Back to the Future (Data East, 1990) VP8

VP8 Data East SS Recreation Back to the Future (Data East, 1990) VP8 v1.31 2020-01-28

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Data East 1990,
IPD No. 126

"Back to the Future" Rules Sheet, version 1.2
(January 9, 1993)

By Michael Dunn
=============== on the Internet
"Major Kira" on the ISCA BBS -
"DGIF Mike" on QuantumLink "DDS" on the
high score boards at UCLA


"Back to the Future" marked the start of the Data East
trend of getting the rights to well-known names and slapping
them on their pins. There are various references to the
movies all over the game, including pictures of Christopher
Lloyd (as Doc. Emmett Brown) but not Michael J. Fox. The
pictures of Marty McFly don't show the person's face, and
the hair definitely is not Fox's. The voice used in place
of Fox's is rather pitiful, as well. There are two
major point-scoring objectives: the unlimited million round
and multiball. These two rounds are independent of each
other, and you can have both going at the same time. There
aren't very many side awards to collect along the way, so
getting the two rounds is your best bet for high scores.
The LCD display is a 2-line, 16-character-per-line version
(identical to the display found on Williams's Taxi and later
pins) so the highest score you can record is 100 million.


I'm writing this rule sheet entirely from memory, so
forgive my occasional inaccuracies. If you have
corrections/suggestions/spare $20 bills, please mail them to
me at any of the addresses at the top of this rule sheet
(preferably the Internet address). Any info that I'm
not sure about will be marked with a question mark, just so
you know that it's a guess. "Back to the Future" is a
trademark of Universal Pictures, and "Multiball" is a
trademark of Williams/Bally. Yes, you read that right.
Williams just hadn't sicked their lawyers on Data East yet,
so the name "Multiball" appears in this game even though it
shouldn't. I will use the abbreviation "K" for a
thousand points and "M" for a million points.

General Layout

Starting at the lower-left corner and going clockwise,
here's what you'll find on "Back to the Future."

Left in/outlane: The outlane can be lit for a special, and
the inlane lights the ramps to advance the ramp award
sequence. A white light at the top of the inlane flashes
to let you know that the ramps will spot the next award.
No kickback (cheer!).

"Hey McFly!" McFLY standup targets: These targets are very
low and at the far left of the board. You must hit M
first, then c, then F, etc., but there is no penalty for
hitting a target out of order, nor do the targets time out.
Completing the targets the first time during a ball
increases the spinner value. After that, they just award
a bonus. **WARNING** When you complete the targets,
most of the general illumination turns off and the McFLY
lights flash, making the ball *very* difficult to see for
about 2 seconds. McFLY does not carry over between
balls, and the spinner value resets after each ball.

Left Ramp: This is a narrow ramp that feeds the right
inlane. All the ramp parts are made of clear plastic.
This shot can collect various awards, including the Skill
Shot, multiball Jackpot, loops, DELOREAN letters, and
million. Above the entrance are three lights labeled "Skill
shot, Jackpot, Unlimited Millions." The appropriate
light(s) will flash to indicate what awards are
available. There are also lights on the board below the
entrance that indicate the Skill Shot award.

Lock Saucer: This is placed between the left ramp and the
bumpers. It has walls on both sides, so a ball has
almost no chance of falling in here by accident. Shoot
here to lock balls, and collect an extra ball when lit.
Balls are kicked up and on to a habitrail that feeds the
left inlane.

Lock mechanism: This is just a metal piece situated under
the habitrail that rotates up to catch balls, and down to
release them.

DMC drop targets: Three drop targets, placed below the
bumpers. Each target has a red light in front of it to
indicate if it is available (flashing) collected (steady)
or not available (off). The targets are used to light
locks and jackpots.

Bumpers: There are 3 bumpers, behind the drop targets.
They do nothing special, just award points. The ball
will enter the bumpers after a shot thru the spinner.

Spinner: Each spin adds to the Biff's Casino bonus, which
is awarded at the end of the game. If McFLY has not yet
been completed during the ball, each spin awards 1090(?)
points, and if it has been completed, each spin awards
5K(?). There is a large circular yellow light on the board
in front of the spinner that indicates the spinner's
value: steady for the lower value, flashing for the
higher value.

Clock Tower saucer: This is located between the spinner and
the right ramp. It is *very* shallow and will not always
hold a quickly shot-in ball. It also can kick a ball
straight down the middle, so I suggest jiggling the
machine as the ball is being kicked out. During one-ball
play, shooting this saucer will award the flashing Clock
Tower award. The awards are (I'm not sure about a couple of
them, and there's one more that I've forgotten):
50K, 100K, 50K + hold bonus, light Extra Ball (self
explanatory) Turbo Bumpers (increases the value of the
bumpers) Bonus at 5x (just what it says)
Millions (immediately spots all DELOREAN letters and starts
the million round; if the million round is already
going, time will be added to the timer) After
you collect all 8 awards, all 8 lights will flash. Hitting
the saucer one more time awards 500K and resets the
awards. The flashing award is changed by the spinner.
The awards you collect are carried over between balls.

Right Ramp: This ramp is also clear plastic, feeds the
right inlane, and has 3 status lights just like the left
ramp. This ramp's entrance is very wide, but has a
rather small sweet spot because the right side of the
upslope runs straight back (to accommodate the plunger
shot). A ball that falls down the ramp will hit a
one-way gate at the exit of the plunger lane and bounce
wildly away. In other words, if you miss the shot to the
right, the ball will go *clunk* against the right side of
the entrance, rattle around, and fall back down.

DOC standup targets: These targets are placed low and on
the right, and face directly leftward. They awards Bonus
multipliers (up to a max of 6x) and light the outlane
Specials. Each target has a light in front of it to
indicate its value. Here's how they work: At the
start of each ball, one target will be flashing. Hitting
that target ONLY will advance the Bonus X and start
another target flashing. Hitting either of the other
targets will spot it; you must now hit the other 2 to
advance the Bonus X. The single flashing light will
time-out after a while, and another target will begin
flashing. However, once the Bonus X reaches 5x, you must
hit all 3 targets to advance the multiplier to 6x. The
first time you do this, the outlanes lite for special.
Completing the targets after the multiplier is at 6x awards
a bonus of 100K(?). I don't remember if the multiplier
is held by the Bonus Hold award from the Clock Tower.
One outlane is lit at a time, and Special remains lit
throughout the game until it's collected. The Special
CAN be lane-changed with the flipper buttons. (sure wish
TZ had that!)

Right in/outlanes: Similar to the left side, with the same

Plunger: A manual plunger. Plunging at full strength will
send the ball up the right ramp. This is what you should
do in order to collect the skill shot.

Ramp Sequence lights: Yellow lights just in front of the
flippers that indicate the ramp sequence awards you have

Flippers & Slingshots: 2 of each, in the usual places.

The Skill Shot

The skill shot is available every time you plunge a
ball. To collect it, plunge the ball around the right ramp,
then immediately shoot the left ramp. Possible awards are:
100K x ball in play Extra Ball Double Score: Your
score is immediately doubled Take High Score: Your score
immediately becomes the current game's highest score.
This never appears in a one-player game. Only the "100K x
ball in play" award will be given on balls plunged after a
lock. Any award may be given on the first plunge of a ball.
You have to be doing pretty poorly to get the EB award.

DELOREAN Million Round

Except for the Skill Shot shots, each ramp shot spots a
letter in DELOREAN. The letters you have spotted are shown
on a panel above and behind the bumpers. Lighting all the
letters starts a 12-second timer. Each ramp shot then
scores 1M until the timer runs out. The timer never
stops running, so try to keep the ball away from the bumpers
and saucers during this round. This round progresses
independently of Multiball, and you can start it during
Multiball. Later Million rounds start with less time,
down to a minimum of 6 seconds.

Other Ramp Awards

The ramps also have a sequence award. When the ball
rolls thru either inlane, a white light above the inlane
will flash for a few seconds, indicating that either ramp
will award the next lit sequence award. There are 6 awards
(25K, 50K, 75K, 100K, 125K, Lite Extra Ball) each having its
own light. The flashing light indicates the next point
value that will be awarded, except in the case of the first,
which flashes only after an inlane is hit. The award value
will time out and decrease one level after a while if not
collected. The sequence resets after each ball, and
once you light the extra ball from the sequence, later
inlane-to-ramp shots on the same ball award 125K. The
ramps still award DELOREAN letters along with the sequence
awards. I don't remember if the sequence is awarded during

Hitting either ramp, then immediately hitting the left
ramp adds one to the loop counter. Beating the current loop
champ's number of loops awards 500K as soon as you beat the
record. Loops are awarded in addition to anything else that
may be lit at the left ramp, in either one-ball or Multiball
play. When you beat the loop record, you enter your
initials at the end of the game.


"A severe thunderstorm is headed for Hill Valley."

First, a note about the locks. For the first
Multiball, you must hit all 3 DMC drop targets to light a
lock, and you can stack up to 3 locks. The second time, you
cannot stack locks. On subsequent multiballs, you must hit
the DMC targets in order, and hitting a target out of order
resets all the targets, and you must start over with the D
target. The game will usually allow you to hit D and M when
D is lit, and M and C when M is lit, and give you credit for
both targets -- usually. You have to lock 3 balls to
start Multiball. If someone else you're playing with starts
his/her own multiball and leaves fewer balls in the lock
than you had during your turn, the game will automatically
light enough locks at the Lock Saucer to get you back to the
number of locked balls that you had. Conversely, you
can NOT steal other players' locked balls. If there are
three balls in the lock mechanism when you lock a ball for
lock number 1 or 2, play will resume with a ball being
released out of the lock mechanism.

Now, on to Multiball.

"Roads? Where we're going we don't need...roads."

When Multiball starts, one ball at a time is released
down the habitrail and into the left inlane. You must hit
the DMC targets to light the jackpots. Once you do so, shoot
the ramps to collect the jackpot awards. The first shot to
a ramp scores 500K, the second 750K, and the third 1M. Each
ramp has its own jackpot, and the two are independent of one
another. The awards you have collected are indicated by
lights on the bottom of the backglass. Collecting all 6
jackpots scores an additional 1M. To relight the jackpots,
you must shoot DMC in order.(big ?) If you do not
collect all 6 jackpots, those that you do collect are held
over to the next Multiball round, and you will not have to
hit DMC to light them.

Miscellaneous Stuff

When you light an extra ball, shoot the Lock Saucer to
collect it. Extra balls can be stacked, but they will all
disappear if you lose the ball without collecting them.

During Multiball, shoot the Lock Saucer 4 times to
light an extra ball. You don't have to collect the extra
ball during Multiball, though.

Closing Credits

Whew! I hope this rule sheet helps you out, if only a
little bit :> Thanx to Josh Lehan
( for filling in the gaps in
my memory (namely, the bonus-x, and better info on the skill

"Your future is whatever you make make it a good
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