Seeking advice on: Fathom, Elektra, Centaur, Cosmic Gunfight,...

Dear all

I am looking for advice on some oldies for an event I am having shortly.

Fathom (I am thinking eject locked balls at game over)
Centaur (I am thinking bonus carry off. Bonus-x carry on.)
Cosmic Gunfight
Black Hole

To what extend do these babies have issues being tournament viable. Single player games? Multi-player games?

And recommended settings?

I have scouted around already, PAPA amongst. See my notes. Generally 3-balls and EB off (= points).


I can’t talk about most of those, but Centaur is great. No multiplayer issues, great rules, great game. Whatever you do with bonus, mark it on the machine, since in the wild they seem to be set more-or-less at random. If need be, you can pull the rubbers off the outlane bounce-back posts if it’s too easy.

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For Kiss and we came across this at Pin-Masters this year is it’s truly fair as a single player game only because of the skill shot. Would be awesome if the skill shot reset from ball to ball or player to player, but it doesn’t, so it’s not always the same with the center lane being lit for just the outlane gate, or spotting a KISS row, or both of those items or even worse, absolutely nothing at all! You can see a fine example of this here where I’m at the mercy of John Plunge in between my strokes as I fail miserably at the target score…

We used Black Hole in last years version of the event you’re doing.

Yes there is lock stealing, but if all the pops are working and the game plays reasonably fast this really isn’t an issue. Games rarely lasted long enough for multiball to actually happen. And multiball is not a requirement for a good score

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Fascinating. Learn something new all the time

Thanks a lot for your replies. Certainly interesting about Kiss.

Now Fathom, how does it look in multi-player games with respect to the the double playfield locks. The way drop down memory works is a bit vague for me.

I do not think lock stealing is per definition disqualifying a game from multi-player play. There are levels of lock stealing. Is Fathom really only a single shot stolen?

Fathom isn’t doomed by lock stealing as a multiplayer game, imho. Use it.

  1. It’s a total of 4 shots to get back to multiball, with the right side inline drops typically being a pretty safe shot.
  2. Depending on how dialed in the spinner is, shooting the lit spinner is the typical pathway to high scores – whether in multiball or in single ball play. But especially in multiball due to the playfield multiplier, the spinner can get up to 15K per spin.

Multiball certainly provides an advantage of either the safety of having one ball trapped up or having more than one ball in play to more rapidly build up bonus value, but there’s no jackpot – (or even 2x/3x scoring) – from multiball.

EDIT: Sorry… there is 2x/3x scoring during multiball. I’d still be OK with using Fathom.
Fathom does have inline drop target memory between players, but I believe it’s only if another player didn’t release the locked ball to start multiball.
And I believe that Fathom will eject all locked balls when the game is over.

I haven’t watched it yet, but Buffalo Pinball streamed multiplayer gameplay:

So watched part of the video and it looks like the issue is that the state of the top center lane ‘sticks’ between players? Is that right? That’s kind of standard in ballys of this era (night rider does it for sure as I fixed it in mine). If that is the case, what is the preferred set of lights lit at the top? And who can test it out in a machine if fixed? (I don’t have a kiss to do so… keep trying to buy one from a guy at work who uses it as a clothes rack because he ‘oiled up all the solenoids real good with wd-40’…)

(edit:) OK, looked at it. I guess the preferred behavior in a tournament would be to always have the center lane start with open gate and advance a line?

So, if you hexedit gamerom #1 at offset 46B from 8A to 84, and offset 629 from 1F to 25, it should light the center lane for the skill shot equally for all players, all balls. The first offset changes the opcode from ORA to ANDA (clearing the 2 bits that correspond to the lamps) and the second one corrects the checksum. However, if you have an ABCD special lit that would carry over instead of being cleared. Since specials don’t matter in tournaments anyway unless you have them set to pay points, I could see this as a valid tradeoff.

It could be fixed to be 100% “correct” if there is enough interest in this, but code would have to be added.

Let me know if you test this and there are any issues with it - I only tested it in pinmame.