El Dorado / Gold Strike (Gottlieb, 1975)
Lit drop targets all day; they’re worth 10 times unlit. Go-To Flipper: Balanced.
Drop targets galore. Shoot the lit ones for 5,000, unlit ones are only 500. The targets reset once you have completed both banks. There’s a good amount of strategy and ball control required to get the most out the target banks.
Skill shot: soft plunge the ball into the lit 5,000 lane at the upper right.
Key Feeds: watch the three feeds on this machine carefully! When the ball comes down the left lane into the left bumper [feed 1], does it tend to come to the left, meaning either a drain out the left or a feed the left return lane, or come out the right, to either the left flipper or down the center? You’ll need to be nudging either way, but check its natural tendencies first.
When the ball comes down the right side, it can be moving slow if it fell through the left of the two lanes [feed 2] and hits the right wall or rattles unevenly down the right lane, or it can be moving faster if it falls cleanly down the right lane [feed 3]. Again, where does each tend to go? If the clean fall comes out fast enough to reach the left flipper, don’t nudge. If the slow fall comes out and thinks about slipping to the right towards the inlane/outlane divider, nudge.
The drop targets on the right are rarely backhandable, but you can often do a “well-timed-flying-backhand” into them when the ball is coming to the right flipper. If it looks like the ball is headed that way in such a manner that you’re not likely to be able to trap it on the flipper, give this a try.