Pinball Fantasies

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Pinball Fantasies
Pinball Fantasies.jpg
Developer(s) Digital Illusions CE
Publisher(s) 21st Century Entertainment
Platform(s) Amiga/CD32/AGA
PC
Jaguar
SNES
iOS
PlayStation Network
MeeGo Harmattan
Release date(s) 1992
Genre(s) Pinball
Mode(s) 1-8 players

Pinball Fantasies is a pinball game for the Commodore Amiga personal computer developed by Digital Illusions CE in late 1992, as a sequel to Pinball Dreams. A further sequel was released in 1995 called Pinball Illusions.

Tables[edit]

Like Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies contains four themed tables with various difficulty levels.

  • Party Land is a table oriented around an amusement park, where the letters of either PARTY or CRAZY must be lit to start a high-scoring event. This is the easiest table due to several high-scoring targets such as the Arcade and the Loop Ramp. This is the table included in the shareware release.
  • Speed Devils is focused on car racing, and the player must overtake cars to take the lead. This is more difficult due to much fewer high-scoring targets; additionally, the Billion Dollar table and this one will give the player only one extra ball in normal play. All four tables award one extra ball at the instant the highest score in the list is exceeded, and when the match at the end succeeds.
  • Billion Dollar Gameshow is a game show-style table where the player attempts to win prizes by achieving certain combinations of ramps. This is the most difficult, in part because of the single extra ball limit, but largely because the prizes won do not survive the loss of the ball unless all three are lit and won before the ball drains. It is possible to get a billion points in this level by getting the "Billion Dollar Prize". However, it must be done with one ball.
  • Stones 'N Bones is based on a haunted house, similar to Nightmare of Pinball Dreams, where the player must light eight successively more rewarding modes by completing a bank of targets marked STONE-BONE and then cycle continuously through the modes. This is generally considered the highest-scoring table, with a recorded score of 44,757,345,572,500;[1] no other table has recorded any scores in the trillions.

Ramps[edit]

Each table has one special ramp, usually one but with two on Speed Devils, which keeps track of the number of hits as a running total of Cyclones (Party Land), Miles (Speed Devils), Skills (Billion Dollar) or Screams (Stones). The first shot counts for two. Each of these shots is worth 100,000 in the bonus. Except for Party Land, the tables also award special awards at specific numbers.

  • Speed Devils starts Off-Road at 10, lights the Extra Ball at 20, and alternates between lighting the Jump (10 million) and starting Off-Road for every ten succeeding Miles.
  • Billion Dollar Gameshow starts the first type of Money Mania at six Skills, then interrupts the cycle to light the Extra Ball at 12, and then cycles between the second and first types for every six Skills afterwards.
  • Stones 'N Bones is the simplest: it lights the Extra Ball at the Tower at 10 Screams, then 5 million for each further 10.

Special rounds[edit]

Each of the four tables has one or two high-scoring rounds that can be started by achieving certain objectives. Specific numbers of Miles and Skills trigger their respective tables' rounds. The scores for these modes, excluding Tower Hunt, are awarded as part of the bonus though not multiplied, and can be lost if the game is tilted.

Party Land[edit]

  • Happy Hour: when PARTY is lit, "all targets" score 1,000,000 for 25 seconds and the Jackpot is lit until the clock runs down to about two seconds. 1,000,000 is also added to the bonus for free. Note that "all targets" is a loose definition: Pinball Fantasies counts very specific "targets" for each table's target-hitting mode. The "HIT" spot targets, slingshots, and bumpers count on Party Land.
  • Mega Laugh: after lighting CRAZY, all ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 25 seconds, the Jackpot is again lit down to two seconds, and 5,000,000 is added free to the bonus. Note that both modes cannot be played at the same time, although one can be waiting to begin right after the other; this will risk the second mode's loss by draining.

Speed Devils[edit]

  • Off-Road: started by earning 10, 40, 60, and every 20 Miles after; all targets (the slingshots, the BURNIN' spot targets, bumpers, and PIT lanes) are worth 100,000 for 30 seconds.
  • Turbo Mode: This starts whether or not the Jackpot and/or Super Jackpot are collected, which light when 1st place is attained. The entire race resets such that it can be begun again during Turbo Mode itself. All ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 30 seconds. Again, both modes cannot be played at once but can be stacked, where one will start after the other ends.

Billion Dollar Gameshow[edit]

  • Money Mania: This starts after every six Skills except for the Extra Ball at 12. There are two types, both of which last 25 seconds. The target version is first seen at six Skills: all targets (the four unlabeled drop targets, the two $ targets, slings, and bumpers) are worth 500,000. First seen at 18, the ramp Money Mania awards 1,000,000 for all ramps and sinkholes.

Stones 'N Bones[edit]

  • Tower Hunt: This is the second mode of the cycle of eight. The Tower is lit for 30 seconds, with each succeeding shot scoring 5,000,000, 10,000,000 and 15,000,000.
  • Ghost Hunt: The fifth mode in the cycle, lasting 30 seconds. All targets (the STONE-BONE spot targets, slings, and bumpers) are worth 1,000,000, and additionally the Jackpot is lit on the Tower. Picking this up lights the Super Jackpot for 10 seconds, and will close the Tower after it expires or is collected.
  • Multi Demons: The sixth mode; this fake multiball turns locks on in the Vault and the Well for 30 seconds or when the "Demon Value" is collected, whichever is sooner. The two locks each double the Demon Value from 5 million to 10 and 20, which can be collected any time at the Scream ramp even after the locks turn off. Locked balls will prevent other balls from entering the sinkholes until the ball drains or the Demon Value is scored.
  • Grim Reaper: The eighth mode, effectively the "wizmode" of Stones. All ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 50 seconds. A special rule of Grim Reaper is that a ramp and a sinkhole located on the same pathway count separately (there are no connecting ramps): the Vault ramp and the Vault, plus the Tower ramp and Tower, count for two awards. Finally, the Jackpot and Super Jackpot are lit as in Ghost Hunt.

Programming glitches[edit]

There are several programming glitches in conversions of Pinball Fantasies that do not occur in the original Amiga version. Some of these are more serious than others. None of the tables are unaffected, since one specific glitch affects three tables and the remaining one (Billion Dollar) is afflicted with a separate error.

Hold Bonus glitch, or Major Rules Oversight[edit]

The most major error in Pinball Fantasies is the way Hold Bonus is treated. Most simulations such as Slam Tilt hold only the unmultiplied bonus to the next ball; Pinball Fantasies holds the full bonus awarded to the player. This has various effects on each table, depending on its features, but is generally most effective on Stones 'N Bones.

Its 10x multiplier, which can be increased to 20x with a Double Bonus award, is the highest of the three affected tables. The Hold Bonus is only moderately hard and picks up the Double Bonus in the process, and extra balls can be achieved consistently. Most importantly, the table's high defense value allows the player to hold out long enough to reach the next one, which will eventually be only reachable as the third STONE-BONE mode. Speed Devils has trivially easy bonus multipliers, but is limited by a consequently difficult Hold Bonus and the limited ball allotment. Party Land has simple extra balls and Hold Bonus, but is limited by a maximum bonus multiplier of 8.

After holding a bonus worth 27,445,650 on Stones 'N Bones, three consecutive balls with Hold Bonus, Double Bonus and multiplier x10 will result in a gargantuan award of sixty times this, or 1,646,739,000, solely from this bonus alone. Also added would be 60 times the additional bonus scored in ball 1, 40 times the additional bonus scored in ball 2, and 20 times the additional bonus scored in ball 3. Finally, even assuming an immediate drain on the fourth ball following the original one, the bonus for this ball will be the sum of this entire conglomerate.

Party Land[edit]

  • The Happy Hour clock will not start if the P or R is lit by a successful skill shot, so a potentially infinite amount of points can be scored. It will start if the Jackpot is collected, which will be lit until taken or the ball drains, since it is programmed to turn off when the clock reaches 2 instead of after 28 seconds. The clock for either mode will also forget to start if the mode is initiated while the other one is playing its credits (i.e.: the mode total is being displayed).

Billion Dollar[edit]

  • The Raising Millions value is awarded when the specific combo including the loop that the ball launches into is shot, and its designated prize (the Car or Plane) during the appropriate stage of the game show is already lit. This awards 1,000,000 to begin with and increases a million continuously, and was supposed to be reset at the end of a game, although it still resets when the table is quit. Since this coding was left out, the value can be collected to an indefinite sum, but a drain will reset the value to 1 million if it has passed 10,000,000. Although there is no Hold Bonus on this table (the closest thing is an automatic 5,000,000 added to the bonus when the namesake award is scored), similar though less lucrative points runs can be achieved using this error; it is easier in return.
  • The programming additionally does not allow a ten-millions digit to be displayed for Raising Millions, so ASCII characters are used; these do not reset during a session even if the value itself has been reset.

Stones 'N Bones[edit]

  • The Tower is opened for the second mode in the cycle - Tower Hunt. The line of code that closes the Tower after Tower Hunt ends is missing, so the Tower remains open for a Tower Bonus of 1,000,000. This can also be collected if the entrance to the Tower ramp closes after a ball passes it but before the sinkhole itself is hit, or when a ball is moving slow enough up the Vault ramp that it barely tips over the edge and slips under the barrier blocking the Tower sinkhole from the west.

Community[edit]

Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are considered cult games in the pinball simulation world.[by whom?] Pinball Fantasies was more technically advanced than its predecessor, offering many new features that the original didn't. For example, each of the pinball tables was now three screens high instead of two, all tables except Stones 'N Bones supported three flippers, and the in-game animations (though sparse) were more advanced.

Neither set of tables supported true multiball play, but Nightmare (Pinball Dreams) and Stones 'N Bones (Pinball Fantasies) offered fake multiball. While Nightmare's Jackpot was lit, two locks would hold a ball which increased the Jackpot multiplier, the lock would be temporarily inaccessible, and meanwhile another ball was provided to launch. Multi Demons is an extension of this idea, simply with a time limit added.

Versions[edit]

  • The original, distributed on three Amiga floppy disks; this runs on all Amiga computers with 1MB of RAM.
  • A special version with a fourth floppy, which allows it to run on 512KB Amigas.
  • An Amiga CD32 version, released in 1993.
  • An improved Amiga Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) version for the Amiga 1200 & 4000 was released later (4 floppies).
  • It was later ported to PC 286 computers running DOS. Compared to the substandard port of Pinball Dreams, the Pinball Fantasies port was outstanding in quality. The PC version is notable for offering extremely high-quality, but quiet, music and sound for the simple PC speaker, which was formerly unheard of without a separate sound card. The port ran well even on a 12 MHz 286 and needed only a VGA card. It was fast because it used Mode X and split-screen scrolling to avoid having to redraw the screen every frame. A shareware version was also released, with only the Party Land table available for play.
  • An Atari Jaguar conversion with extra colours, but with slower ball movement.
  • A Super Nintendo version of the game, while it contained all four tables and the same music as the Amiga version (written by composer Olof Gustafsson), suffers from a limited color palette.
  • A version for the original Game Boy, which needed limits on some features due to the Game Boy's lower power.
  • A compilation including the tables from Pinball Mania released as Pinball Fantasies Deluxe for DOS.
  • A compilation including the tables from Pinball Dreams released as Pinball Fantasies Deluxe for PlayStation in Japan.
  • A Game Boy Advance version of the game, under the title Pinball Challenge Deluxe, with tables added from Pinball Dreams.
  • An iOS version was released July 20, 2009 by Cowboy Rodeo.[2]
  • A PlayStation Portable version was released October 1, 2009 by Cowboy Rodeo. In December 2009, Sony released a PSP emulator for the PlayStation 3 which made the game playable on the PS3 since December 17, 2009.
  • A Nokia N9 version was released July 20, 2011 by Cowboy Rodeo in the Nokia Store.[3]
  • A fully 3D/HD version was released for iOS in 2012 by Cowboy Rodeo.[4]

Cheats[edit]

On any table, while the table is scrolling up and down, any of the following are confirmed cheats on some versions of Pinball Fantasies. A preliminary code - cheats may have to be typed first on some versions, and others have no cheats at all.

  • andreas: displays a message about Andreas Axelsson, designer
  • barry: displays a message about Barry Simpson, producer
  • digital illusions: ball can't be lost (doesn't work on all versions).
  • earthquake: disables the tilt.
  • extra balls: five balls instead of three.
  • fair play: disables all cheats.
  • fredrik: displays a message about Fredrik Liliegren, designer
  • highlander: Heavier ball.
  • markus: displays a message about Markus Nyström, designer
  • olof: displays a message about Olof Gustafsson, musician
  • snail: slows the ball down (not on all versions)
  • tech: displays a message about how the game was constructed
  • the silents: displays a message from The Silents.
  • ulf: displays a message about Ulf Mandorff, designer
  • vacuum cleaner: Resets the high scores.

Unconfirmed[edit]

  • johan
  • tsp
  • daniel
  • gabriel
  • cheat
  • robban
  • stein
  • greet

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "unknown". www.pcpinball.com. Retrieved 2012.  mirror at Internet Archive
  2. ^ "Pinball Fantasies". iTunes App Store. Apple Inc. 2011-03-30. 
  3. ^ "Pinball Fantasies". Nokia Store. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  4. ^ Pinball Fantasies HD

External links[edit]