• Many thanks to Ian Longstaff for his lovely table roundups, posted on YT. And here is... TABLE ROUND UP THIRTEEN!

    Also, here's our browser games collection, for those who are playful.
Barb Wire (Gottlieb, 1996) VP8

VP8 Gottlieb SS Recreation Barb Wire (Gottlieb, 1996) VP8 v1.0 2020-01-28

No permission to download
Gottlieb 1996,
IPD No. 3795

Note from Xenonph:
This table needs a Pre-Initialized nvram file to accept coins.
Download Bally 6803 & Gottlieb GTS3 nvram pack and place contents of zip file in nvram folder, located in VPinMAME folder.
Find Bally 6803 & Gottlieb GTS3 nvram pack here..

BARB WIRE Revision 1.0
by Lee Van Doren
Last Modified: October 26, 1996
Barb Wire, Gottlieb and other words in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of Premier Systems(?), Inc. or licensed for use by Premier.

Under Construction

Note: Areas I am unsure of are tagged with question marks. Search them out and send input! I am mostly weak on random awards and the scoring end of things...


Written by Lee Van Doren

Special thanks to the FSPA (Free State Pinball Association) and especially our N. Baltimore League, where this machine is made available to us by Weiner Distributing.

Additional Input from RGP folks:

Aaron Mandel
Recent Changes

0.5: 10/12/96: Rough Draft - Completely from memory.
1.0: 10/26/96: Additional Input Received

Barb Wire is based on a movie starring Pamela Anderson Lee. I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on how well it correlates. This was the last production pinball machine by Premier under the Gottlieb name. Another game followed which only was in test at the time the Gottlieb line was shut down. It was a machine based on Brooks & Dunn country music stars?

I personally feel that this is a decent machine for a Premier/Gottlieb. The game play is reasonable, especially for novices but the excitement definately lacks due to simplistic rules. I would give it a B-.


Rent the movie...


Here's the various playfield parts, starting from the plunger lane and working clockwise. (* = Arrow Shot)

Dual plunger; the manual plunger when pulled back enough, sends the ball up and around to one of the left flippers, usually the lower one. An autoplunger is also there for ballsavers and Multiballs, however it doesn't shoot the ball hard enough to come around to the left flippers so the ball drops back into the lower kickout hole for kickout.
Part of a rotating extra ball award when lit. (Rotated with flippers)
Part of a rotating extra ball award when lit. (Rotated with flippers)
Each inlane lights the opposing ramp for a Missile shot (combo award)?
The usual two, in the usual places. Center post too. Typical Premier/Gottlieb catch-all flippers.
Standard, just like the flippers. Can be active for 10M a sling (see Retina Scan)
Kick Target *
A target that kicks the ball back.
Upper Flipper
Standard size
Captive Ball *
Above the flipper, hits here feed the flipper. Also an arrow shot, also lights right ramp for Missile.
Retina Scan *
A kickout hole.
Starts game lit, any switch after eject relights it.
Awards Retina Scan (Mystery) when lit and no rounds going ...see below... Also an arrow shot.
Left Orbit *
Feeds to pops. Also awards a lens target during Hammerhead Bar.
Left Ramp *
Collects Missile combo when lit. Lit for Add-a-ball at the start of every multiball mode.
Big Fatso *
Door that raises and lowers to reveal a hole.
Open for Skill Shot at start of every ball.
Also starts rounds (see below).
Also awards Mega Bonus when activated by right lower target.
Also used in various modes. In some cases the opening and closing alternate, in others he stays open for a period of time.
Right Ramp *
Awards Missile combo when lit. Advances Toll value 5M or 2M if Crash the Tolls has been played once.
Pop Bumpers
I believe two of them with a kickback target. Scores something per hit but advances cursor along BARB WIRE letters, awarding letter if not lit when pops are complete and ball feeds into right kickout hole. Pressing both flippers locks cursor on letter and prevents advancing. Collecting all letters awards Super Jackpot. Lit letters carry from GAME TO GAME! Hence, this is not active in Tournament Mode.
Lens Targets
Four targets. Completing targets lights targets for 20M each for 20? seconds. Targets reset each ball. Also used in Hammerhead Bar round.
Lower Right Kickout Hole *
Awards Mind Read. After about 5? shots extra ball is lit. [Info needed on subsequent awards]
Warning: poor design here on most machines which causes kickout to be dangerously close to between the flippers. Note you will often want to get in the habit of manually plunging balls for multiball because of this.
Lower Right Target *
Hitting target lights Mega Bonus at Big Fatso and advances Mega Bonus 30M. Big Fatso alternates open and close for about 15 seconds. Shooting in the hole awards Mega Bonus which is significant, 30M + 30M each advance.
General Rules

No novice/expert mode (at least not by default settings). Tournament mode can be started by holding both flippers a few seconds before starting (see below for specifics).

Buy In is enabled in default settings. You can buy up to (standard??) extra balls (25c each); there is no separate buy-in high score board.

Software Changes: None known at this time...

Generally, you start Rounds (modes) and complete them. See strategy below.

Skill Shot

Shoot ball with full plunger shot to feed left flipper. Big Fatso is open for skill shot. Hitting shot awards HAYWIRE letter. (First letter is spotted at start of game in normal settings).

Collecting Triangle/Arrow Awards

As something to do when you have nothing else to do... There is a triangle on the playfield of various value awards (5M to 100M). All major shots are lit at the start of the game. Scoring a shot awards the current triangle value if it is not lit. I believe slings advance the award? When all shots are completed they relight. When triangle is completed, Firefight starts. This is a 3 ball multiball mode where three wandering shots are lit for a jackpot including lens targets. Mode continues until one ball is left.

After all arrows are completed, only half relight. When one is scored, the next arrow to the right relights. When those are all scored, then only two arrows are lit at a time on the playfield. There is some behavior where a shot can be completely inactive if the arrow for that shot is not lit...

The only use of this really is to get the 100M value that is lit on your first shot of the game. If you don't get it, don't worry, you will by accident eventually.

Super Jackpot Value

Starts at 300M I believe? Advancing super jackpot happens as an award at Retina Scan (anywhere else?). Super Jackpot is scored from Pops in completing BARB WIRE or is awarded in Hideout round.


First shot of the game to Big Fatso lights it for "Start Round". Shooting it when Start Round is lit opens the hole. Shooting it when open starts lit Round. Each subsequent completed cycle of Rounds requires one additional hit to light Start Round.

During all mutliball rounds, ball saver stays on for a LONG time (about 20 seconds). Two balls are initially plunged but also, the left ramp is lit for add-a-ball for one additional ball. Try to get this while ball saver is active so you can get three balls going right away.


Only non-multiball round. Big Fatso, Retina Scan hole, and Mind Read hole are lit. Note you can score the Mind Read hole from behind fed by the pops. Score each to provide choice of taking current award or trying to score either shot to award next award. After three shots are completed, award is given and mode ends. Order of awards are: Adv. Multipler, Extra Ball, Super Jackpot, Double Your Score, ...?

Big Fatso

Multiball round. He opens and closes alternately throughout the round. Each switch toggles his scoring value between 10M, 20M, 50M, 100M, and 200M. Since this mode lasts as long as you keep the balls alive, the potential scoring is unlimited, but it's harder than it sounds. Requires good ball control and patience.

Crash the Tolls

One ball round. If no round is started (except Hideout) by the start of the third ball, this round is automatically started. Shoot arrow shots to collect current toll value. Shoot right ramp to advance toll value 20M during the round. When all arrows are completed and you still have more than one ball, shoot Big Fatso for super jackpot. If super jackpot is scored, then the round recycles.

Hammerhead Bar

"Music!", also a multiball round. Complete lens targets first, then each target scores 20M for rest of the round. After 5 are scored, extra ball is awarded. Shooting left orbit also awards a lens target.


Wizard Mode. After completing other 4 rounds, this one is lit. Also a multiball round. You must shoot one of a roving pair of arrow shots to collect a HAYWIRE letter (adding onto letters you have collected during the game from skill shot or Retina Scan). Once letters are completed before you are down to one ball, you advance to the final HAYWIRE frenzy. All shots are lit, ball saver is on for a humongously long time (45 seconds?) and you get 4 balls. As you shoot shots a bonus value is raised. Once it reaches 990M, Big Fatso opens and you must shoot him to award it. Strange behavior here? If your round hasn't timed out yet (ball saver) you don't score it, until it does time out. After the bonus is scored, the arrow shots relight and you continue but with no ball saver. Once you work the value up to 990M, you can score it again... and again... Once you are down to one ball, Big Fatso is open for 20? seconds to score the current value and then the round ends. Easily where all the points are!

If you fail to collect the HAYWIRE letters, the round ends but you keep your letters...

NOTE!!!: If you collect all the HAYWIRE letters at any point in the game, you instantly start Haywire frenzy. SOOOO... if you screw up your Haywire round, try and collect the rest of the letters (through skill shot or... Retina Scan) to start Haywire frenzy.


There is a combo cycle that can start from a shot that feeds any flipper. It starts at the appropriate shot for that flipper and continues through the cycle. The awards I am not sure of, but are something like 5M + 5M each combo? Cycle is:

Right Ramp, Left Ramp, Right Ramp, Left Orbit.

Also a combo for shooting captive ball after right inlane. (10M+10M?)

Retina Scan (Mystery) Awards

Award HAYWIRE letter
Advance Multiplier
Slings award 10M
Award Triangle Value (moves 5? spots and awards value)
Light Extra Ball
Extra Ball (very rare)
X Million
Advance Mega Bonus (30M)
3 Jackpots
Reveal Match Number

At the end of the ball, I think the bonus is just the toll value.

This bonus is then multiplied by the current bonus multiplier which is not held. It can be 2X or 3X.

Extra Balls

There are many ways to collect extra balls in this game:

Hideout Round
Hammerhead Bar Round
Retina Scan to Light EB
Mind Read to Light EB
Light EB cycles the EB lit among the inlanes and outlanes via flippers.

Tournament Mode

Hold both flippers before starting game for about 5 seconds. The screen will say "TOURNAMENT MODE ENABLED--PRESS START". Press start! Tournament mode will be on for all players. This is CRITICAL for league play due to disabling the unfair BARB WIRE super jackpot. If you forget, make sure you keep an eye out for someone scoring that and deduct it from their score.

Tournament mode disables the BARB WIRE award and gives 50M in lieu of an extra ball and 200M in lieu of a Special.


Not much to it! Complete the rounds, do as best you can and get to Haywire round, that's where the points are. If you screw it up, use Retina Scan repeatedly to get those last HAYWIRE letters.

Once you complete the first cycle of rounds, get to Hideout round, go all the way for the Double Your Score. Voila! You have about 4-5B+ at this point. Also, on your first Hideout, go for Extra Ball if not in tournament mode, otherwise, go for Super Jackpot.

Everything else in the game is pointless... sorry! A good score is over 1B. A wizard score is 3B+...

Any questions or additions, please email me!! Thanks!

Lee Van Doren
  • barb wire_N2D.jpg
    barb wire_N2D.jpg
    585.7 KB · Views: 120