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Bally Paragon

It was released in June of 1979 and was designed by Greg Kmiec. The fantasy artwork by Paul Faris is what makes Paragon the classic that it is. Many believe Paragon to be the most beautiful pinball machine ever made. The cabinet, a wide body, is yellow with red and dark blue images of a lion, monsters and a princess. Unfortunately, this cabinet has faded a bit and looks pink in areas.

The artwork really is beautiful, this is an example of why this time period is called the "golden" age of pinball.

  The Playfield

The ball is launched into the top playfield area with two rollover targets that feeds two pockets that catch the ball and launch it towards the pop bumpers. The pop bumpers have two stand up targets, one at the top and one at the bottom of the triangle arrangement. To the left of the pop bumpers is a spinner. Left of that is the "Valley of Demon's", the first implementation of four drop targets in a row on a pinball machine. If you make it past the demons there is another pocket that launches the ball back to the top playfield area. To the right of the pop bumpers are three drop targets and the "Waterfall". If the ball enters the waterfall with speed it is sent over a rollover target into the top of the playfield. With less speed it drops over a rollover target and down the waterfall, dropping toward the flippers. There are three flippers at the bottom of the playfield, one left flipper and two stacked to the right. A small fourth flipper is above the left slingshot. The slingshots are typical except that the one on the right is higher to allow for the extra flipper on the right.

The right in/out lanes are divided by a piece of wire. There are no left out lanes, instead, we have the "Beast's Lair". A pop bumper surrounded by rubber rings with three exits. One leaves the playfield, one feeds the left flipper and one is open to the playfield. You will see a lot of Paragon machines with a rubber ring blocking the exit from the playfield making the game a little easier. I've found that the "Beast's Lair" is more than fair giving approx. two thirds (two out of three exits) of the balls back to play. That's better than the fifty fifty shot you have with in/out lanes and it's a lot of fun to see the ball bouncing around the "Lair" hoping you get the ball back in play.

Game Play

I find game play to be quite challenging. The flipper arrangement takes getting used to and drains are pretty regular. The drop targets do not have memory from ball to ball so that makes it hard to get through the "Valley of Demons" on one ball. Other settings give the owner a lot of flexibility as to the difficulty of various features allowing you to set up the game any way you like (except for the drop targets).

Specifications from the Pinball Database are at
Pinball Database - Paragon
An Add and the flyer are available at
GameArchive - Paragon
An instruction card can be found at
Ken's Instruction Cards
Paragon playfield Paragon lower playfield Paragon upper playfield Paragon backglass
Beast's Lair Waterfall Valley of Demons
Paragon cabinet art Ball view left side Ball view right side  
Paragon Credits Card