Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Full Tilt! Pinball

Go To
The complete version of "Space Cadet", after Microsoft's release a few months prior.

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 October 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 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, in August 1995, up to Windows XP. Some differences: Windows's version only supports 640×480-pixel resolution (Cinematronics's supports three different resolutions up to 1024×768 pixels); the image on the side is a two-dimensional image as opposed to pre-rendered 3D; the words Maxis and Cinematronics have been changed from the yellow to a dark red, making them harder to see; it sports a splash screen that merely says 3D Pinball and shows a small pinball graphic with faded edges; music is not enabled by default in 3D Pinball; it has only one soundtrack when compared to Full Tilt!. Furthermore, there are changes to the rules, including no access to the Meteor Storm multiball mode. 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.

A modified Windows version is available on the Microsoft store under the name "Pinball Star."

A decompilation for Space Cadet can be found here for various operating systems and video game systems.

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.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Typing "hiddentest" while the game is launching allows the player to control the ball with the mouse freely around the board, as well as increase their score exponentially among other advantages.
  • Damsel in Distress: The dragon has one, of course.
  • Developer's Foresight: Averted in Space Cadet. If the ball falls down the left outlane, it can skip the kickback entirely and drain.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The medal targets in "Space Cadet". They are very tricky to hit consistently, but if you learn how to do so, you can pile on lots of extra balls, which can lead to a very high scoring (but long) game.
  • 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.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: As mentioned above, the 3D Pinball version of Space Cadet allows you to get many extra balls. Averted in Full Tilt!, however, as no matter how many extra balls are received, an extra ball must be used up before earning another.
  • Level Grinding: In "Space Cadet", Advancing through the ranks requires repeating the same missions several times.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Space Cadet has quite a few of these, ranging from targets that are impossible to aim for, to hitting a bumper on the upper left playfield. There are even missions that involve outlanes or slingshots, both of which are particularly dangerous to go for.
  • 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. The one in "Dragon's Keep" has no wings and the legs splayed out like a large lizard.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The wormhole chutes in "Space Cadet". If your ball gets knocked into any of the three then it can come out of any of the other two.
  • 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 on Space Cadet are Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain, Lt. Commander, Commander, Commodore, Admiral, and Fleet Admiral.
  • Random Number God: Space Cadet. The Gravity Well magnet, when it traps the ball, in the center of the playfield can send it anywhere. Even directly toward and down an outlane.
  • 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 missions have a time limit. Subverted with Space Cadet, in the form of fuel and can be refilled at any time.
  • 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".
  • Updated Re Release: Space Cadet on Full Tilt!, complete with music, refined physics and rules, and multiball.
  • 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. Full Tilt! throws in a 4-ball multiball if you're only in single ball play.
    • "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