Follow The Leader / Pinball

  • The "Graveyard"/"Nightmare" table from Pinball Dreams is a copy of Williams Electronics' highly popular Terminator 2: Judgment Day pinball.
  • Many early computer pinball games were near-direct copies of arcade pinball machines:
  • Pinball got hit with this trope early in its formation, as the success of Baffle Ball led to countless imitators.
  • Similarly, the success of Contact led to other games copying its electro-mechanical features, leading to the widespread use of solenoids, chimes, and the tilt anti-cheating mechanism.
  • After Humpty Dumpty was released, it instantly made flipperless pinballs obsolete. Gottlieb's competitors all scrambled to put out their own flipper games. In only three months, nearly all pinball manufacturers had a flipper pinball available, and they were standard equipment soon after that.
  • The aforementioned Firepower was a trendsetter in more than one way: It also popularized the multiball, a mode in which multiple balls would enter play at the same time. It was not the first pinball machine to have multiball (and had existed for decades prior), but it was the first one in which it was a central gameplay feature and not simply a gimmick, to where Williams Electronics trademarked the word. Competitors grew adept at Writing Around Trademarks, though, and before long, machines like Haunted House and Cyclone would be criticized for not having multiball modes.
  • Williams' Black Knight would create a short-lived trend of the split-level playfield, in which the upper third of the playfield is elevated compared the the lower two-thirds. When news of Black Knight's production got accidentally leaked, both Bally and Stern got on board, with Bally making Flash Gordon and Stern making Split Second.
  • The Addams Family was a major game-changer, quite literally, in that it was the first popular machine to have different modes, which would be started one by one by the player, in which the rules would be slightly different, and a Wizard Mode waiting at the end for whomever could finish all of the modes. This would soon become the standard for nearly all pinball made after that, with the only subsequent exceptions being deliberate throwbacks to pre-Addams gameplay, like Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons and Total Nuclear Annihilation.
  • Space Shuttle had a high-quality (for the time) scale model of a NASA space shuttle sitting on the playfield. As Space Shuttle sold so well compared to other machines released before it, the scale model shuttle incentivized future pinball designers to put models of objects and characters onto the playfield, which would subsequently be known as "toys," to where any machine made after Space Shuttle would be immediately dismissed as bland-looking if it didn't have at least one such thing in it. In turn, there was Fun House, in which the player could hit the toy, the head of a character named Rudy, with the ball. This gave rise to the toy that the ball interacts with directly or is otherwise influenced by the player's actions (such as parts that move in response to actions elsewhere on the machine). Toys that are meant to be hit with the ball, in particular, became so common that the term "bash toy" was created to specifically define them.
  • Bally's Rapid Fire was inspired by Williams' earlier game, Hyperball. Williams' employees derisively called Rapid Fire "Operation Xerox" or "Project Xerox".
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FollowTheLeader/Pinball