(Topic ID: 108190)

What are your top 5 early 80s pins?


By Aurich

5 years ago



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There are 219 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.
#1 5 years ago

I was playing at league tonight, and had the pleasure of playing a nice row of 80s games (thanks Jim!). Not pictured here is the Stargazer to the right:

image.jpg

It was a nice change of pace, I've really only been playing either modern games or EMs lately. Metallica or Abra Ca Dabra, Star Trek or Royal Flush. It was cool to sort of get a middle ground from what I'm used to playing. They really bridged the worlds, would round out my collection.

I thought might sell my Scared Stiff, pick up a fun 80s game, and put the difference into my Big Lewboski pre-order. Or maybe a trade + cash, whatever comes up. Or just buy one and keep Scared Stiff for now! See how it goes. That gives me a pretty flexible budget, so I can afford a nice example or a restored one if the right game comes along. Not up for doing another restore right now, I don't have the bandwidth.

I still need to find a Medusa to play, and Fathom. Centaur is of course great, Flash Gordon was a lot of fun too. Mystic was cool, maybe slightly less interesting in theme and presentation, but the gameplay was pretty solid. I dunno that I really want a widebody, but I do like Scorpion.

I'd love to hear what other people like. It doesn't have to be five, or in any order, people just seem to like making lists, so I figured it was the right way to ask.

#2 5 years ago

Sorcerer is a pretty damn fun 80's game. Flash Gordon is the best of the bunch that you are talking about. I love my Centaur, but I am about ready to part with it, Great art, and game, but the lastability isn't really there with me.

#3 5 years ago

I love my Flash Gordon and I am starting to really enjoy Silverball Mania.

#4 5 years ago

You're sort of talking early 80s pins there I guess. So discounting Sys11 (86 upwards...)

Bally Black Pyramid is cool
Centaur and Fathom you mentioned
I like Future Spa and Paragon but they're late 70s
Solar Fire, Jungle Lord, Pharoah, Black Knight are all cool

So many cool pins from that era ... And with the exeption of Centaur and Fathom, most are sub $1200.

Good times!

rd.

#5 5 years ago

Black Knight and Black Knight 2000 are fun 80s games. Earthshaker, Cyclone, Medusa, Gorgar (oops 70s.) and some others as well.

Edit- I almost forgot Grand Lizard.

#6 5 years ago

I just bought an EBD and like it, though it doesn't have any sound at the moment.

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

You're sort of talking early 80s pins there I guess. So discounting Sys11 (86 upwards...)

Yeah, I should have made that more clear, thanks for pointing that out, edited the title. I have an EATPM, definitely talking early 80s, not System 11.

#8 5 years ago

I'd consider late 70s too I guess, no point in being too arbitrary about the decade.

#9 5 years ago

As long as Gorgar can be included.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from Squeakman:

Sorcerer is a pretty damn fun 80's game.

It's a fun game, and beautiful art and theme, I wish the sound didn't grate on me so much. Not a big fan of that looping background sound.

Quoted from Squeakman:

Flash Gordon is the best of the bunch that you are talking about. I love my Centaur, but I am about ready to part with it, Great art, and game, but the lastability isn't really there with me.

I really enjoyed Flash Gordon, it was fast and fun, and the multilevel part was cool. I like that mini flipper shot up top, you've really got to pay attention and be ready to take advantage of it.

I'd definitely put it on the list. With these old games it's usually about what you find, not what you want, so you never know.

#11 5 years ago

My top 5 list from the 80's would involve:

- A generation 2 Zaccaria (Pinball Champ, Locomotion, Farfalla)
- A multilevel game (Blackhole)
- A widebody (BH again... or Paragon / Embryon)
- Medusa
- Centaur

#12 5 years ago

Could not part with my EBD.Taking the ute to view a Fathom that's for sale next week.

#13 5 years ago

1. Black Hole
2. Centaur
3. Fathom
4. Black Knight
5. Barracora

note: I have not played much zaccaria or game plan.

-mof

#14 5 years ago

I like multiball. And diversity.

Firepower
Fathom
Haunted House (modded for multiball)
Cyclopes

viperrwk

#15 5 years ago

Love my Genie

#17 5 years ago

1) Flash Gordon
.
.
.
2) Paragon
3) Black Hole
4) Centaur
5) Sinbad

For fans of fantasy/sci-fi themes, nothing tops the art packages of the late 70s to early 80s machines. Nothing even comes close.

#18 5 years ago

hey aurich,

beware! you are about the add one more level of addiction
there is super great stuff in this era of pinball. i quote my post from the above mentioned thread... still valid...

and like kevin also wrote... only ten? ah five?

1. Fathom - "the pride of creation"; two inline drop target banks with a kick out hole to lock balls... and on top they can be remotely "controlled" by another drop target bank. Then there is a spinner, which can give huge points, especially when lit during a two or three ball multiball. Furthermore a "hurry up" extra ball shot after shooting on another drop target bank in 1-2-3 order. One more thing to mention - a very nice "satisfying" combo... left flipper - cave trap drops, upper right flipper lagoon cave drops (or kick out hole)... (now I have to stop )

I am pretty sure that this machine was only possible because of the huge commercial success of machine like Harlem Globetrotters, Kiss, Star Trek, etc. one or two years before - but okay that's another story!

2. Eight Ball Deluxe - maybe the best single ball machine on this planet. Beside the layout there is a nearly perfect ruleset.

3. Centaur - the most unique and innovative pinball of all time (my personal opinion). Self ejecting (up to 5!) multiball, echo board for even improving the super cool sound, captive ball for inline drop targets, magnet which holds the ball, "hurry up" (multiplier) bonus collect shot and some say the best (at least coolest) artwork ever... Only my personal number 3 because of the not perfect ruleset - but still it is very good. I also miss a spinner or playfield multiplier.

4. Flash Gordon - hey, you need skills and a plan to have fun (and points) with this machine. And that's exactly why I love it! The artwork is also very nice - it is a shame, that nearly cabinets are totally faded. It looks great in original red. That's the only multilevel design I really like.

5. Star Gazer - a unique design (in the usual sling area), the best spinners in pinball history. Nice rule integration for the middle spinner and the drop target right beside. I also love the way a lot of early Sterns redirect the ball.

So now it is getting hard to find an order

6. - 9. (alphabetically )

Future Spa - complex layout, nice ruleset, super fun to play

Harlem Globetrotters - one of the best players, a true battle machine in competition but compared to the top 5 it lacks of features

Paragon - which pinball machine has Golden Cliffs, a Valley of Demons, a Beast's Lair and a Waterfall Lane. It must have been a lot of fun to design this pinball. In terms of details and artwork a top 5 machine. And it has one of the toughest shots ever - the kick out hole (5x/extraball) which is protected by a little plastic which denies clear "perfect" shots.

Seawitch - turn it on and you will the sound of waves, how cool is that ? A superfast player, nice integration of the drops!

The 10. place - not sure, so the is an incomplete honor roll for other outstanding pinballs

Frontier - "ugly", but a challenging machine with the best "indirect" bonus collect shot.

Viking - a little bit unbalanced, but the absolutely best bonus collect shot - left flipper to the kick out hole on the top left side... sounds easy, but check out the way the ball has to go

Barracora - as you have seen til now only bally/stern... and there could be even more of them... okay Williams did a great job on this machine - design, layout, multiball - fun! Firepower 2 is also close, especially with the drop target upgade.

Black Hole - such an amazing pinball machine. Gottliebs masterpiece - but still, I do not fall in love with the Gottlieb solid states - can't tell why. Maybe first of all because of the way the ball flows on this impressive Sys80 widebody lineup. A friend of mine has a nearly complete Sys80 lineup. That looks so cool having them in a row - but still no greed to get them.

#19 5 years ago

Mine just changed with a vengeance once acquiring and getting to know Spirit. Haunting sounds.

#20 5 years ago

I really don't like multiball games from this era and Paragon and Future Spa are the only classic widebody games i'd ever own again.

Seawitch
Skateball
Flash Gordon
Blackout
Meteor

#21 5 years ago

Space Invaders
Eight Ball Deluxe
Mystic
Black Hole
Nineball

#22 5 years ago

Baby Pacman
Black Hole
Paragon
Time Fantasy
Genie

My least favorite era of pinball, but i do like these games......

#23 5 years ago

I was a teenager in the early 80's and spent most of my time in the arcades. I cound name 5 pins but Black Hole and Black Knight were the 2 stand out games for me

#24 5 years ago

Mr & Ms Pacman
Nitro Groundshaker
Night Rider
Eight Ball Deluxe
Mata Hari

#25 5 years ago

Spirit
Stargazer
Fathom
Centaur
Solar Fire

#26 5 years ago

centaur. 5 times

#27 5 years ago

Granted that while I played a lot in the early '80s, it wasn't on a variety of machines. We had an Alien Poker, Silverball Mania and a Magic in my game room. By far, the Alien Poker got played more than the others.

Something about the voices and ever-increasing pace of the background effects of that just kind of pulled me into the game. I haven't put a game on one in probably 20 years but I know if I found one to play it would be like riding a bike.

I'd love to find a nice one to add to my collection. Hoping for a repro playfield and backglass at some point so I can find a beater and do a resto myself. No way would I part with a Scared Stiff for it though.

#28 5 years ago

I think early solid state Bally games have quickly become my favorite; they have great rule sets, good to great layouts, and by far my favorite art in all of Pinball history.

1. Centaur
2. Eight Ball Deluxe
3. Gamatron (like Flight 2000 but faster)
4. Embryon
5. Black Pyramid

There are TONS of great games from this era, though, including games with two-level playfields if you're into that.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from txx3ddq442:

No way would I part with a Scared Stiff for it though.

Heh. I love my Scared Stiff, but I'm close to running out of space. I haven't actually hit the point where I'm ready to give it up, but if the right pin came along I might. I really like having a variety of styles, don't want a collection that's all the same kinds of games.

Problem is nice examples of the pins everyone is listing here (thanks, big help for narrowing things down) don't show up too often. I'll have to keep my network's eyes open I guess. See what pops up.

#30 5 years ago

Although most have already been mentioned, here are the 5 games that stand out in MY mind as having been more interesting than the others I played, and/or have collected and restored. Unfortunately, a few of them, are well sought after by others and are now way overpriced for what they are.

Spirit (much better overall than Haunted House or Black Hole).
Eight Ball Deluxe (will never leave my collection and still edges out Centaur and Fathom).
Solar Fire (all the other multi-level WMS become boring in short order).
Viking (excellent combination of P/F features and Killer Artwork).
Meteor / Big Game (Tie - my favorite D/T offerings from Early Stern).

Honorable mention: Alien Poker - I love well implemented Drop Targets. Alien Poker utilized unique "in sequence" rules to help challenge your shooting accuracy. The same appears later in the 80s in Laser Que.

#31 5 years ago

Artwise the Bally Games of this Era were unmatched. Truly works of Art.

1) Seawitch
2) Flight 2000
3) Alien Poker
4) Black Hole
5) Eight Ball DLX

#32 5 years ago

In no particular order:

GOTTLIEB
Black Hole
Spirit
Punk
Pink Panther
Counterforce

BALLY
Centaur
Xenon
Spectrum
Fathom
Eight Ball Deluxe

WILLIAMS
Firepower
Black Knight
Cosmic Gunfight
Laser Cue
Joust

STERN
Big Game
Flight 2000
Nine Ball
Iron Maiden
Orbitor 1

Steve

#33 5 years ago

Fathom
Alien poker
Eight ball deluxe
Back hole
Flash Gordon

#34 5 years ago

Medusa
Mars God of War
Quicksilver
Fire Power
Alien Poker

#35 5 years ago

Flash Gordon
Fathom
Centaur
EBD
Taxi

honorable mention Haunted house, Baby Pacman, Blacknight, Firepower, Black hole, High Speed

Genie and Paragon 1979 but pretty solid titles also.

#36 5 years ago

Centaur
Medusa
Flash Gordon
Solar Fire
Fathom

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

1. Black Hole
2. Centaur
3. Fathom
4. Black Knight
5. Barracora
-mof

+ 1

#38 5 years ago

I really need to find a Medusa to play. I love the look of it, but some people say the rules are just too shallow for long term fun, nothing but shoot to the upper playfield and hit the targets, rinse and repeat.

#39 5 years ago

1) Elektra
2) black hole
3) defender
4) algar
5) swords of fury

From what I personally played so far.

#40 5 years ago

As far as I've seen, you really cannot go wrong with this era.

Fathom
Embryon
Big game
Spirit
Spectrum

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I really need to find a Medusa to play. I love the look of it, but some people say the rules are just too shallow for long term fun, nothing but shoot to the upper playfield and hit the targets, rinse and repeat.

That's how I remember mine before I put it in storage. On appearance, you would think it would be a great playing game but it just doesn't play as good as it looks. I think that is why you usually see it rated lower than its cousins: Eight Ball Deluxe, Fathom, and Centaur.

#42 5 years ago

Tons of great games from this era, and people have named most of the ones I like already. But here are a few I have not seen mentioned:

My Favorites:

Williams Solar Fire
Multi-level, tons of drops, momentary magnesave, just one more game effect

Stern Seawitch
simple but addicting, drops, spinner, center drop sweep shot

Stern Nine Ball
Spinner bank shot (into a ball lock), skill shot, tons of drops, mini horshoe, complex rules (for the time period)

Bally Centaur
awesome art, 5 ball multiball, drops, captive ball into inline drops

Williams Blackout
great flow, spinners, and drop targets.

Gottlieb Joker Poker
Simple fun gameplay, lots of drops.

Post edited by gabegabegabe: can't friggin' spell

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from frg:

hey aurich,
beware! you are about the add one more level of addiction
there is super great stuff in this era of pinball. i quote my post from the above mentioned thread... still valid...
and like kevin also wrote... only ten? ah five?
1. Fathom - "the pride of creation"; two inline drop target banks with a kick out hole to lock balls... and on top they can be remotely "controlled" by another drop target bank. Then there is a spinner, which can give huge points, especially when lit during a two or three ball multiball. Furthermore a "hurry up" extra ball shot after shooting on another drop target bank in 1-2-3 order. One more thing to mention - a very nice "satisfying" combo... left flipper - cave trap drops, upper right flipper lagoon cave drops (or kick out hole)... (now I have to stop )
I am pretty sure that this machine was only possible because of the huge commercial success of machine like Harlem Globetrotters, Kiss, Star Trek, etc. one or two years before - but okay that's another story!
2. Eight Ball Deluxe - maybe the best single ball machine on this planet. Beside the layout there is a nearly perfect ruleset.
3. Centaur - the most unique and innovative pinball of all time (my personal opinion). Self ejecting (up to 5!) multiball, echo board for even improving the super cool sound, captive ball for inline drop targets, magnet which holds the ball, "hurry up" (multiplier) bonus collect shot and some say the best (at least coolest) artwork ever... Only my personal number 3 because of the not perfect ruleset - but still it is very good. I also miss a spinner or playfield multiplier.
4. Flash Gordon - hey, you need skills and a plan to have fun (and points) with this machine. And that's exactly why I love it! The artwork is also very nice - it is a shame, that nearly cabinets are totally faded. It looks great in original red. That's the only multilevel design I really like.
5. Star Gazer - a unique design (in the usual sling area), the best spinners in pinball history. Nice rule integration for the middle spinner and the drop target right beside. I also love the way a lot of early Sterns redirect the ball.
So now it is getting hard to find an order
6. - 9. (alphabetically )
Future Spa - complex layout, nice ruleset, super fun to play
Harlem Globetrotters - one of the best players, a true battle machine in competition but compared to the top 5 it lacks of features
Paragon - which pinball machine has Golden Cliffs, a Valley of Demons, a Beast's Lair and a Waterfall Lane. It must have been a lot of fun to design this pinball. In terms of details and artwork a top 5 machine. And it has one of the toughest shots ever - the kick out hole (5x/extraball) which is protected by a little plastic which denies clear "perfect" shots.
Seawitch - turn it on and you will the sound of waves, how cool is that ? A superfast player, nice integration of the drops!
The 10. place - not sure, so the is an incomplete honor roll for other outstanding pinballs
Frontier - "ugly", but a challenging machine with the best "indirect" bonus collect shot.
Viking - a little bit unbalanced, but the absolutely best bonus collect shot - left flipper to the kick out hole on the top left side... sounds easy, but check out the way the ball has to go
Barracora - as you have seen til now only bally/stern... and there could be even more of them... okay Williams did a great job on this machine - design, layout, multiball - fun! Firepower 2 is also close, especially with the drop target upgade.
Black Hole - such an amazing pinball machine. Gottliebs masterpiece - but still, I do not fall in love with the Gottlieb solid states - can't tell why. Maybe first of all because of the way the ball flows on this impressive Sys80 widebody lineup. A friend of mine has a nearly complete Sys80 lineup. That looks so cool having them in a row - but still no greed to get them.

Out of curiosity, what elements of Centaur's ruleset do you not like?

(other than the lack of playfield multiplier like you stated)

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from HunchbackHodler:

Out of curiosity, what elements of Centaur's ruleset do you not like?
(other than the lack of playfield multiplier like you stated)

The bonus holdover is Centaur's biggest drawback for me. There should be a setting to reset bonus every ball.

#45 5 years ago

Space Invaders

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

The bonus holdover is Centaur's biggest drawback for me. There should be a setting to reset bonus every ball.

The Centaur Home Rom take care of the bonus carryover as well as endless "Orbs multiball" amongst other things. This Rom is a must have if you own the game. Here are the changes:

centaur / 27 221008 freeplay:
if dip switch 25 = on and dip switch 26 = on freeplay is enable: decrease credits not lower then 01
coin 3 works now same as coin 2, dip 17 - 20 has new meaning
dip17 = off, flashing 50k and getting 50k for hitting orbs in sequence
dip18 = on , erase bonus after one ball total
dip19 = off, don't give power orb during multiball
if orb targets are out of sequence laught (but only if O was the first target you drop)
Dual target hits for ORBS target enabled (we wait two flashes until we detect an out of sequence error...)... change speech:
When (no multiball is running) or (multiball is running an dip 19 = on) and all ORBS dropped in sequence we say:
"Sequence completed activate Power Orb"
otherwise if all orbs are not dropped in sequence we say "energize power orb"
If multiball is running and all ORBS are droppend in sequence (with dip19 = off) we say "Sequence completed activate Power Orb"
if Multiball is running and all orbs are dropped not in sequence (withdip19 = off) we say "completed"
Installation notes:
read the file readxxx.txt file
create (based on your orignal roms) customs roms

Burn the two files on 2732 eprom
After power on you will see the version number in the player one display.

http://www.pinball4you.ch/okaegi/pro_soft.html

#47 5 years ago

My five:

Flash Gordon (in my mind, the best)
Black Knight (never a favorite of mine, but ground breaking)
Black Hole (again, just so different from everything else, and a looker)
Skateball
Joust

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

The bonus holdover is Centaur's biggest drawback for me. There should be a setting to reset bonus every ball.

Ooooh then you're not going to like Star Gazer. Unless you opt for the alternate code which I believe also changes that the star rollovers at the slings don't award the next zodiac.

#49 5 years ago

It was my favorite as a teenager and I'm very biased. But I'm always amazed on how little love Firepower gets. For a short time, it was listed in the top 100... but it's out again.

#50 5 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Ooooh then you're not going to like Star Gazer. Unless you opt for the alternate code which I believe also changes that the star rollovers at the slings don't award the next zodiac.

Yes, I will use the 09 ROMs for Star Gazer and will have to try the Centaur ROMs too.

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