Just remembered playing in a tourney earlier this year and overhearing one of my favorite programmers having a discussion about Paragon. He complained that you have this huge playfield, but then you just end up shooting at one little tiny part of it most of the time (in-line drops). While I can certainly see what’s he’s saying, I still love playing Paragon. Something about the way it always keeps you on your toes, successful nudges out of the beast lair, deciding whether to flip or dead-bounce when the ball is coming right at the middle of the two right flippers, etc…
Anyways, I just remembered this, and was wondering what that programmer would do if he had to re-write the code for Paragon with the capabilities of today’s tech (or even without) to make the game more interesting for him. I know that @keefer is on here and might have thing or two to say, but really I’d be interested to hear anyone’s opinion on this. Thanks, I love this forum!
I wouldn’t change a single thing. Paragon is my absolute favorite old Bally game. While you do end up shooting at a tiny part of the playfield at first, once 5x/EB is achieved the entire playfield comes in play and as the bonus gets higher you have many more risky decisions to make with regards to what you shoot at. Maxing out the scoring is no easy feat—I think I’ve only ever done it once in a 3 ball game with EBs.
I find it to be even better with EBs off, because you have to make the strategic choice on the first ball to try for the Super Bonus or just plug away for 5x. Even the Golden Cliffs can come into play if you’re going for a decent target score – that’s often my usual go-to in a Pingolf format.
It is pretty good as-is. I wish there were more ways to increase bonus (I’d probably make each waterfall drop do that for one) if for no other reason than to further take the emphasis away from the inlines. Another fun feature would be a beast stab or kill combo… Build up a value in the beast lair, then make an upper-right rollover to score the value. Waterfall drop completions also need to be worth more. Special needs to be worth more. I’d let the Golden Cliffs go higher than 20 too probably.
Sure we could sit down and figure out other modes and stuff like that, but it’s not exactly a playfield that really lends itself to that kind of play.
I agree on not changing anything, nor the need to change anything. It’s one of my favorite pins as well. The simplicity of it, and the difficulty of the pin to consistently pull off inline drops, BonusX, and bonus advance always keep me coming back for more.
Set to no EB but the spinner needs to be Bally-lubed so you can melt it to get your bonus built up, tap passing helps immensely when playing this game,
Other settings to consider:
Set PARAGON letters to scan
Set in-line drop targets to attempt to spot a scanning PARAGON letter but only give 1K and 1 bonus advance instead of 3K/2 bonus adv per target
Set PARAGON saucer to attempt to spot a PARAGON scanning letter & 3K/2 bonus adv instead of 500pts/1 bonus adv
Set Waterfall to start at 5K instead of 1K and camp on 25K not Special
Set EB to award 25K/Specials 50K or if that seems too much set them to No Award
I always thought it’d be cool if the Paragon Saucer collected bonus and actually drained the bonus value ala Flash Gordon. That way you’d be shooting drops for bonusX/EB, spinner to build bonus, then right orbit to try send it up top and nudge it into the Paragon saucer for collect. Situationally you would always be asking yourself which of the 3 main shots should you take at a given time.