Skills for the Pinball Wizard

At the highest level of skill you become a Pinball Wizard. You become one with the pinball machine. It's one of those zen things. Or you learn a set of really hard skills, and nobody will know that you don't have that zen thing. * :: \\ - Death Save :: :: A controversial skill. There are some who believe that the Death Save should be illegal, as if it is performed with the supplement of a kick on the right leg of the machine, it may potentially damage the machine. It has however been recognized and rewarded by Data East, who have a graphic and a point award for successful Death Saves on their machines since Rocky and Bullwinkle.

If the ball has gone through the right outlane (right side only), then the ball may be retrieved if the player nudges the machine firmly and as quickly as possible to avoid a tilt and holds up the left flipper. The nudge will cause the ball to come off the wall leading the ball to the center drain and hit the upraised left flipper, bouncing it over to the right flipper. Then just hit the ball (if you haven't tilted) and then you've performed a death save. The right leg kick can be added to add more force to the nudge, but please be careful toward the machines, and watch that Lyle isn't watching you because you might get thrown out. (I have no problems with operators who tell me not to kick, because I usually don't, but if the tilt light enough that I can perform a death save, I am going to do it, and he should raise the tilt setting if he doesn't like it!)

See also:

\\ - Bangbacks :: :: The Bangback is a sharp upward thrust on the cabinet or coin box (don't hurt yourself) where you knock the ball off the outlane wall as it heads towards the center drain and it goes through the flippers (keep the flipper up of the side which corresponds to the outlane where the ball went through) and over to the other flipper. I have never performed a bangback successfully (nor do I really feel the need to!) so ask someone else about more details of this skill.

See also:

\\ - Drop Stop :: :: This is my specialty, and has raised my level of play dramatically since I perfected it. If the ball is headed toward the center of the flipper when raised, if you drop the flipper as soon as the ball touches the flipper, it will die right on the flipper! In other words it will just stop completely, and you can either attempt a trap if the ball is closer towards the base, or you can let it start to roll and then simply shoot for a target. The Drop Stop is particularly useful in Demolition Man since the ramps are tall and usually send the ball back very quickly if the ball does not clear the ramp, and STTNG because you don't want to attempt a hold trap and have the ball roll up the inlanes and then out the dastardly outlanes. The Drop Stop is a great method to contain and control the ball when it moves toward the center of a flipper at a high speed. You must set it up by raising the flipper early, and then dropping it as soon as the ball makes contact. I did not learn this trick from anyone, I did originally to aid the ball in draining when I missed the Addams Family Skill Shot and I wanted the ball to drain without hitting a switch. I would hold out the flipper and then drop it and the ball would just die and then I would let it drain. Doing this prevented the ball from hitting the slingshots or anything else and then I would be able to attempt again because I had scored no points for the ball and the trough wasn't sure if the ball had been properly ejected or not (sometimes they make it halfway and then roll back in.)

Note: Most machines will give you the ball back if you score no points at all on the ball, use this to your advantage, especially on Skill Shots.

An animation of the Drop Stop

\\ - Flip Trap :: :: This is the new pet skill which I am trying to perfect. It is the opposite of the Drop Stop, as what you do is hit the ball just as it reaches where the flipper is extended when it is flipped. If you hit the flipper such that it meets the ball at the exact time as it stops extending so that it does not push the ball because it is not in motion, the slight motion (you're a bit early) will cause the ball to simply stop and then be trapped, if you continue to hold the flipper up. Basically, you are just hitting the ball soft enough such that it stops going down but doesn't go up anymore, by hitting it very early.

An animation of the Flip Trap \\ - Falling Hold Pass :: :: If the ball is going very quickly through an inlane and you attempt a hold pass, it will fly up and hit the opposite side slingshot and you will thus lose all control. However, if you drop the flipper as the ball is about halfway across the held "bridge" flipper, the ball will stop heading up and will just continue heading across to the opposite "target" flipper, and may then roll partially up the inlane, but will most likely not have the speed to make it all the way through. This is another skill I devised myself while playing IJ and wanting an easier way to pass the ball to the left flipper for the Jackpot shot after it flew down the Idol ramp. Hold passes just don't cut it in that situation, folks! \\ - Inlane Friction :: :: Another skill that you can perform on a ball which is heading quickly through the inlane is Inlane Friction. This is a new skill that I just recently began developing while playing DM. By nudging the ball either left or right while the ball runs down the inlane, you can slow it down, because the ball will bang back and forth between the sides of the inlane. \\ * ::

Where do you go after mastering these wizardous skills? I don't know. I never got this far. /pinball/ Back to the Pinball Pasture /pinball/playing/ Back to Playing the Game of Pinball /pinball/playing/VFBTF/skills.html Back to Skills for the Pinball Player