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Video Pinball - Atari - Atari 2600    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   

Video Pinball



A Warner Communications Company              MODEL CX2648

Section 6           YOUR OWN HOME       Section 7

NOTE: Turn the console power switch off when inserting or
removing a Game Program. This will protect the electronic
components and prolong the life of your ATARI Video Computer
System.                                 (c) 1981 ATARI, INC.



1. INTRODUCTION                         2

2. OBJECT OF THE GAME                   3

3. USING THE CONTROLLERS                4

4. CONSOLE CONTROLS                     5

5. SCORING                              6

6. GAME VARIATIONS                      7

7. HELPFUL HINTS                        8


How many of you out there have always longed to be a pinball
wizard? It's a good bet that some of the places you had to go
to play a game of pinball weren't the most comfortable for
you. Well, relax. Since you were wise enough to invest in this
ATARI (r) VIDEO PINBALL TM Game Program TM, you'll never have
to worry about being at places with that kind of unsavoury
atmosphere again.

VIDEO PINBALL has the challenge and the excitement of standard
pinball games, and it doesn't have any idea what a quarter is.
So not only are you spared the unpleasant task of stuffing
quarters into hungry machines, you have the comfort and the
well-being of your home. What more could a pinball enthusiast
ask for? And as for you pinball wizards, don't think you can
master this one lickety-split. It'll be a while before your
wiz rating is restored and in full swing.

Just in case you're a pinball rookie, there's only one thing
you need to know. You're going to love it. You may have stayed
away from the more traditional places of pinball habitation in
the past, but now you're going to see why so many other people
have gone goofy with "pinball madness". As a matter of fact,
you'll probably catch the fever yourself within about 20

So take a deep breath, turn up the stereo, and jump right into
VIDEO PINBALL. One more thing. Better get yourself a piggy
bank for all those quarters you're going to save.


The object of the game is to keep the ball in play as long as
possible and to score as many points as possible.

Pinball is one of the fastest growing indoor sports. It
provides many forms of amusement, including competition,
challenge, excitement, and stimulation. ATARI'S VIDEO PINBALL
provides you with the challenge of pinball wizardry in your
own home.

VIDEO PINBALL TM is a game of skill and chance. It is like the
large arcade pinball games, complete with sounds and bright
colors that set the mood for the ultimate VIDEO PINBALL

Each player starts with three balls. Every time you hit the
ATARI rollover four times, you get an extra ball. The extra
ball is indicated by a large X at the bottom of the scree.
Playing VIDEO PINBALL requires skilful control of the flippers
which are located at the bottom, center of the screen. When
the ball drops to the bottom of the screen, you send it back
into the playfield by using the flippers. The flippers are
controlled with your Joystick Controller. It's your job to
guide the ball within the playfield hitting bumpers, spinners,
targets, and rollovers to score points.

Use your Joystick Controllers to "nudge" the ball, but don't
"nudge" too much, or you'll cause a "tilt". If you "tilt" the
game, your ball scores no more points and any extra balls are
lost. (See HELPFUL HINTS to learn more about nudge and tilt.)


Use your Joystick Controllers with this ATARI (r) Game Program

Be sure to plug the controller cables firmly into the jacks at
the back of your Video Computer System TM.

Hold the controller with the red button to your upper left
toward the television screen. Use the LEFT CONTROLLER jack for
one-player games. See Section 3 of your owners manual for
further details.

Use the Joystick Controller to move your flippers. Move the
Joystick to the right to move the right flipper up, and to the
left to move the left flipper up. Move the Joystick up to move
both flippers at the same time.

          Both Flippers
              \ | /
Left Flipper <-----> Right Flipper
              / | \

Use you Joystick Controller to start the game. Pull the
Joystick down (towards you) to bring the plunger back. 

Press the red controller button to release the spring and
shoot the ball into the playfield.

You can also use your Joystick Controller to "nudge" or apply
"body English" on the ball. "Nudge" or "body English" means
forcing the ball to go in a particular direction. To do this,
hold the red button down while you push the Joystick in the
direction you want the ball to go. All games allow you to
"nudge " the ball. (See GAME VARIATION for further


To select a VIDEO PINBALL game, press down the game select

The number of players for each game appears at the upper left
corner of the television screen. The game number appears to
the right of the player number. 

When you have selected the game you want to play, press down
the game reset switch to start the action.

Each time game rest is pressed down the game starts over. When
game play starts, the player number and the ball number appear
at the top of the screen to the left of the score.

Difficulty Switches

VIDEO PINBALL offers two difficulty levels - a and b. The a
level is for expert pinball players, also known as pinball
wizards. The b level game is for the beginning or novice
pinball player. The a level game has two extra drain holes at
the bottom of the playfield. Each VIDEO PINBALL player may
choose his or her own difficulty level. In a one-player game,
use the left difficulty switch. For two-player games, the left
player uses the left difficulty switch; the right player uses
the right difficulty switch. Difficulty levels may be changed
at any time during game play.


You score points each time your ball hits targets, bumpers,
rollovers, or spinners. The scoring is fast, and you'll hear
special electronic sounds as points are scored. When bonus
points are scored the screen flashes. Scores are posted at the
top right of the screen. In two-player games, each player's
score appears with each turn. At the end of a two-player game
both player's scores alternate at the top of the screen.

Points are scored as follows:

1 point each time the ball hits the spinner.

100 times their current value. The value inside the bumper
increases time all of the diamond shaped drop targets are
knocked down.

100 points each time a drop target is hit.


100 points; after hitting the ATARI rollover four times, you
receive an extra ball. Each time it rolls over, the bonus
multiplier increases by one. Only one extra ball can be
awarded with each turn. The number of ATARI rollovers hit is
indicated at the bottom of the screen by one [atari symbol]
for each hit.

100 points each time it rolls over. Its value increases by one
with each hit. When the ball drains, you receive 1000 points
for each time it has rolled over, (up to 4000 points).

This target lights up for only four seconds. It is located
between the two lower bumpers. Each time it is hit, the screen
flashes and you score 1000 points.

The bonus multiplier is tallied at the end of a turn.

This rapid scoring is accompanied with a "whirring" sound.
When you have scored one million points the score rolls over
and starts again. When this happens you do not lose the
additional 999999 points, they remain part of your score.


VIDEO PINBALL has four exciting game variations. There are two
games for one player and two games for two players. The
variations are:

GAME 1 is a one-player game. GAME 1 allows you to nudge the
ball. Too much nudge will cause you to lose the ball (TILT)
and any extra ball is lost. During GAME 1 the bumper values
are accumulated for an entire game.

GAME 2 is a two-player version of GAME 1. Each player takes at
turn with one ball at a time. The turn lasts until the ball
drains. Each player's score appears at the top of the screen
with each turn. The left player is always number one.

GAME 3 is a one-player game similar to GAME 1 except that the
bumper values are not accumulated. The bumper values are reset
with each new ball. GAME 3 is just a bit tougher than GAME 1.
For a real challenge, try GAME 3 with difficulty level a.

GAME 4 is a two-player version of GAME 3. Each player takes a
turn with one ball at a time. The turn lasts until the ball
drains. Each player's score appears at the top of the screen
with each turn. As in GAME 2, the left player starts the game.


Tilt is caused by nudging the ball too much. When a tilt
occurs, the top portion of the television screen turns red,
your flippers are frozen, you cannot score points, and
eventually the ball is lost through a drain. If an extra ball
was earned before a tilt, you lose it. You still retain the
bonus earned from the left rollover.

Nudging can be very helpful in preventing a lost ball. If the
ball gets too close to a drain, you can use a nudge to move
the ball and prevent it from dropping down the drain. Nudge
the ball by holding the red controller button down whilst
pushing the Joystick in the direction you want the ball to go.
You can also use a nudge to help score points by nudging the
ball towards a rollover or target.

Use the flippers to maneuver the ball so that it rebounds off
a playfield device (bumper, rollover etc.), and then moves
toward a specific target.

Experiment with the plunger. Try pulling it halfway back, or
all the way back, or anywhere in between. You might find you
have better control over the ball with a particular plunger
setting. Sometimes, a combination of plunger setting and
nudging will help send the ball in the direction of the ATARI

A Warner Communications Company

ATARI, INC., Consumer Division
P.O. Box 427, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

C016943-48 REV. 1                            Printed in U.S.A

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, �1997-1998 by Greg Chance