Video Game: Pro Pinball: Timeshock!

It's no DeLorean, but it'll have to do.

"I do not know exactly what time you presently inhabit, so I cannot tell in what dark age of pre-science you dwell, but you probably don't even know that time is crystalline.
It flows from the future and crystallises at the door of the present. The future is fluid and changeable. The past is solid and cannot be altered.
But it can be shattered. And my work on the fluid future threatens to destroy the solid past.
I have created - God help us - a shock wave of anti-time which is travelling back to the dawn of history. The wave has nearly reached your time already.
We must return to the beginning of time and bring together the crystal fragments from the future to create a counter-shock wave. My time machine is crude - the best I could do in the circumstances - but it needs two to pilot and navigate. My co-pilot has...gone, and I am stuck in this time.
My past has gone already, but if we succeed, we can save your past...and your future."

Pro Pinball: Timeshock! is the second pinball game in the Pro Pinball series. Created by Cunning Developments, it was released in 1997 for the IBM Personal Computer, then subsequently ported to the Apple Macintosh and PlayStation. It is also available for the Sega Dreamcast as part of Pro Pinball Trilogy.

Timeshock! tells the story of a time-traveling scientist who is out to stop a shockwave of anti-time from traveling backwards through time and destroying all of existence. The player must explore the continents to find Tachyonium to power the timedrive, then visit different eras for fragments of a time crystal. Locate and lock a fragment in each era, and pick up any interesting souvenirs along the way. The goal is to ultimately gather and lock four fragments, then travel to the Dawn of Time and create a second shockwave to nullify the first one.

As with the other Pro Pinball titles, Timeshock! features a pre-rendered playfield with several camera positions, allowing the game to offer detailed graphics and fast gameplay. It used a refined version of the game engine from The Web, allowing for even smoother gameplay and more realistic ball physics. As a result, Timeshock! is considered by many as the best game in the Pro Pinball series, both for its complex ruleset and clever use of the time-travel premise.

Pro Pinball: Timeshock! demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome/Power Crystal: The Time Crystal shards, naturally.
  • Ancient Rome: One of the eras is named "Ancient Rome".
  • Apocalypse How: The game is all about avoiding a Class Z event.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Tachyonium.
  • Atlantis: Accessible after lighting all seven continents, and needed to start Global Domination.
  • Combos: Two sequences. One gives benefits, such as enabling Time Drive and lighting all Locks, while the other, despite being difficult to correctly execute, awards only 10 million points and a cool animation.[1]
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Time Crystals.
  • Difficulty Levels: In addition to the normal game, Timeshock! has "Tournament Mode" (all random elements and extra balls are eliminated), "Challenge Mode" (competitive multiplayer with separate scores but a common game), and "Novice Mode" (one ball, a two-minute ball saver, and all empty continents are awarded initially).
  • Easter Egg: Midnight Madness. Don't expect it to play similarly to Williams' pinball machines. Good luck finding it in a Super Scanner.[2]
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Two instances, both by finding Souvenirs within the game. One is a secret video mode, while the other is a "Find the Cow." Good luck finding the proper ones for these two instances.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Fixed Camera
  • The Future: The "Distant Future" era.
  • Mind Screw: Reverse Frenzy, acquired by completing the left side of awards the second time over, is a multiball mode that swaps the flipper buttons. Fortunately, a lengthy ball saver is given to compensate. Complete all of the 7 main shots to light an Extra Ball.
    • Even worse, the upper flipper remains unswapped. Good luck finding that right orbit shot.
  • One Million B.C.: The "Prehistoric Age" era.
  • Physical Pinball Table: Silver Castle Pinball is currently making this in real life.
  • Place Beyond Time: The End of Time, only available as a prelude to starting the Wizard Mode.
  • Plot Coupon: Tachyonium and Time Crystals.
  • Primordial Chaos: The Dawn of Time.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong/Time Travel: The main plot of the game.
  • Skill Shot:
    • Shoot the lit ramp or lane at launch for a 5 million point bonus, adding 1 million each time it's made.
    • Press both flipper buttons for a second before launch to activate the Secret Skill Shot, which is scored by hitting the letter "A" in MAGNET.
  • Shout-Out: One of the souvenirs in the Distant Future is a Red Knight 3000.
  • Spelling Bonus: SCAN for the time scanner, WARP to light Time Warp Frenzy, and MAGNET to turn on the MagnoSave.
  • Take Over the World: Global Domination, where the player has one minute to light all the continents for massive bonuses.
  • Time Crash: The main goal of the game is to avoid one.
  • Time Machine: The large cylindrical chamber on the left side of the playfield.
  • Timed Mission: Several of the Explorations, the Quickshots, and both Wizard Modes.
    • If you fail at collecting a crystal fragment when Time Machine Frenzy ends, you have 15 seconds before it disappears and have to lock all 3 balls to have another chance at it.
  • Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: Certain souvenirs in the game can be combined to yield special awards, such as using a papyrus scroll and the first wheel to activate the Ultra Spinner. The game will give an audio hint when this happens; spell S-C-A-N to light the scanner, then shoot the middle scoop to activate it and get the award.
  • Updated Re-release: The ULTRA Edition, with advanced lighting effects, graphics, and enhanced physics.
  • Video Mode: Maneuver your craft down a pipe, dodging mines and collecting awards. Achieving a perfect run doubles the score for that session.
  • Wizard Mode: Two of them.
    • "Timeshock Frenzy" is the game's sub-Wizard Mode, available after locking all four crystal fragments. This is a five ball multiball and lasts two minutes. Both orbits and ramps strobe to light a fragment for re-locking, and shoot a crystal fragment (ball) into the playfield's center crystal. This must be repeated four times. Once all four are re-locked, shoot the middle scoop to launch the counter-shockwave and score 1 billion points. The player completing it fastest is recognized as the "Master of Time".
    • The Wizard Mode is "Wizard Frenzy", which is only available if you manage to complete Timeshock Frenzy and save reality and have all eight pieces of Tachyonium. This enables you to go to The End of Time and start a six-ball-multiball mode that lasts for one minute.

"Don't you have pinball in your time?"