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    FAQ by Joz

    Version: 1.00 | Updated: 04/27/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                 (c) 1 9 8 3   N I N T E N D O   C O . , L T D .
    Pinball FAQ
    by Joz [luke@joz3d.net]
    1 - Intro
    2 - Game Modes
    3 - Terminology
    4 - Table/Points Description
    5 - Strategies
    6 - Questions
    7 - Other Versions
    8 - Credit/Thanks
    9 - File Info
    10- Copyright Info
    1 - Introduction
    Nintendo's Pinball was released in 1983 as one of the first Famicom (Japanese
    Nintendo) games.  In 1984 it was released in arcades running on Nintendo's VS.
    hardware.  Finally in 1985 it was released for NES.  This guide is solely for
    the NES version of the game.  Upon first playing this game in the modern era,
    it looks very simple and as though it will bore quickly.  Do not judge this
    book by it's cover.  Nintendo's Pinball can be very addicting thanks to it's
    good design and excellent physics.  It even has a bit of depth to it.  If
    you've played your share of real pinball, you will be very satisfied to see
    that the programmers did a great job with recreating the physics of an actual
    pinball machine.  This is perhaps the silent feature that makes the game.
    2 - Game Modes
    There are two modes of play, Game A and Game B.  Game A is designed for
    beginners, Game B is designed for experts.  The difference between the two
    modes is basically that Game B has a heavier ball (more realistic physics),
    whereas Game A's ball floats a bit more.  Which is more fun?  It's a matter of
    taste/mood I suppose.  Game B is more realistic to an actual pinball table. 
    Game A is more chill and relaxing.  Point values are the same for both modes.
    3 - Terminology
    - There are three parts to the table.  The top, bottom, and bonus screens.  I
    will refer to them as such from here on out.
    - There is a ball stopper that sometimes appears in between the flippers.  This
    is called a "block post" in the manual, and will be referred to as such from
    here on out.
    - The pink thing that moves back and forth above the slots on the top screen is
    called the slot target.
    4 - Table Description
    A description of each part, it's mechanics, and point values:
    - An extra ball is awarded at 50,000 points.  There is no alert or indication
    when this happens, your ball counter on the bottom left just goes up by one.
    - Flippers disappear at 100,000 points, reappear at 150,000.
    - Flippers can be flipped in two ways.  If you press the button normally they
    will fully flip, but if you just tap the button they will only flip halfway.
    Top Lanes - At the very top of the screen are three lanes, one of which the
    ball will fall through after launching.  The two side lanes are worth 500
    points and the center one is worth 1,000 (obviously as it says this on the
    table).  There are invisible bumpers on the left and right sides up here that
    yield 10 points when hit.
    Directly below these lanes is a 100 point bumper.
    The Slots - The slots in the middle of the screen spin when the ball goes
    through the right green lane(+500pts).  Each slot can be stopped by hitting
    the slot target when it is above the slot(+100pts ANYTIME you hit the slot
    target). The slots run truly random, there is never any cpu assistance.  Each
    slot has the same three possible outcomes: 3, 7, or Penguin(+1,000pts
    every time you get a penguin).  Getting three of any of these awards you:
    3 3s - 3,330 points, and block post is raised for six seconds. 
    3 7s - 7,770 points, and block post is for 14 seconds.
    3 Penguins - Block post is raised for unlimited time and all points are doubled
    while it is up.  Block post will be lost if ball goes through right green
    lane, to bottom part of table, or when 100,000/150,000 points are earned.
    -- Table border areas change color to dark pink if you match any of the above
    three (for the duration of the award).
    The right green lane has a 10 point invisible bumper on it's outside.
    Hole Kicker - The hole on the bottom right awards you no points and just kicks
    the ball back out.  The ball also comes out of here when leaving the bonus
    Four Targets - There are four targets on the left side of the screen.  100
    points for each one hit, knocking out all four targets gives you a 1,000 point
    bonus.  Once the two middle targets are knocked out, there is an invisible
    bumper behind them that gives 10 points each time hit.  If all the targets are
    gone, they will come back up when the ball goes through one of the upper
    Upper Left Lane - There are eight lights in the upper left lane.  Each one you
    turn off gives 100 points.  If you turn them all off the seals go off
    (bouncing balls on their noses), +100pts for each bounce.  They bounce their
    balls 20 times for a total of 2,000 bonus points.  So if you hit the ball up
    through a full lane you get a total of 2,800 points.  Doing this will also
    reset the target counter (see below).
    Counter Target - The counter on the upper left side with the target below it
    starts at 100 and goes up by 100 every time you hit the target, maxing out at
    1,000.  Every time the target is hit, the screen flashes and you get the amount
    of points displayed in the counter.  The counter resets when the ball turns
    off all the lights in the left lane causing the seals to bounce their balls.
    The Cards - At the top of the screen are five cards, face down.  Hitting the
    ball through a card's lane flips the card.  The cards from left to right are a
    10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace (royal flush).  It doesn't really matter though,
    they are each worth the same value, 500 points, when flipped.  Flipping all
    the cards gives you a 5,000 point bonus, raises the block post between the
    flippers, and the table border area changes color to orange.
    There are three 100 point bumpers beneath the cards.
    Hole - Hitting the ball in the upper right hole takes you to the bonus screen. 
    The ball will then come out in the top screen after leaving the bonus screen.
    Exit - The exit on the right side opens when all the targets on the left side
    are hit.  The exit will close if you hit the ball through one of the flipper
    lanes.  Getting the ball through the exit simply allows you to relaunch the
    ball to the top screen.  The exit closes after you hit the ball into it.
    Chicks - There are three lights above the flippers.  They start out as eggs,
    and running the ball over them will cause them to hatch into chicks.  Running
    the ball over them again will cause them to disappear.  Running the ball over
    them once more will cause them to turn into eggs again - this is how it loops. 
    If you manage to get all three of the lights to be chicks at the same time,
    stoppers will show up in the side escape lanes.  A stopper disappears if the
    ball hits it.
    Hitting the flipper bumpers gives you 10 points.
    Seven Targets - There are seven targets on the left side.  Hitting one gives
    you 100 points.  Knocking out all the targets awards you 1,000 points and
    opens the exit on the right side (see above).  There are also 10 point
    invisible bumpers behind the targets.
    The bonus screen consists of two 100 point bumpers, invisible bumpers on the
    four walls worth 10 points each, three columns of lights numbered 1-3, an exit
    on the left and right side, a lady (or maiden as the manual also refers to
    her, but this is not a princess and NOT Princess Peach Toadstool) running back
    and forth at the top with three pieces of floor under her, and Mario (and yes,
    it IS Mario) at the bottom of the screen carrying a steel rail.
    It basically works like this: The lights can have three possible colors, blue,
    pink, and orange.  You have to get all the lights in a column to be the same
    color.  Once you do that the floor above that column will shrink.  You need to
    do this three times in order to get the corresponding piece of floor to
    disappear.  When the floor disappears the lady will fall down through it, and
    you must catch her and let her walk off at one of the exits on the left or
    right.  Doing this will give you 10,000 points and spawn another lady at the
    top.  You can continue doing the bonus game and save the lady multiple times
    until you lose the ball.  If you don't catch the lady when she is falling or
    if you drop her, you will lose your ball completely.  Once the ball falls out
    of this screen, it will shoot out of the hole on the top screen.  The colors
    you have changed will stay in the same state you left them in, the floor
    pieces will reset.
    5 - Strategies
    These are my personal stratagies:
    Skill Shot
    Launching the ball with full force will lead to it bouncing around at the top
    of the table and randomly going through one of the lanes.  You want it to go
    through the 1,000 point center lane though.  You can do this by pulling the
    plunger/striker back for just a fraction of a second and launching the ball. 
    If you do this correctly it will swoosh into the middle lane for a thousand
    points.  It takes a little practice and feeling it out to get it just right. 
    For reference.. you can hit the ball so that it pathetically rolls down the
    first wall into the first 500 point lane - that is hitting it with the very
    least pressure you can and still getting the ball into play... getting it to
    swoosh into the thousand point lane is the next possible level up from that
    hit-strength.  It doesn't always swoosh in, it might rattle into the 1,000
    lane and you might miss it sometimes, but using this method gets the ball into
    the thousand lane more frequently than just randomly launching it.  And as you
    know, once you get the ball through that 1,000 point lane, it's prone to jump
    back up into the 1,000 point lane off the bumper below multiple times for
    repeated thousands!  Get a good start.
    Max the Counter
    Hit the target on the upper left side with the counter above it (top screen). 
    Since you get the amount of points displayed in the counter every time you hit
    it, and it goes up by 100 every time you hit it, max it to 1,000 as fast as you
    can, and then hit it as frequently as you can - a  thousand points for every
    hit from now on!  Don't forget that the counter will reset when you hit the
    ball all the way through the left lane.  Try to keep hitting the counter
    target as much as you can.
    Keep Spinning
    It's not too difficult to hit the ball into the right green lane (top screen)
    to get the slots spinning.  Usually you can pull it off with a well timed shot
    from the left flipper when the ball is just past the halfway down point on the
    flipper.  Keep spinning and hitting the slot target trying to get three 3s,
    7s, or Penguins.  You get lots of points by getting the proper slot combos, so
    keep spinning..
    Penguin Post
    If you get three penguins in the top screen slots, the block post will appear
    between your flippers.  Watch Out!! - Be careful not to hit the ball back into
    the right green lane, as this will reset the slots and take away your block
    post.  The right green lane is easy to avoid when the block post is out since
    you can relax and control the ball more.  Go for the counter target on the
    upper left, as well as the upper left lane for some good points.. all the
    better tasting since points are doubled as long as the penguins are out!
    I find that hitting the ball fiercely as it is coming at your flipper on an
    angle where you will hit it to the left with the left flipper, or right with
    the right flipper frequently gives good results in general.  This is a good
    method for getting the ball to go through the upper left lane (using the left
    flipper on the top screen), or to the Mario Bonus screen (using the right
    flipper on the bottom screen).
    Get the Cards
    The key to getting the most points/highest scores in this game is flipping all
    the cards on the bottom screen.  Do not go out of your way to get the cards
    flipped - this is a sure way to lose balls fast.  Really you want to spend
    minimal time on the bottom screen.  But once you have three of the cards
    randomly flipped over, it's probably time to think about getting the last two
    (See 'Flipping the Cards' below).  Once you get your royal flush, the block
    post comes out between the flippers until you lose the ball.  Play it casually
    and carefully, as you can still lose the ball under the flippers if you play
    foolishly or too fast and lose control, at which point you will be embarrassed. 
    Your new job once the block post is out is to make sure the stoppers on the
    side escape lanes are active (See 'Chick Protection' below). 
    With the block post and escape lane stoppers out, you are unstoppable.  Time
    for point-festival-83! or 2003! <--insert current year here.  There is no way
    to lose the ball unless the side stoppers give out, which is why you have to
    *gasp* immediately if the ball hits one (making it disappear), and must
    immediately get it back in place using the chicks.  No point in mucking around
    down here for the possibility of the stoppers going out.  Once you have the
    block post+stoppers combo, get the ball the hell out of here and to the top
    screen (See 'Get Outta Here!' below).
    Flipping the Cards
    Some cards are pretty easy to flip, mainly the Jack and King (the ones right
    next to the far side cards).  If these are what you need to get your royal
    flush, or get very close to your royal flush, then use this simple method
    which entails sacrificing the ball from the top screen:
    When the ball is in the top screen, trap it on the base of the flipper (by
    holding the flipper up) opposite the card you want to flip.  IE: If you want
    to flip the Jack, trap it on the right flipper.  If you want to flip the King,
    trap it on the left flipper.  Once the ball is trapped and close to not
    moving, let the flipper down and allow the ball to simply roll off the flipper
    to the bottom screen.  It will then go through the Jack or King (whichever
    side you chose) lane, flipping the card!  This works 70% of the time
    (otherwise it will usually bounce into the far side card lane, so this can
    also be used as a strategy if you need one of the far side cards, though not a
    very reliable strategy).
    The middle card lane can sometimes be hit using a weaker, felt-out version of
    'Get Outta Here!' (see below).  Though it is very hard to be consistent with
    Chick Protection
    Not the kind you need for a stalking ex-girlfriend, but rather of the bird
    type.  I'm talking about the three changing lights above the flippers on the
    bottom screen.  It's good to keep an eye on them and make them all into chicks
    so the escape lane stoppers show up.  I don't recommend going out of your way
    to get chicks (except for the real life female kind), but if you see that you
    have two chicks and one egg, or two eggs side-by-side and a chick, you might
    want to try to hatch that last egg or two and get yourself some escape lane
    stoppers.  You'll thank yourself when the ball hits one of them and saves your
    ass ;)
    Get Outta Here!
    I'll say it again: you want to spend as little time on the bottom screen as
    possible.  It's fairly easy to get the ball back up to the top screen:
    Lock the ball on your left flipper (by holding the flipper up, making the ball
    sit at the base of the flipper), then let it roll down to the near-end of the
    flipper and give it a good launch.  If done correctly, the ball will bounce
    off the right wall, heading up.  Now, raise your right flippers to make
    clearance for the ball so it doesn't hit the bottom of the upper right
    flipper, while keeping your left flippers down.  The ball should land at the
    bottom (or higher up if it was a good shot) of your TOP left flipper, hit it
    immediately while lowering your right flippers at the same time and viola -
    you now have the ball back on the top screen!  This is also possible to do off
    the left wall, but is far more difficult.
    The other obvious way to get the ball back up to the top screen is by hitting
    it into the bonus screen hole, but this is not very easy to do on command.
    Run Like a Fool
    On the bonus screen it can get hectic trying to keep the ball from going out of
    play.  I recommend you stay at the center of the screen, running slightly left
    and right quickly when the ball chaotically bounces around above.  This gives
    you the best opportunity to hit it back up at either side, and the constant
    moving keeps your alert high.
    Point Out the Bounce
    If the ball ends up going under you on the Mario bonus screen, it may not be
    over yet!  If the ball went under you with still some velocity, it may bounce
    up high enough to bounce off the underside of your steel rail - so position
    yourself for it to do so if you miss it on it's way down.  The ball will now
    bounce back and forth rather quickly between the ground and your rail,
    building up velocity.  Once you get the ball bouncing a bit (only takes a
    couple hits), move out of the way and let it bounce back up above you, where
    you can usually hit it back into play!
    6 - Questions
    Q1.) What happens when you get a million points?
    A1.) I don't know.  I have only managed to get halfway there (537,550).  I
    expect that the counter will just roll over back to zero, though I'm sort of
    hoping for the game to freeze/crash or something cool.  If anybody has done it
    and knows, please tell me what happens.
    7 - Other Versions
    If you are aware of any other versions of Pinball not listed here, please tell
    me.  These are listed in chronological order:
    Nintendo VS.
    Pinball was put on to Nintendo's VS. system arcade hardware.  There are a very
    high amount of differences between the NES and the VS. version.  The table is
    laid out the same and gameplay feels about the same, but the VS. version has
    different colors, different sound effects, has music, bonus tallies after
    every ball, different point values, a graphically improved scoreboard, hitting
    the ball into the hole kicker on the top screen kicks the ball out of the
    bonus hole on the bottom screen, etc, etc.  Ball speed/number of balls can be
    adjusted through the operator settings.  The ball runs at about a Game B speed
    by default and cannot be slowed down to a Game A type speed setting.  The VS.
    version of Pinball is very much a different (arguably much better) game from
    the NES.
    Animal Crossing
    Pinball is in the GameCube classic, Animal Crossing.  This version of Pinball
    is pretty much a direct port of the NES version.  The only noticeable changes
    are that the hole kicker and bonus hole are red instead of black and your high
    score is also saved to the memory card so it does not reset every time you turn
    off the game.  This feature almost makes the Animal Crossing version of
    Pinball more desirable.  I have found no further changes from the NES version. 
    You can get Pinball in Animal Crossing one of the following ways:
    - Randomly in the mail after you finish working for Tom Nook (ONLY if this is
    the first game/town started on the memory card THAT COMES with Animal
    - Tom Nook's monthly lottery
    - Doing deeds for neighbors
    - As one of the NES Games villager buried
    - When Crazy Redd visits he might have it
    - Trade for it with somebody who already has it
    If you REALLY want to play Pinball you can start a new game using the player
    and town names below.  Once you do the first 7 or 8 Tom Nook missions (should
    take about an hour for a first time player) and no longer work for him, give
    him the password listed below the appropriate town name:
    Name: Joz (boy)
    Town: DaHood
    Name: Emmie (girl)
    Town: Heaven
    This should get you Pinball.  Once you get it you can go to your house and
    unwrap it, drop it, then play.  You can also send it to a Gameboy Advance
    using the link cable.  Speaking of which..
    Gameboy Advance e-Reader (Pinball-e)
    Pinball is available as a set of five data cards for the Gameboy Advance
    e-Reader. Currently (2003) it retails for US$5 but it also comes with some
    e-Readers.  This is a one-player version of the game.  I do not have an
    e-Reader so I have not had a chance to check it out for any other differences
    from the NES version.
    Visual Pinball
    If you are a general pinball fan, you will probably be interested in Visual
    Pinball [http://www.randydavis.com/vp]  This is one excellent piece of
    software - a freeware pinball editor that allows you to make beautiful
    photo-realistic pinball tables and has a huge community supporting it
    [http://www.vpforums.com].  There are thousands of user-made tables and just
    about every pinball machine that ever existed has been recreated, including
    full software/digital screen emulation thanks to interweaving with PinMAME (a
    pinball machine rom emulator)  The whole thing is really quite amazing.
    There is a totally unofficial remake of Nintendo Pinball for Visual Pinball and
    it is excellent!  Imagine Nintendo Pinball, except on a real pinball table! 
    It was translated beautifully and if you love Nintendo Pinball, you are sure
    to love this.  The physics, feel, and sounds are all there, it's great and
    plays very much like the NES version, but a bit harder.  Go download a copy
    and be entertained.  You can get it at http://www.irpinball.com -or-
    8 - Credit/Thanks
    For making Pinball as well as endless other life-enriching video games and
    Emily Strange
    For re-igniting my love for classic NES and keeping me a kid - Thank you! :)
    This FAQ would not exist without you.  For making everything fun, constantly
    enhancing my life, your comedy, your cuteness, your beauty, and your undying
    Elyse Pieper
    For info about the slot target, 'Run Like a Fool' strategy, Animal Crossing
    version, and the free laptop (that I wrote this on)!
    For giving me Pinball in Animal Crossing for free on
    9 - File Info
    Last updated April 27, 2003.
    The latest version of this FAQ can always be found at:
         -- associated files can also be found here.
    10 - Copyright Info
    (c) 2003 Luke Jozwiak
    This FAQ may be used, posted, or redistributed on any site or form of media,
    the full version or any fraction thereof.  If modified, please note any
    modifications made.

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