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Wizard Mode
Maybe it should be called "Gandalf mode" instead?note 

"You have come to the end of your journey. Survival is everything."
Rod Serling introducing "Lost in the Zone", The Twilight Zone

In Pinball games, a Wizard Mode is a special game mode or bonus stage which can only be started after completing a long and difficult series of tasks. It is named as a sideways tribute to The Who's Tommy, since the idea is that only a Pinball Wizard could reach such a level to begin with.

Some games will make completing the Wizard Mode reward a Progressive Jackpot, as an extra incentive to players. Other games may have multiple Wizard Modes (called "sub-Wizard Modes" by fans), to further recognize and reward the better players.

Unlike a Final Boss, however, finishing the Wizard Mode will seldom end the game. Instead, the game will resume with an earlier state, giving players the opportunity to reach (and beat) the Wizard Mode again.

The first Wizard Mode was the "King's Ransom" in 1989's Black Knight 2000.

Also see Final Boss, the Video Game equivalent. The "wizard mode" found in roguelikes is unrelated.


Examples:

  • As mentioned above, the Trope Maker is Steve Ritchie's Black Knight 2000, with a Wizard Mode called "The King's Ransom". When the player reached it, all targets are activated and all balls are in play for 20 seconds.
    EVERYTHING IS LIT!
  • Some players consider the multiball in Stern Electronics' Flight 2000 to be an Ur Example, given how hard it is to reach it.
  • The Twilight Zone has "Lost In The Zone", which is reached after collecting all of the door panels. In this mode, all six balls are launched onto the playfield (and all of the goals of the game are lit), and the player has 45 seconds to make as many shots as possible.
  • Jack*Bot (Pin Bot with a casino theme) has the "Casino Run", where the player spins a slot machine and decide on wether to risk your bank of earnings (Points/Extra Ball lightings/Specials) or to keep them, because if the player decides to risk, (s)he risks losing everything in the bank by not shooting a lit hole to spin the reels or having a bomb appear in one of the three reels unless a bucket of water appears giving the player a safety net and/or having a clock appear giving the player more time.
  • Red & Ted's Road Show has Carlene Carter (Red's voice) perform her song, "Every Little Thing" during the "Super Payday" Wizard Mode. Lock two balls, then the Earth blows up, starting a three- or four-ball multiball with everything lit for maximum points.
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party has its infamously hard-to-reach "Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode". Simply reaching it requires completing six separate and difficult goals; players who have reached it have taken an unspoken oath not to tell others what happens... There is documentation of it, however.
  • After completing all seven missions on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the "Final Frontier" mission is available. Upon starting it, the game first tallies the number of artifacts the player has collected; the Final Frontier then begins, a six-ball multiball mode, where each target's value is determined by the number of artifacts.
  • Theatre of Magic has The Grand Finale, which is only available after performing all eight illusions, starting Hurry-Up by spelling THEATRE, starting Midnight Madness, and performing Magic Multiball at least once. The Finale itself gives you one ball and 90 seconds to hit all the major loops and ramps to spell M-A-G-I-C-T-H-E-A-T-R-E.
  • Attack from Mars requires you to earn 5 billion points for "Rule the Universe", at which time you are awarded 5 billion more.
  • Johnny Mnemonic has the "Power Down", which typically awards several billion points.
  • 3D Pinball: Space Cadet has the Maelstrom, which can only be activated after getting a rank of Admiral or better, then completing a series of requirements. Getting it rewards five million points and lights every target on the board.
  • Medieval Madness has "Battle for the Kingdom".
  • The Lord of the Rings has "Valinor Multiball", which is as difficult to reach as The Simpsons Pinball Party's "Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode". Keith Johnson, who co-designed and programmed The Simpsons Pinball Party, programmed The Lord of the Rings.
    • Prior to that are the sub-Wizard Modes, "Destroy the Ring" and "There and Back Again".
  • The Getaway: High Speed II has Redline Mania, a multiball mode with all major targets lit for maximum points.
  • TRON: Legacy requires the player to complete seven goals, then reach The Portal to start Portal Multiball. Make two ramp shots and two outer loops, then hit the Disc Battle, and all major shots are worth 1 million points.
  • Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure has "Eternal Life Multiball", a six-ball multiball where the goal is hit all the targets (including the Path of Adventure) for one billion points.
    • The above wizard mode was reused in 1994's The Shadow, called "Final Battle", with the only difference is that it's a five-ball multiball. Brian Eddy programmed both Indiana Jones and The Shadow.
  • The Addams Family has "Tour The Mansion", which awards 50 million points, lights the extra ball and outlane specials, maximizes the jet bumpers, then starts each of the six timed modes one after the other back to back while the ball's in play.
  • Zen Studios' The Avengers has "Avengers Assemble", a four-ball multiball mode available after completing eight different missions.
    • Stern Pinball's The Avengers has two: "Assault on the Helicarrier" occurs after all six Avengers have been recruited, while "Battle for Earth" is available only after the heroes have been pitted against each other in a series of one-to-one contests.
  • Cirqus Voltaire has a four-stage wizard mode, called "Join the Cirqus". The stages are as follows: "Spell Cirqus", "Unmask Voltaire", "Meet the Cirqus", and finally, "Party Multiball".
  • Sega's Star Wars Trilogy has "The Redemption of Darth Vader", which is only available after completing the game's six primary goals. Starting it invokes a two-ball multiball mode for 50 seconds, where the player must load one pinball into the X-Wing, use the second pinball to hit the dropdown targets in front of Vader, then launch the first ball through the resulting hole.
  • Star Wars (Data East) doesn't have a Wizard Mode, but a December 2012 software update elevated the Double Jackpot to this status, with a minimum value of 50 million points.
    "Double Jackpot should be the highest award overall. This needs to be the money shot. Nothing in the game should trump it! You are blowing up the Death Star!!!"
    — Developer notes for the software upgrade
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has "Final Battle", a multiball mode where you must repeatedly hit the taunting T-X to weaken her. After that, shoot the ramps and loops, then finally Finish Her by hitting the T-X until she's destroyed, after which it starts all over again, but with "Payback Time", "RED", and "RPG" modes, and "Multiball" activated alongside it for "Blitz".
  • Pro Pinball: The Web has the "Ultimate Showdown", a six-ball multiball mode with a 30-second ball saver. Hit the spinner until the villainess is cornered, then defeat her for a one billion point bonus.
  • Pro Pinball: Timeshock! has two:
    • "Timeshock Frenzy" is the sub-Wizard Mode, a five-ball multiball that lasts two minutes. You must lock four crystal fragments (balls) into the playfield's center crystal, then shoot the middle scoop to score 1 billion points.
    • The Wizard Mode is "Wizard Frenzy", which is only available if you complete "Timeshock Frenzy" and have all eight pieces of Tachyonium. Here, you go to The End of Time and start a six-ball-multiball mode that lasts for one minute.
  • Pro Pinball: Big Race USA has one sub-Wizard Mode and two Wizard Modes:
    • "The Big Race" is the sub-Wizard Mode, an auto race represented by a 100-second, five-ball multiball mode. Winning requires the player to stay ahead of the other cars by making key shots.
    • The first Wizard Mode is "The Really Big Race", and is only available by completing six separate tasks and paying $100,000. This is a six-ball multiball that lasts for 100 seconds; the goal is to shoot each car three times, shoot the Police Car twice, then shoot into the Taxi for 500 million points.
    • The second Wizard Mode is "Million Dollar Madness", and has to be bought by earning $1,000,000 (not points). This is a ten-ball multiball. Everything on the playfield is lit for 1 million points, and complete all eighty-four lights scores an extra one billion points.
  • South Park had two five-ball multiball modes, depending on whether or not you finished the five characters' modes.
  • Jurassic Park has "System Failure", a six-ball multiball where each target is worth one million points.
    • Its sequel has "San Diego", based on the climax of the source material where the T-Rex rampages through the town, where any major shot scores an increasing value and any target increases the value.
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights has "Genie Battle", a two-stage mode which is only available after getting all seven jewels. The player must first fight through the genie's skeletal soldiers by shooting the Golden Symbols on the playfield. After defeating them, a four-ball multiball starts, and the video display shows the trapped princess between the genie and the player. Shoot the Symbols quickly to rescue the princess, defeat the genie, and collect a 20 million point bonus.
  • Capcom's Pinball Magic makes this the final challenge of the magic trials, a showdown against Matra Magna. As you make all of the main shots, her illusion of youth is removed, revealing her true age. Complete the challenge to shoot her with a pistol and turn her into a skeleton for 500 million points.
  • Plants vs. Zombies Pinball has a showdown with Dr. Zomboss, where waves of zombies will march forward while he attacks with balls of ice or fire. Destroy four of his attacks with the opposite element, then shoot Zomboss to defeat him.
  • Spider Man (Stern):
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is the "Battle Royale", which is available after beating each villain twice. This is a multiball mode where the player must complete hits on each foe to light the Royale bonus, then collect it at the right ramp.
    • The main Wizard Mode is "Super Hero", available after beating each villain three times and completing the five non-villain modes. Hit all the red arrows, then hit all four villains and the white arrows, hit Sandman over forty times, then shoot the Spider-Sense shot for 250 million points.
  • World Cup Soccer, appropriately enough, has the 5-ball World Cup Finals, obtained by getting the final city (Los Angeles). There, you must defeat Germany in order to become champion.
  • Stern Pinball's Family Guy has two sub-modes and a genuine Wizard Mode:
    • The first sub-mode is "TV Wizard", available after completing all five TV Modes. Hit the different Jackpot shots before it runs out to score the current value.
    • The second sub-mode is "Stewie Multiball", which starts after Stewie gets all of the other family members in his pinball game. Play both pinball tables at the same time, collecting each character on both for a chance at the Super Jackpot.
    • The Wizard Mode is "Sperm Attack", which can only be reached by performing well in six goals. The mode starts on Stewie's mini-pinball table, but soon migrates to the main playfield; there are four balls in play, and the player must shoot as many jackpot shots as possible. It's even possible to restart "Sperm Attack" when only two balls remain for even more points.
    • Shrek, which uses the same playfield and ruleset as Family Guy, changed the names to match the film franchise — the sub-Wizard Modes are now "Swamp Wizard" and "Donkey Multiball", while the main Wizard Mode is "Far Far Away".
  • Originally averted in Stern's Batman game; in the original release, collecting all eight characters in the cast lit the Bat Signal for "Final Battle", but shooting the saucer to start it simply rewards 100 million points.
    • A 2010 software update added the "Gotham City Challenge" Wizard Mode, which starts off with a 50 million saucer shot, followed by a four-ball multiball mode. Drained balls can be restored by making major shots, and completing a certain number of shots enables the Super Jackpot bonus.
    • Played straight with the sub-Wizard Mode, "Bat Signal Challenge". Enable the Scarecrow, the Joker, and the Batmobile, then shoot the saucer for a four-ball multiball. Make the three shots again to raise the jackpot, then shoot the saucer to collect the Super Jackpot.
  • While Doctor Who technically doesn't have one of these, the Davros Multiball is very similar to one - it's the endgame mode, you get several balls, and it awards a large number of points.
  • High Roller Casino has three Wizard Modes: "Casino Frenzy" (the primary wizard mode, earned by winning all six casino games), "Break the Bank" (earned by reaching 100 chips) and "Super Surprise" (earned by completing Roll 'N Win four times).
  • Gottlieb's Gladiators has "The Beast Challenge", which is reached after completing all six Rounds of the Battle Pyramid. The player must decapitate a three-headed dragon by shooting saucers in a specific order.
  • The final round in Sharkey's Shootout is "The Web," played against Real Life pool expert Jeanette "The Black Widow" Lee. Shoot four key shots to collect the four Jackpots and start Web Hurry-Up, then shoot the Black Widow drop target to collect the current Web value. This repeats until only one ball remains.
  • No Good Gofers has the Hole-In-One Challenge, which starts after every ninth completed hole.
  • While Monopoly doesn't have a Wizard Mode per se, the "Land Grab" mode has enough aspects of one to count. Itís a timed four-ball multiball that can only be obtained after getting all the property groups and railroads.
  • Cutthroat Countdown from Breakshot.
  • Safe Cracker has a sort-of example: after beating the main game, using the Magic Token awarded at the end of it starts "Assault on the Vault", a 4-ball multiball where you have 90 seconds to shoot as many shots as you can.
  • Sega's Batman Forever has "Forever", a multiball scoring frenzy where the goal is to collect jackpots by shooting pinballs into the Batwing. Unfortunately, the Batwing is constantly pivoting during "Forever", which means a mistimed shot will not get loaded or scored.
  • No Fear: Dangerous Sports has "Meet Your Maker", a four-ball multiball with everything lit.
    Skull: "It's time to Meet Your Maker! And I'm driving!"
  • Sega Pinball's GoldenEye has "*GOLDENEYE!*", complete with asterisks and exclamation point. This is a five-ball frenzy where you get 3 million for each shot and 20 million for each ramp. Drained pinballs are returned to the game if you can make enough shots.
  • Apollo 13 has two of these:
    • "Master Alarm", which is available after completing all missions. This is a 40-second frenzy, where every target scores one million points and adds an additional million to the Jackpot at the Blastoff ramp.
    • "Blastoff Multiball", a thirteen-ball multiball which is started after spelling "B-L-A-S-T-O-F-F". A post between the flippers rises up, four more balls are launched onto the playfield, and then eight more balls in the playfield holder are released all at once.
  • Gottlieb's Street Fighter II pinball has the Champion Challenge, available after defeating all twelve Street Fighters. You must defeat all of them using the same ball to be recognized as the new Master.
  • The multiball mode in Black Hole is a semi-example - it's generally held as an real achievement, since it's quite difficult to reach, and it enables three balls on two separate playfields.
  • Indiana Jones (Stern) has "Final Adventure", reached by finishing all four movie modes.
  • In The Who's Tommy, "Pinball Wizard" is a six-ball multiball mode, which is reached after completing all twelve Union Jacks. Every 25 targets or switches hit awards one letter in WIZARD, a progressive bonus, and launches another ball.
    • There's also "Tommy Mode": a special hard mode where black plastic "blinders" cover the most important ramps and targets as well as the paddles. You must be able to play by hearing and touch like Tommy to be able to get anywhere! Tommy Mode also activates during the normal game once enough challenges have been met, although it can be turned off again in the regular game by defeating specific challenges.
  • The Champion Pub has "Ultimate Challenge", obtained after defeating five opponents and getting the Pub Champion belt. Here, you must fight the other five fighters on one life bar. Notably, if you win or lose the Challenge, you can't play it again (at least on earlier revisions).
  • Big Bang Bar has the "Big Bang", which is available only after completing all of the game's modes and features. This is a timed four-ball multiball mode, where you need to score as much points possible while constantly plunging drained balls back into play.
  • Monster Bash:
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Monster Bash," available after starting (but not necessarily finishing) all six monsters' modes. This is a generous four-ball multiball with each monster worth two million points, and the center lane lit for Bash Jackpots.
    • The Wizard Mode is "Monsters of Rock," which is enabled after completing all six monsters' modes so they have their instruments. Shoot the Concert Hall to get a bonus for each instrument collected, then start a four-ball multiball with each monster being worth four million points. Make all of the monsters' shots (or shoot the Mosh Pit) to get the Monsters of Rock jackpot.
  • Guns N' Roses has "Riot", a six-ball multiball available after completing all of the Guitar Modes. Keep the balls in play as long as possible, trying to hit as many targets and switches to spell RIOT, earning more points for each letter spotted.
  • Transformers:
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Sentinel Prime Battle", which is started after completing the Battle Mode for all of the characters in your faction. With one ball, shoot the game's six main shots twice each, then shoot the Allspark Saucer to collect the Super Jackpot.
    • The final Wizard Mode is "Battle for Cybertron," and is available after completing the Battle Mode for all ten Transformers characters. This is a six-ball multiball mode, where you must shoot the game's six main shots three times each, then shoot the Allspark Saucer. The Battle continues until only one ball remains.
  • Stern's Iron Man also has several:
    • The first sub-Wizard Mode is "Jericho Missile Mayhem", available after advancing the armor to Mark VI. Six targets are enabled for the player to attack; each one awards a progressively larger reward, and accomplishing all of them yields an extra 50 million points.
    • The second sub-Wizard Mode is "Do Or Die", which is enabled after collecting Iron Man and War Machine, defeating Iron Monger and Whiplash, and defeat two sets of Drones — all with one ball. Shoot the center lane to start a 50 million point countdown, then shoot it again to collect the current value.
    • The genuine Wizard Mode is "Do Or Die Multiball", which is only available by collecting Iron Man three times, getting the Super Jackpot for War Machine, Iron Monger, and Whiplash, and defeating four sets of Drones. This is a three-ball multiball, where shooting the Bogey ramps collects the Jackpot, and hitting key targets raises them. It's considered Nintendo Hard due to the sheer difficulty of reaching it, and the player with the highest score is recognized as the "Do or Die Multiball Champion".
  • After completing all six trials in 3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrill Ride, "Lights Out" is available, where the player must hit all the light bulbs on the playfield to put them out. Successfully doing so starts "Nighttime Fantasy", a multiball scoring frenzy accompanied by a gorgeous fireworks display.
  • Rescue 911 has "Life Force", a 30-second frenzy. The six major shots are worth one million points each, and getting all of them awards 30 million. There's also "Super Life Force", which plays the same except that completing all six shots awards one billion points.
  • In Tales from the Crypt, completing all twelve "Creature Features" enables "Crypt Jam", a six-ball multiball mode. All shots are worth 1 million points, and the mode ends when only one ball remains.
  • Stargate has two:
    • "Stargate Multiball" is available after completing the seven Segments and reassembling the Stargate. The seven major shots are worth 20 million points each, and making all of them awards the Super Jackpot.
    • The "Eye of Ra" is enabled after completing all six game modes. This is a three-stage four-ball multiball ó hit the Glidercraft several times, shoot under both levitating Guardians, then shoot the Pyramid three times.
  • NASCAR has two:
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Super Party", available after completing all of the Garage modes. This is a three-ball multiball; hit the pop bumpers enough time to count down to zero, then knock down the drop targets light for a Super Jackpot.
    • The main Wizard Mode is "Champion Challenge", available after spelling CHAMP #1 (which is possible only by completing the game's five main challenges). This is a four-ball multiball with all targets lit for maximum value. The player begins in 6th place; hit the Test Car and enter the Garage to advance, and hit the playfield targets to raise the Super Jackpot. Reach first place to collect the Super Jackpot.
  • Jersey Jack Pinball's The Wizard of Oz was designed by Joe Balcer and programmed by Keith Johnson, who previously worked on The Simpsons Pinball Party and The Lord of the Rings... and it shows.
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Battle The Wicked Witch", which is reached by finishing Emerald City multiball, rescuing Dorthy, and getting through both the Wicked Witch Attack and Fireball Frenzy.
    • The true Wizard Mode is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and can only be reached by finishing the game's eight main objectives — advance down the Yellow Brick Road, collect three gifts from the Wizard in Emerald City, finish all of the Munchkin modes, complete Fireball Frenzy, collect the Emeralds from the Wicked Witch, play all Crystal Ball modes, collect all the Haunted Modes, and score a Mega Jackpot in Rescue multiball.
  • Avatar has "Final Battle," which is available after completing the game's six main features. This is a four-ball multiball mode, where the goal is to hit enough targets and switches on the playfield, then shoot the Unobtanium target for the Jackpot.
  • Each of the tables in Last Gladiators has nine Rounds; completing them enables an Ultimate Round for that table.
  • Similarly, each table of Necronomicon has a sub-Wizard Mode and a main Wizard Mode.
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is accessed by spelling a word on the table, such as MADNESS or AWAKETHEMACHINE. This starts a three-ball multiball, and making a key shot turns it into a seven-ball multiball round.
    • The Wizard Mode of each table is only available after completing the lesser Rounds of each table. This is a seven-ball multiball with all targets worth 200,000 multiplied by the number of balls in play. When three or fewer balls are left in play, it is possible to restart multiball with all seven balls by making a specific set of shots.
  • Loony Labyrinth has "2,000 B.C.", which is only available after getting the five Galopetra Stones, powering up the Loony Machine, and activating it to return to ancient Minos. The player has to rescue nine Human Sacrifices, kill the Minotaur, and make enough shots to return to 1995.
    • The sequel Mad Daedalus has "Spatiotemporal Rendezvous", which can only be activated after defeating the Minotaur, exploring all three underground tunnels, collecting the Ariadne Award from King Minos Frenzy, and completing the Power Plant. This is a four-ball multiball, and the player can shoot the Minos Palace and the Mino Chamber to restart King Minos Frenzy and Minotaur Multiball. The objective is to simply score as many points as possible before multiball ends.
  • Golden Logres has "Fandango Multiball", which is reached only after all twelve of the Knights' missions have been completed on all three tables. This is a Timed Mission multiball, where the player tries to get as many Jackpots as possible. Getting a Jackpot briefly extends the time limit, and the game ends when time expires.

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