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Pinball / World Cup Soccer

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It Kicks!
Get ready. This summer, the World Cup is taking over the U.S. And WORLD CUP SOCCER pinball is ready to take on the world!

World Cup Soccer is a pinball game by Williams Electronics (under the Bally label), designed by John Popadiuk and released to promote the 1994 World Cup.

As far as pinball goes, the table pretty accurately emulates the World Cup experience - you buy tickets, fill the stadiums with fans, and most importantly shoot goals. In addition, you move through the various cities the Real Life teams went to, and eventually take on the top contender (Germany) to become champion.

A modified digital version was available for The Pinball Arcade until June 2018, when the license to it and all other Williams/Bally tables expired. A digital version was made available on Pinball FX on October 20, 2022, complete with the FIFA World Cup license and Striker mascot.

This pinball game demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: The Pinball Arcade changed the title of the game to World Champion Soccer because they were unable to secure a licensing agreement with FIFA. The table artwork was heavily altered to remove every trace of FIFA imagery, from the trophy to the Striker mascot, replacing them with stand-ins where necessary. The flyer and DMD animations were mostly untouched, but direct references to the World Cup were cut.
    • Averted with the Pinball FX port, which was developed with the FIFA license intact.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The aspects of a World Cup champion (see Gotta Catch Them All below).
  • The Cameo: Raiden cameos during a mode.
  • Company Cross References:
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If you beat the #1 seed Germany in multiball and then get into multiball again, you will play against Germany, and they will be listed as the #2 seed. This is because you are now the #1 seed.
    • If a player needs to restart multiball, one must hit either ramp or the Final Draw scoop. However, there is a hidden third option, which is the Assist kicker just south of the goal. Helpful, because by the time the ball is plunged into play, the Assist will score a Jackpot.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • The flyer for the game shows the game towering over an American football field with a game in progress, rather than one of what the rest of the world knows as "football". The venue pictured, Soldier Field in Chicago, did host five of the World Cup matches in 1994 (four group matches and a Round of 16 match).
    • Some visual references to the World Cup trademark can still be seen—mostly on the dot-matrix display—in The Pinball Arcade's digital version.
  • Genre Savvy: Tilt warnings result in a "yellow card"; tilting results in a "red card".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: To light the lock, you need to collect the five aspects of a good soccer player: Stamina, Speed, Spirit, Skill, and Strength.
  • Heads or Tails?: Every new ball starts with a "coin toss" Skill Shot to determine a bonus.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: GOAAAAAAAAL! Since Tim Kitzrow is the announcer, this should hardly come as a surprise.
  • Match Sequence: Striker lights a rocket, which spirals off and explodes to reveal the final number.
  • New Game Plus: If you manage to finish the Wizard Mode and start it again in the same game, Germany becomes much harder to beat.
  • Road Trip Plot: The progression to the World Cup works like one.
  • Skill Shot: There are three dividers which each have a light near the top of the playfield. When you start, they are all flashing. Falling in one of the flashing ones the first time scores 5 million points, at which point only two remain. Hitting another flashing one scores 10 million, and the last one spots a city for 30 million. Shooting an already lit light scores 1 million.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The soccer ball on the playfield spins when the goal is lit. There is also a more traditional pinball spinner on the left side.
  • Spelling Bonus: S-T-R-I-K-E-R awards 10 million points and lights the Striker scoop, allowing a random award to be collected.
    • The first TV award, Big Goal Round has the players shooting three goals for B-I-G. The B and I award 15 million, and the G awards 30 million.
    • The cities other than Los Angeles, the location of the finals, are each labeled with a letter from W-O-R-L-D-C-U-P.
  • Timed Mission: All of the TV Modes.
  • Tropey, Come Home: "Where's Striker?"
  • Units Not to Scale / Bigger Is Better : The soccer ball on the playfield is significantly larger than the goalie, the goal, or pretty much anything on the playfield that isn't the ramps. Additionally, the flyer for the game showed the machine being roughly as large as an American football field.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Shown by Striker in one animation.
  • Wizard Mode: Get to the final location on your tour, that being Los Angeles, to begin playing off against Germany in the World Cup Finals to become champion.