Pinball: Monster Bash

"You have the reason / You have the right / To mosh with the monsters / and stage dive tonight!"

Dracula: Ah, the creatures of the night. Vhat music they make.

Monster Bash is a 1998 Physical Pinball Table designed by George Gomez and illustrated by Kevin O'Connor, and was the last conventional table released under the Williams label before the switchover to the ill-fated Pinball 2000 format. note 

The goal of the game is to get together the Monsters of Rock, a band made up of six Universal Horror creatures: Count Dracula (guitar), the Mummy (bass), Frankenstein's Monster (keyboard), the Bride of Frankenstein (vocals), the Wolf Man (drums), and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (AKA: "Gill Man"; saxophone). Travel the globe to gather the various monsters, help them get their assorted instruments, then put on the show of the centuries. Activate the Phantom Flip and let the the game make shots for you, then run through all seven tracks on the CD while the mob works itself into a riot.

Monster Bash was only a modest success for Williams, but is frequently praised by pinheads for being an overlooked classic. The gameplay is approachable for beginners while being deep enough for experts, the playfield is loaded with fun gimmicks, the beautiful graphics, rocking music, and funny sound effects keep players engaged, and the lighthearted theme makes it suitable for any location.

A digital version of this table is available on FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade.


The Monster Bash pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • All Drummers Are Animals: The Wolfman is the drummer of the band.
    Wolfman: "Let me fetch my sticks!"
  • Alter Kocker: The Mummy. So why not a Jewish mummy?
  • Anti-Frustration Features/Assist Character: The Phantom Flip, which works the flippers automatically if the player doesn't touch the controls.
    • Stop Helping Me!: On the other hand, the Phantom Flip tends to miss the shot about as often as it makes it. Seeing as this usually leads to the ball flying out of control, some players avoid getting it at all costs.
  • Big Ball of Violence: The Mosh Pit is shown as a violent white cloud with fists and stars popping out of it, both in the lane and on the display.
  • Big Electric Switch: Doctor Frankenstein throws one of these to bring The Monster to life.
  • Big "NO!"/NOT!: The Bride of Frankenstein often does one of these when "Ball and Chain" begins, after she meets her husband.
    Bride of Frankenstein: "Tall, dark, handsome — NOT!"
  • Blah Blah Blah: Two archaeologists yammer unintelligibly when they discover the Mummy.
    Mummy: You guys talk funny.
  • The Cameo: Elvira and Wonder Woman can be seen on the backglass, off to the far right, while Elvis is one of the folks in the crowd.
  • Domestic Abuse: The Bride of Frankenstein wallops her husband with a Frying Pan of Doom during "Ball & Chain".
    • No Sell: ...but the Monster doesn't even flinch.
  • The Door Slams You: The Mummy does this to one of the archaeologists standing in front of his sarcophagus...followed by a punch to the other archaeologist.
  • Double Entendre: One of the Bride's lines is, "I heard he's got a monstrous organ."
  • Everything's Better with Cows:
    • One of the Concert Halls is the "Cow Palace".🐄 
    • A cow skeleton can be seen in the Mosh Pit multiball animation.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Well, The Mummy doesn't think so, anyway.
    "Spinning Shminning!"
  • Everything's Funkier with Disco: Get the extra ball and you're treated to a mirror ball rising up while Drac grooves under it. The ball then drops, completely crushing him.
  • Face of the Band: invokedWhile not a vocalist, Dracula does most of the talking for the band, whether opening concerts/multiballs, trying to recruit Gillman, or announcing jackpots, extra balls and specials. The Wolfman fills in sometimes, despite being the drummer.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: The Bride's weapon of choice against her husband during her mode.
  • Get Back Here Boss: Dracula, who must be hit while he flies around the playfield.
    Dracula: "Do you think you can hit dis bat with dat ball?"
  • Glass-Shattering Sound/Mirror-Cracking Ugly: When the Bride of Frankenstein practices her singing, she causes the display to shatter. However, it's unclear if this is due to her appearance or her voice, as neither one is extreme enough to invoke either trope.
  • Groin Attack: One of Count Dracula's lines implies this when you hit him.
    Dracula: Not below the belt!
  • Grumpy Old Man (with a hint of Alter Kocker): The Mummy.
    Mummy: "In my day, we didn't have jackpots!"note 
    • Lyman constantly taunts you during his Lament.
    Lyman: "Oh, you would not BELIEVE the trouble you're in!"
  • Heh Heh, You Said X
  • Henpecked Husband: Frankenstein's monster is implied to be one; the Bride of Frankenstein's mode is called "Ball & Chain", during which she repeatedly hits him in the head with a Frying Pan of Doom.
    Bride of Frankenstein: *CLONK!* "How's that for a kiss?"
  • Hidden Track/Bonus Material: Shooting the Concert Hall scoop 44 times in regular play activates "Lyman's Lament", the seventh track on the CD and the game's non-monster mode. The bonus multiplier is raised by 25x, the point values for all targets is increased, and a new song plays while programmer Lyman Sheats provides in-game comments.
    Lyman: "Oh my god, that is the ugliest drain I've ever seen!"
    • Easter Egg: "Lyman's Lament" can also be enabled by entering a flipper combination before launching the first ball and then shooting the Concert Hall scoop, but without the score bonuses.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • Igor's got one for every body part he obtains.
    • Most of the Concert Halls have punny names, such as the "Howllywood Bowl".
  • Interspecies Romance/You Sexy Beast: Done with the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
    Woman: "Wrap your flippers around me, fish-boy!"
    • Averted with Wolf Man, who elicits the opposite effect.
    "I will not go back to your doghouse with you!"
  • Jive Turkey: The Wolf Man becomes one after his transformation.
    Wolf Man: "I'm a hairy dude in a canine mood!"
  • Kung-Foley: When the Bride hits her "husband" with the frying pan.
  • Licensed Pinball Table
  • Lighter and Softer: Word of God is that the Bash team felt the Universal Monsters weren't scary enough in The '90s for a serious treatment, opting for the "rock tour" theme instead to invoke Rule of Funny.
  • Mad Scientist/The Igor: Seen on the playfield, busy awakening Frankenstein's Monster.
    Igor: "You put your left leg in..."
    Dr. Frankenstein: "This is no time to do the hokey pokey!"
  • Match Sequence: Dracula plays a guitar riff while it's plugged into a shaking speaker, which eventually explodes to reveal the match number.
  • Metal Scream: The song that plays during both the "Monster Mosh Pit" sequence and the match sequence has something that remotely resembles one (you'll know it when you hear it).
  • Monster Mash/Putting the Band Back Together: The theme of the game.
  • Moving Target Bonus: During Drac Attack, hitting Dracula gives twice as many points if he is moving than if he is stationary.
  • Musical Gag: The music for "Ball & Chain" is a rock version of Wagner's "Bridal Chorus".
  • Offhand Backhand: The Mummy does this to one of the archaeologists when he appears.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Playing lead guitar certainly qualifies.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Especially if they sound like "Wolfman" Jack, a popular radio DJ from the 1950s and 60s.
  • Painting the Medium: The tracks on the band's CD are named after the game modes.
  • Pun: Dracula invokes this trope.
    Dracula: "Can I have some fries with that stake?"
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Drac smashes his guitar against the stage when you get the replay.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The lane to the Creature's saucer includes a translucent panel with a small Gill Man figure underneath it, similar to the "hologram" effect from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
      • Additionally this game reuses the "swimming" animation from the same game.
      • And the way his mode rewards points, a runaway value that when collected starts a timer to collect the same value several times with an increasing multiplier, is similar to Move Your Car from the same game.
    • The mosh pit theme's lyrics, currently seen above as the image quote, have more than a passing resemblance to the lyrics of Black Knight 2000.
    • "I am Count Dracula, and you're not!"
    • The Mummy sometimes references Rawhide when you shoot one of the lanes in Mummy Mayhem mode.
    • If you activate Mosh Pit Multiball, the monsters' dance moves closely mimic those seen in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
    • Drac owns a pair of Bruno Magli shoes— a reference to evidence in the O.J. Simpson trial.
    • One of Igor's quotes when you get the Monster's head:
    "I hope he doesn't mind I got this from the funny house!
  • Smart Bomb: Pressing the Launch button during any Monster mode (including Frank Multiball) can make progress towards claiming an instrument for the respective Monster. Depends if and what types of items you have,
  • Spelling Bonus: Spell D-I-G to increase the bonus multiplier, P-H-A-N-T-O-M to enable the Phantom Flip, and D-R-A-C-U-L-A to start "Drac Attack" mode.
  • Spiritual Successor: Of Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness.
  • Stealth Pun / Expy: They way the Wolfman talks is meant to be a reference to the aformentioned "Wolfman" Jack.
  • Timed Mission: All of the monsters' modes have time limits; completing them rewards the character's instrument. Starting any multiball, including Monster Bash, will stop all mode timers for easier completion.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Used by the audience on the backglass, along with weed-whackers, hedge trimmers, and other unconventional implements.
    • The "bomb" (activated by pressing the ball launch button) for Frankenstein's Monster is a "Flaming Torch".
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride, of course.
  • The Unintelligible: Frankenstein's Monster does nothing but moan and roar. The Creature from the Black Lagoon would be this, except he is helpfully subtitled.
  • Universal Horror
  • Vampire Vords: Dracula speaks like this.
    Dracula: "I am Count Dracula, und I vid you velcome!"
  • Weaksauce Weakness: You can collect items that can be used during each monster's mode as a free shot toward completion. They consist of typical monster weaknesses for each: garlic, silver bullet, spear gun, torch, scroll... and for the Bride of Frankenstein, a hair dryer.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Hitting any target or slingshot during Lyman's Lament causes Lyman to complain about how much trouble you're in of losing your current ball. Even lighting Monster Bash or Monsters of Rock provoke a quote from him.
    Lyman: "Oh my gosh, the FLAILING that's going on!"
    Lyman: "Whatever."
  • Wizard Mode:
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Monster Bash," available after starting (but not necessarily finishing) all six monsters' modes. This is a generous four-ball multiball with each monster worth two million points, and the center lane lit for Bash Jackpots.
    • The Wizard Mode is "Monsters of Rock," which is enabled after completing all six monsters' modes so they have their instruments. Shoot the Concert Hall to get a bonus for each instrument collected, then start a four-ball multiball with each monster being worth four million points. Make all of the monsters' shots (or shoot the Mosh Pit) to get the Monsters of Rock jackpot.
      • Even more awesome is when you start Bash and Rock at the same time. You'll only get Rock, but the game gives you a sweet bonus at the beginning of the round for getting "Rock Before Bash".
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: One of the Wolfman's quotes is "You wouldn't like me when I change—!"

Bride of Frankenstein: "Somebody stop me!"