Archive-Name: games/android-faq Version: Sun May 15 17:45:44 EDT 1994 Written-By: Norman G. Sippel
Epic Pinball's Android Pinball Frequently Asked Questions Written By Norman G. Sippel
Introduction ———— With the growth in popularity of the IBM PC pinball game, Android, and its many requests for cheat keys, I decided to put this Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) together. Please e-mail email@example.com with any comments, questions, or additions. As of Friday April 15, 1994, the FAQ Server at firstname.lastname@example.org will be posting this document in the middle of every month. NOTE: Unless there is a major revision of Android (which is rumored) or a super secret is found, I will not be putting out anymore revisions after this one. If there is a new edition or revision or someone wants me to add their trick, I will update this FAQ. Trademark and Copyright Notices ——————————- All Android trademarks and copyrights mentioned in this FAQ are property of Epic Megagames and James Schmalz. This purpose of this FAQ is to inform people, and it is kept in my spare time for no profit. Distribution and Site File Access ——————————— This document, if kept on a file transfer protocol (FTP) site, must be kept in a public access section and be available for free; otherwise, the site may not carry this document. If a site accepts these terms, it may freely distribute this document as long as it remains in tact with proper disclaimers and credits. This document, or any derivative works thereof, may not be sold or redistributed for profit in any way without express written permission (through paper [snail] mail) of the editor, Norman G. Sippel. This includes, but is not limited to, translations into foreign languages, mass archival as on a CD_ROM, inclusion in commercially published compilations (books), and uploading this document to non-USENET services. This document represents the collective effort of many USENET pinball fans. We appreciate your honoring of this policy. *
- Table Of Contents *
- I. What is Android Pinball? II. Where can I get a copy of Android? III. What are Android's keyboard controls? IV. What are its missions and goals? V. How do I hit … ? (Strategy Section) VI. What are its secrets? VII. Credits NOTE **
This edition, I am adding a strategy section. Please send in, if you wish, your best strategies. (They will be added along with your name next to it.)
The biggest FAQ is "how do I hit the physical systems consistently?" I have yet to come up with a solid solution, so one would be very much appreciated by all! (I tried in this edition!:)
I. What is Android Pinball?
"Android" is one of Epic Megagames' new pinball tables. This FAQ covers the shareware version of Android which is available all over the Internet (and other networks). Remember: Android is shareware; if you like it, please pay for it. Thank you.
Epic Megagames' [Hyped-Up] Description (from vendor.doc):
Epic Pinball brings true arcade-style Pinball to life on your PC! The 256-color scrolling VGA graphics, digital music and sound, and ultra- realistic style will take your breath away! This true commercial-quality product was created by the authors of Silverball, the new record-setting retail pinball game. The shareware version of Epic Pinball showcases the ANDROID pinball table. True to the 1990's pinball style, you must make an increasingly-challenging series of shots to bring the Android to life! The dazzling graphics, real pinball sounds, and authentic look and feel will keep you hooked on Epic Pinball - a great game for the whole family.
EPIC PINBALL Features:
- Ultra smooth-scrolling 256-color VGA graphics. The animation runs
at an astounding 60 frames per second!
- A lavishly-illustrated, robust pinball table.
- Realistic pinball action, sound, music, and thrills!
- Features a special multiple-ball mode! Play up to five balls
on the table simultaneously.
- Accurately reflects a 1990's-style Pinball table.
- Real digital pinball sound effects.
- A unique digital musical score.
EPIC PINBALL Gadgets:
Drop Targets Ball-return gates Spinners Multi-Level Playfields Kickbacks Tunnels Messenger Balls Multiple-ball mode Skill shots Jackpots Rollovers Much, much more!
Requirements: * A 386 or faster IBM-compatible computer with VGA graphics * A Hard Disk * 640K of memory
Also supports: * Sound Blaster, SB Pro, Gravis Ultrasound, and compatible music cards.
II. Where can I get a copy of Android?
One can download it from any major FTP site. Archie can find FTP sites with it using the filename search of "0pinball.zip." Here are a few places to look (from a recent archie search):
Location: /pcsoft2/msdos2/games/Epic FILE -rw-r--r-- 707185 Nov 1 14:49 0pinball.zip
Location: /pub/msdos/games FILE -rw------- 707185 Dec 8 04:34 0pinball.zip
III. What are Android's keyboard controls?
Space Bar Shoot the ball, Tilt the pinball machine up Left Arrow Flip up the left flipper Left Shift Flip up the left flipper Right Arrow Shoot the ball, Flip up right flipper Right Shift Flip up the right flipper Up Arrow Scroll pinball machine viewing area up Down Arrow Scroll pinball machine viewing area down M Turn music on/off P Pause S Turn sound on/off T Adjust tracking (smoothness) control Z Tilt the machine right / Tilt the machine left ESCape Quit (Y/N)?
See "What are its secrets?" for cheat keys! :)
IV. What are its missions and goals?
Here are the three goals of the game:
 Hit the physical systems hole once to start activating the systems.
Every time you hit all three targets, aim for the hole again to activate an arm, a leg, or other body part. Once you finish the torso, there are no more systems to activate. Collect Tests every time you activate an android part.
Physical Stages: (Note: All "M"s after numbers stand for million)
Hit all three targets (marked 1, 2, 3) and physical stage hole to activate Left Arm Right Arm (Multiball & Jackpot) Left Leg Right Leg (Multiball & Jackpot) Head Torso (Multiball with 3 balls and Double Jackpot; Testing max is 247M)
 Move the ball through the rightmost ramp to activate the computer link.
Every time you complete the targets, hit through the regular left ramp to get memory (5M, 10M, 15M, etc). Once you complete all 3 targets, you can get BOTH goals  and , and then it resets.
Basic Input/Output (I/O) 5M - Start computer link-up and aim for all ramps
Artificial Intelligence (AI) 10M - Aim for all ramps and targets 15M (Virus) - Hit rightmost ramp
Artificial Intelligence 2 (AI2) 20M - Shoot all red triangle paths
Database 35M - Sink the pinball into all the sink-holes 15M (Virus) - Hit rightmost ramp
Activate Hit all three targets on the board (the 1, 2, and 3 switches)
 Collect points and jackpots.
There are many "points only" targets on the board such as the "Power Up" hole. Every time this hole is hit, one letter lights up at the bottom of the board (such as "P" or "W"); once all ten letters are lit, a jackpot of 10 million is awarded. Another score-booster is aiming for the ramp that leads to the bumpers, and the red arrow for the middle lights begins glowing. When this ramp is traveled, the ramp pot increases by thirty thousand and the current pot is awarded. Another target is the IQ–IQ will never reach a maximum. My personal high for IQ was 1100.
Multiball Stages and Jackpots:
After completing the arms, multiball (with two pinballs) will appear. Aim for the second left-most lane (not the test lane or the return-to-the-bottom ramp) which will give the jackpot plus highlight the middle ramp's bonus. After completing the legs, a similar multiball will occur. Once the torso is activated, the final multiball will drop its three pinballs in the middle of the board. Aim for the test lane for double jackpot.
Other Notes of Interest:
A. The middle ramp's bonus value starts at 100,000 and increases every time by 30,000 when the ramp is lit. (See "How do I hit … ?" section for more information on the middle ramp.)
B. Fast PCs have silver flippers, and slow PCs have yellow flippers. This can be switched in the OPTIONS menu.
C. Angles make the ball lighter or heavier. Low angles for lightweight pinballs or high angles for heavyweight pinballs.
From Mike Brandt (email@example.com):
Actually, the angle refers to the slope of the virtual pinball table relative to horizontal. The physics is different from that of lighter/heavier balls. For example, on a given slope, balls with different weights will accelerate at the same rate. But changing the slope changes the acceleration.
V. How do I hit … ? (Strategy Section)
... the Physical Systems Hole?
The best method I've found is to let the ball go through the left ramp and come down to the left flipper. When it lands on the very edge of the flipper's tip, flip up, and it should go in about 50% of the time.
... the Power Hole?
Similar to the physical systems except that it should be in the middle of the left flipper. After it leaves the hole, let it touch (for about a second) the flipper, and flip the ball up again.
... the Test Hole or Drop Targets?
Flip the pinball up through the middle ramp and let it land on your right flipper. When it gets close to the tip, flip up, and it should head in the direction of the hole/targets.
... the Bumpers (more often after it is shot up)?
When the pinball is heading back down to the center of the board after bouncing around the bumpers, hit the Space Bar to shake the pinball machine. This will cause the ball to bounce around more and rack up IQ points.
... the Middle Ramp's light on?
Flip the pinball to the middle lane; this will activate the middle ramp's bonus. After the initial 100 grand, the bonus increases by 30,000.
VI. What are its secrets?
To get an extra ball before playing, press F1 at the OPTIONS screen at the number of balls choice. (See the extra pages in the help.)
These are not officially from Epic Megagames, but these debug codes in the shareware version will help you have some fun with the game. All codes need to have escape (ESC) to be pressed first for the prompt; the responses to this prompt activates the cheats. (The escape is included for quick reference.)
Codes Purpose Debug Purpose (theoretical)
The best cheats of the game:
ESC-B-N * An extra ball is dropped during play. Test multiball.
ESC-J + Using the cursor keys, the ball is Test whole game and goals.
under player control.
Interesting debug codes:
ESC-F9 A border appears. ? ? ? ?
(Does not work for all monitors.)
ESC-F10 A screen capture to file SCREEN.PCX. Advertising Purposes
ESC-F1 A parameter request prompt. ? ? ? ?
Footnotes from Mike Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org):
- This works on all tables in the registered version, except
for Engima which crashes (albeit in a very colorful way)
+ This does not work on the registered version, including Android.
I have tested out all other keys, so there are no more ESC-(button) debug codes. However, the ESC-F1 looks to be promising research material.
Other means of free balls:
DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend changing any of the files on pinball except when the Set-Up Program changes it. Use at your own risk!!
From Steve Hastings (email@example.com):
A good cheat you didn't mention: make a backup copy of the options file. Then change the number of balls. Then run "comp" or some similar utility on the backed-up options file versus the current options file; you will get a message that one byte is different, and the offset of the byte. Now use Norton Utilities or any other binary editor to patch that one byte to a value of zero. Presto: an unlimited number of balls. The ball counter will max-out at 9 and stay there, and you can play forever. I think I had a 5-digit IQ once when I was trying to get past "Torso" to the next level. I'll be bummed if there isn't one.
From Mike Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Here is a QBASIC program which accomplishes the "edit the options file" cheat. Just run QBASIC (which comes with DOS versions 5 and up), type in the following program, and choose RUN from the menu.
OPEN "C:\PINBALL\CONFIG.PIN" FOR BINARY AS #1 A$ = CHR$(0) PUT #1, 12, A$ CLOSE #1
Substitute the path that you have Epic Pinball in, if it isn't C:\PINBALL, in the first line. You can also change the zero in the second line to a number from 1 to 9 to set the number of balls per game (the Zero makes it infinite.)
Balls Executable Program: There is a program out on the ftp sites called "balls.c" and/or "balls.exe". It will give you unlimited balls, and it is rumored to be written by Epic Megagames. The first two methods are dangerous because I'm not sure if they are copyright violations. I would like to include the balls.exe file in uuencoded format, but I would like to find out from the powers that be. Who's right about changing the files? Who's wrong? I am waiting for Epic Megagames' response to my e-mails. My friend Darren has some comments on it:
From Darren 'The Hammer' Carlson (email@example.com):
I think the FAQ is quite good. I wasn't aware of the debug codes that were available in the game.
I can't see why you wouldn't be able to distribute the compiled code for Balls.exe with the FAQ. Epic has the file in its Hints & Cheats Library on Compuserve in their Forum. I don't remember there being a note about not being able to distribute it but I may be wrong. I'll post a message in the Forum and see what the powers that be say about it.
Here is yet another viewpoint about the file changing:
From Mike Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org):
I noticed that you mentioned this in your FAQ; I find it quite surprising. After all, I bought the program from Epic, and I feel that I have the right to modify any of its files if I so desire; I have no intention of giving any of the files (modified or not) to anybody else. I will check Epic's licensing agreement. I do believe that you're not allowed to modify the shareware version *and then pass it on*, but modifying for your own use?
Anyway, even if it is a copyright violation to modify the file, it should be ok to describe how it's done. (For example, growing pot is illegal, but I've seen _The Marijuana Grower's Guide_ in bookstores!) Just add a disclaimer. (I did add a disclaimer -- Ed.)
These people (whether they know it or not) have given information for this FAQ. Their work is most appreciated. (If you don't like the name given for your entry, e-mail me the name you would like to use.)
Mike Brandt……………………………………email@example.com Darren 'The Hammer' Carlson……………..firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Guilmartin…………………………………..email@example.com Steve Hastings……………………………………firstname.lastname@example.org Ming-Jer Lee…………………………………….email@example.com Tony Nugent……………………………………..T.Nugent@sct.gu.edu.au White Flame………………………………………firstname.lastname@example.org Zargon…………………………………………….email@example.com
Subject: Android FAQ Policy Change !! From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 29 May 94 02:22:17 -0500
Android FAQ Policy Change:
All material written is my property. I will use it as I see fit; if you have added comments and don't agree with this policy, I will gladly take your section out of the FAQ. Any material that I have taken out and used shall be credited to the owner, but I will own it.
Please keep reading and sending in comments. I appreciate the help!
P.S. I have good reasons for this policy change, which I am not at liberty to discuss at this time.