Quoted from bobukcat:
I've played the VE quite a bit and don't remember ever seeing any kind of flashing villain inserts, they just go solid on once you complete the first mode for each. It is possible it's a setting but I don't think it is. See the 9:00 mark of this video for how they light as you complete the first mode:
Check Feature Adjustment #49
I don't see any blinking on that video...So as you say it's far more likely set to the alternative: dim, but the dimming isn't at all obvious due to the way SAM drives LEDs and the specific Stern factory LED characteristics when driven at low levels. I think they also add a little pair of matrix terminator boards on the SAM boards (bottom left of the left PCB in the backbox - the insert lights come out of these) to reduce LED ghosting, which makes it even worse! so instead of any dimming, we just see it go on or off.
On the original Spiderman the levels are described as:
Villain Level 0 - Off
Villain Level 1 - B2 & B3
Villain Level 2 - B5 & B6
Villain Level 3 - B8
which translates nicely for Herg's guidance at the very bottom of this page: http://www.ledocd.com/usage_led.html
If i had a VE (i have an original), i'd either set FA#49 to Blink for the quick/cheap fix, OR set it to Dimming AND use the OCD board (without the matrix terminator boards).
All that for a really subtle feature
Still a great game.