Mata Hari (Bally, 1978)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Up top through the center to get the top saucer until your bonus multiplier is 5X.  If extra balls and specials have been set to be worth points, then shoot the A and B orbits all day.  If not, shoot drop targets all day. 
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

Before deciding on a strategy, check two things. First, do extra balls and specials awards points? If they do, then the A-B shots become big, easy points once you’ve completed them 5 times on a ball. Second, how is the kickout from the top saucer? If it’s consistently safe, e.g. the ball falls to the left flipper and you can let it dead bounce over to the right flipper to get to a cradle, shoot for the saucer until you have maxed your bonus at 5X. If the kickout is bad, e.g. SDTM [not uncommon, unfortunately], ignore the saucer.

Once you’ve either maxed out your bonus or determined that the saucer is unsafe to shoot, you need to choose between shooting drop targets and shooting A-B orbits. I usually try to get two sets of drop targets before making a serious effort at the orbits. A set of eight completed drop targets scores 50K but also lights one outlane for 50k, and “correct drains” here can win games. A second set of drops lights both outlanes. Later sets are worth specials, too, juicy if special award points.

The best time to shoot A-B is once you’ve already raised its value to EB or Special and those both award points. In that case, it only takes 2 shots to score the special points; one shot if the ball goes up one orbit and across and down the other!

Targets and lanes advance your base bonus up to 29,000, so max overall bonus is 5X29K or 145,000.

Key feeds: besides the saucer kickout, do balls coming down the orbits roll cleanly towards the flippers, or do they skim off of the slingshots?

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