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Pinball / The Phantom of the Opera

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Not based on the hit Broadway musical.

"I am the Phantom of the Opera!"
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The Phantom of the Opera is a 1990 Physical Pinball Table released by Data East. It was designed by Ed Cebula and Joe Kaminkow, with artwork by Paul Faris.

Though released during the Broadway musical's runaway success, the game is not licensed from it, but is instead based on the original 1911 novel by Gaston Leroux. As the Phantom, scurry across the Catwalk, walk behind the Magic Mirror, then arise from the Trap Door behind the stage. Choose between the Scorpion and the Grasshopper, play the Organ and activate its secret passage, then start the three-ball multiball and steel yourself against the sight of the Phantom's disfigured face.

Phantom is considered a beautiful if somewhat simplistic game, with amazing artwork, fantastic music and sound, and a shallow ruleset. It is often recommended for beginning and intermediate players, but many seasoned players also find it a relaxing reprieve with a literary theme that's seldom seen in pinball.

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A digital version is available for The Pinball Arcade and Stern Pinball Arcade. This is the first Data East table, as well as the first Pre-Stern table to be added in the library.


The Phantom of the Opera pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Antagonist Title
  • Creator Cameo: Paul Faris' daughter was the model for Christine Dae on the backglass.
  • Damsel in Distress: Christine, naturally.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The body of a scene-shifter can be seen hanging beneath the Phantom's face on the backglass.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Done with the Phantom on the backglass. The glass is decorated on both sides, with the hat and mask on the front, and the Phantom's true face on the back. At certain times during the game, the flashers behind the glass light up, allowing players and spectators to see his disfigured face through the mask.
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  • Dummied Out: The 'fast lock' light at the trap door has no functionality.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Phantom has these on the backbox.
  • Golden Snitch: Making two consecutive left ramp shots on the last ball will double a player's score.
  • Mad Artist: Along with being a Stalker with a Crush and a killer, the Phantom is a musician, composer, and singing teacher.
  • Match Sequence: Accompanied by a set of musical notes, a song plays while two digits cycle through various values. The value when the song ends is the match number.
  • The Mockbuster: Let's face it, the real reason this game exists was to ride on the coattails of the Broadway musical, not out of love for Gaston Leroux's writing.
  • Nothing but Skulls: A pile of skulls can be seen in the upper-left corner of the playfield.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Christine is shown near the bottom of the playfield wearing a corset and robe.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The Organ is prominently featured on the playfield; players shoot balls up its face to hit a set of musical targets, which makes the Organ open up to reveal a sinkhole underneath.
  • Progressive Jackpot: Collected by opening and then shooting a ball into the organ after starting 3-ball multiball and still having two or more balls left in play. Similar to Taxi, completing the top lanes will cause each jet bumper hit to increase the jackpot for a limited period of time.
  • Skill Shot: Launch the ball into the top flashing lane for a bonus and to open the organ.
  • Spelling Bonus: P-H-A-N-T-O-M lites the Catwalk for unlimited million shots, while O-N-E and T-W-O activates the Organ.
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