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Pinball / Star Trek (Bally)

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Top: Original backglass
Bottom: "Motion Picture" backglass
What other changes can you find?

Star Trek (Bally) is a solid state pinball designed by Gary Gayton and produced by Bally in 1979. This was one of Bally's most successful tables, with nearly 17,000 machines manufactured.

It was initially released with artwork based on the original Star Trek television series. However, soon after production began, the decision was made to tie the game to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was being released later in the year. This was done by updating the backglass art to show the Enterprise crew in one-color spacesuits, to be a closer match to their Motion Picture uniforms. Furthermore, an unnamed woman appearing on two playfield plastics was redrawn as Ilia instead.

Although the pinball itself plays well, purist Trek fans will bemoan the slapdash use of the license, as only the artwork ties the game to the series. The Enterprise is shown firing a gigantic energy beam from its front saucer, one lane is labeled "to Hyperspace", and the only Spelling Bonus on the entire table is for B-A-L-L-Y. Spock is the only regular character depicted on the playfield, accompanied by a smiling, generic blonde woman in a red jumpsuit (and Ilia in the redecorated version). Even so, it's a popular piece of seventies Trek memorabilia for devoted collectors.

In March 2014, John Zitterkopf unveiled Star Trek: Mirror Universe, a rethemed version of the game based on the classic episode "Mirror, Mirror." Along with all-new plastics, playfield, and backglass art, Mirror Universe horizontally mirrored the entire playfield, with the shooter lane on the left. It ended up winning "Best of Show" at the 2014 Houston Arcade Amusement Operators Expo.

This Star Trek pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Done to all of the original Trek characters. Most prominent for the male crewmembers, who now sport bulging biceps, broad shoulders, and sculpted pecs.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Spock wears a green full-body jumpsuit on the playfield.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The updated artwork tying the game to The Motion Picture can be seen as this.
  • Heroic Build: Kirk, Spock, and McCoy get this as part of their Adaptational Attractiveness. Especially prominent on the playfield version of Spock.
  • Hourglass Hottie: The woman standing next to Spock on the playfield has a waist only slightly wider than her head.
  • Leg Focus: In the original art, the left triangle bumper had a picture of a female crewmember sitting down with her bare legs prominently shown. Subsequently redrawn as Ilia with matching stockings.
  • Space Station: The playfield has "Space Station Ko", with the three bumpers representing connected pods.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • B-A-L-L-Y collects all lit bonuses. What, S-P-O-C-K wasn't available?
    • The Mirror Universe version uses T-E-R-R-A instead, making better use of the license.
  • Stealth Pun: A small passage loop, hidden behind one of the bumpers, is labeled "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Enterprise on the playfield is firing one from its front sensor dish.

Alternative Title(s): Star Trek 1979