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Pinball / Comet

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Ride the Comet!

Dunk Dummy: "Hey, turkey!"

Comet is a Physical Pinball Table produced by Williams Electronics in 1986. It was designed by Barry Oursler and illustrated by Python Anghelo, and is the first title in Williams' "rollercoaster" series of pinball games.

Named for a popular coaster at Chicago's (now closed) Riverview Amusement Park, Comet takes players for a fun time at the carnival. Visit the Shooting Galleries and knock down the ducks and rabbits, drop the Dunk Tank Dummy, and visit the Funhouse. For more thrills, shoot through the Corkscrew, race up the Cycle Jump Ramp, then light up 1-9-8-6 and Ride the Comet for a screamin' good time. End the day with a fireworks show, then try to score the One Million shot before you leave.

Although it lacked a licensed tie-in or multiball, Comet's varied yet simple gameplay, realistic sound effects, and whimsical art came together to produce a fun game that resonated with lots of players. It was the first solid-state pinball machine with a one million point shot, and its popularity prompted Williams to follow it up a few years later with Cyclone. Comet itself was featured on the pinball documentary Special When Lit, and remains a popular table for nostalgia-oriented collectors.


The Comet pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Amusement Park
  • Author Appeal: The inspiration for the game came from designer Barry Oursler's childhood memories at Riverview Park.
  • The Cameo: Veteran pinball designer Steve Kordek voices the "One Million!" announcer.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: The Dunk Tank Dummy constantly heckles the player.
    Dunk Dummy: "C'mon, turkey! Hit me!"
  • Covered in Gunge: Occurs to several of the riders on the backglass, such as an old woman getting a faceful of ice cream and a man being plastered by "Jane Curtin"'s flowing hair.
  • Golden Snitch: The One Million shot. Mitigated in that it's only available on the last ball, and collecting it requires the player to light 1-9-8-6 and then make the Cycle Jump to the farthest target.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The rollercoaster riders on the backglass include lookalikes of John Belushi (back seat) and Jane Curtin (second row) from Saturday Night Live.
  • Advertisement:
  • Non-Ironic Clown: There's a sincere clown above the Fun House saucer.
  • Ramp Jump: The Cycle Jump ramp.
  • Timed Mission: The Dunk Tank Dummy, where you only have a few seconds after knocking him down to hit the target behind him.
  • Top-Down View: The entire playfield is shown from high overhead, looking down on all of the attendees.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Rollercoaster

Dunk Dummy: "Ha ha ha ha!"

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