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, 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 had planned to begin this update with a really bad pun, but I’ll save you the anguish and get straight in to the good content! This update will be focusing on the assemblies in the lower section of playfield, along with cleaning up the drop target areas. I’ll also the look at the upper orbit shot as some screws that attach the metal rail to the playfield live under plastics in the mid section – so easier to do that all now in one go. The game has been played a lot over the years, with broken plastics across most areas of the playfield. The sling shot and return lane plastics are cracked or missing a few pieces. The bikes are still in one piece though, which is good news.
There was a time where I would have weeks (often months) between pinball projects. Not any more though. As one machine goes out the door, the next one rolls right on in. This time it’s back-to-back SEGA’s with a Harley Davidson replacing the Apollo 13. The last SEGA game before Stern took over. It was released in 1999 and there ended up being 3 editions released. The first from SEGA, which Stern then continued once it took over. That was followed by 2 additional editions a few years later by Stern. The game powers up, but has a few issues to look at. It needs a really good clean, but that’s typical of most games that come my way. The main issue I’m concerned about is (seemingly) random resets, which I will get to shortly. It has some mechanical issues, but those won’t be a problem to sort out. Let’s get started!
Having worked through the lower and middle sections of the Apollo 13 playfield in previous updates, it’s time to turn my attention to the upper section. There aren’t that many assemblies to get through, but quite a lot of parts to remove, clean and then install again. So it’s still a time consuming process. My first area of interest in this update will be the pop bumpers. But before I can get there, I have a few things to remove. In previous updates I had already removed a couple of the blue rails, but now it’s time to remove the rest so I can get to the pop bumpers.
Colour displays on pinball machines are awesome! That’s probably stating the obvious, but once you’re playing in colour, it’s hard to go back to boring old orange and be satisfied. The owner of this Apollo had been thinking of adding a colour display from ColorDMD and decided to go ahead with it. There are two versions of colour display you can get – LCD and LED. This one’s the LED version and comes with everything you need to get it installed – it’s designed to be simple to install. Let’s get that new Colour display installed and see how it looks!