Embryon (Bally, 1981)
UTAD, through the left spinner and to the top right saucer. When the ball exits the saucer, shoot through the gate to the upper left. Go-To Flipper: Balanced.
Skill Shot: none.
Embryon is a wide-body with a lot of shots available, most of which you can ignore, and an upper right flipper where shot selection actually matters. The plunge will go in the saucer above the upper flipper, then be kicked out to roll in front of it. Flip to either go through the gate to the top left three lanes [the outer two together gives you a bonus multiplier advance] or go for the closer-by drop target 3-bank.
The drop target bank gives five different awards when completed, which one you get indicated by the flashing light. Three of the lights award a letter in Embryon [not a big deal, more on that later]; one gives a bonus multiplier, one awards an extra ball, one gives a special, and one awards collect bonus. Unless the extra ball and special give points, this makes the drop target bank something to ignore unless it’s lit for either bonus multiplier advance or collect bonus. If you have collect bonus flashing, wait until your bonus is high to finish the bank and score it! Once you have “used” one of the drop bank awards, that award is locked out until you complete the entire circle of awards, at which point all become available again.
Bonus is good here, maxing at 49K and 5X for 245,000. Bonus multiplier is advanced three ways: by getting the 1 and 2 lanes in the upper left; by the third hit to the captive ball on the right side behind the single drop target; and by those top drops when lit for it. Embryon has the super bonus feature, where getting your base bonus to at least 20K or 40K holds that base value for future balls.
The spinner at the upper left can give good value when lit [1000 per spin, 100 unlit]; light it by shooting the upper right saucer twice.
The far lower right red flipper is inactive until you complete the A lane [far left] and B lane [right of the right flipper]. When active, you just get one flip with it, so timing is critical. There’s also a rubbered post there as a second chance way to save balls in the right outlane.
Multiball is achieved by hitting the center captive ball 7 times to spell Embryon, then locking a ball in that far upper right saucer. Multiball is anticlimactic, though, not worth anything special – no double scoring, no jackpots, nada. Play it for fun if you want, but not for a higher score; rebounds from the center captive ball are a drain risk.
The two side captive balls and the drop targets in front of them score points and add bonus, but the rebounds from these, too, are dangerous, so I avoid them. Same goes for the two pairs of yellow standup targets on either side of the center captive ball.
All in all, the risk-reward situation on any shot other than UTAD makes your strategy here clear, despite the greater-than-most-machines number of different shots available to take. For casual play, go ahead and mix your shots up, there’s a lot to choose from; in league or tournament play, go UTAD. And if you’re good at hitting the spinner and the spinner is active and lit, try transferring a ball cradled on the left flipper to the right flipper to shoot the spinner.