austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

My hands are shaking from playing way too much

It's a good night. We play a lot of nice old games. Some of them the ones that got me into pinball, like Weird Science or Secret Service. Some that are part of that weird cartoon-mayhem theme that ran through the late 80s, like Mousin' Around or Bad Cats. Bally's Game Show, a silly game with such a great theme.

We have a couple games we've got to play before the end of the night. Mystery Castle, one of the handful of games from Alvin G and Company. It was organized by refugees from Gottleib pinball --- the original pioneer company of pinball --- when that fell apart in the early 90s. They only made a few games but they're all weird and fascinating. Mystery Castle is one; the theme is to complete some kind of quest by gathering tokens from around a castle, each one gotten by completing some set of shots. Some are easy. Some we've never done. Some we've never gotten close to doing. It's worth trying. If we had all the time in the world to play we might get to understand the game. Maybe Pinball Arcade will get around to simulating it, especially once it loses the Williams tables at the end of June.

And then there's Domino's. Spooky Pinball, which has made a couple of games now including Total Nuclear Annihilation, has also made a Domino's-themed game, for use in ... I guess pizza places. Never seen one on location, nor have I ever expected to. I don't even know if they've ever shipped anywhere for location play. But yes, the playfield has a Noid on it. It seems to be themed to achieving various stunts to advance your career as a pizza guy. I have a bizarrely good game. There's a couple multiballs available, and I keep starting them. It's a bit spooky. Yes, the game is meant for extremely casual players, and the VFW sets up its tables pretty easy for these kinds of events. (Maybe in general, since, y'know, who wants to do all the work-in-kind it takes to be a member of the club and then play a frustrating game?) But this was spookily good. I have one of those games that just can't end.

The game ends abruptly on the second ball, after bunny_hugger has a pretty good multiball going. But during it, as best we can figure, two balls went into one of the scoops and only one ball ever came out. The ball search couldn't figure out where the pinball was. It seems likely to me that a ball somehow dropped out of the mechanism and rolled lose in the playfield. But one of the staff couldn't figure out where it might have gone, and had to restart the game, hoping that a fresh start might help the game find the lost ball. No luck, and the game was down the rest of the night. Which was only a couple minutes, but still. Glad I saved my two-ball score; I'm pretty sure it was a great one.

There's just a couple minutes left. I get in a game on Firefly, which had been occupied before. And we dive into the second outbuilding, with all the electromechanicals, and finally get a chance on Thunder Bolt!. We close out the night on Mad World, where I again recount --- this time for GRV, who's happy to see us (he's one of those people you can hear laughing from the next town over, at least as long as he's not having a bad couple games in competition) --- the time I lost a game in a best-two-of-three on that by two points. And started the next game, with the scoring reels settling to 000 versus 004. And joked, ``Oh, just leave it, what are the chances four points will make any difference?'' And had to repeat it because my competitor didn't hear me. GRV loved the story and bunny_hugger put up with hearing it again.

And this closed out the night; the VFW's Friday night closed. The place would have two more days open for the weekend. A 12-hour day on Saturday that by reputation is always crazily packed, which is why we've avoided it. And another 6-hour day on Sunday that we'd miss. There was a triple pinball tournament in Fremont, on the other side of the lower peninsula, we wanted to get to instead.

We left, sighing at how there were all these games we hadn't gotten to, despite it all. But what we did do was pretty great as it is.

Trivia: When New Jersey's Camden and Amboy Railroad received its charter in 1830, it took minutes to subscribe its million dollars in stock. The contemporary sale of $100,000 in stock of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company took days. Source: Railroads of New Jersey: Fragments of the Past in the Garden State Landscape, Loret Treese.

Currently Reading: Hero-A-Go-Go: Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters, and Culture of the Swinging Sixties, Michael Eury.

PS: How May 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog, that nice easy writing to do.

PPS: How about some more Rye Playland? I'd like that.


Peering up at the Crazy Mouse launch station and showcasing the disturbed-mouse cars.


Frontage of the Zombie Castle, one of several dark rides that Playland has. Go ahead, you decide whether the lizard-man, the vulture, the dragon, or the ... owl(?) is the best facade creature.


The ticket-taking cage for The Dragon, Rye Playland's major roller coaster. There's no need for tickets anymore --- you scan a pay-one-price wristband or a card --- but the booth remains and someone sits in it.

Tags: rye playland, vfw pinball museum

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