Monster Bash is a 1998 Physical Pinball Table designed by George Gomez and illustrated by Kevin O'Connor and was the last conventional table released under the Williams label before the switchover to the ill-fated Pinball 2000 format. note
The goal of the game is to get together the Monsters of Rock, a band made up of six Universal Horror creatures: Count Dracula (guitar), the Mummy (bass), Frankenstein's Monster (keyboard), the Bride of Frankenstein (vocals), the Wolf Man (drums), and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (a.k.a. Gill; saxophone). Travel the globe to gather the various monsters, help them get their assorted instruments, then put on the show of the centuries. Activate the Phantom Flip and let the the game make shots for you, then run through all seven tracks on the CD while the mob works itself into a riot.
Monster Bash was only a modest success for Williams, but is frequently praised by pinheads for being an overlooked classic. The gameplay is approachable for beginners while being deep enough for experts, the playfield is loaded with fun gimmicks, the beautiful graphics, rocking music, and funny sound effects keep players engaged, and the lighthearted theme makes it suitable for any location.
A digital version of this table was available on FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade before their license to all Williams and Bally tables expired on July 1, 2018. It later reappeared in Pinball FX 3 on October 29, 2019.
The Monster Bash pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Adaptational Context Change: In Dracula, the title character declares "Listen to them—the children of the night. What music they make!" during a dramatic scene. In this game, Dracula sometimes makes a similar comment ("Ah, the creatures of the night. Vhat music they make!") as a joke, since the game revolves around his efforts to reform his all-monster rock band.
- All Drummers Are Animals: The Wolfman is the drummer of the band.Wolfman: "Let me fetch my sticks!"
- Alter Kocker: The Mummy. So why not a Jewish mummy?
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- The Phantom Flip, which works the flippers automatically if the player doesn't touch the controls. On the other hand, Thing Flips it ain't, as it tends to miss the shot about as often as (if not more than) it makes it. Seeing as this usually leads to the ball flying out of control, some players take a lot of effort to avoid getting it at all costs. Also by default, if Phantom Flip's shot backfires and drains, the ball will be saved.
- If you failed to collect Frankenstein's keyboard at the end of multiball, you can shoot the ramp shortly after multiball and get a second chance to collect the keyboard by bashing Frankenstein (with a single ball).
- Big Ball of Violence: The Mosh Pit is shown as a violent white cloud with fists and stars popping out of it, both in the lane and on the display.
- Big Electric Switch: Doctor Frankenstein throws one of these to bring The Monster to life.
- Big "NO!": The Bride of Frankenstein often does one of these when "Ball and Chain" begins, after she meets her husband.
- Blah, Blah, Blah: Two archaeologists yammer unintelligibly when they discover the Mummy (until he knocks them out, that is).Mummy: You guys talk funny.
- Bowdlerize: Caged, scantily-clad women on the backglass art◊ were nixed by Universal Studios during development.
- The Cameo: Elvira and Wonder Woman can be seen on the backglass, off to the far right, while Elvis is one of the folks in the crowd.
- Company Cross References:
Igor: I hope he doesn't mind I got this from the funny house!
- Unsurprisingly, Creature from the Black Lagoon gets a few nods:
- The lane to the Creature's saucer includes a translucent panel with a small Gill figure underneath it, similar to that game's "hologram" effect.
- The swimming animation at the start of Creature Feature is taken from that game as well.
- The way his mode rewards points, a runaway value that when collected starts a timer to collect the same value several times with an increasing multiplier, is similar to the Move Your Car mode from Creature.
- The mosh pit theme's lyrics, currently seen above as the image quote, have more than a passing resemblance to the lyrics of Black Knight 2000.
- One of the Concert Hall locations is "Phantom Haus", the name of a redemption game Williams had created beforehand.
- One of Igor's lines when you collect the monster's head implies that he stole Rudy's head.
- Unsurprisingly, Creature from the Black Lagoon gets a few nods:
- Cool Old Guy: The Mummy. He's been stuck in his sarcophagus for 3,000 years, but he still wants to jam on the bass and pick up women.
- Credits Gag: The game's playfield uses thematically appropriate nicknames for each area of production (i.e. George Gomez's "Diabolical Design").
- Developers' Foresight:
- If Frankenstein's Monster doesn't lower onto the playfield for multiball, the targets beside where he normally is will become Super Jackpot shots instead.
- If the switch that completes the left ramp doesn't work, the left inlane will count it in place, given the ball reaches it in a suitable amount of time.
- Triggering "Monsters of Rock" before "Monster Bash" is quite possible, and if you do, it awards a bonus fifty million points.
- Domestic Abuse: The Bride of Frankenstein wallops her husband with a Frying Pan of Doom during "Ball & Chain".
- The Door Slams You: The Mummy does this to one of the archaeologists standing in front of his sarcophagus...followed by a punch to the other archaeologist.
- Double Entendre: One of the Bride's lines is "I heard he's got a monstrous organ."
- Easter Egg: "Lyman's Lament," normally accessed by shooting the Concert Hall scoop 44 times. It adds 25 to the bonus multiplier, and every switch hit adds 2,500 to the end-of-ball bonus. The right combination of flipper button presses will immediately enable it at the scoop, but with no bonus multiplier increase and a much smaller per-switch value.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Well, the Mummy doesn't think so, anyway."Spinning, schminning!"
- Face of the Band: While not a vocalist, Dracula does most of the talking for the band, whether opening concerts/multiballs, trying to recruit Gill, or announcing jackpots, extra balls, and specials. The Wolfman fills in sometimes, despite being the drummer.
- Frying Pan of Doom: The Bride's weapon of choice against her husband during her mode.
- Fun with Subtitles: Used to translate the Creature's bubbly responses to Dracula and the Wolfman when they ask him to join the band.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Dracula, who must be hit while he flies around the playfield.Dracula: "Can you hit dis bat with dat ball?"
- Glass-Shattering Sound: When the Bride of Frankenstein practices her singing, she causes the display to shatter. However, it's unclear if this is due to her appearance or her voice, as neither one is extreme enough to invoke either trope.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Get the extra ball and you're treated to a mirror ball rising up while Drac grooves under it. The ball then drops, completely crushing him. (Even funnier, seeing Frankenstein's playfield lights flash make him appear as if he's dancing.)
- Groin Attack: One of Count Dracula's lines implies this when you hit him.Dracula: Not below the belt!
- Grumpy Old Man:
Mummy: "Back in my day, we didn't have jackpots!"note
- The Mummy, with a hint of Alter Kocker.
Lyman: "Oh, you would not BELIEVE the trouble you're in!"
- Lyman constantly taunts you during his Lament.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": Happens randomly when starting Frankenstein Multiball:Dr. Frankenstein: Get ready while I pull the switch!
Igor: Heh heh, he said "switch".
- Henpecked Husband: Frankenstein's monster is implied to be one; the Bride of Frankenstein's mode is called "Ball & Chain", during which she repeatedly hits him in the head with a Frying Pan of Doom.Bride of Frankenstein: *CLONK!* "How's that for a kiss?"
- Hidden Track: Shooting the Concert Hall scoop 44 times in regular play activates "Lyman's Lament", the seventh track on the CD and the game's non-monster mode. The bonus multiplier is raised by 25x, the point values for all targets is increased, and a new song plays while programmer Lyman Sheats provides in-game comments.
- Lyman: "Oh, my god, that is the ugliest drain I've ever seen!"
- Hurricane of Puns:
Dracula: "Can I have some fries with that stake?"
- Igor's got one for every body part he obtains.
- Most of the Concert Halls have punny names, such as the "Howllywood Bowl".
- In general, Monster Bash competes with Tales from the Crypt and Monster High for the highest density of Halloween-related puns.
- The Igor: He shows up every time you collect a part for Frankenstein's Monster, providing a punny comment for each one.
- Interspecies Romance:
Woman: "Wrap your flippers around me, fish-boy!"
- Done with the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
"I will not go back to your doghouse with you!"
- Averted with Wolf Man, who elicits the opposite effect.
- Jive Turkey: The Wolf Man becomes one after his transformation.Wolf Man: "I'm a hairy dude in a canine mood!"
- Kung-Foley: When the Bride hits her "husband" with the frying pan.
- Licensed Pinball Table: For the Universal Horror monsters.
- Lighter and Softer: Word of God is that the Bash team felt the Universal Monsters weren't scary enough in The '90s for a serious treatment, opting for the "rock tour" theme instead to invoke Rule of Funny.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Frankenstein, who's busy awakening his Monster (and often serves as a straight man for Igor).Igor: "You put your left leg in..."
Dr. Frankenstein: "This is no time to do the Hokey Pokey!"
- Match Sequence: Dracula plays a guitar riff while it's plugged into a shaking speaker, which eventually explodes to reveal the match number.
- Metal Scream: The song that plays during both the "Monster Mosh Pit" sequence and the match sequence has something that remotely resembles one (you'll know it when you hear it).
- Mirror-Cracking Ugly: As mentioned before, this is one interpretation of the Bride shattering glass when she practices singing.
- Monster Mash: The theme of the game.
- Motor Mouth: The archaeologists, at least until the Mummy shuts them up.
- Moving Target Bonus: During Drac Attack, hitting Dracula gives twice as many points if he is moving than if he is stationary.
- Musical Gag:
- The music for "Ball & Chain" is a rock version of Wagner's "Bridal Chorus".
- The music for Frankenstein Multiball resembles "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Wolfman's manner of speaking alludes to the aforementioned "Wolfman" Jack.
- No-Sell: Frankenstein's Monster doesn't react at all to being hit with a frying pan.
- NOT!: One possible voice clip for the start of Ball & Chain contains this.Bride of Frankenstein: "Tall, dark, handsome — NOT!"
- Offhand Backhand: The Mummy does this to one of the archaeologists when he appears.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Wolfman, as a human, begs for the moon not to become full again so soon...sometimes.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Playing lead guitar certainly qualifies.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Especially if they sound like ''Wolfman" Jack, a popular radio DJ from the 1950s and 60s.
- Painting the Medium: The tracks on the band's CD are named after the game modes.
- Pun: Completing Drac Attack gives this line:Drac: Can I get some fries with that stake?
- Putting the Band Back Together: The main goal of the game. Best seen when hitting the Creature from the Black Lagoon's saucer, as Dracula and the Wolfman attempt to cajole him into joining them.
- Rockers Smash Guitars: Drac smashes his guitar against the stage when you get the replay.
- "I am Count Dracula, and you're not!"
- The Mummy sometimes references Rawhide when you shoot one of the lanes in Mummy Mayhem mode.
- If you activate Mosh Pit Multiball, look very closely at the display. Most of the monsters' dance moves very closely mimic those seen in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- Drac owns a pair of Bruno Magli shoes— a reference to evidence used by the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson trial.
- Smart Bomb: You can earn items that allow you to make progress toward earning a monster's instrument while his/her mode (including Frankenstein Multiball) is in progress. Each monster has a specific item: a flaming torch for Frank, a garlic clove for Drac, and so on. Use them by hitting the launch button during the appropriate mode.
- Spelling Bonus: Spell D-I-G to increase the bonus multiplier, P-H-A-N-T-O-M to enable the Phantom Flip, and D-R-A-C-U-L-A to enable "Drac Attack" at the center scoop.
- Spiritual Successor: Of Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness.
- Timed Mission: All of the monsters' modes (except for Frankenstein's, which is its own Multiball phase) have time limits; completing them rewards the character's instrument. Starting any multiball, including Monster Bash, will stop all mode timers for easier completion.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Used by the audience on the backglass, along with weed-whackers, hedge trimmers, and other unconventional implements.
- The "bomb" (activated by pressing the ball launch button) for Frankenstein's Monster is a "Flaming Torch".
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride, of course.
- The Unintelligible: Frankenstein's Monster does nothing but moan and roar. The Creature from the Black Lagoon would be this, except he is helpfully subtitled.
- Vampire Vords: Dracula speaks like this.Dracula: "I am Count Dracula, und I vid you velcome!"
- Weaksauce Weakness: You can collect items that can be used during each monster's mode as a free shot toward completion. They consist of typical monster weaknesses for each: garlic, silver bullet, spear gun, torch, scroll... and for the Bride of Frankenstein, a hair dryer.
- What the Hell, Player?: Hitting any target or slingshot during Lyman's Lament causes Lyman to complain about how much trouble you're in of losing your current ball. Even lighting Monster Bash or Monsters of Rock provoke a quote from him.Lyman: "Oh, my gosh, the FLAILING that's going on!"Lyman: "Whatever."
- Wizard Mode:
- The sub-Wizard Mode is "Monster Bash," available after starting (but not necessarily finishing) all six monsters' modes. This is a generous four-ball multiball with each monster worth two million points, and the center lane lit for Bash Jackpots.
- The Wizard Mode is "Monsters of Rock," which is enabled after completing all six monsters' modes so they have their instruments. Shoot the Concert Hall to get a bonus for each instrument collected, plus an extra bonus for every full set of six, then start a four-ball multiball with each monster being worth four million points. Make all of the monsters' shots (or shoot the Mosh Pit) to get the Monsters of Rock jackpot.
- One awesome way to start Monsters of Rock is to start Monster Bash while you're playing the monster modes of the instruments you still need. If you can finish off those modes during Monster Bash, Monsters of Rock will immediately start in place of Monster Bash, with a fresh set of 4 balls and its ballsaver too.
- Even more awesome is when you light Rock and hit the center scoop, with or without Bash already lit. You'll only get Rock, but the game gives you a sweet bonus of 50 million points at the beginning of the round for getting "Rock Before Bash." You'll also pick up a minimum of 55 million points for instruments (5 million for each instrument, plus 25 million for getting all six).
- Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: How else would you expect the Wolfman to react to a full moon?
- You Sexy Beast: Women seem to be quite interested in the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Averted with the Wolfman; they find him completely unappealing.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: One of the Wolfman's quotes is "You won't like me when I change!"