Pinball: Creature from the Black Lagoon

In 3D!
"Thank you, enjoy the film."

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1992 pinball game designed by John Trudeau and released by Williams Electronics (under the Bally label). The name's a bit misleading, though; while it is named after the film of the same name, this game's setting is that of a 1950s-era Drive-In Theater. Save for the 3D decal in the middle of the table and main multi-ball mode, there's virtually nothing to do with the movie itself.

Taking place in 1954, you and your girlfriend head out to the Starlight Drive-In Theater to watch Creature from the Black Lagoon. While waiting for the film to start, you try to get food from the snackbar, play on the local playground, and steal a kiss from your girlfriend. You also have to deal with peeping toms and large vehicles that block your view.

During multiball, which takes place within the film itself, the goal is to try to rescue Kay from the Creature.

Digital versions of this table are available for Williams Pinball Classics by Encore Inc. and The Pinball Arcade by FarSight Studios.


"And now, on with the tropes!":

  • 3-D Movie: The game is set in a drive-in theater playing the movie IN 3D! The playfield also features a holographic Gill Man in the table that periodically appears and waves to the player.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The "Free Pass" ball saver.
    "Stay cool, Daddy-O."
    • To a lesser extent, you know those ever-irritating drains on either side of the flippers? Get suckered into one of those, and you get a 50,000-point bonus to make up for it. "FOCUS!"
  • Cut Song: "At the Hop" was to have been included as one of the songs, but it was removed from the final version, as it was too cost prohibitive. The voice clips for the song can be found via PinMAME.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During "MOVE YOUR CAR!", the player tries to blow up a huge van that was blocking his view (using dynamite, a bazooka, a flamethrower, and an atomic bomb), but the van itself remains unscathed. Ironically, it'll move on its own when the mode is over (if you can't get the ball up the ramp in time, or you make all the shots).
  • Drive-In Theater: The Starlight Drive-In Theater.
  • The Fifties
  • First Kiss: What the protagonist tries to get from his girlfriend.
  • Framing Device: The drive-in serves as this for the Creature movie.
  • Good Bad Bugs: While the bonus multipliers are displayed as 2X, 4X, 6X, 8X, and 10X, in reality they are 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X, and 32X respectively.
  • Hologram: The game uses a holographic Creature in the middle of the playfield that lights up and waves its "hand" back and forth during multiball.
  • Home Version Soundtrack Replacement: The version of Creature for FarSight's The Pinball Arcade does not have "Summertime Blues" and "Get a Job" for its game theme, due to licensing issues.
  • Licensed Pinball Table
  • Match Sequence: The match sequence plays after you and your date leave the drive-in theater; the car's license plate says "THE END".
  • Mercy Mode: If the Snackbar is not lit, the snackbar targets can be spotted one at a time by shooting the snackbar. After a Jackpot has been scored in multiball though, it will no longer spot Snackbar targets and instead award an insignificant Snackbar Score.
  • Pinball Scoring: The value of the (Super) Jackpots grow exponentially for each cycle completed in multiball - The Super Jackpot is worth double the regular Jackpot, and on the next cycle the Jackpot becomes the same value as the Super Jackpot. On top of that, they can be multiplied up to 4x, which would make even the first Jackpot worth a minimum of 160M and the first Super a minimum of 320M - Realistically they probably will be worth more like 300M and 600M due to bumper hits.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Say it with me now: "MOVE - YOUR - CAR!"
    • "SHOOT. THE RIGHT RAMP."
    • "FIVE. MILLION."
  • Punk in the Trunk: Played for laughs with one moviegoer, who is trapped inside the trunk of his friend's car.
    "I'm suffocating in here!"
  • Random Drop: When it's open, the Snack Bar gives a random award from the menu, though some items are obvious joke entries ("A New Car!").
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Creature has five 1950s songs for its main play theme: "Rock Around the Clock", "Get a Job", "Summertime Blues", "Willie and the Hand Jive", and "Red River Rock". Due to rights issues, "Get A Job" and "Summertime Blues" aren't in the Pinball Arcade version, which assigns one of each remaining song to each ball: "Hand Jive" for the first ball, "Red River Rock" to the second, and "Rock Around the Clock" to the third.
  • Scare Chord: The sound at the end of the Super Jackpot animation (which, itself, is very reliant on the bass) is a low-pitched, THX-like chord. It isn't too loud, though.
  • Score Multiplier: Besides the bonus multiplier, there is also a score multiplier during multiball.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Mortal Kombat:
      • In the game's video mode, after knocking out the the peeping tom, hit both flipper buttons for a final blow that decapitates him. The announcer yells, "FATALITY!"
      • The player has the option to choke the snack bar attendant, after yelling, "COME HERE, PUNK!" The words "Choking Fatality" appears on the display.
    • The Pac-Man tune plays after scoring the "Snack Attack" hurry-up bonus.
  • Signature Line: Everybody say it now — "MOVE YOUR CAR!"
  • Spelling Bonus: To start multiball, the player has to spell F-I-L-M. This involves several subtasks, including spelling K-I-S-S (to light the extra ball) and P-A-I-D (to increase the bonus multiplier). In multiball, spelling C-R-E-A-T-U-R-E (by shooting the left ramp in multiball and hitting the switch in the pool above the right flipper area) increases the playfield multiplier while in multiball.
  • Touch of the Monster: On the backglass, the Creature is shown carrying an unconscious Kay in his arms.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The main play is about the drive-in theater experience, while in multiball, the goal is to try to rescue Kay from the Creature.
  • Universal Horror
  • Video Mode: In the game's video mode, the player has to beat up a peeping tom.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The tilt warnings, made by the player's in-game girlfriend:
    "Watch those hands, buster!" — Tilt Warning
    "You're no gentleman!" — When the player tilts
    "That's it! Take me home, right now!" — When the player slam tilts the machine, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over

Kay: "You saved my life!"