Jokerz! (Williams, 1988) VP9

VP9 Williams SS Recreation Jokerz! (Williams, 1988) VP9 v1.3 2020-01-28

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Jokerz! (Williams, 1988) VP9 v1.3
by JPSalas
IPD No. 1308

Based on the table Jokerz! by Williams from 1988.
Corrected moving ramp emulation - destruk

58, 34, 360, 1.1, 1.1, 0, 32 (default values)
45, 0, 270, 1,8, 2, -320, 440 (needs some adjusting of these values, it is just an example)

Revision History:
1.2 Updated 4 January 2010
- fixed center ramp by destruk and Marton
- fixed Extra "T" light

1.1 Updated 3 January 2010
- fixed backdrop light
- fixed ball stuck in different places
- added some missing sounds
- fixed the kicker, kicing both balls at the same time
- Tried to make the ramp work with the ROM. It somehow works with the ROM, but it feels it has a life of its own. It is a nice challenge though :). The ROM doesn't seem to trigger the soleoid when it should do that. I guess it is my code, but I give up.
- Fixed the cards, displaying now the rom award.

C. 1988 Williams

Rules and stuff not copyrighted at all. Written by Bill Cooper
(former Jokerz owner -- it left to make room for Whirlwind).
Initial version written 19-20 October, 1995, in response to
a request from a new owner. Posted to the net as a item of potential
interest for other owners, or potential future owners. Feel free to
copy and distribute as you see fit.

Mail any nice suggestions, corrections etc to
Mail not-nice suggestions to Norman Bauer -- he'll get a kick out of them.

Features and layout


Starting at left flipper and moving clockwise around the playfield:

lower left drop targets, left ramp entrance, upper left drop targets,
gate, B-E-T rollover lanes, draw poker saucer, right ramp entrance,
drop targets. There is also an upper level at the back of the playfield
(described below), three pop bumpers below the B-E-T rollovers, and the
(raisable) center ramp and target.

Upper level

The upper level is reachable via the plunger shot, and
by two ramps on either side of the playfield. There are five
rollover lanes, each with it's own card, Ace (leftmost) through 10.
Going over a rollover lights that card (if unlit). Flippers
move lit lanes in the usual way.


Right and left, starting halfway up the playfield and leading to the upper
level. Center ramp is raised by hitting center target.

Drop targets

Three banks of three: Lower left, lower right and upper left on
the playfield.

Shots and strategies:

The best shot to master

The easiest way to rack up points is to shoot the gate above the
upper left drop targets. This lights the lowest unlit card on the
upper level, then ejects the ball into the B-E-T rollover area.
The ball then (hopefully) will bounce off the pop bumpers through
the rollovers a few times (advancing the bonus multiplier). It will
also bounce back through the gate a fair proportion of the time,
starting the cycle over again. The benefits are advancing the
playfield cards towards completion, as well as advancing the
Bonus X (which can light extra balls). Finishing two hands on
the same ball can yield big points (assuming you max the bonus):
100,000 + current bonus (including multiplier) for completing the hand
plus the bonus awarded again at the end of the ball. Shot is
easily made from the right flipper, or an easy backhand from the left.
The target at the back of the gate doubles playfield values for
20 seconds when hit during multiball.

Upper level -- filling in the hand

When the last rollover on the upper level is made, the game awards
100,000 plus the bonus. A special is lit in the draw poker saucer
for completing 3 (or however many are set) hands. The lit bells in
the joker's hat (just above the flippers) let you know how many you
have completed.

Extra balls

Two ways to get extra balls. The first is to advance the bonus multiplier
to the flashing value. Only works once per ball, and reflexes from ball
to ball. This lights the extra ball over the in/out lanes. The other
way is to get the extra ball award from the draw poker wheel. I can't
remember if this awards the ball directly or just lights the in- and out-

Left and right ramps

These shots always gave me difficulty, probably because the ball would
go almost to the top (and trigger the switch), then roll back down
between the flippers. A timely slap save helps immensely. The left
ramp increases the ramp award. Base is 10k, advances to (this is from
memory) 25k, 50k, 100k, 250k and 500k (max). Right ramp collects
award, and resets it to 10k. Shooting both ramps within a timed
period on the last ball doubles score. Except for doubling score,
I tended to avoid ramp shots. Nigh unto impossible to backhand.

Raising the center ramp

The center ramp shot is (at least for me) fairly tricky. When
raising the ramp, a shot from a ball trapped on the flipper usually
leads to a drained ball. A perfect on-target shot goes STDM, and if
you are off to either side, it bounces off the rubbers on the post
straight into the outlane. The best way to make this shot is to flip
a live ball that has come down the inlane at an angle. It hits the
target and bounces off into play.

Draw poker

The left inlane lights the draw poker saucer, located under the upper level
next to the right ramp. May be shot from the left flipper, almost impossible
to backhand unless the ball has exactly the right spin. Saucer spins the
wheel in the backglass, and awards range from 10k to Special. Ball is
ejected to B-E-T rollover lanes.

Drop target millions

Completing all three banks of drop targets starts a timed Millions mode.
Completing any bank of drop targets in the timed mode awards 1,000,000
points. The upper left targets usually get completed when shooting
the upper left gate shot mentioned above. I always found the lowest target
on both of the lower banks to be the most difficult to hit.


The jackpot is fairly difficult. The award builds over time to a maximum
of 4,000,000. You need to raise the ramp, lock a ball, raise ramp
again, lock second ball to start multiball. While multiball (2-ball only)
is in progress, you need to make 4 center ramp shots (may be carried over
to other multiballs depending on game adjustments). The best strategy
is to flip one ball up thorough the left gate, and let it bounce around
in the pop bumpers. Then you can concentrate on shooting the other ball
up the ramp. The ramp is relatively easy to hit from the left flipper,
but almost impossible from the right, unless you catch the ball, let it
roll down the flipper, then shoot almost straight up the ramp.
If you get the balls under control when multiball starts, you have a chance.
Otherwise (at least for me) one ball usually drains quickly.

Doubling Score

On the last ball, you have a fixed period of time to double your score
by shooting the left and right ramps. I always try for it (who wouldn't),
but getting it was rare. See ramp shots above. Only awarded once per
game. Shots do not carry over on extra balls -- you start over. Time
decreases by 5 seconds for every million points you start the ball with,
to a minimum time of 10 seconds.


I'd usually shoot the first shot described above until extra ball is lit,
then shoot for the center ramp and try to collect the extra ball. Repeat
on second ball. Try to double score on third ball unless extra ball is
lit. If extra ball is lit on third ball, try to rack up points, collect
extra ball, then double on extra ball. Pretty boring after a while,
but it does rack up the points and extra balls
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