austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Gonna leave this world for a while

What happened on my mathematics blog the past week? Some of the usual stuff, one of those tossed-off trifles that's always my most popular thing of the month, that kind of stuff. What specifically? This:

Also, do you know What's Going On In Dick Tracy? Here's your August - November 2017 update! Now for some more neat-looking pinball stuff.


The playfield for Capcom's Big Bang Bar, a space-bar-themed game that I'm not sure was ever actually made in the 90s before Capcom got word about Python Anghelo's plans for Zingy Bingy and shut the whole division down. But someone got what I'm sure is a perfectly legitimate deal to ``remake'' the game, and the VFW has a table. (So does the Silverball Museum in New Jersey, if you want one generally accessible.) And I like that Swinging 60s space bar aesthetic, so, cool.


The big, slightly distracting, guitar upper playfield from Alvin G and Company's Al's Garage Band Goes On A World Tour. This is a fun game except that the main important shot, to the CD player in the far back of the playfield, is pretty center-drainy. Nearly every skill shot (which goes to that spot) ends up instant-draining and needing a ball save, announced, of course, by the game calling out ``FREEBIRD!'' It's a game with that kind of sense of humor and, good.


The physical-playfield part of Granny and the Gators, another of those pinball/vide-game fusions they tried a couple times in the early 80s. The video game portion is making an illegible blocky squiggle move between other illegible blocky squiggles. (I think it represents sailing a raft downriver.) The pinball portion is a few nice, short shots and a picture of a Native Villager on the left, above the kicker, that you really should try to draw attention away from. Nice gators, though.


The ghostly haunting of the interior of Varkon. This was another weird attempt in the early 80s to get pinball the cachet of video games, and this one did it by putting a tiny pinball table inside a video game cabinet underneath a mirror so that it would look like a video game to the person standing. It really solved the big problem with pinball games, that of the tables having enough playfield space to do stuff and it being possible to nudge the machine so the ball gets into control.


Stern's Tom Petty table. From the era when they'd just have great album covers as the backglass to games. I'm sure it signifies something that all the LEDs are showing '490' but that might just be that they were partway through flashing the high score to date when the camera shutter was open.


Some of the goopy, blobby artwork on Quicksilver, another early solid state game about knocking over lots of drop targets but somehow getting in on the liquid-metal character craze a decade before Terminator 2 invented special effects.

Trivia: In 1949 writer-director-actor Ed Gardner moved the production of the extremely New York City-based Duffy's Tavern to Puerto Rico for tax reasons. Source: On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning.

Currently Reading: It Seemed Like Nothing Happened: The Tragedy and Promise of America in the 1970s, Peter N Carroll.

Tags: mathematics, pinball

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