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Breakshot was released in May 1996 by the ex-pinball company Capcom Coin-Op, Inc. Significantly lower-priced than its contemporaries, it has the look and feel of a 70's style pinball machine -- but the gameplay is quite modern. Your score is displayed on the DMD, but the game often shows it as if they were old EM scoring reels, even simlating the lag delay. (By the way, although there are only seven digits in the reel, scores higher than 10M are shown as numbers "over the top.")
The theme of the game is that of a pool hall. You complete pool games over and over until you get tired. The four main games are:
The rules for these games are similar to the actual games in pool; winning the games are achieved by "sinking balls." (No, draining the pinball is still bad.) Cutthroat Countdown is quite lucrative and can be considered the "wizard mode" of the machine -- if you can get to it, you've had a pretty good game.
We'll start at the bottom and going in an approximately clockwise fashion, saving the middle "island" of stuff for last:
There are three games, all of whose purpose is to be sinking balls. "Sinking" each ball in each game awards 30K or 31K, with the exception of Cutthroat Countdown. When each game starts, all the drop targets are thrown back up. The current game will be indicated by a flashing light on the playfield:
Completed games will have a steady light. On default settings, completing all three games leads to Cutthroat Countdown, but this number can be changed. Another Cutthroat Countdown will begin after the completion of each subsequent game, which is picked in a fixed order (Nine Ball, Eight Ball, Nine Ball, Rotation).
The balls you have sunk will be displayed by the lights on the playfield right above the flippers, as well as on the DMD when you have just sunk a ball.
The rules for the games in detail:
Like the real game of Eight Ball, in Eight Ball you have to sink eight different balls -- the seven "solids" (1 to 7) or the seven "stripes" (9 to 15) in any order, followed by the black 8-ball. In real pool, the first ball sunk by any player determines whether that player is trying to sink the solids or the stripes; in Breakshot, the game chooses which set you are going for using some esoteric random decision awfully similar to the way Bally/Williams decides if their next machine is going to be a Bally or a Williams. Don't worry; the seven targets are the same. You have to hit one of each of the seven "colors":
After "sinking" all seven of these balls (in any order), shoot the 8-ball hole (on the right side of the playfield) to finish the game. Fortunately, sinking the 8-ball before you sink the other seven balls does not automatically make you lose the game, as it does in actual Eight Ball. One interesting feature is kept -- when the 8-ball is lit, Call Your Shot is also lit. Presumably the original idea was to have the game be like regular eight ball, where the player not only has to sink the 8-ball but call the pocket it sinks in -- fortunately, you don't have to do that. Rather, hitting the 8-ball saucer sinks the 8-ball, finishing Eight Ball, and then Call Your Shot allows you to finish the next game (usually Nine Ball) almost immediately.
Finishing Eight Ball scores 100K points.
In the actual game of Nine Ball, the purpose of the game is to sink the balls from 1 through 9 in order. Fortunately, in the Breakshot variation, you need only to hit certain targets to sink the "next" ball. They are:
It is usually necessary to shoot the drop targets to get to the stand-up targets. Each one of these will score the next ball in Nine Ball. Hit them nine times to finish the game.
Getting the ball past the Center Pocket entrance opto during Nine Ball scores the Nine Ball Bonus, which is determined by the triangular light lit right underneath the Center Pockets, which is one of
The Nine Ball Bonus can only be collected once each game of Nine Ball. The Bonus alternates every seven seconds between "Points" and "Extra Ball"; however, if no target is hit for seven seconds, it "freezes" on "Points" (this is so that a player can't hold a ball and wait for the Extra Ball). During (and only during) the second game of Nine Ball, The "Special" also appears in the sequence. The operator can change the round the Special appears, or not at all. The Special can only be collected once each game.
The operator can adjust the settings so that the player cannot collect the same Nine Ball Bonus in two consecutive Nine Ball games.
If Nine Ball is finished by choosing the Center Pockets during Call Your Shot (and succeeding) immediately after Eight Ball, the Nine Ball Bonus is always "Points."
Nine Ball scores 200K points when finished.
In this game, you must sink all the balls in order from 1 through 15. Otherwise, the targets are basically the same as Eight Ball.
Finishing Rotation scores 500K.
Certain shots will automatically sink the lowest-numbered ball that you can sink. They are:
These shots are often easier than the actual targets you need to hit.
In addition, increasing the bonus multiplier by the rollovers sink the lowest-numbered yellow, blue, or red ball. (That is, the balls that can be scored by the rollovers.)
The player gets two tilt warnings by default. If the machine is tilted too many times, the DMD shows an interesting animation of a female falling off a pool table. The operator may decide to disable the tilt when the ball is hitting the pop bumpers, in case your machine has those really energetic pop bumpers ...
At the start of each ball, a Ball Saver is lit for 8 seconds. In addition, a Ball Saver is also lit (for 8 seconds) when a ball is ejected from the 8-ball Saucer. The operator may turn either or both of these off.
The main feature of this pin, the Center Pockets will often give the player progress in the individual games, as well as allow the player to play multiball, known in this pin as Ball-O-Rama (a 2-ball multiball, see below) or Breakshot Frenzy (a 3-ball multiball, see below). Like most games with multiball, the player is required to light locks, lock balls, and start multiball. The logistics of this area are a bit confusing, so listen up:
First, there are these yellow pointer lights that point to the saucers. These lights correspond to the side saucers and are either unlit (lock is unlit and can be lit), flashing (lock is lit), or steady (a ball is locked).
To light a lock, the ball must land in a saucer (either the center saucer or an unlit side saucer) and not bounce out immediately. To lock a ball, the ball must first be resting against a raised center post and then land in a pocket that is lit for a lock.
There are three progressively difficult stages that govern how the locks are lit. In the first stage, the locks start out lit and do not have to be lit. In the second stage, the locks start out unlit, but any successful saucer hit will light both locks. In the third stage, a saucer hit will only light one lock, and another (non-locking) saucer hit is required to light the other lock. Once a player has played multiball, locks become "harder" by moving to the next stage. Whenever you light a lock, the game will tell you to "do it again"; that is, hit the post again to actually lock the ball.
Easy setting lets the player start the game in the first stage; hard setting starts the player in later stages.
If the post is down, any ball that enters the Center Pockets area will trigger the optical sensors at the mouth of the area, raise the post, and another ball will be ejected to the plunger trough -- unless there are already two balls locked in the Center Pockets area, in which case there is no ball to eject to the plunger trough and the post will not go up immediately. (It will go up eventually if the ball lands in the center unoccupied saucer and stays there, since this is what starts Breakshot Frenzy.)
If the post is up, there will be one or two balls lying next to it. A good hit on the post will propel those balls into pockets, which may or may not be occupied or lit for locks. The post will then lower if and only if all balls in the area were resting on the post and all of them were just locked; otherwise, the machine will eject all the balls that are being held in pockets to lie against the post.
The post is down and the area is empty at the start of each game. In a one-player game, the state of the Center Pockets does not change from ball to ball; in a multi-player game, the game will raise the post and eject balls prior to each player's turn that the player has not locked yet. For example, if player 1 has two balls locked and player 2 had one ball locked before, when player 1 drains the game will only eject one ball.
If a ball lands in a saucer that is lit for a lock and the post was up, then the ball will be locked. In any other case where a ball lands in a saucer, the ball will be ejected and ready to lie against a raised post.
A successful saucer hit will generally "sink" a ball regardless of whether that saucer is the center saucer, an unlit side saucer, or a flashing a side saucer. (A steady-lit side saucer has a ball in it, so it is presumably quite difficult to get another ball in that saucer.) This will award the standard 30K or 31K for "sinking" a ball, along with any other bonuses detailed in the next paragraph:
A "Good Shot" is when the ball is shot into any saucer when the post is down (and less than two balls are locked). It does not award any extra points aside from the standard 30K or 31K. A "Trick Shot" is when one ball is shot into a side saucer when the post is up. It gives 100K extra points. A "Nice Combo," aka "Breakshot," is when two balls are shot into both side saucers when the post is up. It awards 250K extra points.
Ball-O-Rama is lit at the 8-Ball Saucer when and only when one ball is locked; Breakshot Frenzy is lit at the center Center Pocket when and only when two balls are locked.
The preceding paragraphs, while factually accurate, have no doubt quite confused any reader as to what is going on. So, here is a sample step-by-step scenario that might happen during the second stage:
When balls get ejected from the saucer to the post, the game does so one ball at a time and gives the ball time to settle. This, combined with the one-way flaps that lead to the side saucers, tend to ensure that if two balls are lying against the post, they will be on different sides. (The game cannot compensate for both balls being on the same side, and subsequent goals will be rather difficult.) The main drawback, however, is that this takes some time, and an impatient player may already have the next ball in play and find himself or herself unable to make a shot in the center.
Occasionally a ball will be ejected from the saucer and bounce into another saucer. The game counts this as the other saucer being scored, and player will get another ball sunk with a 30K or 31K bonus, but no Trick Shot bonus. If this happens too many times in a row, the game may decide that something is malfunctioning and refuse to eject any more balls. The long-term effect of this is unknown.
The requirements for the locks in the Center Pockets to be lit depend on how many times Breakshot Frenzy has occurred. The operator can set the pockets on Easy, Normal, or Hard, which affect the stages in the following way:
The Kicker will light if any set of drop targets has been dropped in order (i.e., top-middle-down or down-middle-top). Kickers do do not stack, but they can be set to stack by the operator. Partial progress on the targets can be made while the Kicker is lit. The two sets of drop targets do not affect each other; the player can drop some on one set, then some on the other, then finish the first set (in order).
The Kicker is lit at the start of the first ball. The operator can turn this off or give the player a Kicker at the start of every ball.
The operator can also decide whether or not the Kicker stays between balls; the factory default is yes.
Hitting the "Purple" and "Orange" targets while the respective purple lights are flashing will light the appropriate Super Cue. The target on the left lights the Super Cue on the right, and vice versa. A ball must go all past both rollover gates to count as a Super Cue -- a weak ball that goes to the rollovers does not score the Super Cue.
The Super Cues cannot be stacked, since the purple lights go out if the corresponding Super Cue is lit.
After each successful Super Cue collection, however, that Super Cue light will begin flashing, and the player can score multiple consecutive Super Cue shots on that Super Cue. Hitting any other switch will turn it off. The Super Cues stay lit between balls, so often a Right Super Cue will be scored by merely the plunger. Each Super Cue scored sinks a ball and awards 60K times the number of consecutive Super Cue shots just made (so, one is 60K, two is 120K, etc.).
If both Super Cue shots are lit, shooting either one sinks two balls (if balls can be sunk by Super Cues) but only scores as one Super Cue.
During Nine Ball, both Super Cue shots are lit all the time but only sink one ball each.
If both Super Cue shots are lit, shooting one immediately after the other lights the Captive Ball for an Extra Ball.
During Cutthroat Countdown, neither Super Cue can be lit, although if one was lit when Cutthroat Countdown started, it will still be lit.
Light the Bank Shot by shooting an unlit Bank Shot (worth 10 points). The operator can set the machine so that any other target hit lights the Bank Shot, or any other target except the "Brown" drop targets. The last one is the default.
Hitting the Bank Shot when lit results in 100K points. It also makes the Bank Shot flash for another consecutive Bank Shot, worth twice as much. A third consecutive Bank Shot is worth three times as much, etc.
Shooting the Left Super Cue prior to the Bank Shot lights a Bank Shot Bonus worth 50K, to be added to the actual Bank Shot points. Each Left Super Cue shot after that for that ball doubles the Bank Shot Bonus; Bank Shot Bonuses of 3.2M have been reported.
Hitting any other target after the Bank Shot is flashing turns off the Bank Shot, except for the Brown targets (but the operator can decide to let the Brown targets turn off the Bank Shot as well).
When a ball is initially plunged (and not, say, given due to a Center Pocket shot) and is too weak to reach the rollovers, the Bank Shot is lit for a Skill Shot worth 100K and a sunk ball.
Call Your Shot is lit by the left inlane (but only for a second or so) and collected at the 8-ball saucer. Call Your Shot also stays lit whenever the 8-ball is lit. When it is scored, the DMD cycles through three choices:
After one is selected by hitting a flipper button, the game ejects the ball from the 8-ball saucer. If the selected choice is hit within the next second or two without hitting any other target, the current game is automatically finished, with all rights and privileges awarded therein. Unless the player is in Cutthroat Countdown, in which case Call Your Shot awards a mere one million points (this can only happen if the previous game was Eight Ball).
Collect Bonus is lit at the 8-ball saucer once at the beginning of each ball. It means what it says -- you score your bonus. Each ball sunk gives 10K in bonus, then each ball that was sunk at the start of the ball gives another 10K in bonus. The total is then multiplied by the bonus multiplier (scored by the rollover lights). The Bonus Multiplier has been seen as high as 13x. Another way to collect bonus is to hit the drain, but you don't want to do that.
When there is one captive ball in the Center Pocket Area, the 8-ball saucer is lit for "Ball-O-Rama." Both balls will eject, the Moose will say "Ball-O-Rama," and the game will go into a 2-ball multiball where everything scores two times the normal score. The 8-ball saucer is lit for a jackpot-like thing (the game doesn't call it anything, but the moose does call it "Bodacious!"), which starts at 100K and climbs 10K every second (although it will stop if no targets are being hit, to avoid flipper catching). The jackpot does not reset after being collected.
When the third ball is captured in a Center Pocket Saucer, Breakshot Frenzy begins. Breakshot Frenzy is a 3-ball multiball where all scores are tripled, and the center Center Pocket is lit for an "easy" jackpot, worth starting at 200K and increasing with time similar to Ball-O-Rama, but erratically at a rate of 5K, sometimes every second, sometimes every two seconds. The jackpot stays lit (but drops back to 200K after being collected) until a set number of "easy" jackpots have been collected (default is 2). Once the player has run out of "easy" jackpots, the jackpot can be relit again by shooting any Center Pocket.
Once a jackpot is collected, the game raises the Center Pocket post to make sure that no other balls get in. However, if the player manages to get another ball in there, it will trigger the opto next to the post and a "Double Jackpot" will be scored. A "Triple Jackpot" is not possible; there's only one opto at the entrance. The DMD doesn't make a very big deal about the double jackpot; perhaps it thinks that this is "dirty pool, old man" and doesn't like it. :-)
When a certain number of games are finished, Cutthroat Countdown begins. There are four types of Cutthroat Countdown, which only differ in terms of the balls you need to sink during Cutthroat Countdown:
The first, third, and every other Cutthroat Countdown is always Nine Ball Cutthroat Countdown; the fourth, eighth, and every fourth Cutthroat Countdown is always Rotation Cutthroat Countdown; the rest (second, sixth, etc.) are Eight Ball Cutthroat Countdown. The Cutthroat Countdown game determines what the player's next game, after Cutthroat Countdown, is.
The "Sink Next Ball" shots, such as the Super Cues, no longer sink balls.
The player is given 60 seconds while the game calls each ball, in order, for no more than ten seconds. Hitting that ball's target sinks that ball, scores one million (or more; see below) points, adds 10 seconds to the countdown timer, and forces the game to call the next ball. For the Green and Brown balls, it is necessary to hit all three drop targets but not necessarily the stand-up to sink the ball. If the game has called each ball but there is still time left, the game gives another 10 seconds per ball for the player to score the balls he "missed," this time in random order (although during Eight Ball Cutthroat Countdown the 8-Ball is always called last). If at any point all the balls (for that game) are sunk, the timer countdown immediately ends.
If the player drains the ball while there is still time on the clock, the next ball will still be the Cutthroat Countdown with the same time left.
After the timer countdown ends, Cutthroat Countdown ends if the player was incompetent enough to not sink any balls. Otherwise, all balls in the Center Pockets are thrown out, and the center Center Pocket is lit for a Super Jackpot worth 2 million (or more; see below) per ball sunk during Cutthroat Countdown. Collecting the Super Jackpot ends Cutthroat Countdown and the player begins a normal game -- if the player was playing Nine Ball Cutthroat Countdown, the player also gets the Nine Ball Bonus when scoring the Super Jackpot.
Cutthroat Countdown does not really interfere with the Center Pockets except for the purpose of the Super Jackpot. Therefore, it is possible to get Ball-O-Rama or Breakshot Frenzy during Cutthroat Countdown. The multipliers apply to the sunk ball bonus but not the Super Jackpot; therefore, a sunk ball during Cutthroat Countdown could be as much as 9M.
When Cutthroat Countdown ends, a normal game starts depending on which Cutthorat Countdown started, and the player is automatically awarded all balls that were sank during Cutthroat Countdown. This means that a "perfect" Cutthroat Countdown (collecting the Super Jackpot with all balls sunk) not only shows an interesting animation, but also spots the next "regular" game and throws the player into the next Cutthroat Countdown.
When the player has completed all the balls during multiple Cutthroat Countdowns, subsequent Cutthroat Countdowns are worth double the points (2M per ball, 4M times balls for Super Jackpot). Completing the balls again makes the points triple (3M and 6M); there is no further increase.
A Capcombo can be scored two ways:
It awards 250K.
Holding in a flipper button for a while during a game gives "Pinfo" screens with useful information like:
Extra balls can be bought for one credit each by pressing start after the game ends but before the match.
In the attract animation sequence where (something) falls down the female's bosom, her teats are visible through her clothes for one frame. The same sequence also appears during the match sequence, but the frame only appears when there is a match.