(Topic ID: 41796)

ATTENTION PLEASE! You say TOTAN sucks, then tell my why!!!!


By PinballMikeD

6 years ago



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#1 6 years ago

I'm considering this for a PROC project. If you love TOTAN great, if you don't tell my why. Who knows your input might get incorporated if the project comes to fruition.

Based on the recent “TOP 10 Overrated Thread” it appears this is the machine that most folks voted for (including myself, although I own the machine). So, my question is this: What would you do differently if you could reprogram the game? You can’t change the playfield layout in any way, just the software. I can think of a few things, but I’m interested to see what you guys come up with.

#2 6 years ago

I really love the game as is - partly for nostalgic reasons but also because it is unique, straightforward and simply fun to play. Too bad it's getting bashed so much in the "overrated" thread. The use of the sitar in counting down the lamp spins at the end of each ball is in my opinion the best "end of ball" sequence out there -- as is the end of game animation after beating the genie.

But back on topic -- a couple things I would add:

1. Make Harem multiball easier to get (maybe two letters awarded when hitting the left orbit while in lightning lamp?) and add it as one of the Bazaar awards. I find it easier to beat the genie than to get Harem multiball.

2. Enable a setting to disable jewel wishes or require two/three wishes to get a jewel.

3. Require more than one hit (at least 5?) to the orbs before being able to collect the cyclops jewel.

4. Require more than hit (at least 10?) to the pops before being able to collect the sinbad jewel.

5. Successfully throw a fireball at the genie in order to light start tale.

#3 6 years ago

6. do something about the pointless skillshot.

#4 6 years ago

Did not see the other thread.I love the game. After a pin party with a few guys that never had a chance to "really" play the game they loved it also.

The one thing I told them was that is they owned it, it would get a little easy. Mostley because of the Wish & Ruby. You could pretty much skip the difficult gems.

So software changes for me would be to make you play more modes. Skip a max of two gems. Use the Bazzar scoop to run some other type of modes like the ones burried in creech.

There can be a lot of neat flow in that game. With only one ramp it feels like two or three. Use this to setup some interesting combo shots.

And nudity. There should always be nudity.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from S37VEN:

1. Make Harem multiball easier to get (maybe two letters awarded when hitting the left orbit while in lightning lamp?) and add it as one of the Bazaar awards. I find it easier to beat the genie than to get Harem multiball.

There's a Harem multiball? Heading to the gameroom now!

#6 6 years ago

Who cares if people think it sucks, lets let this price dropping hate continue!

$3000 mint TOTAN FTW!

#7 6 years ago

When I owned it we had a self-enforced rule that you could not wish yourself the gems (modes). It ruins the game. Also, I don't like being locked in a mode ball-to-ball until you finish it. If you drain while in a mode clear it out and make the player have to qualify it again to start it.

Quoted from S37VEN:

3. Require more than one hit (at least 5?) to the orbs before being able to collect the cyclops jewel.

4. Require more than hit (at least 10?) to the pops before being able to collect the sinbad jewel.

It already does this...did you set yours to easy?

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from jkdblaze:

There's a Harem multiball?

Sure is. You need to hit the left orbit in order to light each of the HAREM letters. When all letters are lit shoot into the Harem (where the multiballs get locked up) to begin. You can also activate it by getting 3 harem sneak-ins. Score a sneak-in by shooting the ball, via a weak left orbit shot or lucky bounce from the pop bumpers, into the trough behind the genie. It's a 2 ball multiball mode where everything on the playfield scores the Harem Jackpot which begins at 10k. You can boost the harem jackpot in the pop bumpers.

I read somewhere that Harem multiball can be started (only by sneak-ins?) while battling the genie which could lead to enormous scores since this mode is theoretically endless.

It is worth noting that you can't light harem letters when: (1) the left tiger loop is lit, (2) you are in a tale that requires a left orbit shot (e.g., sinbad), or (3) when the left lock is lit.

After writing this, at least this aspect of the game doesn't seem all that shallow and it certainly isn't easy.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

6. do something about the pointless skillshot.

The skill shot isn't pointless. It's awesome. It's a two stage skill shot. The first has to be made in order to qualify for the super which is the ramp.

Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Based on the recent “TOP 10 Overrated Thread” it appears this is the machine that most folks voted for (including myself, although I own the machine). So, my question is this: What would you do differently if you could reprogram the game? You can’t change the playfield layout in any way, just the software. I can think of a few things, but I’m interested to see what you guys come up with.

This game does not suck. It's in the top 10. A few people might think its overrated but that doesn't equate to "it sucks". If it sucks so bad, why aren't they all for sale? Many people think twilight zone sucks.

TOTAN is a very unique game. It's the only one I know of that's truly a quest that can be completed and plays out as one. The game is hard until you figure it out.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

It already does this...did you set yours to easy?

I don't see this feature in the adjustments menu or in the manual. Would be psyched to up the difficulty on these two. Please advise!

***EDIT: From the IPDB Rule Sheet:

Sinbad (and the Rocs)
Each bumper hit will smash one Roc (a bird of unusual size), sending feathers flying all over the display and making a very satisfying sound effect. You only need to hit one bumper to light the Jewel, the additional Rocs are just for fun (and points)!

Cyclops
Hit one of the Captive Balls, or land in the saucer next to the left Captive Ball, to launch an Orb at the Cyclops and hit him in the head with it (ouch!). Like the Rocs, you only need to do this once, but it will remain lit so you can get extra points from it. The points for hitting each Cyclops advance with each Cyclops hit during the mode: starting at 10K, they increase by 10K each time (to 20K, 30K, etc.).

#11 6 years ago

I actually love the game but given the choices It would have been the last in the top ten for me. Still great game.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

Who cares if people think it sucks, lets let this price dropping hate continue!
$3000 mint TOTAN FTW!

I heard ST:TNG, TZ and LOTR were overrated too. If anyone's realizing this and wants to unload, let me know.

#13 6 years ago

I don't think saying that it's overrated where you had to pick at least one game is the same as saying that it sucks...

#14 6 years ago

The scoring always felt really unbalanced to me. Some of the modes are really low scoring, compared to the lightening lamp for example. The best strategy then is just to concentrate on lamp spins, and picking up jewels via harem. Lots of lamp spins also racks up the bonus score.

I would not have lamp spins carry through between end of ball bonus.

#15 6 years ago

I think some of the things that people don't like about the game need to be better thought out.

Personally, I believe that battle the Genie would be much better if it had a timer on it and rather than a two stage high scoring mode, set it up so that the timer could be extended with certain shots or sequences. Example. Hitting a captive ball could add 1 second to your timer. Hitting two captive balls in quick succession and then a ramp shot could add 3-5 seconds. When the timer zeros out... the balls drain and your battle score is added up. Bonus for reaching a certain amount of hits/score/extra seconds to stuff the genie in the bottle. Some of the modes are gimmes and need to be thought out better. 1 hit to the captive ball and the mode is pretty much done? (In Cartman-speak) Weak!

What this game REALLY needed was play testing. Most of JPop's games seem to be an exercise in mental masturbation (OOOooooooohhh... Don't you understand? I'm an ARTIST!) as compared to WCS when the great Larry DeMar was cleaning up shop with the design and ruleset that gave you well defined "goals" that were easy to understand, but rarely able to complete. When JPop works with Lyman or KJ, then you have my attention. Until then... I'm more than happy to beat Germany in the World Cup. As a side note... WCS '94 has been in either the A, B, C, Doubles or Juniors bank in the qualifiers PAPA nearly every single year since, well... 1994. It's a damn fine skills game.

Moral of the story is... A great designer needs a great programmer to make sure the rules of the game meet the craft of the rest of the design. Out of all of JPop's designs: CV (and I really like CV!), SW:ep1, ToM, TotAn and WCS. WCS is the only one that I'd consider a true player.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from Caucasian2Step:

Personally, I believe that battle the Genie would be much better

No doubt there. People always call out TOM finale` But I think I've at least failed that one. TOTAN not so much.

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

The skill shot isn't pointless. It's awesome. It's a two stage skill shot. The first has to be made in order to qualify for the super which is the ramp.

This game does not suck. It's in the top 10. A few people might think its overrated but that doesn't equate to "it sucks". If it sucks so bad, why aren't they all for sale? Many people think Twilight Zone sucks.
TOTAN is a very unique game. It's the only one I know of that's truly a quest that can be completed and plays out as one. The game is hard until you figure it out.

Never said it sucks, hence the question mark in the title of the thread. My point is this, people complain about the game, so what would these folks like to see changed in the code. I did vote this machine as overrated, but I must have bought it for a reason

I've often thought about putting a PROC in my machine and playing around with the rule set. I wouldn't change the music or DMD animations, just tweak the code. That's why I'm interested to see what people think could be improved.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Caucasian2Step:

Out of all of JPop's designs: CV (and I really like CV!), SW:ep1, ToM, TotAn and WCS. WCS is the only one that I'd consider a true player.

I absolutely agree with this and great music on that pin too

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from S37VEN:

I don't see this feature in the adjustments menu or in the manual. Would be psyched to up the difficulty on these two. Please advise!

Hmmm, I stand corrected. I HAS been a few years since I've owned one...I guess I just went for the extra "fun" hits!

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from Chitownpinball:

Who cares if people think it sucks, lets let this price dropping hate continue!
$3000 mint TOTAN FTW!

I'm liquidating mine for pennies on the dollar, before I get stuck paying someone to haul this junk away. I suggest others do the same!

#21 6 years ago

Just made the connection that some people voted it one of the most overrated, but didn't know there was a harem multiball. I gotta keep preaching, you simply can't rate a game if you don't fully know it. Makes it pretty tough, especially when you comment things like "game is too shallow etc", when you haven't beaten it all

Also, you can't say TOTAN sucks, it just was the least popular in that poll of the top 10's, with some hilarious comments and reasons.

#22 6 years ago

I think if they had motorized that genie lamp and given it some kick,
it might have been a little more interesting.

#23 6 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

harlem multiball.

Sounds like fun!

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from jkdblaze:

Sounds like fun!

Sounds dangerous

#25 6 years ago

First off it needs two to three times as many modes per jewel. So that each jewel has a random mode that starts when you are trying to collect that jewel. So instead of always getting 'Camel Race' for whatever color jewel, you get one of three. So the Camel Race, Escape the City Watch, or Cross the River, could potentially be the mode that lights that jewel. It always keeps you on your toes and provides some variety. No two games will ever be the same.

The game needs some mini-wizard modes. Maybe change the cyclops battle to a boss battle when you reach three or four jewels. Or have the genie show up and you fight him off and realize that your sword isn't powerful enough yet to kill him, so you need more jewels. And of course those mini-wizard modes would be random every game.

Make finishing each mode for jewels harder. Not just "make one hit on the bumper" and then "collect jewel with ramp shot". And of course remove the "Make a Wish" jewel collect. It should be as difficult or more difficult than completing each mode for Monster Bash in my opinion.

The Bazaar needs to have more awards. Maybe some Troll Bombs for the modes. Or toss a second ball into play the next time you start a mode.

More multi-ball modes. Can never go wrong with more multi-ball.

More to the skill shot. You have the three snakes. Then the ramp. Instead it should be snakes, then a randomly chosen shot that the right flipper can make. Or the super skill shot keeps the ramp lit for a special award that you can loop over and over until you miss the shot. Hitting ten in a row or whatever starts a multi-ball mode.

#26 6 years ago

Any game where not finishing the wizard mode is more lucrative there is something wrong. Eliminate the jewels from the scoop as someone mentioned above. It's not a horrible game but is most likely in the top 10 mostly on looks alone. It sure is a great looking game! As a Player though it falls well short of the top 10 IMO.

#27 6 years ago

I wouldn't have a woman nagging me the whole time I play the game. When I'm not playing well she does not help. Also there should be a hard setting that dosen't let you buy jewels

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from jkdblaze:

Sounds like fun!

lol oops! Phone auto corrected fixed

#30 6 years ago

I think everyone is in agreement that the jewels/modes shouldn't be collected via a wish. I'd liked to see more specific ideas for modes or other game features.

For example, I really like the cyclops MB idea listed above, was thinking something similar myself. My idea for that jewel/mode was to have a 2 ball MB in which you battle the cyclops (similar to the villains in Xmen); you'd collect stones by shooting the ramp and then have to throw the stones at the cyclops by hitting either captive ball. You'd have to make a certain amount of shots to both captive balls to complete the mode. You'd have a health meter that is based on a timer and the cyclops would have one that is diminished based on orb shots. You could collect more time via the pop bumpers or something like that. Once you time out the flippers go dead, you either beat the mode or you have to start all over.

You guys could also list more basic ideas as well. For example, how about spinning the lamp 15 times to lit modes at the genie? Then you have to make a ramp shot (collecting a fire ball) and shot the genie to start a mode within "x" amount of time. Then while the genie is holding the ball you can select which mode you want to play using the flipper buttons.

#31 6 years ago

Sometimes a game is more then just how it plays. TOTAN is one of the best looking machines ever made IMHO. It earned quite well, due to its attractive looks, and gameplay is actually quite good. The SW has bugs though, that allow you to get high scores for cheap, but if you pretend that doesnt exist, then you find more appreciation for the game.

TOTAN has more then one way to get a good score, and this is something that, in my mind at least, makes it a game worthy of its position. Not to mention it has great story arches and intense multiball play.

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

I've often thought about putting a PROC in my machine and playing around with the rule set. I wouldn't change the music or DMD animations, just tweak the code. That's why I'm interested to see what people think could be improved.

Just remember that if you put a P-ROC in, you have nothing. If you want the original game back, you have to write it from scratch. It's not like reverse engineering something where you're making small changes to something that exists; you have to write everything you want it to do.

Not that I would discourage that kind of effort, I had a blast doing CCC.

#33 6 years ago

Whatever, love me my TOTAN. Is it my favorite pin, no. Does it suck? Hell no.

#34 6 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Just remember that if you put a P-ROC in, you have nothing. If you want the original game back, you have to write it from scratch. It's not like reverse engineering something where you're making small changes to something that exists; you have to write everything you want it to do.
Not that I would discourage that kind of effort, I had a blast doing CCC.

Yeah, I know it wouldn't be easy that's for sure. I just think it would be fun (at least at first). Your CC stuff, what I've seen anyway, is really cool. If/when I do a PROC I'll certainly have some questions for you.

#35 6 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

When I owned it we had a self-enforced rule that you could not wish yourself the gems (modes). It ruins the game. Also, I don't like being locked in a mode ball-to-ball until you finish it. If you drain while in a mode clear it out and make the player have to qualify it again to start it.

Wishing the Gems is what makes it so (too) easy to get to the (disappointing) Wizard Mode:

Quoted from smassa:

Any game where not finishing the wizard mode is more lucrative there is something wrong. Eliminate the jewels from the scoop as someone mentioned above. It's not a horrible game but is most likely in the top 10 mostly on looks alone. It sure is a great looking game! As a Player though it falls well short of the top 10 IMO.

Yep.

http://papa.org/blog/2011/02/genies-harems-dont-mix/

Quoted from markmon:

This game does not suck. It's in the top 10. A few people might think its overrated but that doesn't equate to "it sucks". If it sucks so bad, why aren't they all for sale? Many people think Twilight Zone sucks.
TOTAN is a very unique game. It's the only one I know of that's truly a quest that can be completed and plays out as one. The game is hard until you figure it out.

A few people think it's overrated? Well, 96 people who took the time to vote in the poll (at last count) to be exact.

But I agree, being voted the most overrated pin in the Top 10 does not equate to the pin "sucking". There are certain things about it that are lacking as pointed out above. Despite being highly overrated, I'd still like to own one. For awhile, anyway. But not at current pricing.

#36 6 years ago

Jewels are handed out like candy. Too easy to get to the boring final. I love the look of it, and it's fun here and there for me.

#37 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Wishing the Gems is what makes it so (too) easy to get to the (disappointing) Wizard Mode:

lol we both wrote almost the exact same thing at the same time.

#38 6 years ago

TOTAN is so beautiful who cares if it sucks??

#39 6 years ago

TOTAN is my favorite! I never select a jewel during wish, and this alone makes the game much more challenging. I enjoy racking up lamp spins as high as I can so the end of ball spin count takes forever. Add 3x lamp scoring after racking them up and you can get some giant scores.

Getting more than 5 jackpots during multiball is tough and rewarding, only because it takes a lot of skill and accuracy.

I can go on and on... Bottom line, this game is a masterpiece beyond the looks of it!

#40 6 years ago

TOTAN is what got me into pinball and I still love it!!!

#41 6 years ago

Yeah the rules aren't very deep, but if I ever spent "stupid money" on a game TOTAN would be right behind AFM, and certainly before MB or MM.

#42 6 years ago

It would probably be better to name this thread: Ideas to improve TotAn. Now I'll be the first to call myself critical of this deck. I will also be the first to admit that standing next to most DE/ Sega games of the same vintage, I'll choose to play TotAn.

To me she's (TotAn is) like the stunning, yet vapid cheerleader in high school. She looks great, behaves in strange ways that people can't explain, but because she's gorgeous... her behavior is tolerated. As you get to know her better, the way she acts becomes less and less tolerable, unless you just aren't that critical of her because she's hot. Eventually she loses her good looks as time marches on, raises a small army of cats, sleeps alone, and wonders why.

Moral of the story... Don't do dumb chicks or pinball games! Fortunately, there may be help for this pin-table... Calling mystery programmer!

#43 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

The skill shot isn't pointless. It's awesome. It's a two stage skill shot. The first has to be made in order to qualify for the super which is the ramp.

yeah i know, and the super is worth like a measley 125k points or something. pointless.

#44 6 years ago

Caucasion2step - you crack me up. I'm glad you have started posting more. I've enjoyed your reviews here and on IPBD for a long time. Your posts are even better! Keep it up.

#45 6 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

Caucasion2step - you crack me up. I'm glad you have started posting more. I've enjoyed your reviews here and on IPBD for a long time. Your posts are even better! Keep it up.

Agreed. I just wish he'd play the new Data East Star Wars 20th Anniversary version and then update his low Star Wars rating that he posted before the new code was available.

#46 6 years ago

One of my favourites of all time... Most of the people that dog it want one or have never owned one. Because they are hard to get. They go straight away when they come up for sale. Only 2 on ebay in 15 months UK.

I got my minter from Germany was worth every mile of the trip from the UK..

#47 6 years ago

If only the hot cheerleader would stand idly by, looking hot, but waiting to be played with. In the meantime, you're spending most of your time with the deeper, more intellectual types who also could care less that the hot cheerleader gets called from the bench from time to time.

I love my TOTAN... when I'm in the mood. I don't think I'd want it in a 1 pin collection, though.

#48 6 years ago

How about a Super Jackpot in multiball? When i bought the game new back in the day, i emailed Louis (Koziarz) and asked him why Multiball did not have a Super Jackpot, He replied, there was not an insert for it???? I replied, what about the Hidden Treasures target that does absolutely nothing. That would be a great Super Jackpot as it's a hard shot to make. No reply. No Good Gofers has a Super Jackpot into the hole in one that is not marked Super Jackpot. I would love to see one added.

#49 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

I think everyone is in agreement that the jewels/modes shouldn't be collected via a wish.

No not everyone. I'll disagree. I really like the strategy here. You can either go after the event genie by battling his modes or you can rub your lamp and collect the jewels that way. It fits the premise of the game perfectly.

The game is not too easy or anything. I have people over often and hardly ever does anyone rescue the princess. The ball times are short.

#50 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

No not everyone. I'll disagree. I really like the strategy here. You can either go after the event genie by battling his modes or you can rub your lamp and collect the jewels that way. It fits the premise of the game perfectly.
The game is not too easy or anything. I have people over often and hardly ever does anyone rescue the princess. The ball times are short.

But you're usually so agreeable

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