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Pinball / The Addams Family

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A pinball experience for the whole family.

"Look, everyone! We have guests!"

The Addams Family is a pinball game designed by Pat Lawlor, illustrated by John Youssi, and released in 1992 by Williams Electronics (under the Bally label). It is based on the 1991 film of the same name, and Raúl Juliá and Anjelica Huston reprised their roles as Gomez and Morticia, respectively.

The game casts you as a visitor exploring the Addams' mansion, and the most obvious objective is survival. Not that it's easy, with the swamp and the graveyard out back, the electric chair in the parlor, the living bear carpet, secret passageways, and the Mamushka. While Gomez and Morticia try to be supportive, Thing is ready to lend a hand by helping you work the flippers. If you can get through all 12 rooms (game modes and awards), you'll have a chance to Tour The Mansion.

The Addams Family ultimately became the best-selling pinball game ever, breaking all previous sales recordsnote  with 20,270 units sold. Bally eventually re-released it in 1994 as The Addams Family: Special Collector's Edition, with gold elements on the cabinets, more quotes in the game, and an expanded set of rules.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Addams Family was added to The Pinball Arcade. The Collector's edition was given to those who donated a certain amount of money.note  A recreation of the game was announced for Pinball FX, and released in February 2023.

"Look everyone, we have tropes!":

  • Adapted Out: Fester and Pugsley received art changes on the playfield, backglass, and flyer of The Pinball Arcade due to licensing issues.
    • Fester received art changes once again on Pinball FX.
  • Animate Dead: The "Raise the Dead" mode. Four hits to any one bumper will cause a ghost to rise from one of the on-screen graves.
    Gomez: Out to the cemetery! Come on, everybody!
  • Angrish: Cousin It lapses into an unintelligible version of this if he gets hit in "Hit Cousin It".
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Thing Flips feature, which takes control of the upper left flipper when you make a lit ramp shot and tries to hit the ball into the Swamp sinkhole for extra points. If the ball hits the targets on either side, the machine will adjust its timing accordingly when the feature is next activated.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • The 3- or 6- Million awards from the Mansion. Collecting one also accidentally makes the other window light up on the play field (if it wasn't collected yet). This was maintained in the Pinball Arcade version.
    • The Collector's Edition actually expands on this: while the 6 Million award no longer triggers the glitch, the 3 Million award is now bundled with "Pugsley and Wednesday's Trap Door", which awards a random unlit room.note 
  • Assist Character: Thing, who will help operate the left mini-flipper if "Thing Flips" is active.
    Gomez: Well played, Thing! You're really on the ball!
  • Badass Boast: In the graveyard is a gazebo with the Addams' family motto inscribed on it: "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us."
  • Big "NO!":
    • Gomez will sometimes admonish Thing in this way when you collect the Thing award. In the Collector's Edition, he'll also do this occasionally after a missed Thing Flips shot.
      Gomez: No, no, no!
    • He'll also do this to the player if you shoot an unlit Electric Chair while an Extra Ball is waiting to be collected.
      Gomez: No, no, no! Get the extra ball!
  • Bookcase Passage: The Bookcase leading to the Vault.
    Gomez: Ah, straight to the vault!
  • Building of Adventure: The Addams' mansion.
  • Cap:
    • 99 Bear Kicks.
    • Jackpot base value maxes out at 25 million.
  • Combos: Shoot the ball up the Bear Kick ramp, then through the Graveyard pop bumpers on the left side, and then up the Million Plus ramp for a Three-Way Combo bonus. If you shoot the Swamp after a Three-Way Combo, it becomes a Four-Way Combo.
  • Company Cross References: Making the combos mentioned above starts playing sounds from FunHouse (1990).
  • Creator Thumbprint: Gomez refers to The Power at the start of the Seance. The Power itself is a magnet under the middle of the playfield that activates during the Seance, after you lock two balls, and during any multiball.
  • Creepy Child: Wednesday, who's hanging out in the graveyard.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gomez and Morticia, whenever the player undershoots the Skill shot and drops the ball into the Swamp:
    Morticia: Don't torture yourself.
    Morticia: You should know better.
    Gomez: Have a nice swim!
  • Defiant to the End: If the player gets an end-of-ball bonus worth 20 million points or more, Gomez shouts "Who says you can't take it with you?!"
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If the player manages to get a ball into the Vault while the Bookcase is closed, G-R-E-E-D will automatically be spelled, the bookcase will open instantly, and the first ball is locked. Gomez says, "Dirty pool, old man. I like it!"
    • After locking one ball for the first multiball, you can lock the second one by simply weakly launching the ball so it rolls back down the shooter lane and right into the swamp kickout (a counter-intuitive move for any player who isn't familiar with this particular table). If you use that trick, Gomez will yell out "Good thinking!"
  • The Faceless: Cousin It is just a tall mop of hair.
  • Helping Hands: Thing will come out of his box at certain times to pick up the ball.
    Gomez: That's the spirit, Thing! Lend a hand!
  • Large Ham: Gomez. This is Raúl Juliá we're talking about here.
    Gomez: It has to warm up... so it can KILL YOU!
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Licensed from the 90's movie of the same name.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Invoked by The Special Collector's Edition.
  • Match Sequence: Thing drags a wagon carrying a pile of numbersnote , and when the wagon hits a bump, two numbers fall off the wagon and form the match.
  • Mickey Mousing: During the attract mode, the machine will occasionally flip the lower flippers in tune to the finger-snapping of the Addams Family theme. Also happens during the bonus count.
    Gomez: Why, thank you, Thing!
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Invoked when Gomez lovingly describes the swamp.
    Gomez: Quicksand, fumes, toxic waste... it's all ours!
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Averted; Gomez compliments you for cheating if you bounce a ball into the vault while it's still closed.
    Gomez: Dirty pool, old man. I LIKE it!
  • Secondary Adaptation: The game is specifically based on the 1991 film adaptation of the original The Addams Family comic strip.
  • Signature Line: Which plays at the start of the game (sometimes) and when you select it on Pinball Arcade:
  • Skill Shot: The player has to gently plunge the ball so that it lands in Thing's eject saucer for 2 million points (and increases by one million for every skill shot made, until maxing out at 5 million). Also awards anything currently lit at the center scoop: a ball lock (first multiball only), Quick Multiball, the Thing award, and an extra ball.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The music that plays during "Get Ball to Thing" before the ball is locked.
  • Spelling Bonus: G-R-E-E-D opens the Bookcase to the Vault, T-H-I-N-G gives the Thing Bonus and gets Thing to come out of his box, and G-R-A-V-E scores the Grave Bonus.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Just like the film it was based on, Cousin Itt's name is instead spelled "It".
  • Spooky Séance: The Seance and Super Seance, complete with The Power disrupting the ball.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • "Hit Cousin It." Each time you hit the It targets, he takes a ball to the head and gets knocked down.
    • The replay and special sequences have him get hit too, complete with knock.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Done by Gomez and Uncle Fester during The Mamushka; they throw their hands and feet and yell "Hey!" every time a target is hit. In the Pinball FX enhanced graphics, the 3D model of Thing will dance along to the music as well.
  • Trilling Rs: "Grrrrrreeeeeeeeeed."
  • The Unintelligible: Cousin It, especially during "Hit Cousin It".
  • Visual Pun: The outlanes are decorated with curtain ropes. In other words, if the ball goes in there, it's curtains for you.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Collect the "Light Extra Ball" award from the Mansion (via the electric chair). Then shoot the ball directly back into the chair. Prepare to be chastised:
  • Wizard Mode: "Tour the Mansion", which awards the player 50 million points, lights the extra ball and outlane specials, maximizes the jet bumpers, then starts each of the six timed modes one after the other.
  • World of Ham: Having Raúl Juliá as the focus of the game's humor doesn't hurt.

Morticia: Rest in peace.