Version 1.2: 2008-04-19 (corrected some terminology; updated info for Skate Scene Pinball Bridge Ramp)
Version 1.1: 2006-03-07 (added update sections to DBZ TV Game reviews)
Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game: FAQ
I have had Jakks Pacific's Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game, developed by Hotgen, ever since it first came out, and over time, I've come to know the three tables pretty well. No one seems to have written any sort of guide or FAQ online for them, despite the varied scoring features of the tables, so I thought I'd go ahead and give it a shot on my own.
To contact me about this guide, for which I use the term "FAQ" rather loosely, please send a personal message to user onmode-ky at the AtariAge.com fora (this will require having or opening a forum account).
Side Content: Games from the Dragonball Z TV Game
Of the three tables, this is the easiest for increasing the score multiplier, getting extra balls, and activating 3-ball multiball.
- Increment Score Multiplier - Hit the third drop target in the serial target bank, and then launch the ball into the Dino Egg kickout to activate the 2x multiplier. Do the same, but with the fourth drop target rather than the third, for the 3x multiplier.
- Activate Multiball - Knock down all the drop targets in the serial target bank, and then launch the ball into the Raptor Nest kickout at the end of the bank. Three-ball "Raptor Rampage" multiball will activate.
- Enter Mini-Table - Hit the gate at the volcano 6 times to open it (most likely using the upper area's single flipper), and once it is down, shoot the ball into the opening.
- Activate a Mission - No missions.
- Increment Bumper Multiplier - Get the ball into the Stampede kickout. The appropriate animal light in the bumper forest will turn on. Increment sequence is as follows:
- Stegosaurus Stampede: 2x multiplier
- Triceratops Stampede: 3x multiplier
- Ankylosaur Stampede: 4x multiplier
- Hadrosaur Stampede: 5x multiplier
- Diplodocus Stampede: 6x multiplier
- Activate Kickbacks - Hit the first drop target in the serial target bank, and then launch the ball into the Dino Egg kickout to activate. Alternatively, hit the individual kickback switches located at the top of each outlane to activate the corresponding kickback.
- Light Extra Ball - Hit the fifth (final) drop target in the serial target bank to light the extra ball, and then launch the ball into the Dino Egg kickout to get it. This may be time-sensitive; on occasion, getting the ball into the Dino Egg kickout after lighting the extra ball has gotten me a Mega Egg Bonus of 8000 points instead, and I believe this comes from getting the ball into the kickout too late.
- Serial Target Bank - This is my name for this bank of drop targets above the left flipper leading to the Raptor Nest kickout, since they stand in a line, one behind the next, and thus can only be hit one at a time. From bottom (first to be hit) to top:
The above actions don't actually take effect until the ball is shot into the Dino Egg kickout. As mentioned earlier, the extra ball may be replaced with the Mega Egg Bonus instead.
- Kickbacks activated
- Dino Egg bonus - 30,000 points
- 2x multiplier activated
- 3x multiplier activated
- Extra ball awarded
- Raptor Nest Kickout - As described above, this activates Raptor Rampage multiball with 3 balls. If two of the balls drain, Raptor Rampage can be reactivated by shooting the ball into the Nest kickout again, assuming the serial target bank hasn't timed out and reset all the targets.
- TRex Target Bank - This bank is made up of three drop targets on either side of the volcano gate. As they are hit (in no particular order), the following messages appear on the message screen:
After the final target is hit, and the TRex is angry, a countdown from 90,000 points begins, with 10,000-point decrements. The objective is to get the ball into the Home kickout, with the award being the point value of the countdown at the time of Home arrival.
- TRex Asleep
- TRex Stirring
- TRex Awake
- TRex Waiting
- TRex Annoyed
- TRex Angry
- Home Drop Targets - On either side of the Home kickout is a single drop target. Each target, when hit, turns on a bonus light in one of the two flipper return lanes (left target for left lane, right for right). Rolling over the light awards some points and turns the light back off.
- Home Kickout - Shooting the ball into this kickout in the middle of the table (when the TRex is not angry) awards a 5000-point "Home Sweet Home" bonus and turns on the ball-save drain light.
- Dino Egg Kickout - Shooting the ball into this kickout above the right flipper (when no serial bank target is active) awards a 3000-point Dino Egg bonus.
- Pterosaur Fly By Ramp - Shooting the ball up this ramp next to the serial target bank corridor awards a 2000-point "Pterosaur Fly By" bonus.
- Dino Trail Rollover - I'm not sure if this is just a rollover, since whatever is being triggered is hidden from view, but when the ball passes by the top of the table, behind the volcano, there is sometimes a 10,000-point Dino Trail bonus awarded. The bonus is available when the Dino Trail light, above the right rebound (slingshot), is on, but I don't know what lights it.
- Launch Gate - This table is the only one where not pulling the plunger back all the way really helps. This is because of the 5000-point Launch bonus associated with having the ball pass the Launch gate upon launch but come back down past it, instead of rounding the volcano.
- Jungle Spinner/Corridor - This, the path leading from the lower flipper region up the left side of the table to the bumper forest, sometimes (and I'm not sure what determines if it happens or not) yields a 2000-point Jungle Bonus. I'm also not sure whether the rolling of the spinner does it or just passing through some section of the corridor.
- Volcano Mini-Table - Once the volcano gate is opened and the ball shot into the opening, the screen switches to the Volcano Mini-Table. The object of this single-screen playfield is to hit all the silver sphere targets without letting the ball drain. Doing this successfully awards 100,000 points and returns the ball to the main table; if the ball drains, the ball falls back into the main table, and the volcano gate is closed again.
Super Star Strike
My personal favorite, SSS has a unique mini-table design, a single outlane, and 2- or 3-ball multiball.
- Increment Score Multiplier - Knock down all three green drop targets in the upper bank, near the mothership. The red light (I guess it's shaped like a menacing alien ship?) between the upper pair of flippers will turn on. Then, after a brief pause, the Launch ramp's light will turn on, and once the ball is shot up the ramp, the multiplier will increment. The max multiplier is 3x. When the Launch light turns on, a countdown will start on the message screen, starting at 90,000 points and decrementing in hops of 10,000. Once the ball shoots up the Launch ramp, this counter's number of points is awarded, and the message screen announces "Alien Menace Thwarted."
- Activate Multiball - Get the ball into either one of the traps directly below each of the upper pair of flippers. A wingman light will turn on (left side or right side light, depending on which of the left and right trap you got the ball into), and the Launch ramp will light up. Once the ball is shot up the ramp (this is true even after the Launch light turns off), the new ball will pop out of the left or right wingman launch lane and enter play. You can do this again to get a third ball in play. I'm fairly certain you can only have three balls in play at once. Any more would certainly slow down gameplay far too much.
- Enter Mini-Table - Hit the orange drop targets on either side of the mothership gate 5 times each (corresponding to taking down the left and right shields; the message screen will note shield strength at 90, 80, 70, etc. percent). This will open the mothership gate. Then, shoot the ball into the opening.
- Activate a Mission - Knock down all 3 of the white drop targets above the left lower flipper. One of four target ramps will light up; activating the mission gets you 30,000 points, and for most of them, so does accomplishing it. The four possible targets are:
With most of the ramps, you are given 30 seconds to accomplish the mission; with the Launch ramp, the countdown is a point value decrementing by 10,000 points, starting from 90,000. There does not seem to be any relationship between which mission you get and the order in which the drop targets are knocked down, and I'm not sure if you get the missions in any specific order.
- Patrol ramp (leftmost ramp, leading to the left flipper)
- Launch ramp (second ramp from the left, leading to the right flipper)
- Warp ramp (third ramp from the left, leading to the Enemy Area (upper flippers region)
- UFO ramp (rightmost ramp, leading to the bumper forest)
- Increment Bumper Multiplier - Light all three rollover lights in the lanes above the bumper forest. Each time all three are lit, they will all turn back off for the next round of lighting while the multiplier gets incremented. The bumper multiplier indicator light will change according to the level of increment. Increment progression:
Subsequent lightings of all 3 rollover lights will result in "Orbital Cannon Reloaded," for 20,000 points. Note that the rollover lights do not reset (although the bumper multiplier does) when the ball drains.
- Orbital Cannon Status Online: 10x multiplier
- Orbital Cannon Ion Upgrade: 20x multiplier
- Orbital Cannon Plasma Upgrade: 30x multiplier
- Activate Kickbacks - There is only one kickback, for the single outlane, which can be activated either by hitting the switch above its lane or by getting the ball into the Support kickout the second time on the current ball (for details on the Support kickout sequence, see the Table Features section).
- Light Extra Ball - Get the ball into the Support kickout the eighth time on the current ball (for details on the Support kickout sequence, see the Table Features section). The extra ball light will turn on, and then getting the ball into the Support kickout again will get the extra ball. The light cannot be lit again (and you can't get another extra ball) until the current ball drains.
- Support Kickout - I call this kickout next to the mothership by this name because it usually results in messages about support arriving from hyperspace. Getting the ball into this kickout (with a single ball; the kickout resets if the ball drains) awards the following progression:
Further successes at getting the ball into this kickout start the progression back over from the beginning. However, after successfully getting an extra ball (while still using the same ball), the progression cycle ends at the 50,000-point bonus, going from a length of 9 to just 7.
- Support from hyperspace: 10,000 points
- Kickback activated
- Support from hyperspace: 20,000 points
- Support from hyperspace: 30,000 points
- Action executed which would be performed if you lit the 3 bumper upgrade rollover lights (thus, this depends on the current upgrade status of your bumpers)
- Support from hyperspace: 40,000 points
- Support from hyperspace: 50,000 points
- Extra ball lit
- Extra ball awarded
- Patrol Ramp - If the Patrol mission is not active, shooting the ball up this leftmost ramp awards a rank promotion, with the following point values (ranking resets when the ball drains):
The current rank is displayed by the multicolored row of lights just above the lower flippers. The number of lights lit is the current rank. As there is no higher rank than 5, subsequent launches up the Patrol ramp do nothing.
- Rank 1: 1000 points
- Rank 2: 2000 points
- Rank 3: 4000 points
- Rank 4: 8000 points
- Rank 5: 20,000 points
- Planet Orbit Loop Ramp - This yellow-colored looping mini-ramp to the left of the mothership awards 10,000 points for the first complete run ("Planet Orbit") through it. Subsequent complete orbits without the ball draining increment the bonus by 1000 points; the increment ends at 20,000 points.
- Launch Ramp - This ramp, third from the left and leading to the right lower flipper, awards 3000 points if the Launch light is not turned on, accompanied by the message "Supplies en route."
- Ball Launch Corridor - Unlike the stereotypical pinball launch corridor, this one guides the ball toward the middle of the table rather than up the right side. A full-power ball launch will shoot it straight into the Support kickout. Also, since the end of this corridor is in the middle of the table, a ball in play can fall down the corridor, to the plunger. When this happens, the ball-save drain light turns back on (not permanently, of course).
- Warp Ramp Spinner - Rolling the spinner in the Warp ramp awards 2000 points. I'm fairly certain this is a constant value.
- Mothership Mini-Table - Rather than being terminated by a drained ball, this mini-table is time-constrained. If the ball drains before the 60-second time limit is up, it reappears from the opening at the top of the playfield. The objective is to hit five drop targets and then send the ball back up the entry opening within the time limit. Presumably, this simulates driving the mothership's reactor critical and then getting away. The upper pair of targets are very difficult to hit . . . if you don't know the trick. I know the trick. I'll let you figure it out yourself. Getting the ball back up to the entry opening is also not too easy, but it's not impossible. Since this mini-table is limited by time, it's actually easier to do it in the superfast Wizard difficulty mode than the Arcade/Kid modes. Beating this mini-table awards 100,000 points and returns the ball to the Enemy Area.
Skate Scene Pinball
Unlike the other two tables, this one has no multiball and no mini-table. It makes up for it with a longer table and more scoring variety.
- Increment Score Multiplier - Shoot the ball all the way up the Bridge ramp five times, to light all five of the SKATE letters, and the score multiplier will increment. Since this is quite hard, at least for me, I have only been able to get the multiplier to 2x, so I don't know what the limit is. Judging from the other tables, though, 3x may be the limit.
- Activate Multiball - No multiball.
- Enter Mini-Table - No mini-table.
- Activate a Mission - Get the ball into the Challenge kickout, just above (and hidden from sight by) the right upper flipper. One of four missions will appear on the message screen:
Each Challenge must be completed within 60 seconds and awards 50,000 points when finished. There doesn't appear to be any point value in activating a mission, as nothing about points appears on the message screen when a mission activates.
- Grind Rail Challenge - Shoot the ball up the Grind Rail ramp (above the right lower flipper).
- Bridge Challenege - Shoot the ball up the Bridge ramp (above the left lower flipper).
- Flip Challenge - Shoot the ball up the Park ramp (above the right upper flipper) 3 times.
- Target Challenge - Knock down four drop targets, which will pop up above the left upper flipper when the mission starts.
- Increment Bumper Multiplier - Light all three rollover lights in the lanes above the bumper near the Park ramp. Each time all three are lit, they will all turn back off for the next round of lighting while the multiplier gets incremented. Increment progression:
Subsequent lightings of all 3 rollover lights will result in "Full Crowd," for 20,000 points. Note that the rollover lights do not reset (although the bumper multiplier does) when the ball drains.
- Small Crowd: 2x
- Medium Crowd: 3x
- Big Crowd: 4x
- Activate Kickbacks - One way to activate the kickbacks is to get the ball into the Home kickout, behind the Police Station kickout; one of the Home kickout's possible actions is to light both kickbacks. I'm not sure whether the Home kickout's list of possible actions is a progression (if so, the progression persists through drained balls) or is controlled by something, possibly the drop targets scattered about the table. Alternatively, each kickback has an activation switch above its lane.
- Light Extra Ball - Get the ball into the Skateshop kickout the sixth time on the current ball (for details on the Skateshop kickout sequence, see the Table Features section). The extra ball light will turn on, and then getting the ball into the Skateshop kickout again will get the extra ball. I haven't tried successfully before to get multiple extra balls while on the same ball, but if this is like the Super Star Strike table, it is not possible. Alternatively, one of the Home kickout's possible actions is to turn on the extra ball light, after which getting the ball into the Skateshop kickout will get the extra ball.
- Skateshop Kickout - Located below the right upper flipper, this kickout awards the following for consecutive hits by the current ball:
I'm not certain if this is where the cycle ends, as I've never actually gotten the extra ball this way. I also don't know if this sequence fully repeats or if it is like the Support kickout in Super Star Strike, keeping you from getting multiple extra balls per current ball.
- New Helmet: 4500 points
- New Pads: 5000 points
- New Truck: 5500 points
- New Wheels: 6000 points
- New Deck: 6500 points
- Pro Board: 12,000 points and extra ball lit
- Extra ball awarded
- Short Grind Ramp - This small looping ramp some distance above the left lower flipper leads to the lower Trick trap and awards 1000 points initially. Subsequent runs through the ramp add another 1000 points to the reward each time. I have been able to see the point value increment up to 15,000 points, but I don't know what the hard limit is, if there is one. If I were to guess, though, I would say this were like the Super Star Strike table's Planet Orbit ramp, ending at 20,000 points. Of course, while both mechanisms add 1000 points per subsequent run through, the Planet Orbit ramp does start at 10,000 points, not 1000.
- Lower Trick Trap - When the ball falls into this hole around the middle of the table, it increments the Grind Rail trick progression (see details on the Grind Rail tricks below) and turns on the next progression light. The ball then pops out of the hole in the left lower flipper's lane. When the ball drains, the progression lights reset to just one lit.
- Grind Rail [Ramp] - This long ramp, which leads from above the right lower flipper to the left upper flipper's lane, awards points based on how many of the lights at the mouth of the ramp are lit. The point values start at 10,000 points and go up by 1000, ending at 17,000. In order of point value, the tricks are:
- 50-50 Grind
- Board Slide
- Nose Grind
- Feeble Grind
- Crooked Grind
- Blunt Slide
- Salad Grind
- Bridge Ramp - As mentioned above, this long ramp starting from above the left lower flipper and leading to the bumper forest plays a part in the score multiplier. Also, each time the ball runs the full length of the ramp and turns on one of the SKATE lights, 10,000 points are awarded. When all five lights are lit, a bonus of 50,000 points is awarded in addition to the score multiplier incrementing. After lighting all of the SKATE lights once, each subsequent letter lit awards 15,000 points; this may extend to 20,000 points once all of SKATE has been lit a second time, but that is purely conjecture. Note that the SKATE lights persist through drained balls. There IS a Santa Claus! Despite this, however, the multiplier itself curiously still terminates with each lost ball. Lastly, I don't know if letters lit after lighting the whole word (once) but then losing the multiplier still award 15,000.
- Police Station Kickout - Rather than being a hole in the playfield, this kickout is in the opening in the front of a police station-shaped figure above the right lower flipper. When hit, a siren sounds, and a counter starts decrementing from 10,000 points in hops of 1000 points. The objective is to get the ball to the Home kickout, "around the corner" behind the Police Station kickout, before time runs out, with the award being the point value of the countdown at the time of Home arrival. Shooting the ball back into the Police Station kickout results in a measly 100-point Good Citizen Award; missing both the Home and Police Station kickouts and letting the timer expire results in a "Caught" message, but I don't believe there is anything more.
- Home Kickout - When not serving as the safe haven from a hit to the Police Station kickout, the Home kickout does a variety of things. Unfortunately, I have not been able to figure out what determines which action it produces. It may be a progression (one that does not reset with drained balls), or it may relate to the configuration of the drop targets around the table; I lean toward the former. Possible events include:
I ordered these to mimic Super Star Strike's Support kickout, but I'm not sure if this is the actual order. I do know that I have seen the listed events happen as a result of hitting the Home kickout.
- Welcome Home bonus: 10,000 points
- Kickbacks activated
- Welcome Home bonus: 20,000 points
- Welcome Home bonus: 30,000 points
- Action executed which would be performed if you lit the 3 bumper upgrade rollover lights (thus, this depends on the current upgrade status of your bumpers)
- Welcome Home bonus: 40,000 points
- Welcome Home bonus: 50,000 points
- Extra ball lit
- Upper Trick Trap - When the ball falls into this hole above and between the upper flippers, it increments the Park ramp trick progression (see details on the Park ramp tricks below) and turns on the next progression light. The ball then pops out of the hole in the left upper flipper's lane. When the ball drains, the progression lights reset to just one lit.
- Park Ramp - Similar to the Grind Rail, this ramp leading from above the right upper flipper to the lane of the left upper flipper awards points based on how many of the lights at the mouth of the ramp are lit. The point values start at 10,000 points and go up by 1000, ending at 17,000. In order of point value, the tricks are:
There is one major difference between the Grind Rail and the Park ramp, though: the latter has a combo feature which makes it the single best way to rack up points in this table. After a successful first run through the Park ramp, if you can make another run within about 5 seconds, you are awarded 2x the point value of the run. If you do it again (within 5 or so seconds of the previous run, not of the first run), 3x. Again, then 4x. This continues through 10x, with subsequent successful runs within the time limit staying at the 10x multiplier. If time runs out, the message screen reads "Combo Broken," and the multiplier resets back to 1x.
- Kick Flip
- Heel Flip
- Pressure Flip
- 360 Shove It
- Indy Grab
- Rocket Air
Dragonball Z TV Game (by Handheld Games) - Dragonball Z Pinball
This playfield is split into a main table which has 3 regions (upper, middle, and lower) and 7 subtables linked primarily through warp holes to the main table. While on the main table, the game scrolls with the ball up and down through the regions. Each region has two warp holes activated by eliminating groups of circling, and otherwise harmless, enemies (the lower region's holes are protected with character-shaped covers which must be hit several times to open them), and the seventh subtable is accessed either by bombarding a perpetually present, floating enemy in the middle region a large number of times or by punching through a crack in the left wall. The basic game objective is to defeat each subtable to collect its Dragonball and, once all seven are collected, to give them to the dragon at the top of the main table.
The game mechanics are a bit repetitive. Each subtable, which is one screen in size, is defeated by destroying one or more resident enemies, usually moving targets, by hitting them a bunch of times with the ball. It's not that hard, particularly since the ball is pretty big, and I didn't notice any particular increase in speed or difficulty when I tried the hard mode. What's harder is that after each subtable defeat, you then have to get the ball (now a Dragonball) to the upper main table region to dump into a collection hole. Transferring the ball upwards is a challenge, made harder by the enemy characters wandering around in circles in each region, so if you let the ball slip down into the next region, you'll have to fight your way back up. Obviously, the lower region has a drain you can't fight out from.
Once you get the final Dragonball into the collection hole, you are then locked in the upper region, and the Dragonballs are shot back into the region one at a time for you to give to the dragon. You alternate shooting the balls into the dragon's left hand and right hand, and the final ball goes into the dragon's mouth. Once all this is done, you've finished all the table objectives, and a short cutscene gives you a big bunch of points and some (2?) extra balls (I think there was a third reward, but I can't remember what it was; I have not had this TV Game for a while now). After that, the table resets (not including your score), and you keep playing. In forging my high score, I beat the whole table twice and got 5/7 of the way to the third finish before finally being out of balls, of which I think you start with 5.
That's about all there is to it. There is not a whole lot of scoring depth, as far as I could tell. All you do is hit the character targets, get the Dragonballs, and give them to the dragon. There may have been a score multiplier, but I don't remember it.
Update: After finding it at a clearance price of $4, I bought the DBZ TV Game again, this time for keeps. The price is low even for the one game alone for which I bought the unit, the "Kamehameha Assault" game (described below). While demonstrating the games on the unit to a friend, I played a round of the pinball game, and the following notes are based on that:
You do start with 5 balls, similar to older, real pinball tables. There is a score multiplier, which I have seen reach 3x, but I don't know how it is activated or incremented other than that the final part of the triggering mechanism is hitting a bumper in the center of the main table's lower region. Also in that region, the left and right outlane kickbacks seem to be activated by hitting the rebounds (slingshots) over the flippers, but again, I'm not sure of the full triggering sequence. Giving all the Dragonballs to the dragon nets 2 extra balls and 10 million points. Extra balls are also earned for every X number of points earned, but I have forgotten the value of X (10 million?). There is a center post between the lower region's flippers which can be brought up by lighting all three of the middle region's lanes.
I noted earlier that I bought the DBZ TV Game just for the "Kamehameha Assault" paddle-type game. While I know a fair amount about the unit's pinball game now, it still does not interest me; it is simply neither varied nor challenging enough. The round I played while demonstrating the games lasted for possibly 1.5 hours, during which I set a new personal high score of 51,260,600 points and beat the whole table 4 times . . . and I ended the game prematurely by purposely losing the 9 balls I had remaining. This was in Hard difficulty mode. Thus, I really have no reason to play that table anymore. The scoring/gameplay mechanics are very simple; the speed is too slow; and, the game is too easy, even in Hard mode. This is particularly true after you find that you can pull off the physically impossible feat of getting a ball that is directly below a flipper to essentially teleport above it by rapidly toggling the flipper. The Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game's tables are superior and much more enjoyable, both for the casual and serious player.
Dragonball Z TV Game (by Handheld Games) - Kamehameha Assault
A better reason to get the Dragonball Z TV Game is the "Kamehameha Assault" paddle-type combat game, which has much more engaging gameplay. It forces you to divide your attention between dealing with the opponent's attacks, attacking the opponent, and trying to accomplish the task that will actually win the round for you (collecting all the Dragonballs with the bouncing energy ball; fighting with the opponent is inevitable, but it could cost you a win, and this paradox is one of my favorite parts of this game). If only "Kamehameha Assault" had been a game for two human players, one-on-one, I would have kept the DBZ TV Game even without being interested in the other two games. This may be the best paddle-type game I've seen since Warlords.
Update: As noted in the previous section, I eventually did buy and keep the DBZ TV Game for "Kamehameha Assault," paying $4 for the unit.