Possible Radical! multiball lock fix (Custom ROM Request)

Continuing the discussion from New Creature From The Black Lagoon custom competition ROM:

However. Individual locks made-progression towards multi-ball is not possible on games with no auto-plunger. The best it can be is with first-in-first-out one ball at a time lock mechs like Funhouse.

On Radical! that’s not true, because of the lock mechanism and only-two-ball multiball. (I’ve thought a lot about this, we had a Radical! on location used in tournaments for a year, and people did a lot of tilting out locks.)

All you have to do is keep track of lock progress for each player, and when a player would score their ‘second’ lock do the multiball start and then wait for them to plunge, using the same sort of business as many quick MB games. You could even force them to plunge the ball around into the lock to get the multiball start if you want the game in a known states before multiball start, or just re-light Skate-or-Die if that’s too complicated.

If a ball’s already in the lock when someone would get their first lock, the game has logic to eject the ball already in the lock used whenever skate-or-die isn’t lit. You can simply use that and tick up the ‘locked a ball’ count on that player.

If all that fits on the ROM is another question…

(I agree that this sort of thing wouldn’t work on most non-autoplunger games—but it does on Radical!)

The current behaviour on Radical! is as follows: Spell RADICAL! to light lock. Lock a ball. If a ball is in the lock, start 2-ball multiball. Otherwise, lock a ball and kick another to the plunger.

If you shoot the lock when a lock is not lit and a ball is present, fairly clever logic is used to kick one of the two balls out.

This makes multiplayer Radical! basically broken, since putting a ball in the lock is halfway through the multiball progression. Draining with a ball in the lock is doom. Fortunately, if you tilt the ball gets kicked out of the lock, so you wind up tilting a lot…

I am not too familiar with Radical! But now I am intrigued.

So, the game can balance how balls act in the lock lane. And with three switched time the solenoid so the plunged ball Newtons over motion to the other one - and rolls back into the lock. That is how it works? That is clever.

This certainly broadens how this game can be tweaked. Not saying anything is easily done here. The primary issue would still be RADICAL progress being player individual. As well as a de-randomisation of the jackpot value.

The momentum transfer kicker is super clever, and works the way you said. When the make switch for the SNAKE lane closes, the ball in the lock gets kicked into the incoming ball. If the switch on the ramp feed to the lock gets hit, the ball in the lock is kicked out and replaced with the one off the ramp.

You’d need to use 4 bits of memory to store each player’s lock progress, plus write the code to use it: it’s like six lines of high-level code, but those games were written in assembler, yeah? Players’ RADICAL letter progress is already saved individually, which is why I find the handling of the locks so frustrating :confused:

Probably the easiest thing to do is to just restart Skate! or! Die! if a player should have multiball and they don’t have it, but I forget if it’s worth a significant number of points.

There exists a derandomized jackpot ROM out there in the world, but I don’t know who has it.

I’d love to see a fix to prevent lock stealing in Radical. It’s a fun game, but the lock situation makes it a drag in multiplayer.

Here’s the fixed jackpot tournament rom. It still displays a random jackpot value, but it always awards 5M.

I had a Radical for some time and used the ROM posted above. It had a bug with the high score displaying weird things IIRC, but otherwise was a huge improvement over the random jackpot values it awards otherwise.

As for updates, I would suggest ejecting any locked balls after a player drains, but retaining those lit locks and any progress towards another lock for the players next ball. This would present an identical game situation to all players during a multiplayer game as well as add a level of difficulty to the game that wouldn’t be unwelcome, especially for higher level tournament play.

I’ve never noticed anything odd about the high scores with that rom installed.

Clearing locks after each player would be the simplest solution and save everyone a bunch of “accidental” tilts.

Care to explain this. Are locks ejected on tilt?

It’s been a year or two since I sold the game but what I remember was there were scores showing up that didn’t make sense—like the last digit wasn’t a zero and the score values were ones I had never achieved. Not sure if that it was specific to that ROM or a bug that has the potential to show with the original ROM as well.

Yeah, tilting clears the locked ball.

Yes, exactly. Tilting on Radical causes the ball in the lock to eject for some reason, while draining and collecting bonus leaves it to be stolen by the next player. We’re suggesting that this ball ejecting behavior should happen at the end of a ball no matter what, so that on a player’s next turn, they must relock for previously lit locks. The only thing I’m not sure about is if Radical will save all lock progress. If it doesn’t, it should. Now I kinda wish I had the game still, to help test all this crap out.

I’m sure @ClevelandPinball would be glad to test any behavior connected to lock progress, etc.

Wow. I am beginning to beleave, that this game was rushed with some overlooked bugs. Or changed at the last minute. Either because the seperate ball lock release was not trusted to be stable. Or for the concern of operators bad mouthing this game of “wasting time” on lock releases on change of player.

The behaviour of this game does not sound like fully intended design.

The programmer on this game (Dan Lee) had a large reputation for being crap and lazy. Not a good combo.

Sans a decent software solution, could I wire the tilt switch to the outhole switch in order to force a lock eject at the end of every ball? Tilts for everybody!

Not very elegant I know, but even with the JP locked in at 5m on the tourney ROM, the game is severely unbalanced. As is, I wish that tourney ROM at least had the JP locked at 1m. Would make undeserved JP collects way less brutal, and might actually make players consider aiming for the other few features (spinners, bottom million, snake-runs, tail-slide), and would encourage shooting for consecutive letters quickly before their values decrease.

If that ROM existed I’d have it installed tomorrow.

The jackpot value should probably be a setting so the owner/game set upper’er could choose the value they felt was best. That said, I think 5M is a pretty balanced amount considering all the shots one has to make to get there, and then how difficult it is to relight the jackpot for collection once again. Even at 5M, shooting the snake drops and then the collect standup over and over is a viable strategy vs. going for multiball.

Also, having the set value display correctly during the multiball start would be a welcome fix.

I’d agree with this if lock-stealing weren’t an issue.

And I agree also. The intent of thread is to bring Soren’s attention to Radical, so that he might fix lock stealing. Adjusting the jackpot value to 1M would be much too low IMO—especially if lock stealing were fixed—but if it were a setting, knock yourself out! :slightly_smiling: