You are now entering… the Twilight Zone!

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of flipper skills and slap saves. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of Pat Lawlor’s imagination.

That’s the signpost up ahead!

Your next stop… Bowen explains the Twilight Zone!

E-mail us or leave a comment with the videos you would like to see Bowen make.

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  1. Man, thanks so much for posting these videos! It’s great to learn all the shots from someone who really knows the games. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Herg

    The lack of outlane posts really makes that game SCARY!

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, because the videos are excellent, but this one seemed to lack some of the strategy discussion that the others had.

    It seemed like your main focus was starting multiball and shooting jackpots. Is this typical to focus on rather than pushing for LITZ? LITZ is pretty much all or nothing, but I’d think it would be difficult to break 1B without it.

    It also seemed like you were avoiding the slot machine. That, I agree with since the missed shots are so dangerous.

  3. bowen

    I won’t take it the wrong way! I will try and describe that better the next time. Your assessment is right on: LITZ is an all-or-nothing strategy that is very unlikely to pay off with no outlane posts and no extra balls. At PAPA 13, on the same machine, only one player made LITZ in over 200 plays.

    You’re right about the slot machine too; missed shots to Slot from the left flipper are death, and the backhand is usually too difficult to try (or, at least, I tend not to try it). So I usually try to pick up Door Panels from the right ramp while making locks. Each lock, besides advancing to multiball, lights Gumball for 25M and 1/3 of Powerball progress, making locks worth more than any mode.

    I’ll try and do a little better with these descriptions in the video, but it can be a tough balance — if this is done before the game or while trapping the ball, boredom sets in (for the audience), and if this is done while shooting other stuff, someone will wonder why I’m not talking about what I’m doing. I also probably was concentrating a little too much on playing the game since it is set up so challengingly, making the commentary a little more sparse / useless.

    Thanks for the comments and more to come!

  4. Matt W

    Thanks for the vid. I love these. As a fairly green player, watching you perform so many bounce passes is both mind-blowing and nerve-wracking! Seeing vids of this level of play is definitely a great tool for learning.

  5. Chris Pierce

    Just whanted to let you know I’m really enjoying the vids. It’s fun to watch somebody who knows what there doing when it comes to pinball. I just play for fun, but there is one pinball game I would like to know more about. That would be simpson’s pinball party. Do you think you could do a vidoe of some of the finer points of the game. That would be Awesome.

  6. bowen

    Simpsons is definitely on request from several people, and it’s one of my favorites. We have to do that one.

    I never would know these techniques without learning them from other players, so I’m happy to pass it on. Before I met Neil Shatz, Rick Stetta, and other greats in California, I thought nudging wasn’t allowed, and flipper passes weren’t useful. So, so wrong!

  7. Greg

    It is extremely helpful to see that a major strategy (at least as I see it) is to simply RELAX! I tend to get spazzy and then anything (usually something bad) can happen. I think the tendency is to figure that, whenever the ball comes near a flipper, you have to hit it somewhere. But, watching this, there is great value in letting it bounce, slowing it down, and taking your time. Like you said more than once, Bowen, CONTROL!!!

  8. MHS

    @ Greg

    You certainly hit the nail on the head. In my experience, nothing will help your play more than slowing the games down and taking your time. When I first watched a lot of the better players attack a game at the PAPA World Championships, I was struck by how often they would cradle the ball, take some time to wipe off their hands, develop a strategy for the next few shots, breathe a few times and then shoot. In 20 or 30 seconds, they would cradle the ball and do the exact same thing again.

    Control means more than just controlling the ball… it means controlling yourself and your own bad tendencies. I personally still struggle with this issue greatly, and that’s one of the reasons you won’t find my name on any trophies.

  9. bowen

    Right, this is especially true when the games are as unforgiving as they can be at PAPA. I like to say that if you can’t explain why you made a shot, it was a mistake.

    Lots of cradling and waiting is boring, but it can help a player plan the next few shots. I do it when something I’m trying isn’t working, to reassess whether or not I should continue to try the original strategy or switch up.

  10. Johansen

    As a new Twilight Zone owner I really enjoyed the tips and tricks you showed.

    I would love to see a similar video done on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

  11. Chris

    Bowen, awesome job as usual. Could you please elaborate on the “Cheat” for the Powerball Jackpot. What did you shoot to make the cheat? Camera shot or the Hitch Hiker shot? And what is the correct time? Just as the ball is draining from the mini playfield?

    Chris in Alabama

  12. bowen

    It’s the Camera shot. There is no dedicated switch for exiting the Powerfield, so the game looks for the combination of the “Top of Powerfield” switch, then the “Camera” switch.

    You fool the game by getting a ball to the top of the Powerfield, then shooting the Camera with another ball within 2-3 seconds. The other ball can still be on the Powerfield; in fact, it is possible to score a second Jackpot properly.

    I hope this is a good enough explanation. It isn’t enough to shoot the Camera while a ball is on the Powerfield, since there is an optical switch at the top of the Powerfield that must also be triggered.

  13. Chris

    Thanks! I understand it now. Too bad I can’t make it to Pinburgh but I will see you in August!

  14. Josh Aspenson

    Medieval Madness was always my favorite…….until I played the Zone!

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