Imagine, you have a particular EM game you really like.
And imagine, that these games are not really that expensive in the country you live in.
Imagine that these games are also not really rare.
So, you keep buying a particular game. One. Then a nice one. And one for parts. And an even "nicer" one.
And of course do not want to part from any of them. But what reason on earth could be found to keep them all?
What a fun challenge! So, let us do a short deep dive into what I had to start with:
- A "renovated" machine that claimed to be fully complete and functional. It indeed was complete and functional, but horribly lame. Also the touch-ups were not very professional - as a result it did not look really good and was no fun to play either.
- A non working machine that had stood in some living room for years - really nice at the outside with brilliant playfield and all clean components - but all units were either stuck or burnt.
- A half working machine that was well beaten over the years. Horrible condition everywhere, but the bit of play it had was much better than #1 above. Addictive!
- A wreck without backglas, all dirty and partly parted out, but an ok cabinet and not so bad playfield
Ok, now let us try to make some sense from it. I started playing the one functional game for a while. I like Bally in particular - mainly for the quality of the plastics and the green color of course. The first and only(?) Bally EM multiball with long flipper fingers. Balls are short, but they are plentyful. Even I as bad player was able to play 10, 15 and up to 25 balls on a 5 ball game. Fabulous!!!
Now, again this game #1 was really lame and boring - but game #3 actually was really fun - despite the fact, that some of the key functionality was missing.
So, what in the world to do with these?
So, #1 was bad. Someone had done an intresting job to "repair" it. All main functions were working, and it was looking ok on pictures - but no effort at all had been taken to make it nice or exciting. It actually was such a bad restauration, that I decided to keep it as an example of what it was - a really bad restauration!
Then, I realized, that from among all other games, I would be able to generate a second game, that would be close to original! Among all games indeed I had
- a really good cabinet
- an almost perfect backglas
- a set of really good plastics
- and one really nice playfield
All together, this could be transformed into one really nice, all original game with all original parts starting with the first screw and up to the last little piece of rubber or whatever.
Among all games, there could be a perfect set of original coils, a clean coin box, bells (really rare over here in Germany), 3 slot original coin door with mathching re-chromed metal pieces e.t.c. Target would be to get it as close as possible to what an original game would have been and use the best parts of all 4 games. Game play should also be as close as possible to the original one.
Well - and what to do with the rest?` Enough parts for a nice, but not perfect game. Woudl be nothing extraordinary though. So how in the world could this be spiced up a bit?
1970s games were pretty lame - so, how about giving it an advantage of - say - 10 years. Make it fast, und and really desirable? Just something completely different than #2?
Imagine, you put the transformer on high tap. brass bushings for flipper fingers. PU rubbers. Really clean contacts and switches. Really good coils with polished plungers and new nylon sleeves? Then arduino based chimes (it never had chimes), ambient LED lighting and colored light bulbs. Ideas added to ideas. Illuminated flipper buttons? Illuminated leg screws?
Think of something fancy here. But as a result - real EM fans would probably see their toe nails roll up - but they could play the "all original" game instead, could they not? And the challenge would be, whether the game would actually be preferrable to the all original one.
Stay tuned for how the story will proceed.
Game #4 actually deserves a life after death. Thus there is a game #5 nowadays - or at least about ~45% of it. Enough of a game to bring #4 back to life and not enough to be worth anything but a nice playfield at the wall and a couple of buckets of spare parts. Thus game #4 is supposed to end up as a "player": some machine, that I can take to an event and set up to play. Cabinet already being used, playfield, plastics and backglas not being perfect, it could be good enough to be fun to play.