The Party Zone

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This article is about the pinball machine. For the TV show, see Party Zone.
The Party Zone
Manufacturer Bally
Release date August 1991[1][2]
System Williams WPC (Dot Matrix)
Players 1-4
Designer(s) Dennis Nordman[3]
Programmer(s) Jim Strompolis[4]
Artwork Scott Slomiany
Mechanics Zaofia Bil, Win Schilling
Music Dan Forden[5]
Sound Dan Forden
Theme Happiness
Marketing Slogan "You are now entering: The Party Zone"

"Big Bang, Big Bucks!"

Websites Bally Tech

Fan Page

The Party Zone is a solid-state pinball machine released in 1991 by the Bally Company designed by Dennis Nordman and programmed by Jim Strompolis. It is in a single playfield format and collaborates characters from previous pinball machines. It is the second pinball machine released after the Bally-Midway division was sold, yet still operated under the "Bally" name.[6]

Back Glass[edit]

The backglass as well as the playfield contain characters from previous games (who all meet up on this game at the Cosmic Cottage):[7]

  • The Party Animal from Bally Midway's 1987 'Party Animal'
  • The Party Monsters from Midway's 1989 'Elvira and the Party Monsters'
  • The Party Dude from Midway's 1990 'Dr. Dude'

The back glass also contains a message by Captain B. Zarr that writes as follows: You are about to enter another dimension with your host, pilot and D.J. - Captain B. Zarr! Fasten your seatbelt and escape to a parallel universe that's way beyond Wisconsin! Meet & greet pinballs greatest partiers at the most electro-flying club..."The Cosmic Cottage", where they really pump it! During "Happy Hour", fill up with "Rock-It" fuel, blast off and "Rock-It" through the "O-Zone" for some major scoring! You may even experience the "Big Bang!" (it's not just a theory any more!) So become a frequent flyer on a fantasy excursion that will take you way, way, way out there to...The Party Zone.

Playfield Details[edit]

Max. players 4
Cabinet type Normal cabinet
Multileveled playfield No
Buyin button No
Display type Dot matrix display
Plunger type Manual
Custom speech Yes
Machine shakes No
Multiball 2
Flippers 2
Ramps 1
Bumpers 3
Captive balls 1
Magnets 0
Cannons 0
Standup Targets 15
Spinner(s) Yes
Rollovers 4
Kickback Yes
Stopper(s) No
Spinning disc(s) No

Landmarks[edit]

  • Capt. B. Zarr - the head that 'watches' where the ball is
  • Dancing (Crash-test) Dummy - the plastic 'body' that 'dances' during Dance Contest
  • Supersonic Robotic Comic - the robot head on the far top right of the playfield
  • Rocket - perched on the ramp
  • Cosmic Cottage - purple hut situated top right of the playfield

Notable Features[edit]

  • Kick-out saucer
  • Multiball
  • Clear and curving ramps
  • Player uses flipper buttons to select a choice of music when prompted
  • Achieving the "Big Bang" feature causes the playfield illumination to pulse entirely in a red color, accompanied by a 'sonic boom' sound effect

Awards[edit]

Most awards are incremental and values of these awards may vary from machine to machine

End Zone Bonus[edit]

Incremented by 100K for each hit of a lit Advance End Zone Bonus Target. This target becomes lit when the ball passes through the Right inlane. The points are awarded when the ball goes down either outlane.

Request Time[edit]

Both 'Request' targets must be lit, and the ball in the CB saucer to get a 250K award, plus the chance to select the music being played from the following: Chicken Feet, Pinball Wizard, Defunkt, and Safe Sax.

Party Saver[edit]

After a long spell without a request being made Captain B. Zarr may start playing "one of his faves" e.g. Feelings, Come Fly with Me ..... Making a request at this time awards the Party Saver award of 5M. The Party Saver is incremental and goes up 5M each time.

Door Prize[edit]

Awarded for each new ball plunged through the door. (Skill plunge) Initial value 1M, increment 1M, maximum at least 10M.

Lighting B-O-P[edit]

When all three light are lit adds 2x to bonus multiplier (Maximum 8x) This also lights the Dance Contest.

Back-2-BOP[edit]

Starts Dance Contest if lit or awards Back-2-Bop award

Initial value 50K, increment 50K.

Dance Contest[edit]

Accumulative award lasts until the Boppers have not been hit for 10-seconds. During this time each Bopper hit adds to the Dance Total. The amount added is incremental.

Initial value 50K, increment 50K.

Eat Drink & Be Merry Targets[edit]

Hitting all these lights EAT which can be then collected by shooting the ramp. This awards 1M and lights DRINK for 10 seconds (or so). Hitting the Comic Saucer via the comic entry within this time awards 2M and lights BE MERRY for 10 seconds (or so). Hitting the CB Saucer within this time awards 3M.

Way Out Of Control Targets[edit]

Hitting all these lights one of the following awards which can be collected by passing through the PayOff lane.

5 Million Millions Per Bop Every Bopper is worth 1M for the duration of the ball 10 x Playfield Lasts for approximately 10 seconds and affects everything on the playfield except The Big Bang Special (Extra Game) Once one award is lit, hitting the Way Out Of Control Targets is a waste of effort, until the first award has been collected. The award stays lit until collected, although the special will be exchanged for one of the other three awards if you drain a ball before collecting.

PayOff Lane[edit]

If no awards have been lit by hitting the Way Out Of Control Targets, then this will award an incremental score of Initial value 1M, increment 1M, maximum 10.

Rocket Ramp[edit]

Awards Ozone Bonus. Initial value 100K, increment 100K, maximum 2M (or 5M on some machines) Awards 1M if EAT lit. Awards EXTRA BALL if lit. Lights Extra Ball after a sequence of ramp shots have been made

Extra Ball Ramps Needed
First 5 + 1 = 6
Second 7 + 1 = 8
Third 10 + 1 = 11
Fourth 13 + 1 = 14
Fifth 17 + 1 = 18

Ha-Ha-Ha Targets[edit]

If the Comic is not currently lit then hitting all three Ha targets re-lights the comic for about 10 seconds. You may also hear something like "Now appearing the robotic comic"

Comic Saucer[edit]

The Comic is always lit at the start of each ball.

If DRINK is lit

  • Awards 2M if DRINK lit.
  • If the Comic is lit as well then you get the Comic Award worth between 100K and 900K.

If DRINK is not lit

  • An unlit Comic gives an award of Initial value 10K, increment 10K.
  • A lit comic awards one of the following:
    • Adds 2x to bonus multiplier
    • Starts 'Its a Laff attack'
    • Surprise - two ball multiball (see Happy Hour)

Laff Attack[edit]

Frenzy mode lasting about 20 seconds, all targets are worth 100K.

Cottage[edit]

If Party Passes are flashing then passing through the Cosmic Cottage and into the Comic Saucer awards

Party Animals - 250K Party Monsters - 250K Party Dudez - 250K + Happy Hour Two Ball Multiball if no passes available then you get "da big bouncer" who advises you to "get a pass from the captain", do this by making a request.

Happy Hour[edit]

2 Ball Multiball.

Usually starts with 5M's worth of Rocket Fuel, unless you have already had a Big Bang in which case it gives you 1M's worth.

Multiball always starts with one ball in the comic saucer and one in the plunger lane. The Comic Saucer ball is released only when the other ball has scored some points or during a ball search.

Shooting the ramp awards whatever the current rocket fuel value 1-7 Million. Shooting the Comic Saucer or Back-2-Bop lane increases your rocket fuel, by 1M each shot.

When sufficient fuel has been collected, "Big Bang" is lit, and a subsequent ramp shot will award 10M and lock the 1st ball, while inviting you to send the 2nd ball up the ramp to collect the Big Bang.

If the Big Bang is not collected before draining a ball, the remaining rocket fuel score can be collected by shooting the ramp. This score counts down 1M at a time whilst the game screams "Head For The Rocket" at you.

After draining one of the balls 2x Playfield is lit for the duration of the remaining ball, unless you get another Happy Hour.

After the 1st multiball, Request Time is lit and you only have to shoot the CB Saucer to relight the Cosmic Cottage passes.

After the 2nd multiball, Request Time is NOT lit, and needs re-lighting.

The Big Bang[edit]

An award between 10M and 99,999,999 The amount depends on how long since the last Big Bang was awarded. On collecting the Big Bang award the game goes into a frenzy mode with all targets worth 250K. This lasts until a ball is drained.

Sound Package[edit]

The Party Zone is made notable by obtaining the licensing rights of various well-known artists and their respective songs, most notably The Who's Pinball Wizard and Frank Sinatra's Come Fly with Me.

The Party Zone gives the ability to the player to select tunes by "making a request" (hitting the pinball into Captain B.Zarre). The tunes that can be requested are:

After a period where a request has not been made (but is lit), Captain B. Zarre can occasionally play one of "his faves" which include:

Also, after big bang has been achieved, Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix (credited) is played during gameplay.

Reception[edit]

The Party Zone has received a total user rating of 7.490 on a scale of 10 and currently ranks #97 in the "Pinside Ranking".[8] One reviewer noted:

Almost criminally underrated because of its theme. Great ramp, lots to shoot for, funny sounds and animations, and great comedic art from Greg Freres. Major knock is only a two ball multiball, and its linear ruleset gets a little old for repeat plays, but for a fun and casual game it totally rocks!

—guymontag451, pinside

The knowledgeable staff and moderators of pinside have provided a rating of 8.317 out of 10, somewhat varying from the opinions of the public reviewers.

The Internet Pinball Database reviews of The Party Zone are divided into the categories: art, audio, playfield and gameplay. The average user rating given is 7.8/10. Individual ratings for the characters are 8.0/10 for art; 7.7/10 for audio; 7.9/10 for playfield and 7.8/10 for gameplay. 47% of users who reviewed the game gave it a rating of 9/10".[9] One user made this comment:

The Party Zone is a gem. A fantastic audio and visual pinball ride. It's unique and comical theme, coupled with a colorful, well-crafted and designed playing field, make 'The Party Zone' by Bally such an irresistible pinball machine.

—Laser Beam (Rating 9.8/10), ipdb

Digital Version[edit]

This table was chosen to be digitized by FarSight Studios for The Pinball Arcade in November 2014 as DLC.

References[edit]