards item progression), and the third item will enable victory laps for the remainder of the song. One of the milestones requires the player to collect all three items in one song.

Once any song times out, the next, random song will start.

Albums & The Rocka-Box:

Filling out the 9 squares in front of the center drop targets awards an album, alongside the currently indicated award at the top left of the display. There are a total of 26 “normal awards” and 5 encore modes, indicated with green squares in the status report and available after 5 normal awards have been scored.

The most important award to remember is that encore modes unlocked is given at the fifth drop target award.

Click the spoilers tab to view the full list of normal awards, and the order that the awards are given in:

Rockabox Awards
Order Award
#1 Rockabox Points
#2 Add Fuel (1/5 tank)
#3 +Hurry-Up Value
#4 +15 seconds of ball save
#5 Unlock encore modes
#6 Rockabox Party
#7 Rockabox Points
#8 Add Fuel (1/5 tank)
#9 Spot encore mode progress
#10 +Combo Value
#11 Hold Bonus X
#12 Rockabox Shuffle
#13 Rockabox Points
#14 Add Fuel (1/5 tank)
#15 +All Song Value
#16 Collect Bonus
#17 Reset combos earned
#18 Rockabox Puzzle
#19 Rockabox Points
#20 Add Fuel (1/5 tank)
#21 +Skill Shot Value
#22 Special
#23
#24
#25
#26

Every six albums starts a timed frenzy mode at the rockabox targets. During “party”, only one target is lit green and the others are lit red, with the green value increasing the value of successive shots and red targets decreasing the value. “Shuffle” - one target is lit white, and hitting a wrong target will change the position of the lit target. “Puzzle” - hit the lit targets the designated number of times (the number of lights tell you how many shots are needed). Scoring enough lit shots during these frenzy modes will qualify an extra ball on the next lit shot, which will be lit yellow instead of its normal color.

One milestone requires the player to collect 30 albums off the Rocka-Box.

Encore Modes:

The encore modes are unlocked after collecting five albums from the drop targets and are started in different ways, as indicated below:

  • Tiny Targets - Hit the tiny dancer target 8 times to start. All targets score bonus points. Shoot the left target to increase the multiplier for target values.
  • Super Bennie and the Jets - Shoot 6 orbits to start. Feed the bumpers via either orbit for bonus points.
  • Backstage Frenzy - Shoot the backstage 5 times to start. All switches score, shoot the backstage shot to boost their value.
  • Super Spinners - Spin either spinner a total of 1000 times to start. Shoot the spinners in front of either the left or right ramp for bonus points.
  • Piano-Matic - Shoot the piano ramp 5 times to start (though repeated piano ramp shots won’t count). Repeatedly loop the side ramp for bonus points.

After playing all five encore modes, the player will be able to start Champ Multiball.

Multiball Modes:

There are three different multiball modes on Elton John, one of which has four different variations. The three multiball modes are started in different ways.

Balls can be added during any multiball by shooting the “light hurry-up” target near the left eject. This target is lit at the start of the multiball (once the ball save times out) and relights to add a ball, once per multiball, after scoring a super jackpot.

Only Crocodile Rock and Rocket Man multiballs can be stacked. If both are running at once, the jackpots in both concurrent multiballs will be doubled.

Crocodile Rock Multiball:

A VUK is hidden under the crocodile toy at the right side of the playfield. Lock can be lit at this VUK by shooting the Tiny Dancer target on the left side of the game. The player can also advance towards this multiball, either lighting or awarding a locked ball (but never starting the multiball), by selecting “Adv. Croc MB” as a skill shot selection.

The first Crocodile Rock multiball only requires two balls to be locked at the crocodile. Subsequent multiballs during the same game require three balls to be locked there.

During Crocodile Rock multiball, shoot the flashing shots to score jackpots and light the crocodile for a super jackpot after scoring enough. If the player quickly locks 2 balls at the crocodile before the other ejects, the super jackpot will be doubled.

Collecting two super jackpots, or one 2x super jackpot, during this multiball awards a milestone.

Rocket Man Multiball:

Completing tasks throughout the game adds fuel to the rocket, shown at the bottom right of the display. Once at least one tank of fuel has been fully loaded into the rocket, the rocket kicker will light to start Rocket Man Multiball. Subsequent multiballs in the same game require one additional fuel tank to be loaded.

Once the player shoots the rocket VUK, they can either start the multiball or hold the action button to abort it. There are different perks awarded depending on how many tanks have been loaded, hence why the player might want to abort the multiball:

  • 2 tanks - Extra ball saver
  • 3 tanks - Easier to light super jackpot
  • 4 tanks - +1 ball, milestone awarded
  • 5 tanks - All jackpots including super jackpot are permanently lit

During Rocket Man Multiball, by default, the player must shoot 7 unique jackpot shots to light the super jackpot at the rocket kicker. Once the super jackpot is scored, the process resets, but more jackpots are needed to relight the super.

Signature Stage Multiball:

There are four Signature Stage multiballs that can be started at the side ramp, and selected with the action button once the first lock has been lit. To light the locks, the player must spell ELTON JOHN by collecting all 9 stars at the 9 major shots; either by hitting them directly, or by spelling STAR at the inlanes / outlanes to spot the leftmost letter. More spellouts are required for subsequent multiballs.

The older the tour is in chronological order, the longer the ball save for it is; but the most recent tours are also the most valuable.

Signature Stage multiballs lock out other multiballs from being started. Fuel for Rocket Man multiball can be collected, but the multiball can’t be started. Albums can still be earned during any Signature Stage multiball. However, the first and second balls can be locked in the piano during any multiball.

The four Signature Stage multiballs are:

  • 1970 - Hollywood: All shots are lit to score jackpots, with combo shots adding +1x multiplier to the jackpot value. After 2 jackpots are scored, the side ramp is lit to score a super jackpot worth 4M +1x for each subsequent loop of the side ramp.
  • 1975 - Los Angeles: A tougher version of the above multiball. Only a few shots are lit for jackpots, but the same number of shots will light the super jackpot. The lit shots reset and move to different places with each super jackpot scored.
  • 2009 - Las Vegas: Shoot the drop targets to light jackpots. Each drop target lights a unique shot for jackpot and there is also a unique color strobing effect on the drop targets - time your shots so the colors match to increase jackpot scoring.
  • 2023 - London: The toughest multiball of the bunch, with no ball save in sight. Only one jackpot is lit at a time, which moves from the left to right side of the playfield every 10 seconds or so. Super jackpots during this multiball start at 10M and are easily the most valuable, with normal jackpots awarding 5M.

Super jackpots during all four Signature Stage multiballs are scored the same way in each. After collecting enough jackpots, keep looping the side ramp to score super jackpots and increase their multiplier with each successive loop. Every super jackpot also awards a SUPERSTAR! letter, which accumulates across games; spelling it out fully will award the Superstar Jackpot and award a milestone. A milestone is also awarded for scoring a 3x super jackpot, during any Signature Stage multiball.

Play all four Signature Stage multiballs to light Super Stardom wizard mode.

Other Scoring:

Honky Cat Hurry-Up & Kickback:

If the kickback isn’t lit at the left outlane, it can be relit by completing a Honky Cat hurry-up. Shoot the target near the left eject to light the hurry-up, then shoot the left eject when lit to light a random shot from the left flipper to score the hurry-up value. If the hurry-up is successfully made, kickback will be lit.

Subsequent Honky Cat hurry-ups require more shots to the left target.

A milestone is awarded after collecting three hurry-ups.

Combos:

There is a wide variety of 3-shot combos recognized by the game. The full list of combos can be viewed in attract mode and are listed in the below spoilers tab. Each letter corresponds to the “star” in front of that shot on the playfield.

List of Combos
Name Shot 1 Shot 2 Shot 3
The Classic N J T
1-2-3 N J O
Crescendo N H J
One Time O (Croc) L N
Stop & Go O (Croc) E N (Rocket)
Rhythm O (Croc) E O (Croc)
Tomcat L T O
High Speed L T T
The Feed J T T
Redline J T O
9.1, 9.2, 9.3 T T T
King’s Ransom T T O
The Headliner E J O
Hyper-ball E J T
The Maneuver E H J
B-Side E H O (Croc)
Fire Power E O (Croc) L
Side to Side E O (Croc) N
Standing O E O (Croc) N
V.I.P O O O
Crowd Pleaser O T T

Collecting one unique combo (by default) counts as a milestone.

Collecting five unique combos lights extra ball.

Milestones:

There are ten different milestones awarded for completing different features in the game:

Collecting any four of the ten unique milestones allows access to the Final Tour wizard mode.

Extra Balls:

The Tiny Dancer target lights for extra ball after:

  • Making 15 piano ramp shots (number can be lower)
  • Shooting 5 lit targets, cumulative during any of the Rocka-Box frenzy modes (party, shuffle, or puzzle)
  • Scoring 5 unique combos

End-of-Ball Bonus:

End-of-ball bonus points are awarded for:

The bonus multiplier increases as the STAR inlanes and outlanes are completed, which toggle with the flippers. It can be held from an album award.

Wizard Modes:

Once any wizard mode is available, it can be started at the side ramp when the “E-ticket” is flashing.

Champ Multiball:

After playing all five [encore modes](#heading–enco awarded by collecting enough albums, Champ Multiball will be qualified.

At the beginning of Champ Multiball, the total shots made during the encore modes will be tallied up, and serve as the scoring for their respective shots for as long as the multiball lasts.

The goal of Champ Multiball is to collect a super jackpot at three different shots: the left saucer, crocodile, and rocket kicker. To light the super jackpots, the player must complete the grid in front of the drop targets by hitting them enough times. The super jackpots are worth the sum total of all jackpots scored prior to collecting one. All scoring during Champ Multiball is multiplied by the playfield multiplier, dependent on the number of balls in play; it decreases as balls drain. Once a full set of super jackpots have been collected, all three shots will be requalified for the next round of super jackpots.

Super Stardom:

If the player starts all four signature stage multiballs in one game, they will gain access to their mini-wizard mode, Super Stardom.

Final Tour:

Once the player has achieved four unique milestones (described in their respective section), they will gain access to the Final Tour wizard mode. The player can hold the action button upon starting the Final Tour if they want to achieve more milestones before the wizard mode. The collected milestones increase the ball save timer for the Final Tour.

There are four sets of shots lit during Final Tour, each representing one territory of the tour. These are: the left shots (left saucer, left target, and left orbit), the side shots (side ramp, backstage, left ramp), the center drops, and the right shots (right ramp, crocodile, right orbit). Each shot is lit to score hurry-ups that increase with each successive round of shot sets completed; if the value decreases to minimum, the shot set will change. The player can also change sets automatically, retaining the value the previous set was at, by shooting the rocket kicker.

Pressing the action button during a shot set will instantly cash out the total value of that set and disqualify it from the rotation. Once all four sets have been cashed out, the side ramp will light to complete the wizard mode and award the total points from all four sets again.

3 Likes

This is how Champ Multiball plays.


I’m a little surprised it crashed then and there, considering there’s even footage of the multiball display in the launch video.

Can anyone share head to head strategies for this game? Its coming up in NACS doing as much research as I can.

The big points seem to be in Champ Multiball, so I’d recommend focusing the center drops while in the other multiballs to get there.

If physical locks are enabled it may be better to go first so you can get as many skill shots as possible- Spot Star, Rocket Fuel, and Adv Croc MB are all very nice awards.

1 Like

In tournament mode you can get the spinners up to 2M a spin by doing the following:

Start Your Sister Can’t Twist and collect music notes until you’ve got them lit red. When the red music note moves to a spinner, it’s worth 2M/spin.

When not in tournament mode, doing this awards 2M for just the first spin or perhaps 2M every x-number.

Edit to add v1.02, LE version

1 Like

… is this song even in the game yet? I selected it and it just skipped past the song…

it’s in the one on location here. haven’t tried the tournament mode yet

Has Super Stardom been programmed yet? Asking because I’ll hold off on my efforts to get there until it is. And if it is programmed, can someone please add the rules for it?
(and I REALLY love this game! Steve Ritchie + JJP aesthetics = pinball nirvana)