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No Fear: Dangerous Sports (Williams, 1995) VP8

VP8 Williams SS Recreation No Fear: Dangerous Sports (Williams, 1995) VP8 v2.2

No permission to download
PacDude
Version 2.2
Williams 1995
IPD No. 2852

RULES:
Overview
The theme of the game, as suggested by the artwork, audio track, modes etc., is dangerous sports (it also says it at the bottom of the backglass which is the real pointer :) . My first impression was that it had a lot in common with The Getaway but there are similarities with T2, Demo-Man and others. Play is fairly fast with a big emphasis on loops and ramps and not much else.

Playfield Layout
As is the convention these days, I'll start at the left flipper and go clockwise around playfield. This should be pretty simple since the centre is one of the most open I've seen in a long time; reserved mainly for lights.

Flippers and slingshots retain a traditional configuration with the flippers being of standard (ie not 'mutant pygmy' variety) length, and the slingshots being the common triangular type. Plunger is the common large button auto-plunger used on many games today.

Left Inlane
Fed from the left habitrail and can be lit for Hurry Up at the right orbit.

Left Outlane
A popular place for balls to drain although there is a Kickback. The In/Outlane arrangement is exactly like Getaway. It can be lit for Jump This.

Tube Saucer
A short, curved lane feeds to a saucer. As with most of the shots, it has a variety of functions (see later) and it awards a random award when nothing else is lit there. This is just like the Database saucer in T2 - you are even told to "get out" when it is not lit (which is mainly during certain challenges).

Screamer Orbit
Left orbit with a spinner just at the beginning of it which loops around the back of the playfield and feeds to the right flipper (just like Getaway). This can be lit for Raceway and Super Spin and also collects a Hurry Up.

Jumps Ramp
Left ramp feeds up into the Jumps Loop. Can be lit for Hill Climb, Win, Left Turn and Super Cross. Collect Super Jackpot here.

This ramp has a neat little feature too: When a shot makes it up the ramp, it only need get about half way (ie just past the gate) and then a magnet grabs it and slings it the rest. If you imagine the Supercharger on Getaway you'd be pretty close. This means that even a weak flipper should be able to make the Jumps Loop. Of course, there is the possibility that the magnet fails, in which case the ball rolls back and feeds via the left habitrail to the left inlane.

Also, these magnets (there are actually 3 of them in a row) can be used to stop the ball then feed it to the left inlane in certain circustances.

Jumps Loop
As noted, this is a lot like the Supercharger on Getaway. It sits over some of the regular playfield shots (but does not significantly obscure anything) and is basically a circular ramp with a flipper located on the right about halfway up the cabinet. When you finally miss a loop the ball will either drop out of the loop near to Skull, or feed to the right inlane.

Because of the way the flipper is located, and the way it's above everything else, this loop also feels a bit like the loop on Black Knight 2000. (But in No Fear it's the left orbit that lights extra ball after repeated shots; the jumps maiinly just score points.)

Skydive Drop Target
Simple drop target which blocks the entrance to the Skydive lane. Shooting this target lights lock at Skydive and Skull (see multiball section). The target drops automatically when the ball is plunged as the plunger lane is aimed at Skydive, and when you start Air Challenge. The "drop target in front of a short lane" is reminiscent of T2's skull shot, but in No Fear the Skull is over a different shot, and the lane is longer.

Skydive Lane
Short lane with a scoop at the end. One of the major shots used by the challenges, and can also be lit for Jackpot and Lock. When a ball is plunged, the skydive drop target drops temporarily (if it was up) and the lock/jackpot is temporarily turned off (if it was on) and the ball (usually) goes into the skydive scoop. When the ball goes in here, it is returned at the right inlane.

Track Orbit (left)
Left side of Skull and orbits around the back of his head to exit via the right Track orbit which is aimed at the left flipper. Apart from the Track arrow light, there are three Steering Wheel lights (1st, 2nd & 3rd) in front of this shot. The two sides of the track orbit count as the same shot. The track orbit is somewhat like the U-turn on BK2K, although it is in a different location -- both are short, tight orbits.

Skull
The only real gimmick on this game, and even then it is only a plastic skull with a hinged jaw which sits above a scoop and talks to you. Other than the talking, the actual skull serves no purpose so if it breaks, game play will not be affected.

Skull's jaw is one of the few things obscured (from the usual player's position) by the jump ramp; some players might never notice it moves unless they look for it, and reportedly it often breaks, though I have yet to see a broken one.

Just below Skull's jawbone is a scoop which can be lit for Ball Lock, Jackpot, Extra Ball and Start Challenge.

When the ball goes in here, it is returned at the right inlane.

Track Orbit (right)
The other side of Skull. A ball entering the orbit this side flies around the back of Skull and exits on the left which is aimed at the right flipper. The only light in front of this shot is a Track arrow.

Hairpin Ramp
A shallow ramp to the right of the Track orbit which feeds to the right inlane via a habitrail. Can be lit for Down Hill, Win, Right Turn and Super Cross Start. This ramp and the jump ramp are reminiscent of the 2 ramps in T2, and you can even start Payback Time by repeated alternating shots on the two ramps.

Summit Orbit
To the right of the Hairpin ramp, this is the other end of the Screamer orbit. A ball entering here orbits around the back of the playfield and exits at Screamer heading for the left flipper. Can be lit for a Hurry Up. There are some awards that can be given for hitting this loop, including super spinner and light video mode.

Cliff Standups
A couple of targets located just above the entrance gate from the plunger lane. Shoot these to light the Kickback, and advance meters towards "Jump This."

Right Inlane
Reverse version of the left inlane which can be lit to start Hurry Up, and always lights the Raceway on the left orbit. Balls from the skull and skydive shots are returned to play here, and a spare ball is usually held here to help speed things up.

Right Outlane
Nothing particularly special about this one either except that the post positioning could make it either quite nasty or quite nice depending upon the setting. This can be lit for Jump This. As with the left, there is no rubber at the top of the In/Outlane divider.

Gameplay and Features

Startup/Skill Shot
As is the norm these days, No Fear is a mode based game. These modes are called Challenges (see later) and basically have some adrenalin-pumping sport associated with them. As a general rule of thumb, shoot the flashing arrow should be a fairly effective strategy, but I'll discuss strategies later.

Starting a game is just like ST:TNG; one of five features will be started when you fire the old silver sphere. These are:

* Start Challenge
* Super Cross Level
* Advance Raceway
* Ball Lock
* Flipper Skill Shot

They automatically cycle but can be speeded up by the flippers. To score the Skill Shot, you have to make the Jump Ramp for 50M.

There are a couple of things to note here: Firstly, when you have an EB and the game is going through its 'Shoot Again' animation, it is still cycling the plunger options so that if (like me) you watch the animation then plunge, you are probably going to get Super Cross Level and not Start Challenge which can be really annoying. According to Matt Coriale, this is fixed in the latest ROMs.

Secondly, Start Challenge is not available if either Lock 3 is lit (i.e. start Multiball) or if the next challenge is one of the last three. Furthermore, Lock Ball is not lit if it would be the third ball locked.

In very early ROMs, the Skill Shot choices start with 'Start Challenge' even if it is not supposed to be offered, but when it starts cycling through the choices, it never returns to it. If you choose it when it is not supposed to be lit, you may not get it, anyway.

Minor Challenges
There are 8 challenges which I'll break down into 5 minor, 2 major and a Final Challenge. The general principle behind each one is that it is a timed mode in which you have to shoot the flashing arrows. Usually, one of the shots has a special function. They can all be started via the plunger Start Challenge option or by shooting the Skull scoop when lit. Note that the scoop is always lit when you are not playing a Challenge, unless the third lock is lit there instead (starting Multiball) or if you need to spell "No Fear" to light it (see "Major Challenges").

The minor challenges are as follows:

Note that where you see C: & S: below, these are quotes from the commentator and Skull (Bone Head).

Dirt Challenge
C: Welcome to off road racing.
Wha' d'you say BoneHead?
S: Shoot the ramps to score big.

This is a 30 sec mode during which you shoot the ramps for points. Value starts at 5M per ramp and every shot (ramps, loops, etc.) advances that by 5M to a max of 20M, although only the ramps award the points.

There's a nice animation of a truck crashing through a gate when you hit a ramp; the gate is labeled "Checkpoint XX" before the truck hits it, where XX is the number of ramps hit in this mode so far. The jump loop counts as a ramp in this mode, and also gives the usual 5/10/15/20/25M scoring for jumps.

Rob Chesnavich pushed this mode past 100 checkpoints with the glass off, and there seemed to be no limit.

Asphalt Challenge
C: Welcome to Nascar Racing with Robbie Gordon.
Tell 'em how to do it BoneHead.
S: Shoot the track to win the race.

Shoot the Track arrows to orbit Skull, or shoot the Skull scoop itself and score 50M, 75M and 100M. Mode ends after three orbits have been made, or the timer runs out (30sec?). During this round, the normal Steering Wheel awards are not advanced; the lights for Steering Wheel are used to indicate how many shots you have made in this mode. If you shoot the jump ramp in this mode, the magnets divert the ball to the left flipper. If Skull isn't too busy saying something else, he says "Second place is the first loser!" after the second shot.

Water Challenge
C: Water Skiing with Sammy Duvall.
Skull?
S: Shoot the tube for more time and bigger points.

This is a lot like Time Rift from Star Trek TNG.

Timer starts at 30/25/20(?) secs and counts down. Shoot the flashing arrows for points, and shoot the Tube saucer to increase the amount of time left and the amount the lit shots are worth. Mode ends when the timer runs out.

Initially, the shots are worth 10M with each shot to the Tube adding 5M to each shot and 10 seconds to the timer, but the timer will never exceed 30 seconds, and once you have maxed out the shots at 30M, you cannot add more time, either.

When the time is running out, the commentator yells at you to shoot the tube.

There are some great quotes when you hit shots in this mode (like "This guy's insane", "He's nuts", etc.) but I don't have a list of them.

Snow Challenge
C: It's extreme skiing with Glenn Plake.
How about it BoneHead?
S: Shoot the Downhill to win.

A 30 sec timer starts and you have to shoot the Down Hill to end the mode. During this mode, a shot to the Jumps Ramp will be stopped by the magnets and fed to the left habitrail so you are set up for the Hairpin Ramp. The Jump ramp and the Summit each score 10M and add 10M to the value of the Hairpin ramp which is initially 50M and maxes out at 100M.

Air Challenge
C: It's a beautiful day for skydiving.
Tell 'em how to do it BoneHead.
S: Shoot the Skydive
Diver: Wait a minute! I've never done this before! How do I do it? Where's-the-rip-cord? I-wanna-go-back! [something else spoken really fast]
S: Shut up and JUMP!

Drop target at the entrance to Skydive lock is lowered and a countdown from 25M starts, it stops at 10M if you haven't hit the skydive by that time. Shoot Skydive to freeze the countdown after which the arrows are lit for that amount. You have 30 secs in which to make all the shots and collect 75M for doing so.

The shots are: Tube, Left Orbit, Jump Ramp, Skydive, Track Orbit (the two sides count as only one shot), Skull, Hairpin Ramp, and Right Orbit.

This is just like Asteroid Threat on ST:TNG.

Also read the "Easter Eggs" section for info about this mode.

Note that these challenges can be played in any order. Whenever Start Challenge is lit, the next one to be played is indicated by the lights in the center of the playfield just above the flippers. The slingshots change the lit mode. Another point to note is that the timers for the modes are stopped if no switches are closed within a certain time which prevents you from trapping a ball and letting the Challenge time out.

An interesting point about the quotes for the modes is that they are not entirely fixed. The first line the commentator says is always the same, as is the response from skull. However, the second line the commentator says which asks Skull to tell you how to do it is a random selection from a list. See the section on quotes for more info.

Major Challenges
The major challenges follow a similar pattern, but you need to spell No Fear before Start Challenge will light to start the second one. There are two of them as follows:

No Limits
S: No Limits. Everything is lit.
C: Add a million for every shot you make.

This is a 3 ball multiball with a 15 second ball saver. All major shots are lit for 20M and each one collected adds 1M to the amount they are worth. Unlike the name implies, the mode does in fact max out, at 70M per shot. It ends when less than two balls are in play.

Fear Fest
S: Welcome to the Fear Fest.
C: Good Luck!
S: You don't need luck if you're good.

Another 3 ball multiball where the objective is to shoot Skull or Skydive for the Fear Fest Jackpot. The value of this starts at 80M and each major shot adds 20M to this value. Once it has been collected, Jackpot resets to 20M and 4 major shots are needed to relight it making the second jackpot start at 100M (20M plus 20M each for the 4 major shots). This one has a 25 second ball saver. There's no apparent limit to the size of the jackpot.

Mark Phaedrus comments that this is similar to cryoprison multiball in Demolition Man.

Note that Fear Fest is not immediately lit after No Limits completes. Instead, you have to complete 'No Fear' by shooting the various loops/ramps to light it and then shoot Skull to start.

And of course, there is the Final Challenge:

Meet Your Maker
S: "It's time to Meet Your Maker! And I'm driving!"
C: "Thanks, skull-boy, I'm outta here!"

This is a four ball multiball in which all switches are worth 250k. 50M jackpot is lit at Skull, 200M jackpot is lit for Jump Loops, EB is lit, Super Spinner is lit, Hurry up is lit, raceway orbit is maxed out at 25M, 20 sec ball saver and so on. Basically, everything is lit ...:)

Payback Time is not started, but the first two supercross levels are completed, so you only need to shoot each ramp once to start it.

The 200M jackpot stays lit during MYM, so if you catch some balls on the left flipper, and shoot jump loops with the right flippers with one other ball, you can really rack up some points.

This mode ends when less than 2 balls are in play and (like Fear Test) you need to spell 'No Fear' to light Start Challenge to get into this mode.

The first time you hit the Skull or Skydive after this mode ends, a new ball will be plunged, because the ball that is usually stored in the feed to the right inlane is used as one of the 4 balls in this mode.

Other Game Features
There are numerous other play features which are not specifically tied into modes as such and these are listed below in no particular order:

Super Cross Ramps
Shoot alternate Jumps/Hairpin ramps to start Payback Time. Shooting them as a combo (one right after the other) scores 15M, and if the combo is right ramp followed by jump ramp, the magnets will grab the ball for you to keep going. Lights on the playfield in front of each ramp mark your progress; you need 3 shots on each ramp, alternating, to start Payback Time.

Payback Time
All the major shots are lit for 25M for 25 seconds.

Tube Shot
Shoot the Tube saucer to collect a random award. These include:

* Advance Raceway (just like a single shot of left orbit. If you need more than one orbit, this just helps you get there)
* Autofire (30 sec ball saver)
* Extra Ball
* Kickback Lit
* Light Extra Ball
* Light Return Lanes
* Lock Awarded
* Lock Lit
* MK3 Hint (*)
* Multiball
* Over-The-Edge
* Start Challenge (if you have it lit, even on the last 3 modes, you can get Start Challenge)
* Start Hurry Up
* Summit Award
* Supercross Level (like a l/r or r/l ramp shot)
* Video Mode start
* 20 Million
* 200 Meters

(*) According to Matt Coriale, this is awarded, very rarely. In some roms (the first ones to have the dice-rolling match sequence) this was replaced with "All of the above" but it was switched back due to it being too good when it was awarded, and conflicts between some things starting at the same time. Some people were doubting that it was ever awarded, because they didn't know anybody who had ever seen it awarded.

Summit Loop
A build up counter which awards certain things at various points (just like the left ramp on ST:TNG). Consecutive shots may be required to get some of these, and these are only awarded while you are not playing a challenge or multiball. Awards:

* 5 Million
* Light Video Mode
* Super Spinner
* 10 Million
* (10 Million for each shot thereafter)

This list is reset at the start of each ball.

Raceway
This is exactly like the Freeway on Getaway. Five consecutive shots are worth 5M, 10M, 15M, 20M, and light Extra Ball at Skull. After EB is lit, subsequent Raceways are worth 25M each.

You can only light one extra ball this way per ball. Also, it requires more hits while lit to advance to the next Raceway value each time you complete this by lighting the extra ball; the 2nd extra ball requires 2 loops while lit to advance each level, the 3rd requires 3 loops, etc. I haven't heard of anybody getting more than 3 EB's in a game this way.

Raceway value starts at 10M, 15M or 20M on each ball (this is reflexed to try to meet the extra ball percentage the game is set for) until you get the first EB; afterward it always resets at 5M between balls.

Climber Award
By hitting the cliff standups, you can be awarded 100 meters towards a climber award for each two hits. You can hit the same target twice or hit each target once to get the 100 meters. Some other things may also award meters -- one of the Tube awards is 200 meters. You need 400 meters to climb the first mountain. Climbing a mountain is worth 30M points and lights Jump This in an outlane, and you start over at the bottom of the next mountain, which is 500 meters higher (so the second is 900 meters, the third 1400, increasing until the 9th mountain; it and all subsequent mountains are 4000 meters). Note that the "meters" used in calculating the end-of-ball bonus is a cumulative total of all your meters over the game, not just where you are on the current mountain. Jump This doesn't stack; if it's already lit when you complete a mountain, you just get 30M.

Jump This
A feature that is lit at the outlanes via the Climber Award. When collected, a new ball is launched, and the left ramp and Jump loops are lit for 30M each during a 30 sec timer. Note that this is effectively a ballsaver for any outlane drains; if the ball is saved anyway (as with the kickback) then this is a 2-ball multiball.

Note also, that nothing else in the game runs during JUMP THIS!

Over The Edge
Two ball Multiball in which Jump Ramp and Hairpin are worth a base 25M with an additional 10M for each ramp made, but maxes out at 75M per shot. This can be worth a huge number of points and is started by making 1st place for the third time (see below), or from a random Tube award. This seems to be awarded fairly often from the Tube. The magnets divert Jump Ramp shots to the flipper, so you can't shoot jump loops to really rack up the score.

1st, 2nd, 3rd Place As noted in the playfield description, there are three steering wheel lights below the left Track Orbit - these denote your place in the race (what race I don't know).

Initially, none are lit. Shooting the Track Orbit will advance your placing and award the following:

* 3rd Place 15M
* 2nd Place 25M
* 1st Place: different awards each time:
o 1: Light Return Lanes for Hurry Up
o 2: Light Extra Ball
o 3: Over The Edge
o 4: 30 Million Points
o 5: Light Return Lanes
o 6,7,8: 40 Million
o 9: Light Return Lanes
o 10,11,12: 50 Million
o 13: Light Return Lanes
o 14,15,16: 60 Million
o 17: Light Return Lanes
o 18,19: 70 Million
o 20: 100 Million

Rob Chesnavich did some work with the glass off to come up with this list. This mostly agrees with everything I have heard except that some people say it keeps giving 30M. This may be a harder setting. BTW, after the 20th first-place award, the track orbit shuts down, and stays at 3rd place for the rest of the game.

Video Mode
I'm not a big fan of video modes on pinballs, and this one has done nothing to improve that feeling. It is a pretty lame one which has a motorcyclist travelling along a track and steered via the flippers. Along the track are various jumps with a point value above them; use the jumps to steer the motorbike through the points to collect them (they change shade/colour if you have hit them). There is a 25M bonus for completing the course.

When you start video mode, you are told which track you are on including: Daytona, Anaheim & Silverstone. the reason for the different tracks is to make it harder to learn the patterns for the VM.

End of Ball Bonus
At the end of each ball, you get a bonus that depends on features completed throughout the game, as in BK2K. The bonus is:

* 5M for each jump loop (max 200)
* 10M for each challenge started (no limit?)
* 1M for each 100 meters climbed (no limit?)

Multiball
Possibly one of the better scoring possibilities in this game is the regular Multiball. This is a three ball job which starts as soon as the third ball lock shot is made.

To light lock, you have to shoot the Skydive drop target once, and then shoot either Skydive, or Skull to lock the ball. Ball Lock is also an option when you start a new ball at the plunger - this automatically lowers the drop target and fires the ball into Skydive.

Upon locking the third ball, the display shows an animation of a number of motorcycles taking off from the starting grid in a race and then three balls are pumped into play. The objective is to score jackpots which are lit and collected in the following order:

Skull scoop 50M
Skydive scoop 100M
Jump Loop 200M

Repeat until less than 2 balls are in play. You may be able to get credit for the Jump Loop by sending 2 balls up the jump ramp in quick succession. On some machines this may even be possible outside of multiball.

Jump loops also score 25M (instead of the usual 5/10/15...) when not giving the super jackpot 200M.

If you manage to get down to 1 ball without even hitting the Skull for the first jackpot, there's a 'Last Chance' -- all jackpots are lit for 10 to 20 seconds (varies between different machines). In my experience, each one stays lit until the timer runs out or until you hit it once. Other people have reported having all the jackpots go out when you hit one (so the obvious strategy is to shoot the jump for the super jackpot).

Subsequent multiballs perform the same way, but are somewhat harder to start. The second time around, you have to hit the drop target to light lock for each ball, and third time the same applies but now you can only lock in the Skydive hole.

When the third lock is lit, you cannot start Challenges (the skull starts Multiball instead). If you start Multiball during a Challenge, the Challenge and its timer stops, and continues when Multiball is over.
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