Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Pinball: Big Guns, Williams - 1987

So I have determined that I have a sickness. I told myself I would stop at three. I lied. I got a fourth game, Special Force Girls by Bally, and almost as quicjkly as I got it, fell in love with Big Guns and started a search for a trade.

Luckily, I found one close by for trade + cash from none other than John Dayhuff, a stellar guy and collector of the highest standard. Check out this video of his basement and be careful not to drool:

Yup, 70+ pins in the basement. John told me he has bought and sold 362 pins over the years. Amazing.

Zespy (owner of Logan Hardware and friend) and I headed up on a Saturday to swap and played in the arcade all day, chilling out with John and talking pins as well as looking at spares (I also bought a used but in excellent shape Paragon playfield for $40) and generally feeling like we were in pinball heaven.

While I was there and before we did the swap, I played his restored Big Guns to check it against the one I would be trading for and even though mine was not fully shopped (John just did the electrics and switches and stuff, no rubbers, needs no plastics), it played just the same.

It's a fun and fast paced game with a cool space-medieval theme and great music by Chris Granner. It was a co-designed game with Python Angelo and Mark Richie. The gameplay requires you to lock two balls in the large cannons on the playfield and then shoot the center shot to start multiball. When you start multiball, the two locked balls get shot out of the cannons and fly through the air, ending up in the wire form ramps that feed down to your flippers. I was wary at first about this kind of feature, but from everything I read, I heard they were reliable and sure as hell, they haven't missed a beat.

It has a simple rule set but a lot of challenging gameplay. It's one of those "just one more ball" pins, which I love. It always feels like you only needed one more shot...

It also has the tallest backbox of any pinball that I know of that also houses a bagatelle style mini-game, much like the plunger roll-over lanes at the top of most games, but one that fires a ball into the bagatelle and ramdomly bounces around to light the lanes, though you do have a lane change flipper button.

There's a great video by blkdog7 on youtube that goes over the game he owns and he's also a great commentator:

Right now, its at Zespy's in the warehouse before I bring it home and it needs some playfield cleanup, some bulbs and some locks installed, which we have already started to do. I swear, this one is the last for a while! I also have a new shmup pcb on its way which will need some love soon...


Douglas Merchant said...

Steel pinballs are kind of like suicide bullets...

drboom said...

Ha - yeah, kinda. I am starting back in on pcbs again, hoping to get some shmup goodness happening again.

gunbird18 said...


When can I come to Chicago.

Pins and Giordanos!

I'm ready!

gunbird18 said...

Heh.."kill the trolls"! Shades of Medieval Madness for you Williams fan boys! (that would be me!)

drboom said...

John did say this was like the pre-cursor to Medieval Madness spiritually - I kind of agree!

And you are welcome to come up anytime1 Stay with me, get some pizza and we can play games till we collapse!