MEET THE ULTIMATE HARD DRIVE
Maintainer: Rich Derr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
He welcomes any additions, corrections, or comments on this rulesheet.
Johnny Mnemonic (JM) is a 4-ball, narrow body game from Williams.
Everything described in this and associated documents is probably
(c) 1995 Williams, or possibly someone else. Any rules which I
have made up and are not actually part of the game are (c) 1995 Rich
I have no idea exactly what versions of the game software were used
to write this rulesheet, although I can distinguish between three
versions, at least.
You may also be interested in reading the
rule card on the game, or in finding out
who created Johnny Mnemonic. You are
probably not interested in the
of this rulesheet.
- Joel Iott <email@example.com>
- for posting to rec.games.pinball
including one I hadn't myself noticed
(the Yakuza Strike/Mnemonic Recovery bit).
As always, we start from the drain and go clockwise.
- I think these are small flippers. I say I think because I
have a hard time concentrating on these flippers. The plastic and
rubber are both black -- for my first game, I could hardly use them at
all. While the flippers are small, the gap is small as well.
- Triangular, and as small as I've seen in a while.
- Left inlane
- Can be lit for
'Light Throwing Spears'.
- Left Outlane
- Can be lit for
'Mnemonic Recovery'. This is fortunate --
the machine at Gala North had the sidewall rubber post set all the way up,
leaving just a huge amount of bare wood on the side.
- Left Standup
- Lights 'Access Jet Bumpers'.
- Left Loop
- A typical left orbit. There is a sensor gate at the entrance,
but nothing counts unless it goes at least most of the way around and
doesn't come back out the left orbit.
Weak shots will come back out the spinner lane. This can be
lit by an orange arrow and a white triangle ('Anna'). This can be lit
for extra balls.
- Left Ramp
- Think of Dr. Who's W ramp, on the other side. This ramp is
rather shallow and short, and is easily backhanded. This has three red
triangle lights for Yakuza Strike, and can be lit
by a white triangle
- Bumper area
- The upper left of the playfield is where the usual triangle
of three bumpers and three rollovers reside. The only way to exit the
bumpers is through a narrow opening at the bottom -- think of T2. Balls
go to the right slingshot after rolling along the left ramp wall.
- The game's diverters are above the rollovers.
One diverter stops
balls from the spinner lane and right loop (and plunger) from going
around to the left loop and shunts them to the other diverter. The other
diverter decides whether balls go to the data glove or the rollovers.
- Data glove
- A magnet crane with two degrees of freedom. Never mind the
plastic, this toy is a magnet that floats up near the glass, which can
move left, right, back, and forward. When under the player's control,
the normal flipper buttons move it left and right, and extra buttons
move it back and forward.
There is a sinkhole in the diverter assembly which kicks the ball
straight up to the glove. The glove holds on to the ball, moves, and
drops it. When modes are being started, or when a ball reaches the
sinkhole when it shouldn't, the glove moves slightly forward and drops
it above the rollovers. The primary purpose, however, is locking balls,
which is done on the ...
- Think of a 3x3 grid of mass sensors, with a metal
plate covering the vertical gaps. Balls are locked here; the data
glove moves over here and drops the ball on one of the sensors, under
the player's control. When it comes time to unlock the balls, the
metal plate springs up in back which drops the balls into habitrails.
The matrix is in the upper (in both senses) right of the playfield.
After taking the high road following the left ramp, we now take the
- Crazy Bob's
- This is a sinkhole which is just about dead center in
the playfield. It cannot be shot directly from the left due to a wall
(part of the guide for balls leaving the bumpers).
The right side is open,
and I've seen plenty of wild balls bounce in. This is a deep sinkhole,
and has a Neutral Zone-like thing for a backstop; I've only seen one
direct hit out of a hundred not fall in. The kickout goes to the lower
part of the right slingshot (usually), except when it goes to the knee
of the right flipper.
This can be lit by an orange arrow and a white triangle
('Download'). The sign above it can also light up -- not with a
coloured bulb as in TAF and TZ, but with a white lamp. It's plenty
visible, and fits the theme, I guess. Of course, it's also easy
for the operator to not realize it's a lamp instead of G.I.
- Center Lane
- This is shootable from either flipper, but is a very
precise shot from the left. This can be lit by an orange arrow, a
green arrow (Cyberlock), and can be lit for
Start Mode (a big hexagon).
The center lane leads directly to the VUK in the diverter, but is
protected by a large drop target-like thing. I say drop target-like
because it is controlled completely through software -- you don't hit
it to make it drop. The target lowers when the lane is lit.
- This is not an ordinary spinner with an ordinary decal, this
is a large, round spinner with a large, round decal. The spinner seems
heavier than the ordinary ones; I've seen plenty of balls hit it and
just stop. A good clean shot will send the ball on through towards the
diverter area. If not diverted the ball will come out the left loop.
If diverted it can go to either the data glove or the rollovers.
This can be lit by an orange arrow and by a white triangle ('Power
Down'). It can be lit be a green arrow (Cyberlock). It can be lit
for Spinner Millions.
- Right Ramp
- I guess this is like the Beta Quadrant ramp, although it's
been a while since I've seen a ST:TNG, and my memory isn't so good.
It's not as steep. It can be hit from the right flipper, although not
as a controlled shot.
This has three red triangle lights for
Yakuza Strike, and can be lit
by a white triangle ('N.A.S. Riot').
- Right Orbit
- The usual. This sends balls to the same place the spinner
lane does: normally out the left orbit, but can be diverted to the
glove or rollovers. This can be lit by an orange arrow, a green arrow
(Cyberlock), and a white triangle ('Cartoon Hero').
- Right Standup
- Lights Mnemonic Recovery. Note that
there is one big
target, but two lights; it must be hit twice to light the saver. And
you can't collect the first of those lights while Mnemonic Recovery is
still lit -- it does nothing unless M.R. is not presently lit.
- Upper Right Rubber
- I mention this because there is a huge rubber
band to the right of and below the right standup. It's as big as a
slingshot. It keeps the ball moving horizontally after a shot to the
standup or a missed shot to the right side.
- Automatic. Merges with the right loop and can be diverted
in the same ways.
- Right Outlane
- Gee, they put all that lovely rubber up by the standup,
and left bare wood down here. At Gala North, the rubber post was down
farther than the one on the left was, but not all the way. Even with
the posts set to easy this is a bad place to get a ball. Can be lit
for Special (from a "Mystery"
- Right Inlane
- Can be lit for Hit Me.
There is a skill shot at the start of each numbered ball and earned
extra balls. There is no skill shot following ball savers or locks.
Hit the launch button to plunge the ball. It will be diverted to the
rollovers. The middle lane will be flashing; the flippers move the
flashing light left and right. If the ball goes through the correct
lane, you score
25M x (number of skill shots made),
Plunging the ball scores
123,570 points. I thought you'd
like to know.
Light all three lanes to advance the bonus multiplier. If a skill
shot is made, the lane is not spotted. Move the lights left and right
with the flippers.
The bonus multiplier can also be increased from a matrix award.
If the bonus multiplier was already at
50M is awarded instead.
In early software versions, there was a potentially
undesired behaviour regarding
the bonus multiplier and hold bonus.
The bumpers score
1,000,000 each in normal play.
The triangle is
such that balls dropping through the middle lane often don't hit any
The left loop spots letters in
and the right loop spots letters in
Johnny Mnemonic starts
a frenzy: every switch is worth
One of the matrix awards is Super Loops, which makes loops worth
25,000,000 the first time awarded,
50,000,000 the second time, etc.
(I think for the rest of the ball; I saw no timer.)
I infer that the normal value is quite a bit less.
Each ramp shot scores
If a red triangle remains unlit
on the ramp that was shot, one is lit. When all six red lamps -- three
at each ramp -- are lit, Yakuza Strike begins.
Shooting a ramp when a video frame is on the display collects one
frame. These are worth points in the bonus count, and at
some reflexing number (I've seen seven and eight)
an extra ball is lit. It appears that frames are
on the display whenever nothing else is -- when no modes or other at
all special things (Yakuza Strike, Throwing Spears, Hit Me, Combos,
etc.) are happening.
I'm not sure exactly what makes a combo, but it's probably repeatedly
making shots to the same side of the field, such as right loop -> right
loop -> spinner -> right ramp. (I think that would be three combos.)
Of course, when you're doing this you have no time to look at the
display, so I have no idea how much these are worth or when they are
scored. I have gotten the impression that they are worth a few million
points and a couple gigabytes. I could be confusing that with the
award for hitting the loops themselves, of course. Combos are worth
points in bonus.
If this light is flashing when a ball drains down the left side,
another ball is plunged. The plunged ball is not diverted, so it will
come out the left loop fast. Don't watch the display; it's showing
abstract art while your second chance is draining.
This starts the game lit, and once used, is relit by hitting the
right standup twice.
Mnemonic Recovery cannot be relit during Yakuza Strike.
Non-exclusive Scoring Modes
After each ramp has been hit three times, Yakuza Strike begins.
During this round all the orange arrow shots plus both ramps are lit.
A timer starts at
60,000,000 and counts down at about
Hit a shot to score the value remaining on the timer. The mode stops
This mode can continue during, and I do believe start during,
multiball. If you can hit the sixth ramp and immediately lock the
third ball, a billion from Yakuza Strike is not out of the question.
During Yakuza Strike, Bob's Bunker does not give out hints -- it
scores the timer and immediately spits out the ball. It does, however,
give out the power item award if lit.
During most of the game, the left inlane will light Throwing Spears.
To collect the award, shoot either the right ramp or right loop. This
is a timed shot, and there is time to try again if you miss the first
time, but not that much extra. After making the shot or having time
run out, the left inlane relights.
The following are awarded in order every time, and reset upon every
The display doesn't say how many, though.
- Big Points
Again, I don't know how many. I doubt it's 'big'.
- Lite Spinner
When lit, the spinner is worth
1,000,000/spin, instead of
- Quick Multiball
A second ball is plunged. The ramps award jackpots of
each, as many times as you can hit them. This continues until you drain
one or both balls.
- Hold Bonus
Now go for those bumper lanes!
- Extra Ball
I think this actually awards the extra ball, and doesn't just light
it. It's one or the other. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a
limit on how often you can collect this. (It's no more than once per
ball. There may be no other limit other than the overall total extra
During most of the game, the right inlane lights Hit Me. You have a
short time -- essentially one shot -- to hit the left loop. This is
25,000,000 the first time and
the second time .... I don't know if the value resets
25,000,000 every ball or not.
I usually would have rather hit the
left ramp to set up a Throwing Spear shot.
The center lane starts the game lit for Start Mode. Shooting the
ball up that lane will send it to the VUK. The ball is kicked to the
glove, which moves forward and drops it above the bumper lanes to start
Start Mode is re-lit after locking a ball for multiball. If the
number of Start Mode shots made is less than the number of locks made
in the game, Start Mode is re-lit by shooting Bob's Bunker.
The lit mode moves every couple seconds while Start Mode is lit.
This is quite a change from earlier versions, which required that
the modes be completed in sequence. All five 'normal' modes must
be played before Power Down is lit. After Power Down all modes
become unlit, even if the playfield lamps don't immediately reflect
These modes exclude Start Mode. They do not
exclude Yakuza Strike, Throwing Spears, and Hit Me.
In early versions they excluded multiball locks, but in the
most recent version locks can be lit unless the shot is used
by the particular mode. If multiball is started during a mode,
the mode may end (if little time remained) or pause and continue
as it was when single-ball play resumes.
Scoring and Timing
All modes start with a base score of
Score by making shots indicated by lit white triangles.
Except for Upload, modes start with
25 seconds on the timer.
However, after every shot is made the timer resets to
if it had counted down below that. (This makes it very easy to
complete the modes, which is valuable. This latter behaviour
was not present in earlier versions.)
The left loop, left ramp, right ramp, and right loop are lit.
Shoot them in any order.
The first shot is worth
70,000,000, the third
110,000,000. All shots are also worth
The timer for this mode starts at about
306 and counts down at about
Every other mode has a
25 second timer, so I'd bet this one does too, even though
you can't read it.
The left ramp is lit. After that shot is made, the right loop is
lit. The right ramp and left loop follow.
The first shot is worth
70,000,000, the third
110,000,000. All shots are also worth
If you don't like seeing violence in pinball, don't watch the
display after shooting the right ramp! (Right loop in early
This is a bumper mode, unlike the others. Bumpers score
8,000,000 per hit. The spinner lane and right loop are lit
and diverted to the lanes.
When the lanes are completed during Riot, not only is the
Bonus Multiplier increased, but the bumper scores are multiplied
I assume some gigabytes are also awarded in this mode, but I
don't really know how. I also don't know what constitutes
finishing this mode -- I've had
82 hits and not lit
Hit the left loop three times for
6 GB per shot.
Hit the center lane four times for
6 GB per shot.
Upon completing any of the five modes, Crazy Bob's is lit (the
sign above the hole, that is). Shoot Crazy Bob's for a power
Power items are one of the things that
flashes by on the normal score display (along with current ball,
credits, gigabytes, and video frames). Thus, I assume they are
important. They seem to effect how Power Down plays.
All white triangle shots are lit, and all four balls are put on
the field. Each white triangle shot scores
Well, enjoy, because those shots start going away. Every few seconds
the game announces that a section is being powered down, and those
shots become unlit. More than that, that whole portion of the
field goes dark, G.I. and all!
If you start Power Down with no power items, the shots start
going away after just a few seconds, and the whole mode lasts
maybe 30 seconds. If you collect some power items, it seems (I
don't get this far often enough to be sure) you get more time.
Or maybe the shots are worth more, if they felt like borrowing a
good idea from ST:TNG.
Drained balls are replunged after a five-second delay. When the time
runs out, there's nothing left to do, so stop flipping. (Earlier
versions killed the flippers. I don't know why that changed.) The
total for the round is displayed, the lights come up, and a ball is
(In early versions this mode was totally unbalancing. The
powering down part hadn't been implemented, so all the shots were
lit all the time. The timer behaved as if a whole bunch of power
items had been collected, and the mode lasted at least sixty
seconds, if not ninety. Not knowing what I was doing, as the
display didn't provide even the information that the white triangle
shots scored at the time, I got
Knowing what I'm doing I haven't gotten half that since the rules
During normal play, shooting Bob's Bunker will give you information
about one of the matrix awards. This lights the first lock.
Locks are lit at the center lane, spinner lane, and right loop.
(Start Mode takes priority over Cyberlock at the center lane.)
Shooting one of these sends the ball to the VUK, where it is kicked
to the glove. The glove is under the player's control, and you
have seven seconds to drop the ball where you wish.
Dropping the ball on a lock gives you an award. These awards are
shuffled after every multiball and every game, but information is
available from Bob's Bunker.
After shooting the first lock, the display flips through six or
seven of the possible awards. At the same time, the lights on the
physical matrix itself flash. Yes, the game is showing you what's
available at most of the locks! Easy extra ball here. (This is
NOT duplicated on the display, as the physical lamps usually are.
You have to keep both the DMD and matrix in your vision, or quickly
shift downward and to the right when you see 'Light Extra Ball' on
the display. Never to my knowledge has the maintenance of lamps
been so important to gameplay!) (Also, in early versions what was
on the display did not have anything to do with the lamps being
If you drop the ball somewhere other than the matrix, the locks
will be re-lit.
Start a mode to light the second and third locks.
- Bonus X
- Hold Bonus
- Light Extra Ball
- Light Crazy Bob's -- lights Crazy Bob's for a
power item (the name of which appears to be
meaningless, but which always
occur in the same order) and
- 50 GB -- becomes 10 GB if collected more than once in a game.
- Super Loops -- the left and right loops score
25,000,000 for the rest
of the ball.
50,000,000 if collected again in the game,
and probably more if collected even more often.
- Award Bonus
- Video Mode -- A curious mode. You must use all four buttons to move
your square around the display and catch all the dots before time
My best guess at the scoring is
15,000,000/catch after the first.
I've never completed Wave 1, so there may be completion bonuses
or additional points on subsequent waves that I don't know about.
- Mystery -- This can start Yakuza Strike,
award points or gigabytes, light an extra ball or
the right outlane special, and
start Touch-Tone Multiball. It can probably do most anything. (In
early versions, this always started Touch-Tone Multiball when
possible. In later versions it rarely does, thankfully.)
Two balls are launched. The goal is to hit Crazy Bob's as often
as possible while keeping both balls in play.
On the display, the digits
randomly flash on the telephone.
The first hit to Crazy Bob's sets whatever digit is lit as the
10,000,000 digit of the jackpot.
The second hit sets the 1,000,000
digit of the jackpot. The third hit awards the jackpot. Repeat as
often as possible while keeping one ball in play.
This mode precludes normal modes and further locks while running.
(This is very infrequently awarded in recent versions.
Considering the difficulty of hitting Crazy Bob's three times,
the fact that even
99,000,000 is not much reward, and
the possibility of draining both balls, I'm not sorry to see
After three locks, the balls are released. Balls locked in
the left column go to the bumpers. Balls locked in the middle
column go to the left flipper. Balls locked in the right column
go to the right flipper. There is a ball saver at the start of
multiball which is longer than the usual (insignificant)
The shots lit for jackpots vary.
At first, three shots are lit. After the first three jackpots have
been collected, the jackpot rotates between the three. Which three
shots they are go according to where the balls were locked:
Right Jet Lane Right Loop Crazy Bob's
Middle Jet Lane Right Ramp Left Ramp
Left Jet Lane Spinner Loop Left Loop
My best guess at the value of jackpots is:
for the first three,
40,000,000 for the fourth,
50,000,000 for the fifth,
and so on.
If the three balls were locked in a row, jackpots are
Between getting good matrix awards, getting shots you can make
easily lit for jackpots, and getting all three balls in a row,
locking balls in JM is not trivial.
After each ball, you are awarded
4,000,000 for each
video frame and
100,000 for each gigabyte you have
collected up to that point
in the game. You also get
5,000,000 for each combo made
in that ball.
Hold Bonus now works like every other Hold Bonus in pinball.
The value after multiplier is remembered, and added in after the
multiplier has taken effect in the next ball. Hold Bonus also
holds the Bonus Multiplier for the next ball.
In early versions it was added in before
the multiplier on the next ball. However, it did not hold the
multiplier between balls.
Hold Bonus has no effect if collected on the last ball.
You can buy-in once. Nothing special happens except for a
There is a Grand Champion, and High Scores 1-4 are kept. There
is no separate table for bought-in games.
The most recent person to collect 320 GB is stored as the
The display has no trouble showing these somewhat high scores at
any time. Anyone gotten it up to
Just the basic animation first seen in ST:TNG. So?
Broken Dataglove Compensation
It seems like the big toy is always breaking. Obviously, this
affects gameplay. Here's how.
Locks are virtual; balls will be autoplunged when multiball
starts. When Crazy Bob's would have just shown the location of
an award, it now gives that award immediately. The player gets
no choice. I don't know what the jackpot shots are or whether
they are tripled in this compensation mode.
The game tries to keep balls away from the VUK. The drop
target registers as a center lane shot. (Warning: these tend
to drop SDTM. There ought to be a ball saver.) Spinner lane
and right loop shots that would have been eligible for locking
go out around the left orbit, scoring the virtual lock as they
go. When a ball does get to the VUK, and it will, the game
repeatedly and quickly fires the kicker, so that the ball will
eventually accumulate enough spin to bounce off the dataglove
sideways and not return to the VUK. This typically requires
five to ten kicks, and does work.
This is not a compensation that gives you an advantage
(like a bad trunk in ToM or mini-playfield stuck up in Dr. Who).
By taking away the best opportunity for a break, it really makes
the game much harder. Don't feel bad about not playing a broken
This is a direct copy of the rule card in JM, and is reproduced for
completeness. The rulesheet could probably
stand on its own, without
this, but I may as well include the bits of the official rules that we
ALWAYS SHOOT FOR THE FLASHING LIGHTS.
SHOOT "CRAZY BOB'S" TO LIGHT LOCKS AND LEARN ABOUT
MULTIBALL: SHOOT CYBERLOCKS WHEN LIT AND PLACE BALLS IN MATRIX TO
COLLECT AWARDS AND LOCK BALL.
LOCK THREE BALLS IN MATRIX TO START MULTIBALL.
PLACE THREE BALLS IN A LINE TO COLLECT
TRIPLE JACKPOT VALUES.
YAKUZA STRIKE: START BY COMPLETING RED TRIANGLES ON
MODE PLAY: DURING MODES SHOOT FLASHING WHITE TRIANGLES.
COLLECT VIDEO FRAMES BY SHOOTING
RAMPS WHEN FRAMES ARE DISPLAYED.
COLLECT GIGABYTES TO BECOME THE CYBERPUNK. GB'S ARE
AWARDED THROUGHOUT THE GAME.
THROWING SPIKE AWARDS: LEFT FLIPPER LANE LIGHTS SPIKES. TO COLLECT
NEXT SPIKE, SHOOT RIGHT RAMP OR RIGHT LOOP.
LEFT LOOP SPELLS "JOHNNY" AND RIGHT LOOP SPELLS "MNEMONIC".
As long as I'm copying things straight off the game, you ought to
give credit to all the people who helped make JM.
Let's thank these folks for bringing us another great pinball game!
From the right outlane:
DESIGN MANIAC:.............GEORGE GOMEZ
SOFTWARE GURU:.............TOM UBAC
MECHANICAL WIZARD:.........TOM KOPERA
COMBAT ARTIST:.............JOHN YOUSSI
MUSIC MAGICIAN:............DR. DAVE ZABRISKIE
DOT MATRIX COWBOYS:........ADAM AHINE/BRIAN MORRIS
3-DIMENSIONAL PUNK:........DAVE LINK
From the left outlane:
CYBERNETIC SUPPORT:.....P. BARKER, K. O'CONNOR, M. HUDSON,
R. SHARPE, B. ORTEGA, B. THOMPSON,
K. PEMBERTON, J. LOVEDAY, J. SHIRD,
G. FRERES, G. MARCONI, W. ROEDER,
R. PANKATASHAN, J. PARRISH
With these names in mind, perhaps you'd like to jump up to the brief
they put on the game itself, or the rulesheet
I'm working on.