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Video Game / Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey

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From his Mysterious Island,
General Yagov is holding the world to ransom.
If his demands aren’t met he will launch a
rocket to destroy the Moon, wreaking havoc and disaster
on a scale never before seen.

nobody is able to penetrate the bizarre shield
which protects the Island.
Nobody that is, but Professor Steam!
By building four amazing steam powered contraptions,
and going on four fantastic adventures he can collect
four special crystals which will form a device
that will penetrate the shield!

Only you
can help the Professor
to build the contraptions, collect the crystals,
penetrate the shield, stop the General and
save the World!

Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey is the fourth pinball game in Cunning Developments' Pro Pinball series. It was released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple Macintosh computers, and the PlayStation, and was also available for the Sega Dreamcast as part of "Pro Pinball Trilogy".

The game takes place in Victorian Britain, where the evil General Yagov is threatening to destroy the Moon, and only the intrepid Professor Steam (and his player assistant) can stop him. Collect the parts to build four amazing Contraptions, then tunnel to the Earth's core, journey to the ocean depths, fly through the tallest mountains, and sail the Amazon. Fend off various creatures including a giant Octopus and a fire-breathing dinosaur, gather four special Crystals, then penetrate the shield protecting the General's Mysterious Island and foil his schemes!

Pinball buffs tend to have mixed feelings about Fantastic Journey. On the plus side, the game engine is the best in the series, with highly-detailed graphics and an even more refined physics engine. On the other hand, the playfield and rules are a little sparse compared to earlier Pro Pinball titles, and the high difficulty curve makes it a challenge for even the best players.

Not to be confused with the Parodius game, or the 1977 television series.

"Ah, nice to meet you!"

  • Anti-Frustration Features: Super Magnosave and Super Ball Rescue. When combined, you're essentially immune to outlane drains.
    • During any multiball mode (Steam/Fast Frenzy/Mystery), the Steam during an Adventure never decreases.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Fire-breathing dinosaurs, enough said.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Drill Adventure is a journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: A Yeti can be found in the mountains of the Airship Adventure.
  • Big "NO!": Invoked by the General when you beat the Space Adventure.
  • Cap: Several.
    • The Steam Frenzy Jackpot caps at 100 million points.
    • The Fast Frenzy Jackpot caps at 50 million.
    • Bonus X caps at 10x. Further completion of the Bonus X rollovers awards 2 million, and the first time this is achieved lights an Extra Ball.
    • Ultra modes cap at 100 million points each.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Failing to complete the Island Adventure sends you back to collecting the four crystals all over again. Fortunately, you don't have to rebuild the contraptions.
    • Failing the Space Adventure resets your progress back to rebuilding the contraptions.
  • Combo: Only one official sequence, started by hitting the two targets along the Right Ramp. Shoot the Right Ramp to loop all the way around (the other way just lights Double Sequence at the Orbit), then Left Ramp, then Right Orbit, then Left Orbit, and finally, the MagnoGrab.
    • Another variant exists in the style of the Double Feature from Creature from the Black Lagoon, where a right ramp shot that returns to the left flipper sets up the right orbit to feed the bumpers and score double the value. Optionally, one can also loop the right ramp for an increasing value before collecting.
  • Cool Airship: You must build one to go on the Airship Adventure.
  • Deflector Shield: Yagov's Island has one surrounding it. Only the four crystal fragments are powerful enough to destroy it.
  • Detonation Moon: This is General Yagov's threat.
  • Difficulty Levels: Each of the five difficulty levels — ranging from Extra Easy to Extra Hard — presents its own rule changes and complexities.
  • Disney Villain Death: At the end of the Space Adventure, Professor Steam fires the weapon from his own rocket towards Yagov, causing his rocket to go off course and miss the Moon, hurtling towards the Sun.
    Professor Steam: "Farewell, General!"
  • Drill Tank: This is one of the Professor's four Contraptions.
  • Easter Egg: A hidden message is hidden somewhere in the Operator Menu.
    General Yagov: "This game is dedicated to Mr. H. We miss you."
  • Evil Laugh: General Yagov does this often throughout the game.
  • Giant Octopus: There's one at the bottom of the Deepest Ocean on the Submarine Adventure.
  • Island Base/Island of Mystery: General Yagov's headquarters is a base on the Mysterious Island.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: General Yagov after completing the Island Adventure. He continues his plan to destroy the moon at the last second.
  • Missing Secret: The Ultra Jackpot has been featured in every previous Pro Pinball game, yet there are no resources available describing how to get an Ultra Jackpot. An entry exists in the Book Keeping section in the Operator Menu, though, so whether it's an actual Ultra Jackpot remains to be seen.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Invoked by the Professor when you lose to General Yagov.
  • Nintendo Hard: Drop Challenge. The mode requires that the G-A-T-H-E-R drop targets are dropped in sequence; hitting any other letter resets the sequence. What makes this difficult is there's only one minute to finish the mode, and any screw-up, especially late, makes this impossible to finish.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Raising the steam pressure high enough to Blow the Boiler rewards the player with more points.
  • Plot Coupon: The four crystals.
  • Prepare to Die / Tonight, Someone Dies: The General says this during the Attract Mode after his Evil Laugh...sometimes.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: A Giant Anaconda awaits in the Amazon Boat Adventure.
  • Science Hero: Professor Steam.
  • Shout-Out: The game is one big love letter to Jules Verne and his adventure stories.
    • Somehow this game feels a lot like Williams' Junk Yard, when the player is tasked with collecting contraption parts and going on different adventures.
    • This isn't the first pinball game to have a General Yagov as the primary antagonist. Even his mannerisms are the same, minus the hamminess of the original.
    • Collecting 4 crystal fragments to prevent a certain danger. Sound familiar?
    • Ultra Modes are directly referenced from World Cup Soccer.
  • Skill Shot: Shoot the random flashing drop target after launching the ball for bonus points and to immediately spell GATHER. This also lights Magno Save, Ball Rescue, an Ultra Mode, and spots an arrow for a Contraption Component, where applicable.
  • Spelling Bonus: L-U-C-K enables a random award and the MagnoGrab, while G-A-T-H-E-R enables the ball rescue and Mango-Save, starts an Ultra Round, and either spots a Contraption Component or advances the current Adventure (as long as steam is still available).
    • Drop Challenge: Spell G-A-T-H-E-R in that order to light an Extra Ball.
  • Steampunk: In addition to Professor Steam's various contraptions, the playfield features are also rendered in a Steampunk fashion, with heavy use of brass.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Seen by completing "Blow the Boiler," progressing through the various adventures, and finishing Island Adventure.
  • This Cannot Be!: Invoked by General Yagov when you beat the Island Adventure.
  • Timed Mission: The five timed Steam Modes play this straight.
    • Subverted with the adventures; the boiler pressure, which is maintained by hitting the spinner, represents the timer for these modes. While the boiler pressure can be increased both before and during the modes, if the pressure is completely depleted, the spinner has to be shot to continue the adventure.
  • Video Mode: Shoot the meteors and collect the small crystals. An extra ball may pop up midway through, and a Ball Save is awarded should one succeed all the way to the end.
  • Wizard Mode: Two of them, one of which isn’t quite what it seems.
    • One is Mystery, earned by completing all of the surrounding Steam Modes at the scoop. This activates Fast Frenzy as well as the five timed Steam Modes, all of which last like they would in normal play.
      It's a just guess!
    • Island Adventure is started by collecting all four crystal fragments. This is a progressive add-a-ball Multiball that lasts 2 minutes, with up to 4 balls in play at once that can be added by shooting flashing shots. The goal of the mode is to activate all of the contraptions you built previously to defeat the barrier surrounding Yagov’s base. However, Yagov escapes to outer space in his rocket at the last second.
      • Space Adventure is qualified after successfully finishing Island Adventure. Thankfully you have as much time as you need to build the final contraption: the rocket. This is a single ball, 2 minute timed mode where you have to make a difficult shot to a magnet under the model rocket to launch into space, then go for the spinner to chase down Yagov and make his rocket go off course.
      • Victory Frenzy starts after a successful Space Adventure as a postscript mode. This is a 6-ball Fast Frenzy, with Super Jackpots replacing the regular Jackpots.

Shoot Spinner to Continue Adventure