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Pinball / The Wizard of Oz

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A New and Colorful Pinball Experience Awaitsnote 

"Follow the Yellow Brick Road!"

The Wizard of Oz is a 2013 widebody pinball machine, most notable for being the debut game from pinball manufacturer Jersey Jack Pinball. It was designed by Joe Balcer, with artwork by Jerry Vanderstelt, Greg Freres, and Matt Riesterer, and programming by Keith Johnson.

The game itself is based on the famous 1939 MGM film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Start with the Twister spinning the farmhouse to Oz, then use the Ruby Slippers to follow the Yellow Brick Road in a battle of good versus evil. Recruit the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion, then battle the Trumper Bumpers in the Haunted Forest, bash open the Castle Doors, and rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch's Castle. Ride the Wizard's balloon, visit Munchkinland and the Wizard's Throne Room, and help Toto Escape, but beware the Winged Monkeys who are ready to pluck you for an unexpected ride. As you light up the Rainbow and restore color to Oz, the HD screen provides game status, instructions, and various movie clips and computer-generated effects.

As Jersey Jack Pinball's first game, The Wizard of Oz had some very high expectations, which most players believe it fulfills admirably. The game mixes nostalgia with modern gaming conventions, with a broad and detailed ruleset to keep players engaged. The moderate pace makes it approachable for newcomers, with the large display giving clear instructions and keeping bystanders entertained. The playfield toys are detailed and well-crafted, with the color-changing LED lighting and seven-speaker digital sound complimenting the package. If there's a complaint, it tends to be that the crowded playfield doesn't provide enough room for really fast and frantic action.

The game is available as a standard model and two Limited Editions, in "Emerald City" green and "75th Anniversary" red. A table is set up at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History as part of its Wizard of Oz collection. There is also a kit to turn it into a ticket redemption game — players play for one minute with a simplified set of rules, and the game can be returned to its regular mode via a software switch.

The Wizard of Oz pinball demonstrate the following tropes:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The pinball playfield, which uses color-changing LEDs throughout to provide various multicolored effects.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The Horse of a Different Color, where the player must hit four or more horse targets, then collect a reward based on the resulting colors. In addition, one of the horses is a multicolored Rainbow Horse.
    • All Your Colors Combined: Both played straight and subverted — the Horse bonus multiplier is largest if either all horses are the same color or they're all of different colors.
  • Amusing Injuries: When Dorothy's House stops spinning, the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East pop out from one side.
  • Blackout Basement: The "Lights Out" mode.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Averted in the match sequence, where the tornado throws debris around even though it's still far in the distance.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows/Rainbow Motif: The RAINBOW drop targets, which enable players to enter Munchkinland.
  • Fireballs: Fireball Mode.
    Wicked Witch: "Here, Scarecrow! Wanna play ball?"
  • Gem-Encrusted: The game uses emeralds, rubies, and diamonds to measure player progress.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Seen on Glinda's dress.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: The Wicked Witch periodically does this to the player on the display.
  • Going in Circles: The Munchkinland playfield requires the player to make multiple consecutive loops for the best rewards.
  • I'm Melting!/Kill It with Water: Defeat the Wicked Witch by making her melt.
  • Interface Screw: Any of the Crystal Ball modes in general. They can either mess with the lighting (either turning all lights off, or making them all flash wildly), or mess with your flippers (either weakening them, disabling holds, or even reversing them).
  • Licensed Pinball Table
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:
    • Played straight with the "Emerald City" version, which includes green trim, a mirrored backglass, a shaker motor, flying Winged Monkey, non-reflective glass, motorized Castle gates, and an OLED crystal ball on the playfield that plays various videos during the game.
    • There's also the "75th Anniversary" edition, which has red metal trim, a tinted mirrored backglass, a new backbox topper, more detailed table elements, and additional playfield toys, such as the Twister and Toto in his basket. However, everything but the metalwork and backglass are available separately, allowing owners to upgrade their existing games to match.
  • Man on Fire: "Fireball Mode" ends with the Scarecrow aflame from the Witch's attack.
  • Maniac Monkeys: The Flying Monkeys, who carry the pinball from the lower playfield to the Wicked Witch's Castle.
  • Match Sequence: The tornado spins in the distance, throwing debris around, and a (single) match digit hits the screen. If it's a match, the screen shatters.
  • Mood Lighting: The playfield changes colors to match certain game events, such as red when the Winged Monkeys attack.
  • Nerf: The "Weak Flippers" and "No Hold Flippers" Crystal Ball modes temporarily nerf the flippers.
  • Painting the Medium: The two bottom flippers are Dorothy's ruby slippers.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Glinda's wearing one both on the cabinet sides and in the videos.
  • Pinball Scoring: Intentionally averted for a Retraux feel; the standard score levels for Oz are noticably lower than most other modern-day pinball games, including one-point targets.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Winkie Guard.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Unsurprisingly, the game uses music from the MGM movie, most notably "We're Off to See the Wizard".
  • Secondary Adaptation: Based specifically on the famous 1939 MGM film, which itself was based on L. Frank Baum's novels.
  • Shout-Out: The game prompts the player to retry a Twister mode with the message "Let's twister again!", alluding to the famous 1961 single "Let's Twist Again" by Chubby Checker.
  • Skill Shot: There are four of them.
    • Go through lit upper lane to increase the bonus multiplier and collect a bonus.
    • Hit the Wicked Witch for a bonus and to start a Witch Hurry Up mode.
    • Hit the Jackpot target next to the Haunted Forest to start a Haunted Scoring mode.
    • Hit the lit B-A-L-L target to instantly spell BALL for a Crystal Ball mode.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Dorothy's house spins, because it wouldn't be Oz without it. There's even a "Spin the House" mode to lampshade the point.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • S-C-A-R-E-C-R-O-W, T-I-N-M-A-N, and L-I-O-N recruit Dorothy's companions and enable the multiball locks.
    • W-I-Z-A-R-D awards the Wizard's Throne Room bonus.
    • R-E-S-C-U-E opens the Castle Doors and rescues Dorothy from the Witch.
    • T-O-T-O allows Toto to escape.
    • B-A-L-L activates the Wicked Witch's Crystal Ball modes.
    • R-A-I-N-B-O-W enables access to the Munchkinland upper playfield.
  • Storming the Castle: "Storm the Castle" multiball, available if Rescue Multiball is started and Dorothy isn't captured yet.
  • Super Smoke: The Wicked Witch uses this to appear and disappear on the screen.
  • Timed Mission: Several of the modes.
  • Trade Snark: TM symbols accompany all of the character names, resulting in status messages like "Dorothy™ Captured!"
  • Variable Mix: The background music changes to the Winkie Guards' chant when the ball is on the castle mini-playfield and back to whatever it was before when the ball leaves.
  • Wicked Witch
  • Wizard Mode: As with Joe Balcer and Keith Johnson's earlier pinballs (most notably The Simpsons Pinball Party and The Lord of the Rings), only the best players will get to either of these.
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is "Battle The Wicked Witch", which is reached by finishing Emerald City multiball, rescuing Dorothy, and getting through the Wicked Witch Attack and Fireball Frenzy.
    • The true Wizard Mode is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and can only be reached by finishing the game's eight main objectives — advance down the Yellow Brick Road, collect three gifts from the Wizard in Emerald City, finish all of the Munchkin modes, complete Fireball Frenzy, collect the Emeralds from the Wicked Witch, play all Crystal Ball modes, collect all the Haunted Modes, and score a Mega Jackpot in Rescue multiball.

Wicked Witch: "Curses! You're a pretty good shot!"