Pinball: Ripley's Believe It or Not!

The Strange, the Bizarre, the Unusual!

"Welcome to Ripley's Odditorium."
Robert Ripley

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a 2004 pinball designed by Pat Lawlor, with artwork by John Youssi and released by Stern Pinball. It is based on the franchise of the same name.

The player is on a quest with Robert Ripley as he travels the seven continents of the world to collect strange objects. Gather Tomb Stones in Europe, search for Bigfoot in North America, chase penguins in Antarctica, and dodge boomerangs in Australia. Go for the upper playfield temple and try to collect the colored jewels to unlock a reward. Activate the magic Idol to redirect the ball, then shoot the snarking Shrunken Head to start multiball.

Although the Shrunken Head is a bit unnerving for some, Ripley's is considered to be a fun game for players of all levels, with smooth flowing action, easy goals to entice beginners, and a good amount of depth for experts. A digital version is available on The Pinball Arcade.

This pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Atlantis: The Eighth Continent, accessible for the Wizard Mode.
  • Blipvert/Fission Mailed/Interface Screw/Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The introduction to the hidden mode, Frog Frenzy. The game (in a possible shout to White Water) appears to be going on the fritz, and ends with the machine rebooting itself, until the words, "JUST KIDDING!" appears in small letters. After that, Frog Frenzy starts.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Bigfoot is the objective in North America.
  • Building of Adventure: Ripley's Odditorium.
  • Collector of the Strange: Robert Ripley.
  • Creepy Souvenir/Deadpan Snarker: The Shrunken Head.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Antarctica, as well as the Penguin Jackpot and the tilt quote seen below.
  • Fortune Teller: Bozo the Dog.
  • Indy Escape: Ripley is running away from a boulder when a player earns an Extra Ball.
  • Match Three Game: The Temple Code is a tic-tac-toe grid of inserts in the middle. Getting three jewels (by shooting the middle ramp when the temple is open) in a row gives various awards.
  • Score Multiplier: The award for completing three in a row vertically on the right column on the temple grid is 2x Playfield.
  • Series Mascot: The Shrunken Head, who's prominently featured on both the backglass and the playfield.
  • Shout-Out: To Pat Lawlor's previous games, including the following:
    • Funhouse:
      • One of the Shrunken Head's lines is "I feel like a million!"
      • The start of multiball features a man with three cue balls in his mouth spitting them out, accompanied with the sound of Rudy doing the same.
    • The Shrunken Head also speaks quotes from The Addams Family:
      • "It's not plugged in yet, mon."
      • "Now you've done it!"
      • Ripley himself gets in at least one: "Good show, old man!"
      • One of the Odditorium awards: "Addams Family, The Best Selling Pinball of all time!" It awards 2,123,200 points, possibly corresponding to the total number of units made, regular and Gold combined.
    • The Twilight Zone:
      • The tilt quote, spoken by Robert Ripley: "Skate with the penguins at your own risk, in The Ripley Zone."Explanation 
      • Bozo's predictions are presented in the same manner as the Twilight Zone camera.
    • At the end of a game, Ripley says, 'No matter where you go, there you are.'
  • Skill Shot: Gently plunge the ball into the Bozo scoop for one million points, and increases each time for every skill shot made.
    Robert Ripley: "Amazing!"
  • Spelling Bonus: Spell B-O-Z-O (Ripley's dog) for a random reward, and R-I-P-L-E-Y-S to visit the eighth continent.
  • The Unintelligible: The Idol speaks in high-pitched gibberish.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The guy with the three cue balls in his mouth spits them all out at the start of multiball.
  • Wizard Mode: Two of them:
    • Atlantis, the Eighth Continent, which is acheived by spelling R-I-P-L-E-Y-S and then hitting the vari-target.
    • The hidden mode, Frog Frenzy, is reached by collecting all six Super Jackpots. It is a frenzy mode, where all shots are worth 25,000 points. It can even be a multiball with a ball saver for the duration of this mode, but it can only be done with the regular multiball modes and not the Continent multiball modes themselves.
  • World Tour: Travel the seven continents for odd artifacts.

Robert Ripley: "A rollerskating penguin, how amazing!"