Kahler's Guide to Bally's Game Show|
Preliminary Version, as of 11/7/93
Disclaimer: This rule sheet was (also) written completely from memory- I
haven't seen or played a Game Show in at least a year. However, I played
it many times back when it was new. Questions, comments and additions can
be forwarded to me, Mike Kahler. Any usage of the
term Milti-Ball refers to the physical action of having Multiple
(pin)Balls on the playfield at one time.
Important Things, in pseudo-random order
- Just the standard two lower, in standard size.
- The usual two above the lower flippers.
- Standard spring loaded manual plunger. Delivers ball to raised
plastic field for Skill Shot.
- Left/Right Inlane and Outlanes
- Standard setup on both sides, no Kickback
or other save mechanism on either side. Right inlane Lights 'SPIN' on
wheel. Left Inlane lights 'NUDGE'. Well rubberized in/out posts :).
- The wheel is made up of a circle of lamps in the lower center of
the playfield, such as the lightning wheel on BK2K.
- Wheel Ramp
- Wide-mouthed ramp entrance is located about in the center of
playfield, like the placement of the ramp in Police Force. After the
initial (steep) rise, the ramp takes a sharp right and makes a 270 degree
turn, with the return path passing be low the ramp entrance and leading to
the left inlane. Entrance to the loop actually passes over an open
section of the return path- the ball must 'clear' this crevice to make it
through to the loop; if not, it will fall into the lower path and return
directly to the left inlane.
- Two, located just below the CASH rollovers, quite obscured
by the Wheel Ramp.
- C-A-S-H rollovers
- 4 in-line rollovers at the top of the playfield. Each
has a light which can be steered (either way???) with the flippers. The
lane lights are repeated on the back-board of the playfield as they are
obscured by the skill shot plastic.
- Collect Ramp
- Ramp entrance is located 2/3 way up the playfield on the
extreme right side- it actually connects into the plunger lane ramp just
after it's initial rise, thus continuing to the Skill Shot playfield..
- Collect Saucer
- Located about 2/3 way up the playfield on the extreme
left side, just opposite the Collect Ramp entrance. Only accessible
through the Collect Ramp when Collect or Jackpot is lit. Acts as the lock
for 2 ball multi-ball.
- Skill-Shot playfield
- a raised plastic field accessed by the plunger
lane. Located wholly above the CASH lanes and has 4 holes which drop the
ball directly into one of the 4 lanes (BATMAN sound familiar?).
- T-V Targets
- Two single targets located upward and to the left of the
Wheel Ramp entrance.
- T-R-U-C-K Targets
- Five single targets lining the Left wall, just below
the Collect Saucer.
- T-R-I-P Targets
- Four single targets lining the Right wall, just below
the Collect Ramp entrance.
- CAR Drop Target
- Located to left of CASH lanes, accessible by a shot just
to left of the T-V targets.
- Rear Loop
- Large radius two way loop around the extreme far end of the
playfield. Left entrance is to the left of the CAR drop target. Right
entrance is hit by shot passing between the pop-bumpers and the Collect
Ramp entrance. Each entrance has a spinner (or was it just a gate?), a
SPOT arrow, and some other lighted features, as explained below. A weak
shot into the loop that doesn't make it out the other end will place the
ball above the CASH lanes.
- Big Bucks
- A sink hole located behind the CAR target. Only accessible
after the CAR target has been dropped. Ball is returned (via an under
playfield route) to the Right Inlane.
Game Show has a single level playfield. Plastic ramps for the wheel,
skill shot and collect ramps cover a lot of the area. There are a variety
of shots off the flippers, ranging from the close-quarters Wheel Ramp and
the TV, TRUCK and TRIP targets, to th e distant Loops and CAR/Big Bucks
The rear, vertical panel at the far end of the playfield is rimmed with
clear bulbs, which continuously 'chase', giving the game a glitzy, game
Another noticeable thing is the large "APPLAUSE" studio light on top of
the backglass. Lights during most major point scores, as well as randomly
whether the game is being played or not.
The backglass depicts the Host, an Assistant, and 4 contestants. If
anyone can fill in the names please do.
Host: Keith McTeeth.
Contestants: Ms. Geri Tol,
Start of game quote:
"Welcome to Game Show, I'm your host, Keith McTeeth"
(McTeeth is apparent from the cartoon of our host on the backglass).
The plunger delivers the ball to a raised field above the CASH lanes.
Object of the Skill Shot is to hit the flashing CASH lane for X Bonus.
The flashing lane cannot be steered. Bonus X's start at 2X and max at
10X, with a step value of 1. Because the Collect Ramp connects into the
plunger lane, it is possible for a weak plunge to roll backwards down the
Collect Ramp and into play. A very weak plunge not even reaching the peak
of the Collect Ramp will always return to the plunger.
The whole object of Game Show is to win prizes :). To do this, you must
light each prize for collect, then collect them. Once a prize is
collected, it cannot be collected again until all others have been
collected. Prizes can be lit and collected in an y order.
There are 4 main prizes, a TV, TRUCK, TRIP and CAR. Each prize has a
target/target set associated with it. On the multi-letter prizes, each
target has a lamp noting whether that letter has been spotted.
Each time a prize is completed (ie, hitting all letters in TRIP), that
prize is lit for Collect on the Collect Ramp. The base of the Collect
Ramp has a lamp for each prize; a flashing prize means it is ready to be
collected. Steadily lit prizes have already been collected. To help the
flashing/steadily lit impaired, there is also a large Collect lamp at the
entrance to the ramp which indicates if there is a prize to be collected.
Besides direct hits on the prize targets, prize letters can be spotted
individually by traversing the rear loop in the direction indicated by the
SPOT arrow at the entrance to the loop. One of the two entrances will
always be lit; the lit side alternates with things hit like the
pop-bumpers and sling shots. Only a full traversal of the loop counts;
making it half way through then falling into the CASH lanes don't cut it.
The SPOTed loop direction does not change when a loop is completed, thus
continuous SPOT loops can be made; a ball returning from a CCW traversal
of the loop returning to the left flipper can immediately be shot to the
right loop entrance for another SPOT , over and over. It's one of those
fast shots that just flipping when the ball nears the flipper seems to put
it through the loop again, where it comes back to flipper again, and
again... (like the Freeways in High Speed or the Chase Loop in T2). Prize
letters are SPOTed from least valuable up; TV letters are given first,
then TRIP, then TRUCK, then the CAR.
Now to explain the seemingly simple Collect Ramp. During the Skill Shot
and when Collect is not lit, both the plunger and the Collect ramp will
continue to the raised Skill shot field, but will be diverted from
continuing to the Collect Saucer. Only when Collect is lit will the
diverter allow the Collect Ramp to continue on to the Collect Saucer,
where the prizes are actually collected (well, almost only. More below).
However, even if Collect is lit, a weak shot up the Collect ramp not
continuing thro ugh the diverter will end up in the Skill Shot field just
the same (shot must have enough speed to completely bypass the entire
Skill Shot area). A really weak shot can sometimes land back in the
plunger lane, just as a weak plunge can sometimes come back down the
As each prize is lit for collection, the assistant notes "Collect the [ TV
| TRIP | TRUCK | CAR ] !". When a single prize is collected, Keith states
"You've just won a [ color tv | fabulous trip | sporty new truck | shiny
new car ] !". If multiple prize s are collected in one Collect Ramp shot,
Keith adds a little something, for example "You've just won a fabulous
trip, a sporty new truck, and that's not all.... a shiny new car!". It's
clearly heard that the quotes are pieced together as needed, it's always
the same "You've just won..." followed by whatever is appropriate.
Needless to say, the whole Game Show environment is quite amusing and the
corny quotes really add to the game.
Showcase Bonanza is the major prize round possible after collecting the
above prizes. When the four prizes have all been lit for collect, the
Collect Ramp is also lit for Lock. It doesn't matter if some prizes have
been collected and others not; once the Collect shot has the possibility
of completing the Collection of all four prizes, Lock is also lit.
Luckily, if some or no prizes have been collected but the rest are lit for
collection, hitting the Lock/Collect Saucer will still award the full
"You've just won..." sequence, followed by the Showcase Bonanza stuff.
Would you believe Showcase Bonanza begins with the quote "Showcase
Showcase Bonanza is a 2 ball Multi-Ball. The second ball is served to the
plunger immediately after the first enters the lit Lock, or after prize
collection quotes are finished if needed. During Showcase Bonanza, the
Collect Ramp is lit for Jackpot. When the second ball is plunged, and
until some switch is hit, the ramp diverter is activated so no shot
(including the plunger shot) will continue to the Collect Saucer (where
the first ball is now locked). Apon hitting any switch, the first ball is
ejected from the saucer and the diverter is de-energized so a shot up the
Collect Ramp will continue to the Collect Saucer, where Jackpot/Showcase
Bonanza is scored. Showcase Bonanza/Jackpot starts at $3,000,000 and
remains there for the first few seconds after Multi-ball is started. It
then begins decrementing at a rate of about $100,000 every couple seconds,
and bottoms out at $1,000,000, where it stays until collected or a ball
Showcase Bonanza Quote: "You just won... Showcase Bonanza!!" (could you guess?).
Showcase Bonanza can only be collected once per multi-ball. Game play
goes back to normal after it is collected, even if both balls remain in
play. Prizes can be lit for collection and collected. The only
difference is Lock cannot and will not be lit until one ball is drained,
even if all four prizes are collected.
Another disappointing difference is after the first Showcase Bonanza, all
the prize quotes are discontinued and replaced by simple sound effects.
This is obviously because the quotes are quite lengthy, and are only heard
when the ball is waiting in the saucer, wasting precious, quarter earning
The wheel is scattered with various amounts, ranging from something like
$25,000 to $250,000, I think starting at the 12 O'clock position and
increasing clockwise. The wheel automatically spins at the start of each
ball, placing it in a random position.
The Wheel Ramp can be lit for SPIN or NUDGE. SPIN is lit by the Right
Inlane. NUDGE is lit immediately after a successful SPIN and remains lit
for several seconds afterwards. Merely hitting the swinging gate at the
entrance to the ramp restarts the NUD GE timer. Once NUDGE times out,
SPIN must be lit off the Right Inlane to activate the Wheel again. When
SPIN is lit, making a full loop around the Wheel Ramp spins the wheel and
awards the newly lit value. Making consecutive loops, before NUDGE times
out, advances the Wheel one space, and awards that value. As NUDGE is
re-lit by the left inlane, where the ramp returns to, it is easy to
'nudge' your way all the way around the Wheel. Note to award a SPIN or
NUDGE, the full 270 degree loop must be traversed; up the ramp and
straight back into the return path doesn't count.
Besides the general point values around the Wheel, there are also 4(?)
features connected to 4 of the point values. These are marked by clear,
circular lamps on the perimeter of the Wheel. The values (I can remember)
are: $1 Million, $4 Million, Lite Ex tra Ball, and Hold Bonus. At any
time, one of the features will be flashing. If the wheel lands on the
flashing feature (by either SPIN or NUDGE), that value is also awarded
along with the point value of that spot on the Wheel.
$1 Million awards $1 Million immediately, Quote: "$1 Million (?)".
$4 Million (not really) lights the Left Loop entrance for $2 Million. If
the Left Loop is hit before the $2 Million times out, then the Right loop
entrance is then lit for $2 Million, which also times out shortly.
Quotes: "Be a contestant for $2 Million, You just won.. $2 Million"
(repeated for Right Loop).
Light Extra Ball lights the Left Loop entrance for EB, which remains lit
for the remainder of the ball in play. Quote: "Get the Extra ball, Extra
Ball" (both by the assistant).
Hold Bonus does just that, but in a much more noticeable way than say,
White Water. The Bonus X is carried to the next ball, or if on the last
ball, gains a second bonus count up at the end of the ball. What actually
makes up the Bonus Value escapes me, but when up to 10X can be scored,
it's worthwhile to score.
Once each feature is scored (or lit, such as the EB or $4 Million), that
feature remains steadily lit on the Wheel. Only after all 4(?) awards
have been lit will they be available again.
It seems there is some other way than the Wheel to light the Extra Ball
(at the entrance to the Left Loop). From what I recall, it must be
reaching 4X Bonus. Lighting this way probably only holds for the ball in
play. If scored, 5X must be reached next , then 6X, etc.
Big Bucks is scored via the sink hole behind the CAR Target. It begins
each ball at $100,100. Each time it is hit on the same ball $100,100 is
added to the value. As the sink hole returns to the right flipper, it is
quite possible to continuously hit t his shot. I faintly remember the CAR
target resetting at some point, maybe after $900,900 is reached. Can't
say for sure. When it does, it essentially means 2 shots are required to
hit the hole, one to drop the CAR, and another to hit the hole.
Tips, Tricks and Bad Things
Game Show is quite a simple game, both in rules and playfield mechanics.
I've never seen one not fully functional; there's only 1 lock and 1
diverter to go haywire. If all the ramp switches and gates also register
you're in good shape.
Lighting prizes for Collect is easy- no difficulty in hitting any letter
in any prize. With additional SPOTs from the Loops, they all 4 get lit
pretty quickly. Prizes never become any more difficult after Showcase
Bonanza's, so it's always just as easy to get a multi-ball.
As the Wheel Ramp can be hit from either flipper, it is quite easy to
'NUDGE' the Wheel around a full circle. It's usually best to SPIN, then
NUDGE until the first feature is awarded, then shoot what is necessary to
score that feature. By now a SPIN will be required off the Right Inlane
to continue with the Wheel.
Big Bucks is not a simple shot; the sink hole is far down a long path,
thus requiring a good centered shot to make it all the way to the hole.
The score awarded isn't spectacular either, making it a less desired shot.
The Wheel Ramp is designed with the player in mind; it will never center
drain a ball rolling back down the initial rise. It seems to have some
deformation right at the entrance that will seriously change the path of a
returning ball, sending it near the pivot end of one of the flippers.
The Collect Ramp is good to shoot whether lit or not; if not lit, it's an
easy way to get into the CASH lanes, which can make a large end of ball
bonus, as well as working towards an Extra Ball.
The Multi-Ball trick works especially well on Game Show. Being a Bally
machine requires extra skill on the players behalf though.
Multi-Ball trick background: After locking a ball, when the next ball
arrives at the plunger, it is possible on many games to push the plunger
inwards, enough to push the ball off the trough switch, making the game
think the ball is no longer there. After some time, the game will perform
a 'ball search', eventually kicking out any locked ball to get the game
going again. This nets the player with a free ball in the plunger as well
as (on some games) Multi-Ball mode scoring with only one ball on the
playfield. But Bally got a bit smarter; If a ball is served to the
plunger, and it hits the trough switch, it will never perform a ball
search even if you push the ball off the switch; it _knows_ the ball was
put there. So this just means you have to push the plunger in _before_
that second ball pops into the plunger, so it never triggers the trough
switch. Easy to do, just push the plunger in as soon as you hit the
Collect/Lock ramp when Lock is lit. Plenty of time before the next ball
Multi-Ball trick awards something more on Game Show. Holding the ball
with the plunger, the machine will ball search and eventually kick the
locked ball out of the Collect Saucer. Once that ball hits any target,
Jackpot is ready at the Collect Ramp, meaning the diverter has been
de-activated. Simply plunging the ball now will pass right by the Skill
Shot playfield and drop immediately into the Collect Saucer- "You just
won.. Showcase Bonanza!" (without even trying to shoot for it, and at full
$3,000,000 value! :).
As with any machine, for Multi-Ball trick to work, the trough switch must
be adjusted such that pushing in on the plunger will un-trigger it. As
most games make some sound effect when the ball is plunged, you can tell
if MB trick will work in advance. Before plunging the first ball, press
the plunger in and see if the 'plunge sound' is heard. If so, you're set
for MB trick later on.
On Game Show, it's possible to Lock a ball before the Lock is even lit, if
you want to get technical. When the last prize is lit for Collect, if the
Lock Ramp is hit before the "Collect the ???" quote and animation is
finished, the Lock will not light, b ut as you made a valid lock shot,
Showcase Bonanza will be awarded (after the "You've just won.." quotes are
finished). I even recall the displays throwing in a quick 'Lock Ready'
just after the awarding of prizes, but then it realizes you already locked
and continues with Showcase Bonanza. Try it sometime and you'll see what
I mean, it's basically a noticeable lag in the update/display software.
Last note- for the match, the wheel spins and gradually slows to a stop.
However, the numbers on the Wheel do not relate to the match at all, it's
just a visual clue that the match is taking place. The actual match
selection is shown on the displays.
End of Game quote: "How would you like to win fabulous prizes on Bally's
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