"The secret map, Baron."
Glamorous eye appeal! Sizzling action!
is a Physical Pinball Table
designed by Jim Patla
with artwork by Dave Christensen
. it was released by Bally
in 1978, just as the company was switching over from electro-mechanical pinballs to solid state.Inspired By
the Real Life Mata Hari
, the game depicts the exotic dancer and spy performing her duties. The pinball backglass shows her lounging in her chambers, handing a small folded map to a gentleman identified only as The Baron. On the playfield, Mata Hari is passing off documents stamped Top Secret, and is featured stepping out from behind a gigantic knife while framed by oversized feathers and snakes. The sides of the cabinet eschew all subtlety, with Hari pointing at a silhouette of the skull and crossbones while preparing to strike with her dagger.
The elegant and seductive artwork coupled with the uncluttered layout made this one of Bally's best-selling pinball tables of the year. Like many fictionalized depictions of the character, the Mata Hari
pinball is admired by expert players for being deceptively dangerous — while the sparse playfield only has a few elements to shoot for, a misplaced shot can instantly send the pinball between the flippers or down the outlanes. Doing well at the game requires constant vigilance and a willingness to get physical, as heavily nudging the machine is essential for high scores.
The Mata Hari pinball demonstrates the following tropes: