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Video Game / Pro Pinball: The Web

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"You can’t win!"

You are a Cyber Biker in the near future. High above the earth in her Space Station sits the evil ruler of The Web, the Dark Queen. You must battle through numerous missions and tasks to earn the chance to defeat her in the Ultimate Showdown.

On your way to the Showdown you will do battle in The Web itself (a fast paced 3D video mode), you'll have to find a way to destroy the Space Station in the Space Station Frenzy (a three ball mode), and master combo shots to take on Combo Mania (a special high scoring round).

Only when you have completed FIVE special tasks will the Ultimate Showdown (an incredible SIX ball frenzy) be ready for you — will you be ready for it?

The first game in the Pro Pinball series is Pro Pinball: The Web. It was originally released in 1996 for the IBM Personal Computer, then later ported to the Apple Macintosh, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn.

The nominal story of The Web casts the player as a motorcycle rider who has been sent out to challenge the "Dark Queen". This enigmatic woman is out to Take Over the World by infesting everything with her spiders. Now the player must stop her by racing bikes, stopping a shuttle, raiding skyscrapers, and doing various other odd tasks until they can reach the Ultimate Showdown and stop her once and for all...

Upon its release, The Web was lauded as one of the most realistic digital pinball games ever; subsequent Pro Pinball titles have eclipsed it with their more complex gameplay, but the game still holds up today and is fondly remembered by many fans.

Pro Pinball: The Web demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: During the ball save timer, the kickback will remain lit even when used.
    • One free Magnet shot is lit at the beginning of the game.
  • Blipvert: An interesting variation occurs at the end of a successful Ultimate Showdown where the display starts showing random animations from the game and playing random quotes before awarding the billion. The quotes and video clips quickly begin to overlap and get cut off by each other at a faster and faster pace.
  • Bug War: Presumably, this is the Dark Queen's plan.
  • Collision Damage: Done in the "Biker Challenge" mission, where you must repeatedly make key shots to bump your opponent off the road.
  • Combo: Performing at least 15 combos is needed to get Combo Mania. Furthermore, players who shoot a long sequence of combo shots are recognized as the "Combo Champion".
  • Easter Egg:
    • Starting Fast Frenzy during Combo Mania will start "Secret Mania" instead, awarding exponential points at all shots for each completion of the drop targets, and allowing you to make progress towards lighting Dock with the safety of Multiball.
    • After a Super Jackpot and the following normal Jackpot have been collected during Space Station Frenzy, shooting the left hole will award a Cow Jackpot with an animation of a cow being fired at the Space Station as a missile. Scoring wise, this is the same as a Triple Jackpot.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: The music that plays during "Sky Scraper Raid".
  • Excuse Plot: The official story is rather vague, and the actual tasks you perform don't really fit into any coherent narrative, so just roll with it.
  • Fission Mailed: The game pretends to shut down following the defeat of the Dark Queen at the end of Ultimate Showdown, leading into the Blipvert mentioned above.
  • Fixed Camera
  • French Jerk: The Dark Queen comes across like this at times, particularly with her indecipherable accent.
  • Going Critical: "Reactor Critical" requires stopping a runaway reactor.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: The Dark Queen is seen clutching the world with both hands on the backglass.
  • Pinball Scoring: Can eventually become this, provided long ball times. Since there's no Cap to Jackpots and spinner values, scores can reach the hundreds of billions and even in the trillions. So much so that the game can't handle trillions, and the first digit shown is a letter instead.
  • Shaped Like Itself: One of the Explosion random awards is "Explosion Ready".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The playfield and some of the rules like the ramp multiplier targets largely resemble Star Trek: The Next Generation, a result of the game originally being intended as a digital recreation of it. Additional elements include the Magna-Flip feature from Rollergames.
    • Like in Black Knight 2000, the extra ball off of continuous upper loop shots is only lit for a short time. Both games also reward Bonus Held after three loops in a row.
    • The sequence upon completing Ultimate Showdown is reminiscent of the ending of Final Battle from The Shadow.
  • Skill Shot: Shoot the Dock ramp after launch for the Skill Shot. Alternately, shoot the Loop and then the Dock Ramp for a Super Skill Shot.
  • Take Over the World: The Dark Queen's goal.
  • Timed Mission: All of the Missions.
  • Updated Re Release: This Visual Pinball version.
  • Video Mode: Available at Power Level 5; various obstacles approach the player, who must use the flipper buttons to shoot down hazards while allowing beneficial items and points to pass intact.
  • Wizard Mode: After completing all of the Missions and getting Combo Mania, Power Level 8, the maximum bonus multiplier, and the Ultra Jackpot, the game starts "Ultimate Showdown", a six-ball multiball mode with a 30-second ball saver. Hit the orbits enough times to corner the Dark Queen, then finish her at the center scoop for a one billion point bonus.
    • Finishing the mode also starts 6-ball Fast Frenzy as a postscript mode of sorts.