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Source: The Pinball Archive

Rules: Diner

Gloomboy's Guide to
Williams' Diner
Version as of 9/28/93

The subject matter of this rule sheet is the property of Bally/Williams/WMS Mfg., blah, blah, blah.

As this is my first attempt at a rule sheet, be merciful. All of the following has been obtained through numerous late nights with my own Diner machine. In addition, my machine is set to the factory difficulty level, both for gameplay and also tilt settings. Readers of this rulesheet should keep in mind that certain play/scoring features can differ greatly depending on the difficulty setting. Having said that, here goes:

Object of the game

Serve the cranky customers to start Dine-Time and collect the Jackpot.

All the Other Stuff

The Clock
Located on the backglass is an analog clock numbered 1-12 with each number corresponding to the current Dine-Time value (in millions)

there are the usual 2 long ones.

Nothing special (Autoplungers suck, dude! Heh, heh, heh...).

Skill Shot
There is a miniature jukebox at the upper right of the playfield. When a ball is in the plunger lane, the jukebox flashes a series of 5 lights: 150K, 100K, 75K, 50K & 25K. Plunging the ball sends it to the Upper Left Saucer where you are awarded whatever value the light stops on. It's somewhat similar to the Skill Shot on T2. The first attempt is worth 1X Value, then 2X and 3X.

Goofy sound #1: When awarding the 150,000 value the game says: "Num-ber One!" In a cheesy female voice. It's funny the first time but tedious after 40 or 50 times....

Upper Left Saucer
This sink-hole can be reached one of four ways: The plunger lane, where it awards the Skill Shot value; The Cup Shot, a stray bounce through the EAT Lanes, or through the Spinner Shot. This saucer is used for both the Multi-Ball start as well as the Dine-Time Jackpot award.

E-A-T Lanes
3 lanes at the top of the playfield. They can be steered with the flippers, and award 2x, 3x, 4x & 5x bonuses. After the 5x bonus the game awards 100,000 points for each subsequent lighting of all three lanes. Upon completion of the three lanes, the game lights the 2 serve food lights at the base of each ramp, as well as one of the advance dine-time lights in one of the two inlanes.

Jet Bumpers
There are three, in the usual triangular fashion arranged right below the EAT lanes. The ball can feed to either the right or the left side, and it's almost impossible for the ball to fall SDTM.

Grill Shot
A small target to the left of the jet bumpers and underneath the Cash Register Ramp. This target awards ??? per hit, except when it is hit soon after knocking down a complete bank of drop targets. It then awards 3 values, which increase each subsequent time a bank of drop targets is cleared. The awards are 100K, 250K, 500K, and 1.5M. After the 1.5M shot, the award resets back to 100K. On factory settings the award carries over between balls.

Goofy sound #2: An unlit grill shot makes a noise that sounds like someone burning himself on a hot griddle and then screaming.

Spinner shot
This is a half-orbit to the left of the jet bumpers that feeds the ball to the Saucer if going fast enough, otherwise the ball will feed to the EAT lanes. There is a mirrored spinner her (like FishTales) that awards 3000 per spin when lit.

"Today's Special" Hole
This is a sinkhole located roughly 2/3 of the way down on the right. A stray bounce will sometimes send it in here, but usually the only way in is through a careful left flipper shot. The sinkhole is lit at the beginning of the game, and also from the left inlane. When lit It awards 8 random awards- 25K, 50K, 75K, 100K, 250K, Extra Ball, Advance Dine-Time and Serve Customer. If a ball is locked, the game will (usually) award Start Multiball. The eject hole sends the ball to the Upper Left saucer if working correctly. If the eject is not working correctly the ball will dribble into the plunger lane (feh).

Cash Register Ramp
This is the looping ramp on the left side. It feeds the ball to the right inlane, and has a small mock-up of a cash register on top. This ramp awards increasing values for consecutive ramp hits of 20K, 40K, 60K, 80K, 100K, 120K, 140K, ...etc. After 80K the Grill Shot lights for an extra ball(one per ball). After 100K each successive ramp shot boosts the Dine-Time value by 1 million. The left ramp raises following a right ramp shot to lock a ball for Multiball. This ramp can easily(?) be backhanded from the left flipper.

Cup Ramp
This is the looping ramp on the right side. It feeds the ball to the left inlane after crossing the Cash Register ramp over the jet bumpers. When shot for the first time during the game two things happen: the diverter on the left ramp raises to allow a ball to be locked, and the diverter on the Cup ramp swings to the side to allow a shot at the large plastic cup at the top center of the playfield("Stir The Cup"). This diverter stays open for about 10 seconds, while the ball lock will stay open until a ball is locked, even between balls.

The Cup
This is the large plastic bowl that's supposed to look like a coffee cup at the top of the playfield, and one of the key shots in the game. Balls that enter here will travel rapidly around the cup, similarly to the whirlpool in CFTBL, tripping over a sensor each time. Each 2 revolutions of the ball advance one of the DINER lights in the middle of the playfield. The cup shot bonus is 10x the light value. the awards go like this: D-25K, I-50K, N-75K, E-100K, R-250K. After the R is lit each successive revolution is worth another 10X100K up to a maximum of 10X350K or 3.5 Million. Following a successful cup shot the ball will drain into the EAT lanes. Successive cup shots requires the right ramp to be shot 5 times before the diverter will open again.

Your Customers
represented by five lights below the DINER lights and in front of the flippers: At the start of each game a customer is randomly selected to give you their order. The customer is served by hitting all six drop targets, which then reset. The next customer then barks out their order, etc. This continues until all five customers have been served at which point Dine-Time starts.

If the EAT lanes have been lit the white arrow lights at the base of each ramp will light to spot 1 bank of targets for each successful right or left ramp shot.

When you serve a customer a voice says "Order up!" and the Grill shot lights for about 10 seconds for the Grill bonus shot.

Some more Goofy Sounds (in various un-PC accents):

  • Haji: "Could you please give to me a Hot Dog and a Root Beer?..."
  • Babs (who looks suspiciously like Margaret Thatcher): "I'd like an Iced Tea and a Frankfurter..."
  • Boris (looks just like Gorbachev!): "I'll have Burger and Fries!..."
  • Pepe: "Gimme the Chili and a Root Beer!..."
  • Buck: "I'll have the Texas Chili and Fries!..."

Your customers will also taunt you if they think you are taking too long.

  • Haji: "Come on, man. You are too slow!"
  • Babs: "Really, I haven't got all day!"
  • Boris: "Hey! Get lead out!"
  • Pepe: "Andelay, andelay!" (sp?)
  • Buck: "Hurry up, partner!"

Drop Targets
there are two banks of three, positioned similarly to Dracula. One bank is on the left about halfway down, the other in front of the flippers just below the jet bumpers. The left targets have the Root Beer, Fries and Iced Tea lights. The right have the Hot Dog, Burger and Chili Lights. If you knock down one or two targets in a bank and then drain, the game resets all three (grr...)

A 2-ball multiball, and fairly easy to get, as multiballs go. When the left ramp raises for ball lock the ball travels under the raised ramp to land in a saucer underneath. The left ramp then lowers, another ball is fed to the plunger, and the Spinner shot lights for the ball release. The ball must be shot through the spinner so it lands in the upper left saucer to start multiball. The other way is to get the "Start Multiball" award from the "Special" sinkhole.

There are two main objectives to multiball. The obvious one is to nail all the drop targets, which can happen very quickly. The other is to get the:

The secondary multiball feature. During multiball, the upper left saucer and the "Special" sinkhole light for "Beat The Rush" These lights stay on for about 10-15 seconds, or until one or more balls drain. The saucer is "Rush #1" and the sinkhole is "Rush #2", and I think you have to nail them in that order. When both shots are made the game says "B-b-b-b-bbbaby" (Sounds just like Elvis!) and each ramp is lit for 500K per ramp for the duration of multiball. Cool.

THE shot of the game, and the only real way to the BIG POINTS. When the last customer is served, the Spinner shot lights for the jackpot shot. The ball MUST land in the saucer to get the award, which is 1 million X the current Clock value, to a maximum of 12 million. There is a backdoor into the jackpot shot, which happens when the ball goes in the "Special" sinkhole and is then fired into the saucer. The jackpot is lit for about 10-15 seconds, after which the game resets the last served customer and you start that customer over (grrr...)

I've never gotten more than one Dine-Time in a game, so I have no idea what happens if you got 2 or 3 (although I suppose I could take the glass off and look...naahhh.)

End-of-ball Bonus
some number which I've I think is determined by Jet Bumper hits (can anyone verify?) X the multiplier. In addition each served customer counts as a 1%(of the bonus) tip, which is added afterward. The end of ball bonus is no big deal...

Other Stuff

There aren't any, at least none that I've seen. Maybe too early for cows. Damn.

One of the outlanes is lit when your first two balls are real stinkers(the time is operator settable). The lane is steerable with the flippers, and awards an extra ball when hit during a right or left drain.

Death Saves and Bang Backs
I'm no wizard, but I can do a Death Save from the right 75% of the time. I would imagine BBs are possible, but the large nasty bruises I get have discouraged me from trying further.

Hit right Ramp. Hit cup shot for 3.5M. Lock ball. Nail left ramp repeatedly to increase Dine-Time value and light extra ball. Release Ball. During multiball go for "Get the Rush". Serve the customers and get your prize. Repeat.

No, really, that's basically it. Diner does not have a particularly deep rule set, but it does offer the novice to intermediate player a challenging way to improve his/her game without a confusing bunch of stuff to shoot at, like most newer games.

Bragging (Hah!)- My high score is only 23.5M, so there. Kevin, Lyman or Phaedrus probably get that on their first ball...

That's it! If you are familiar with this game and have any additions, I'd love to hear them.

Editor's Notes

  • HTML added by David Gersic
  • E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.

Extra Notes

From: (Lui Sieh)
Subject: Spoiler! Long (was Re: Diner strategy?)
Date: 3 Dec 90 18:36:45 GMT

Excerpts From Captions of
 3-Dec-90  Diner strategy?                Gregory M. Paris@rayssd. (415)
>I've had a few opportunities lately to play the game Diner (at airports
>and such), but haven't hit on an effective strategy for winning.  Should
>I run into one of these games again, I'd like to be able to do a little
>better.  Anyone familiar with this game want to provide a summary of the
>best strategy you've found?  If so, please post.

Here is a strategy that was not developed by me but by a collective of people
playin on our campus DINER game.  Credit probably goes to TEC for developing
it fully.  He was the person who got 55 Mil on it (as well as several 45 Mils
on it)

The following strategy however, may become very mechanical and other issues
which relate to strategy will be subject to another post.

1)  Always go and lock the ball.  Hit the right rmap shot to raise the left
ramp in order to lock.

2) lock the ball and release it.  You can release through using either the
"normal" release shot (looks like the Gorby shot on Taxi) or use the "hole"
shot on the side (looks like the planet shot on PinBot) to get the Diner
special start-multi ball.  (I don't think the words are right but you get
the idea I hope).

3)  With multi-ball try to thrash alot and knock down the targets to collect
the people in order to light Dine-Time jackpot shot.  It is *not* important
to light the 500K ramp shots to get points that way.

4)  Repeat above 3

Deviations to this above outline:

I also make use of the Grill shot (looks like the Taxi one too).  That shot
is worth collectively more than 2.5 Mil.  By hitting down one set of targets
you light Grill shot worth 100K 250K 500K and 1500K (1.5 M).  You can get a
free game just on this strategy alone if for some reason you have a hard
time getting the ramp shots down.

It is nice also to fill in E-A-T to help light the food shots on the ramps
since it will help you get to the DINE TIME jackpot sooner but again it isn't
all that important because with multi-ball those targets will fall fast with
two balls in play.

Finally, the cup shot with the 10X shot is the one shot *not* to shoot for.
It is not worth it when using the above strategy.  The problem with that shot
is that once you get it, you will have to hit the right ramp shot another 5
times in order to enable lock which as I have stated and will state again is
the *primary* purpose in a game because it will represent the most points and
the fastest way to get points and replay score.  That cup shot depending on
the game's condition will be worth up to 3.1 M or a mere 500 or 750K.  With
these points it will not be worth it for losing the ability to play multiball
which is worth much more.

In this case, I don't agree with David Tate in a previous article about DINER
and how to play it.  The left ramp is rather important because it will light
the extra ball (the Grill shot) and also advance DINE TIME jackpot as will
lighting the E-A-T since this will light the advance the jackpot in the inner
lanes.  The right ramp again is important because it enables lock rather than
for the 10X cup shot.  So, while it is true that DINER's multiball does not
lead directly to a jackpot shot per se, it will help immeasurably in knocking
down the targets in order to light the jackpot shot.

I hope this was rather clear.  If not, send some e-mail

BTW, the above strategy ought to give you an average between 5-7 Million
points.  Should be plenty for airport games.  Mileage will vary due to skill
and accounting for "off days".  And if you find it becoming  "mechanical"
then vary when boredome sets in.