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Pinball / Cactus Canyon

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Are you good with a gun? Have eyes in the back of your head? Heal quickly and currently single? Then please consider the highly volatile, exciting world of law enforcement!

Welcome, stranger, to Cactus Canyon! I'm Mayor Cheetum, and we're in need of a stout, daring, heroic, and intellectually challenged recruit like yerself for the position of sheriff! Once we get you fitted with a slightly-used uniform, you can help clean up a few problems around here — the Bart Brothers are runnin' loose, we're due for a stampede any minute now, the bank's bein' robbed, and Miss Polly's gone off gettin' in trouble again. Prove your worth and you'll be rewarded with a generous Bounty, and I'm sure you'll do fine when the Bad Guys come by at High Noon. From the look of things, I'm sure you'll make Marshall in no time, and we've got a complimentary cemetery plot in the Distinguished Sheriffs' section of Boot Hill waitin'!

Cactus Canyon is an arcade pinball game designed by Tom Kopera and Matt Coriale, with artwork by John Youssi. It was released in 1998 by Williams Electronics (under the "Bally" label); it is distinguished for being the company's last conventional pinball prior to the ill-fated launch of the "Pinball 2000" platform.note  In fact, the game was rushed to completion before the switchover, and only 903 Canyon tables were manufactured.

The table fetches high prices in the collectors' market, with sellers citing its scarcity, humor, and balanced gameplay as reasons for the cost. This has resulted in Hype Backlash from others, who consider the game merely So Okay, It's Average, with an overly-easy difficulty, a somewhat shallow ruleset, and some rough edges that don't warrant the hyped-up prices.

In 2012, Eric Priepke finished "Cactus Canyon Continued," a project that updated Cactus Canyon with an expanded and complete ruleset, including new game modes and animations. The code is available for free online, and requires only a Cactus Canyon table and P-ROC controller board.

A digital version of Cactus Canyon was once available for The Pinball Arcade before FarSight Studios' license to the Bally and Williams tables expired on July 1, 2018.

A remake of Cactus Canyon is in development by Chicago Gaming Company. The machines will boast improved lighting, toys, and completed code that's closer to the original development team's vision. The more expensive models will feature a topper that functions as shooting gallery mini-game. Enhanced software by ex-Stern Pinball programmer Lyman Sheats and pinball player Josh Sharpe will also be purchasable at a later date.

Cactus Canyon demonstrates the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: One of the game's characters is an obvious town drunk.
    Drunk: "Lock is lit!... and so am I!"
  • Alliterative Title
  • Bandit Clan: The Bart Brothers (Big Bart, Bandelero, and Bubba) are three Wild West bandits that must be defeated as part of the game.
  • Bandito: Bandelero Bart is shown as a sterotypical Bandito, complete with thick Mexican accent.
  • Bank Robbery: The Bank Robbery ramp must be shot three times to qualify it for Stampede Multiball.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": The super jackpot in Gold Mine Multiball is called the Motherlode.
  • Chained to a Railway: Implied by "Polly Peril", where the player must make five ramp shots to rescue Miss Polly before the train crosses the playfield. Subverted in that the player never sees her tied to the tracks.
    Miss Polly: "I'm tied to the track and I can't get up!"
  • Combos: One of the requirements for High Noon is to score ten combos.
  • Damsel in Distress: Miss Polly, who is in danger of going over the waterfall, in danger of being hit by a train, in danger of being blown up in the gold mine...
    Miss Polly: "Do be a gentleman and save me!"
  • Game Mod: "Cactus Canyon Continued"
  • The Gunslinger: The game has multiple game modes — "Quick Draw", "Gun Fight", and "Showdown Multiball" — devoted to this trope.
  • Hat Damage: Shooting one of the Bart Brothers makes his hat pop up.
  • Horsing Around: The player must shoot the Bronco Lane three times to tame the horse.
    "Guess the horse is breaking you then, heh heh heh!"
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Miss Polly is shown on the left ramp going over a waterfall while tied to a log.
  • Interface Screw: Continued has Drunk Multiball, which reverses the buttons for the flippers.
  • Lady in Red: Rosie is always wearing a low-cut red dress.
  • List of Transgressions: A variation; the sides of the backbox include an extensive list of the various crimes that the player (as sheriff) must enforce.
    Make arrests for the following offenses: murder, manslaughter, assault, assault of a horse, robbery, hooliganism, willfully and maliciously placing objects on a railroad track, chewing gum in church, insulting the fine and God-fear'n women of Cactus Canyon (with the exception of a certain Saloon Gal who shall remain nameless), loitering, drunk and disorderly, public display of affection (livestock not included), spitting, possession of "loco-weed," flirting with Mayor Cheetum's wife, train robbery, claim-jumping, and carrying a concealed cannon in town.
  • Match Sequence: Zig-Zagged between all versions.
    • Averted — The original release was supposed to have one where six beer bottles are shot at and shattered, with the number appearing in the center- but, like many aspects of the table, it wasn't included because the table was rushed, and so we get a bland match sequence instead.
    • Resubverted in the Cactus Canyon Continued mod, where the sequence is there- however, a match starts a mode called "Last Call" rather than giving you a free game.
    • Played straight in the remake, where it's a revolver having its barrel spun with the numbers being cycled, then the barrel gets flicked into the gun and shot, landing on a number.
  • Meek Townsman: Mayor Cheetum.
  • Miss Kitty: Rosie, the Soiled Dove of the local saloon.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: The list of offenses on the "Help Wanted" poster includes the following:
    ...insulting the fine and God-fear'n women of Cactus Canyon (with the exception of a certain Saloon Gal who shall remain nameless)...
  • Mythology Gag: In the Cactus Canyon Continued mod, one of the new gameplay modes is "Tribute", a mode similar to the Time Machine in Junk Yard, which begins a mode from a previous Williams pinball game, including "Hit Cousin Itt", "Trolls", and a few others.
  • No Name Given: TheGunslingers that challenge the player are always called simply as "Bad Guy".
    "Shoot the bad guy!"
  • Outlaws: The Bart Brothers (Big Bart, Bandelero, and Bubba Bart), who must be defeated to qualify for High Noon.
  • The Place
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Gold! Mine! Multiball!"
  • Punny Name: Cactus Canyon's mayor is named Dewey Cheetum.note 
  • Quick Draw: This is one of the game events. The player must shoot a Bad Guy before time runs out to collect the bonus.
  • Rank Up: There are five ranks that the player can get (Stranger, Partner, Deputy, Sheriff, and Marshall), with increases coming either from winning Gun Fights or random awards.
  • Runaway Train: The player has 30 seconds to stop one during "Polly Peril".
  • The Sheriff: The player fills these boots.
  • Shooting Gallery: The topper of the more expensive versions of the remake acts as this for a minigame.
  • Shout-Out:
    "You're messin' with the wrong hombre, hombre."
  • Showdown at High Noon: The Wizard Mode of the game.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Higher Ranks increase scores during the Quick Draw and High Noon modes.
  • True Blue Femininity: Miss Polly wears a modest blue dress.
  • Uncle Sam Wants You: On the lower playfield, Mayor Cheetum points at the player while holding a "Cactus County Wants YOU" banner in one hand.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Played with; the sides of the back box show a "Help Wanted" poster listing the requirements for a new Sheriff.
  • The Western/The Wild West
  • Wizard Mode: "High Noon at the OK Corral", available after getting all three Bart Brothers, getting the Mother Lode Jackpot, making at least ten Combos, and starting both Stampede Multiball and Showdown Multiball. Upon shooting the Gold Mine, the player gets 30 seconds plus one second for every Bad Guy defeated previously. All of the balls are automatically ejected onto the field; hitting 20 Bad Guys before time runs out results in a 20 million point bonus.
    "Oh no... it's High Noon!"

Mayor Cheetum: Thank you for cleaning' up Cactus Canyon!