Nudging and “Key Feeds”

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Few if any shots will return to a flipper, unlike more recent games with ramps and orbits. Shots will bounce off of things or go through things. When they rebound or exit, it’s important to learn where the ball goes and how much you can alter that. Some rebounds and exits are relatively consistent, some not. Rebounds will depend on speed and angle of hit and whether or not the thing hit hits back; exit paths may depend on how the ball entered the feature, how fast the ball comes through, and whether or not it hits any post, knob or other object at the exit.

A “key feed” is where the ball goes after you make an important shot that you’ll be repeating often. (See El Dorado, Wizard, Card Whiz.) It’s important to learn “feed nudging,” particularly for key feeds. When the ball goes through a feed, you want it to come to where you can control it if possible, at a minimum prevent it from draining, and usually avoiding it heading into and triggering a slingshot or other playfield feature where it may bounce away randomly. The nudge-or-not decision may depend on how the ball entered the feature or its speed: On El Dorado, if the ball goes down the right side through the outer [right] lane, it will be moving faster and cleaner than if it goes through the left of the two right-side lanes. The faster feed may come out clean and travel to a flipper, while the slower feed may dribble out and hang up on top of the slingshot, where it can rattle off and drain out to the right. Also, timing may be critical, e.g. you may want to nudge just as the ball hits a post, the top of a slingshot, etc.

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