Begin Document---------------------------------------------------- From: Newsgroups:,,comp.answers,rec.answers,news.answers Subject: FAQ: Epic's Android Pinball (Shareware Version) Supersedes: Followup-To:, Date: 15 Jan 1996 21:17:25 GMT Organization: none Lines: 576 Approved: Expires: 28 Feb 1996 21:11:25 GMT Message-ID: NNTP-Posting-Host: X-Last-Updated: 1995/04/04 Originator: faqserv@bloom-picayune.MIT.EDU Archive-Name: games/android-faq Version: Tue Apr 4 11:44:44 EDT 1995 Written-By: Norman G. Sippel ****************************************************************************** Epic Pinball's Android Pinball Frequently Asked Questions Written By Norman G. Sippel ****************************************************************************** Version 2.00 ****************************************************************************** Introduction ------------ With the growth in popularity of the IBM PC pinball game, Android, and its many requests for cheat keys, I decided to put this Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) together. Please e-mail with any comments, questions, or additions. As of Friday April 15, 1994, the FAQ Server at will be posting this document in the middle of every month on and Trademark and Copyright Notices ------------------------------- All Android trademarks and copyrights mentioned in this FAQ are property of Epic Megagames and James Schmalz. This purpose of this FAQ is to inform people, and it is kept in my spare time for no profit. All material in this FAQ has been written by myself, Norman G. Sippel, or has been given to me. The "Android FAQ" is my property with (C) 1993, 1994, 1995. Distribution and Site File Access --------------------------------- This document, if kept on a file transfer protocol (FTP) site, must be kept in a public access section and be available for free; otherwise, the site may not carry this document. If a site accepts these terms, it may freely distribute this document as long as it remains in tact with proper disclaimers and credits. (Currently, only FTP sites may carry this document. No other computer-oriented or hard-copy transmissions have been approved.) This document, or any derivative works thereof, may not be sold or redistributed for profit in any way without express written permission (through paper [snail] mail) of the editor, Norman G. Sippel. This includes, but is not limited to, translations into foreign languages, mass archival as on a CD_ROM, inclusion in commercially published compilations (books), and uploading this document to non-USENET services. This document represents the collective effort of many USENET pinball fans. We appreciate your honoring of this policy. ******************* * Table Of Contents * ******************* PART ONE The Original Android Pinball I. What is Android Pinball? II. Where can I get a copy of Android? III. What are Android's keyboard controls? IV. What are its missions and goals? V. How do I hit ... ? (Strategy Section) VI. What are its secrets? ** NOTE ** Please send in your best strategies on how to reach difficult tasks and areas--the strategy section is still being constructed. (Your strategic tips will be added along with your name next to it.) The biggest FAQ is "how do I hit the physical systems consistently?" I have yet to come up with a solid solution, so one would be very much appreciated by all! (I tried in this edition!:) PART TWO Super Android Pinball I. What is Super Android Pinball? II. What is the difference between the original Android and Super Android? III. Where can I get a copy of Super Android? IV. How do I hit the new targets? V. What are its secrets? ** NOTE ** Since the Super Android part of the FAQ is still very new, this part is still being constructed. Comments, suggestions, and corrections are wholeheartedly invited to be sent to me at Reminder: Since the two games are invariably intertwined, I will keep the main areas and tasks in Part One, and the new areas and tasks in Part Two. (For your convenience, if you don't see a question answered in one part, please see the other before posting questions or emailing myself.) PART THREE I. How do I contact Epic MegaGames? II. What would you like to see in the next release of Android? III. Credits! (Let's hear it for these folks!) ******** * PART ONE * ******** I. What is Android Pinball? "Android" is one of Epic Megagames' new pinball tables. This FAQ covers the shareware version of Android which is available all over the Internet (and other networks). Currently, there are two versions available through shareware: Android (The Original, and Super Android ( Epic Megagames' shareware policy does not allow both versions to be out at the same time, so Android is being phased out. (So if you want to enjoy both, save them in separate directories on your hard drive and back-up both onto disk.) Due to copyright concerns, as of this version of the FAQ, I will be deleting Epic Megagames' description of Android. If you would like to see what it's like, I highly recommend downloading a copy of it--it's worth the time and effort to get. For myself, it's one (or two? :D) of the few games I will always keep on my hard drive. Android, simply put, is one of the finest pinball games on the IBM Personal Computer (PC). The pinball acts as if it was real, and according to Epic Megagames, it is as fast as 60 frames/second. It has bumpers, a kicker, many sinkholes, challenging ramps, and many many more features. Most of the features have been covered in the other sections of the FAQ. Remember: Android is shareware; if you like it, please pay for it. Thank you. II. Where can I get a copy of Android? ** NOTE ** These sites may not have the original game anymore, so while searching for the original, keep looking for the name "" Here are a few places to look (from a recent archie search): Host Location: /pcsoft2/msdos2/games/Epic FILE -rw-r--r-- 707185 Nov 1 14:49 Host Location: /pub/msdos/games FILE -rw------- 707185 Dec 8 04:34 III. What are Android's keyboard controls? Key Function ------------------------------------------------------------ Space Bar Shoot the ball, Tilt the pinball machine up Left Arrow Flip up the left flipper Left Shift Flip up the left flipper Right Arrow Shoot the ball, Flip up right flipper Right Shift Flip up the right flipper Up Arrow Scroll pinball machine viewing area up Down Arrow Scroll pinball machine viewing area down M Turn music on/off P Pause S Turn sound on/off T Adjust tracking (smoothness) control Z Tilt the machine right / Tilt the machine left ESCape Quit (Y/N)? See "What are its secrets?" for cheat keys! :) IV. What are its missions and goals? Here are the three goals of the game: [1] Hit the physical systems hole once to start activating the systems. Every time you hit all three targets, aim for the hole again to activate an arm, a leg, or other body part. Once you finish the torso, there are no more systems to activate. Collect Tests every time you activate an android part. Physical Stages: (Note: All "M"s after numbers stand for million) Hit all three targets (marked 1, 2, 3) and physical stage hole to activate Left Arm Right Arm (Multiball & Jackpot) Left Leg Right Leg (Multiball & Jackpot) Head Torso (Multiball with 3 balls and Double Jackpot; Testing max is 247M) [2] Move the ball through the rightmost ramp to activate the computer link. Every time you complete the targets, hit through the regular left ramp to get memory (5M, 10M, 15M, etc). Once you complete all 3 targets, you can get BOTH goals [1] and [2], and then it resets. Memory Stages: Basic Input/Output (I/O) 5M - Start computer link-up and aim for all ramps Artificial Intelligence (AI) 10M - Aim for all ramps and targets 15M (Virus) - Hit rightmost ramp Artificial Intelligence 2 (AI2) 20M - Shoot all red triangle paths Database 35M - Sink the pinball into all the sink-holes 15M (Virus) - Hit rightmost ramp Activate Hit all three targets on the board (the 1, 2, and 3 switches) [3] Collect points and jackpots. Collecting Points: There are many "points only" targets on the board such as the "Power Up" hole. Every time this hole is hit, one letter lights up at the bottom of the board (such as "P" or "W"); once all ten letters are lit, a jackpot of 10 million is awarded. Another score-booster is aiming for the ramp that leads to the bumpers, and the red arrow for the middle lights begins glowing. When this ramp is traveled, the ramp pot increases by thirty thousand and the current pot is awarded. Another target is the IQ--IQ will never reach a maximum. My personal high for IQ was 1100. Multiball Stages and Jackpots: After completing the arms, multiball (with two pinballs) will appear. Aim for the second left-most lane (not the test lane or the return-to-the-bottom ramp) which will give the jackpot plus highlight the middle ramp's bonus. After completing the legs, a similar multiball will occur. Once the torso is activated, the final multiball will drop its three pinballs in the middle of the board. Aim for the test lane for double jackpot. Other Notes of Interest: A. The middle ramp's bonus value starts at 100,000 and increases every time by 30,000 when the ramp is lit. (See "How do I hit ... ?" section for more information on the middle ramp.) B. Fast PCs have silver flippers, and slow PCs have yellow flippers. This can be switched in the OPTIONS menu. C. Angles make the ball lighter or heavier. Low angles for lightweight pinballs or high angles for heavyweight pinballs. From Mike Brandt ( Actually, the angle refers to the slope of the virtual pinball table relative to horizontal. The physics is different from that of lighter/heavier balls. For example, on a given slope, balls with different weights will accelerate at the same rate. But changing the slope changes the acceleration. V. How do I hit ... ? (Strategy Section) ... the Physical Systems Hole? The best method I've found is to let the ball go through the left ramp and come down to the left flipper. When it lands on the very edge of the flipper's tip, flip up, and it should go in about 50% of the time. ... the Power Hole? Similar to the physical systems except that it should be in the middle of the left flipper. After it leaves the hole, let it touch (for about a second) the flipper, and flip the ball up again. ... the Test Hole or Drop Targets? Flip the pinball up through the middle ramp and let it land on your right flipper. When it gets close to the tip, flip up, and it should head in the direction of the hole/targets. ... the Bumpers (more often after it is shot up)? When the pinball is heading back down to the center of the board after bouncing around the bumpers, hit the Space Bar to shake the pinball machine. This will cause the ball to bounce around more and rack up IQ points. ... the Middle Ramp's light on? Flip the pinball to the middle lane; this will activate the middle ramp's bonus. After the initial 100 grand, the bonus increases by 30,000. VI. What are its secrets? To get an extra ball before playing, press F1 at the OPTIONS screen at the number of balls choice. (See the extra pages in the help.) These are not officially from Epic Megagames, but these debug codes in the shareware version will help you have some fun with the game. All codes need to have escape (ESC) to be pressed first for the prompt; the responses to this prompt activates the cheats. (The escape is included for quick reference.) Codes Purpose Debug Purpose (theoretical) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The best cheats of the game: ESC-B-N * An extra ball is dropped during play. Test multiball. ESC-J + Using the cursor keys, the ball is Test whole game and goals. under player control. Interesting debug codes: ESC-F9 A border appears. ? ? ? ? (Does not work for all monitors.) ESC-F10 A screen capture to file SCREEN.PCX. Advertising Purposes ESC-F1 A parameter request prompt. ? ? ? ? (Unknown parameters) Footnotes from Mike Brandt ( * This works on all tables in the registered version, except for Engima which crashes (albeit in a very colorful way) + This does not work on the registered version, including Android. I have tested out all other keys, so there are no more ESC-(button) debug codes. However, the ESC-F1 looks to be promising research material. Other means of free balls: DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend changing any of the files on pinball except when the Set-Up Program changes it. Use at your own risk!! From Steve Hastings ( A good cheat you didn't mention: make a backup copy of the options file. Then change the number of balls. Then run "comp" or some similar utility on the backed-up options file versus the current options file; you will get a message that one byte is different, and the offset of the byte. Now use Norton Utilities or any other binary editor to patch that one byte to a value of zero. Presto: an unlimited number of balls. The ball counter will max-out at 9 and stay there, and you can play forever. I think I had a 5-digit IQ once when I was trying to get past "Torso" to the next level. I'll be bummed if there isn't one. From Mike Brandt ( Here is a QBASIC program which accomplishes the "edit the options file" cheat. Just run QBASIC (which comes with DOS versions 5 and up), type in the following program, and choose RUN from the menu. OPEN "C:\PINBALL\CONFIG.PIN" FOR BINARY AS #1 A$ = CHR$(0) PUT #1, 12, A$ CLOSE #1 Substitute the path that you have Epic Pinball in, if it isn't C:\PINBALL, in the first line. You can also change the zero in the second line to a number from 1 to 9 to set the number of balls per game (the Zero makes it infinite.) Balls Executable Program: There is a program out on the ftp sites called "balls.c" and/or "balls.exe". It will give you unlimited balls, and it is rumored to be written by Epic Megagames. The first two methods are dangerous because I'm not sure if they are copyright violations. I would like to include the balls.exe file in uuencoded format, but I would like to find out from the powers that be. Who's right about changing the files? Who's wrong? I am waiting for Epic Megagames' response to my e-mails. My friend Darren has some comments on it: From Darren 'The Hammer' Carlson ( I think the FAQ is quite good. I wasn't aware of the debug codes that were available in the game. I can't see why you wouldn't be able to distribute the compiled code for Balls.exe with the FAQ. Epic has the file in its Hints & Cheats Library on Compuserve in their Forum. I don't remember there being a note about not being able to distribute it but I may be wrong. I'll post a message in the Forum and see what the powers that be say about it. Here is yet another viewpoint about the file changing: From Mike Brandt ( I noticed that you mentioned this in your FAQ; I find it quite surprising. After all, I bought the program from Epic, and I feel that I have the right to modify any of its files if I so desire; I have no intention of giving any of the files (modified or not) to anybody else. I will check Epic's licensing agreement. I do believe that you're not allowed to modify the shareware version *and then pass it on*, but modifying for your own use? Anyway, even if it is a copyright violation to modify the file, it should be ok to describe how it's done. (For example, growing pot is illegal, but I've seen _The Marijuana Grower's Guide_ in bookstores!) Just add a disclaimer. (I did add a disclaimer -- Ed.) ******** * PART TWO * ******** I. What is Super Android? "Super Android Pinball" is an updated version of Epic MegaGames' hit, Android. It features several new scoring areas, bug fixes, and soundcard improvements. NOTE: Super Android (SA) has replaced the original Android in most sites because of the shareware licensing agreement of Epic Megagames. So if you have the original, keep it! You will see why in a little bit. II. What is the difference between the original Android and Super Android? The Good Side ------------- First of all, it fixes several bugs (or programming problems) with the original Android (i.e., running it under Windows instead of straight DOS). It also has claimed to have a new and improved soundcard support and soundtrack. Epic has added several new tricks and areas to the game. The Bad Side ------------ Epic MegaGames, since the release of the original Android Pinball FAQ, has taken out most of the debugging cheats in the game. (See "What are its secrets?" in this part for more details on this.) The new areas and tricks are a treat, but they don't add anything to the tasks of the game, as I was hoping for. III. Where can I get a copy of Super Android? From Raymond Bingham ( SITE: IP Address: Geographic Region: Wisconsin (USA) Directory: /pub/msdos/games/uml/Epic SITE: Geographic Region: Massachussetts (USA) IP Address: Directory: msdos/Games/Epic IV. How do I hit the new targets? How do I hit ... ? ...the "Red Spot"? This spot is above the left trangle near the flippers. When you hit this, it lights up/turns off the Android Millions ramp. You want to aim for the left triangle's center, and the pinball should hit it. WARNING: This new feature has a nasty bug. When you aim for the drop targets (the "1", "2", and "3"), it will affect the Red Spot only and avoid the drop targets. In order to hit the drop targets now, you have to aim over it. (I.e., get the pinball into your right flipper. Gently flip the pinball over the red spot to hit the drop targets.) ...the "Android Millions" ramp? First of all, hit the Red Spot. Next, aim for the left ramp. It should drop down halfway, enter, and score an Android Millions bonus. First, the bonus is one million, and it increments by a million after each successful hit while the pinball is in play during that turn. It goes back to a million when the pinball has been drained. WARNING: The pinball, after it goes into the Android Millions ramp and sinkhole, will sling back out from the "Power" sinkhole. ...the "Kicker"? To activate the kicker, you need to hit the middle ramp three or four times in one turn (this is still not entirely clear quite yet). The kicker will be available to save your pinball from left-sided drains, but it will only save two drains. If your pinball goes through the left-sided drain, the kicker will "kick" it back out. WARNING: Don't intentionally use the kicker. You may lose your turn. =) V. What are Super Android's secrets? When Epic released the "Super" version of Android, it added some new features and took some old ones out. The previous frequently asked question included its new features, and this one will deal with the removed features. The following chart has what features are in it. NOTE: These are not officially from Epic Megagames, but these debug codes in the shareware version will help you have some fun with the game. All codes need to have escape (ESC) to be pressed first for the prompt; the responses to this prompt activates the cheats. (The escape is included for quick reference.) Codes Purpose The Result Of Using It ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The best cheats of the game: ESC-B-N An extra ball is dropped during play. A ball drops above the left triangle. Good to activate the Red Spot. ESC-J Using the cursor keys, the ball is Nothing. =( under player control. Interesting debug codes: ESC-F9 A border appears. A mixed red and white (Does not work for all monitors.) border appears. Can crash the game. ESC-F1 A parameter request prompt. ? ? ? ? (Unknown parameters) I have tested out all other keys, so there are no more ESC-(button) debug codes. However, the ESC-F1 looks to be promising research material. As you can see when you compare this to the other chart, the pinball control and screen capture has been taken out. The mysterious ESC-F1 is still in there though--can we say password? =) ********** * PART THREE * ********** I. How do I contact Epic Megagames? SNAIL MAIL: Check out the "Read This!" section for the other addresses, but here is the USA address: Epic Megagames 10406 Holbrook Drive Potomac, MD 20854 USA ELECTRONIC MAIL: Here are two important addresses to remember: Raymond Bingham (Net Rep for Epic Megagames) Tim Sweeney (President of Epic Megagames)........???? III. CREDITS!!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Credits<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< These people (whether they know it or not) have given information for this FAQ. Their work is most appreciated. (If you don't like the name given for your entry, e-mail me the name you would like to use.) Mike Raymond Bingham (Net Rep for Epic Megagames) Darren 'The Hammer' Chris Steve Ming-Jer Tony White >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Credits<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< The Super Android and Android FAQs (C) 1993, 1994, 1995 Norman G. Sippel -- <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Norman G. Sippel <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Fan of Video Games, Spumco Inc., FreeHead, Card Games, and Animation! <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>