Viking (Bally, 1980)

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Quickie Version

 Shoot the left inline drop targets; once they’re done, shoot the standup target behind them from the right and the right orbit to the upper left saucer from the left.
 Go-To Flipper:  Right until you finish the inline drop targets, then Left to shoot the right orbit.

Full Detail

Skill Shot: center saucer, but not a big deal.

There are two basic strategies on Viking, but they share one thing in common: getting all of the left side inline targets at some point. These drop targets increase your bonus multiplier up to 5X [and add base bonus]. The standup target behind them is a special, usually set to award 50K per shot, which stays active for the remainder of the ball once the drop targets are down. That’s one way to go to town on this game. Oh, yes, getting all of the drops also lights the Extra Ball rollover, and lights the outlanes for 25K.

The other way is through bonus collection during the ball. The top left saucer is lit for collect bonus by making the right orbit. A strong shot to the right orbit will continue across the game above the bumpers directly into the collect bonus saucer. You can also get the ball in the saucer by shooting it in the vicinity of the left bumper and having that kick it in. Collects can be huge; your base bonus goes up to 59K, so with 5X, that becomes a 295,000 shot! This is the other high-score strategy, and the one most likely to lead to top qualifying scores. When you collect bonus, you need to shoot the right orbit again to relight the collect saucer.

Balls going into the upper left saucer when lit for collect bonus will be ejected out into the top of the game towards the a / B / center saucer as a plunged ball would be. Balls going into the left saucer when not lit to collect are ejected back towards the left bumper.

The spinner is has a unique feature. Besides every tenth spin adding a bonus [normal] it also increases the spinner value [unique]. But the increase is on a timer; if you go too long between spinner shots, the value drops back down. The first good rip will increase it from 10 points to 100; the next one, if soon enough, raises it to its maximum value of 1000 per spin.

One reason some players start by shooting the spinner is to increase bonus and get some quick points on the board, assuming the spinner is active enough. You should get a couple of advances per shot, plus whatever you get up top when the ball comes down through the A or B lane or the center saucer, plus 20K-30K per shot once you have the spinner up to 1K.

Viking is one of the Bally games with Super Bonus, where certain amounts are held when reached. On Viking, getting to 20K base bonus preserves that amount for all future balls; getting to 40K is the other level that is held. Both are clearly valuable, since they mean less need to take bonus-building shots on future balls.

The drop target three-bank at the upper right is generally worth ignoring. The value of completing them starts at 2000 and rises 2000 per set up to 10K. But the value increases by a factor of ten if you get the targets in 1-2-3 sequence, so that’s 20K to start and 100K maximum. The trouble is, they’re riskier to shoot at than the left drops / standup or the right orbit.

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