Twilight Zone (Bally 1993)

I never had a chance to get into this game but until only recently, and we’re using it a bunch in league.
The game is setup with ball save turned off and tournament mode should be on (or that may have been reset since I last checked.)

On ball 1, a player gets to Battle The Power and it falls out of the mini-playfield and into the outlane. A message on the DMD says “Player <#>, Keep Playing!” or something to that effect after crossing the outlane switch. What just happened? The player may have lit the outlanes from a camera award but it wasn’t the normal extra ball animation. Also, the exit opto from the mini-playfield didn’t seem to be working for the other mini-playfield features. Is that software compensation? If so, for what and why? Again, ball save is off. Is it an extra ball by way of the outlane award that may or may not have been lit?

and regarding the powerball, is disabling or having a faulty trough proximity switch a valid and even a beneficial competition setup for league/tournaments? So, if a player is given the powerball in the shooter lane and the game doesn’t recognize it, the player then has to work a little harder to get powerball mania by getting the powerball into the camera or piano to recognize it.

That would be my guess. I think it would be unfair to drain directly from the upper playfield…and I can’t think of another game off the top of my head where that could/would happen. But I also can’t imagine how you could even do that in TZ…unless maybe posts had broken completely off.

If you’re in tournament mode, this would not be a factor.

My vote is still software compensation, but is there an outside chance that this all happened within the first few seconds and the ball save was still active? (Seems possible…you could immediately hit the slot, light battle the power, and then immediately hit the right ramp). I know you said ball save was turned off, but just wanted to point out that on factory defaults, there is a ball saver on Ball 1 only. (So maybe you were noticing no ball save on balls 2 and 3 and assuming that Ball 1 was the same).

One of the other players on ball 1 had a very quick ball with no ball save, and I think the player had had a long ball time before the mystery ball save. I probably should do some glass-off testing, but wanted to see if this jogged the memory for anyone.

Tested it out. The game (9.2 ROM) has an alert for the exit mini-pf opto and, on ball 2, battle the power mode activates a ball save if it goes to the left outlane and upon entering the trough, every time, no matter how many battle the power modes are started during a game, regardless of tournament mode being on or off.

So wait, reading your post, that is for ball 2 only?

Ryan suggested that there may have been a ball 1 ball saver somewhere, so I tested on ball 2 to factor that possibility out. (recorded video too)
So, even with ball saves off in the settings and a malfunctioning exit opto, a ball save happens upon reaching the trough via the outlane.
I kind of have to wonder why that’s in there. Maybe when it was undergoing testing, the magnets were too strong and flung the ball into the air and into the outlane so they put compensation in for that.

Thanks for the details, that’s really interesting. Frankly I’m surprised that you could even go from the mini-playfield to the left outlane without triggering one of the pops…but I guess if the lower pop wasn’t sensitive, then the ball could follow the curve of the skirt and go to the outlane.

That would be pretty cool if it was leftover code from a previous playfield design/configuration.

I asked Ted about this. He said that since they kill the flippers while the ball is on the powerfield, they give you the ball back if the ball falls in the drain out of the powerfield without them detecting it, since you were unable to flip to save it yourself. Apparently they also added code to not kill the flippers while you’re on the powerfield if they know that the exit opto is dead, again to give you a chance to play when the ball goes out that way.

Ted and Larry are smart.