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  Twilight Zone

Pat Lawlor's follow-up to The Addam's Family is one of the most highly regarded pinball machines ever made. The playfield is packed to the "wide body" edges with features and toys.

The story is that the Addam's Family was so successful that Pat was given free reign (almost) on his next design. As it turned out, it's complexity was not appreciated by vendors but for the pinball enthusiasts, it's awesome. The design is classic Pat Lawlor (stop and go), a real shooters pin. The Artwork was done by John Youssi, sound by Chris Granner.

Links for more info


Rule Sheet

TZ Modifications

Designing the TZ



The Game

Pull back the plunger just a bit and try to roll the ball to the Yellow zone without going past. The ball rolls back down and lands in the Rocket kickout. The Rocket fires your ball across the playfield through a loop under the Power mini playfield dropping the ball into the pop bumpers (Town Square). With a little luck it misses the left outside drain and it rolls toward the flippers. If you hit the plunger shot too hard, the ball travels under the playfield and is kicked out at the Slot Machine toward the right flipper. Anytime the ball disappears under the playfield, it pops out at the slot machine.

Shoot the left and right ramps to light features on the playfield.

With the piano lit, shoot the right ramp, a metal carriage catches the ball and drops it above the upper left mini flipper so you can hit the ball into the Piano slot. The Piano awards the flashing door panel in the middle of the playfield.

With the Slot machine lit, shoot the ball into it and a random door panel is awarded.

If the Spiral is lit, shoot the outside lanes. If the Gumball machine is lit, shoot the right outside lane. If the Camera is lit, hit the left outside lane to feed the upper right flipper and shoot across the playfield to the Camera slot. If lock is not lit, you can also get to the upper right flipper by hitting into the lock area, the ball will be released and fall to the upper right flipper. ( To make the Camera shot easier, hold the left flipper button, this raises the upper left mini flipper and makes the opening for the shot wider!)

After a few ramps shots are made the right ramp lights for POWER! Shoot the right ramp and the metal carriage will drop out of the way allowing the ball to roll into the Power mini playfield. Here you try to "hit" the ball with your "flippers" through the hole at the top of the playfield. The "flippers" are magnets under the playfield. Hit the flipper buttons at the right time and the magnet pulses, attracting and then shutting off sending the ball off as if it were hit. It's a lot of fun and very frustrating. You get a lot of points just by banging around the Power playfield but if you shoot the ball out the top hole, your Power score is doubled and and your awarded a door panel.

Work your way through all of the door panels and hit a lit Slot Machine or Piano when the question mark (door knob) is lit to start LITZ (Lost In The Zone). A timed 6 ball multi ball with everything lit.

The Machine

In addition to all the features above, Twilight Zone has several other features that come into play during the game.

First off is the sound. TZ is pre DCS which is disappointing because the sounds are great and a large part of the over-all feel of the game. Fortunately, you can install upgrades (like a sub woofer) to really make the pin rumble. The sound is just incredible, the music, the sound effects, "Rod's" voice everything is great and tightly integrated into the whole experience.

Twilight Zone is the only game with a Power Ball. It's a white (when new) ceramic ball that weights about 20% less than a steel ball. It doesn't sound like much, but it makes a BIG difference in two ways. For one, it is much faster than a steel ball, very,very quick. And second, it is not effected by magnets. Most of the time, the machine "knows" when you are playing the Power Ball and accounts for it by announcing "POWER BALL" and asking for it to be returned to the Gumball Machine.

The Gumball machine is located in the upper left corner of the playfield. It looks and basically functions just like a real gumball machine. Balls are loaded from the right loop and kicked up into the top of the gumball machine. It holds three balls. When a fourth ball is loaded, the yellow knob turns and a ball rolls out of the front of the machine. It drops into a hole and is kicked out at the Slot Machine. If you load the machine with the Power Ball, Power Ball Multiball is started.

Two (originally three) magnets are located in the outside loops. These magnets are operated by the game to stop the ball from continuing around the loop and is released to an upper flipper. The third magnet was cut to save production cost and was used in the spiral mode and to start multiball.

The ball lock is located to the right of the right ramp. The lock holds up to three balls. It also awards an extra ball when lit. Once two balls are locked a shot up the left ramp is diverted to the auto plunger to start multiball. Hit the Piano shot to score a multiball jackpot, hit the Camera shot to re-light the piano for another jackpot.

All of this is tied into the original Twilight Zone television show of the late 50's and early 60's. Most of the images on the backglass (translite) are from various episodes of the show. The big exception is the Gumball machine. It was not used in the TV series but it definitely fits into the spirit of "The Twilight Zone".

Twilight Zone is considered an "experts" pin. It does challenge all levels but I have found that you can enjoy playing it at any level. It's one of my all time favorites.



Photo Gallery




From the Internet Pinball Database
Twilight Zone (TZ) / IPD No. 2684 / April 05, 1993 / 4 Players
Manufacturer: Midway Mfg. Co., a subsidiary of WMS Industries,
Inc. (1988-1999) [Trade Name: Bally]
Model Number: 50020
MPU: Williams WPC (Fliptronics 2)
Type: Solid State Electronic (SS)
Production: 15,235 units (confirmed)
Theme: Adventure - Supernatural - Licensed Theme
Specialty: Wide-Body Machine

Notable Features:
Main playfield magnets that catch ball and direct it back
(like Magna-Save, but not under player control).

Only game with the "Powerball", a ceramic pinball about 20% lighter than a steel pinball
-- much faster, and not affected by the game's magnets.

Unusual auto-plunger/manual-plunger arrangement.

Five possible multiball modes:
"Powerball Mania", 3-ball;
"Fast Lock", 3-ball;
"Lost in the Zone", 6-ball;
"Regular Multiball", 3-ball sequential release, without 3rd magnet installed;
"Regular Multiball", 3-ball simultaneous release, with 3rd magnet installed.

Mini playfield that uses magnets for flipper-like action;
Real working gumball machine on playfield that dispenses pinballs;
Working analog clock; tells time in attract mode, times most modes during game play.

Design by: Pat Lawlor
Art by: John Youssi
Music by: Chris Granner
Sound by: Chris Granner
Software by: Larry DeMar, Ted Estes
Notes: Game plays the song "Twilight Zone" performed by Golden Earring.
Rod Sterling's likeness had to be licensed separately from the "Twilight Zone" name.

Marketing Slogans:
"Twilight Zone includes more features with patents pending than any other game in history!"
"Enter Into a New Age of Pinball"
"The Profit Zone. (with PlayMeter and Replay ratings)"
"You have just crossed over... into the Twilight Zone"