Target Alpha / Solar City (Gottlieb, 1976)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Shoot all of the drop targets, then UTAD for the 5000 lane.
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

This game shares the playfield layout with El Dorado / Gold Strike, among others. I list it separately because the scoring is different and alters the strategy.

In this case, the top targets are all worth the same 2000 points, lit or not, and the side ones worth 500. The goal is to get as many of them as possible to maximize your bonus. Bonus is 1000 per target and is doubled on your last ball, making it more important then. Unlike most machines where the playfield light corresponding to a drop target indicates it’s now worth more than base value, the lights here only come on to indicate that you’ve knocked down that target.

Unlike El Dorado, the targets do not reset when completed. Once the targets are down, you’re left with just the lanes and the only-100-point bumpers. Focus on that top lane for 5000 if you can and try to drain out the side for 5000 rather than down the center.

I’ve copied in the text from El Dorado about key feeds and such, since those are the same.

Key Feeds: watch the three feeds on this machine carefully! When the ball comes down the left lane into the left bumper [feed 1], does it tend to come to the left, meaning either a drain out the left or a feed the left return lane, or come out the right, to either the left flipper or down the center? You’ll need to be nudging either way but check its natural tendencies first.

When the ball comes down the right side, it can be moving slow if it fell through the left of the two lanes [feed 2] and hits the right wall or rattles unevenly down the right lane, or it can be moving faster if it falls cleanly down the right lane [feed 3]. Again, where does each tend to go? If the clean fall comes out fast enough to reach the left flipper, don’t nudge. If the slow fall comes out and thinks about slipping to the right towards the inlane/outlane divider, nudge.

The drop targets on the right are rarely backhandable, but you can often do a “well-timed-flying-backhand” into them when the ball is coming to the right flipper. If it looks like the ball is headed that way in such a manner that you’re not likely to be able to trap it on the flipper, give this a try.

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