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Author Topic: Pinball  (Read 1351 times)
Retrospectives
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« on: June 04, 2016, 09:12:30 AM »

Here in Japan, pinball is kind of obscure and that's why I usually do not get the chance to play on a real machine. But when I was living in the UK, I could at least find some good places that still held those machines.

What is your memories regarding Pinball and what is your most memorable game?

For me I really liked World Cup 94. Fishing Tales. Creature From The Black Lagoon and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Pinball seems to have been pretty common among arcades in Europe and US back in the days? I mean, together with arcade games. What is your memories regarding this? I really hope that I get the chance to play more someday. I like the physical aspect of it, compared to video games. Not that I like Pinball more, but it was certainly an experience that I have fond memories of.
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 11:24:28 AM »

Yeah in Europe it used to be quite common I think.
My memories of them is that I was usually too young to get into those places where you could play Pinball. So I mostly played digital Pinball on computers, consoles (like Pinball to NES) and Game & Watch-style machines, I was pretty bad at digital Pinball and even worse at real Pinball.

I think there's a Mame-like project where they collect the ROM-images of Pinball machines, then they recreate all mechanical and electrical aspects of the games in software and runs the ROM in an emulator together with the software.
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Retrospectives
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 12:55:28 PM »

Thanks for sharing your story. I am not that into emulation but I know that there was something called PinMame or something similar. I might check it out. I have actually been to Sweden since I have a friend who went to the same Uni as me in the UK. We could not find any arcades though, but he lives in a small town outside of Stockholm so I suppose that those places are mainly focused around the capital city or at least bigger cities than his.

The most near pinball-culture we have here would not really what most people would think, Pachinko. But rather I think the medal games as you most certainly know. Not the same thing but some of those machines are at least a little bit more skill-involved compared to most Pachinko games.  Embarrassed I have seen Pinball games in Japan though, but those were kind of antique like those electro-mechanical types of machines with analogue scoreboard and such haha, not really the same thing I would say.
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 06:11:17 PM »

When did you go here? Arcades are pretty much extinct in Sweden now. We never was a big arcade country to begin with, and during the golden arcade era, there where only dedicated arcade halls in big cities like Stockholm (I'm from a small town as well so it wasn't something I experienced often). Arcade machines, pinball machines, slot machines and similar things where mostly found in few numbers in roadhouses, malls, amusement parks and in certain special rooms (that sometimes were age restricted) in certain shops. Slot machines are still going strong in pubs and casinos but Pinball and arcade machines are two endangered species.

Yeah I think PinMame is an emulator that emulates the hardware for various Pinball ROMs (which are basically score displays with lots of visual effects but also probably has all the game flow mechanics), and there's Virtual Pinball software that simulates the physical part of the games. I've seen people building digital Pinball cabinets (basically a huge horizontal screen facing upwards and with Pinball knobs and buttons).

I never tried real Pachinko or any of those medal games. I always wanted to try, but I was turned off by my friend that said she was thrown out of a Pachinko hall for being a foreigner.


Although I was never hooked at Pinball I think it's very interesting due to its part in the history of video games. Apparently terms like "Game Over", "1UP" and "2UP" that are still used heavily in video games, originates from Pinball. "1UP" really means "Player 1 please step up" to show when it's Player 1's turn. It's possibly Super Mario Bros (or at least that made it popular) that started using it for extra life increment.
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Retrospectives
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 05:49:05 AM »

I went there around two years ago or something like that. Which part of Sweden do you come from? My friend came from Västerås(spelling?) so we were mostly spending time around there in cities like Uppsala and when we were in Stockholm we didn't have time nor the energy to look deeper into if there was something available.

Yes. I think so too. I checked it out a couple of years ago and it was really kind of a hassle to set up everything so that each machine could work appropriate with a ton of romsets and similar things. Finally I got it to work a little bit but it was really not the same thing. If emulation of a video game might be considered a bit inaccurate to some people, then pinball must be even more inaccurate eheh. But I did find something on Google Market which looked very nice. Also some kind of emulator but without all the hassle and it seemed to run more smootly. I will test it out tonight. It seemed to have licensed games there and everything so nothing generic or self-made, which seems cool.

Really? I have seen foreigners in Pachinko places before. She might be right about it though, but if you go to a big place near a tourist place like for example Kyoto station (across of that building, in the same building as Kyoto tower) there are at least 4 places where I have seen foreigners. I am not a big fan of Pachinko though. Too loud and I do not smoke but after visiting a Pachinko hall a person will smell like a chain-smoker and have the ears of a 90-year old  Grin But when I was younger we used to go to Pachinko quite often because back then the machines were much more diverse. Nowadays you mostly have the digital slot type counter of Pachinko, but earlier you had what we called wing type of machines and those were a lot easier and required some skill and you could easily get at least 5 000 yen for around 1 hours of play if you were lucky. Balls were a lot cheaper to rent back then too.

If you want to try Medal Games then you can just go to AEON or any other big mall. In AEON they are often found near the food courts and while those type of Medal Game centers is mainly targetting children and such things, it shouldn't be a problem if you are a foreigner coming there with a Japanese friend. Absolutely not. It's quite innocent and usually they also have a small "Pachinko-corner" which you although cannot win any money, you can still play on real machines (+the sound level is like 1000 times lower) so for the experience then I can recommend one of those. Mostly you will find families with children, old people who doesn't have anything else to do, and the usual bunch of 15-year olds just "hanging out". For dedicated Medal Game centers though, I don't know but I remember that I have seen foreigners there too. Not that I go to those places often but those are often targetted towards adults who like to play but doesn't want to gamble, so smoking is usually permitted at least within some section and they usually also carry an assortment of American slot machines as well, but that's really not my thing.

Thanks for the input regarding the 1UP, I never heared it before (I'm sure many people didn't hear it before). Interesting from a historical point of view.  Starman
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 06:06:56 AM by Retrospectives » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 03:19:30 PM »

OK, two years ago arcades were as dead as they are now. Maybe about twenty years ago there where lots of them in Stockholm though. There is a pub that is known to have arcade machines (it's called "HEY STHLM"), and I think there are also some kind of entertainment center somewhere in south Stockholm that has some arcade games too. But that's about it.
Oh Västerås, I'm actually from the same province in the middle of Sweden, although I'm born in Uppsala.

It's ok that it's smoky and loud (that's also part of the experience) since I'm probably only going to a real parlour once or twice anyway. I want to keep a pachinko ball as a souvenir, if it's possible to smuggle it out. Grin Medal games I've seen in normal game centers in Tokyo I think. There was several kinds of games that was played using special tokens that I think was exchanged to from money. They where on their own floor in a Sega game center I think.

I might check out an AEON when I go to Japan this summer. AEON or Pachinko parlour, having some Japanese friends with me might be a good idea anyhow.
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Retrospectives
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 05:01:46 AM »

Wow, that is great. I actually heared about a guy in Uppsala who made his own Taito Station. Do you know about him? This was much later so when I was there I do not think he had built it. But my friend told me that he had been reading it somewhere and that he had imported those big arcade machines like Taito Egret and basically made it like a Mini-Taito Station haha. I really wish I could see it if I visit Sweden sometime.

I was quite interested in the history of Sweden due to it's geographical location (being not in the continental Europe but rather on a peninsular). I heared Uppsala and the cities around were very powerful in history. Very nice city anyway  Smiley

Yeah, you can smuggle out a ball or two. Nobody will notice. Each and every hall has their own engravings on their steel balls (unless they are connected through the same franchise or what I could call it), so if you visit two different for example, then it will have different engravings. From time to time in YAJ there is people selling these more "ancient" and rare steel balls from back in the days.

When it comes to Pachisuro, the far most popular machine series is called "Juggler". It is very simple and although it does not have these fancy LCD displays it is by far the most easy machine to win. Basically current price is 1000 YEN for 50 medals. If you are lucky, a LED lamp will be lit under a sign that say "GOGO Chance". This mean you will soon get bonus. Then there is two bonus. REG and BIG. REG gives you 150 medals and BIG gives you 350. Of course you want to get 350, but to see which machine is most good it is important looking at the stats. Each Pachinko and Pachisuro has a big display over machine and you can see stats from previous day payouts and daily payouts. What you want is a machine that paid out big bonus two days ago but not the previous day (they are changing the settings on a bi-daily basis). Then you can see how many "Start" or "Spins" that has been drawn, and also how many bonus paid out. So a high number of start but 0-bonus means you are more likely getting a bonus. After getting bonus there is a short period when you have the chance of getting a new bonus with much better odds like every 1/125 or similar instead of 1/312. Then each machine has service buttons on top and you can basically just press button and attendance will come and carry the lot into the medal counter. After that you chose from anything from Cigarette to candy to alcohol, but if want money, then just cross arms and shake head, then they will understand and give you credit card size bricks. Each brick has a value. Then you just follow the stream of other people doing the same and you will go outside around a corner and there you just hand over the bricks in a small small counter and they will give money.

For the last part I can really recommend friend to do it. Not because they will not allow foreigner doing it. But some might be feeling awkward and just try to offer you cigarettes or candy. So that's basically how to read and play it. It might seem very complicated at first, but really it is very straight forward and maybe already you knew all this, but I have friend who used to work in hall and he told me a lot of how it's done behind the scene hehe, but just for entertainment you can just chose anything. They even license video game machines like Samurai Shodown and such anime popular things so maybe if you just want spending 2000 yen then you can have a good time just like as similar to arcade game but a little bit different.  Smiley  Some people really make life on this. But for health is not good in long term and to survive people often travel very early in morning to different "events" example if they open a new hall, often will have promotions that day, or if they install new machine. But as for tourists just wanting to have a good experience, then just go to a big hall with a lot of people and I can almost promise that nobody really will say anything. Go to a big hall near a train station or something. If going to smaller countryside, then it's maybe that your friend was worried about but I have no experience of foreigner in those places but I can understand if they feel awkward.  Embarrassed That is if you want to get a real Pachinko experience, but of course most people who go just go there to have fun as a pastime.

But if we go back to topic. This "HEY STHLM", they also have Pinball? I tried that emulator in Android I have to say it was really really fascinating and even they had some of my old favourites which made me very happy.  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 12:59:22 PM »

Wow, that is great. I actually heared about a guy in Uppsala who made his own Taito Station. Do you know about him?
No first time I hear about it. I haven't lived in Uppsala since I was very small so I don't know that much what's going on there nowdays. Thanks for telling me though, gotta check that out sometime.

Quote
I was quite interested in the history of Sweden due to it's geographical location (being not in the continental Europe but rather on a peninsular). I heared Uppsala and the cities around were very powerful in history. Very nice city anyway  Smiley
Yes Sweden is a very old country with lots of history. The middle third of Sweden is called Svealand and is what the country's name comes from (Svea Kingdom which then became Sverige or Sweden in English), and the most powerful cities have generally been here (around Stockholm and Uppsala).

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Yeah, you can smuggle out a ball or two. Nobody will notice. Each and every hall has their own engravings on their steel balls (unless they are connected through the same franchise or what I could call it), so if you visit two different for example, then it will have different engravings. From time to time in YAJ there is people selling these more "ancient" and rare steel balls from back in the days.
Good, I was afraid that if I would ask they may be forced to refuse me. It might be better not to ask, one ball or two shouldn't matter anyway.

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When it comes to Pachisuro, the far most popular machine series is called "Juggler". It is very simple and although it does not have these fancy LCD displays it is by far the most easy machine to win. Basically current price is 1000 YEN for 50 medals.
Wait medals? Isn't Pashisuro also played with Pachinko balls?

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After that you chose from anything from Cigarette to candy to alcohol, but if want money, then just cross arms and shake head, then they will understand and give you credit card size bricks. Each brick has a value. Then you just follow the stream of other people doing the same and you will go outside around a corner and there you just hand over the bricks in a small small counter and they will give money.

For the last part I can really recommend friend to do it. Not because they will not allow foreigner doing it. But some might be feeling awkward and just try to offer you cigarettes or candy.
Yeah this is why I prefer to have some locals with me when going to a place like this. If not for avoiding trouble then at least to make the staff less nervous.

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If going to smaller countryside, then it's maybe that your friend was worried about but I have no experience of foreigner in those places but I can understand if they feel awkward. Embarrassed
I don't know, my friend is maybe a bit naive and has been kicked out of from all kinds of places. Especially back when she didn't speak Japanese (now she is as fluent as me). I myself have yet to encounter any kind of trouble in Japan, neither in the countryside nor in big cities.

Quote
But if we go back to topic. This "HEY STHLM", they also have Pinball? I tried that emulator in Android I have to say it was really really fascinating and even they had some of my old favourites which made me very happy.  Grin
I have yet to visit HEY STHLM but the arcade room is probably just a small part of the pub, so I doubt it has pinball but who knows. But looking at pictures it looks like it's maybe bigger than I thought, and at least it has games that are newer than Sega Rally (unlike what amusement parks have).


Thanks a lot for the detailed info about Pachinko anyway. Time to get rich! Coin lol
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Retrospectives
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 02:21:38 PM »

Yeah. I heared about Svealand, Uppland/Västmanland and Svea people before getting into union with Goth people from west and built nowaday Sweden. Very facinating story. I also know you have in Sweden Sami and for me their culture remind a little bit of the Ainu culture. (Maybe not totally but at least some parts).

People from the countryside in Japan (I mean the real countryside...Think Aomori/Yamagata/Hokkaido, not suburbs or similar) tend to be even kind of hostile even towards other Japanese people ahaha. Not really rude but more like...impatient. I suppose it's like that anywhere you go in the world. Small countryside cities tend by nature to be a bit more conservative and might not really like when people from Osaka or Tokyo come to visit haha.

Pachisuro = Pachi (slang word for something that makes big noise, as in pachipachi as in bang bang from a gun, example the game DonPachi) + suro = slot = Pachi Slot, literally Sound making slot (Doesn't make any sense but Japanese as you probably know likes to put words together). So basically Pachisuro or Pachislo is basically the same as a slot machine except that you have three stop buttons for each reel. Sometimes extra buttons for options like mode, sound and such is available as well. Those are always played with medals. So you basically do the same thing as with Pachinko machine. Put 1000yen bill into a machine and a little slide will start to spitting out medals to the "payout box".

Pachinko is always played with small steel balls though, but Pachisuro is (I don't know why) very popular among young adults...Also the rents for steel balls and medals might differ (1yen per ball, 20yen per ball etc) and between those there will be a line. So you cannot cross a line between 1yen or 20yen because then the staff will be angry.

Sometimes the balls are silver for 20yen and in gold colour for cheaper, but that's not very common but it happens from hall to hall. Nowadays modern halls have smokefree parts (usually required by the owner of the building, but to work around that they usually just install a few smokeless machines which is placed just at the end of the other machines so there will be no difference for a non-smoker almost. Even USB so that you can charge your phone is installed in newer halls.

Yeah, only places I know I had friends that could not come in was in certain bars or maybe if they had tattoo then Onsen is nono, but that's not because of they are foreigner but because of that rules applies to everyone.  Embarrassed

Anyway, I found some video of man from Tokyo (I think) who had a very big pinball collection. I am not sure but maybe it's worth to check out. I have no idea elsewhere I can play, and I am almost never in Tokyo... Cry
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2016, 09:05:06 PM »

Wow you know a lot about Swedish history. Yeah Sami are basically the Swedish Ainu, and the Swedish and Sami realations history is very similar to the Japanese and Ainu relation history. I'm an east-Asian studies major so I know something about Japanese history too.

I've been to some smaller towns (not THAT much country side but at least you could see rice fields close to it), and they have been very kind to me there. But yeah small towns are very conservative in Sweden too. There's a small town close to my hometown that don't like people even from neighbouring towns too much.

Oh I see, I always thought Pachisuro was a combination of Pachinko and a Slot Machine (I've seen earlier Pachinko machines that doesn't have the slots).


I checked out pinball on wikipedia for fun, and it appears Sweden is quite a big pinball country. Sweden's national team is the second strongest in the world after USA, who knew?

In Swedish, pinball is called flipperspel (flipper game). But apparently early pinball games had no flippers, only pins (thus called pinball in English I guess) on the board and target holes that gives money or prices. It seems you only have control of the plunger force that shoots the ball. Sounds like pachinko to me.
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