It has taken me longer than expected to advance to the next pinball machine in the queue. I did have plans for a short break after completing Harley (I still need to get around to doing the final write up), but a parts delay delay and sorting out a few mechanical issues at the end of that game ate up the gap I had planned. Sometimes, that’s how it plays out. The good news though, is this next game is one I’m really excited to be working on. It’s been raining SEGA’s here lately, with the next game up for a complete rebuild being a beautiful Batman Forever. It was released by SEGA in 1995 and roughly 2500 units were made. I don’t think SEGA games get enough credit and as a result, people miss out on some great fun. The game has plenty to offer players, serving up multiple ramps, rails, a diverter, 3 flippers, pop bumpers, targets, drop targets, a VUK, canon, Bat cave ball lock, large display (192×64), video modes and up to 6 players at once. The only thing it’s missing for me is a spinner. The game is also a widebody, but with plenty of things around the playfield, it feels filled to the brim. There’s even an easter egg hidden in the game – “After a certain number of slingshot hits, after a 3 second lag, a giant bat will appear on the screen and screech at you. If you hit the trigger then you will get 50M extra points”. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one – easy points! There are a few issues that need to be sorted out along the way and I’ll go in to those as I work my way through the game. For the most part though it’s working well and just needs a good clean. Time to get started.
I’m a fan of the Pinball 2000 (P2K) games released by Williams and I’m excited to now be working on one – especially since it’s my own. I have a little bit of down time while waiting for the Harley CPU board, so decided to keep my hands dirty and continue tinkering. The next machine to get a rebuild is a Star Wars Episode One. It was released mid 1999 and is the very last game to be made by Williams before they sadly closed. Interestingly, you can (or at least could) buy conversion kits for this and Revenge from Mars – meaning you could run both games in the same cabinet by swapping playfields, ROM’s and shooter assembly. It’s a bit of a manual process to swap them, but still nice to have two games taking up the one spot. There were sadly only two P2K machines made (with a couple more planned – Wizard Blocks and Playboy) and it’s a shame they were not able to continue with them. I feel they are very underrated! There isn’t much wrong with the game that needs to be sorted out. It mostly just needs the assemblies serviced and some cosmetic improvements. I’ll be doing my usual rebuild of all assemblies and cleaning, along with some presentation fixes too. Time to get started!
Progress on Dr Who this week moved along really smoothly. Some weeks are like that, where everything comes together easily (which is a great counter to those weeks where nothing goes well at all). I wanted to start this update by giving the coin door a face lift. The coin door has metal panels over the three coin slots which will need to be removed. Because they are pop riveted to the door, I will need to drill them out and fill the holes. Overall the coin door isn’t in terrible condition, but has the usual scrapes and scratches from age. Replacing the old foreign pricing cards on the coin slots is on my to do list too. I spotted that the launch button isn’t correct. Notice the two small holes (one above, one below) the red button – there should be a larger button that slots in to them and so this needs to be replaced.
I had the goal of finishing off Funhouse in time for Christmas. I didn’t quite make it. I’ve been keeping myself busy on the repair & service over the last week and am on the final stretch. First thing to look at for this update is the coin door. It’s been on my to do list for awhile now and no more putting it off. The red and orange have long since faded from the artwork and the coin entry housing is a bit scratched up. There is also a section of the decal ripped at the lower left corner of the front panel. When dropping the machine off, the owner asked me to touch this up and possibly paint the red flags and balloons to give it a bit more colour. It’s also missing the coin return housing, which I will need to source.
After completing the remaining work on the Williams Whirlwind recently and the owner taking it home, it was time to move onto the next machine for repair & service. This time I’m looking at a Baywatch machine. Released by SEGA in early 1995 and able to be played by 6 players, it’s got a fairly decent playfield layout and is a lot of fun to play. The game play caught me by surprise as I’m not a huge fan of the theme (I’m sure my teenage self would have been..), but I find myself saying ‘just one more go’ when playing it. That’s a good sign for any game. The machine has been in the owners collection for awhile, crying out for a full service. As you’ve seen in my other threads, I get in and rebuild everything. It’s not a restoration, nor is it just a quick wipe down and fresh rubbers. Each assembly will be stripped, cleaned and worn parts replaced. The playfield will be stripped and everything properly cleaned too. Any game play issues will be sorted out and I’ll also spend some time doing presentation improvements (mostly things the owner has pointed out he wants addressed). Anyway, time to get started.