Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sure Plays a Mean Pinball

Pinball has always been an integral component of the life of Lose. It's depressing to see pinball essentially disappear from every arcade and bowling alley, to be replaced by those stupid video games. Yeah, call me an old fogey, but pinball still rules.
I can remember the early days of Lose, marathon pinball sessions every Friday and Sat nite at the mall. There was nothing more beautiful than to walk into that arcade and see rows and rows of pintables neatly aligned with flashing lights and enticing sounds. It was a good way to sharpen your skills while all the other winners were scoring hot chicks. And we got good, too. A lot of games we could beat Countdown, Vector, Xenon. If I had the room, i'd get one for the house. But theres' too many Marshall stacks cluttering it up to be able to fit a pintable.
Lately the only pintable we could find is Attack From Mars. After several rounds, we were able to reek it. The old skill is still there. You never lose it, you just have to sharpen up.
Fortunately Dip 2 managed to score Countdown and Silverball pintables to preserve the legacy.

Here's a great site that catalogs every pinball machine made from the early 30's to the present. We came onto the scene at the start of the microprocessor controlled machines. Often referred to as the solid state era. You know, the first ones to use fluorescent digits and voice chips. We got to hear Gorgar utter his whole vocabulary of seven words. How impressive. We also got to witness the first two level machines, which Vector probably was our favorite. At this time another innovation came out with the wide playing fields. This allowed a bunch more targets and stuff to try to hit. Big Game and Paragon were the hits with these. If there ever was a golden era of pinball, that was it.

There was actually quite a bit of ceremony around the Friday night at the arcade. It usually involved driving around the mall parking lot trying to impress young females of how loud our car audio systems were. Much like today, except that we played cool music, not that rap crap. For some reason it didn't seem to have any affect on our score ratio (we still lost), but we kept trying damnit. The chicks didn't like the Judas Priest we were playing, they liked Poison. They knew we were losers. Eventually we would get hassled by the mall security and thrown off the premises, where we would start it all over again the following week. We sure were persistent. After 2 hours of pinball, the mall would close and we would re-group for a wench hunt. But that's for a different blog.


Blogger Stooge Moe said...

I'd like to add some of the moves that were perfected during these reek sessions.

The first was called the "Dio" move, which of course was named after the metal god Ronnie James Dio himself. It was a rather flamboyant move which consisted of hitting the ball with the flipper and then raising your hand about shoulder high. The trick was to not lose the ball while your hand was far removed from the flipper. This was usually done as a cocky or arrogant move after racking up some free games.

The "catch" move was perfected by me. It would involve precise timing of the flipper and the approaching ball so that the ball was actually caught on the flipper. You could then freely aim where ever you wanted.

The "save" move. You guessed it. This one was used as the ball was about to drain through the out lane. It would be a precisely timed sideways nudge which would jostle the ball and keep it from going down the out lane.

The "control" move. This one could only be done on machines that had a center post. If the ball was about to kamikaze (see below), you had to keep from using the flippers at all, and rely on the center post to do its thing. Using the flippers with the ball hitting the center post almost always resulted in losing the ball. This one required a keen eye and refraining from using the flippers.

The "kamikaze" move was a bad thing. It occurred during cold moments on the machine. This is when the ball hits very little and then goes straight through the middle of the flippers. This would usually be accompanied by swearing or the "it kamikaze'd on me!" remark. The machine would usually pay with subsequent rough treatment.

The "choke" move. Again this was a bad thing which mostly due to fatigue after several hours of playing. It would be some stupid kind of move that would result in losing the ball.

"On a reek". This was actually not a move but a highly prized state of play. This is when nothing can go wrong and you are scoring free games with ease. The best is when you beat the high score and hear the triple bang as a reward for your effort. No video machine ever did that.

2:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home