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Pinball / Creature from the Black Lagoon

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In 3D!
"Thank you, enjoy the film."

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1992 pinball game designed by John Trudeau and released by Williams Electronics (under the Bally label). The name's a bit misleading, though; while it is named after the film of the same name, this game's setting is that of a 1950s-era Drive-In Theater. Save for the 3D decal in the middle of the table and main multi-ball mode, there's virtually nothing to do with the movie itself.

Taking place in 1954, this game has you and your girlfriend head out to the Starlight Drive-In Theater to watch Creature from the Black Lagoon. While waiting for the film to start, you try to get food from the snackbar, play on the local playground, and steal a kiss from your girlfriend. You also have to deal with peeping toms and large vehicles that block your view.

During multiball, which takes place within the film itself, the goal is to try to rescue Kay from the Creature.

Digital versions of this table are available for Williams Pinball Classics by Encore Inc. and Pinball FX 3 by Zen Studios. A digital version was also available for The Pinball Arcade until FarSight Studios' license to all Bally and Williams tables expired on July 1, 2018.

"And now, on with the tropes!":

  • Adaptation Inspiration: The events of the original movie are relegated to multiball in favor of a focus on a Drive-In Theater from the 1950s.
  • Adjustable Censorship: The operator's menu includes an option for Family Mode, which prevents the video mode's decapitation fatality from playing. However, the choking fatality given to the man behind the snack bar remains intact. (The Pinball Arcade version has Family Mode permanently active.)
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The "Free Pass" ball saver.
    "Stay cool, Daddy-O."
    • To a lesser extent, you know those ever-irritating drains on either side of the flippers? Get suckered into one of those, and you get a 500,000-point bonus to make up for it. "FOCUS!"
  • Cap:
    • The bonus multiplier tops out at 10x as displayed on-screen, but each advance actually doubles the entire bonus for a maximum of 32x.
    • The Jackpot maxes out at 1 billion, and stops doubling after each Super Jackpot once it reaches 500 million or higher.
    • The playfield multiplier during multiball tops out at 4x.
    • The Double Feature Combo value has a ceiling of 16 million.
  • Company Cross References: There are two allusions to Mortal Kombat (by Midway, which Williams owned):
    • In the game's video mode, after knocking out the the peeping tom, hit both flipper buttons for a final blow that decapitates him. The announcer yells, "FATALITY!"
    • The player has the option to choke the snack bar attendant by rapidly pressing the flipper buttons before he gives you an item. The customer yells "COME HERE, PUNK!" and begins choking the attendant as the words "Choking Fatality" appear on the display.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kay serves this role during multiball.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • "Move Your Car" starts with a moviegoer angrily honking his horn to get a van to move so he can see the screen. Each center shot you make is accompanied by the guy resorting to more extreme measures (dynamite, a bazooka, a flamethrower, and an atomic bomb). The van itself remains unscathed throughout the entire mode, and eventually drives away on its own at the end (once you either run out of time or make all the shots).
    • Blowing up the snack bar and, to a lesser degree, choking its attendant.
    • An Easter egg at the end of a successful video mode can be triggered to decapitate the peeping tom.
  • Double Unlock: In order to score big during multiball, you have to:
    • Find the creature by hitting the correct shot out of three options (a Luck-Based Mission)
    • Shoot the Snackbar to rescue the girl
    • Shoot it again for the jackpot
    • Then hit the jet bumpers a set number of times
    • And finally shoot the Snackbar one more time for the super jackpot
  • Drive-In Theater: The Starlight Drive-In Theater.
  • The '50s: As stated in the description, this movie takes place during 1954.
  • First Kiss: The protagonist tries to get this from his girlfriend.
  • Framing Device: The drive-in serves as this for the Creature movie.
  • Hologram: The game uses a holographic Creature in the middle of the playfield that lights up and waves its "hand" back and forth during multiball.
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Partially based on the movie, and partially based on attending a drive-in to see the movie.
  • Match Sequence: The match sequence plays after you and your date leave the drive-in theater; the car's license plate says "THE END".
  • Melting-Film Effect: Happens when multiball ends.
  • Mercy Mode: If the Snackbar is not lit, the snackbar targets can be spotted one at a time by shooting the snackbar. After you visit the Snackbar, though, it will no longer spot targets and will instead award an escalating Snackbar Score until after multiball's finished.
  • Not Quite Starring: An unknown voice actress takes the place of Julia Adams as Kay for the multiball mode.
  • Off with His Head!: Jamming on the flipper buttons after KO'ing the peeping tom will result in a Johnny Cage-style uppercut decapitation. (On a physical table, Family Mode has to be turned off. However, this Easter egg is always disabled while playing the Pinball Arcade and version.)
  • Pinball Scoring: The value of the (Super) Jackpots grow exponentially for each cycle completed in multiball. The Super Jackpot is worth double the regular Jackpot, and on the next cycle the Jackpot becomes the same value as the Super Jackpot. On top of that, they can be multiplied up to 4×, which would make even the first Jackpot worth a minimum of 160M and the first Super a minimum of 320M. Realistically, they probably will be worth significantly more due to bumper hits.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Say it with us now: "MOVE - YOUR - CAR!"
    • "FIVE. MILLION."
  • Punk in the Trunk: Played for Laughs. Shooting the pop bumpers shows one guy trying to force his trunk open to let out another guy who's stowed away in there.note 
    "Let me out!" "It's dark in here!" "HEEEELP!" "I'm suffocating!"
  • Random Drop: When it's open, the Snack Bar gives a random award from the menu, though some items are obvious joke entries ("A New Car!").
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The original version of Creature from the Black Lagoon has five '50s pop songs licensed for its game theme. However, the digital version for FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade only has three of them available, due to licensing issues. The Pinball FX3 version only has "Red River Rock".
  • Scare Chord: The sound at the end of the Super Jackpot animation (which, itself, is very reliant on the bass) is a low-pitched, THX-like chord. It isn't too loud, though.
  • Score Multiplier: Besides the bonus multiplier, there is also a score multiplier during multiball.
  • Shout-Out: The Pac-Man tune plays after scoring the "Snack Attack" hurry-up bonus.
  • Signature Line: "MOVE YOUR CAR!"
  • Spelling Bonus: To start multiball, the player has to spell F-I-L-M. This involves several subtasks, including spelling K-I-S-S (to light the extra ball) and P-A-I-D (to increase the bonus multiplier). In multiball, spelling C-R-E-A-T-U-R-E (by shooting the left ramp in multiball and hitting the switch in the pool above the right flipper area; each hit to the switch gives a letter) increases the playfield multiplier until the end of multiball.
    • Additionally, spelling F-I-L-M in order earns a Sequential Film Bonus.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: You go through multiple explosive weapons (up to a nuke!) during the Move Your Car mode.
    • As an Easter Egg, if you hold the flippers during the Snack Bar opening animation, you can blow it up with the message "No More Bad Food".
  • Touch of the Monster: On the backglass, the Creature is shown carrying an unconscious Kay in his arms.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The main play is about the drive-in theater experience, while in multiball, the goal is to try to rescue Kay from the Creature.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The fatalities that can be played on both the snack bar guy and the peeping tom.
  • Video Mode: In the game's video mode, the player has to beat up a peeping tom.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The tilt warnings, made by the player's in-game girlfriend:
    "Hey! Watch those hands, buster!" — Tilt Warning
    "Ugh! You're no gentleman!" — When the player tilts
    "That does it! Take me home, right now!" — When the player slam tilts the machine, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over

Kay: "You saved my life!"