Gottlieb Wipe Out weirdness - When "playing out of turn" actually isn't

I encountered a very weird situation on Gottlieb Wipe Out over the weekend. Just wondering if anyone has had any similar experiences or could explain what may have happened. Does @pinballguru still post here?

Player 4 is playing their ball 2. I don’t know what the game state was at the time, but at some point a minute or two into their ball, the display changed from P4 score in large font to P1 score in large font, obviously suggesting that the game jumped players. Points were scoring on “Player 1’s” score. I was TD and asked the player to trap up. I called their attention to the display where it was clearly active for P1. On top of that, there was an additional line of text on the bottom of the screen, some wording we’ve never seen, nor had the game owner which said something like “WITCH2 DE-TILT”. I should have taken a photo but didn’t think to in the moment.

So at this point I decided that P4’s turn was jumped and they will get a comp ball and P1 opts to take control of the trapped ball and continue their ball 3. Here’s where it gets weird. When that ball drained, the display went back to normal appearance without the odd text at the bottom, and with P1 now being served up their ball 3. Sooo… during that entire bizarre display error, the points were actually scoring for P4 in the background the whole time, despite appearing to score for P1 in real time!

After everyone let out a big Keanu Reeves “whooaaaa”, it became clear that the game was operating properly all along, but the display had this really confusing hiccup for just a portion of one player’s turn. I said if it got into that state again we would void it and switch machines, but it behaved for the rest of the game. P2 still got their comp ball.

So this just led me to think, if I hadn’t been watching this happen it would have just looked like P4 played out of turn, even though they didn’t. If someone called me over to this game and said P4 is playing P1’s ball I would have said yep, clear as can be, that’s a DQ. Then I’d have to retroactively un-DQ them when the display snapped back to normal? Gross

Anyone have any insight on this game or era doing weird display junk like this? Would you have handled the ruling differently? I know… “don’t use Wipe Out in a tournament” is a very hot take, but Ripping the Crud for a win is prettyyy satisfying.

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This sounds very similar to what happened to me on Rescue 911 at Pinball at the Lake. Ball drained with ~95m, display never updated to show the progression to the next player, got served another ball and figured it was some fluke ball save. Played on cause I believed it was still my turn (player 2). Drained that ball to find that those points had actually counted toward player 3, then later saw my score get wiped (no pun intended) to 0!

Ruling was already such that due to display error, P3 gets to play their game from scratch afterward. Then apparently my true ball 1 (~95M) score magically comes back after the next player. Then no more issues afterward, and apparently this was the only incident of that the whole tournament. :thinking:

I don’t recall any weird wording but the display failing to update through another player’s turn (without realizing it had indeed moved players) is probably not unique to Wipeout but definitely at least unique to Sys3.


This can happen on any game depending on how they index the display in the software. Usually there is a pointer in memory for a player’s score location and most routines will perform a sanity check to ensure that the display being updated is the correct one, but not always, if a display effect changes displays for something at an odd time, the score routine might take over without correcting the pointer. That’s probably why you saw the odd text up there.

Congratulations on finding a bug on a decades old game that can probably never be fixed, due to too many variables involved in re-creating it.

FWIW, I have had this happen on Black Hole as well, because of the way the bonus display is handled. (It’s advanced and collected as if it was “player 5” - the game changes the player score pointer to update the display. Managed to get a bonus update and the game went back to player 2 instead of player 1. Happened a couple times over a couple years.)

I think TD’s can recognize that software can be in error and that before a DQ should investigate thoroughly, and everyone in a match should always pay very close attention to what the game is doing at all times.

Getting DQ’d for something outside your control would really suck.


and what point do you have void the game with an full replay?

When you more then one player out of turn due to an display error?

Give player comp ball + points earned by other player do to error?

JUST void the game as any score can’t be trusted?

I was confident enough that the points looked correct when they display went back to normal. There was very little play during the display error and no significant scoring that was material to the scores on the board. Definitely not enough to consider voiding it.

Similar, but not the same, incident on Counterforce at a past Pinburgh. For some reason the game jumped from my player to next player during ball 3. I was player 1. I was awarded a comp ball, and drained. Player 2 was awarded a comp ball. During the comp ball it did it again. I think it was that the ‘collect bonus’ saucer award was being treated as a drain. The game was thrown out.