Elvira and the Party Monsters (Midway, 1989) VP9

VP9 Bally SS Recreation Elvira and the Party Monsters (Midway, 1989) VP9 v1.0 2020-01-28

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Elvira and the Party Monsters (Midway, 1989) VP9 v1.0
by JPSalas
IPD No. 782

Based on the pinball table Elvira and the Party Monsters by Williams, made in October 1989.
v1.0 Released 13 October 2010
Rebuild for VP9 of my previous table for VP8. Changed all the graphics.

Elvira and the Party Monsters! Version 1.10 Written by Bill Ung

"Let's Boooogie!!!"

"Elvira and the Party Monsters", and dozens of other things in here are probably copyright Midway Manufacturing Co., Manufacturers of Bally Amusement Games.

"Elvira" and "Mistress of the Dark" are trademarks of QUEEN "B" PRODUCTIONS.

Everything else is Copyright 1996-1997, Bill Ung. Freely distributable if unmodified.

"Thank you, Boys (and gal)" to:

John Brannan
Manuel Delafortrie
Dean St. Antoine
Scott Piehler
Scott Snadow
John Morrison
Mark Kaufman
and Sheri Nordman
for all sorts of fun information.


"Elvira and the Party Monsters" is a game by Dennis Nordman and is dated August 1989 (according to the manual). It is an extremely humorous, spooky-themed pin, hosted by the "Mistress of the Dark" herself, Elvira, and her "Party Monster" friends.

If you are unfamiliar with Elvira, she is the alter-ego of Cassandra Peterson, who rose to fame as a TV hostess of grade-B monster movies on a local American TV station. She'd host the showings of the films, throwing in funny/gruesome comments along the way. If you never saw the TV show, you can rent her movie, "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark", which came out in 1989. Her birthday is September 17, 1951.

The game credits are as follows:

This is a Nordman, Freres, Penacho, Granner, Pugh, Patla, Ritchie and Peterson production.

Monstrous Support: Joos, Bil, Bauer, Ortega, Scalzo, Delgato, Valosek & Co., Grabel, Haeger's 3DFX, Deal, Cardenas & Co, Sharpe and The Line.

Dennis Nordman is known for numerous other games such as Party Animal, Blackwater 100, Dr. Dude, Party Zone, Whitewater, Demolition Man, Indianapolis 500 and his last, Scared Stiff. It is rumored that the game was uncompleted at the time of his departure, and was finished up without him. :( "Scared Stiff" also makes a reference on the backglass, in the form of a book titled "Black Thursday", presumably the day Dennis, and other fine Williams folks, were "downsized". If it's any consolation, Elvira's latest favorite pin is, of course, "Scared Stiff" (as said to me by the Mistress of the Dark herself, on Monday, 11/18/96).

Indy500 is said to have a very similar playfield layout as Elvira does (and it does), and the more and more I play Elvira, the more I can see fringes of the same strategic forethought of what to shoot next, that makes Whitewater such a great game. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

ELVIRA was made shortly after the Williams/Bally merger. Though the game uses a vaguely Bally-style cabinet and Bally-style flippers, all the rest of the game hardware (including System 11B CPU and associated board setup) are made up of 100% Williams parts. This is a plus, so that owners don't have to go hunting for long obsolete Bally parts (ie: coils, brackets).

We'll take this in the usual clockwise fashion, starting from the left flipper:

Left Flipper
Standard 3" yellow Bally-style flipper. This is actually a Williams-style flipper, with a Bally-style flipper plastic on top. The Bally-style plastic is approximately 1/4" longer than a Williams-style flipper, it does not have the "W" logo and the top is not smooth. Instead, it has vertical grooves, perpendicular to the length of the flipper. I have these installed for "original aesthetics" purposes.
Left Slingshot
Standard size slingshots for this era.
Left Inlane
Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS lights the left inlane for 25 thousand points. Scores 5,000 points when unlit.
PARTY PUNCH Return Habitrail
Metal habitrail that returns the ball from the PARTY PUNCH (right) ramp (popper), and empties into the left inlane.
Left Outlane
Awards SPECIAL when lit.
Four standup targets along the left-hand wall.
Something of a left-orbit shot, except that the ball curves around a U-Turn in back and lands under the MONSTER SLIDE ramp, just behind the BARBECUE targets.
This is the left-ramp entrance. This ramp curves up and back behind the playfield back-wall, to return down the bouncy MONSTER SLIDE return ramp, to the right inlane.
These are two "flip-up" targets, that vaguely face the lower-right corner.
Two dancing "Boogie Men", with no game purpose whatsoever, aside from pure pinball fun!
Shoot straight up the center lane and land the ball in the eject hole saucer, at the top. The saucer kicks the ball out to the B-A-T rollover lanes, to the right.
B-A-T Lanes
Rollover Lanes in the upper-right corner of the playfield. The ball typically shoots here from the shooter lane, the SKULL LOCK and the CENTER EJECT HOLE.
Three "Dead Head" images imprinted on silver mylar but only seen when lit! A very cool effect, trust me. They "hang" out on the upper-right back wall.
Three, arranged in a typical fashion. These are Bally-Style "Thumper Bumpers", where the whole bumper body moves up and down every time a bumper is actuated.
J-A-M Drop Targets
Three-Bank of Drop-Targets, that vaguely face a point 1/3 up the left wall.
This is the right-ramp entrance. The ball curves around toward the back and lands in a ball popper, which returns the ball to the player via a metal habitrail that empties into the left inlane.
Something of a right-orbit shot, that tosses the ball up into the B-A-T lanes, instead of out a left-orbit.
Two standup targets along the right-hand wall.
Shooter Lane
Manual plunger, with a metal rail that shoots the ball up towards the B-A-T lanes. Only misses on rare occasion.
Right Outlane
Awards SPECIAL when lit.
Return ramp for the MONSTER SLIDE. The tight metal ring the ball has to pass through often slows the ball down considerably, before dropping it into the right inlane.
Right Inlane
Completing GRAVESTONE-PIZZA lights the right inlane for 25 thousand points. Scores 5,000 points when unlit.
Right Slingshot
Standard size slingshots for this era.
Right Flipper
Same as Left-Flipper, except in reverse (go figure!)

Pull the plunger back far enough to shoot the ball out onto the playfield. It awards you 0 points, but it's a lot more fun than watching the ball fall back into the plunger lane. Share this skill with newbies.

These are four standup targets along the left-hand wall. Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS will light one of the cool looking DEAD HEADS, located behind the silver mylar, in the upper-right corner wall. For completion of the targets, per ball, you get:

20,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the first time.
40,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the second time.
50,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the third time.
60,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the fourth time.
70,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the fifth time.
80,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the sixth time.
200,000 points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS every time after the sixth time, plus a very cool, playful little tune.
These point values carry over from ball-to-ball until Million is lit, then the values reset at the start of each ball.

Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the third time, lights the CENTER EJECT HOLE for 1 Million points, untimed, till the end of the ball.

Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the fourth time resets the lit DEAD HEADS back to the first one. They are only reset this way once per ball.

Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS the sixth time, on the same ball, lights SPECIAL.

Completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS also lights the left inlane.

Shoot the Skull to lock the ball, when lit. The flashing eyes of the Skull indicate how many balls are locked. The Skull kicks balls out from behind the BARBECUE targets, over the center lane (hopefully), and into the THUMPER BUMPERS.

The Skull kicker is known to kick weakly on a regular basis, such that ejected balls land in the center lane (and often go SDTM :( ), instead of making all the way over to the bumper area. (see also Section 28: HARDWARE)

The Skull can also be shot to collect 3 Million, when lit. This is a 20-second timed event, accompanied by extremely cool music.

The LOCK lamp is not stackable, but lets face it, LOCK is not exactly a difficult thing to light on this Nordman game. In other words, this ain't Whitewater. :-)

The MONSTER SLIDE (left) ramp awards:

Awards 50,000 to 300,000 points, progressively, in 25,000 point increments per ramp shot.
Two (operator adjustable) consecutive ramp shots light HOLD BONUS at the CENTER EJECT HOLE.
Four (operator adjustable) consecutive ramp shots will light the ramp for 1 Million points (timed). Each time you light the 1 Million shot, the number of ramp shots required goes up by one. This maxes out at 11 ramp shots (or, the 300,000 point shot).
When lit (see above).
E-L-V-I-R-A letter
Complete B-A-T, J-A-M or WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS, to light ramp for an E-L-V-I-R-A letter (timed). Consecutive ramp shots after collecting 1 Million will also award an E-L-V-I-R-A letter, plus 250,000 points.
When lit.
During Multi-Ball, both ramps must be shot in order to collect the Multi-Ball Jackpot award. After collecting the Jackpot, and before the end of Multi-Ball, the ramp awards "Party Ramp" at 250,000 points per shot.

Shooting two balls up the MONSTER SLIDE ramp in quick succession, during Multi-Ball, awards a 500,000 point "Double Slide" award.

Unfortunately, all of the usual awards, save for SPECIAL, are suspended during Multi-Ball.

These are rather unique items on ELVIRA. Under a clear plastic dome are two coffins. ELVIRA is in one on the left (Chief Cook) and DRACULA is in the one on the right (Chief Kook). Shoot the targets sticking out the bottom (should be shaped like the bottom third of a tapered coffin). A clean, direct shot is required to apply enough force to flip up the coffin top. Opening both coffins lights the BARBECUE BONUS at the CENTER EJECT HOLE.

The coffins are reset (shut) upon collecting the BARBECUE BONUS, or at the start of each ball.

The CENTER EJECT HOLE can be lit for the following awards:

1 Million Points
The CENTER EJECT HOLE ejects the ball to the right, above the B-A-T rollover lanes.

Shoot the BARBECUE TARGETS to light the CENTER EJECT HOLE for the BARBECUE BONUS random award. Possible awards are EXTRA BALL, BONUS MULTIPLIER, light an E-L-V-I-R-A LETTER, Mystery Score or SPECIAL. The BARBECUE BONUS lamp is not stackable. :(

Mystery Score has been seen as low as 50,000 points and as high as 200,000 points. It appears to be random number.

Complete the J-A-M Drop Targets to light the CENTER EJECT HOLE for the BOOGIE BONUS. The BOOGIE BONUS starts at 25,000. As long as BOOGIE BONUS is lit, the THUMPER BUMPERS add 1,000 points, per hit, to the BOOGIE BONUS. Completing J-A-M again while BOOGIE BONUS is lit adds 10,000 points to the BOOGIE BONUS. The BOOGIE BONUS itself, maxes out at 255,000 points.

11. B-A-T LANES:
Completing the B-A-T lanes awards a Bonus Multiplier (2X to 5X), lights the SKULL LOCK (as needed), and lights the MONSTER SLIDE for an E-L-V-I-R-A letter.

Completing B-A-T if the Bonus Multiplier is maxed at 5X, awards (progressively) 70,000-90,000,110,000-130,000-150,000 points, maxing at 150,000 points.

As long as BOOGIE BONUS is lit, the THUMPER BUMPERS add 1,000 points, per hit, to the BOOGIE BONUS. Aside from that, they also rotate the SPECIAL lamp.

THUMPER BUMPERS are also called JUMPER BUMPERS, both on the game flyer and on the game instruction card. They are called THUMPER BUMPERS, though, in the game manual.

The game flyer states "A Bally Pinball Exclusive!" and "I'm the first to give players the vertical action they've been waiting for!" So, apparently, this means that Elvira was the first pinball game to use JUMPER/THUMPER BUMPERS.

Completing the J-A-M Drop Targets lights the CENTER EJECT HOLE for the BOOGIE BONUS, lights SKULL LOCK (as needed), and also lights the MONSTER SLIDE for an E-L-V-I-R-A letter.

The PARTY PUNCH (right) ramp progressively awards:

175,000 points 200,000 points 225,000 points + Light Extra Ball 250,000 points + Extra Ball

Once the Extra Ball is collected, the ramp resets to a 100,000 point base value, and progressively awards:

100,000 points 125,000 points 150,000 points 175,000 points 200,000 points 225,000 points + Light Extra Ball 250,000 points + Extra Ball

If an Extra Ball is collected twice off the ramp, the ramp then resets to a *10,000* point base value (they really don't want you to get the next EB), and then progressively awards:

10,000 points 25,000 points 50,000 points 75,000 points 100,000 points 125,000 points 150,000 points 175,000 points 200,000 points 225,000 points + Light Extra Ball 250,000 points + Extra Ball

The current point value of the ramp is held over from ball to ball until the EXTRA BALL is collected. Once the EXTRA BALL has been collected, the ramp will reset to the base value at the start of every ball.

The point value of the ramp can be calculated by adding up the values on the lit bottles of "potion", on the playfield (except when value is at 10,000 points), in front of the ramp entrance.

There appears to be no limit to the number of EXTRA BALLS you can collect in this way (save for operator set maximums), but it won't be easy.

During Multi-Ball, both ramps must be shot in order to collect the Multi-Ball Jackpot award. After collecting the Jackpot, and before the end of Multi-Ball, the ramp awards "Party Ramp" at 250,000 points per shot.

Unlike the MONSTER SLIDE, the PARTY PUNCH ramp retains all its standard award values during Multi-Ball.

Last, Elvira is one of the (relatively) few pinball games with a "Consolation Extra Ball" prize (also known as the "Pity" EB) such that if the game feels you are doing particularly bad, it will automatically light the Extra Ball lamp on the Party Punch (right) ramp, at the start of your third ball.

Completing the GRAVESTONE-PIZZA targets lights the PIZZA PASSAGE, progressively, for HEADCHEESE, EYE OF NEWT and then LIZARD TOUNGE.


25,000 points if nothing is lit. 50,000 points if HEADCHEESE is lit. 100,000 points if HEADCHEESE and EYE OF NEWT are lit. 150,000 points if all three are lit.

Collecting PIZZA PASSAGE resets all lights.

These are two standup targets along the right-hand wall. Completing GRAVESTONE-PIZZA will light one of the lights along the PIZZA PASSAGE. You also get 20,000 to 200,000 points (progressively), in 20,000 point increments for each completion of GRAVESTONE-PIZZA.

Completing GRAVESTONE-PIZZA also lights the right inlane.

Multi-Ball starts with one of the best sound and light packages I've ever seen! It's worth just seeing the effects, assuming the game is in full working order. Lock three balls in the SKULL LOCK to start Multi-Ball. All three balls are ejected into the THUMPER BUMPERS, which is a particularly good place to park balls during Multi-Ball, since you can place a ball there either by shooting the SKULL LOCK, CENTER EJECT HOLE or PIZZA PASSAGE.

During Multi-Ball, the ramps are lit for the "Party Monster Multiball Jackpot. You must shoot both ramps to collect the Jackpot. The Jackpot value may either be Progressive, or fixed at 4 Million points.

The Progressive Jackpot begins at a base 1 Million points, and is incremented by all standard points awarded while in Multi-Ball, to a maximum of 4 Million points. The Progressive Jackpot value is held over from game-to-game, until collected.

"Standard Points" means you would be points awarded for a ramp shot, or a target, would be added to the Jackpot. However, additional points awarded for completing a set of targets or rollovers, would not be added to the Jackpot.

After collecting the Jackpot, and before the end of Multi-Ball, the "Party Ramps" award 250,000 points per shot.

Also, shooting two balls up the MONSTER SLIDE ramp in quick succession, awards a 500,000 point "Double Slide" award.

18. E-L-V-I-R-A:
Shoot the MONSTER SLIDE (left) ramp, when lit, to collect an E-L-V-I-R-A letter. The ramp can be lit for an E-L-V-I-R-A letter, either by completing B-A-T, J-A-M, WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS or collecting the 1 Million MONSTER SLIDE (left) Ramp shot. You can also collect E-L-V-I-R-A letters from a random BARBECUE BONUS award.

Once you spell E-L-V-I-R-A, the SKULL LOCK is lit for 3 Million points. This is a 20 second timed event. If you fail to make the 3 Million shot, the game will reset to E-L-V-I (operator adjustable), until you collect it.

E-L-V-I-R-A letters may be carried over from ball-to-ball, game-to-game, or not at all, via operator adjustment. The default is game-to-game (ie: always).

An EXTRA BALL can be collected from the PARTY PUNCH (right) ramp (when lit), or as a random award from the BARBECUE BONUS. And yes, it's worth collecting one, just to hear the quote. :-)

Well, replays are awarded for achieving a pre-defined score. Check your status report for this score.

Scoring a replay fires a delightfully **LOUD** knocker in the backbox, and is accompanied by a particularly nice sound and light show. In particular, the playfield lamps are flashed according to COLOR SCHEME. I've yet to see any other game make use of the color schemes like that, usually they go for patterns, thus, I felt this deserved a whole separate section. :-)

SPECIAL is lit by completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS six times (twice lighting all three Dead Heads) on a single ball. The SPECIAL lamp starts on the MONSTER SLIDE (right) ramp, then moves to the left outlane, then the right outlane, then back to the ramp, on each hit of a THUMPER BUMPER or slingshot.

Bonus on this game is like the old days. You pick up bonus points, for hitting various things around the game. None of it carries over from ball to ball, unless you collect HOLD BONUS. Bonus Multipliers are never held over.

From around the game, you get:

1,000 bonus points to start, however, you don't get another 1,000 if you had HOLD BONUS lit on the prior ball.
1,000 bonus points for any inlane switch (lit or unlit).
1,000 bonus points for knocking down a J-A-M DROP TARGET.
1,000 bonus points for any B-A-T rollover lane (lit or unlit).
1,000 bonus points for completing the B-A-T rollover lanes.
3,000 bonus points for any outlane switch (lit or unlit).
3,000 bonus points for completing WAKE-THE-DEAD-HEADS.
3,000 bonus points for completing the J-A-M DROP TARGETS.
3,000 bonus points for any E-L-V-I-R-A letter.
Completing the top rollovers will give you a bonus multiplier, from 2X to a maximum of 5X. The bonus itself maxes out at 99,000 bonus points.

"Let's Boogie!!!" These two guys are perhaps one of the most favored toys in Pinball history. They do nothing, other than jump up-and-down, dance and make people laugh. They have also been considered the ancestors of the dancing Martians on ATTACK FROM MARS. Shoot the CENTER EJECT HOLE while the BOOGIE BONUS is lit to make them dance.

Nice shorts, too. :-)

There are *nine* Boogie Men represented around the game. Unfortunately, only two of them dance. Can you find them all?

As a System 11B game, ELVIRA has an astonishing number of fairly high-quality quotes. Most of the quotes come from Elvira herself, a few from Dracula, and one or two believed are from the Skull at the lock and the Cyclops at the entrance to the MONSTER SLIDE (right) ramp. The quotes from the game are:


Hey, Lets Party!
Oh, Deja-VU!
Now We're Cookin'
Don't Touch Me There!!
Oooh, Nice Organ!
How 'Bout Another Ball?
Let's Boooogie!!!
Party Pooper!
Oooh, Monstrous!!!
Oh, Yeah!
Oooh, Jackpot!
Head for the Cauldron!!!

Thank You, Boys!
Get Down, Get Funky!
Lights! Organ!!
Quick, to the Monster Slide!
Quick, to the Cave!
Skull Lock:


Ooooh, YEAH!
Oh, NO!
I'm told now that the voice of the Cyclops (and, based on the voice alone, possibly the Skull Lock) was done by Dennis Nordman himself! (Thanks, Sheri!)

The name of the game is "Elvira and the Party Monsters". In case you were wondering ... collected from around the game are the following guest "Party Monsters":

Boogie Men
Dead Heads
Elvis (or, at least his tombstone)
Fireball (?)
Green Blob
Grim Reaper
Lizard Hands (?) (They're holding up the Barbecue)
Man in the Moon
Organ Player
Smarkie (see QUESTIONS)
Tree (dead looking, with a face in the trunk)
Wolfman (see below)
Vampire Bats
Okay, so one or two are a bit questionable, but if it was found on the game, I wanted it represented here in the list.

Look closely at the backglass. Just behind ELVIRA's right shoulder is the Wolfman, who, we're told, bears more than a passing resemblance to Dennis Nordman, the game designer.

We are also told that game designer Jim Patla posed for Dracula and artist Tim Elliott is the Muscle-Man.

The latest known software releases are:

LA-4: Game Software -- Domestic release.
LG-4: Game Software -- German release.
LU-4: Game Software -- European release.
The final game software release, LA-4 / LG-4 / LU-4, is rather suspiciously dated on 10/13/89. That would be in the month of **October** (what better month, right?), and on, of all days, ---Friday the 13th--- ! Pretty spooky, huh? :-) I like it!

For comparison, the LA-2 Game Software release is only dated 10 days earlier, on 10/3/89. LA-1, however, is dated 9/12/89.

What's in LA-4? Here is a bulletin from Williams:

There is a problem with the "contest mode" setting in
Elvira in versions prior to LA-4. In LA-1 through LA-3
you should not set contest mode to "YES".

In these earlier versions, you can get the same results
as contest mode by making the following adjustments:
Adj# Adj Name Setting
35 Extra Ball Auto Fixed
36 Jackpot Value 4,000,000
40 Elvira Memory Player
44 Save Locks No.

In versions LA-4 and later, the contest mode setting
works correctly. This was the only change from LA-3
to LA-4, so it is not necessary to update your program.

There are no differences in versions LA-1, LA-2, and
LA-3. The changes that caused these revisions were
for French and German game programming."

(end bulletin -- thanks, John)

As for sound:

SL-1: Sound and Music.
Please Email me if you have any software release, other than what is listed above.


Well, this isn't exactly a bug, per se, but it is at least a questionable design decision. Some games of this era allow you to "steal" locked balls from other players. Elvira is notably worse. If you are playing a Multi-Player game, and Player A locks two balls, Player B may then lock one ball, and **START MULTIBALL**! It is one thing to "steal" a locked ball, but be able to steal full credit for a locked ball is, in my opinion, wrong. What's worse is that the game doesn't even remember the locks lit by Player A. Thus, they will need to relight the locks, before relocking the balls. Nice, huh? This was tested using LA-4 software.

Another, slightly "iffy" bug, is likely true for all System 11-ish games. This is when the scoreboard turns over (at 100M points), the game will award you another Replay for passing the Replay score again (and again).

Speaking of the Replay score, the "fixed" Replay score settings only range from 100,000 to 9,900,000. Pretty limited range on a game that can track scores as high as 99,999,990.

This section is primarily for ELVIRA owners. Elvira is a standard System 11B game. The setup is still more a Bally-style though, with the displays in a single row at the bottom of the backglass, with Williams-style displays, thankfully!

The flippers, as mentioned above, use yellow Bally-style flipper plastics. These items may still be available and can be ordered using part #: 20-9592-6. Some Bally-style flippers may have a ridge in the shaft, near the bottom. For best performance, you'll want the ones with an entirely smooth shaft. The yellow colored ones (used on ELVIRA), really shouldn't have this problem, though.

Also, there are at least three documented cases of a faulty resistor controlling Solenoid 5C, which are the flashers for the Man in the Moon (center of the playfield) and the Wolfman (on the backglass, to the left of Elvira). Finding it hard to believe this is a pure coincidence, we believe the original factory installed resistors were either part of a bad run, or were possibly insufficiently rated. I replaced mine, located at position "R5" on the backbox interconnect board, with a 5 ohm, 5 watt wirewound resistor, and it appears to work just fine.

There are also problems with the lock (see section 5 above), so here is a bulletin from Williams on the topic (thanks again, John):

Experiencing trouble with balls jamming up in the upper left
ball trough of Elvira. If one ball is sitting in reserve and
another comes whipping in, the first ball will be knocked
forward just a bit. Then when the kicker tries to pop the
balls out, the arm does not contact either ball.

Above the 3 switches, on the right side of the entry-way, there
should be a vertically mounted bolt. The purpose of this bolt
is to slow down balls that are shot into the mechanism. If this
is not doing the job (the ball should rattle a little between
the bolt and the left wall), then you should try installing a
"headless nail", a little higher, and sticking out a little
farther (with enough room for the ball to clear)."

[Note: I have not tried this]

ELVIRA also suffered from problems with the cabinet graphics. Most ELVIRA games will show damage to the graphics, where the game legs are screwed into the cabinet. Many games show this sort of damage, but ELVIRA was, for some reason, particularly susceptible to this problem. Thus, if you can find an ELVIRA game with the cabinet graphics about the legs intact, this is a relatively rare find, so buy it, and make sure you dismantle it yourself, to hopefully prevent any damage.

The number of ELVIRA games actually made is still unknown. However, based on the information collected in the Internet Serial Number Database (Email for more info), we can only account for a less than 2500 total units. A pretty small run for any time, but especially in 1989, when pinball was booming. If anyone has reliable data to the contrary, please Email me.

ELVIRA is known to be a little risque. As a precautionary measure, ELVIRA games were shipped with a small, black lingerie "decal", to be placed over ELVIRA's plunging cleavage on the backglass. The software included a similar option to tone down the quotes. This was the "Rated-G" option, intended to "Protect the eyes and ears of the little Party Monsters". I don't know of any games that ever made use of such items. However, the lingerie decals remain a hard to find item.

The slingshot/outlane plastics are bordered by long bones. The "broken" bones on these plastics are an "inside joke" about Dennis Nordman's motorcycle accident, which occurred during the development of Elvira. (Thanks again, John)

In fact, Dennis Nordman broke many, many bones in the accident and basically designed Elvira from a hospital bed! (Thanks, Sheri!)

The graphic on the right side of the game near the pizza passage with the monster carrying a shitload of pizza boxes. One of the pizza boxes is named "Pinball Pete's", and this is the name of the Arcade that Tim Arnold used to own (and subsequently sold to his brother) in Michigan. Guess someone working on the game wanted to point out Tim and his efforts in pinball.

Elvira is shown on the backglass, holding a Hot Dog on a large fork. Written on the fork is "I (heart) SMARKIE".


Smarkie is a reference to her husband/manager Mark.

Also, one of the pizza boxes in the hands of Frankenstein carries the inscription: "Tony and Barb", which is a reference to pinball artist Tony Ramunni and his wife.

Yogi Travis ('Yo, Travis!', on the Deadhead tombstone) is a guy Elvira used to play pinball with, way back.

From "Pinball Art", by Keith Temple.

So you say you can't afford a real "Elvira and the Party Monsters" pinball machine? Well, you may be in luck here, as there *is* a handheld-video version of Elvira. Atari Lynx has produced a game cartridge called "Pinball Jam", which includes two pinball games, "Elvira and the Party Monsters" and "Police Force".

This version of Elvira includes a scrolling screen, two-ball Multi- Ball, and numerous Elvira quotes. These quotes aren't exactly like the original game. Some are similar to the original, some are new (ie: they aren't included in the original game), and still others don't appear to show up at all. The quotes themselves are also distributed in a different way ... for instance, the "How 'bout Another Ball?" quote, is played at for *each and every* ball (except Ball #1).

I, myself, wasn't terribly impressed ... but then, it has that scrolling screen, and I have the real thing at home, so I'm probably just a *tiny* bit biased. :-) This rendition really isn't bad, even if I was never able to directly hit the center eject hole as the flippers just wouldn't do it. Anyway, if you like Elvira, it's definitely worth a look.

Special thanks go to Mark Kaufman for providing my test piece with the "silver platter" treatment. :-)

Like many other games, the THUMPER BUMPERs are not General Illumination, they are controlled lights from the lamp matrix. Unlike many other games, the slingshots are ALSO controlled lights from the lamp matrix. To the best of my knowledge, these are never used for anything other than those superb light-shows, which is certainly a good enough reason for me. However, has anyone ever heard of any other reasons?
There are no known differences between a "Prototype" Elvira game, and a production model. However, there are a couple suspicious "holes" in the solenoids and adjustments. Solenoid 4A is listed as "Unused", and is kind of an odd place to have an empty solenoid slot. At any rate, the software doesn't pulse it for any reason, except during the COIL TEST. Also, Adjustment 33 is "Unused", where the game rules span Adjustments 31 through 46. Now I really don't know what you might add to the game. I suppose you could add a kickback, or a backbox toy. :-) But like I said, the software ignores that signal line. Anyway, it's always interesting to know what the game designers full intentions might have been. Anyone who has reliable information on this topic, please Email me!
"Oooh, Monstrous!!!" Indeed ... 32 items later, I'm done. Perhaps I went just a tad overboard, but this is really an awesome game, and I felt it was deserved. Please Email me (see below) if you have corrections, suggestions, alternate ROM versions or are interested in tips on purchasing a game.

(flyers & backglass below)​
  • Elvira and the Party Monsters (Midway, 1989) VP9 v1.0.PNG
    Elvira and the Party Monsters (Midway, 1989) VP9 v1.0.PNG
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