Pinball: Mustang (Stern)
"The accelerator is on the right — USE IT!"Mustang is Stern's first pinball machine of 2014, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ford Motor's Mustang line of cars. The playfield was designed by John Trudeau with Camilo Pardo, John Youssi, and Greg Freres behind the artwork; Lonnie Ropp, Tanio Klyce, Jack Benson, Mike Kyzivat, and Waison Cheng making the rules; and David Thiel and Mike Kyzivat responsible for the sound and music. George Gomez supervised the production of this pinball machine. This is the third pinball machine to have "Mustang" as its name.The player is asked to pick a Mustang spanning from the classic 1965 convertible to the 2013 Boss 302. From that point on, there are three different types of objectives with this table: Upgrades of different classes to different parts of the car; completing a small collection of notable Mustangs each with its own mode; and the two multiball modes, Gears Multiball and Mustang Multiball. With a complete Mustang collection and fully-upgraded rides, the player can then advance to Silverball Stampede, the wizard mode featuring the (at the time) upcoming 2015 model.A notable feature of Mustang is a 1/24 scale model, placed on a platform above the G-E-A-R-S drop targets. Replicas of various models from throughout the years are used for the pinball machine, the specific model randomly chosen. The Premium and Limited Edition machines also allow for easy substitution of any particular Mustang (or, if in an iconoclastic mood, a different brand of car) upon the platform. Another notable aspect of Mustang is that this is the first Stern table in a long time to have its own set of characters created specifically for the machine. This machine also introduces "multiball cancel," where you can choose to put off your multiball for later in exchange for more balls.The game is largely considered incomplete among pinball enthusiasts, but this is chalked up due to its relative newness. Multiballs are currently disproportionately valuable compared to the rest of the game, and there are a number of unused features and lights. Like with Batman (Stern), Spider-Man (Stern), AC/DC, and Metallica, Stern intends to release updates to improve the game and add more features.
The Mustang pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Badass Driver: The player has to prove himself to be one by completing the Stunt Driver mode.
- The Big Race: The Rally Race and Drag Race modes.
- Calling Your Attacks: The director in "Stunt Car" describes his special effects as they happen.
- Cool Car: Of course.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Police Pursuit begins with a driver racing past a cop at a donut stand.
- Everybody Owns A Ford: Well, a Mustang, but it's the same company...
- Hot Pursuit: Invoked by the Police Pursuit mode.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Premium and Limited Editions, as is typical with Stern. These more expensive versions have a slightly modified playfield, with drop targets in front of some of the N2O targets with the scale model's platform on a turntable, and four additional songs. The Limited Edition also has a powder-coated blue frame.
- Mad Scientist: One of the competitors in the races. May be a Shout-Out to Wacky Races's Professor Pat Pending.
- Match Sequence: A car drives donuts around an open field and writes out a multiple of 10 as skid marks.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The Mustang model near the middle of the playfield. The more expensive models allow for easy customization, as the turntable is pre-drilled to accept either Maisto or M2 brand 1/24 scale cars.
- Product Placement
- Real Song Theme Tune: There are four songs in the Pro Edition and eight songs in the Premium and Limited Editions courtesy of Sony Music, including "Ace of Spades" (Motorhead), "Free Ride" (Edgar Winter), "Drag City" (Jan & Dean), and "My Own Worst Enemy" (Lit).
- The feed to the right inlane features a whirlpool layout in an almost identical location to that of Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Burnout Multiball is another shout-out to Creature from the Black Lagoon, as the multiball has the same rules as the multiball from said game.
- One of the competitors in the race modes greatly resembles Charlie Chan.
- The black Cobra Mustang convertible on the right orbit belongs to Jim Schelberg, publisher of Pingame Journal magazine.
- Skill Shot: Conveniently labeled at the upper right corner of the playfield.
- Special Guest: Professional racing driver Tanner Foust provides callouts for the game.
- Spelling Bonus: There is a drop target associated with each of the letters in "Gears." Spell it out the first time by sinking all five the to start Gears Multiball. For each subsequent time, you have to spell it out five times. Spelling out M-U-S-T-A-N-G starts Mustang Multiball.
- Spiritual Sequel: To Corvette, as both are pinball machines with George Gomez's fingerprints based on a car he has once owned.
- That Came Out Wrong: Narrowly averted; the GEARS targets were originally supposed to spell SHIFT, until someone realized that knocking down the letter "F" would cause a scandal...
- Timed Mission: "Stunt Car" asks the player to complete a series of shots within 20 seconds. However, if time runs out, the player simply starts from the beginning rather than failing the mode, and the display indicates the next take.
- Vanity License Plate: Jim Schelberg's black Cobra Mustang convertible has PINGAME license plates.
- Wacky Racing: The racing modes are clearly not meant to be taken seriously.
- Wizard Mode: Silverball Stampede, which is available after advancing through all of the challenges in the Challenge Ladder. The Silverball Stampede is a four-ball multi ball mode, an all-out coast-to-coast race against all of the game's opponents.
Announcer: "Well, at least you didn't crash."