Since I’ve got to take some chops at the 1.0, lets get the ball rolling on a rulesheet!
Jersey Jack loves flowcharts, and they have one for the Hobbit here.
Thanks to anyone who ends up contributing to this, anyone whose footage I use to help get information, and to Bradish Street Pinball Parlor for getting a Hobbit in to mess around with.
The Hobbit is a wide-body from Jersey Jack Pinball released in March 2016. The game features 31 modes, 2 multiballs, and some Super features to boot. The LCD screen in the backglass will give you everything you need to know; there is no “Instant Info” in this game!
The major shots in this game are as follows:
Loops - The outside of the playfield has 2 loops with spinners. These are used to advance towards Erebor for Super Spinner.
Ramps - There are 2 ramps in the game that criss-cross similar to the boat in Fish Tales. The left ramp is used for mode utility and to qualify Gandalf modes, while the right ramp is used for qualifying Bilbo Baggins modes, mode starts and Smaug Multiball locks.
Drop Targets - There are 3 drop target banks in the game: the “ELF” 3-bank in the lower left, the “DWARF” 5-bank in the upper left, and the “MAN” 3-bank in the lower right. These are used to qualify the Elf, Dwarf, and Man modes respectively and to reveal the Dwarf Targets and Left VUK.
Dwarf Targets - Behind each drop target (except the “DW” targets in DWARF) is a touch target used to collect dwarves.
VUKs - There are 2 holes with VUKs (Vertical Up-Kickers). The left side is blocked by the DWARF targets, and the right side is open. The left VUK collects Balin (one of the dwarves), and the right VUK qualifies the Radagast modes. Both VUKs must be hit to collect the Extra Ball when lit.
Inlanes - There are 4 inlanes with 2 to each side. From left to right, the inlanes are marked Warg, Orc, Goblin, and Spider. When lit, going through an inlane will raise one of the four bash targets for a hurry-up. Lighting or leveling the Mystery is done by going through one left inlane and one right inlane.
Bash Targets - There are 4 bash targets on the center of the playfield. The Spider is in the lower left, Goblin in the upper left, Orc in the upper right, and Warg in the lower right. Starting the hurry-ups through their respective inlanes and bashing all 4 targets starts Beast Frenzy Multiball.
LOCK Targets - There are 4 rollovers in the center of the playfield which are used to light locks for Smaug Multiball.
Captive Ball - The captive ball is between the two ramps, just like in Fish Tales. Shooting the captive ball when lit blue will spot a dwarf.
Mystery Target - Located to the right of the right ramp, the Mystery target awards a mystery reward when hit while lit.
Bag End - Three pop bumpers located in the upper-right playfield between the Right VUK and the Mystery Target. Hitting these enough starts Super Pops.
Kickback - The left outlane has a kickback and a stopper pin. Mode starts hold the ball in the outlane, which can be launched out automatically or by pressing the Ring button.
Precioussss - The right outlane can be lit via Mystery leveling to act as a ball save. See below for function!
Now that we know the shots, we’ve paid our money and approach the machine. Its time for your skill shot! There are 4 skill shots in the Hobbit:
- Dwarf Skill Shot - The DWARF targets will cycle between one of the 5 targets. Hitting the raised drop target scores 10,000 (+1,500 per successful skill shot) points.
- Elf Skill Shot - The ELF drop targets are lit. Hitting any of the drop targets scores ??? points.
- Lock Skill Shot - The LOCK rollovers are lit in gold. Hitting any of the rollovers scores 1,500 (+500 per successful skill shot) x the number of rollovers hit.
- Inlane Skill Shot - The inlanes will cycle being lit in gold. Hitting the lit inlane scores ??? points.
Playfield validation is the standard 3 switch hits or rollover switch.
So let’s start our main lesson at the top-center and center of the screen: the Modes. As mentioned before, there are 31 modes in the game broken up into 6 types: Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, Radagast, Elf, Dwarf, and Man. In order to qualify modes, shoot one of the 6 shots listed below while not in a mode:
Gandalf - Shoot the left ramp. Qualifies 1 Mode.
Bilbo Baggins - Shoot the right ramp. Qualifies 5 Modes.
Radagast - Shoot the right VUK hole. Qualifies 4 Modes.
Elf - Complete the lower left target bank. Qualifies 3 Modes.
Dwarf - Complete the upper left target bank. Qualifies 3 Modes.
Man - Complete the lower right target bank.
If not in a mode, the book in the upper right corner of the playfield will show the current mode and a description of the respective event from the movie trilogy/book. In order to cycle the modes, shoot the left ramp when “BOOK” is lit to move to the next mode. To start a mode, shoot the right ramp when “MODE” is lit. Modes can be started at any time, unless no non-completed modes are available, the Mode Start is delayed (see Ring), or a Smaug Multiball lock is lit.
When playing modes, a certain set of shots or scoring opportunities are available for 30 seconds (with the exception of hurry-up modes, which are mostly 1 shot on a 2500 point hurry-up). This time, the current mode total, and the next shot value are shown in the book. The description of what to do is up in the upper-central part of the screen, and the scrolls under each of the mode’s shots will light orange.
In timed modes, shooting the left ramp when “TIME” is lit blue will award 10 seconds and change the “TIME” lights to purple. Shooting the left ramp when “TIME” is lit purple will award 3 seconds, and making mode progress turns the “TIME” light back to blue. When time expires or the mode is completed, a mode point total will be shown in the upper-central part of the screen and the game will resume normal play.
When all modes are qualified, a traveling drop target will be lit for points and the completion of one of the two requirements to light Extra/Ball on the Left/Right VUKs.
For descriptions of the modes, see the “Modes” section later on. For now, let’s go counter-clockwise to the Smaug corner.
Smaug Multiball is one of the 2 main multiballs in The Hobbit, and is represented by the upper-left quadrant of the screen. This is the “standard” lock procedure multiball, where a series of switches must be hit or shots made to qualify a lock on the playfield. To qualify a lock (or all 3 locks), the center “LOCK” rollover switches must be completed. After that, the lock shot is lit on the right ramp. Lock shots can be delayed (see Ring), allowing mostly for Mode Starts to be collected instead. The ball is carried over to Smaug, who then taunts you and sends the ball along on its merry way using the left VUK. Yep, these are virtual locks.
For the first multiball, completing the LOCK targets once will qualify all 3 locks. For the second multiball, the LOCK targets must be completed for each lock, but locks can stack. For each multiball after that, the LOCK targets must be completed for each lock and then collected before the next set of rollovers can be started.
Smaug Multiball is a 3-ball multiball. A minor ball save is awarded, and the Loops, VUKs, Ramps, and Captive ball are lit for Jackpots. Each Jackpot is worth 3,500 points, and can be re-lit once all Jackpots are collected. Smaug likes to talk about himself and intimidate you while you play as well!
Beast Frenzy Multiball
Crossing into the lower-left quadrant, we have the Beast Frenzy setup. To match the 4 inlanes, there are 4 beasts (Warg, Orc, Goblin, Spider from left to right). If an inlane is lit, the respective beast will pop up for a few seconds, scoring nominal points and +25 to your bonus if hit. Once a beast is hit, the light in front of the pop-up will light yellow, the wall covering that beast on the screen will be removed, and further lit inlanes will flash between the standard blue and yellow. If the beast hurry-up is started again after collecting it, the hurry-up light in front of the beast will be green instead of the standard blue. Once all 4 beasts are defeated, Beast Frenzy Multiball starts. But first, how do you get these creatures to show themselves?
For the first Beast Frenzy, unlit inlanes can be lit by rolling over the inlane or shooting each beast’s respective shot:
- Warg - Right Ramp
- Orc - Right Orbit
- Goblin - Left Orbit
- Spider - Left Ramp
For each Beast Frenzy after that, all the inlanes must be lit by their respective shots; rolling over inlanes no longer works. But don’t give up hope! One of the Mystery Awards is “Light Beasts,” which lights all 4 shots for you as an alternative.
During Beast Frenzy Multiball, one ball will be plunged (making it a 2-ball multiball) and a minor ball save is awarded. Beasts will pop out of the playfield, awarding 1,000 points per hit. If you trap up the beasts will eventually change, allowing for key Mode Start or mode shots to be made.
Both of these multiballs can be stacked into each other (Beast progress can be made in Smaug Multiball and Smaug Locks can be lit and made during Beast Frenzy Multiball) and provides an add-a-ball when added in.
In the lower-right quadrant of the screen is the Dwarves. The silhouettes 13 dwarves of Thorin and Company can be seen at the game start, and are collected on 13 different shots in the game:
- Gloin, Oin, Dwalin - Behind the ELF target bank.
- Fili - Left Spinner.
- Balin - Left VUK.
- Bifur, Bofur, Bombur - Behind the “ARF” targets in the DWARF target bank.
- Thorin - Captive ball.
- Kili - Right Spinner.
- Nori, Dori, Ori - Behind the MAN target bank.
Collecting all 13 Dwarves by hitting each shot starts Feast Frenzy, where the drop targets score points for a limited time. Once Feast Frenzy ends, the dwarves can be collected again.
(More like EreBORE, am I right? Just kidding.)
Shooting the left and right spinners awards 11 points per spin and awards progress towards Erebor. In the upper right quadrant of the screen, a map can be seen with a trail starting in The Shire and eventually leading to Erebor. After reaching Erebor many spins later, Super Spinners starts for 60 seconds. Shooting the spinners further builds a Super Spinner Jackpot, which can be cashed in to end the mode at the Captive ball.
Before going over the Arkenstone (Wizard) Modes, let’s cover some extra material in the game. There are 4 Mystery “levels” in the game, which can be advanced by crossing a left and a right inlane. The levels go as such:
Level 1 - Mystery Target
The Mystery target lights for a mystery award. Some awards include:
- 1,000/5,000 Points
- Advance Bonus Multiplier
- Advance Erebor (~3/4 of a screen)
- Super Jets
- Light Kickback
- Light Beasts (Inlanes)
- Dwarf (Spots a dwarf)
- Add Tilt Warning (Can go beyond the normal threshold, allowing for triple+ danger saves!)
Level 2 - Captive Ball
If the Mystery target is lit, the Captive Ball will light blue as well. Hitting the Captive Ball target when lit by the mystery spots a Dwarf.
Level 3 - Load Arrow
If the Mystery and Captive Ball targets are lit, the left outlane will be lit for Load Arrow. At the beginning of the next mode, the kickback strength can be varied by a fluctuating power meter (use the Ring to stop). The objective is to hit the MAN target bank from the kickback for points.
Level 4 - Precioussss
If the Mystery, Captive Ball, and Load Arrow are all lit, the Right Outlane will light for Precioussss. When a ball goes through the right outlane while lit, a meter with a fluctuating line and a blue region will show up. Use the button to stop the line. If it falls in the region, Bilbo gets away from Gollum with the One Ring and play continues! If not, you get to sit there and watch your failures for a while before the bonus starts.
After shooting the pop bumper barrels enough times, Super Jets will start. Further jet shots will load dwarves into barrels, which can be kicked over by using the upper right flipper to hit the flashing DWARF target. Kicking over 5 dwarves is one of the two requirements to light Extra/Ball on the Left/Right VUKs.
The Hobbit features a button known as “The Ring.” Other than to fire the Windlance (kickback) during mode starts and Load Arrow, stop the moving line for the Ring Save (Precioussss), and select a Skill Shot, the Ring can be used to perform a few other tasks on the playfield.
After charging the Ring button with switch hits, the Ring can be used for the following features:
- Attempt Beast Backstab - Gives a chance to defeat a beast when a hurry-up is going on.
- Postpone Lock - Temporarily postpones a lock shot on the right ramp.
- Postpone Mode - Temporarily postpones a mode shot on the right ramp.
- Points - If nothing else is contextually available, awards 1,000 points plus 100 extra points for each time the ring is used in this manner.
I can’t confirm that they have been added yet, since I have completed all of the requirements to light one of these modes but haven’t seen any notification that one is lit.
After completing a mode, starting Smaug and Beast Frenzy Multiball, starting Super Spinners, and collecting all of the Dwarves, an Arkenstone Mode will light. The 3 Arkenstone Modes are Into the Fire, Barrel Escape, and Battle of the Five Armies.
As I look at more footage and get more time on the game, I’ll list the 31 modes, who they belong to, and how they work.
- The Resurgence of Sauron - Gandalf Mode
This mode is a frenzy mode in which every shot awards 50 points. The left ramp can be shot to advance the points per shot by 25 (up to 175). In order to re-light the full time bonus collect, any switch other than the left ramp and LOCK targets can be hit. Once the frenzy value reaches its max, the left ramp can no longer be lit for full time collects. There is no way to complete this mode other than time-out, but it can be very lucrative when stacked with multiballs!
- An Unexpected Party - Bilbo Baggins Mode
To start, the Bag End pop bumpers will be lit and a random drop target will rise. Shooting Bag End awards 1,000 points per trip, and hitting the drop target adds another drop target 1,000 points to the Bag End shot.
Moon Runes - Elf Mode
Evil Revealed - ??? Mode
Shoot the right VUK to score 2,000 points, and then shoot the left ramp to score 2,500 points. After the first score, the Left Ramp can be shot for 500 points a shot for the rest of the mode.
- Duel in Lake-Town - Dwarf Mode
A hurry-up is lit on the Orc for 2,500 points. Bash the Orc or time out the hurry-up to complete the mode.
The Fall of Erebor - ??? Mode
Shoot the left VUK to score 2,000 points plus 250 points per raised drop target hit. Continue to shoot the VUK for more points.
There are a wide diversity of modes, from hitting the targets behind drops without hitting the drops themselves to shooting the ramps with the U-Turn diverter up. As I dive into the game more (and get more footage) I’ll be updating this for sure!