All Articles by Shawn K. Quinn

184 Articles

A little July 4th doinking around

So I was at a mainly board-game party for July 4 and the host had a couple of Arcade 1Up cabinets I got to play in between board games. One was a Midway/Atari multi-game setup, the other had The Simpsons and The Simpsons Bowling. Pictured are the scores from two one-coin (2000 health) games of Gauntlet, a two-coin (seven lives) game of Wizard of Wor, and one round of The Simpsons Bowling. Wizard of Wor I need to practice (I feel like I should be able to clear 20k with seven lives), but I think the others are pretty passable.

July 3 Poison Girl: Hello, Dolly

So not too long ago, yet another change was made to the lineup at Poison Girl. Attack from Mars is out, replaced with a Dolly Parton table (Bally, 1979). I’ve played this game before, most recently at the Texas Pinball Festival this year on Saturday. I put up a rather remarkable 444k+ that, for some reason, I omitted from the notable scores of the day in the original post. That score is about where the high score is on the machine at Poison Girl. Unfortunately, on this trip, I wasn’t able to get anywhere near that score, as this machine is set up much harder than the one at TPF. That, and the TPF score was the best of several games on free play; this one was my best of six games at 50 cents a pop (well, the first one was only 25 cents as there was apparently a half credit on the machine on arrival).

Other than that, a score 9.1M+ on Whirlwind rounded out the evening. Not a whole lot to write about with that one; obviously, I’m capable of much better, but it’s a decent run given I wasn’t really trying that hard.

June 26, Little Dipper: An unexpected grand champion score

So last night was the usual trivia night at Little Dipper. I’m only mentioning it because that’s the main reason I was there. The team I was with this time didn’t finish in the top three, and in fact, by the final question we weren’t really in the running to be realistic about it.

During the halfway point intermission I got in what I was hoping to be a quick game or two of Spider-Man. The second of those “quick games” (with a score of  wound up stretching well into the music round, which is just as well as I only knew one of the ten songs.

By the time pictures of the winners were being taken, I was ready to be done with trivia and give my full attention to the silver ball. My first choice of the lineup at Little Dipper at this point in time, all other things being equal, is Creature from the Black Lagoon (the others being Lord of the Rings, Dracula, Monster Bash, and the aforementioned Spider-Man). Unfortunately Creature is right in front of the moon prop used for the pictures, so I decided to play a quick game of Dracula while waiting.

Not surprisingly, I did well at Dracula and kept playing. I would crack the high score list twice with scores just barely good enough to make it. Then, I would bust loose with a first ball that was over 150M at one point (I think 200M+ after bonus). After the earned extra ball I was over 300M and guaranteed grand champion. I would sign off with 413,339,960 for grand champion and a new personal best.

I will concede that until now I did not really consider Dracula one of my favorite games. Despite this, I had a great time playing it even though it was not my first choice. Now that I know how to run up the score on Dracula, that is apt to change. I’m not giving up on getting grand champion on Creature, though; that game is a title I am likely to see in tournaments many times in the future.

June 16 and 20: Turtles arrive at the Canyon, Galaga at Shoeshine Charley’s

Last Friday I was in Beaumont yet again for work. Of course, after work was over it was time for the nearly-obligatory stop by Colorado Canyon. It was a well-timed trip as there was a second pinball machine there joining AIQ. Specifically, that game was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I would call Turtles one of my modern favorites (probably not the #1 favorite but still high on the list).

It took little time for me to post a 50.8M+ score. This score would be good for high score #2 (second below grand champion) as well as Donatello champion for the moment. I would put up a 47.7M+ right after it good for the high score #3 slot. In the first game I made it as far as Team Up multiball. This is about as far as I have ever made it in the game. I hope one day to make it to the wizard mode.

Fast forward to the 20th, last night (Tuesday) when I got in a quick game of Galaga at Shoeshine Charlie’s. Yes, it was the high score, but that’s kind of meaningless as the game had just been powered on. (Actually, it was power cycled as it has developed an intermittent RAM fault, but obviously nobody had played it earlier in the evening so it would have been at the default of 20K either way.) Settings are 3 lives, 20K/60K/+60K, and apparently easy difficulty (not sure how to tell the difference but no enemy bugs dropped bombs during the stage 10 entrance). My 135K+ is nowhere near a personal best but pretty good for outdoors with Houston’s latest heat wave (I was sweating by end of game).

June 13 Poison Girl: Wheel is out, the new Elvira is in

So upon my periodic checking of Pinball Map sometime in the days prior, I noticed that there was a change in the lineup at Poison Girl. Wheel of Fortune was moved out, replaced by a new-ish and certainly new-to-the-location Elvira’s House of Horrors (EHOH).

I had a few fairly good runs on Whirlwind, topping out with a 14.7M+. I also got in a couple of games of Iron Maiden, though neither really went anywhere. My scores on EHOH were what I’d call decent for one of the first times really trying to learn the game, though not enough to win a replay. It does seem like a game I’ll eventually get into if I play it enough, though.

June 5: Spiders and the Creature at Little Dipper

The documented highlight of this particular night was a 210.4M+ run on Spider-Man, good for a spot on the high score list as well as many of the category high scores. Of note, the best combo champion is from a following game; the 210.4M+ game only had a double 6-way.

Unfortunately, there are pictures missing due to a technical issue, including a 250M+ run on Creature, during which I came painfully close to hitting a super jackpot and breaking through to the grand champion spot on the high score list. I am omitting the Creature games with lower scores as I don’t see any point in posting them.