Theatre of Magic


Bowen Kerins
version A 1.0 software, P-1 sound

With Thanks To

  • Cameron Silver
  • TJ Beyer
  • Kevin Martin
  • Scott Tiesma
  • Ken Chaney
  • Geek Boy
  • Robert McCann
  • Don Coons
  • Torbjörn Molander - 1.3X Software Updates

Send comments and corrections to me, and you too can join the club.

Editor's Note: updated Jan 24, 2006

Playfield Description
[left to right]

Where possible, the game's description of the shot is used. If you have played Theatre of Magic, you can safely skip this section, and not miss much.

Left Inlane/Outlane
standard; Sometimes a magnet above the inlane automatically can keep the ball out of the outlane. The magnet works by a proximity sensor which senses magnetical objects.

Hocus Pocus Targets
Two standups a short distance above the left inlane.

Left Lane
Roughly in the same position as World Cup's Travel Lane. Normally, balls through the lane pass around the back, past the top rollovers, and up a short ramp onto a habitrail back to the right flipper, so that the shot can be repeated [the setup is similar to Getaway's lock ramp]. Weaker shots that don't make the ramp fall to the Bonus X Rollovers. Also, a post diverter [like Tommy] can stop the ball on its way to the bumpers, pushing it into the Vanish Lock.

Vanish Lock
About 2/3 of the way around the Left Lane, the Vanish Lock can hold one ball. The ball locks on a shot through the Left Lane, and the kickout pushes the ball out the Left Lane entrance. The lock releases at the start of any multiball, or at the end of the game.

Tiger Saw Captive Ball
Just to the right of the Left Lane, the Captive Ball is actually two. A first ball is stuck [nailed?] to the playfield, and most of the ball can be hit [unlike traditional captive balls]. Hitting the first ball propels a second, moving ball, and pushing that ball to the top of a short lane scores the shot.

Left Inner Loop
This short loop goes around the back of the Trunk, and out the Right Inner Loop entrance [through the spinner]. A post diverter behind the Trunk can push the ball into the Rear Trunk Entrance, or a weak shot up the Left Loop may fall into it.

Magic Trunk
The biggest "gimmick" on the game is left of center, about halfway up the playfield. It rotates to four faces, and has a Hall-effect sensor in front [like Road Show's bulldozer] to judge hits.

  • Face 1: nothing special, just a trunk.
  • Face 2: like Face 1, with a hole in the center large enough for a shot.
  • Face 3: like Face 1, with a green light near the top.
  • Face 4: A bulls-eye target, with a magnet in the center that takes the ball off the playfield when activated.

All four faces are used often; later rules describe when.

Rear Trunk Entrance
behind the Trunk, this opening leads to the Trapdoor Kickout. The Rear Trunk Entrance also serves as the lock for Theatre Multiball.

Center Staircase Ramp
halfway up the playfield, this ramp feeds the Left Inlane.

Trap Door Targets
Two targets to the left and right of the Center Ramp.

Right Inner Loop
This loop goes directly through the Spinner, past the Rear Trunk Entrance, and out the Left Inner loop entrance. Like the Left Inner Loop, the ball can be diverted to the Rear Trunk Entrance, or may fall into it. Beware that a full Loop shot may send the ball straight down the middle, and plan accordingly.

within the Right Inner Loop.

Right Staircase Ramp
This longer ramp travels around the back of the machine, all the way to the Right Inlane. A shot that doesn't make it up the ramp falls behind the Spinner and comes out the Right Inner Loop entrance.

Spirit Ring
associated with the Right Ramp, the Spirit Ring pulls the ball off the Right Ramp habitrail, holds it briefly, then drops it on the Center Ramp habitrail [to the Left Inlane]. The Ring itself is on the left side, above the Tiger Saw Captive Ball.

Trap Door
a Slot Machine-like hole comes out from under the playfield at certain times, blocking the Right Ramp. This also serves as the kickout from the Magic Trunk.

Right Orbit
Normally, this orbit travels all the way around the back of the machine, coming out the Left Lane entrance. A diverter can stop the ball along the orbit, keeping it above the Bonus X Rollovers.

Poof Target
Single standup above the Right Inlane.

Right Inlane/Outlane
Identical to Left Inlane/Outlane [reversed, obviously].

Bonus X Rollovers
Two rollovers at the top. Lane-Change is active with either flipper.

behind the Bonus X Rollovers, the Mirror allows you to see the rollover area without craning your neck.

Pop Bumpers
Three, in standard pattern, below Rollovers. The only bumper exit is out the entrance to the Right Orbit.

Standard two at the bottom. No upper flippers or non- standard kickers or slingshots.

Manual Plunger
Woo hoo! The plunger drops the ball on the diverter from the Left Lane's ramp, leading to the Right Inlane.

Basic Rules
[using names and descriptions above, again left to right]

Left Inlane/Outlane
The outlane lights for Special by random award or by beginning Grand Finale. Nothing special on the inlane.

Hocus Pocus Targets
When either is hit, outlane magnets light for 15 seconds (default). No effect during any multiball.

Left Lane
Collects letter in THEATRE anytime in single-ball play. Normally, the diverters allow the ball onto the small ramp; if Vanish is lit, the ball will divert to the Vanish Lock, and during Strait Jacket Illusion, the ball will divert to the Bonus X Rollovers. Also collects Extra Ball when lit.

Vanish Lock
The Lock releases at the start of any multiball.

Tiger Saw Captive Ball
Advances count to light Vanish Lock [starts at 3, then 6, then 6 and so on]; if Vanish Lock or Tiger Saw Multiball is lit, does nothing. When the third Vanish Lock is lit the Extra Ball will also be lit. Also a Skill Shot [see individual section], the scoring shot in Tiger Saw Illusion, and the Jackpot in Tiger Saw Multiball. Unlit ball hit scores 2M.

Left Inner Loop
Lights for Theatre Multiball lock and Grand Finale. Also one of the scoring shots in Safe Escape Illusion, and usually a scoring shot in Spirit Cards Illusion [if Lock or Grand Finale is not lit].

Magic Trunk
Since there are so many rules involving the Trunk, they don't really fit well in this section. The few "basic" rules to give here are the Trunk's activity when nothing major is going on: shoot the Trunk three times to light an Illusion [the Trunk rotates], then shoot the Trunk's hole to start the Illusion. The Magic Trunk is a scoring shot in every Illusion, but is the only scoring shot in Hat Magic and Trunk Escape Illusions. The Trunk is also a Skill Shot [see individual section].

Rear Trunk Entrance
scores a Lock whenever hit in single-ball play, regardless of whether the lock was lit or not. [See Theatre Multiball section.] Lock scores 20 million.

Center Staircase Ramp
Lights to spell MAGIC for the first two multiballs. Also can be lit to Raise Trap Door, and is the scoring shot in Levitate Woman Illusion. Unlit ramp scores 500K.

Trap Door Targets
Hit these targets four times to light Raise Trap Door at the Center Ramp. If the Trap Door shot is not collected, one or more target hits may be necessary to light Raise Trap Door again. The number of target hits registered resets at the start of each ball.

Right Inner Loop
Lights for Theatre Multiball lock. Also one of the scoring shots in Safe Escape Illusion, and a scoring shot in Spirit Cards Illusion.

Scores 100K/spin. Scoring shot in Spirit Cards Illusion; each spin is then worth at least 500K.

Right Staircase Ramp
Lights to spell MAGIC. If Spirit Ring is not lit, the Right Ramp lights it until collected. Also the scoring shot in Metamorphosis Illusion.

Spirit Ring
If Spirit Ring is lit on the Right Ramp, the Ring activates, pulling the ball off the Right Ramp habitrail and onto the Center Ramp habitrail. The first Spirit Ring shot scores 10M, then lights Spirit Ring for 20M for a brief period. If the 20M is collected, it is lit again for 30M for a brief period. If the 30M is collected, Spirit Ring is not lit again. The Spirit Ring will also activate [but not necessarily score] during Metamorphosis Illusion.

Trap Door
Shooting lit Raise Trap Door on the Center Ramp raises the Trap Door for a very brief period. Entering the Trap Door scores 15M and earns a trip to the Basement [see individual section] for a random award. The Trap Door serves as kickout from the Trunk, and when all balls have been locked; pay attention, as there is no ball saver.

Right Orbit
advances Clock [see section] by one hour in single-ball play and during Tiger Saw Multiball. Begins Tiger Saw Multiball when lit. Normal diverter action sends the ball around out the Left Lane entrance; in Strait Jacket Illusion, the ball diverts to the Bonus X Rollovers.

Poof Target
Scores 100K, that's it. On prototype machines, hitting the Poof Target would raise a drain shield between the flippers but this feature was removed when the game went into production.

Right Inlane/Outlane
Identical to Left Inlane/Outlane [reversed, obviously].

Bonus X Rollovers
completing both rollovers advances Bonus X, to a maximum of 8x. After that, completion will score 5M. The Bonus X value resets after each ball.

Pop Bumpers
add 101,320 to THEATRE value, and advance the lit Illusion. Also the scoring method in Strait Jacket Illusion.

Flippers are controlled by buttons at side of cabinet. Slingshots act of their own accord, score some random number equal to epsilon times the replay level, and advance the lit Illusion.

Manual Plunger
plunge, then go for a Skill Shot. Or not. It's your life. It's your choice.

Skill Shot

Whenever a ball is plunged, the player has an opportunity for a Skill Shot. If it is the first plunge of the ball, the Skill Shot will be located at the Trunk, for one of three awards. Plunge when the award you want is on the dot display. The three awards are selected among four possibilities:

  • 10 Million OR 20 Million
  • 2x Bonus [Multiplier]
  • Advance Clock [2 hours]
  • Begin Illusion OR 2x Combo

Begin Illusion is always a choice if Illusion is not already lit; otherwise, 2x Combo is always a choice. Both are never lit at the same time.

2x Combo doubles all Combo scores for the ball [see individual section].

If Illusion is lit, you must make the Trunk's hole to get credit for the Skill Shot.

If it is not the first plunge of the ball, the Skill Shot will be located at the Captive Ball, and is always Advance Clock [1 hour].

Skill Shots count toward End-of-Ball Bonus [see individual section]. "Amazing skill!"


There are eight illusions, listed in a book in front of the flippers. The lit Illusion is flashing; Illusions already complete are solidly lit. The lit Illusion is advanced by the slingshots and bumpers.

There are three ways to begin an Illusion: by Skill Shot, by Basement award [see section], and by shooting the Trunk. To begin the Illusion by shooting the Trunk, you must first light the Illusion by shooting the Trunk three times [lights in front of the trunk indicate the number of shots made]. The Trunk then rotates to reveal a hole, and shooting the hole begins the Illusion. If you manage to hit the Trunk a fourth time while it is still rotating into position, the game will give you the benefit of the doubt and start the Illusion immediately.

Generally during Illusions, you are encouraged to complete the task at hand: "You must concentrate." "You must hurry up!"

A list of the Illusions, and their scoring level:

Illusion 1: Tiger Saw
During this round, shoot the Captive Ball for 15 million, and animation of a tiger... sawing. The first hit shows the tiger sawing a woman in half, and the second shows the tiger pulling a Fiorello LaGuardia, sawing a pinball machine in half. Presumably it is a Popeye. The two animations alternate for later hits.

Illusion 2: Levitate Woman
Shoot the Center Ramp for an increasing award: 11 million, 12 million, no limit. Each shot shows an animation of a levitating woman, who winks at you, and the female voice says "Levitate!"

Illusion 3: Trunk Escape
The trunk has been thrown underwater! As the pressure climbs, shoot the standard side of the Trunk four times to break the chains. Each shot is 17 million; completing the round gives a good animation. "You must break free!" "The pressure is building!"

Illusion 4: Spirit Cards
Shoot the spinner to collect points, and watch the cards fly between hands. The first spinner shots gives 800K/spin, then 1.1M/spin, 1.4M/spin and so on without limit. If Lock or Grand Finale is lit on the Left Inner Loop, you must shoot the Right Inner Loop to collect.

Illusion 5: Safe Escape
The assistant is locked in a safe, held by a rope. Shoot either Inner Loop to get part of the safe's combination [the combination is 11-04-69, probably someone's birthday]. The first two shots score 20M each and the final third scores 30M. When the round is completed the display says "Total: 60M" for some strange reason. Again, a very good-looking animation is yours for completing the round. "The rope is breaking!" "She's in danger!" "You are amazing." [completion]

Illusion 6: Metamorphosis
The assistant is holding up a cape. "I am only an illusion." Shoot the Right Ramp to score; the Spirit Ring will activate, giving you a chance to loop the ramp. The first shot is 12 million, then 16, then 20... The first shot shows the assistant transforming into a dove. The second shows her transform into a tiger. The third... well...

Illusion 7: Strait Jacket
The assistant is in a strait jacket, and spikes are closing in. Shooting the bumpers pushes her hand closer to the freeing buckle. Either the Left Loop [if Vanish is not lit] or the Right Orbit will deposit the ball in the bumpers. 6 million is scored for each bumper, 60 million [10 bumpers] completes the round. "I knew you could do it!"

This round is also useful if you want to build up your Bonus X.

Illusion 8: Hat Magic
The trunk remains on the side with the hole; shoot the hole for 15 million and some magic. With the first shot, a rabbit comes out of the hat; doves come out the second time; the third time, a telephone. A telephone? [Try the Easter Egg section if you must...] Later shots just give the rabbit again.

Each Illusion has around a 20-second time limit. Timers freeze while the ball is in the pop bumpers or underneath the playfield.

In addition to the points particular to each Illusion, extra points are awarded for Trunk hits during rounds which do not involve the Trunk [all but Trunk Escape and Hat Magic]. The Trunk scores an increasing amount for each hit: the first hit is 2 million, then 3 million, 4, etc. The value resets each ball, but carries between Illusions. In low-scoring Illusions [such as Spirit Cards] it may be more worthwhile to shoot for the Trunk.

Beginning all eight Illusions awards one-fourth of the items necessary to light the Grand Finale [see individual section]. Note that this award is given as soon as the eighth Illusion is begun, and not as soon as it ends.

Illusions count toward End-of-Ball Bonus [see individual section]. "The next performance is about to begin!"

Vanish / Tiger Saw Multiball

Vanish lights at the Left Lane after a set number of hits on the Tiger Saw Captive Ball [hits during any Illusion count as well]. The default is to start at three Captive Ball hits to light Vanish. "Make the ball vanish!"

Vanish scores 40 million, then qualifies the Right Orbit to start Tiger Saw Multiball. Upon making the Orbit, the second ball is kicked down the Left Lane, and the Jackpot is the Tiger Saw Captive Ball. The first shot to the Captive Ball is 30 million, then 40 million, then 50 million up to a limit of 70M. "Tiger Saw Jackpot!" You do not need to relight the Jackpot, and there is no ball saver on this multiball.

Upon completion of Tiger Saw Multiball, the count of Captive Ball hits resets to zero, and the number of hits needed to light Vanish will be six instead of three.

Lighting the third Vanish will also lite Extra Ball.

If Theatre Multiball is started after Vanish has been collected, the ball will be kicked out of the Vanish Lock for a four-ball multiball. Upon completion of Theatre Multiball, the Left Lane will immediately be lit for Vanish and another 40 million.

Tiger Saw Multiball does not count toward lighting Grand Finale.

During multiball, other game functions are interrupted; you cannot advance THEATRE, you cannot advance to Vanish Lock, you cannot advance Trunk Hits and you cannot advance toward a Trap Door Award. You can however advance the Clock and build up your Bonus X.

Theatre Multiball

To start Theatre Multiball, you must first qualify two locks. Lock is lit by completing MAGIC on the ramps. For the first two multiballs, either ramp will spot a letter in MAGIC; for the third, only the Right Ramp will spot a letter. Progress toward MAGIC is displayed in lights in the center of the playfield.

When MAGIC is complete, Lock becomes lit on either Inner Loop shot. The first Lock is 20 million, and a new ball is served to the plunger or from the Trap Door Kickout [if three balls are already in the lock]; if the ball is served to the plunger, an opportunity for a Skill Shot is given. "The first ball is locked!" The second Lock is immediately lit at the Inner Loop.

There is another method for achieving the first Lock; shooting the Rear Trunk Entrance at any time will award a Secret Ball Lock, a great animation, a free completion of MAGIC, and the first Lock. "Oh NOOoooo!!" After a Secret Ball Lock, the second Lock is immediately lit at the Inner Loop. The Secret Ball Lock is only valid for the first two multiballs. After that, a Rear Trunk Entrance will only score 10M.

The second Lock is 20 million, and spins the Trunk to the side resembling a bulls-eye target. Hit the Trunk, and the ball is stuck to its side by a magnet. The trunk spins to drop the ball into the Rear Trunk Entrance, and multiball begins. Before the balls are kicked out, the Trunk spins to the side with the hole.

As balls are kicked out, a timer counts down immediately: 5... 4... "Three"... "Two"... "One". Shooting the Trunk hole during the countdown scores an immediate 100 million points. "ONE hundred MILLION!" This counts as a Theatre Jackpot, and the trunk spins to the side; a green light flashes at the top of the Trunk.

Note: the countdown is aborted if any other major shot is hit in the meantime.

If the 100 million shot is unsuccessful, Jackpot is lit at the Trunk, base value of 50 million [always]. Shoot the Trunk to collect the Theatre Jackpot. "Theatre JACKPOT... jackpot... jackpot..." A nice echo effect on the Jackpot.

Several shots will raise the Jackpot by 5 million. They are: Left Lane, Left Inner Loop, Right Inner Loop, Right Ramp, Right Orbit. These shots raise the Jackpot value, whether the Theatre Jackpot is lit or not. There is no apparent maximum to the Jackpot value; if there is one, it is at least 115 million.

After a Theatre Jackpot is collected, the Trunk spins to the side, and a green light flashes on the Trunk. You must shoot the Trunk a number of times to relight the Theatre Jackpot; this number increases for each Jackpot you score. To relight the Jackpot the first time, only two Trunk hits are required; the second time, three; then four; then five. I believe five is the maximum. When the required hits are complete, the Trunk spins back to reveal the hole.

A shot that falls into the Rear Trunk Entrance will also score the Jackpot when lit. Nothing happens if the Jackpot isn't lit, though this would be a nice Easter Egg to include in future versions [if there are any].

Entering Theatre Multiball qualifies one of the four items necessary to light the Grand Finale [see individual section], but if Theatre Multiball is the fourth item [unlikely], Grand Finale will not light until multiball is over.

During multiball, other game functions are interrupted; you cannot advance THEATRE, you cannot advance the Clock, you cannot advance to Vanish Lock, and you cannot advance toward a Trap Door Award. However, the right Bonus X diverter is closed during multiball so a shot to the left loop will always end up at the Bonus X lanes, helping you to advance your Bonus multiplier.

Collected letters in MAGIC count toward End-of-Ball Bonus [see individual section]; this includes only letters collected from ramp shots, and not any letters added by a Secret Ball Lock.


The base value for the THEATRE Hurry-Up is 50 million; the value is advanced with every bumper hit by about 100 thousand per bumper. Piddly points, basically.

Pick up a letter in THEATRE by shooting the Left Lane in single-ball play. The letters in THEATRE are spelled out on the dot matrix after each shot, and are also in playfield lights in the front center. When THEATRE is complete, the THEATRE Hurry-Up is lit at the Trunk, which spins to the side with the hole. You must shoot the hole within 10 seconds to collect, after which time the Trunk spins back to whatever side it was on. To collect the Hurry-Up, you must shoot the Trunk hole before it spins away. The Hurry-Up timer pauses while the ball is in the bumpers.

Whether the Hurry-Up is collected or not, THEATRE resets. If you collect the Hurry-Up, the value resets to 50 million; otherwise it keeps its current value.

Your spelled THEATRE letters are carried over ball-to-ball until you collect the Hurry-Up. After that they will be reset at the end of each ball.

Spelling THEATRE qualifies one of the four items necessary to light the Grand Finale [see individual section]. You do not need to collect the Hurry- Up.

Collected THEATRE letters count toward End-of-Ball Bonus [see individual section].

Clock / Midnight Madness

Advancing the Clock can be done in three ways: by Skill Shot [either at the Trunk (2 hours) or the Captive Ball (1 hour)], by Basement award [see section], or by shooting the Right Orbit during single-ball play or Tiger Saw Multiball. Note that the basement can award both "Adv. Clock" [1 hour] and "Midnight" [immediate Midnight Madness].

Advancing the Clock yields a quote about the time, more frantic as the hours go by. "It's two o'clock." "ELEVEN O'CLOCK!"

Advancing to 6:00 lights Extra Ball on the Left Lane for the first time through to Midnight; successive go-throughs score 40 million at 6:00.

Advancing to Midnight [12:00, of course] begins Midnight Madness immediately. All mattresses are 50% off... no, wait, that's not it.

The Trunk spins to reveal the bulls-eye target, and the Clock starts rewinding itself from 12:00. Shots to the Trunk catch on the magnet, and score twice the current hour on the Clock, or 10 million, whichever is larger. Every 5-7 seconds, a loud "bong" is heard, and the Clock goes back one hour.

An immediate shot to the Trunk after the ball drops from the magnet may not catch on the Trunk's magnet, as it takes a few seconds to get ready for another shot. If this happens, there is no score compensation; you only get credit for shots that activate the magnet. Still, there is enough time for two shots per "hour" of time in Midnight Madness.

Getting to Midnight qualifies one of the four items necessary to light the Grand Finale [see individual section]. You do not need to finish Midnight Madness; if this is the fourth item, Grand Finale will light immediately on the Left Inner Loop.

The current Clock time counts toward End-of-Ball Bonus [see individual section]. Unlike MAGIC and THEATRE letters, there is no carryover between completions.

Trap Door / Basement Awards

Getting a Basement award is done in three stages:

  • Hit the Trap Door Targets four times to light Raise Trap Door on the Center Ramp.
  • Shoot the Center Ramp for Raise Trap Door; the Trap Door will block the Right Ramp entrance.
  • Shoot the Trap Door for 15 million and a Basement Award. The animation of walking down to the basement is very nice.

There are always 10 Basement Awards to choose from; the screen resembles Creature's Snackbar Menu and Road Show's Bunker Menu. The selection is apparently random, but surely has a lot to do with the game in progress and so on. The game rarely gives the same Basement Award twice in one game.

The selections:


Notes on the selections...

  • Random millions can be anywhere from 15M to 40M.

  • Midnight advances the Clock to Midnight immediately; if 6:00 is passed, the appropriate award [Light EB or 40M] is given automatically.

  • Bonus X only awards if 8x is not the current multiplier.

  • "Pinball" = Video Mode. Shoot all six targets in 20 seconds for Extra Ball [usually] or 40 million. [Also see Easter Eggs section.]

  • Light Special at both Outlanes, lit continuously for the rest of the ball.

  • Illusion starts the currently lit Illusion immediately; this -can- be awarded while an Illusion is already in progress, I believe.

  • Trunk Magic spins the Trunk to reveal the hole; shoot it within about 5 seconds for 40 million.

Combo Shots

A Combo is awarded for any two shots in a row, made from the following list: Left Lane, Left Inner Loop, Center Ramp, Right Inner Loop, Right Ramp, Right Orbit.

The first Combo Shot is 2 million; successive [immediate] Combo Shots increase by another 2 million. So a 3-Way Combo would be 4 million, 4-Way is 6 million, and so on. There does not appear to be a limit to this behavior.

If you are lucky enough to make the "2x Combo" Skill Shot, it doubles every Combo value for the ball. 2-Way Combos become 4M, then 8M, 12M, etc.

Some of the Combo Shots are easily repeatable; the Left Lane and Center Ramp are most obvious. A decent way to build points is to continually loop the Left Lane.

3-Way and higher Combos also generate encouraging quotes from the game:

  • 3-Way [4M]: "Amazing!"
  • 4-Way [6M]: "Marvelous!"
  • 5-Way [8M]: "Magnificent!"

There are definitely more. Often, some other event [such as completing MAGIC or THEATRE] gets in the way of the Combo displays and quotes.

The Grand Finale

To light the Grand Finale, you must complete four tasks. Two are simple, one is hard, and one is extremely difficult. What you must do:

  • "Theatre": Complete THEATRE [to light THEATRE Hurry-Up]. Collecting the Hurry-Up is not necessary.
  • "Multiball": Play Theatre Multiball.
  • "Midnight": Get to Midnight on the Clock.
  • "Illusions": Play all eight Illusions.

Completing THEATRE is a piece of cake. Getting to multiball is pretty easy. Getting to Midnight is difficult, but can be done when you put it at a high priority. But those Illusions are hard to come by, and eight... feh.

Anyway, completing all four tasks will light "Start Finale" at the Left Inner Loop anytime during single-ball play. Shoot either left or right inner orbit to start a single-ball round where every ramp and loop are worth 50M and will give you a letter in "MAGIC THEATRE". You have 60 seconds to complete these twelve shots for a rewarding 500M. Shooting the left loop will divert the ball to the Bonus X lanes, a good way to build your bonus and spell "MAGIC THEATRE" at the same time.

Extra Balls

Extra ball can be lit or collected doing the following:

  • Getting the "LITE EX. BALL" Basement award when shooting into the Trap Door.
  • Shoot down all six targets in Digital Pinball, another Basement award, will give you an EB.
  • Advance The Clock to six o\xb4clock will lite EB at the left loop.
  • Lite the third Vanish lock (15 captive ball hits in total) will lite EB.

Tournament Mode

If the Tournament Mode Setting is set to "yes" most of the game play will remain the same, the only thing that differ is that the random Basement Awards are turned off. A shot into the Trap Door will only award 15M.

Holding left or right flipper button when starting a game (see "Easter Eggs" section) will have no effect in Tournament Mode.

End-of-Ball Bonus

Like Flintstones, end-of-ball bonus is a combination of many awards. Here is a listing of the awards [in order, I hope].

  • Magicianship: points based on the number of Grand Finale tasks complete.
    • none: "Novice", 2M.
    • one: "Apprentice", 4M.
    • two: "Journey Man", 6M.
    • three: "Master", 8M
    • four: "Master", 10M

  • MAGIC letters: 1 million x number of letters collected in the game. This counts only those letters collected in ramp shots, not "free letters" from the start of the game or a Secret Ball Lock.

  • THEATRE letters: 500 thousand x number of letters collected in the game.

  • Clock Bonus: 1 million x current time on the clock. 12 noon = 0 points.

  • Illusions: 4 million x number of Illusions played in the game.

  • Skill Shots: 1 million x number of Skill Shots [Trunk or Captive Ball] made in the game.

ALL this is multiplied by the current Bonus Multiplier, for the total End- of-Ball Bonus. Bonus can sure be a lot; I've had it over 300 million.

If any of the six categories of Bonus are not applicable [no Illusions, no Theatre letters, etc.], then that category will be skipped in the Bonus count. The only category always listed is Magicianship.


Ball Saver
A short ball saver is active at the beginning of each ball. "Stay right where you are!" There is no ball saver on any multiball, or any other game situation. The only exception is the operator adjustable (on/off) Trunk Ball Save where every hit on the Trunk side during single-ball play activates a short ball saver. The ball saver on a buyin is much longer than the standard ball saver time.

Extra Ball Buy-In
Default buyin costs 1 credit, and nothing special happens on the bought ball other than an extended ball saver. Default maximum number of buyins is three.

The buyin can also be set to 1/2 credit, and the number of buyins can be set anywhere from 0 [off] to 4, or Unlimited.

A game with any buyin is disqualified for the "Master Magician" [Grand Champion] score, as well as the first high score table. A second table is reserved for buyin scores only.

Game Credits
Design: John Popadiuk Jr. [World Cup Soccer] Software: Jeff Johnson [Creature, Judge Dredd, Flintstones] Sound: Dan Forden [Star Trek TNG, many others] Voice Credits: wish I knew

Apologies that the credits are short; please send further credits.

High Scores
The best score I've seen is around 4.5 billion. My personal best is just over 3 billion. Send me your scores, and I'll post them here.

Beta Behavior
Things different about the earliest Theatre beta versions:

  • The Tiger Saw [plastic saw in top left of machine] worked!
  • The Poof Target raised an up post between the flippers [like Fire or Big Guns] for a short time.
  • Instead of something else [see Easter Eggs], holding in the right flipper when starting a game started "Cube Mania", a 20-second round where hits to the Trunk scores around 10-15 million.

Easter Eggs

Don't read this section unless you absolutely want to...

Okay, you've been warned.

Activate Digital Pinball
Hold in the left flipper button when starting a game. "Congratulations!" Display reads: Digital Pinball Selected. The first Basement Award will be Pinball, and you play for 40 million.

A bug here, possibly -- all players in the game will play the Pinball Video Mode, but only the first player will play for 40 million. All other players play for Extra Ball.

Activate MK3 Secrets
Hold in the right flipper when starting a game. "Congratulations!" Display reads: MK3 Symbols Activated. Spell THEATRE to Reveal Symbols. It didn't seem to do anything, though.

Check out the Secret Ball Lock.

Check out the Metamorphosis round.

A Special Guest
Play Hat Magic, and shoot the Trunk three times. The third time will bring up a telephone. The assistant puts it to her ear... "MOVE YER CAR!"

Those are all the Easter Eggs I know of. Please inform me of more.

Editor's Notes

  • HTML added by David Gersic
  • E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.

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