Harlem Globetrotters (Bally, 1979)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Right standup target to open the gate, then the four right inline drop targets to maximize your bonus multiplier and the spinner value, then spinner all day.
 Go-To Flipper:  Left until spinner value maxed and gate open, then Right.

Full Detail

Harlem is one of the most popular classic games ever. It’s a spinner-and-bonus game, like many of that era. Simple but fun. Skill Shot: make the top saucer, to collect a letter in G-L-O-B-E. Finishing Globe scores 50K each time, might as well make progress towards it. Globe also lights the left outlane for 25k.

Once you get the ball, you want to shoot the inline drops on the right side. Besides being worth 5K each, these do three things: they increase your bonus multiplier to 2X-3X-5X; they increase your spinner value to 100-200-1000-2000; and they spot a letter in Globe. They are your top priority until finished the first time.

You may also want to hit the right-side standup target to open the gate on the right to return a ball heading into the outlane; some people like to do this before shooting the inline drops, others prefer to do the drops first, and a few don’t shoot it at all. I like to get it early as a safety measure.

Once your bonus X and spinner are maxed out, it’s spinner all day. At 2K per spin, plus a likely letter in Globe each trip, you can get over half a million on a ball even before your maximum of 245K [5X49] in bonus.

The top saucer, inline drops and the two central spinners advance your bonus. Don’t bother shooting at the central spinners unless you’re just below a Bonus Hold threshold; even then, most players wouldn’t.

Important setting #1: whether or not the Bonus Hold feature is on. If it is, when you get to 20K in base bonus, the 20K is held for future balls. Same thing for 30K and 40K.

Important setting #2: whether or not Extra Balls are on. If they are, you get one by competing the standup targets on the left, then shooting that recessed gate target on the right.

Important setting #3: whether the in-line drop targets come back up once completed. The saucer behind them is worth 25k base, 50k when lit for special, so if the drops stay down, that’s a valuable and easy shot.

Key feeds: the rebounds off of each of the four inline drops [some can go SDTM]

Trivia #1: the name Harlem comes from the Dutch city of Haarlem. When the Europeans came to America, the Dutch founded the city of New Amsterdam [named after guess where] at the mouth of the Hudson River, and the town of Haarlem, named for a town just west of Amsterdam, where that part of Manhattan now is. Years later, the English Navy forcibly took over the city and renamed the whole place after the Duke of York [who later became King James II]. The Harlem neighborhood kept its name, but the double-“a” was Anglicized down to a single “a”. My IFPA photo is me holding my Dutch Pinball Masters Classics Champion trophy in front of a windmill in Haarlem a few days after that event. And yes, Harlem Globetrotters was one of the games they used.

Trivia #2: The bald basketball player was nicknamed “Curly.”

Trivia #3: Wilt Chamberlain played for the Globetrotters before joining the NBA. Look on Wikipedia for lots of other fun trivia about the team.

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