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Pinball Zone
A level where either the hero or some proxy takes a trip through a massive Pinball machine, or some other area sharing features with one. The typical style is the inside of a pinball machine, with all that brings. Expect metal pinballs rolling around or being destroyed, flashing neon lights, flippers and bumpers, with loud party type music in the background. Is often a Casino Park area or a Bonus Stage.

If the entire game is devoted to putting a popular character into a pinball machine, then it's a Pinball Spinoff. See also Pinball Gag.


Video Game Examples

  • Wario Land 4 is the Trope Namer, though there weren't actually many pinball elements in that stage.
  • Aladdin (Virgin Games) included the whimsical "Inside the Lamp" level, in which Genie heads and hands served as flippers.
  • "Waluigi Pinball" appears several times in the Mario series, including as a track in Mario Kart DS and as a level in Mario Party Mix.
    • "Bowser's Pinball Machine" appears in Mario Party DS.
    • Part of "Melty Monster Galaxy" from Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes place inside a giant pinball machine, with Rock Mario serving as the pinball.
    • Super Mario Sunshine has a level that puts Mario in a pachinko game.
  • Milla's Dance Party in Psychonauts definitely has shades of this—especially the raceway level.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series is the undisputed king of this trope. Almost every game in the series has at least one level where Sonic is buffeted about by flippers, bumpers, and the like (usually within levels decked out with a full casino theme, starting with Spring Yard and moving on to Casino and Carnival Night Zones), and Sonic Spinball was devoted entirely to the idea of Sonic being the pinball. The in-series tradition may have started because, since Sonic can curl into a ball and move rapidly and the series already featured him careening wildly around loops, through the air, and off of springs, putting him in a pinball machine wasn't much of a stretch.
    • Collision Chaos from Sonic the Hedgehog CD was more in tune with the Spring Yard Zone in that it had no flippers, but otherwise fits.
    • Other such pinball-levels include Casinopolis from Sonic Adventure and Act 1 of Casino Street Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Part I. Unsurprisingly, most of the aforementioned stages have a casino motif.
    • Casino Night Zone returns in Sonic Generations. In the 3DS version it is the stage representing Sonic 2, whereas in the PS3/360/PC version it is a pre-order bonus that later got released as DLC, and acts like a mix of the original level with the Casinopolis pinball stages.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep gives us Pete's Rec Room, an area in the underground section of Disney Town that features a giant pinball machine in which the characters can climb into the plunger and launch themselves into. While in the pinball machine, a spherical barrier appears around the character (making them the pinball) and the player controls the flippers with the shoulder buttons.
  • The Incredible Machine 2 contains pinball levels, complete with flippers, bumpers, and the pinball itself. You can also make your own.
  • Level 42 advanced on Marble Blast Gold is set in a giant pinball machine. It's very hard to play, given that you have to hit the bumpers just right, and the level's set at a 45 degree angle.
  • The Pinball hole in the Apple IIGS classic Zany Golf.
  • The Marvel villain Arcade tried to kill Spider-Man and several X-Men by throwing them into a deadly giant pinball machine. Marvel Ultimate Alliance features said pinball; you have to reach a high score by hitting the right targets, at which point the flippers open to let you through and balls start raining from the sky.
  • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 culminates inside a pinball machine.
  • MadWorld's casino level has bumpers all over the place. Not for the player character to move themselves in, but to redirect thrown enemies to extend combos and earn more points.
  • Parodius Da! has a pinball-themed stage, whose boss is a cross between a Gradius Core and a pinball machine.
  • Nitro Ball, an obscure run-and-gun shooter by Data East, is set in a world inspired by pinball tables.
  • Sweet Tooth's Carnival of Carnage in the rebooted Twisted Metal.
  • In the Capcom Shoot 'em Up Section Z, Section O is filled with flippers and deadly pinballs that bounce around the screen.


Non-Video Game Examples

  • The kids from The Magic School Bus spent an episode in one of these, learning about light, lasers, and reflection.
  • Extremely rare comic book example: one chapter of Iznogoud had the protagonist trapped in a pinball machine wasteland.
  • The Marvel villain Arcade likes to throw captured super-powered individuals in a deadly giant pinball.
  • The third episode of Total Drama World Tour has a challenge taking place inside a giant pinball set of a Japanese gameshow.
  • The ABC Saturday morning version of Sonic the Hedgehog had an episode that put Sonic in a pinball machine, presumably inspired by his game counterpart's frequent pinball adventures. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog similarly had an episode that was clearly inspired by Sonic Spinball, and he ends up in a giant pinball machine in "Robotnikland".
  • In Dragon Ball, Pilaf's castle contained a huge pinball Death Trap.
  • In the "Soos' Really Great Pinball Story" segment of the Gravity Falls episode "Bottomless Pit", Soos, Dipper, and Mabel get trapped in Stan's old pinball machine, and they can only escape by manually turning the machine off.
  • An episode of "Turbo: F.A.S.T." has Chet competing in a pinball machine as part of a demolition derby.

Pinball SpinoffPinball TropesScore Multiplier
Level AteVideo Game SettingsToy Time
Levels Take FlightImageSource/Video GamesSonic 3 & Knuckles

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