The rare game before you was concocted in September of the year with a production run
of 3,250 units. The design team of Wally Walsh and Kevin O’Conner were the architects
of the game. The fantasy theme of the machine is a reference to the mythical Medusa,
who could turn one into stone if looked upon. Zipper Flippers, a Bally invention, are
incorporated into the upper two playfield flippers. The closure of these flippers is time
based for great scoring potentials in the upper drop target banks. The lower flippers are
illuminated from underneath. The morphing illuminated arch bar above the upper drop
targets illuminates more intensely, alluding to a higher potential target bonus. The shield
of the gods bumper post between the flippers is activated by a separate flipper button.
“Welcome to Xenon” announces the machine when you coin it up. This is the first game to
incorporate a female synthesized voice as its main character. Bally produced 11,000 of these sexy,
colorful games. It was designed by Greg Kmiec with art by Paul Faris. This is also the first time a
game has a “vocalizer” board installed in it. Prior to this, a “squawk and talk” system was used.
Finally, you can really understand the game! The playfield incorporates a right-side Xenon transport
tube, which, when shot and conditions are met, lock the ball. An upper saucer at the top of the
playfield not only drops one of four drop targets when rolled over, but advances the “X” value.
Making three “X” completions lights the lock. The second time around awards a two-ball multiball
extravaganza. Drop targets, when all four are completed, advance the bonus toward specials also.
The moto exit value increases the more times the transport tube is made. A great package!
Mata Hari was released in April of the year and designed by Jim Patla with artwork accolades going to Dave Christiansen. 16,200 of these machines were produced in the new solid-state format (as seen in the museum) as well as bunch of electromechanical machines (170, to be exact) to keep the non-computer savvy operators happy and buying machines they knew how to fix. This machine before you is one of the finest examples of this ultra-rare mechanical format. Like the solid-state version, the center kickout hole scores 3,000 points and each successful shot in the hole advances the bonus multiplier. The A and B skill shots advance the horizontal sequence of increasing values in the center of the playfield. 50,000 points are awarded when a battery of drop targets is hit. If both batteries are knocked down, the drop targets reset and hitting all again awards the replay. Score is another replay option.
Bally released Evel Knievel in June of the year. Both electromechanical and solid-state versions of the game were fabricated. The reason two different platforms were made was due to the newness of the solid-state platform not being fully trusted or many arcade operators not being versed in the solid-state computerized machines. The “old faithful” mechanical versions used the same technology since the beginning of pinball that included relays, steppers, and score motors. This game was produced in mass quantity in the solid-state format with 14,000 pieces being fabricated. This game is one of only 155 made. This is probably one of the best examples of this rare run of machines. The play parallels the solid-state version, but an accumulated memory of targets hit isn’t stored in memory and awarded. This game just remembers your last hit of the last target. Enjoy!
June marked the month when Bally let Greg Kmiec and Christian Marche unveil their newest creation to the pinball world. This two-player game awards an extra ball when the A-B-C-D sequence is completed. C and D when completed, award the double bonus. The third flipper in the middle right of the playfield gives the player maximum control to shoot for the Aladdin’s Alley. Hitting the rollover at the top of this shot scores the lit value and then advances the value for the next completed shot. If you’re skillful enough to make it to the 5,000 shot, the next shot scores a special. This special remains lit for the balance of the ball in play. All in all, a typical Bally game of the era. This game was released at the same time as the classic Captain Fantastic Bally machine (that game is in the museum). Captain Fantastic made Bally #1.
This game is considered to be the #3 game of the ’70s. It was released in June, designed by Greg Kmiec and art by Dave Christiansen. It had a production run of 16,200 units, a record to that date for production by Bally. The game has a rock star tie in the form of Elton John, who was at his peak back then. The movie “Tommy” was also an influence for the game’s graphics. The triple flipper arrangement of the game made for fast action on the playfield. A bonus feature is present, a 5-bank drop target that when hit, advances through extra ball and then special. A free ball gate, when activated, extends the ball’s life. This game is one of the last most collectible electromechanical-era games produced. It was the complementary game to Bally’s Wizard pinball which, again, found its theme based on the “Tommy” movie by The Who. Celebrity tie-ins were found to be big sellers.
This is it. The ultimate collectible game of the ‘70s according to the literature. Bally put together Ted Zale and Dave “Mad Dog” Christianson to design the game. Production run was 3,815 units. Many firsts here. The whirlwind spinning disk was a first to throw off the ball once rolled upon. A messenger ball (captive ball) was a variation on a theme. The art package is truly amazing. A lower-left kick-back kicker, when activated, returns your ball to play. A free ball gate returns your ball to the plunger. “Zipperflippers”, a first, closes the gap between the flippers, when activated, preventing the loss of the ball thru the center drain until turned off. Once you lock two balls in the “odin” and “wotan” kickout holes, then hit “release messenger balls”, three balls are in play. No jackpot in multiball in this game was developed. You just had a period of high scoring and pinball chaos to contend with until you lost the first two balls in play.
This solid-state game was very popular when it was released and has a lot of smooth shots to complete. It was designed by Jim Patla with artwork by Paul Faris. Production run was 18,250 units. This pre-speaking pinball has Hugh Hefner on its backglass with Bunny Sondra Theodore posing. At the top of the game are four rollover lanes, which advance when hit to a special and advance the bonuses and grotto award. Hitting the five Bunny targets also advance a feature to win extra balls and specials. A unique kickback lane advances with every entrance into it. A five-pack of drop targets also advance certain features on the game. If 20,000 points are made on the bonus system, this point count is carried over to all remaining balls and then some. The nicest shot on the game is going up the right side from the flipper and looping the ball into the grotto. The sound originates from the old TV show “Playboy After Dark.”
This game is considered to be the fifth most collectible game of the ‘70s. Bally released the game in May, designed by Greg Kmiec with artwork by Dave “Mad Dog” Christianson. Very pretty game, indeed. Production run was high at 10,005 units (the highest for Bally, since the next-highest production game was Monte Carlo at 5,254 games in 1973). The game was inspired by the movie “Tommy” and the musical group, The Who. Bally started dominating the pinball scene from this game on. The playfield of the game has a nice flow. Flip flags on the right side of the playfield flip over when hit to activate different features on the game. Once you flip the flags and shoot the ball down the right ramp, the features are activated and the flags reset. Getting the bonus feature to its maximum would light the special for a replay. Score was another way to score a game. Playing the game was an experience, as the artwork package exuded sensual pinball excitement.
This four-player machine is almost always considered to be in the top five best solid-state games of its genre. Brian Eddy designed this machine with art by Doug Watson. 3,450 examples of it were made. This fast-paced game is not based on the “Mars Attacks” movie but ironically came out the same time as the movie’s release. A sequel to this game is also in the museum by the name “Revenge From Mars.” The main theme of this amusing game is to complete the five attack waves activated by hitting the three drop targets in front of the saucer. Doing so drops the targets and allows shots to the saucer. After so many saucer hits, the saucer explodes into a flurry of strobe lights (first time used on a pinball machine) and sounds. If you make it to Mars Attacks, the game goes into hyper mode with a flurry of options and actions. Total annihilation of Mars is the ultimate goal. Many more feats and multi-balls are also present.