Pinside rating

This game received 106 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.776 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #129 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.754

Artwork: 8.531

Sounds/Music: 6.322

Other Aspects: 7.74

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 6 of us have rated this game.


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Found 38 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 38 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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45 days ago
I love early 80s Bally Pins. And I love great artwork. So despite this, I've never missed the Medusa I sold - it was alright, but I didn't find the gameplay to really work for me. It felt chopped in half, literally and figuratively. Given what Bally did with Fathom and EBD, or even Frontier, I didn't feel that they really tied to the gameplay to the theme as tightly.

It'd put it under Fathom, Centaur, EBD and Flash Gordon, and just above Frontier. Can't compare it to Xenon, never played that one enough to form an opinion. Of the Bally stablemates from the same era, this is where I think Medusa falls for me.
87 days ago
Medusa is a game that looks much better than it is. The blood red cabinet, back glass, and playfield is striking. And the art is dynamic. The best part of the game is the controllable moving center post below the flippers. The rest of the gameplay is focused entirely on getting the ball into the faux upper playfield and keeping it there. Glad to have sold ours.
7 months ago
Medusa is such an addicting game. The rules are difficult to understand, and not intuitive at all. However, I still love this game and it’s easy to blow it up despite not really understanding the scoring.

It’s just a fantastic classic solid state
1 year ago
Ive seen this out on location in a few places. I've always gravitated to it and when I had the chance to own one I jumped on it. I'm enamored by the backglass and theme. The zipper flippers and they way they add into the game when they close, letting you focus on hitting the drop targets and advancing the Olympus bonus.

The upper and lower parts of the playfield are like two separate worlds.
The drop targets and standing targets synced up make an extra ball.
Skill shot is ridiculously tough and hard to actually hit. Out of all the times I've played it, I think Ive only gotten all them a small handful of times.
Its a game that keeps you coming back for more.
Keep it in the upper part of the playfield for big points

Definitely a great game thats worth owning/playing from the early bally era.
1 year ago
Medusa is a game that I think I just don’t understand. There really must be something I’m missing, because I think that it’s just okay for it’s era.

Artwork is absolutely incredible, though it makes sense for Kevin O’Connor at his peak (Silverball Mania still has better art IMO).

Playfield layout is pretty neat, and is brutally difficult. I love how frustrating it can be, especially with the in/out lanes.

Upper Playfield is a cool concept, especially with Zipper Flippers.

Lighting is great: love the lights in the back later replicated on A Nightmare From Elm Street.

I love any game with a Mini-Kicker in the center.

The incredibly fast speed to this game is very nice.


The skill shot was poorly thought out: maybe don’t use rollovers that have a tendency to fail as a way to detect an incredibly fast moving ball.

Upper playfield and loops leading up to it seem to be the only things of value to go for.

Upper playfield seems somewhat random, kind of makes what could have been a really good game seem just okay.

Sound is to be expected with this era.

Overall, I think I’m missing something with this game. People seem to love it, but I can’t say I think it’s that great.

Edit: this game has grown on me a lot. Loops are really satisfying and make the game a lot better. Rules are also shockingly good after figuring it out, and this is a fantastic single ball game (though the theme has little connection with the game despite the fantastic art package). Scores bumped up.
2 years ago
I love when the upper flippers lock together, and one can then patiently time and pick their shots at the upper drop targets.
2 years ago
Beautiful game with unique features-zipper flippers, shield of the gods ball save, and timed plunge. Great layout and different than most games but way too hard for me. I would have loved to keep this game but it was very frustrating to play unfortunately.
3 years ago
Overall a fun game. No major thrills, but a good time none the less. Tks, classic 80s.
3 years ago
I'm not sure if it's a lack of grasping the rules or the difficulty of playing them to my advantage that makes this games dissapoint somewhat. Although it being one of my grail pins I may have had my Hope's set too high. The zipper flippers are great as well as the whole upper playfield but there really is nothing to shoot at. Just get back up top to earn your bonus and rinse and repeat.

The artwork on this game is stunning. The illuminated flippers and shield of the Gods really set this game apart. I just wish there was more to do.
3 years ago
Incredible game ahead of it’s time with great art work and exceptional game play with a nice layout wish I could obtain one in good condition hard to find.
4 years ago
Brutally difficult game with awesome artwork. There is a lot to do for a game from this era...if you can play long enough to do it.
Easily one of the top "drain monsters" I have ever played.
4 years ago
bought Medusa as my second pin ever, that baby had eveything under the sun, rool overs, spinners, pop bumper, center post kicker, hole kicker, zipper flippers target behind drop target play is slow somewhat but if you understand the ohh man then Medusa reveals its the sounds, has speech too only thing i wish the voice was a female ...and its missing multiball...a real blast..
6 years ago
I like this game immensely despite hating the way it plays some times, and the generally symmetrical layout, because it revels in its oddity.

First off, a classical theme - the legend of Medusa! Complete with hunky drawings of gods, demi-gods, monsters, and heroes of both sexes so it's not sexist per se, just lurid. Did I say lurid? The artwork just gushes all over the playfield. It's a little hard to see, with darker brownish hues, but well worth taking in.

The playfield has upper and lower parts. There's three pop bumpers in the lower section. You access the upper playfield via the plunger (with a timed shot for various skill shot values), but not too hard, as it will bounce out the left side if you go full measure. So the skill shot is a combination of points reward and trying to to lay the ball into the upper playfield. You can also get back to the upper playfield through a center shot up through the bumpers, or via left and right orbits. While the orbits are symmetrical, the left has bonus X advances and the right has progressive points values.

On the right of the lower playfield is a bank of drop targets, and the big scores are made by getting the drop targets down here while getting the mini-drops and saucer value in sequence in the upper playfield. In general you want to get it up the left orbit for bonus X and work the upper playfield as much as possible, but you can't entirely ignore the lower playfield.

The upper playfield's flippers are a throwback - old school two inchers, complete with the old Gottlieb-style lock-together on a timer if you hit the A and B lights on top.

On the bottom is the devious snake-like feature, ugly outlanes with double posts that are like navigating Scylla and Charybdis (just to mix up our mythological tales a bit), plus the bumpers that are major hazards if they get hit from below. The outlanes eat balls incredibly, and if you have a tight tilt it's quite difficult to nudge them back. But it can be done, as an advanced skill, so it's a player's feature in some ways, although you'll be cursing Medusa and her stoney drains fairly certainly.

I tend to dislike symmetry, bad hazard outlanes, and survive-or-die rules sets, yet I like this machine. Go figure.
6 years ago
Medusa's allure is in its challenge. The skill shot requires impeccable timing and reflexes, to the extent that I have rarely, if ever, seen anyone purposely get it. After that, the challenge is to keep the zipper flippers closed (if set to open after a certain amount of time without hitting a drop target), keep the ball from rocketing down the orbits, and aim for the top bank of drop targets and upper-left saucer repeatedly. If and when the ball reaches the lower playfield, the main objective is to avoid draining (obviously) and return the ball to the upper playfield to repeat the drop target bonanza.

This is, admittedly, a bit repetitive in nature, and it is unfortunate that the general consensus is that the lower playfield is barely worth a second glance. This is, of course, with one major exception: the Shield of the Gods. Medusa has a second button behind the flipper button that activates the Shield of the Gods, a vertical kickback feature integrated into the center post. Making saves with this feature is immensely satisfying to do. I have had my Shield gently bump the ball to a flipper, as well come straight down from the top and returned, like a tennis ball, back up to between the upper flippers, and every successful save has made me smile. Activating the Shield is not a desired necessity, as it drains some opportunity for end-of-game bonus, but it does make you feel incredibly skilled for at least a few seconds on a game that can be pretty harrowing, particularly on the outlanes.
6 years ago
Medusa has a deceptively simple layout that challenges the player to pop all the drops possible to rack up the points. The art is fun and caters to fans of the Western mythology. My only complaint about the machine is that there are times when it can get repetitive after the zipper flipper fun is over. Head to Neptune's Cove!

I'd like to have one of these someday, but they seem overpriced for now. Play if you see it, for sure.
6 years ago
I understand why others like this game. Artwork is great. However this is a players pin. Had it for years and my kids absolutely hated it. They simply refused to play it. After awhile I realized I was not playing it either. It actually has a shot that deducts points. Buy this for hardcore pinheads not for family and casual players.
6 years ago
Probably my favorite 80's game, even better than Sorcerer.
7 years ago
This game plays as if it has two playfields and it's fairly brutal, there's no pause in the action whatsoever unless you want to count trying to set up a shot with the closed zipper flippers or the one kickout hole but really they don't do much for respite. Instant fun yes but boy is it hard for me.

In fact because it's so in your face i think this would be a good candidate for a game where i do not mind the absence of multiball in the slightest as i can just picture it leading to even more and swifter drains, also for some reason the emphasis being on timed shots which i normally dislike really makes sense and fits.

Synthesized voice is spooky and the sound effects are good, background hum is functional but otherwise meh.

Cabinet is quite an attractive gold on crimson, playfield is a touch cartoony but it works and looks good and it has very striking backglass.
7 years ago
"Challenge Medusa..."

Another collectible Early Bally on par with EBD, Centaur, Fathom, and Xenon.
One of the few games that included upper level "zipper flippers" in the early SS era.
Outstanding artwork on the playfield and backglass, resulting in both being reproduced for collectors.
Solid game play, but less invigorating than Vector or Fathom in terms of difficulty.
Harder to find overall based on production, but worth the effort.
8 years ago
Great looking game. Fun player. I have played two of these in real nice shape. You should see more of these now that the targets are being reproduced. I hope so as I want one.
8 years ago
This game is amazingly different to my Lost World. It's incredible to think that Bally made this machine 4 years after Lost World and packed as much as humanly possible into the game. I haven't figured out the entire ruleset yet, but it's got so much going on and just reeks of 1981! (in a very good way). I have found it to be quite fun with the upper playfield and the extended time option is great! Not to mention the Shield of the Gods feature which has saved a great many drains. I popped in some color changing LEDs behind Medusa's eyes and it looks great to see some color shifting there. Although, I think I'm going to swap out for red LEDs since my color changers get out of sync after awhile. Overall, an awesome game from the early 80s!
9 years ago
In my youth, I spent a lot of time and money on Madusa. Now I want to buy an old lady in good condition for my own exclusive use.
9 years ago
Medusa is one of my all time favourite pins, in fact, I'd have to say its in my top 5 pinball games of all time!
I was born in 78, Medusa came out in 81 when I was 3yrs old. I discovered this game at age 36, I took one look at it & a few little plays & that was it for me, I was taking this baby home with me no matter what!
And take it home I did. I have enjoyed playing Medusa regularly, I would say not a week goes by where I don't have a play. I could never sell it, ever. I would never be able to replace it, these early 80's Bally games are not only rare & hard to find but the value on them keeps going up year after year & for good reason, these early Bally's are the best pinball games ever made.

Medusa takes a long time to learn the complex deep rule set. It is not an easy game, & scoring over a million is considered a good game, but take the time to learn the rules & you can achieve much bigger scores. You can't really learn all of Medusa's rules by just reading up on them, you need to play the game plenty & you will have a lot of "ahaa" moments.

Medusa would have to be the best looking pinball machine ever. With such beautiful playfield artwork & plastics not to mention the lighting on this thing, love the silk screen backglass too.

I would also say IMO Medusa is one of the best & most challenging pinball games ever made!

I will wait till my son is a bit older & then teach him how to play it & one day I will pass it down to him.

To sum it up, Bally Medusa gets an easy 10/10, cannot recommend this game highly enough, flippin fantastic!!
9 years ago
Just bought Medusa as my first non-DMD era game. I was looking for a game that played fast, had some cool, unique features, and had attractive artwork. Medusa had all these. I could have purchased a Fathom or Paragon, but for the price point (Fathom) and game features Medusa won out. The zipper flippers are very unique allowing a separation between the upper/lower playfield which consequently allows separate "rule areas" or effectively two playfields. The center, numerical display in the playfield is unique for me and helps keep track of extra ball match counters and two other game play counters. Easily seen. Has a "flippable" center post too. I love the backglass and playfield artwork. The game play rules are a little hard to understand at first, but once you understand the basics shots and awards, it becomes obvious how to score big points. There are a lot of ways to score points and the challenge is to collect/advance these awards in parallel. This is a single ball game, but I really don't miss multi-ball on this game. This must have been an advanced game in its time, but it still is attractive today for its game features, challenging play, and artwork.
9 years ago
Good for its era
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