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"Back to the Future"
Rules Sheet, version 1.2 (January 9, 1993)
By Michael Dunn
" Back to the Future" marked the start of the Data East trend of getting the rights to well-known names and slapping them on their pins. There are various references to the movies all over the game, including pictures of Christopher Lloyd (as Doc. Emmett Brown) but not Michael J. Fox. The pictures of Marty McFly don't show the person's face, and the hair definitely is not Fox's. The voice used in place of Fox's is rather pitiful, as well.
There are two major point-scoring objectives: the unlimited million round and multiball. These two rounds are independent of each other, and you can have both going at the same time. There aren't very many side awards to collect along the way, so getting the two rounds is your best bet for high scores.
The LCD display is a 2-line, 16-character-per-line version (identical to the display found on Williams's Taxi and later pins) so the highest score you can record is 100 million.
"Back to the Future" is a trademark of Universal Pictures, and "Multiball" is a trademark of Williams/Bally. Yes, you read that right. Williams just hadn't sicked their lawyers on Data East yet, so the name "Multiball" appears in this game even though it shouldn't. I will use the abbreviation "K" for a thousand points and "M" for a million points.
Starting at the lower-left corner and going clockwise, here's what you'll find on "Back to the Future."
The outlane can be lit for a special, and the inlane lights the ramps to advance the ramp award sequence. A white light at the top of the inlane flashes to let you know that the ramps will spot the next award. No kickback (cheer!).
McFLY standup targets
" Hey McFly!"
These targets are very low and at the far left of the board. You must hit M first, then c, then F, etc., but there is no penalty for hitting a target out of order, nor do the targets time out. Completing the targets the first time during a ball increases the spinner value. After that, they just award a bonus. **WARNING** When you complete the targets, most of the general illumination turns off and the McFLY lights flash, making the ball *very* difficult to see for about 2 seconds. McFLY does not carry over between balls, and the spinner value resets after each ball.
This is a narrow ramp that feeds the right inlane. All the ramp parts are made of clear plastic. This shot can collect various awards, including the Skill Shot, multiball Jackpot, loops, DELOREAN letters, and million. Above the entrance are three lights labeled "Skill shot, Jackpot, Unlimited Millions." The appropriate light(s) will flash to indicate what awards are available. There are also lights on the board below the entrance that indicate the Skill Shot award.
This is placed between the left ramp and the bumpers. It has walls on both sides, so a ball has almost no chance of falling in here by accident. Shoot here to lock balls, and collect an extra ball when lit. Balls are kicked up and on to a habitrail that feeds the left inlane.
This is just a metal piece situated under the habitrail that rotates up to catch balls, and down to release them.
DMC drop targets
Three drop targets, placed below the bumpers. Each target has a red light in front of it to indicate if it is available (flashing) collected (steady) or not available (off). The targets are used to light locks and jackpots.
There are 3 bumpers, behind the drop targets. They do nothing special, just award points. The ball will enter the bumpers after a shot thru the spinner.
Each spin adds to the Biff's Casino bonus, which is awarded at the end of the game. If McFLY has not yet been completed during the ball, each spin awards 1090(?) points, and if it has been completed, each spin awards 5K(?). There is a large circular yellow light on the board in front of the spinner that indicates the spinner's value: steady for the lower value, flashing for the higher value.
Clock Tower saucer
This is located between the spinner and the right ramp. It is *very* shallow and will not always hold a quickly shot-in ball. It also can kick a ball straight down the middle, so I suggest jiggling the machine as the ball is being kicked out. During one-ball play, shooting this saucer will award the flashing Clock Tower award. The awards are (I'm not sure about a couple of them, and there's one more that I've forgotten): 50K, 100K, 50K + hold bonus, light Extra Ball (self explanatory) Turbo Bumpers (increases the value of the bumpers) Bonus at 5x (just what it says) Millions (immediately spots all DELOREAN letters and starts the million round; if the million round is already going, time will be added to the timer) After you collect all 8 awards, all 8 lights will flash. Hitting the saucer one more time awards 500K and resets the awards. The flashing award is changed by the spinner. The awards you collect are carried over between balls.
This ramp is also clear plastic, feeds the right inlane, and has 3 status lights just like the left ramp. This ramp's entrance is very wide, but has a rather small sweet spot because the right side of the upslope runs straight back (to accommodate the plunger shot). A ball that falls down the ramp will hit a one-way gate at the exit of the plunger lane and bounce wildly away. In other words, if you miss the shot to the right, the ball will go *clunk* against the right side of the entrance, rattle around, and fall back down.
DOC standup targets
These targets are placed low and on the right, and face directly leftward. They awards Bonus multipliers (up to a max of 6x) and light the outlane Specials. Each target has a light in front of it to indicate its value. Here's how they work: At the start of each ball, one target will be flashing. Hitting that target ONLY will advance the Bonus X and start another target flashing. Hitting either of the other targets will spot it; you must now hit the other 2 to advance the Bonus X. The single flashing light will time-out after a while, and another target will begin flashing. However, once the Bonus X reaches 5x, you must hit all 3 targets to advance the multiplier to 6x. The first time you do this, the outlanes lite for special. Completing the targets after the multiplier is at 6x awards a bonus of 100K(?). I don't remember if the multiplier is held by the Bonus Hold award from the Clock Tower. One outlane is lit at a time, and Special remains lit throughout the game until it's collected. The Special CAN be lane-changed with the flipper buttons. (sure wish TZ had that!)
Similar to the left side, with the same lights.
A manual plunger. Plunging at full strength will send the ball up the right ramp. This is what you should do in order to collect the skill shot.
Ramp Sequence lights
Yellow lights just in front of the flippers that indicate the ramp sequence awards you have collected.
Flippers & Slingshots
2 of each, in the usual places.
The Skill Shot
The skill shot is available every time you plunge a ball. To collect it, plunge the ball around the right ramp, then immediately shoot the left ramp. Possible awards are:
100K x ball in play
Double Score: Your score is immediately doubled
Take High Score: Your score immediately becomes the current game's highest score. This never appears in a one-player game.
Only the "100K x ball in play" award will be given on balls plunged after a lock. Any award may be given on the first plunge of a ball. You have to be doing pretty poorly to get the EB award.
DELOREAN Million Round
Except for the Skill Shot shots, each ramp shot spots a letter in DELOREAN. The letters you have spotted are shown on a panel above and behind the bumpers. Lighting all the letters starts a 12-second timer. Each ramp shot then scores 1M until the timer runs out. The timer never stops running, so try to keep the ball away from the bumpers and saucers during this round. This round progresses independently of Multiball, and you can start it during Multiball. Later Million rounds start with less time, down to a minimum of 6 seconds.
Other Ramp Awards
The ramps also have a sequence award. When the ball rolls thru either inlane, a white light above the inlane will flash for a few seconds, indicating that either ramp will award the next lit sequence award. There are 6 awards (25K, 50K, 75K, 100K, 125K, Lite Extra Ball) each having its own light. The flashing light indicates the next point value that will be awarded, except in the case of the first, which flashes only after an inlane is hit. The award value will time out and decrease one level after a while if not collected.
The sequence resets after each ball, and once you light the extra ball from the sequence, later inlane-to-ramp shots on the same ball award 125K. The ramps still award DELOREAN letters along with the sequence awards. I don't remember if the sequence is awarded during Multiball.
Hitting either ramp, then immediately hitting the left ramp adds one to the loop counter. Beating the current loop champ's number of loops awards 500K as soon as you beat the record. Loops are awarded in addition to anything else that may be lit at the left ramp, in either one-ball or Multiball play.
When you beat the loop record, you enter your initials at the end of the game.
" A severe thunderstorm is headed for Hill Valley."
First, a note about the locks. For the first Multiball, you must hit all 3 DMC drop targets to light a lock, and you can stack up to 3 locks. The second time, you cannot stack locks. On subsequent multiballs, you must hit the DMC targets in order, and hitting a target out of order resets all the targets, and you must start over with the D target. The game will usually allow you to hit D and M when D is lit, and M and C when M is lit, and give you credit for both targets -- usually.
You have to lock 3 balls to start Multiball. If someone else you're playing with starts his/her own multiball and leaves fewer balls in the lock than you had during your turn, the game will automatically light enough locks at the Lock Saucer to get you back to the number of locked balls that you had.
Conversely, you can NOT steal other players' locked balls. If there are three balls in the lock mechanism when you lock a ball for lock number 1 or 2, play will resume with a ball being released out of the lock mechanism.
Now, on to Multiball.
"Roads? Where we're going we don't need...roads."
When Multiball starts, one ball at a time is released down the habitrail and into the left inlane. You must hit the DMC targets to light the jackpots. Once you do so, shoot the ramps to collect the jackpot awards. The first shot to a ramp scores 500K, the second 750K, and the third 1M. Each ramp has its own jackpot, and the two are independent of one another. The awards you have collected are indicated by lights on the bottom of the backglass. Collecting all 6 jackpots scores an additional 1M. To relight the jackpots, you must shoot DMC in order.(big ?)
If you do not collect all 6 jackpots, those that you do collect are held over to the next Multiball round, and you will not have to hit DMC to light them.
When you light an extra ball, shoot the Lock Saucer to collect it. Extra balls can be stacked, but they will all disappear if you lose the ball without collecting them.
During Multiball, shoot the Lock Saucer 4 times to light an extra ball. You don't have to collect the extra ball during Multiball, though.