“You unlock this door with the key of imagination”


I got an early present today.

I drove down to Fife (a indistinguishable suburb of Tacoma, and picked up a new pinball machine. Well, not a new machine, as there are no new machines, what with the demise of Williams in October of 1999, but thoroughly-reconditioned machine. In some respects, it’s better than new, as there are some improvements designed by enthusiasts.

Which machine? Well, if you’re an addict, the title probably gave it away. I got my first machine – a Williams “Bad Cats” (it has to be a Williams or Bally machine, as they make the best stuff) – around 6 or 7 years ago. It’s an okay machine, but it’s pretty retro – it doesn’t even have multi-ball – and it doesn’t have a ton of challenge. So, I wanted a different machine, and after a lot of thought, decided that if I was going to get a new machine, I’d get best.

So, after a lot of searching and a bit of manual labor, I now have a Twilight Zone pin sitting next to the XBox in the basement. Twilight zone is one of the most popular pins around, and has a couple of distinctive features.

First, it has a small upper playfield where you battle “the Power”. When the ball is in that playfield, you control it by energizing a couple of magnets that are under it. Time it just right, and you can bounce it out the top of the playfield.

Second, it has a “Powerball”, which is a small ceramic ball that is used instead of one of the pinballs. It’s a little bit lighter, and therefore a lot faster than the normal pinball.

Seems like I’m going to be playing a little less Halo 2…

 


Comments (22)

  1. I worked at Bally Mfg in Chicago from 1978 to 1989. Started in the Pinball Division at Belmont & Western. The pinball hardware started with a Motorola M6800 micro with 4K of program ROM, a 4K ‘utility’ ROM, 128 bytes of RAM and 256 nybbles of CMOS battery backed RAM. Moved to Bally/Midway into Video Games group which started with Z80 based hardware and a board full of TTL and EProms to do the video. Eventually moved into Bally’s online lottery division Scientific Games (an oxymoron if there ever was).

  2. Steve says:

    Is there a shop for retro games in Fife?

  3. Jim Argeropoulos says:

    High Speed. That was always my favorite.

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