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Source: The Pinball Archive

Rules: Space Station

Author: Steve Loft
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1993

I wrote this a while ago, but wasn't happy with it when I'd finished it. I don't seem to have acquired the 'style' of the other rules writers. Also, it seems a bit on the short side, but then again the rule set isn't that deep anyway. Consider it a first draft, and I'll think about improving it at some point. Please feel free to criticise (constructively) both the style and the content.

Rules for Space Station

'Space Station' and 'Multiball' are trademarks of Williams Electronic Games Inc.

This rule sheet is by Steve Loft. All descriptions are based on factory settings; see the section 'Difficulty Levels' for a description of the operator adjustments.


3 Jet Bumpers.

Bank of 7 targets to left side, spells 'SHUTTLE'.

Bank of 3 targets roughly in centre of playfield, and bank of 4 targets to right side, together spelling 'STATION'.

Bank of three drop targets, increases bonus multiplier.

'Mini' playfield, with 3 lanes, lights '1-2-3'.

3 further lanes underneath mini-playfield, lights 'U-S-A'.

Left hand and right hand ball locks.

Ramp to right of playfield, takes ball to either lock, depending on position of Space Station divertor (see below).

Drop target which more or less blocks entry to ramp while raised (although ramp entry is still possible with the target raised).

Centre ball popper, accessible from shot around left and back of playfield, past the U-S-A lanes. Exit from ball popper is to either lock, depending on position of Space Station divertor (see below).

Right hand ball popper, accessible from shot slightly to the right of the centre of the playfield, past the drop targets. Exit from this ball popper is to the mini playfield.

Space Station. This is a divertor which rotates (counter clockwise, when it's working properly, which mine often isn't) such that a ramp shot will always put the ball into an empty lock (assuming there is one). If the centre ball popper is entered while one ball is locked, however, the ball will be held in the popper and the space station will rotate before the ball is popped, thus sending it into the empty lock.

Single target to right hand side of playfield.

Two standard flippers.

Standard plunger.

No inlanes.

Kickback on left hand outlane.

Object of the game

Dock two balls in left and right locks "LIBERTY DOCKED", "DEFENDER DOCKED", then shoot centre or right ball poppers to start Multiball "NEGATIVE - YOU MUST RE-DOCK". Re-dock two balls to win Rescue Jackpot "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED".

Game Play

A habitrail takes the ball from the plunger to the mini-playfield. There is no skill shot. At the start of each ball, the awards for making SHUTTLE and STATION are randomised, and displayed on two banks of lights set into the middle of the playfield. Shooting the single target to the right of the playfield again randomises one of these, depending on whether it is lit for shuttle or station. The awards for making SHUTTLE or STATION are:

  • Special
  • Extra ball
  • 50,000 + relights kickback
  • 50,000 + bonus ball
  • 150,000 + hold bonus
  • 75,000
  • 25,000

Bonus Ball
The 'bonus ball' mentioned above is a timed extra ball at the end of the game. This normally lasts 25 seconds, but is increased to 45 seconds if you have achieved Multiball during the game. If you drain during bonus ball, the ball is sent back to the plunger; the ball only ends when the time runs out.

Stop 'N' Score
This is started by hitting the drop target in front of the ramp. This starts a 25 second timer, during which a score repeatedly counting from 20,000 to 99,000 is displayed. Making the ramp shot awards whatever score is displayed at that time, multiplied by the Stop N Score multiplier. The multiplier is advanced by making U-S-A (see below).

Making U-S-A (the three lanes underneath the mini-playfield) advances the Stop 'N' Score multiplier, up to a maximum of 5X. Making 4X lights the single 'randomise' target to the right of the playfield for a special.

Making 1-2-3 (the three lanes on the mini-playfield) increases the jet bumper score. The jet bumper score starts at 500, and increases by 500 each time 1-2-3 is completed, up to a maximum of 3,000. Making 1-2-3 also relights the 'Dock when lit' lights.

Drop Targets
Making the bank of 3 drop targets increases the end-of-ball bonus multiplier, up to a maximum of 7X. Making 4X lights extra ball, awarded by making the drop targets a further time.

Centre Ball Popper
Awards 100,000 when lit. Pops the ball into either the left dock (via a habitrail) or right dock depending on the position of the Space Station, and whether a ball is already docked. If 'Dock W/L' is not lit the ball will immediately be ejected from the dock. Making the centre popper when two balls are already docked starts Multiball.

Right Ball Popper
Pops the ball to the mini playfield. Starts Multiball if two balls are docked.

Sends ball to either dock depending on the position of the Space Station. Awards Stop N Score if activated. Making the ramp when two balls are already docked causes the ball already in the dock to be ejected and replaced by the ball in play.

Docking two balls and making either of the ball poppers starts Multiball. Re-Docking two balls awards the Rescue Jackpot, which starts at 200,000 and increases by 10,000 each time Multiball ends without re-docking. After a Multiball, 1-2-3 must be made before a ball can be docked again.

Right Outlane
Scores 100,00 when lit.

Difficulty Levels

The following features are operator-configurable (as well as the usual stuff such as high scores and balls per play):

Bonus Ball Time
20 to 40 seconds. Factory setting: 25 seconds.

Stop N Score Timer
5 to 30 seconds. Factory setting: 25 seconds.

U-S-A lights special
3 to 5 completions. Factory setting: 4 completions.

SHUTTLE memory
Whether SHUTTLE lights are remembered for next ball. Factory setting: YES.

STATION memory
Whether STATION lights are remembered for next ball. Factory setting: YES.

1-2-3 memory
Whether 1-2-3 lights are remembered for next ball. Factory setting: YES.

U-S-A memory
Whether U-S-A lights are remembered for next ball. Factory setting: YES.

Kickback lit at start of ball
Factory setting: YES.

DOCKING W/L lit at start of game
Factory setting: YES.

Bonus multiplier memory
Whether bonus multiplier carried forward to next ball. Factory setting: NO.

Stop N Score memory
Whether Stop N Score multiplier carried forward to next ball. Factory setting: NO.

Bumper value memory
Whether jet bumper value carried forward to next ball. Factory setting: YES.

Bonus multiplier lights extra ball
Adjustable from 3X to 7X. Factory setting: 4X.

Playing tips

It is relatively straightforward for a reasonable player to master the ramp shot off the left flipper and thus be able to dock two balls. The shot for the right hand popper to start multiball is also quite easy. A favourite shot of mine is from the right flipper, taking out the three drop targets and going on to enter the right hand popper. Re-docking when in Multiball requires just two ramp shots. For this reason, the Rescue Jackpot never seems to get very high (although Multiball is undoubtedly the most fun part of the game). The big scores, in my opinion, are obtained by making the U-S-A lanes to increase the Stop N Score multiplier to 5X, then starting Stop N Score and timing your ramp shot such that you get as near to 99,000 (times 5) as possible.

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.