I grew up in the time of arcade games. Atari and Nintendo were thing of my generation. When I went to an arcade, I wanted to play the next step up from what I could already play a home. Unfortunately for me, this was never pinball. They were machines my parents played.
It wasn’t until 2012 when I really fell in love it. I mean, I had played a few games before, but never really understood the point... just keep the ball alive right?
A co-worker asked for my suggestion on places he should take his new girlfriend on a date. I had suggested the bowling alley since they could bowl, and then go play ski-ball and other games at the arcade. They ended up doing that. Another co-worker was bit ticked that they didn’t take his proposal more seriously.
He had mentioned that there was bar near his house that had a ton of old arcade game from our generation as well as some pinball machines. I thought it sounded cool and offered to have a beer there after work.
When I first walked in I could see several pinball machines, of which I did not take immediate note of. I walked around the bar and saw close to 20 arcade machines! Pac Man, Star Wars, Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Frogger, etc.. the list goes on and on.
So I played several of these machines that were calling me from my youth and was found wanting. Man... these things are…lame, the controller doesn’t fit as well as I remember. I was really bored with something that initially got me so excited. It honestly was little heartbreaking to not at all really enjoy the toys of my youth.
So, I went over and put a quarter into one of the pinball machines and waited for it to start...seriously.. had to get help finding the start button.
I played one game and was immediately frustrated at a few shots I felt like I should have had. I was about ready to leave. Five regular patrons came over and started to play The Six Million Dollar Man. They asked me to play as well since there was a spot open. I knew I would lose, but what the heck. There was an additional dollar everyone put in for gambling. you know... entertainment only stuff ;-). From there I was hooked. The competitive side came out in me. "How in the world did he just get 50K?" I was better informed of the rules and how to play the game for maximum points. I watched as they nudged and shook the machines to manipulate the game. I wasn’t good enough for any of that yet, but I did have a little luck on my side that day and took the $6.
From then on I was obsessed. That experience made me fall in love with that particular machine. Not only that, but it was the best deal. 5 balls for a quarter and you get the play-more-post. It was a no brainer where I was pumping my quarters.
I really wanted a machine and talked to my wife about making the bar an offer since I was informed they rotate machines quite frequently. The bar owner was unwilling to part with it as it was also their favorite machine.
I went on an eBay quest, and as luck would have it, a few weeks later, I found one in the same city and made it mine.
While my skill set has developed substantially and "The Man" is at risk of getting rolled every time I play it, it is still one of my favorite machines.
I do like the 70's Bally nostalgia, but the layout of this game along with the play-more-post, spots, drop downs, spinners, risk/reward strategy and most importantly, my wife’s love of THIS game has made it a permanent fixture in our collection.
I found Pinside as my love for the hobby evolved. I met some genuinely great people through this forum in Coz6 and IndyPin. I have been able to play their more advanced collection and discover a whole new genre of pinball thanks to their generosity.
Since then, I have added a Black Hole to my collection and a Grand Lizard to my father’s house.
It a hobby that anyone can truly enjoy and now every holiday or event that is hosted at my house, almost always leads straight to the game room with someone always playing and people talking about how they are going to have to get one now.