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Pinball / Cyclone

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Ride the Cyclone!

Barker: "You, sir! And you, madam! Hurry, hurry! Step right up!"

Cyclone is a Physical Pinball Table designed by Barry Oursler and illustrated by Python Anghelo. It was released by Williams Electronics in 1988, and is the second game in their "rollercoaster" series (after Comet).

Once again, this game takes players for a day at the Amusement Park for an assortment of fun and thrills. Ride the Shuttle Train into the park, knock down the ducks at the Shooting Gallery, then get to the Ball Toss and knock down the cats. For more fun, push your way into the Spook-House and spin the Mystery Wheel on the backglass, then pop out through the Boomerang. There's a Ferris Wheel if you need a break, but the park's main attractions are the twin coasters — ride the Cyclone three times for the Jackpot, then jump on Comet five times for a million points.

As with Comet, Cyclone is a relatively simple table, without any multiball or deep rules, though its objectives are somewhat more complex than its predecessor. It became one of Williams' top-ten bestselling tables, and is still praised by players for its fun, lighthearted, and challenging gameplay, particularly the Cyclone ramp shot. Players who are asked to rank the tables in the series often consider this the best of the three.

A sequel, Hurricane, was released three years later. Has no relation to Whirlwind.

A digital version was available for The Pinball Arcade before their license to all Williams/Bally tables expired on July 1, 2018.

The Cyclone pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Amusement Park
  • The Cameo: The carnival barker is pinball designer Mark Ritchie.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: A mild version, courtesy of the carnival barker.
    Barker: Hey, you with the face!
  • Continuity Nod: The Comet rollercoaster and its million-point shot are from the earlier Comet table.
  • Drugs Are Bad: On the backglass, Nancy Reagan is wearing a red T-shirt reading "Say No to Drugs".
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment/First Kiss: Seen on the ferris wheel, naturally.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: As in many pinball games. Here, the Barker speaks this way:
    "Hurry, hurry!"
    "Step right up!"
    "Hey, you!"
    "With the face!"
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The rollercoaster riders on the backglass include President Ronald Reagan, his wife Nancy, and Rex (the family dog).
    • The folks attending the park include the Coneheads and Mr. T.
  • Non-Ironic Clown:
    • The Mystery Wheel on the backglass is operated by a clown.
    • A large clown face appears on the playfield, with the flippers being two of his fingers.
    • A clown can be seen on the sides of the cabinet, giving out balloons.
  • Score Multiplier: Completing the 1-2-3 lanes at the top starts double scoring for 20 seconds (or adds 20 seconds to the timer if it is currently running).
  • Sequel Escalation: Cyclone is Comet with a circus and two rollercoasters!
  • Skill Shot: Use a gentle plunge to launch the ball into the middle hole of the Shuttle Train.
  • Top-Down View: The playfield is seen from high overhead, looking down on on the crowds.
  • Variable Mix: The instrumentation of the music changes depending on which ball the player is on.
  • Wheel of Decisions: The Mystery Wheel, which gives out a random award.
  • Zonk: One of the prizes on the Mystery Wheel is "Zilch", which is worth nothing.
    Barker: Ya pays your money, ya takes your chances!

Barker: "We have a winner!"