Star Trek is an arcade pinball game by Data East, the second official Trek table. Designed by Ed Cebula and Joe Kaminkow, it was released in 1991 for the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Appropriate for a Milestone Celebration pinball, the playfield is filled with iconic props from the television show, such as the Guardian of Forever, the transporter, the Doomsday Machine, and a bank of Dilithium Crystals. Playfield images spotlight key characters and scenes, including Lt. Uhura's evil counterpart, Commander Pike, an armful of Tribbles, and an assortment of Klingons, Andorans, Romulans, and Gorn. But the most eye-catching aspect of this pinball is in the backglass, which shows Captain Kirk leading an Away Team on the transporter pad. At key points during a game, the transporter will activate and beam away the party — and only judicious shots to the moving Master Crystal will re-energize the transporter to bring them back. Original voice clips from James Doohan give player directions, supplemented with sound effects from the TV show.
Star Trek is considered to be one of the better pinball machines from Data East, though cynics will argue that's not saying much. While the rules are fairly simple and won't challenge pinball experts, the gameplay is fast and balanced, and the excellent use of the license adds to the fun.
This game was used as the basis for "Joel Silver: The Pinball", a unique vanity table for the famous Hollywood film producer. The game replaced the Dilithium Crystals with popcorn, and included voice clips from both Silver himself and his friends and coworkers. The game resided at Silver's Warner Bros. reception area for several years.
Star Trek (Data East) demonstrates the following tropes:
- Bare Your Midriff: Sported by the evil Uhura on the playfield.
- Beard of Evil: On the Klingons.
- Beehive Hairdo: Yeoman Rand has one of these.
- Bridge Bunny: Janice Rand.
- But Not Too Black /Race Lift: Depictions of Lt. Uhura on the playfield (both the crewmember and the evil counterpart) draw her as notably lighter than Nichelle Nichols, to the point of looking like she has a mild tan.
- Cameo: The playfield is filled with numerous Trek characters from the original series.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Demonstrated by Yeoman Rand and Evil Uhura.
- Eat Me: Invoked by shooting into the Doomsday Machine.
- Evil Twin: The Mirror Universe Uhura from "Mirror, Mirror", of course.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: A green Orion slave girl can be seen in the upper-left playfield.
- Planet Eater: The Doomsday Machine.
- Plot Coupon: Collect Dilithium crystals to activate the transporter, and shooting the transporter within the allotted time starts multi-ball.
- Shirtless Scene: Sulu, reprising his fencing scene from "The Naked Time".
- Skill Shot: Press the launch button at the right time to shoot a spaceship flying across the dot matrix display.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The main theme music is a fast-paced thumping rock beat that conflicts abruptly with the Trek license. This is due to the fact on how Brian Schmidt composes his BSMT2000-based music.
- Spelling Bonus: S-T-A-R-T-R-E-K, appropriately enough.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The main gimmick of the game, and done without video effects. See it here.
- Video Mode: Enemy Alert, which is simply the Skill Shot minigame except 10 times in a row.