Bad Cats Version 1.01|
Written by Bill Ung
"There's more than one way to skin a Bad Cat!"
"BAD CATS" and dozens of other things in here are probably copyright
Williams Electronics Inc.
- Playfield Layout
- Skill Shot
- Fishbowl Ramp
- Trash Can / Fish Bone-Us
- Tiger Ramp
- Curiosity Spin
- Software Bugs
BAD CATS is a game by BARRY OURSLER. It is a very friendly-themed
pin, based on the life of a cat and the things they tend to do
(accompanied by the sounds that they tend to make :-)). The game
credits are as follows:
- Playfield: Barry Oursler
- Software: Ed Suchocki
- Mechanix: Don Sondej
- with support by Al Cardenas
- Art Clafford and Mark Johnson
- Sounds & Music: Dan Forden
- Good Management Support by Walter Smolucha & Joe Joos
- Cats & Dogs, Bees & Birds by the Pinball Python
I suppose you could call Bad Cats a cousin of Cyclone. Both are
fun-themed pins with just a single ball and I highly suspect that
the "SEAFOOD" wheel is the same mechanism as the Mystery Wheel in
Bad Cats also comes with a very amusing backbox toy of a woman
with a broom smacking a spinning cat. She also has a butterfly
tattoo on her butt. :-)
We'll take this in the usual clockwise fashion, starting from the left
- Left Flipper
- Standard 3" yellow flipper, nothing unusual here.
- Left Slingshot
- Standard size slingshots for this era.
- Left Inlane
- Opens Bulldog's Mouth (lights DogHouse scoop) when lit.
- Left Outlane
- Awards "Curiosity Spin" spin when lit.
- "Bird" Drop Target Bank
- Five drop targets. Hit them all down to
award a B-A-D C-A-T-S letter, working toward
lighting the Jackpot shot.
- Tiger Ramp
- Long ramp on the left, going up to the top of the playfield
and down the right side, emptying into the right inlane.
- Left Rubber-Switch
- Just to the right of the Tiger Ramp is a simple
leaf switch behind a rubber band. When hit, it
makes a dog bark, and awards 50 (BIG) points.
- Trash Can Eject Saucer
- Just left of the Fish Target, shoot the lane
that curves around, awards the Trash Can
value (10K) when "Empty", or the "Fish Bone-Us"
when lit. The value may be multiplied 10X,
if lit. The ball is then ejected towards the
- Fish Target
- This is a "linear" target, with the picture of a cat on
it. Theoretically, the harder you hit the target, the
more it will award you. This target lights the awards
for "Fish Bone-Us".
- Center Lane
- Nothing special, it curves around and leads to the top
- Right Rubber
- Switch - On the right wall of the Center Lane, this switch
makes a cat meow sound, and awards an even bigger
10 points per hit.
- "SEAFOOD" wheel
- This is a gimmick in the middle of the playfield.
A cat is fishing and there are eight fish in the
pond. The wheel spins and whichever one ends up
in the net will award it's appropriate value.
- Fishbowl Ramp
- Center ramp, easily hit from either flipper. This
ramp awards increasing values, up to an Extra Ball,
and is also where you collect the Jackpot.
- Top Rollover lanes
- Three rollover lanes that spell T-O-Y and empty
into the bumpers.
- Jet Bumpers
- There are three, in the usual configuration.
- Barbecue Lamp
- Flashlamp, in the middle of the three jet bumpers.
- "Milk Bottles" Drop Target Bank
- Three drop targets. Hit them all down
to award a B-A-D C-A-T-S letter, working
toward lighting the Jackpot shot.
- Doghouse Scoop
- This is a scoop, roughly playfield-mirrored to the T2
Database shot. "Ralphie" the Bulldog lives here.
- Right Outlane
- Awards "Curiosity Spin" spin when lit.
- Right Inlane
- Lights the 10X lamp at the Trash Can, when inlane is lit.
- Right Slingshot
- Looks damn similar to the left slingshot, only in
- Right Flipper
- Ya know, this one looks awful familiar too...
The ball is shot into the upper rollovers. One is selected at random,
and will be flashing. Pass the ball through the flashing lane and the
game will award you BONUS 2X + 120K + lighting the barbecue light.
Lane-change does not move the Skill Shot lamp.
Okay, well, I've yet to see a Cat hold a barbecue, but then, perhaps
I just didn't get invited. The barbeque, when lit, causes the point
value of the jet bumpers to go up from 500 points each to 5,000 points
each, plus accompanying cat meows and the occasional dog bark for each
hit. It's worth lighting it just for the sound effects ... really!!!
If you don't light it via the Skill Shot, you can light it by completing
a drop-target bank.
The left inlane, when lit, lights the DogHouse scoop. The right inlane,
when lit, lights the 10X Fish Bone-Us. One lane is always lit, when
collected, the light moves to the other lane. The lit lane can also
be moved by the slingshots, possibly the left/right rubber-switches,
and maybe even the jet bumpers.
The center ramp wraps around a Fish Bowl (well, sticker) and, when lit,
awards 30K, 50K, 100K and Extra Ball. On Factory Default settings, the
ramp is lit at the beginning of each ball until the EB is collected.
You may only collect one EB from this ramp per ball (though once I saw
it happen twice, so this is probably a reflexing option). If it isn't
already lit, you can light it by completing a drop-target bank.
Yeah! The S-E-A-F-O-O-D feature is collected from a lit Doghouse. The
Doghouse is lit by passing through a lit left inlane, or by shooting
the unlit Doghouse. It is lit for 20 seconds on Factory Settings.
Shooting a lit Doghouse spins the S-E-A-F-O-O-D wheel, which will award
one of the following prizes:
- Spots B-A-D C-A-T-S letter & 25,000 points
- 10,000 points
- 50,000 points
- Lites Jackpot
- Spin Again & 100,000 points
- Extra Ball
- 250,000 points
The wheel is also spun if you manage to collect "Curiosity Spin".
TRASH CAN / FISH BONE-US
The Trash Can is linked to the linear "Fish" target. If you don't
hit the Fish target, the Trash Can is considered "Empty", and will
award 10K if you hit it. Hitting the Fish target will light the
fish for 25K, 50K, 75K, 100K or 500K. These are timed and will
slowly unlight, one at a time, until only the 25K lamp is hit, so
after hitting the Fish target, you'll want to shoot for the Trash
Can. You get 20 seconds per lamp, on Factory Settings.
Now if you manage to pick up a lit right inlane, this lights the
10X multiplier. Should you do this, the awards from the Trash Can
are multiplied by, you guessed it, 10X. That means 100K, 250K,
500K, 750K, 1M or a huge 5M points (plus a delightful sound and
Due to a bug in the software, the light on the Trash Can doesn't
really mean anything. The trash can is routinely unlit at the
start of each ball, but the Fish Target and 10X lamps, if lit, are
left lit. All awards from the Trash Can are controlled by the Fish
target and the 10X lamp so these really carry over from ball-to-ball,
regardless of the actual Trash Can light.
This is the far left ramp, not a particularly easy shot, and a weak
shot can easily go SDTM ... so be sure you make this shot, or get good
at nudging and slap saves.
On Factory Settings, this ramp is always lit for something. First it
is 50K, then 100K, then 200K, then 1 million points, unlimited. There
is also a 20 million point lamp, but the scorecard doesn't tell you
how to light it. I will.
On your last ball ONLY, will the 20 million point lamp light. And this
is only after making consecutive ramp shots to go from 50K --> 1 million.
You can only collect this 20M value once.
Oddly enough, this ramp isn't timed. You could theoretically hold the
ball forever and the ramp will retain it's value. You must, however,
make consecutive ramp shots in order to advance the ramp value. Should
you fail to do this, everything unlights except for the 50K lamp (or
whatever your starting value is, based on difficulty settings). Be
careful not to nail a birdie drop-target by accident.
Now for particularly high scores, you can sometimes pick up the 20M shot,
drain down an outlane, pick up an Extra Ball from the "Curiosity Spin",
and then pick up *another* 20M. Theoretically, you should really only
be able to pick up 20M once per game. I've seen this happen twice, but
wasn't able to get it to occur later on. So I guess you could call this
an intermittent software bug.
This is a progressive Jackpot, which is carried over from game to game,
until it is collected. The Jackpot starts at 1 million points, and
grows. The lights on the backglass will give you an idea of how much
the jackpot is worth ... up to 8 million. The Jackpot value, itself,
can go up to about 20 million. The game seems to max the Jackpot at
20M, plus whatever extra digits happened to be around when it broke
the barrier. Therefore, it's quite possible to get a maximum jackpot
of say, 20,010,000 ... which is what was on the machine last I looked.
but I've seen higher. The Jackpot appears to grow by 10% of each
The Jackpot is lit by hitting the drop targets. Each successive sweep
of a target bank awards a B-A-D C-A-T-S letter, and brings you one step
closer to the lit jackpot. Completing B-A-D C-A-T-S lights the jackpot
on the center ramp. It takes one hit to collect it. There is no limit
to the number of Jackpots you can collect per game. You must relight
the Jackpot via the Drop Targets every time so it's a lot of work, plus
the Jackpot returns to 1M after being awarded and works its way up from
there, so this may not be very lucrative.
Curiosity killed the cat and this is sort of the reverse. The "Curiosity
Spin" lamps are lit at both outlanes (simultaneously) on your last ball.
If you happen to, umm, die, by the outlane, you get a Curiosity Spin,
which spins the S-E-A-F-O-O-D wheel. The beauty of this feature is if
you happen to be under the average game time, the game will award you an
Extra Ball as a consolation to your game (assuming the consolation ball
is turned on). You might also pick up an EB by luck of the draw, er,
spin. If you do pick up an Extra Ball, you do NOT get Curiosity Spin
lit again for this new, last ball.
Bonus on this game is like the old days. You get various bonus points
for hitting various things around the game. None of it carries over
from ball to ball and nothing is awarded for things like B-A-D C-A-T-S
letters that you have picked off. From around the game, you get:
- 1,000 bonus points to start, per ball
- 1,000 bonus points per hit of the linear "Fish Bone-Us" target
- 1,000 bonus points for any ramp entrance switch
- 2,000 bonus points for lit Doghouse
- 2,000 bonus points for knocking down any Drop Target
- 2,000 bonus points for any top rollover lane (lit or unlit)
- 2,000 bonus points for any inlane switch (lit or unlit)
- 5,000 bonus points for the Tiger Ramp scoring switch
- 10,000 bonus points for completing the Bird (5-bank) Drop Targets
- 10,000 bonus points for the Trash Can (lit or unlit)
- 15,000 bonus points for the Fishbowl Ramp scoring switch
- 20,000 bonus points for completing the Milk Bottles (3-bank) Drop Targets
- 30,000 bonus points for any Outlane switch (lit or unlit)
Completing the top rollovers will give you a bonus multiplier, from 2X
to a maximum of 7X. The bonus itself maxxes out at 999,000 bonus
Multi-Ball is pretty simple. Install more than one ball into the game
and voila! Multi-Ball. Chances are, though, that the game will get
awful confused when you do this, so it isn't recommended. Besides that,
you rarely see cats playing with more than one ball at a time. At least,
Now, on the off-chance that you suffer from triskaidekaphobia (fear
of the number 13), then you probably appreciate hotels and elevators
that have no thirteenth floor. In this case, you may safely ignore
this entire section and not change the rules one bit.
Bad Cats has a couple of software bugs. Perhaps the biggest is that
there is NO "Status Report", despite what it says on the apron. I
installed the Bad Cats LA-5 (latest) ROMs into Earthshaker and they
did not produce a Status Report. Alternatively, I installed Elvira
ROMs into Bad Cats and they DID produce a Status Report. That's
pretty conclusive evidence that it isn't a hardware fault so I'm
just going to go ahead and call it a software bug. I do not presently
have any other Bad Cats ROM revisions to test, so maybe it was there
once, and broke in a later software revision. If you have hard, cold
facts to the contrary, please Email me.
Another software bug is that the Trash Can is supposed to be unlit
at the start of each ball. It is, but the 10X lamp and the Fish
Bone-Us lamps do NOT get reset, so even though the Trash Can itself
is unlit, if you hit it, you get all the bonus awards you would
have gotten if it had been lit. All things considered, I suppose
we shouldn't complain.
Last, there's that bug about sometimes being able to pick off the 20M
shot from the Tiger Ramp twice in a game. Honestly, this shouldn't
One iffy one, which is likely true for all System 11-ish games, is that
when the scoreboard turns over (at 100M points), the game will award
you another Replay for passing the Replay score again (and again).
There are also no cows in the game (at least, not that I could find).
You can call that a bug if your really want to.
That's it folks.
Please Email any corrections or suggestions to me
- HTML added by David Gersic dgersic_@_niu.edu
- E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.