Joust (Bally, 1969)

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Quickie Version

 UTAD along the left wall into the top mushroom bumper from the right flipper, and through the gate at the top right from the left flipper. 
 Go-To Flipper:  Left.

Full Detail

Joust is an odd-ball game with layout and rules different from most others of its era. It has no drop targets, no spinner, no end-of-ball bonus and a two-stage outlane with no return lane on the left. The primary scoring is via a set of nine white rollover disks in a chamber at the upper right of the playfield. Completing specific sets of numbers earns you points: 1 through 6 for 3000, 7-8-9 for 5000 and all nine for 10000. The ball enters the chamber from the upper left, shootable from either flipper. Once in the chamber, it deflects off pins, the rollovers and dividers, scoring three of the numbers on the way down. Obviously, you want to nudge the game so the ball goes over number you haven’t got yet.

Five of the numbers can be earned outside the chamber, as marked on the playfield. Get the 1 from the center mushroom bumper, which also scores 1000. Get the 2 and the 6 from the side mushroom bumpers, which also open the flippers if closed. The top left mushroom bumper gives you the 4, closes the bumpers and scores 1000, making it a good thing to shoot for if you can’t backhand the chamber from the right flipper. And the top saucer gets you the 5, and is naturally your desired skill shot.

Any shot into the chamber opens the flippers.

There’s a ball save gate on the right outlane of the machine. You open it by hitting the white rollover disk above and to the right of the right flipper. If you can nudge a ball exiting the chamber to go over it, definitely do so. You can shoot at it with the left flipper [late flip, somewhat dangerous - - a miss-hit may just drain out that same right outlane], or hit it from the right flipper with a n early backhand shot when the flippers are zipped and the ball cradled.

The game overall is pretty much UTAD. The exceptions I’d make are if you just need the 1, 2 or 6 digit to reach to one of the “lighting” scores, go ahead and hit the mushroom bumper to get it, just try to graze the it on the inner side so that the ball continues up the playfield after the shot.

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