Pinball: Rescue 911

Save lives with the power of pinball!

From Gottlieb comes the official Rescue 911 pinball game based on the TV show of the same name. Released in 1994, it incorporates a rescue crew motif, complete with a little helicopter that electromagnetically carries the ball to another location. It was designed by Bill Parker, with art by Jeanine and Constantino Mitchell and David Moore.

It does not include host William Shatner's likeness nor the actual theme song. Instead, what the game offers are six emergency missions, ranging from an Emergency Room baby delivery and a Cave-In, to rescuing people from Flash Floods and Wildfires. Use the Helicopter to fly pinballs to critical areas, collect the Medi-Alert bonuses at the ramp, and try to save enough lives to reach the pulse-pounding "Life Force" Wizard Mode.

Rescue 911 went on to become Gottlieb's best-selling pinball of the year, and remained one of their top Premier tables, right behind Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter II. Although it's not too taxing for pinball wizards, many players still regard it fondly as a fun and action-packed game, well suited for all audiences.

This game demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Dummied Out: The playfield has four white targets that have no known effect. Rumors are that they were supposed to spell K-I-R-K for a game mode, which fell through when William Shatner's likeliness wasn't available.
  • Emergency Services
  • Guide Dang It: Unlike most other modern pinball games, the dot-matrix display gives no instructions whatsoever for the various game modes; players must rely solely on the flashing indicator lights on the playfield.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Occurs with the "Life Force" modes, when the entire game goes silent... except for a beating heart which gets progressively faster as your time runs out.
  • Hot Pursuit: The "Hostage" mode involves a high-speed car chase.
  • Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Played straight in the "Stork" mode, which involves rushing a delivering mother to the emergency room.
  • It's Raining Men: Invoked by using the Helicopter to drop the pinball on strategic areas of the playfield.
  • Jammed Seatbelts: "Jaws of Life", which requires the player to rescue a passenger trapped in a wrecked car.
  • Spelling Bonus: E-K-G temporarily increases the scores for the bumpers, while R-E-S-C-U-E lights the ramp for Player's Choice.
  • Wizard Mode: "Life Force", available after saving 50 lives. This is a 30-second frenzy; the six major shots are worth one million points each, and getting all of them awards 30 million.
    • There's also "Super Life Force", available after saving 120 lives. It is the same as "Life Force", except completing all six shots awards one billion points.