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Video Game / Full Tilt! Pinball

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The original version of "Space Cadet", after Microsoft's cosmetic makeover.

Full Tilt! Pinball was a pinball computer game for the Microsoft Windows PC and Apple Macintosh. It was developed by Cinematronics, and published by Maxis in 1995.

Similar to Last Gladiators, Super Pinball: Behind The Mask, Golden Logres, or the Pro Pinball series, the games are presented as pre-rendered playfields with a single fixed camera, providing for fast gameplay even on low-end machines. The game consisted of three separate tables:

  • "Dragon's Keep"
  • "Skulduggery"
  • "Space Cadet"

A visually-tweaked version of "Space Cadet" (Official title: 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet) was included with consumer copies of Microsoft Windows, starting with the Windows 95 Plus! pack up to Windows XP. The practice ended with the release of Windows Vista when the 32-bit game could not be ported over to Vista's 64-bit architecture.


The Windows version of Full Tilt! Pinball was originally released as shareware, supporting one player with a resolution of 640 ×480; the full version added 800 × 600 and 1024 × 768 resolutions and allowed up to four players to compete. Of the games themselves, "Space Cadet" is considered the simplest and easiest, while "Skulduggery" and "Dragon's Keep" offered faster gameplay and greater challenges.

A sequel, Full Tilt! Pinball 2, was released in 1996.


Full Tilt! Pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Averted in "Dragon's Keep" — the player can collect spells and armor, which turn on various Anti-Frustration Features on the table.
  • Bar Brawl: "Skulduggery" has the player participate in a tavern brawl.
  • Breath Weapon: Guess what the dragon breathes. No, really.
  • Damsel in Distress: The dragon has one, of course.
  • Dragon Hoard: "Dragon's Keep" includes a hoard that the player must steal.
  • The Dragonslayer: The player must kill the dragon in "Dragon's Keep".
  • Flynning: One of the modes in "Skulduggery" is a pirate swordfight.
  • Level Grinding: In "Space Cadet", Advancing through the ranks requires repeating the same missions several times.
  • The Mutiny: This is one of the modes in "Skulduggery".
  • Mythology Gag: The final mission of Space Cadet is Maelstrom, which was the name of the prototype for this table.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Slaying the Dragon mode on "Dragon's Keep". You initially start out with 7 or 8 hits, but the amount lessens to as low as 3 if you upgrade your weapon at the bumpers. The upper flipper's magnet for controlled shots is unreliable; good luck finding other ways to putting the ball inside the mouth.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They eat pinballs, for one.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The wormhole chutes in "Space Cadet".
  • Pinball Scoring: "Dragon's Keep," in which you can score hundreds of millions of points in almost no time by slaying the dragon.
  • Pirate: Seen on "Skulduggery," of course.
  • Rank Up: The ranks are Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain, Lt. Commander, Commander, Commodore, Admiral, and Fleet Admiral.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Talk Like a Pirate: "Skulduggery" isn't ashamed to pull out all the hoary old pirate quotes.
    Pirate: "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!"
  • Timed Mission: Many of the mission have a time limit.
  • Treasure Map: "Skulduggery" requires piecing together a treasure map to find Peg Leg's loot.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: "Space Cadet" has a kickout called "Black Hole" (oddly enough, it's white). There's also a mission named "Black Hole Mission" where you've to lit all the engine lights and send the ball to the "black hole". When you accomplish it, you get the message "Black Hole eliminated".
  • Welcome to Corneria: The voice clips for "Skulduggery" tend to repeat themselves very quickly.
    Pirate: "Aye, walk the plank!"
  • Wizard Mode:
    • "Space Cadet" has The Maelstrom, which can only be activated after getting a rank of Admiral or better, then completing a series of requirements. Getting it rewards five million points, and every target on the board becomes lit for high scoring opportunities.
    • "Dragon's Keep": Slaying the dragon or spelling out D-R-A-G-O-N on different parts of the playfield is no easy feat. But the reward, a 5-ball "Dragon Flurry" multiball, is worth the effort. Slaying the dragon awards some major points as well.

Alternative Title(s): Space Cadet


Example of: