Algar (Williams, 1980)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Hit the captive balls on the right side all day and beware of draining through the outlane below them.  UTAD is an alternative but requires much longer ball times to compete.
 
 Go-To Flipper:  Left.


Full Detail

Algar is not a favorite, but still gets used. The highest-value shots on it are for the three captive balls on the right, but the playfield layout makes those high-risk. There’s a drain channel right of the right slingshot and it’s a common misery to go one captive ball shot and out there. The problem is, the other shots on the game don’t add value that quickly and aren’t terribly safe, either; Algar is lots of grinding and trying to survive random bounces.


The Skill Shot is to make the top center saucer to open the gate at the far right outlane; the saucer also spots one letter in K-O-R-A. The Kora lanes at the top advance your bonus multiplier one notch each time you complete the set up to 5X. Bonus multipliers are held from ball to ball, so get them early if they’re your goal.


The captive balls work on a progressive basis: the first shot to one is 30K, and moves the ball to the back position, out of reach; the second shot, which must now hit one of the other two captive balls, is 40K, and pushes that ball out of reach; the third ball is 50K. Once all three have been hit, you must shoot the “reset ball chamber” at the upper left to drop the balls back into their original hittable positions. The reset chamber is active as soon as at least one captive ball has been hit, i.e. if the ball goes in there after just one captive ball hit, that one ball is released. The captive ball value, though, does not reset when balls are released; it stays raised up to 40K or 50K.


The other strategy is to play UTAD, going for Kora letters and thus bonus multipliers, and getting base bonus advances along the way for each lane and drop target scored. Max bonus is the typical 29K and 5X for 145K.


The narrow center lane feeds a path on the far left side which scores from 10K up to 60K max [I haven’t discovered what raises the value]. If the ball enters from the bumper area, you get the base value, but if you get there by shooting through that center arc, you can get double value; you need to complete either of the drop target 3-banks to light the 2X shot arrow.


Finishing all 6 drop targets scores 10K the first time, rising 10K each completion up to 100K.


The drains on this game are odd. That left arc-chute shot can drain if the ball comes through it down to the gate above the left flipper at the wrong speed and kicks the edge of the gate, bounces backwards, then drops into the outlane behind the gate. Balls rolling up or shatzed up the left flipper can hit the gate, causing it to wobble open, then rattle out the outlane behind it as well. You have not one but two outlanes and no return lane on the right side, with two staggered-position slingshots, one below each. On the somewhat similar playfield of Embryon, that closer-in channel is a return lane rather than an outlane.


Key feeds: look out for balls exiting the top bumper area on the right side, they can go right into the first right outlane.



This page is one of many in the The Players Guide to Classic Pinball by written by Bob Matthews