Pinball: Barracora

Not your father's Little Mermaid

Barracora is a Physical Pinball Table released in 1982 by Williams Electronics. It was designed by Roger Sharpe, Steve Epstein, and Barry Oursler, with artwork by Doug Watson.

When pinball enthusiasts talk about "pinball art", Barracora is a name that frequently surfaces, as the eye-catching merwoman is the first and most memorable aspect of the game. Drawing inspiration from H. R. Giger's works (most notably the painting "Li I"), Doug Watson drew a model's facenote  morphing into a predatory fish against a landscape of teeth, then dubbed her "Barracuda". Williams' President Mike Stroll loved the artwork but thought the name was too harsh, so the woman (and the game) was quickly rechristened "Barracora".

Fortunately for players, Barracora is not just a pretty face, as the simple table layout hides a surprisingly complex ruleset. Casual players can have fun bouncing the ball around the forgiving playfield, but high scores are only available to players who can master the stringent rules and various tradeoffs. Should you lock a ball in the saucer to preserve game time, or keep it out to collect bonuses? Can you spell BARRACORA to build the Super Bonus, or will a misstep force you to start over? Are you fast enough to use the dual lane change rows to maximize rewards?

These are the decisions that must be made while the Barracora wait and watch...

The Barracora pinball demonstrates the following tropes: