(Topic ID: 84183)

Bally EM machines with multiball

By joestro78

7 years ago


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  • 32 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by revrock81
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

A niche I have not seen discussed much are Bally EM machines that have a multiball feature. I have only been fortunate enough to play one (Fireball) but there are other titles that look interesting. Does anyone have opinions as to which titles in this group are the:
Most fun
Not crazy expensive to obtain
Comparatively plentiful

I'm not in the market for a pin right now. But, it is nice to have something to look forward to in the future.

#2 7 years ago

Nip it - 2 ball M/B. Not much fun. Just learn to back hand the left lock hole. shoot, release, repeat. If you think about it, catching the ball with the gator grabber puts it all the way to the bottom of the playfield and you have to try to shoot it back up. Okay reward but takes away 60% of the playfield play.

4 Million BC - 3 ball. I prefer it over Fireball. But suffers from the same back hand lock shot once you learn it. But still fun with the across the playfield skill shot.

Capersville - unique ball walker. Extra reels for each player on back glass. Extremely hard to find (and probably expensive) game in the US.

Balls a Poppin' - inspired Centaur. Not much to do from what I remember other than going multiball.

Haven't had the chance to play: Circus, Star Jet, Mad World, The Wiggler, or Big Valley.

#3 7 years ago

The Wiggler may have the coolest backglass I've ever seen on an EM! And yeah, that skill shot on Four Million BC looks awesome.

#4 7 years ago

After looking at Big Valley, I wonder if Space Time would have been a better game with multiball. Of course, it was probably just about as successful commercially without the feature (and more trouble free for operators).

#5 7 years ago

star jet is a game i have looked for since i got into pinball, 1050 made and have never ever seen one for sale.
3 listed serial# database
1 listed on collectors
of the 4 2 are overseas
I played this as a kid but never saw one after the took it out of the hoagie shop

#6 7 years ago

Do not give up hope on finding a Star Jet, it took me over 10 yrs to find one,
Found it online in Minn, also bought an WMS Apollo (in Twin Cities area),
so shipped both of them to me in Calif., at same time to save on shipping.
Fell in love with Star Jet after playing it at Tim Arnold's PHOF.
It is the 1st EM Multiball (since Balls a Poppin),
though WMS Beat the Clock came out about the same time coincidentally.
But Star Jet is by far the best of the E/M multiball pins, with possible exception of Fireball.

#7 7 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

But Star Jet is by far the best of the E/M multiball pins, with possible exception of Fireball.

I owned a Star Jet. Beautiful pin I kept for a few months until I realized it was very difficult to reach the upper PF (where the lock saucers are) as the middle PF is crowded. On the other hand, releasing the balls is easier - too easy perhaps.

I would consider Fireball as much, much better.

#8 7 years ago

Yep, never give up; took me 18 years to find my grail; a Bally 4 Queens. Well worth the wait.

#9 7 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Yep, never give up; took me 18 years to find my grail; a Bally 4 Queens. Well worth the wait.

What made it a grail for you? Gameplay, art, something else?

#10 7 years ago

Game play. Tough game. Almost impossible to get the four queens lit. And that's with five balls.

#11 7 years ago

Four million B.C. one of the best mulitball in my opinion.
Capersville best of the 60's.
Never liked Nip it, Fireball gives me the idea the machine is playing with me instead of...
Big Valley is nice and the only one with the longer flippers, good bumper action.
The Wiggler, just restoring one, can't give any comments on this one (yet)

It's an other way of playing, using the zipper flippers for placing the ball in the right direction, getting bonus scores for locking and releasing balls.
Really like these games, had a FMBC for over ten years, Capersville a few years, now a Wiggler, they all have a different game and different game rules.
Don't know much about the other games.

1 year later
#12 6 years ago
Quoted from wizardblom:

Big Valley is nice and the only one with the longer flippers, good bumper action.

There is a nice Big Valley available - but I am not sure, if this machine is really. There is not so much to shut for... any thoughts about this multiball machine?

#13 6 years ago

We have all the EM multi-ball games at the Ann Arbor pinball museum. They are not all currently restored but we have a few of them currently in the lineup like fireball and 4 million BC. But one that we have that you won't see anywhere else is gulf stream. It has a two ball multi-ball option, where the electronics were modified to make this an option.

#14 6 years ago

Is "Mad World" considered a multiball game?

#15 6 years ago

I've undergone a change on multiball. When I was a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Now, I think that when you have three balls all active at the same time, it's just mindless batting of the balls on the playfield, with the corresponding loss of the skill aspects of the game.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

I've undergone a change on multiball. When I was a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Now, I think that when you have three balls all active at the same time, it's just mindless batting of the balls on the playfield, with the corresponding loss of the skill aspects of the game.

So?

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

I've undergone a change on multiball. When I was a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Now, I think that when you have three balls all active at the same time, it's just mindless batting of the balls on the playfield, with the corresponding loss of the skill aspects of the game.

On an EM game this might be true, you don't really get much besides novelty. Not to mention you can't score two things at once. EM digital is a different ballgame, I certainly don't consider good multiball play 'mindless batting"

#18 6 years ago

I checked IPDB in an effort to answer my own question, and they erroneously state that "...after several hits on the mushroom bumpers with the second ball, the captured ball is released into play)."
The captured ball is not actually released into play, but returned to the shooter lane. From that point on, I guess it's optional for the player to shoot it into play, or to wait until the ball in play drains, then shoot the extra ball. I never did get mine working properly, so I don't know that if you choose the latter you can push a second ball up into the shooter lane.
Since the captured ball is not automatically put into play, I don't know if the game is a true multiball game. I would think that it is not.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

I checked IPDB in an effort to answer my own question, and they erroneously state that "...after several hits on the mushroom bumpers with the second ball, the captured ball is released into play)."
The captured ball is not actually released into play, but returned to the shooter lane. From that point on, I guess it's optional for the player to shoot it into play, or to wait until the ball in play drains, then shoot the extra ball. I never did get mine working properly, so I don't know that if you choose the latter you can push a second ball up into the shooter lane.
Since the captured ball is not automatically put into play, I don't know if the game is a true multiball game. I would think that it is not.

Okay JR, I have removed the link to Mad World.
Thanks for digging deeper than I did.

#20 6 years ago

I consider mad world multi ball.

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

But one that we have that you won't see anywhere else is gulf stream. It has a two ball multi-ball option, where the electronics were modified to make this an option.

I've played the multi-Gulfstream and it is pretty cool.
Have you published how this was done? are you going to?

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

I checked IPDB in an effort to answer my own question, and they erroneously state that "...after several hits on the mushroom bumpers with the second ball, the captured ball is released into play)."
The captured ball is not actually released into play, but returned to the shooter lane. From that point on, I guess it's optional for the player to shoot it into play, or to wait until the ball in play drains, then shoot the extra ball. I never did get mine working properly, so I don't know that if you choose the latter you can push a second ball up into the shooter lane.
Since the captured ball is not automatically put into play, I don't know if the game is a true multiball game. I would think that it is not.

It could be said that shooting a ball is part of playing a ball but I see your finer distinction of what "into play" means to you and I can update the Mad World text to reflect that the balls are released to the shooter lane (not back onto the playfield). Now, maybe some people believe that that is enough to call it multi-ball while others may believe that multi-ball can only be something that is fully automatic and not involving the player pulling the plunger. There are solid-state games that initiate multi-ball by delivering balls to the shooter lane then auto-plunging them onto the playfield so we know from this that the shooter lane itself should not be excluded from our thinking. Then for example there is Williams 1980 Black Knight's end-of-game Bonus Ball for "unlimited multi-ball" which delivers drained balls to the plunger repeatedly until the timer expires and the player has to shoot them into play to maintain multi-ball.

Our glossary definition of multi-ball is pretty loosey-goosey: "When several balls are in play at one time." In play, as in on the playfield? What did we mean?

Hmm... We may have kept it loose for a reason. Thinking more about this, for the multitude of EM games that came equipped with 5 steel balls resting in a trough under the playfield and visible through a window in the cardholder, how else are players supposed to describe the mode they create when they ball-lift more than one ball to the shooter lane and plunge them into simultaneous play?

I'll look for additional input here before I might re-write anything.

Thanks!

Jay

#23 6 years ago

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure if the design intent was to have more than one ball in play at a time, or was it just a way to award an extra ball. I've never played a fully working "Mad World" machine, so I can't really give an answer based on experience.

#24 6 years ago

Did the Wiggler have the same artist as Capersville? They have a similar art style.

What is the history of multi-ball? Was Bally the first manufacturer to make a multi-ball game? What you are saying about Mad World makes it sound like they inadvertently made a multi-ball machine but from what I've read there were multi-balls before it like Star Jet.

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure if the design intent was to have more than one ball in play at a time, or was it just a way to award an extra ball. I've never played a fully working "Mad World" machine, so I can't really give an answer based on experience.

Yeah, I see what you mean, too. I just read the Bally flyer and this trapped ball is a player-to-player and game-to-game carry-over feature. Maybe someone who owns the game can describe how this trapped ball, once delivered to the shooter lane (and left there by the player), affects the ball-count (during single-player operation) or player-up (during two-player operation) when the active ball drains to the outhole.

After typing that last sentence out, I can almost guess the operation, but I'll wait to see what a knowledgeable player of Mad World might tell us.

#26 6 years ago

Yeah, unfortunately I couldn't get the ball count to work on my game. It sat for a while, then I moved on to another project. Needed room, so I took the game down.

1 month later
#27 6 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Did the Wiggler have the same artist as Capersville? They have a similar art style.
What is the history of multi-ball? Was Bally the first manufacturer to make a multi-ball game? What you are saying about Mad World makes it sound like they inadvertently made a multi-ball machine but from what I've read there were multi-balls before it like Star Jet.

according to IPDB, the art for both was done by Jerry Kelley.

5 months later
#28 5 years ago

To clear the confusion on Mad World..yes,it is a multiball.But very different to the likes of Star-Jet and others.By hitting a certain target allows the locked gate to open in the alley on the right.The ball lodges in the upper step and a second ball can now come into play(remembering you have the old manual ball-lifter).Now,you play the second ball and,if hitting corresponding targets,the first ball will move down the alley to the next step...if successful,it can go all the way to the shooter's lane with the other ball still in play.Now,you have a choice-shoot the ball into play while the other ball is still active or hold that ball and play the other by itself until it drains and then shoot the first ball-the ball count remains.I think my machine may have a fault with the gate as,when the target is hit to allow gate to open,it doesn't lock properly afterwards(supposively when a ball enters the alley,the gate should not re-open)...I'm not complaining as I put 4 balls in it and have played it with 4 balls all on the playfield at the same time(a 4-ball multiball in 1964?!!).I did some research and I think the only other machine that has something like this may be Capersville(but doesn't operate quite like that...kick-out disengage the alley).Someone mentioned Four Million BC from 1971 but not sure about that.I think Bally had two concepts for multiball back then-one like Star-Jet which they continued while the one on Mad World was abandoned.
N.B.-You get bonus points for clearing the alley and returning to the shooter lane-a rollover at the top that scores points,then 4 steps the ball lodges,then another rollover..that one being the big pay-off.Definitely,a totally different machine when running 4 balls(but that wasn't what it was designed for...like I said,not complaining!

#29 5 years ago

Note there was multi-ball as early as 1935. but of the flipper EM games, here's the list. Note only Bally Big Valley uses 3" flippers.

1956 Bally Balls-A-Poppin (2 player, 2" flippers, 9 balls)
1957 Bally Circus (2 player, 2" flippers, 9 balls)
1963 Williams Beat the Clock (1 player, 2" flippers, 2 balls)
1963 Bally Star-Jet (2 player, 2" flippers, 2 or 3 balls)
1964 Bally Mad World (2 player, 2" flippers, 2 balls)
1966 Bally Capersville (4 player, 2" zipper flippers, 3 balls)
1967 Bally Wiggler (4 player, 2" zipper flippers, 3 balls)
1970 Bally Big Valley (4 player, 3" flippers, 3 balls)
1971 Bally Four Million B.C. (4 player, 2" zipper flippers, 2 or 3 balls)
1972 Bally Fireball (4 player, 2" zipper flippers, 2 or 3 balls)
1973 Bally Nip-It (4 player, 2" zipper flippers, 2 balls)

#30 5 years ago

Just adding to last reply....if your second ball drains while the first ball is in the alley,the next player(if playing 2 players)can carry it over.You could see a scenario of having the first ball on the last step before the rollover to the shooter's lane only to lose your second ball...then the next player could maybe pinch it and,hence,get multiball you set up.At the end of a game/games,if a ball is still in the alley it stays there until the next game is operated.So yea...it's a carry-over feature whether you like or not.Technically,someone asked if this machine is a multiball or gives an extra ball.The answer is,strangely,yes to both.You have the choice of playing it either way...2 balls(or in my case 4 balls)at the same time or one ball and,when that drains,the other straight after.Are there any other games that give multiball and extra ball before SS's?I can't think of any....a pretty clever concept back then,I think.

1 week later
#31 5 years ago

Capersville has the same 4-step captive ball area and its called the "Deep 4 Caper Gate" It's open when there is no captive ball already in this area or in one of the kickout holes. When you enter the Deep 4 Caper Alley the ball stops at the first of four steps and the gate to it closes. The ball is then moved down to the next step and is visible thru the windows in the plastic over that area when the white mushroom bumper is tapped. After moving the ball down the four steps the ball exits to the plunger Lane. It's up to the player to shoot it when he wants. Really cool feature.
A ball in the Caper Gate or balls in the kickouts carry over from player to player and game to game.

MULTIBALL:
The game has two different versions of multi-ball play. If you have a ball locked in the Deep 4 Alley, the two Kick-Out-Holes will simply kick the ball back into play without scoring any points. If the
Deep 4 Alley is empty then the two Kick-Out-Holes will capture balls for multi-ball play and the gate to the Deep 4 Alley will close. In other words both the Deep 4 Alley and the two Kick-Out-Holes will trap balls for multi-ball play but if one is active the other is not. As for releasing the trapped balls you would have to hit the White Mushroom Bumper near the Deep 4 Alley. For balls trapped in the Kick-Out-Holes the mushroom bumper will simply release them into play. For a ball trapped in the Deep 4 Alley, each time you tap the White Mushroom Bumper the ball will move down one step. After four hits the ball will exit the Deep 4 Alley and be returned to the Plunger Lane.
Depending on what's going on, multiball can be with either 2 or 3 balls.

1 month later
#32 5 years ago

The Wiggler was supposed to be at Allentown Pinfest, but SOLD days before. I really wanted to see and play!

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