It's fast. It's furious. AND IT FIGHTS BACK!
General Yagov: "Now you die, comrade!"F-14 Tomcat
is a 1987 pinball game designed by Steve Ritchie
, programmed by Eugene Jarvis
, and released by Williams Electronics
As a pilot of the Navy's F-14 Tomcat, nicknamed "Hitman", your goal is to engage and destroy the evil Russian General Yagov and his fleet. Shoot down all seven of his planes, then defeat the maniacal Yagov himself. But stay on your guard — you'll need your best reflexes to fight off the Yagov Kicker, which suddenly launches pinballs straight down your flippers. Lock three balls to start a four-ball multiball blitz, then make three safe landings on the Launch Ramp to collect the jackpot. For even higher scores, get a Hot Streak going to build the bonus multiplier, then spell TOMCAT to collect the Hot Streak Bonus.F-14 Tomcat
is noted for being the first pinball game to include a ball save feature, referred to in this game as "Flight Insurance". Its unabashed Patriotic Fervor
and intense gameplay boosted F-14 Tomcat
to the best-selling pinball of 1987. The rules may not be particularly deep, but the nonstop action, adrenalin-pumping soundtrack, and nonstop action makes it an iconic game that many players consider one of Steve Ritchie's best.
The F-14 Tomcat pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Ace Pilot: "Hitman".
- Angry Fist-Shake: Yagov does this on the playfield.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The "Flight Insurance" ball-saver, the first pinball game to feature one.
- Big "NO!": General Yagov yells this when you defeat him.
- Code Name: The player is only identified as "Hitman".
- Cool Plane
- Creator Cameo: All of the voices in the game were provided by Steve Ritchie (Yagov) and his brother Mark (Hitman).
Hitman: "Lock on! Eagle One, Eagle One!"
- Dueling Games: With Gottlieb's Gold Wings.
- Excuse Plot
- Evil Laugh: Yagov's got a memorable one.
- General Ripper/Glorious Mother Russia: Yagov, full stop.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: On the playfield, "Hitman" is dressed entirely in white, while Yagov wears a dark-green flight jacket and a black helmet.
- Hair Metal: The soundtrack revels in its loud, bombastic, party-hard heavy-metal roots.
- Have a Nice Death: When you drain the ball down the outlanes, a Russian jingle plays, ending with Yagov shouting, "HEY!"
- When you drain your last ball:
General Yagov: "Now you die-die-die-die-DIE! Ah ha ha ha ha!"
- Large Ham: Yagov's over-the-top acting is a big part of his charm.
- Military Alphabet: Yagov's forces are identified as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Fox, and Golf, followed by Yagov himself.
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot: "Hitman" and Yagov are facing each other on the playfield.
- One-Man Army: The player is this, against Yagov and his squadron.
- Progressive Jackpot
- Rated M for Manly
- Score Multiplier: Hit the gates above the inlanes to raise the bonus multiplier; earning 10x multiplier on a single ball lights the Extra Ball on the left side shot.
- Spelling Bonus: Spell T-O-M-C-A-T to light the locks for multiball.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In addition to all the explosions in the game, hitting the flippers before launching a ball causes the game to light the flashers and play more explosions.
General Yagov: "You cannot win!"