Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)

Bally SS Recreation BAM FP Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992) v2.3

No permission to download
by Blindpeser, francisco666, GeorgeH, Gibsmedat, Gimli, Miownkhan, Nitronimbus, Popotte, tomasaco
at 2019-11-18
Type Recreation (real pinball)
Manufacturer Midway Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of WMS Industries, Incorporated (1988-1999), Chicago, Illinois, USA
Tradename Bally
Date 1992-12
IPD No. 588

Custom PhysicsFP Physics 1.0

*** Version 2.3 ***

NOTE: On version 2.2 of this table, I enclosed a beta version of BAM that is needed to play this table. BAM v1.4-267 has been released on November 9, 2019. You should upgrade to it and any future version. I have tested BAM v1.4-267 on this table it works perfectly. You can download the most current version at the following link. This installation file installs both Future Pinball and BAM at the same time. If you have either Future Pinball or BAM already installed, you can still run it and it will bring everything up to date.

Nitronimbus mixed a whole new sound track for this table! He brought my "alternate" version to a whole new level. I only replaced 5 songs on the "alternate" option on Version 2.2. He replaced every song with the original artist and then mixed a new version of the sound effects, voices and music in stereo. Those of you that like original versions of tables may not like it but I think it is great.

The download only contains two library files. Just replace the library files that you have currently saved with these two new files which have the same names. You can use these new library files for any version of the table but I recommend using version 2.2 that I consider to be the best. There is a third library that was included in the downloads of previous versions of the table that is named "criatura_fuentes.fpl". It contains fonts for the DMDs. You need to continue to use this file in order for the table to play correctly.

If you have played this table as many times as I have, the new sound track helps to freshen it up a bit. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you Nitronimbus!


*** Version 2.2 ***

I am enclosing a beta version of BAM (version 264) in the download that is needed to play this table. Although it is a beta version, I have found it works very well and have not experienced problems with it. The installation is simple. Just swap the "BAM.dll" file in your BAM folder with the one that is included in the download. You should upgrade when the final BAM version 1.4-264 or later version is released. I have added some new lighting options that require use of this beta version.

I initially thought I would make some simple changes to this table to bring it up to date. Then I noticed that the frame rate wouldn't go above 30 FPS on my PC and decided this would have to be a major change. The cause of the low frame rate was that the script used some executable and "eval" commands which are scanned by Windows Defender real time protection and require a massive amount of system resources. The scan uses enough resources that it causes the low frame rate even on a high end PC. You can fix the problem by turning off real time protection but that is not very desirable. I converted the executable and "eval" commands to their longer versions and the table plays at 60 FPS on my PC. I ended up having to consult Francisco on how to convert some of the code.

I added the same lighting effects that I have added to other tables but have incorporated some of BAM's newest features to adjust the brightness of all the light inserts on the playfield and lights on the backglass. I added the same options as on other tables but also added a new mode that I call "Night Glow" mode. This mode has dark ambient lighting with bright light inserts on the playfield. Gimli added another mode he calls "Old Renderer" which uses the "FP Original" system of lighting. This is for use on PCs that have problems with poor frame rate. All the other lighting modes use "New Renderer" which requires more system resources. Gimli also added a new menu option to adjust these or you can press the "Special 1" key. Like on previous versions, I added an option for "End User Settings". You can set this up by following directions in Notes file included in the download.

I have added dynamic flippers and tweaked the XML code from the previous versions. Up until now the table used Zed double flippers. I was unable to make the Zed flippers work with the dynamic flippers so I deleted the hidden flippers. I tried numerous settings but the dynamic double flippers ended up being sluggish and had poor accuracy. After removing the invisible flipper, the improvement was incredible. The flippers became responsive and very accuracate. In fact, you can now hit the snackbar with a cradled ball with either flipper.

I have never really been happy with the texture for the ramps. I thought it should be darker and more transparent so it matched closer to videos I have watched of the real table. This is not as easy as it might seem. I tried numerous textures and settled on one that seemed to be an unlikely candidate before I tried it. I managed to achieve my goal for the appearance and managed to make the center lane more visible. I added some new lighting there also.

I have provided an alternate set of libraries where I replaced some of the original music with the more popular versions of the music from the 50's. If you want an authentic recreation of the Bally table, you won't want to use this alternate version. I think it is fun to play this way and Francisco likes it. The original versions of the libraries are still available in the download.

After watching a video of a table, I figured out where to add a voice quote that I had after watching the video of the table. Voice quotes can be difficult because published rule sheets for table don't normally identify all the voice quotes and where they are used. Anyway, I added a new voice quote when the table is tilted.

There are several other changes that I made. I changed the background color of the DMDs using one of the new BAM features. I replaced instruction cards on the apron with new ones. I added some additional lights under the slingshots and set up some shadow maps. I added some new table loading textures discussed in the Notes PDF file. Also discussed in the PDF are adjustments to the settings for ball and flipper shadows. Francisco abandoned a flasher that I decided to use in the upper right corner. I added a blink pattern to it that runs during the attract mode.

This is one of my favorite tables. I guess I like it because I have always liked the movie and it's two sequels plus playing it brings back fond memories of drive-in theaters. I admit that I have been putting off updating it because it is the most complex of any table on which I have worked. It is even more complex now and has over 10,000 lines of code in the script. There are day and night versions of the table with each having a version with a full game room for those of you that like using VR headsets. Each day and night version has a partial room for those of you that have a pinball cabinet or need a version that is lighter on PC resources. Plus I have a day and night version for rotated display, all discussed in the Notes PDF file. I hope you enjoy this revision!


*** Version 2.1 ***

The most visible change on this version are the cars above the K-I-S-S lane and on the apron. Back when I started the modification of Francisco's table, I thought about providing a version with the car mod. I decided against it because it wasn't practical to provide another version in addition to all the other versions. Then on version 2.0, Gimli made the mock pinball tables disappear on some of the room options. It made me think about the car mod and whether we could make the cars disappear. I thought I might be able to provide a version where all the versions have the car mod but anyone who does not want the car mod could just make them invisible. It turned out Gimli could make the cars invisible and so here is a new version with the car mod. He added a new menu item for the car mod which has an option where you can turn the cars off (or make them invisible). Gimli implemented the car mod a bit differently than Francisco by providing an animated option plus two other options for still cars. Like the other options on the menu, he set this option up so it saves your setting and uploads it the next time you load the table.

The main reason I wanted to create a new version is to fix a stuck ball problem. When the path to the Whirlpool opens up during multiball and Creature Feature, the ball would get stuck where the ramp makes a half circle turn. Oddly, I never experienced this problem until version 2.0. On version 2.1, I added some extra kickers on the half circle ramp to prevent the ball from getting stuck. While I was adding the kickers, I noticed some fit and finish issues on the half circle ramp. The half circle ramp was quite a bit wider in the center than at the entrance or exit and so I made it all the same width. I reshaped the plastic in the center of the half circle ramp which then required me to rework the texture for it.

One of the guys on the GoPinball forum noticed black streaks on the texture for the black lagoon pond in the center of the playfield (specifically the green leaves on the top and the fish on the bottom). He called it "z-fight" which occurs when two different textures are "fighting" each other. He suggested elevating the surface it was on but raising the surface somehow made it interfere with the hologram of the lagoon itself. I found a fix by adding the texture to an overlay instead of the surface. It worked.

Wild happened to find out about a change to BAM where you can add an XML file to the script. It is simple to do and saves the end user having to deal with an XML file. I verified this change was implemented back in 2013 (BAM v1.0-56). I may have read about the change at the time it was released but it was long before I ever started creating custom physics so I guess it never sunk in. Needless to say that I added the XML files for custom physics to the script. NOTE that none of the custom physics versions have XML files now. The XML files have been added to the script.

Gimli also found a minor script error that was fixed.

European users that have Windows 7 N were experiencing this table crashing because it uses swapable textures in the script. Windows 7 N is a special European version of Windows without the Windows Media Player. The crashing was due to a bug in Better Arcade Mode (BAM). The good news is that it has been fixed. Those of you who live in countries that are part of the European Economic Area, Croatia, or Switzerland and have Windows 7 N need to upgrade BAM to version v1.4-207 or later if you have not updated BAM since April 20, 2018. It is very easy to upgrade. You can download the most current version at the following link. This installation file installs Future Pinball and BAM at the same time. If you have either Future Pinball or BAM already installed, you can still run it and it will bring everything up to date.

I have added another version of the table that has been created for use on a rotated display. This version will be of interest to you if the monitor on your PC can be rotated 90 degrees. I have added a screenshot of it that you can view on the "Images" tab of this posting. This version will not be useful on pinball cabinets or PCs which have a normal landscape orientation. I have been adding this version to all the tables I revise because I build it for myself and it is not difficult to publish it. This version of the table is only available with the Day option with partial room and custom physics. If you use this version, please provide some feedback. I would like to know if anyone is using it.

I don't anticipate making any new versions of this table unless there are bug fixes needed. I think the table is developed about as far as possible unless someone wants to add something like movie clips. I have really enjoyed working on this table and it was a learning experience as well. I would like to thank everyone that helped, especially Popotte who fixed a bug that no one else could figure out and of course Gimli who added so much like the car mod, multiplayer fix and a menu. This table has been something of a showcase for the new script additions that have been added with BAM. This is due entirely to Gimli who has always been the pioneer of new technology on pinball tables.


This table is a mod of :
Creature from the Black Lagoon 1.2
*** Version 2.2 ***

The download includes two PDF files that have Notes and Rules. The Rules file is unchanged from Version 2.1. Things that are new to Version 2.2 in the Notes file are highlighted in green text.


*** Version 2.1 ***

The download includes two PDF files that have Notes and Rules. The Rules file is unchanged from Version 2.0. Things that are new to Version 2.1 in the Notes file are highlighted in orange text.


*** Version 2.0 ***

The download includes two PDF files that have Notes and Rules. Things that are new to Version 2.0 in both files are highlighted in blue text.


*** Versions 1.3 and 1.6 ***

I spent quite a bit of time creating a rule sheet that is based on Bally's rule sheet and is included in the download. The document starts with notes on several easy changes the end user can make to the script. The rule sheet has the objects of the table identified on an annotated screen shot. I also inserted cut outs of the screen shot into different sections of the text to help identify the area of the table being discussed.
These are the descriptions from the previous versions:

*** Version 2.0 ***

When I was mixing the new sound for this table on version 1.3, I never would have dreamed that this table would have progressed to this level. When I posted Version 1.6, I was very disappointed when we discovered the score wasn't being calculated correctly for more than one player. To my surprise and relief, Gimli offered to implement his multiplayer mod. Version 2.0 addresses all known bugs and multiplayer works! Gimli actually went far beyond fixing multiplayer and added some major new features as outlined below:

He created a Virtual Reality (VR) enhanced version that has no fewer than 12 swappable virtual game rooms. When you are wearing a VR headset, it is nice to have more than just black space around the table. On this version, you now have lots of choices of different game rooms. If you don't use VR, this version will work on any PC.

One of my favorite features is the new menu system that appears on the Dot Matrix Display (DMD). Gimli's menu system saves every setting when you make changes. Then when play the table the next time, all the settings are the same as you had them set. The settings do not revert back to the default setting when you close the table like a few other tables I have played.

Another nice feature are the save modes that Gimli has implemented on other tables. These modes make it so you can stop a game in progress and close the game. You can then open the game later and resume the same game. If you don't like reading manuals, I suggest you at least read the section on how to use the save modes.

When Gimli was working on this update, Ravarcade published a version of BAM that fixes the high score overflow. Gimli revised the script to use this update. ...So now the table is capable of handling 922 trillion points instead of 40 billion like we managed to implement on version 1.6.

Gimli added an easy method of entering your initials when you get a high score. He also added some script that makes this version work with older versions of BAM or no BAM at all. Unfortunately, some of the menu items will disappear if you use an old version or not use BAM at all so I recommend updating BAM if you haven't already.

Gimli also compared this table with Bally's published rules. He made quite a few minor changes. The most significant change is he added Super Creature Feature mode during Super Scoring Mode. Now for the first time, the Whirlpool opens up during Super Scoring Mode which starts after hitting the right ramp quite a few times. In past versions, Creature Feature mode simply awarded some points when you hit the ramp.

There is also a new plunger that allows better control of the ball when it is launched.

He added "P-A-I-D" lights to the backboard to make them more visible. The beginning of the script also lists the other changes made for Version 2.0.

Gibsmedat provided some higher resolution textures on Version 2.0.

I didn't make all that many changes on this version although I have never liked the textures on the mock pinball tables in the game rooms. The textures were grainy and didn't look very good. I created new higher resolution textures that I think look better. I watched videos of this table and noticed that the ball usually revolved 3 times in the Whirlpool but our table only made 2 revolutions. I implemented a change that makes the ball have 3 revolutions most of the time. I took the single table that Gimli created and created all the other versions from it that were posted. I did some more work on fixing the ball jumping out into the playfield as it exits the left in-lane. It now works the same as the right in-lane. Gibsmedat reported that the lights on the night version flickered when you use the manual camera during the attract sequence that I fixed. I also updated the documentation that goes with the table.

There was a point when we were finishing the table when it felt like I was playing this table for the first time. I have had a blast playing it. I hope all of you will enjoy playing this table as much as I have.


*** Version 1.6 ***

This version of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" fixes the high score problem that is inherent with Future Pinball. If you are not aware of the problem, Future Pinball is not able to save scores above 1.5 to 2 billion points. The Dot Matrix Display (DMD) is capable of displaying scores at least up to 40 billion points. The problem occurs when the score is saved to the high score list on the pause screen. The function that displays points on this list cannot go above 1.5 to 2 billion points. Most table authors that encounter this problem tend to divide the score that is displayed here by 10 or 100. In Version 1.6, Popotte has developed the best fix that I have seen yet. He simply does not use the high score list on the pause screen. Instead the full high scores are cycled on the DMD which can be displayed by pressing Special Key 2 before pressing the start game key. He also added default high scores that can be removed if desired.

Popotte added the option to be able to switch between 3 and 5 balls per game by pressing Special Key 1. He also added a way to change the separator in the score from the default comma to either a period or a space which are used in some European countries.

I made a few changes also myself. I changed some of the strengths of the kickers that are located on the left lane of the custom physics versions. It doesn't affect the game play but makes the ball move more realistically.

Another change I made is to correct a problem when the ball rolls down the left inlane to the left flipper. In previous versions, the ball would hit the upper part of the flipper after it rolled down the inlane and bounce out into the playfield. Although you could still hit the ball with the flipper, the game play wasn't very realistic and made aiming your shot more difficult. I changed the shape of the divider between the left inlane and outlane slightly so it fixes the problem in all versions of the table.

During the development of Version 1.6, Popotte discovered a bug in the script that affects the multiplayer function. When a player earns any letters from F-I-L-M or jackpots, they are copied to the next player. For this reason, I am limiting the table so it can only be played by a single person. This bug exists in all versions of this table since version 1.1 of this table was published on but wasn't identified until Version 1.6. Popotte and I (GeorgeH) have been unable to identify a way to correct this problem. If you know of a way to fix it, please let me know. You may either publish a new version or send the new version to me and I will correct all the versions in this download and publish it, giving you credit.

I also made a change to the custom physics XML files that no one will probably notice unless you have a problem with low fames per second (fps). I had the fps set to 512 in the previous 1.3 version and lowered it to 296 in Version 1.6 so that guys that have lower end PCs shouldn't have a problem with fps. I don't think anyone else will notice a difference.

One of the guys commented that he preferred the Zed version of CFTBL. I thought about adding it but decided I have already included a lot of versions in the download. Instead, I wrote a procedure on how to add the new script to any version before version 1.3. This way you can have the version that you want with Popotte's bug fixes in the script.

I also revised the Version 1.3 text files with the necessary changes from Version 1.6.


*** Version 1.3 ***

When I first played "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, as time went on I began to notice how poor the sound quality was and eventually I stopped playing it. Then Blindpeser found some sound files of better quality. We decided to recreate the original sounds so Blindpeser matched many of the new sounds to the old ones. He then passed the files on to me and so I mixed them and found the files he had missed. I created a mono library that replaced the original. Then I found a free VST plug-in that creates simulated stereo sound. I decided to include both stereo and mono versions in the download. My understanding is that the simulated stereo does not mix down very well to a single speaker so you will want to use the mono on laptops and other PCs with a single speaker. Otherwise, I think most folks will prefer the stereo. It is what I use. After finishing the sound libraries, I decided I needed to be able to reduce the sound level of the game sounds, such as the flippers, bumpers etc. Future Pinball has the ability to add sounds to individual table elements. Unfortunately, these don't allow level control. So I moved all of them to the script and created a sound level control panel. It allows you to adjust the level of music, sound effects, voices and game sounds separately. Directions on how to use it are in the Notes & Rules guide.

At this point, I had spent a great deal of time working on this table and then I found a serious bug in the script. During 2 ball multiball, one of the balls would frequently get lost and so the game would come to a screeching halt after the other ball from multiball drained. After I felt I had wasted my time working on this table, Popotte saved the day with a fix to the script. He later fixed a meditation error that occurred during video mode and he also fixed the balls per game so the end user can change the number of balls per game easily. Finally, he managed to reduce the total number of lines in the script by half which he said would make it easier for others to change the script. He also helped my figure out why the night version didn't work. Thank You so much Popotte for upgrading this script! You should know that all the previous versions of the script on this table are nearly identical. The only differences between the different versions in the script are very minor additions to make the new version function.

Since Ravarcade made BAM compatible with Virtual Reality headsets, guys have been creating tables with virtual rooms so I decided to create one for this table. I wasn't completely satisfied with the room models available to date so I consulted with Tomasaco who created new room models for this table. I managed to create a complete room for this table. The room adds about 3 megabytes to the size of the file so I created a stripped down version of the room for those that have low end PCs.

Of course, I did a few other things for this table also. I created custom physics for it. Blindpeser likes Zed flippers so I kept those. I also fixed a number of stuck balls. The ball would often get stuck on the gate at the end of the launch lane. It would also get stuck at the entrance to the back orbit. Miownkhan found the ball would fall off the left ramp so he added a wall which I changed later. Miownkhan also added some script to add the ability to toggle the Heads Up Display (HUD) on and off. He also fixed it so the end user can change the default so the table loads with the HUD turned off if desired. I also added a new loading screen and a new graphics for the HUD. After playing the table a lot, I noticed the lights on the backboard lit the letters to the word CREATURE when the ball circles the Whirlpool. I thought that this was a bit of an unfair advantage for the guys that have pinball cabinets because the guys who play on desktops can't see the backboard. So I created a segmented display on the HUD that also spells CREATURE. I added a second segmented display that also displays the playfield multiplier that shows how many times CREATURE has been spelled.

There are three basic versions of this table as follows:

Day and Night Versions

Full VR room and partial room Version

Custom Physics and Physics 1.0

You should note that the posting includes two downloads. One download has the Day versions and the other download has the night versions.


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