Rulesheet for Williams "Fire!"
1987 System 11A
Rom Revision 2
Jason R. Putnam
July 28, 1998
Fire! was introduced in 1987, so a rulesheet is a little overdue. I
wrote this rulesheet because one didn't exist, and since this game is a mild
departure on the traditional pinball machine layout (no pop bumpers, no drop
targets, no lane change) I figured a rulesheet would be beneficial to anyone
trying to master this game. "Fire!" is a trademark of Williams. This
rulesheet is public domain (free).
Since this is my first rulesheet, it may suck. Be that as it may,
remember - What did you pay for it!?!? Please feel free to email me if
you find any typos, spelling errors, or mistakes involving the rules and
gameplay in this rulesheet, or if there is anything that you think I should
add to it. That being said, on with the show.
The best way to start off one of these things is to describe the game's
layout. So, that's what I'll do. To begin with, we'll start at the plunger,
which is of the manual type and in the traditional (right side) location.
The shooter lane goes just more than half-way up the playfield, where it
comes to a one-way gate that is angled about 45 degrees, so that if one
were to shoot the ball and just go through this gate, the ball would roll
back and the gate would deflect it down towards the flippers.
The skill shot is in the area just above the shooter lane's one-way
gate, and consists of five roll-over sensors and a stand-up target at the
very end. These are spaced evenly, and labeled so that the first one from
the gate is 20,000 points, then 10,000, then 30,000, then 100,000, then
5,000, and then finally the stand-up is worth 1,000 points. The object
here is to shoot the ball just far enough to roll over the 100,000 sensor,
and then it rolls back and falls into play. The highest sensor the ball
rolls over is the score you get, and if you shoot too hard, the ball hits the
stand-up target at the top and you only get 1,000 points.
Next, we'll look down between the flippers and see the fire plug,
which is a little round peg that pops up during different parts of the game
to prevent a drain. More on this later. Next, you can see that the
flippers are of standard size, and just above them on either side are the
slingshot kickers, again in the traditional layout. Outside of these you
will see little rails that separate the areas outside the kickers into an
inlane and outlane on the left and right sides of the playfield.
Now look at the top of the playfield, and you will see in the center a
large building that is for our purposes shaped mostly rectangular. In the
front of this main building in the middle is a little ramp that has a ladder
painted on it that can drop level into the playfield. I'll refer to this as
the "Ladder Ramp". There is a turnaround that forms a "U" behind the ladder
ramp, with an entrance on each side of the ladder ramp. There is an insert
lamp for each side of the turnaround to show when it is "lit". More on
this later. If the ladder ramp is in the usual down position (flush with
the playfield) then shooting a ball up the middle would hit a bumper peg and
be deflected back down. If the ramp is up, the ball can be shot through the
"window", in which it will either go to the left or to the right on the upper
loop. When this happens, a ball (or "Fireman") is locked ("trapped") into
either the East or West building. Immediatly to either side of the ladder
ramp are little side buildings with 3 stand-up targets on each. Each target
has a insert lamp that looks like a fire. Just below these targets are the
upper slingshot kickers, and on the outside of these kickers are the "save
the girl" ramps. These start about two/thirds the way up the playfield and
extend all the way to the back of the playfield and at the top they are
raised up so that the ball almost touches the playfield glass. They have a
sensor at the top to register a hit.
Outside of the "save the girl" ramps is the "main loop" ramp. This
starts from outside of the entrances of the "save girl" ramps and goes up
towards the back of the playfield, under the "save the girl" ramps, and into
the sides (through) the main building. The entrances to this loop can raise
and lower, so if they are in the initial position (up), the ball is on the
lower loop of "the loop", so a shot into the left side would come out on the
right side and vice-versa. If the entrances are both down, the same thing
happens, only the ball goes on the upper part/loop. Only if one side is up
and the other is down, if the ball goes into the side that is down, it will
follow around the top loop and go across the other side's entrance, which is
in the up position, so the ball continues along a little railing and is
dropped into a building, where it is locked in the same place it would be
locked if the ball went through the window of the building. If the ball goes
under a raised entrance when the other side's entrance is down, the down side
entrance will raise to allow the ball to come back out as if both sides were
raised (just like the initial position) and then that entrance will go back
Now, the only part left of the playfield to describe are the buildings
where the ball is locked from the loop. These are about half-way up the
playfield. On the inside sides of these buildings, are more stand-up
targets (three each side) that have the little fire-looking insert lights.
The building on the left, when it is releasing a locked ball(s), shoots them
out of the upper right corner through a one-way gate just above that
building's top-most stand-up target. The one on the right released locked
balls through the bottom, which drops each ball into the right side inlane.
Oh yeah, just in case you didn't already know, the left side building is the
"West" building, and the right one the "East" building. Ok boys and girls?
Ok, after the ball is plunged into the game and comes out of the
skillshot area, it will head directly for the flippers. Good thing the
fire plug is up at the beginning of each ball! If not, a good percentage
of balls would drain immediately.. At random during the game, different
groups of the fire targets (stand-up targets with the fire looking
insets) will be lit. They always lite in their groups of three. When a
fire target is hit, the corresponding insert lamp goes out, thus putting
out that fire. You have to put out all three targets in the bank to put
out the fire "group". Also, sending the ball through the loop will spot
(put out) one of the lit fire targets.
Starting from when you plunge a ball into play, one group will be lit,
and the 10x lamp will be blinking (of the upper column of 10x, 7x, 5x, 3x,
& 2x. The rest will be lit solid.) After a while, if you haven't put the
first group of fire targets out, the 10x will turn off and the 7x will start
blinking, and so on. Now you get less for putting out that fire, and at
random either another fire will start up in addition to the existing one,
or if you get lucky, the machine will pick the same fire you already had lit,
so you don't have to put out an additional fire to avoid the decreasing fire
bonus light. Either way, it is always good to put out the fires as soon as
possible. The longer you take, the bonus column will show less of a multi-
plyer until you get none. If you already put the first fire out, the timer
will reset, and another will light (the column will stay on 10x.)
To get multiball, you must put out all the fires on the building that
you want to lock a ball into. Once you put out the building that was on
fire, you'll see the opposite side ramp drop down for entry into the building
you just put out. Shot the ball up that ramp onto the top loop to lock the
ball into the freshly extinguished building. Now try to lock a ball into
the other side's building using the same technique. Once you have locked a
ball in each building, the ramps should both be up, and the "Lights Rescue"
lamps should be lit. Fire a ball through the lower loop to raise the ladder
and then get a shot through the window to start multiball. Once multiball
is acheived, you must put out all lit fires with at least two balls in play
to get the Million point award.
To get an extra ball, you must go up each "save the girl" ramp once.
Then, one of the two "save the girl" ramps will be randomly lit. To get the
extra ball, you must again hit the target at the end of the lit "save the
Each time you go through the turnaround at the top of the playfield by
the ladder ramp, the fire plug is raised for a few seconds (operator adjusts
this) to keep the ball from draining. If one or both sides of the turnaround
are lit, enter the turnaround from the lit side to raise the bonus level
multiplier. Additionally, sending the ball through the turnaround when it is
lit will raise the ladder for a window shot. Each time the ladder is raised,
it will stay up for an operator set period of time. You can hear the seconds
tick away and see the "Rescue Shot! Break Window" lamp flash as your time
of having a raised ramp diminishes. Hitting any slingshot kicker will cycle
around which turnaround lamp is lit. Also, the kickers cycle which extra
ball light is lit. When the bonus multiplyer is on 10x, if you get another
lit turnaround shot, the outlane "Special" lites will be lit.
The only trick I have figured out so far is this: When you have the ball in
the shooter lane, you can lightly plunge it so the ball moves through the
one-way gate just enough to trigger the 20k sensor, but not enough to go all the
way through the gate. This way the ball can register the score and go back
down the shooter lane for another attempt. But, unless you're good at this,
it could be a sure fire way for you to blow your skill shot. Additionally,
the more time you waste fooling around with the shooter lane, the more time
you waste on whatever fires are lit, and so your point values for those
buildings will be less.
The only bug I've found using the Revision 2 game roms was that when
you are getting ready to plunge your final ball, the display will show what
score you have to attain to get a replay in the bottom left display, but it
will keep toggling between displaying that and something else in that display.
All the while there is an empty display on the top right that could be used
to show this information, thus no toggling between the messages would be
needed. Hopefully, Rom Revision 3 (currently the latest Revision and probably
the final) fixes this. Anyone know?
I don't know if this is an easter egg or not, but could Fire! be Williams
first game to have cows in it? When you start a game, there is a cow mooing
loudly in the background. I guess this is supposed to be the famous cow that
started the great fire in Chicago in the old days, hence the theme of this
machine. I could be wrong however!
- M = Male voice
- W = Woman's voice
- C = Cow
- H = Horse
- M-"Save the Girl"
- M-"I can't!"
- M-"Move the hose!!!"
- M-"Bring up the ladder!"
- M-"Break the window!"
- M-"Arghh!! Tony is trapped!"
- M-"Whoa! Andre trapped!"
- M-"Help her!"
- M-"It's spread'in!"
- M-"Another Engine!"
- M-"Nice job, Lad!"
- M-"We've lost her!"
- W-"Save my Baby!"
- W-"It's about time!"
- W-"Get me outta here!"
- HTML added by David Gersic dgersic_@_niu.edu
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