Flash (Williams, 1979)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Complete the left targets to light the spinner, then spinner all day.
 
 Go-To Flipper:  Right until the spinner is lit, then Left to shoot it.


Full Detail

The top lanes are your bonus multiplier, but this game is pre-lane-change, so you have to skillfully plunge or nudge to get all of them. 1-2-3 awards 2X, 1-2-3-4 awards 3X. Bonus X resets each ball, but completed lanes carry over from ball to ball if you haven’t got 2X. So, for instance, if you have the 1, 2 and 4 lanes, you keep those for the next ball, but 1-2-3 or 1-2-3-4 resets all four lanes.


Max base bonus is 29K, so max total bonus is 87K. With a long ball, you can get more than that from lit spinner shots, so don’t dwell on bonus. Nice to have, not imperative.


The spinner is lit by completing the left target bank. Targets score 1000 if unlit, 5000 if lit [only one is lit at a time, it cycles continuously from bottom to top], so time your shots to hit the lit target, getting up to 25K per set rather than 5000. Center drops are only 3K when lit. Completing the center target bank awards Thunder the first time [5K], then Lightning [10K], Tempest [20K], and the fourth time Super Flash, worth 50K. Yeah, 50K is good, but given how many shots it takes and the high rebound drain risk, spinner shots have a better per-shot payoff, especially when you remember than a spinner shot will also go through a top lane for 1-4K plus some bumper hit payoff.


As for the right saucer, its value goes up one notch each time you complete either target bank. It can be a useful shot if the return from it is easily controlled. It can often be used as a ball transfer shot, too: if you haven’t finished the left drops yet and have the ball on the left flipper, you can shoot the saucer, catch the kickout on the right flipper, then shoot a drop on the left. Of course, if the spinner is lit, ignore the saucer and take the spinner.


The top 4 lanes are not equal in value, unlike most games. The 1 lane is worth 1000, the 2 lane 2000, the 3 lane 3000 and the 4 lane 4000. If you already have your bonus multiplied, you want to nudge for the 4 or 3 lane whenever you shoot the ball up top.


Ignore the two bullseye standup targets on the lower left and right; they’re big drain risks. If you do hit them, the left one lights the bumpers and the right one lights the return lanes [for 3K + 3 bonus advances vs. 1K and 1 advance when unlit].



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