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Thread: Tips and tricks

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    Senior Member Slam23's Avatar
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    Tips and tricks

    Somewhat late to the party because of the delayed iOS release, but quickly got a game of 5B on it. This is one of those "going infinite" tables that the Martians will try to get above 1T in no time. So here goes, with props to the people that already posted strategy in the "first impressions thread"

    Freeway rewards: get that EB
    Shooting an orbit briefly lights the same orbit for a Freeway. This yields 1-5M and the 5M reward also lights an extra ball at the tunnel. Every lost ball can essentially be replaced with this repeatable reward, it resets after losing a ball. The trick to shooting the same orbit twice in time is to deadpass the orbit shot towards the other flipper and then backhand the orbit from there. This works best with the right flipper to left orbit in my experience, deadpassing is very safe and backhanding from the left flipper is easier. Alternatively you can try to live catch the orbit shot for an easy repeat. You can collect the EB at once, preferrably from a backhand from the right flipper, or more safely from one of the two multiballs. You have to get the EB lit before starting Red Light Mania, because this lights the Freeways instantly for 5M without lighting EB. Additionally, those orbit shots yield RPMs, which you need to build up the Gears. Although I usually don't make inlanes for double RPMs, I have the impression that Freeways also yield double RPMs. Mastering the Freeway and therefore the orbits is key to long games.

    Super Jackpots from Red Light Mania
    The best scoring comes from Super Jackpots, the second stage in normal Multiball play (locking balls) or Red Light Mania. This last MB is the fifth Gear reward. At the start this mode also lights an EB at the tunnel. Score a regular Jackpot by shooting the ramp from the left orbit or from the upper right flipper, then build up loops in the Super Charger to light Super Jackpot. This requires at least 10 loops (one ball in the Charger will yield exactly that), and maxes out at 50. For speed it's best played with 3 balls (especially when you get them all in the Super Charger at once) but most safely with 2. The tunnel is a great place to park a ball because it stays there for a while. From there you can actually shoot the Super Jackpot or let it fall to the right flipper for a controlled cradle and depending on the situation a shot up the Charger ramp for loops. Don't forget that a left orbit will score jackpots too! My preferred setup after a couple more games is two balls, one cradled at the right, one at the left to backhand up the super charger. After 10 loops, control the returning ball on the left flipper with a nudge and repeat. Watch out for balls that despite the nudge still trickle over the tip of the left flipper, especially if the ball is fed slowly from the inlane onto the flipper. I then shoot for the Super Jackpot from the right flipper to left orbit. Now comes the hard part: controlling the ball that is fed back to the right flipper from the lock area. I do this by quickly shooting the ball on the left flipper up the ramp again for loops. This give you enough time to control the other ball and frees up the left flipper for a deadpass back to the right if needed. When the locked ball is released to the right flipper, wait till you can backhand it up towards the upper right flipper and let it come down for a cradle, or deadbounce from the left to the right flipper, depending on the situation and angle. Rinse and repeat from there. When in a fix, remember to use the tunnel to "park" balls, those return to the right flipper for an easy cradle of deadpass to the left. My best string of Super Jackpots is now around 6. The Super Jackpot will start at 100M and go up 25M for each Super Jackpot scores. If you pass 1B, the decimal part is displayed in hexadecimal value, starting with A.00.000.000. That will give you 1B and the game handles this correctly. When you get to F.75.000.000 you can still safely go further.

    Miscellaneous
    - Video mode can yield upwards to 18-20M if played at Gear 4 or 5. Not much in the middle to late game stages but still fair points with a slight chance for an EB. I can reliably finish on Gear 4, and 1 in 3 probably in Gear 5. Straddling the line between lanes is key. You just have to move the car a couple notches to be save from collisions. Somebody gave the advice to pro-actively change back to the same lane where you just passed a car, but I found that risky. I just stay in place when I can, and move my car only when needed. After the first 1 or 2 video modes, I didn't encounter any EB anymore, maybe if you collect an EB elsewhere, it stops giving one out via video mode. From what I have seen, EB in video mode has the tendency to show up in the rightmost lane, but I'm not really sure about that.
    - Risk/reward tradeoff with the Super Charger reward from the 4th Gear. It can net up to 70-80 million when you have the upper right flipper loops down to a science, but draining is a risk when you get too greedy. With all the EBs to be had, I still try to play this, and it breaks the grind a bit. Repeatedly shooting the Super Charger adds 5M to each completed shot, and this can net you even more points, I maxed out on 180M a couple of times (5+10+15+20+25+30+35+40) if you use the same tactic as collecting loops towards Super Jackpot (backhand the Charger from the left flipper, on return slight nudge to cradle and backhand again). You have to onetime your shots after the nudge and not cradle them for control though. There is a short grace period in which you can shoot the 40M, just when the clock timed out. I'm curious if anybody has gone above 180M.
    - Regular MB is risky if you build it up by shooting directely for those stoplight targets. It uses the same Super Jackpot as Red Light Mania, so if you inadvertently come into regular MB, it is worth the trouble. I actually think the game can get confused about which MB you're playing at a particular moment. I have had situations in which I was clearly building up a Red Light Mania, and then have the game seemingly switch to regular MB. It seems to think that the loops you are building up, are the loops necessary to light normal Jackpot in regular MB. It all leads to the same Super Jackpot anyway but it can be confusing because in regular MB you still have to build 20 loops before you can shoot for a regular Jackpot. In Red Light Mania, you can instantly shoot for the regular Jackpot. I haven't determined how both MB's get mixed up like that, my guess is that the machine registers a particular shot as the second lock after which it switches to regular MB.
    - Completing the stoplights during multiballs will light an EB at the tunnel (as the rules state), not something to actually aim for, but when near completion a thing to remember and spend a superfluous ball on maybe.
    - The tunnel can be easily backhanded from the right flipper, it's actually a safer shot I think than from the left, and is my preferred way to collect EB.

    That's it I think, great table with super flow, nice gimmick with the Gear handle (I think intended to distract you enough to drain), just too easy to stack those EBs, leading to long grinds.

    Update 30/8: changed some things above with regard to how to play for Super Jackpot and the mixing up of both MB's. I have a game near 15B on pause on ball two with 3 EB's stacked. I started that game yesterday.... (not continuous play offcourse, but a good 2-3 hours worth of playing possibly. It has been somewhat slow going with those Super Jackpots that are now up to 575M a pop.... )

    Update 11/9: well I did it! First place on the leaderboards with 87B. I still was on ball one with 4 EB's stacked, so I can honestly say that I could have gone "infinite" on this one. Only taint on my score is that I know the PC version is a bit buggy at this time, so Tarek would have been first probably. But hey, I'm gonna enjoy this one while it lasts! I was afraid to push it beyond 100B because the ROM probably won't handle those kind of scores. I didn't know for sure if I was on 87B or 97B (the game doesn't show the decimal place for scores above 10B, and even only shows the B part when you lose a ball and during 4th Gear Super Charger Mode) and I didn't take the chance of rolling over. My Super Jackpots were up to hexadecimal values and I can report those go beyond the "F.00.000.000" without problems (updated the tips/strategies to reflect this), they seem to continue on in hexadecimal fashion in the B part, and I ended up with 11.350.000.000 which will correspond roughly to 2.000.000.000 in decimal value if I'm correct. The game actually tried to cram all those zeroes on screen when displaying a scored Super Jackpot but you only see part of your score. Helicopter score was up to 95M and I got countless extra balls. Completed video mode on gear 5 probably a dozen times. Anyway, I'm glad it's over....
    Last edited by Slam23; 09-11-2015 at 02:15 AM. Reason: Worked in tips from posters below, thanks guys. Updated 30/8 for some new insights.
    iOS HOF 67.272 as of May 2018

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    Senior Member invitro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam23 View Post
    Tarek has had it up to 775M already, will be interesting to see if the ROM handles a 1B.
    He posted some shots of SJs >1B, which were in semi-hex: "A50,000,000" et al. I think he said the ROM handled them correctly.

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    Senior Member Fungi's Avatar
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    I never bother with the Stoplight targets. They take care of themselves. The issue I'm currently having is getting the EB in video mode. I always miss it.

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    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    The timing on the orbits gives you enough time to catch the ball, especially repeating the left orbit. Live catches are very easy to pull off.

    Since orbits advance both Freeway and RPMs, continually repeating left orbits, breaking only to start Red Line Mania, is ultimately the only way to play this table.

    Just remember to get the Freeway EB lit before starting Red Line Mania.
    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

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    Member sneakynotsneaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam23 View Post

    Freeway rewards: get that EB
    Shooting an orbit briefly lights the same orbit for a Freeway. This yields 1-5M and the 5M reward also lights an extra ball at the tunnel. Every lost ball can essentially be replaced with this repeatable reward, it resets after losing a ball. The trick to shooting the same orbit twice in time is to deadpass the orbit shot towards the other flipper and then backhand the orbit from there. This works best with the right flipper to left orbit in my experience, deadpassing is very safe and backhanding from the left flipper is easier. You can collect the EB at once or more safely from one of the two multiballs. Additionally, those orbit shots yield RPMs, which you need to build up the Gears. Although I usually don't make inlanes for double RPMs, I have the impression that Freeways also yield double RPMs. Mastering the Freeway and therefore the orbits is key to long games.
    I'm with Eldar, I do the freeways with left orbit to a live catch on the right flipper, rinse repeat. If the live catch goes awry nine times out of ten the ball still ends up under control on the right flipper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slam23 View Post
    - Video mode can yield upwards to 18-20M if played at Gear 4 or 5. Not much in the middle to late game stages but still fair points with a slight chance for an EB. I can reliably finish on Gear 4, have yet to complete it on Gear 5
    Key to video mode in 5th gear is to be proactive instead of trying to react: as soon as you pass a car, get into the lane the car was in. There's not often 2 cars in the same lane in a row.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slam23 View Post
    - Risk/reward tradeoff with the Super Charger reward from the 4th Gear. It can net up to 70-80 million when you have the upper right flipper loops down to a science, but draining is a risk when you get too greedy. With all the EBs to be had, I still try to play this, and it breaks the grind a bit. Still figuring out thr Super Charger behaviour during this mode. In my last game it seemed to double the 5M with a second shot
    The Super Charger here goes up 5m each time you hit it during the mode, no limit. I've had ~140m total from the 4th gear mode this way. Backhand the Super Charger from the left flipper then keep the flipper up and give a good nudge right just as the ball is being returned (I do it just as it it reaches the raised flipper). You can get it 7 or 8 times that way.

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    Senior Member Slam23's Avatar
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    Added advice from posters above, thanks guys!
    iOS HOF 67.272 as of May 2018

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    the trick to video mode is to straddle the line between two lanes. you can then very easily dodge cars at gear 5.

    Collecting redline mania super jackpots doesn't magically make the next one higher.

    All redline mania super jackpots that would be under 100 are bumped up. you still have to collect 3 super jackpots in one game to get the next at 125. redline mania does pre-light the normal jackpot for you though, and that's what really matters.

    the supercharger is 5 million plus during super charger mode (5,10,15,20,etc). the other shots stay at 5 million. (in real life if the supercharger is randomly firing magnets when you flip, you can get 3 billion points in a few seconds... i did that once).
    Last edited by Zaphod77; 08-27-2015 at 11:56 PM.

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    Thank you Slam23 for the tips. Before reading your post I just wasn't backhanding that left shot. I don't know why I had not been because I'm no stranger to backhanding. I just hadn't been doing it. Anyway, my game improved. I hate doing it, but I just let four balls drain because I needed to post this comment to you and then watch a bit of TV before turning in. But I got to 13th with 7.xB and maybe I'll return to the game again. My problem is paying red line mania over and over and getting few super jackpots. My reflexes just are not as young any more. Finally I did get several supers on the same ball. But it took like three hours grinding it out because of blowing those multiballs! Thanks again for taking the time to post the tips.

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    Senior Member Slam23's Avatar
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    You are welcome! When I started playing TPA I benefitted a lot from these kind of threads myself, so I'm happy to contribute some myself!
    iOS HOF 67.272 as of May 2018

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    the multiball bug is really annoying.

    every three balls that enter the lock, regardless of reason, starts multiball. which will take you out of redline mania.

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    Senior Member phreaker47's Avatar
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    Redline Manias are the way to go. I do left orbits over and over. Was up to nearly 19B with 4 EBs and the PS4 version glitched on me and ended the game. But yes that's a pretty repeatable pattern that racks up EBs along the way. That's how this table is done. There is no bigger payoff potential than RLM. By the time my game ended I had the super jackpot value up to 550M.

    Speaking of Super Jackpots, I've noticed when going for your 50 loops to get it lit, if you can manage to get a second ball up there just before it releases one that's already in there, you might get a few extra loops out of it.

    Also on Video Mode, you can throw it straight into 5th gear immediately before it even starts (while the camera is still moving up to the backglass). Might as well go for it, it maxes the point potential.
    Last edited by phreaker47; 03-06-2016 at 07:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod77 View Post
    the multiball bug is really annoying.

    every three balls that enter the lock, regardless of reason, starts multiball. which will take you out of redline mania.
    Unfortunately this is not a bug, but I also don't think it ends Redline Mania completely, it seems to combine them. Here are the instructions regarding the feature for both multiball and Redline Mania.

    Multiball
    The game re-activates Multi-Ball each time a third ball enters the Ball Lock, so Multi-Ball is re-activated after a second Super Jackpot is scored. Multi-Ball re-activates sooner if Jackpots or Super Jackpots were scored previously during Multi-Ball or Redline Mania played on the same ball. You can then restart the process of lighting and scoring Jackpots and Super Jackpots.

    Redline Mania
    One thing to note about the progression of Redline Mania is that it changes if at least one ball has been locked on the current ball. Under that condition, the game re-activates Multi-Ball every third time a ball enters the Ball Lock. That means scoring a Jackpot or Super Jackpot during Redline Mania may re-activate regular Multi-Ball. If Multi-Ball is re-activated during Redline Mania, it re-launches a third ball if one had drained. The Freeway Value remains advanced to 5,000,000 points and each hit on the Stoplight Targets continues to score 500,000 points.

    However, I do find it annoying to have to light and score a Jackpot every third ball, but that only seems to happen if you've locked a ball already. If you start multiball via a Burn Rubber award, you only need to collect the Jackpot once and then you can collect Super Jackpots over and over, with no Multi-Ball re-activation! I found that multiball was almost always the Burn Rubber award if you collect it after you launch the ball, before shifting any gears or locking any balls. Here is a video demonstrating this technique:


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    This is absolutely a bug in the software. it was done to fix a different bug in the previous revision.

    This is not a bug in TPA, it's a bug in te ROM.

    The previous version has a problem where it lost track of the balls and got into a state where the ramp would never come down for the rest of the game.

    The bug is still very annoying, because you get robbed of a super jackpot at least.

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