I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and... uh... my pinball machine. Huh? My story? Okay.
My first memory of pinball was visiting a tourist attraction in Orlando, Florida called The Mystery Fun House. I truly miss the place, which closed in 2001 and still have many fond memories. The bottom level was a video game arcade and the upper level was loaded with pinball (and a shooting gallery.) At the time, games like Tron and Dragon's Lair blew me away and I found out very quickly that I could get more out of a quarter playing an video game than pinball (except maybe Dragons Lair.) I still liked watching the older kids play pinball though, the more interesting ones being the kids with a lit cigarette hanging out of their mouths and a look on their face that said beat it kid, your cramping my style.
The artwork of the playfields, backglass and sound effects were all fascinating to me (especially that one pinball that made sexy girl sounds each time the ball hit a bumper.) In the end though, I was young and bad at it. Fast foward a bunch of years, I'm the teenager now, driving with friends to different locations in order to play Mortal Kombat II and III. Two of my favorite locations, a bowling alley because it had a 1993 Indiana Jones pinball adventure and a local pool joint that had a Terminator 2 pin. Both were amazing to play when taking a break from Mortal Kombat.
Fast Foward a bit more and there I am in the Knights Lounge of UCF, playing Medieval Madness. This is the game that broke me. It was the most incredible pinball I had ever played to that date. Girls and grades did not exist while I was seeing multiball madness! I spent so much time and money playing that game that I was consumed. My girlfriend broke up with me, my grades suffered and I found myself living on the street begging for quarters just to play another game.
...Ok, maybe not that last bit...but it could have happened. Geez, I don't think I have played a pinball game for almost 20 years since.
My family/kids always comes first with me, but I made a little extra money during covid, having more time to paint and sell my side art, along with selling some of my old comics and toys. My goal was to buy a Multicade, Tron or Wizard of Wor. During my search I realized I could possibly afford a pinball game which felt much more exciting and Silver Spoons-ish.
I watched about a million youtube videos, playtested some pins and slowly started to learn what I liked and did not like in regards to pinball. I even enjoyed listening to the advise of some locals who where extremely happy to talk pinball to somebody just getting into the game.
Eventually I found a game that checked all the boxes for me and my purchase has just been overwhelming happiness.
I do have worrying thoughts of what am I going to do if the game stops turning on, a bulb goes out or the playfield splits open and explodes. Just figuring out what to use and not use to clean and protect the playfield was a harrowing task, but not so much as to deter me from searching for my next pin. ;)