So Fun, It's Scary!
Elvira: "This'll scare your pants off... I hope!"
A 1996 Pinball
game from Williams Electronics
(under the Bally label), and the sequel to the 1989 game Elvira and the Party Monsters.
For this game, designer Mark Weyna joined Dennis Nordman
in the design, and Greg Freres
returned for art duties.
This time around you're visiting the sexiest vamp this side of Transylvania
in her humble abode, who's settling down for the evening with some spooky television programs. The goal of the game is to activate the Six Tales of Terror, from "Night of the Leapers" to "Terror From the Crate". Get through all the shows, then hit the crate to start the Stiff-O-Meter and see how Scared Stiff
you can get. For more variety, scurry though the Boney Beast, peek at The Stiff inside the coffin, and dance with the Boogie Man.
Along with the upgraded sound system, dot-matrix animations, and a more complex playing field, the table was also known for sporting a spinner on the backboard that would activate during the "Stop The Spider" mode. Stopping the spider on symbols yielded points, mode locks, and other bonuses.
With its lighthearted tone and not-too-difficult gameplay, it's still fondly remembered just as much as its predecessor and certainly one of the most popular tables. This is considered one of Williams' classics, and as such it's available for FarSight Studios' Pinball Arcade
Scared Stiff has the following tropes:
- Adjustable Censorship: As with Elvira and the Party Monsters, operators could configure the game to omit the racier clips, and the game included a "modesty decal" to cover up Elvira's Gag Boobs on the backglass.
- The digital version from FarSight Studios is locked into "Family Mode". However, buying the Pro version of the table enables the uncensored clips.
- All Women Are Lustful: Implied in the backglass, where Elvira's bedpost has nearly a dozen notches on it.
Elvira: "Another notch for my bedpost."
- Alliterative Title
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Whenever you activate "Terror from the Crate", Elvria will usually wonder what will come out, naming off ferocious creatures, with the last one being something mundane like "lawyers!" or "taxi drivers!". Though inverted in one case were she lists off certain dogs ending with "Oooh, werewolves".
- As Herself
- Big "YES!"
- Blipvert: After successfully completing the Stiff-O-Meter, the game briefly enters a Mind Screw sequence, with the game pretending to go haywire while the lights, display, and sounds start playing in rapid random order.
- Celebrity Star
- Creepy Souvenir: Elvira uses an empty skull as a popcorn bowl on the backglass.
- Dem Bones: The Boney Beast.
Elvira: "This thing is huge... and ribbed!"
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Hitting the crate will have Elvria "warning" you about it. Of course you have to do it to activate a multi-ball mode.
- Double Entendre: True to Elvira herself, the game is LOADED with them.
Elvira: "He always wanted a little head!"
- The "Dead Head Family Album" has a member named "Good Head." Elvira exclaims, "Ooh! My favorite!"
- And that's the family-friendly version too! In the uncensored version, she just screams "OOOH YES!!".
- Eat The Camera: The Leapers do this whenever you hit one.
- Everything's Better with Cows:
- One of the Deadheads is called Meat Head, and has a picture of a cow.
- If you enter the initials "M-O-O" on the high score, the display shows two frightened cows.
- One of the videotapes on the backglass is "Curse of the Zombie Cows".
- Fission Mailed: Achieving Scared Stiff leads to the machine having a fake breakdown before multiball starts.
- Frogs and Toads/Killer Rabbit: The Leapers, which look like frogs, but have Lamprey Mouths and Eat The Camera when provoked.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The flashlight on the backglass is turned on, even though there are a pair of batteries next to it. This was intended to be a reference to another battery-operated toy Elvira is using...
- The remote control on the playfield reads "Elvira's Control", with buttons for On/Off and Hot/Cold...
- Averted with the side of the cabinet, which shows a clawed-out sticker reading "RRR". It was originally meant to be a decal reading "Rated RRR - Real Raunchy and Ribbed for your Pleasure", but management nixed it for being too explicit.
- Goofy Print Underwear: The Stiff in the coffin is wearing boxers with little hearts printed on them.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: During Stiff-O-Meter mode, a heartbeat accompanies the music. For every level, the heartbeat gets faster.
- Horror Host: Played with, as Elvira is the hostess for the late-night movie-viewing session with herself and the player.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels/Thing-O-Meter: The Stiff-O-Meter, which has ten levels from "Hair Raising" and "Pulse Pounding" up to "Heart Stopping" and "Scared Stiff".
- Lamprey Mouth: The Leapers have 'em.
- Match Sequence: Elvira flips through TV channels displaying different numbers, each playing clips from old Williams tables. After three clicks, if none of the numbers match, she says "Oh, poo" and turns off the TV.
- Mythology Gag: During the Match mode after the game ends, you can hear phrases from other Williams tables.
- Prop Recycling: The pile of skulls on the playfield originally came from a Disney World "Pirates of the Caribbean" toy.
- Ready for Lovemaking
- She's Got Legs: The playfield features mirrored shots of Elvira that show off her legs.
- One of the faces on the Stiff-O-Meter is "Smarkey", Elvira's Real Life husband and manager Mark.
- On the bottom center of the backglass is a box of "Lil' Luna Green Cheese" cookies; the girl on the box is Elvira's (then) two-year-old daughter, Sadie ("Luna" is her nickname).
- Sickly Green Glow/Slime Snails And Mutant Tails: A green goo drips all over the playfield.
- Skill Shot/The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Gently plunge the ball so it lands in the upper saucer, and the display shows Elvira throwing a spinning knife at her television set, destroying it.
Elvira: "Man, I hate commercials!"
- Take That:
- Greg Freres admits the faces on the Stiff-O-Meter are his former elementary school teachers (except for "Smarkey"; see Shout-Out, above).
- One of the videotapes on the backglass is "Black Thursday" by "UM", a reference to a day when everyone at Williams was laid off en masse. "UM" refers to "upper management".
- The terrors that Elvira guesses for the start of "Terror From The Crate" tend to be Take Thats at the last subject. For instance, one set of guesses goes "Mosquitos? Leeches? Vampires? LAWYERS!"
- Title Drop: When going to "Stiff-O-Meter" mode
The Stiff in the Coffin: "Turn out the lights... it's time to get Scared Stiff!"
- An in-game one when you get the Stiff in the Coffin mode
The Stiff in the Coffin: "The Stiff in the Coffin! Hey, that's me!"
- Vampire Vords: The Stiff talks like this, though it's more subtle than in most cases of this trope.
- Visual Pun: The television set on the backglass has a rabbit on top of it, with its rabbit-ears antenna.
- Wheel of Decisions: The Spider Wheel on the backbox.
- Wizard Mode: Two of them:
- Monster Multiball, which is reached after maxing out the Stiff-O-Meter. It's a three-ball multiball where all shots score one million points.
- Spider Mania, which is reached after getting all 14 Spider Wheel awards. It's a four-ball multiball with everything lit.
Elvira: "That was a huge bone... US!"