It's a Moving Experience!
"It's sunny drive time!"Earthshaker!
is a 1989 pinball
machine by Pat Lawlor
with art by Tim Elliott, released by Williams Electronics
The game casts the player as a researcher at the Earthquake Institute, and his task is to visit various Zones along the California-Nevada border where upcoming earthquakes are predicted to occur. After a while, tremors occur; take the Fault Trip, which will cause California to split from Nevada, allowing the pinball to get locked. Use another ball to keep visiting more Zones, and soon a full-blown Earthshaker
occurs, starting a three-ball multiball.
Appropriately enough, Earthshaker!
is the first pinball game to include a shaker motor that caused the table to vibrate during gameplay. The first two hundred units even had the Earthquake Institute building sink into the playfield during multiball; however, the feature proved too costly, and was discontinued in later units.
Earthshaker! demonstrates the following tropes:
- Anti-Frustration Feature: Shooting the ball into the Shelter within 15 seconds after the end of multiball starts Aftershock, giving the player another chance to score the jackpot.
- California Collapse: Unlike many other examples of this trope, California doesn't sink into the Pacific Ocean — it just slides away from Nevada in order to allow the pinball to roll across the ensuing fissure.
- Further exaggerated on the sides of the backbox, which shows the two states jiggling away from each other.
- Cap: The counter for miles accumulated tops out at 99 miles. Additional shots to the ramp score an "End of the Road Bonus" for 200K.
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Shown on the backglass.
- Elvis Lives: Though never named as such, the man on the backglass is implied to be Elvis. This is especially evident with the original backglass art, which showed him driving a pink Cadillac.
- Excited Show Title!
- The Face of the Sun: An angry/panicking sun (with sunglasses) appears on the playfield.
- Gag Boobs: The woman on the backglass has a pair of comically unrealistic round breasts.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: "Elvis" has one.
- Making a Spectacle of Yourself: The woman on the backglass is wearing a pair of pink, banana-shaped glasses with plastic stars on the tips.
- Outrun The Fissure: The playfield shows a female jogger frantically trying to outrun a fissure right behind her.
- Painting the Medium: The cabinet vibrates when an earthquake occurs (in the game).
- Precision F-Strike: One of the game's quotes has the woman exclaim, "Ooooh, bitchin'!" when the player gets an extra ball. This was enough for some parents to complain, and Williams provided a "family" ROM patch to operators as a result.
- Shattered World: A minor variation, with California and Nevada breaking apart from one another.
- Skill Shot: When putting a ball into play, the ball enters a spiral located in the upper left corner of the playfield. The spiral contains exits for 10K, 25K, 50K, and 100K points. A strong shot from the plunger causes an "overpass", which awards 25K points and 1 mile. The overpass directs the ball to the lower left flipper which allows the player a shot at the center ramp before the 50K timer expires.
- Title Scream: When multiball starts or balls are locked, the title is screamed and the machine shakes.
- Vanity License Plate: The pink Cadillac on the playfield has plates that read FLIP OUT.
- Visual Pun: The backglass shows a yuppie being ejected out of his car; "YUP E" is written on his tie.
- Volumetric Mouth: Shown by one guy in the playfield (near the fault area), as he gets splashed by a fire hydrant.