Sweet pinball moments


My first weekly tournament after moving back to Portland after a year away and made it to the finals against [quote=“noahpdavis, post:18, topic:180”]
living pinball god

It was a single game double elim bracket and I was undefeated going into the finals so I could still lose one. Our first game was on ACDC and Noah absolutely crushed me so we had to play another on BMTDK, I was player two. He finished ball 3 with about 45 mil and I had had a very frustrating two balls, coming into ball 3 with about 7 mil. I’m having trouble getting control early on in ball 3 and I see it start to go down the right outlane. Knowing I have nothing to lose at that point, I shake the hell out of the game and manage to rattle it out on a sweet double danger save that I’m pretty sure everyone thought was going to tilt (including me) and got my first (and still only) room full of applause and cheering. From there I managed to play “fingertips only” and grind my way into a win. I’ve never been so high on pinball as I was that night.


Thought I had to wipe my slippery left hand on the pants a little more than I used to. Until I realise that there is blood all over my hand, the game, my pants and the floor.

The next one I walked over to a three player Taxi game at the local arcade. This one guy did not look pleased with the situation. He nodded at the score display and I had to rub my eyes a bit before I realised the matter. And then I couldn’t stop laughing.


I really like this thread.

How about bittersweet?

Having had problems with Split Second across the weekend, I ran across it again in early in Pingolf finals at a competition late last year. Thinking, you beauty I’ve got par here, a missed shot drains, and I choose not to shove the machine. As the bonus counts down, someone says “You’ve got it!” and as I turned away a few folks screech aaaoooohhhhhhh.

I was, of course, player three. Bogey.


For me, one of my best pinball moments was when I opened my first NIB game, WOZ ECLE. The game wowed me and my family and it was such a joy to see my wife and daughter get caught up in the joy of pinball to a level I had never seen before.


The third time I destroyed the ring on LOTR. “Why the third time?”, you may ask.

The first LOTR I had the opportunity to play was on location and set up hard with no outlane posts. I had heard LOTR had some fantastic effects when you destroyed the ring.

The first time I destroyed the ring the knocker goes off, there are some fireworks on the display, the flippers go dead and a new ball is served. It was okay, but I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. Same thing happens the second time. But the third time…ah, that’s what people were talking about. :slight_smile: Mind you, this was over the course of a couple months.

Perhaps @keefer can confirm that scoring a replay when you destroy the ring kills the celebratory effects.


It’s definitely possible, maybe even likely. Kind of unfortunate I guess, I suppose I never really ran into it.


And here I was thinking that the “third time” was in reference to the third DTR in one game being the DTR that got you to Valinor. :slightly_smiling: My first trip to Valinor was on a third DTR, and that was very sweet. And very memorable.


I’ve yet to reach Valinor.

Shakes fist at ROTK…:rage::grinning:


In 1993 or 94 papa had a qual system where you won your local arcade to qualify at the next level (city, regional, etc)

I was extra super noob at the time. Didn’t even know how to do a bounce pass, but somehow managed to win at my local mom 'n pop arcade. I was pretty proud of my “breakout” 700m TZ score. Got a letter and medal from PAPA, as well as an invite to the next event.

A few days later, I was walking into the UC Berkeley underground arcade. As you enter there are two stories of open steps you have to descend. You can see all the action overhead. There were two circles of around a dozen pinballs so I stopped to watch a guy playing TZ. As I watched from the railing, he casually back-handed the scoop to start LITZ.

LITZ at that point was that mode your cousin’s sister’s friend got to, but couldn’t quite remember the details. And being a Street Fighter player there had been tons of speculation about a super boss named “sheng long”. I figured the LITZ stuff was just the same kind of rumor.

Yet there it was. The whole game was going nuts and the guy finished at 1.3B , and didn’t even get to put his initials up.

That’s when I decided there was no way in hell I was going to the next event! :slight_smile:


This is long; bear with me if you choose, or tilt and go on to the next game as your mood suits you. My first “sweet moment” was back in 1975. I was at college, and I had only been playing pinball for a couple of months. This is in upstate New York; that’s relevant, since free games were illegal at the time. All of the machines were the “extra ball” versions. I’d gotten somewhat good and was at the point where I was now trying to get the high score on a couple of the games. One of the other decent players there had a bit too much ego / attitude / whatever for my taste; not a bad guy, we were loose friends, he was just too cocky at times. Well, there was this favorite game of his, Summer Time, a Williams [Travel Time is the free game version]. It was a weird game, running on a clock rather than 5 balls, so I hadn’t played it much. I believe this was the first clock-based machine; I know it predates James Bond (1980) and Beat The Clock (1985). I thought I’d challenge myself by trying to learn it well enough to beat this guy’s high score on his favorite game. I finally beat his best, then we traded high scores for a week or two. But I had dialed in the skill shot and the clock-stop saucer and target shots, and I figured I could blow up the game. So one Sunday, I came in just after the game room opened and started in on it. My buddies and various other folks came by to watch as the day progressed and I was still there. My 25 cents [2 games for a quarter back then] was still going. Not winning free games, you couldn’t do that, I was playing the same game. I rolled it [100K]. Five times. Twelve, breaking my previous best. By late afternoon, I was in the 4M range. Around dinner time, I had a … visitor. The game room assistant manager had called the route operator, back when not much was either open or done on Sundays, let alone in the winter. The manager suspected I was tampering with the game to keep playing it, but since he couldn’t see me doing anything he could identify as wrong, he figured he should have the operator come look. So the operator drove out from wherever he lived and came in to watch me. Nope, no tampering going on. He watched. And watched. And shook his head and left. He never said a word to me. I don’t know what he said to the manager, but I got no hassle from either of them. My pals continued to come and go; a few watched the game for me when I took quick food and bathroom breaks. The game ended when the campus game room closed at 11 pm and they turned off the power. I still had plenty of time on the play clock. The score was 10.7M. I was tired, but I knew I’d reached a new skill tier, not just score, but endurance. The hardest part was actually not the “playing well” part; it was never playing poorly for more than about three minutes the whole time, since if the clock went to zero and you drained, game over. [The clock maxes out at 2:55.] It’s not easy to stay focused for that many hours nonstop. Ah, the energy of youth …. Besides the score, the other most satisfying part was freaking out the route operator. We all felt sort of at the operator’s mercy as far as game settings, etc. [maybe it was just his attitude?]. His making a special trip out on a Sunday to check it out was like the mountain coming to Mohammed from our point of view [I remember the crowd watching me going, “Look! Bill’s here! Do you believe this?”], and the fact that it was legit made it all the better. Lots of people had a high score at some point, but nobody had ever done anything to make him show up outside his usual coin-collection or swap machines schedule.

FWIW, I think that most “A” players could learn to do this on a Summer Time in newish condition. Sadly, it makes a crappy tournament game: when it’s in tune, it’s too easy; when it’s not [e.g. playing slow due to weak slings, bumpers or flippers, or too shallow a slope], it’s an exercise in clock frustration. For competition timer games, Beat The Clock is way more fun.


How about bittersweet? I had finally made it to the top group of division A at league and was doing phenomenal (by my own standards). That night I put up 45m on Tron and 23m on Iron-Man, only to have our player four blaze past me on ball 3 both times, doubling and almost tripling my scores!


Ouch. Tough league. I had a bittersweet moment recently. I was putting a beating on WCS at the local sportsplex when a regular kid there, maybe 11 or 12 years old, walks behind me and says:

‘You own that machine, old man’.

I wasn’t sure if I should smack the kid or high five him and say ‘damb straight’. I just kept playing.


Sweet pinball moment: my 8-year old son making it to his first wizard mode yesterday. Final Frontier on STTNG on location at Buffalo Billiards.


First Addams family multiball was a great moment for me as well.
But what really freaked me out and made me think something was wrong with a game was the first time I beat Scared Stiff.
I laughed my ass off after I figured out that it was programmed to do that.


I had that same issues with Laser Wars at INDISC. Cut my fingers on the lock down bar and had to keep playing with a band aid that kept coming off :slightly_smiling: ->Blame Karl’s machine!


After a few weeks of trying to get my sons to appreciate the importance of nudging, having one of them do a wicked shimmy save on the right outlane of GOT this week during league.


This probably pales in comparison to some of these awesome moments I have read, but when I first started collecting, my first game was baby Pacman that a friend gave to me. Long story short, he is amazing at that game and I get this thing in my house and I’m staring at all 8 scores on the leaderboard being over 2 million points with the top score being in the mid 3 million range. It took me all of 5 games to realize how impossible it was going to be to get on the leaderboard, never mind get the top score. I did not add another game to my house for almost 2 years, so I had all the time in the world to learn this game inside and out.

Slowly but surely I got better and better at the game. The pinball portion came quickly, but I kept sucking at Pacman. Anyway, I got my skills up to the point where I was getting 1-2 million regularly, but never more than that.

Then one random Sunday, I hadn’t played in like a month, I step up first game, and I just could not lose on the Pac maze. I cannot count how many near misses I had to dying and also great saves I made playing pinball.

I remember have just under 3 million points when my heart started to pound like a drum and my arms were shaking I was so nervous.

3.1, 3.3 million, I was all adrenaline at that point and was yelling for my wife and step daughter to come watch. Then a couple minutes later I broke 3.5 million and knew I had beaten the top score because the high score at the top of the screen was increasing with my play. Yes!!! I ended up with just over 4 million points and did the impossible, or what I thought was impossible up until that point.


I have tried to explain this wonderful scenario to a few people over the years, but very few seem to understand what I’m talking about! I’ve lined it up on a number of occasions (including once in the London Pinball Championships) when Roadshow was my only game and I played it to death. Certainly a very cool rule


I had a WOW moment on my GOT last night. Came out of a long multiball with 5x playfield running. I notice mystery is lit and hit the shot immediately. One of my choices is 3x video mode. I picked it and quickly won the sword fight. BOOM! Scored 300million points! (20M x3) x5.


Tilted out a multiball on GOT a few weeks ago, but had to smile when I looked down and saw this: