Fireball (Bally, 1972)

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Quickie Version

 Make lots of Skill Shots by locking balls, playing multiball, then relocking balls after multiball ends.  If you can get a ball locked in just the Wotan saucer, just keep shooting towards that saucer to score gate passes. 
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

Skill shot: plunge so the ball stops just shy of the top left gate and falls back into the nearly-horizontal lanes to collect 3 one-thousand point switches and light the bumpers. Extreme priority to finding this skill shot! You’ll find that you may get more than half your points in the game from it. And those points, and lighting the bumpers, can ONLY be done on a plunge; there’s no way to shoot the ball up there to do it during play. The only other way to get it during a ball is to lock a ball so that you get another chance to plunge. A really good plunge will actually get you 4K, as the ball will rebound slightly at the top right and trip the bottom 1,000 switch before dropping into the bumpers.

Lock balls whenever you can! More skill shots at potentially 3K each. Sets up multiball, too, of course.

If the ball is coming towards the flippers, trap if you can, but if you must shoot, shoot the ball at the center mushroom bumper to close the flippers. If you get the ball cradled on either flipper, shoot to lock a ball.

Once the flippers are zipped, try to get the ball to settle onto the zipped flippers. If the ball is coming towards the flippers when zipped, don’t flip! Let the ball settle down onto them.

Okay, let’s assume you’ve got the ball resting between the zipped flippers. Very lightly tap one of the flipper buttons to get the ball to dribble up the opposite flipper. Then try to backhand one of the lock ball saucers. Backhands are safer and more accurate than forehands on this game. The backhand shots are about halfway up the face of the flipper.

Once a ball is locked, repeat the skill shot. Get that ball to the flippers, and try to lock a second ball.

Once you have a ball locked in Wotan [right side saucer], try to keep the flippers zipped and just keep shooting at the Wotan saucer. With a ball locked in the saucer, the second ball will just go through the gate, deflect off the locked ball, and roll down through the rollovers, scoring 1000 for each of the mushroom bumpers you’ve hit [minimum 1 if you have zipped the flippers], then out the lower gate and hopefully back towards the right flipper. Trap it if you can and repeat for 1000-3000 as many times as you can.

The side mushroom bumpers will release a ball locked in the opposite-side saucer and start multiball. During multiball, try to shoot the balls back into the saucers and or rezip the flippers. Unlike most machines, this is one where you’re better off not playing multiball.

The kickback is lit and unlit by buttons around the edge of the center spinning rubber disk. Don’t bother shooting to light it [although a zip flippers shot often does], just enjoy a kickback if you get one.

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