Written by SealClubber, published March 17th, 2010. 1 comment(s).
It's weird. The night before I purchased my Indiana Jones I had a dream where I was in some old lady's basement doing repairs. What kind I don't know as I'm not a repairman but it was a dream after all. Anyway, the important part of the dream is there was a pinball machine sitting in the corner of the basement, covered, dusty and unused. Upon removing the tarp there sat an A list game in pristine condition. In the dream the machine morphed from MB to TZ to MM to TAF but that didn't matter. So I walk up to the old lady and inquire about the old pinball machine in the basement. Turns out this was her late husband's favorite pinball machine. After much talk about how much I love pinball and it's my biggest hobby and how well I take care of my pins she finally relents and agrees to sell it for $1500. I assure her it's going to a good home and after all, that's what old Earl would want.
Then I woke up, disappointed.
The next morning I check the local classifieds for pins and nothing. At lunch I check them again and there is an Indiana Jones machine in working condition selling for $1200. WHAT! $1200? That can't be right. So I first reply to the ad by email "I would like to come take a look at it." But then I realized, this is a deal I can't pass up. Even if it needs work, it's still worth it. So I call the guy about 3 times and leave messages, "I want the machine sight unseen." About 15 minutes later the guy calls back and says ok. The problem is, in a few hours I will be flying out of town for a couple of days and can't pick it up until Sunday. "Please don't sell it." I say. "I will definitely be there Sunday with cash in hand." Then I call my wife and tell her about how great a deal this is, it's normally worth about $3000, I'll sell my Meteor (There's only room for 3 pins in my house). She relents. WOO HOO!
The weekend goes by and I check the classifieds and the ad is still there. This is both good news and bad. Good in that I am pretty sure he hasn't sold it yet and bad in that someone else could outbid me. My ulcers were keeping me up all weekend; all I could think about was that darn machine. Finally Sunday arrives and I get off the plane, call the guy and he still has it. I drive on over with two of my other buddies to pick it up and man, the house was HUGE, about 11000 sq feet. Apparently this was the guy's vacation home, he was foreclosing on it and was selling as much as he could so he didn't have to ship it back to the lower 48. He also had 6 arcade games for sale at real low prices but I don't have room for them. My buddy picked up two though. $1200 for a top rated game, it seems my dream did come true.
Anyway, the IJ was working except the DMD was outgassed. The playfield and cabinet was in good shape but dirty as hell. It was clear this machine was rarely used. Getting this pin down the stairs and into the truck was a task. This thing is heavy. And since it is a widebody, I had to take it apart to get it into my basement. I could strangle whoever installed that narrow sliding glass door. I then set about the task of troubleshooting, repairing and cleaning my prize. The brass wireforms were a real PITA to polish.
I replaced the DMD, updated the EPROMS, rebuilt the flippers, replaced the balls and rubber, couple of lamp sockets, one switch, bumper caps and lane guides. I also put in new drop targets with decals. Unfortunately these "replacements" are too long and stick above the playfield so now I have to search for NOS drops. I also installed the lost plastic, cliffy protectors, target decals and the lighted speaker panel mod. All told I probably spent about $1700 for this awesome game.
This game is fun. The artwork is great and I especially like the color scheme. Most pins are either blue or black these days. The orange and yellow really stands out in a line up. It has some funny quotes, fun video modes, cool graphics on the DMD and a great soundtrack. It also has a bunch of different modes and the 6 ball mutliball is crazy. The mini playfield is both cool and frustrating (I have yet to get that extra ball). I do have several gripes with the playfield layout which prevent me from giving it a solid 10. No skill shot (I don't like auto plungers even if the gun is cool), the left ramp doesn't have much to do, the ball routinely bounces out of the mode hole, and the ball rolls real slow off the left of the bumpers into the left orbit. These are minor though as the rest of the package is awesome. I am so happy to have one of the Williams Classics in my collection and will definitely be keeping this one.
My favorite quote. "Dis is how ve say goodbye in Germony." SMACK!
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