Last night, I finally beat my Twilight Zone, and got into "Lost in the Zone" multiball. I made good progress the first couple of weeks, but recently I'd been hampered by the current location of the machine (due to remodelling), which leaves it slightly off-level and with a light reflection right above the flippers. But, I'm lazy, so I didn't try to fix it.

To get to "Lost in the Zone", you have to collect a whole bunch of door panels. You are rewarded with a 6-ball timed multiball in which all the high-score jackpots are enabled. The hard part is actually making any shots (you really can't aim) without hitting the other balls on the table. So, you get about a minute of this frenzy (which is plenty), then the machine goes dead, all the balls get reset, and you start trying to do it again. My score ended up being about 1.4B points.

Next up are some mods for the machine. There are enough enthusiasts that there are lots of options. Here's what I'm thinking of:

  • Plastic gumballs to improve the look of the gumball machine
  • A backboard decal (strange that there isn't one on the machine)
  • Door flasher lights (cut to keep costs down from the original design)
  • Speakers. The stock speakers aren't very good, but this mod is fairly pricey, so I'm not sure if I'll do it. I may just homebrew it with some car speakers.
  • Bridge diverter magnets. One of the ramps has a diverter, and balls bounce off of it pretty badly. This prevents it.
  • Battery clip replacement. Pins have AA batteries on the CPU board to keep their settings when they're turned off. If the batteries leak, however, **bad** things happen to the board. The puts the batteries in a remote location.
  • Trough ball proximity sensor. One of the key features of the Twilight Zone is the "powerball", a ceramic ball that is lighter than a pinball and therefore faster. One game mode depends on the powerball, and for it to work, the game has to sense that it has the powerball. One sensor works well, but the trough one (where the balls are stored at the bottom) is known for getting bumped and going out. Mine worked fine when I got the machine, but has already gone out of adjustment. I'll try to fix it, but this replacement is a permanent fix.

I've considered getting a "topper", which is something that goes on the top of the machine and is hooked into the lights, but that seems hard to justify right now.