Laser Cue (Williams, 1984)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Up Top until your multiplier is at 5X or better, then go for the center drops in order from right to left.  Once the drops are done, shoot the lower left recessed standup target, then the right one, then the 8-ball at the top left via a hard shot around the right orbit.  Then resume Up Top for additional multipliers and or repeat completing the numbered ball sequence.
 Go-To Flipper:  Left, but shoot the drop targets from the Right.

Full Detail

Similar in many ways to Alien Poker, which has almost the same playfield layout. You want to go up top to finish the P-O-O-L letters [like the kings on Alien Poker] to advance your multiplier, then shoot the angled center five drop target bank in order from right to left. In this case, this is advancing your end-of-ball bonus, instead of a collect-when-the-drops-finished value on Alien Poker. As on Alien Poker, targets hit out of order reset; in this case, though, your value is not reduced when you miss.

As with Alien Poker and Paragon, the right flipper is a double, and you must be careful to not lose the ball by scissoring it between them (especially not on camera!). You can cradle on the upper flipper and then release the button to shoot with either one; the upper one is best for shots at the drop targets or to the left spinner, the lower one for shots at the #6/#14 target.

Unlike Alien Poker, you’re not done when you’ve completed the drops; you still need the 6, 7 and 8-balls. #6 is a standup target at the lower left, #7 at the lower right, #8 at the very top left. You’ll find that you can complete these in a 3-shot combo if your timing is good. With the ball on the right flipper, shoot the #6/#14 target; the rebound should come out to where you can one-time a shot from the left into the #7/#15; the rebound from that you should be able to let dead bounce off of the right flippers over to the left, where you can then shoot the 8-ball up top.

For the first rack, the game spots you both balls shown for each of the drop targets, e.g. both the 1 and 9 when you hit the 1. After the first rack, you only get one ball at a time, so after you get the 8, you then go back to work on balls 9-13 via the drops, then 14 and 15 [recessed standups], which then light the top 8 saucer for extra ball, if on, and advances you to the next rack of 15 balls.

Your bonus potential on this game: three full racks of 15 balls at 1000 each for 45K, plus a partial rack at the end, times a multiplier of up to 20X! Yes, you want big bonus here.

Bonus X of 10 or higher will reset at the end of the ball back down to 5X.

The B-A-L-L standup targets serve to advance you one ball when completed, an alternative to hitting a target. “Pool” does a tiny bit, too, since each time you complete it, you get both bonus multiplier advance and a letter in Ball, i.e. 1/16 of a ball target for each letter in Pool. Ball itself had another use, completing it lights the spinner on the left.

The C-U-E targets are mostly about points, 10K, 20K, 30K then 50K per set; at 50K, each set also advances you one ball in the rack. The only way to get Cue is with the upper mini-flipper, which is right of center on the playfield but is still a “left” flipper by angle and controlled by the left button. I prefer to use the upper flipper to shoot the ball up top around to the right of the Cue bank, preferring to advance Pool when possible.

An interesting feature of the 6 and 7 targets is the increased value you get for hitting them when lit if you hit those targets a few times before they’re lit. The shot value rises as shown by the orange lights leading out of the recesses – 10K, 20K, 30K then maxes at 50K.

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