Video Game: Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey

Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey is the fourth pinball game in Cunning Developments' Pro Pinball series. It was released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple Macintosh computers, and the PlayStation, and was also available for the Sega Dreamcast as part of "Pro Pinball Trilogy".

The game takes place in Victorian Britain, where the evil General Yagov is threatening to destroy the Moon, and only the intrepid Professor Steam (and his player assistant) can stop him. Collect the parts to build four amazing Contraptions, then tunnel to the Earth's core, journey to the ocean depths, fly through the tallest mountains, and sail the Amazon. Fend off various creatures including a giant Octopus and a fire-breathing dinosaur, gather four special Crystals, then penetrate the shield protecting the General's Mysterious Island and foil his schemes!

Pinball buffs tend to have mixed feelings about Fantastic Journey. On the plus side, the game engine is the best in the series, with highly-detailed graphics and an even more refined physics engine. On the other hand, the playfield and rules are a little sparse compared to earlier Pro Pinball titles, and the high difficulty curve makes it a challenge for even the best players.

Not to be confused with the Parodius game, or the 1977 television series.

Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey demonstrates the following tropes:

  • The Amazon: The setting for the Boat Adventure.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Fire-breathing dinosaurs, enough said.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Drill Adventure is a journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: A Yeti can be found in the mountains of the Airship Adventure.
  • Cap: The Steam Frenzy Jackpot caps at 100 million points.
  • Combo: Only one official sequence, started by hitting the two targets along the Right Ramp. Shoot the Right Ramp to loop all the way around (the other way just lights Double Sequence at the Orbit), then Left Ramp, then Right Orbit, then Left Orbit, and finally, the MagnoGrab.
  • Cool Airship: You must build one to go on the Airship Adventure.
  • Detonation Moon: This is General Yagov's threat.
  • Difficulty Levels: Each of the five difficulty levels — ranging from Extra Easy to Extra Hard — presents its own rule changes and complexities.
  • Drill Tank: This is one of the Professor's four Contraptions.
  • Giant Octopus: There's one at the bottom of the Deepest Ocean on the Submarine Adventure.
  • Island Base/Island of Mystery: General Yagov's headquarters is a base on the Mysterious Island.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Invoked by the Professor when you lose to General Yagov.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Raising the steam pressure high enough to Blow the Boiler rewards the player with more points.
  • Plot Coupon: The four crystals.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: A Giant Anaconda awaits in the Amazon Boat Adventure.
  • Science Hero: Professor Steam.
  • Shout-Out: The game is one big love letter to Jules Verne and his adventure stories.
    • Somehow this game feels a lot like Williams' Junk Yard, when the player is tasked with collecting contraption parts and going on different adventures, just like Junk Yard.
  • Skill Shot: Shoot the random flashing drop target after launching the ball for bonus points and to immediately spell GATHER.
  • Spelling Bonus: L-U-C-K enables a random award and the MagnoGrab, while G-A-T-H-E-R enables the ball rescue and Mango-Save, starts an Ultra Round, and either spots a Contraption Component or advances the current Adventure (as long as steam is still available).
    • Drop Challenge: Spell G-A-T-H-E-R in that order to light an Extra Ball.
  • Steampunk: In addition to Professor Steam's various contraptions, the playfield features are also rendered in a Steampunk fashion, with heavy use of brass.
  • Timed Mission: Many of the modes feature this.
    • Subverted on some of the adventures; the spinner would need to be shot to add steam to the boiler in order to continue the adventure. Or else: there's nothing to shoot for to continue if it runs out.
  • Victorian Britain
  • Video Mode: Shoot the meteors and collect the small crystals.
  • Wizard Mode: Four of them.
    • One is Mystery, earned by completing all of the surrounding modes at the scoop.
      It's a just guess!
    • Sub-Wizard Mode #1: Island Adventure, by collecting all four crystal fragments. Good luck completing it in two minutes. Progressive add-a-ball multiball, with up to 4 balls, can potentially help.
    • Sub-Wizard Mode #2: Space Adventure. General Yagov launches his rocket and goes forth with his plan anyway. Launch your rocket, then go for the spinner to chase down Yagov, and eventually make his rocket go off course. Good luck catching up to him in less than two minutes.
      • Victory Frenzy. 6-ball Fast Frenzy, with Super Jackpots replacing the regular Jackpots.