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Hook: "What do we have here?"

Hook is a Licensed Pinball Table based on the winter 1991 Steven Spielberg movie starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. It was designed by Tim Seckel, illustrated by Paul Faris, and released by Data East in January 1992.

The game is infamous for encapsulating key events of the movie in a package with beautiful artwork and rousing music, then slathering it with wildly unbalanced gameplay and an incomprehensible ruleset; even today, the only advice for players is to shoot in random directions and wait to be inexplicably awarded big points. Collect weapons from the Lost Boys, visit Pirate Town, and shoot Skull Island to start the Bangerang — or just build up the Windcoaster Ramp and harvest three million points per shot until you get bored.

Word of God is that the game was originally conceived as a Universal Studios Theme Park game; during the design stage, Data East secured the rights to Hook and the game was updated accordingly.


The Hook pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Antagonist Title
  • Catapult to Glory: Activating the kickback shows Peter being launched into the air with a giant slingshot.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Windcoaster Ramp, a gigantic spiral ramp complete with red chase lights.
  • Flynning: Seen in the Match Sequence.
  • Hat of Authority/Nice Hat: Hook is never seen without his large and ornate feathered captain's hat.
  • Hook Hand: Prominently seen on Captain Hook, of course.
  • Match Sequence: Two hands with swords are shown fighting each other, along with a two-digit number. The number shown when the fight ends is the match.
  • Not Quite Starring: Due to the high costs of the movie's All-Star Cast, the game uses sound-alike actors instead to provide the game's callouts. Many of the quotes are lines from the movie, making the replacement voices more obvious.
  • Advertisement:
  • Pinball Scoring: Very much so; a typical game will end up with a score of around several hundred million points. The lopsided scoring only makes things worse.
  • Pirate: But of course.
  • Skill Shot: Launch the ball into one of three highlighted chutes.
  • Unusual Ammo: Weapons to be collected include eggs, tomatoes, and beehives.

Peter: "I can fly!"

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