--Timeshock! Strategy Guide--


Tips for playing Timeshock!

A lot was written about Timeshock! in the last time. Not without a reason, 
since it is the first pinball simulation for the PC, that - because of its 
realistic ball physics - is a serious alternative to a real pinball machine 
(and not only in my opinion). Additionally, Timeshock! features a brilliant 
and detailed Rule sheet that is not even reached by any real pinball machine 
available. Only some legendary classics like 'Twilight Zone' and The 'Addams 
Family' have rule sheets comparable to this one - newer releases like ëNo 
Good Gofers', ëNBA Fastbreak' and the very popular 'Medieval Madness' seem 
boring and uninspired to me. Sadly, the biggest manufacturer of pinball 
machines in the world - Bally/Williams - didn't present any real innovations 
for a long time and other manufacturers actually never produced something 
useful.

I never thought much of PC pinball simulators - it is true that I played 
ëPinball Fantasies' or ëPsycho Pinball' now and then, but never as ambitious  
and passionate like I play real pinball machines for 19 years now. Due to the 
bad feeling these programs have because of an unreal ball movement and the 
scrolling views, I could only take them as a bad compensation. Regarding the 
view of the table, Timeshock! is exceptional with its 3D viewing perspective 
(I recommend the broadest!). However, this is becoming more and more popular 
in the last time, see ëStar Trek Pinball', "Addiction Pinball" and others.
What sets Timeshock! apart from real pinball machines is the use of the PC-
Keyboard. It is true that there are numerous controllers available in the 
meantime (i.e. by Philips), that allow the control of the flippers by buttons 
attached to the sides and simulate the even more important nudging of the 
table by shaking the pinball console, but if you are good at nudging a real 
table, you'll start from zero when using these controllers. Well there is a 
difference between nudging the playfield directly and simulated nudging. I 
played the Philips-controller at the CEBIT 1997 and although it was not bad, 
it did not give the real pinball feeling. That's the reason I didn't buy one 
yet and still play using my PC-keyboard.

To make things a bit better, I strongly recommend changing the keyboard 
layout of Timeshock! For me, I had to change the keys used for nudging to the 
left and right - I use the keys next to the flipper buttons. I think this is 
much better for a fast reaction, but this might be a matter of habit. Many 
people have problems with the backspace key to activate the magnosave, 
because it is far away from the other keys. I have no problem with this, but 
if you do, I recommend using another key for magnosave, too.

Another important requirement for realistic playing is an absolutely smooth 
ball movement even in multiball with three or four balls. In case you don't 
have a highend computer I would lower the graphic and sound options until the 
movement is smooth. Naturally, it is best if the balls do not even jerk in 
the final wizard mode ëThe End of Time' with six balls, but you'll need a 
very 
fast computer to achieve this. You can live with the balls jerking a little 
in this mode - at least I can. I tried the game in Windows95 and in DOS and 
think the last is better. On my computer the ball movement was a bit smoother 
and although the ball seemed to be a view gram heavier in the windows95 
version, this advantage was compensated by longer breaks when the music 
changes, but this may be different on your computer.

Last of all, it is important to use the newest version of Timeshock! At the 
moment this is version 1.07. It has a better performance than the early 
versions and you can only enter the official high score list on the internet 
with high score codes obtained with version 1.07, because the Pro Pinball 
team changed the code (you can get the high score code by holding both 
flipper buttons at the end of a game!). High scores achieved with older 
version can only submitted via email.

That much to the settings. Now to the game. I assume that you are familiar 
with the basic functions of the game. This guide is not intended to be a 
manual for beginners that have no experience with Timeshock! and that do not 
know where to shoot the ball.

For beginners I recommend taking a look in the manual. However, the manual 
does not offer much information. A very good description of the game by Jens 
Gˆring is available at http://home.onestop.net/goering/ in English and 
German. If you don't know the basic features of the game, I recommend reading 
Jens Gˆring's guide before reading any further.

Here, I want to describe the strategy that reaches the highest scores on 
Timeshock!. Therefore, you'll have to know the rules in the first place. 
Surely, I will repeat some of the rules, but not as detailed as in the guide 
mentioned above.

If you read the manual delivered with Timeshock!, the goal of a good game 
seems to be ëThe Dawn of Time' mode. At least the whole story (which I won't 
repeat here - it is too fancy for me anyway...) describes this mode as the 
great finale. I think the billion points you get for all that work (that is 
required to start that mode, not that what you need to complete the mode) do 
not justify all that trouble. A normal multiball can bring as much or more 
points and is much easier to start. I got quite good scores by going only for 
ëTime Machine Frenzy'. I never lost the first timezone ('The Present'), 
completed the continents and started ëGlobal Domination'. After that, it is 
relatively easy to repeat the spinner - upper ramp combo and start dozens of 
multiballs. It is possible to achieve a lot of points in multiball by getting 
the Ultra Jackpot, esp. when it is worth 500 millions. 
It is very save to play this way. As soon as you hit the spinner - upper ramp 
combo perfectly, the ball has no chance to drain. Only during multiball it is 
advisable to catch a ball on the left flipper to avoid draining all balls at 
once, which is only possible after the ball saver expires. It is possible to 
collect quite a few jackpots before this happens. If all balls but the one on 
the left flipper drain, you can do a slingshot pass (briefly release the left 
flipper and immediately flip again - the ball will hit the lower edge of the 
slingshot and roll over to the right flipper) and start going for the next 
multiball.

As I mentioned above, this strategy is very save, but also quite boring. It 
reduces the game to its basic features and you will never see all the great 
things Timeshock! offers when playing this way.

I know many players who mainly go for 'The Dawn of Time', but in a way, that 
in my opinion only leads to average scores around 10 billion. Remember, to 
start The ëDawn of Time', you need to lock all four crystal fragments in all 
timezones and complete (get 100%) three explorations of your choice. The 
usual strategy is to complete the first timezone that is complete both 
explorations and lock the crystal fragment. After that you travel to the next 
timezone and lock the fragment there, etc. In one of the remaining timezones, 
you complete the exploration you find easiest to meet all requirements to 
start 'The Dawn of Time'. After you played this mode, you got to travel 
around a lot. Maybe you have enough balls left to start ëThe End of Time', 
for which you have to complete five more explorations in three different 
timezones. This means a lot of work, including recharging the timedrive three 
times (you can travel once after 'The Dawn of Time' for free, so you don't 
need to travel four times!). Recharging the timedrive with 10 hits of the 
side ramps is in my opinion one of the riskiest things to do in the game - It 
is too easy to loose a ball here and the random award Enable 'Timedrive' you 
can get via the ëSuper Scanner' won't happen often enough.

More effective is going resolutely for the combined goal of starting ëThe 
Dawn of Time' and directly travelling to ëThe End of Time' using the free 
ride you get after completing ëThe Dawn of Time'. Therefore, you need to 
complete all eight explorations before starting ëThe Dawn of Time', which 
means that you have to complete both explorations of each time zone before 
travelling to the next one to prevent travelling to one time zone twice.

So, play every multiball in the actual time zone until you completed both 
explorations and don't let a charged timedrive lead you to a premature 
travel! This might be frustrating for inexperienced players, because they'll 
never reach the wizard mode or will even be stuck in the first time zone, but 
I will restrict my tips to optimal playing. If you want to beat the actual 
Grand Champion (37,673,312,370, I always try that when playing), there are 
some more things to think about: With factory settings, you can collect a 
maximum of 10 extra balls, every additional lit extra ball will only award 
points. This means that a game has a maximum of 13 balls, so you got to 
collect an average of nearly 3 billion per ball to beat the actual Grand 
Champion. It is important to have this limit in mind and to play every ball 
like it is your last one. Naturally it is possible to compensate a bad ball 
with a very good one (I once had over 10 billion with one ball), but you 
should not trust on that. It might also be possible to collect the remaining 
extra balls at the end of the game, but you can calm down and play better, if 
you collect them with your first ball. Additionally, you have a better 
overview of the number of balls to play. I stop every game (the fastest way 
to do this is to hold the start and the launch button at the same time!), if 
I was unable to collect 3 billion points with my first ball.

Another consideration regarding the high score: One complete round of the 
game (I mean starting ëThe Dawn of Time' and ëThe End of Time') scores a 
average total of about 10 billion points in my games. This means that I have 
to play four rounds to beat the Grand Champion (in that game I lost the last 
ball shortly before starting ëThe End of Time' for the fourth time). With 13 
balls you'll need 3 balls for one complete journey to ëThe End of Time'. 
Surely, this is not very easy, but I see this limit as a guideline. Sometimes 
you will need four or five balls, but this can hopefully be compensated by a 
very good ball in the course of the game. As a conclusion, it is recommended 
to have another limit besides the three billion minimum for the first ball - 
that is to reach at least one third of the way to ëThe End of Time'. To be 
concrete: collect at least three pieces of Tachyonium and reach the second 
time zone (with the first one completed, naturally).

You can describe the optimal playing style in this way: Almost never lose 
control of the ball and always know where the ball will go after hitting 
certain targets. It's hard for me to give universally valid tips concerning 
this - It seems that everybody got to develop his own technique here. All 
theory can only give an inspiration to try things out and find one's own 
playing style. Nevertheless, I will explain my way of playing in detail - not 
least because I get often asked how I achieve such scores without being able 
to explain it in a view words. Just see this as an inspiration to try things 
out - every player has his strong and weak points and develops his own 
concept of playing intuitively. For example, I have problems hitting the 
middle scoop from the right flipper but find it easy from the left. So, the 
techniques described in the following are only my way of playing and there 
are surely other ways to achieve such high scores. Still, I am sure that 
after testing a lot of different ways out, my tips regarding the order in 
which to hit targets lead to the optimum of points in the specific situation 
and minimize the probability of draining a ball. It's up to you to find out 
the best way (for you) to hit these targets.

I think it is important to have an overall plan in mind, although it might 
necessary to deviate from it in certain situations. It should include a 
certain route, since travelling randomly from time zone to time zone only 
irritates and gives no advantage. I got used to the following route: ëThe 
Present' ñ ëThe Future' ñ ëThe Ancient Rome' ñ ëThe Prehistoric Age' ñ ëThe 
Dawn of Time' ñ ëThe End of Time' and start over again.

In the following, I play an ideal game in mind until you get an insight of my 
basic playing structure. So to say, I'll travel once through the whole game. 
If something appears too difficult, you should keep in mind that not all of 
my games are as perfect as the described one - it is just a theoretical model 
of an optimal game. On the other side, I developed this model from real games 
I played, in which many things happened like I describe here. Nothing is pure 
fiction and some things need a lot of practice. Timeshock! is by no way an 
easy pinball, but you can continually get better on it.

About the basic controls: For mastering Timeshock! it is unavoidable to learn 
not only the correct use of the flippers, but also the correct use of nudging 
the table. Most of the draining balls can be nudged back into play, if you 
have enough tilt warnings left. Therefore, you should use these tilt warnings 
sparingly.

Naturally, it is best if the ball does not even come in these situations. Get 
used to nudging the table to the right if the ball rolls through the left 
outlane and you will almost never loose the ball on this side. You can do 
this without getting a warning. Since there is no gate on the right side, you 
should learn to master the magnosave. I recommend paying attention on having 
magnosave lit, but I would only shoot for the drop target banks if there are 
only a few left. Multiball is a good opportunity to re-light magnosave.
If the ball rolls through the right outlane with high speed, it is often 
sufficient to hold the right flipper up and nudge the table softly up. The 
ball will hit the pin between the flippers and rolls on the left one. This 
will give you only one tilt warning. If the ball is slow, you have to nudge 
up and to the left to achieve the same result. Most of the time, you will get 
two warnings - these balls are the hardest to save.

If the ball drains on the left side, you can use the same technique and it is 
even easier here. Most of the time you can nudge the ball directly on the 
right flipper without using the pin in the middle - it's a matter of 
practice.

Ok, let's start. For clearness, I separated the text in different timezones, 
where the first timezone contains a lot of information which is valid in the 
other timezones, too. Therefore, the first chapter is very long, whereas the 
other ones are quite short and refer to the first one often.


"The Present"

As in the other timezones, the main goal here is at first to complete all 
continents including both explorations. Get used to play ëGlobal Domination' 
in this timezone. Therefore, it does not matter if you light a continent or 
start an exploration with a hit of the upper ramp, since you need all 
continents anyway. Still, it is possible to choose the next continent with a 
timed launch of the ball. The continents are represented by white lamps on 
the playfield. While the ball is in the plunger lane, the lit light circles 
through all unlit continents and if you launch the ball the light will stop - 
so you can choose which continent is flashing now. All you need to now is 
which continents contain explorations and plunge at the right moment to start 
an exploration as fast as possible. In ëThe Present', the utmost continent 
(Europe) starts ëThe Channel Tunnel' and the fourth continent from top (North 
America) starts ëMount Rushmore'. It is also important to know that because 
the scanner can start an exploration, too, but only if the flashing continent 
contains one.

A fast way to light all continents is the spinner - upper ramp combination - 
it always lights two continents: the flashing one and the next in line from 
top to bottom. If you hit the upper ramp without hitting the spinner shortly 
before, you will only spot one continent (the flashing one). Naturally, the 
fastest way to light all continents is the triple-combo (right orbit - right 
ramp - spinner - upper ramp), but I won't go for that at the beginning 
because the risk of loosing the ball is too high. As I said, I don't think 
that these considerations are of much importance at the moment - the 
important thing is to light all continents.

First of all, shoot the spinner - upper ramp combination to light two 
continents and eventually start an exploration. You can do this twice before 
the lock blocks the spinner and for the first time you light lock not only 
for one lock but for all three. You could start the multiball now and go for 
the continents later, but I don't recommend this, because if you play a good 
multiball and are not able to complete the explorations with the first ball, 
you invested a lot of time only to start the game over (see my limits for the 
first ball!). So: Finish the continents first. The best way to complete them 
when lock is lit is holding a ball on the right flipper (If the ball is on 
the left flipper do a slingshot pass) and pressing the left flipper button. 
This combination briefly deactivates the lock and makes it possible to shoot 
the spinner - upper ramp combination again (this is even mentioned in the 
official manual!). If none of the two continents start an exploration now, a 
problem occurs: the ball will be fed to the right flipper and you can't shoot 
it through the spinner, because lock is lit again. There is the possibility 
to quickly deactivate lock again (you don't need to hold a ball to do that), 
but the safest way is to shoot the ball back up through the left orbit. I 
estimate that 80% of the balls in the bumpers exit the bumpers to the right, 
so you can try to shoot the upper ramp with the upper flipper, which will 
spot one continent. It is also possible to catch the ball coming down the 
upper ramp with the right flipper by flipping briefly, but this is as risky 
as doing a hold pass to the left flipper (hold the right flipper to let the 
ball roll to the left one and catch it there), which only works by nudging 
the table up at the same time. The worst thing you could do is just shooting 
the ball somewhere - this will just led to loosing the ball. The safest 
technique is to shoot the ball up the left orbit - and not only in this 
situation, where the spinner is blocked by a lock, but also in many other 
situations where you maybe temporary don't have an overview and don't know 
what to shoot. It always takes a while until the ball comes back down (sadly, 
most of the time again through the upper ramp to the right flipper - I found 
no other save way to treat a ball that is coming out of the bumpers to the 
upper flipper), but you might use this time to get some orientation. Shooting 
the left orbit is a very save method, which will collect quite a lot points 
on its own - more on that later. Exceptions to this rule are lit awards you 
don't want to collect, but more on that later, too.

If this is too complicated, you can light all continents by shooting every 
ball in the left orbit and a following shot to the upper ramp. This will take 
a bit longer, but it is very save and additionally increases the bonus 
multiplier and the super jets. Maybe this is even the best way, but I don't 
have the patience to do this on my first ball, since I stop the game after a 
bad first ball and would loose a lot of time doing so.

About the two explorations in this timezone: I find ìMount Rushmore" to be 
the easiest exploration. This is the optimal way to play it: When the ball 
leaves the bumpers to the upper flipper, shoot the upper ramp - the ball will 
be fed to the right flipper, from where you can easily shoot the left ramp 
which gives you a good shot for the right ramp. Everything you need to do to 
complete the exploration now is hit the spinner. If you hit everything in 
this way, you can complete the exploration in less than 10 seconds - the 
limit is 60 seconds. If you miss the upper ramp, I recommend the following: 
catch the ball on any flipper. If it is easier to catch it on the left 
flipper, you can slingshot pass the ball to the right one. Now shoot the 
following combination: Left ramp - right ramp - spinner - upper ramp and 
again the spinner. Naturally, it is possible to shoot the right ramp from the 
left flipper instead of doing a slingshot pass, but after shooting the left 
ramp, you'll have to shoot the right ramp again to be able to shoot the 
spinner and upper ramp. You might think I'm pedantic to make such 
considerations because of one additional ramp shot, but shooting for the 
ramps is quite risky and often lead to draining the ball. Therefore, you 
shouldn't aim for the ramps if it is not absolutely necessary.

By the way, it is possible to shoot the left ramp by backhanding it with the 
left flipper. It is also possible to shoot the right ramp from the right 
flipper, but this is more difficult. Additionally, you have to release the 
flipper quickly to get the upper flipper out of the way.

After completing the exploration, the ball comes out of the time machine. 
It's safest to hold both flippers up to catch the ball on the right one. The 
same technique works with a ball cached by the magnosave, too.

The second exploration (ëChannel Tunnel') belongs to the easier ones, too. It 
is a good opportunity to try an ultra combo, since you need all shots in both 
the exploration and the ultra combo. At the start of the exploration, the 
ball rolls down the left orbit instead of being fed to the bumpers. This is 
done very realistically - the ball won't always have the same speed. I find 
it most difficult to treat a ball coming out of the orbit. It is possible to 
catch these balls on the left flipper, but this technique is quite complex 
and backfires easily. In principle, you have to hold the left flipper up. 
Then, shortly before the ball touches the flipper, release the flipper and 
quickly flip again. To succeed, you got to have a very good feeling for the 
right moment, since the ball won't always have the same speed and spin, which 
makes it quite complex. Sometimes, it works to keep both flippers down. The 
ball jumps from the right flipper to the left one and can be cached there 
(useful in ëDinosaur Stampede' and others). But, as I said, this will not 
always work and if it doesn't, it often leads to a drain.

Most of the time, I prefer shooting the ball directly with the left flipper, 
which is possible to control by shooting at the right moment and with the 
correct strength. This way, you can shoot the ball directly in the right 
orbit, which is the first target in the ëChannel Tunnel' exploration. Another 
possibility (often unintended) is shooting the right ramp. If this happens 
and you wanted to shoot the right orbit, you can hold the right flipper up to 
let the ball jump to the tip of the left one to have a shot for the right 
orbit (don't forget to release the right flipper quickly to get the upper 
flipper out of the way!).

Another possible target for a ball rolling down the left orbit is the middle 
scoop. In order to hit this, you have to flip very early and hard with the 
left flipper. Naturally, this is not a good idea, if ëTime Warp' is lit in 
the center scoop and you don't want to start it. Additionally you have to 
master catching balls coming out of the center scoop - more about that later. 
A third possibility is to shoot the ball very late to hit the 'P' of 'W-A-R-
ëP' - the ball will often roll in the center scoop after that. This has a lot 
of advantages, if the 'P' is the last target to light 'Time Warp' and you 
want to start it immediately - everything with one shot. But it is very 
difficult to do this intentionally.

If you miss all the targets I mentioned above, you'll most likely hit the 
right target bank. This can be dangerous, but I haven't lost many balls in 
this situation. A failed try to catch the ball on the left flipper is much 
more dangerous.

Back to the 'Channel Tunnel' exploration: As I said, the goal is to hit the 
lit shots - possibly by shooting an ultra combo. It isn't tragic if you don't 
hit all lit shots, since it is only necessary to hit the left orbit as soon 
as it is flashing, which it does as soon as the mining power has reached 99%. 
Every hit of a lit target increases the speed the mining power grows, so you 
have more time to shoot the left orbit. If you hit all targets quickly, you 
have more than 30 seconds to hit the left orbit, completing the exploration - 
which should be easy. If you miss the combination right orbit - right ramp - 
spinner - upper ramp - left ramp and maybe center scoop (to complete the 
ultra combo!), shoot the targets in optimal order (which means don't aim for 
any unlit shots) until the mining power reaches about 85%. Now catch the 
ball. If it is easier to catch it on the  left flipper, slingshot pass the 
ball to the right one. Shooting the left orbit completes the exploration. If 
you miss, it is important to catch the ball quickly again, if necessary on 
the left side with a following slingshot pass.

After the exploration, you shoot continue shooting the upper ramp. There is 
something else to consider -  if 'Atlantis' is already lit there, since a 
shot of the upper ramp will start ëGlobal Domination' now. You can earn a lot 
of points in ëGlobal Domination' if you play it correctly (my record is about 
1.7 billion), but since it is a timed mode, one can easily become nervous. 
Naturally you will only get big points if you combine 'Gobal Domination' with 
ëTime Warp' or - even better ñ ëSuper Time Warp'. Therefore, you should try 
to light one of these before starting ëGobal Domination'. Ideally, you have 
hit the target banks (the left one lights awards, the right one lights quick 
shots) a few times during the course of the game. It is easy to bank the ball 
from the left target bank into the spinner - at least, this is a good way to 
light the 'A' and the 'G' safely. Another possibility to advance the awards 
and quick shots is the secret skill shot, but I rarely use it. The scanner 
will occasionally award 'Advance Award' or 'Advance Quick shot', too.

About the scanner: It's not worth to collect every scanner immediately, but I 
recommend doing so if the super scanner is lit. Still, I often use a lit 
scanner to bring the ball from the left to the right flipper instead of doing 
a slingshot pass. Therefor you have to shoot the center scoop from the left 
flipper and catch it on the right one.

At this point of the game, the video mode award should be lit most of the 
time and maybe you already collected it while going for the continents using 
the left orbit. It is always a bit tricky to have ëSuper Time Warp' lit when 
starting ëGlobal Domination'. It is definitely not worth to play a ëSuper 
Time Warp' on it's own. This multiball might look impressive (4 balls), but 
you can't earn a lot of points in it. It's strength lies in the possibility 
to combine it with other modes, like 'Global Domination', 'Time Machine 
Frenzy' or 'Quick shot Mania'. I don't like starting ëSuper Time Warp' during 
anyexploration - Most often, the balls will be in your way. On the other 
side, the additional ball saver is an advantage and in certain explorations 
('Robot War' and maybe ëAnti-Matter Plant' and the explorations in ëThe 
Ancient Rome') starting a multiball can help, but still I prefer having only 
one ball during explorations. Therefore, you should not shoot for the left 
orbit, if ëSuper Time Warp' is lit there. In this situation, the only ways to 
light continents is the spinner or shooting the right edge of the ëR' target 
(of ëW-A-R-P') - The ball will regularly go in the bumpers and from there to 
the upper flipper, but you have to hit exactly. By the way: It is possible to 
intentionally complete ëW-A-R-P', but the ëW' target and the ëP' target are 
very difficult and risky. I don't recommend shooting for these, but it is 
advantageous to go for the 'A' target and the 'R' target if the 'W' target 
was hit coincidentally. It's very save to hit the 'A' target at the left edge 
- the ball will go through the spinner. As mentioned above, you should hit 
the ëR' target at the right edge to send the ball in the bumpers. This is 
very save, too. Now I would wait for a random hit of the ëP' target. Often, a 
scanner will light it for you. It is also possible to shoot the ball through 
the right inlane from the tip of the left flipper. As long as you flip the 
right flipper a split second later, the 'P' target will always be hit, but 
this technique is quite risky.

You should start ëGlobal Domination' before starting ë(Super) Time Warp', 
because it is not possible to do this during multiball. It is true that you 
can earn about 600 million points during íGlobal Domination' with only one 
ball, but I don't try to play it by any means unless there is no other way. 
On the other side, I always play the first 'Global Domination' of a game 
(even without multiball), because it makes it easier to go for the next three 
locks after the first multiball (ëTime Machine Frenzy'). (After ëGlobal 
Domination', the upper ramp awards the random paradox award (10 - 9.999.990 
points) like an unlit left orbit and - most importantly - feeds the ball to 
the right flipper, which makes it possible to continue to shoot for the 
locks).

Even if you don't succeed to combine ëGlobal Domination' with ëSuper Time 
Warp' or ëTime Warp', the following strategy is the best: ëGlobal Domination' 
awards most points, if you complete the continents quickly, which means 
shooting the spinner - upper ramp combination. After completing the 
continents (All Continents conquered). The primary goal is to hit as many 
switches as possible. Besides having as many balls as possible on the table, 
this means going for the bumpers or the spinner, whereas the bumpers are most 
effective with a bit of luck and maybe a bit nudging. The best way is to 
start ëTime Warp' directly after starting ëGlobal Domination'. Shooting the 
upper ramp lights continents, adds balls and increases the jackpot multiplier 
now.
About Quick shots: I don't like them at all. It is true that you can get 
quite a few points (especially if you complete all five in a row), but they 
lead to a very unstable play. I don't find the possible combinations of 
collected souvenirs to be attractive enough to justify the risk.

There are two exceptions: The extra ball quick shot ('A Pinball', the second 
souvenir in ëThe Present' combined with A Red Knight 2000", the fourth 
souvenir in ëThe Future') and maybe the secret video mode (ëA Hologram 
Projector', the second souvenir in ëThe Future' and ëAn Asteroid', the fifth 
souvenir in ëThe Prehistoric Age'), because it awards an extra ball 
additionally to many points. All the other quick shots are unimportant!

Unfortunately, they block the possibility to light the award again, and this 
is very annoying in the course of the game. In the long term, it is very 
effective to hold the bonus multiplier and the super jets in every ball with 
the first two awards and to have the possibility to start ëSuper Time Warp' 
again. And don't forget the possibility to get an additional extra ball in 
ëReverse Frenzy' started with the fifth award.

Still, it is wrong to collect all five quick shots immediately, because after 
the lit ëQuick shot Mania' - which is difficult to prevent starting 
accidentally - the first two awards will be lit sooner or later and it is bad 
to collect them with the same ball, since the multiplier and super jets are 
already held from the first set of awards. As a conclusion: Don't complete 
the quick shots until you want to hold the multiplier and the super jets 
again. Don't forget that a successful quick shot will start the next one 
immediately, if the next one is lit. This is the basic strategy: Try to 
collect the second quickset in ëThe Present'. If this starts the third 
quickset, you can collect this as well, but only if the fourth one is not 
lit. Since you need this one for the extra ball quick shot in 'The Future', 
it is recommended to wait until you are in 'The Future'.

If it's going to be a very good game, you can ignore all quick shots, because 
if you reach 20 billion points or more, you will have more opportunities to 
get an extra ball than you can collect, since Timeshock! only awards 10 extra 
balls per game. This means that it is not tragic, if you are not able to 
collect the extra ball quickset, because you will have the chance to collect 
all ten extra balls anyway. On the other side it is reassuring to have a lot 
of extra balls right at the start.

All continents are lit, you played ëGlobal Domination' (ideally in 
combination with ëSuper Time Warp'), you collected the second quick shot and 
lock is lit. Maybe the mystery award is flashing for an extra ball, video 
mode is lit or successfully played, maybe you already got the extra ball for 
the tenth scanner. If the game went well, you should have a little more than 
one billion points. Now it is the time to start locking balls for ëTime 
Machine Frenzy', which we ignored until now.

Lock three balls. Most likely, you'll have the opportunity to travel now, 
since for the first time you only need five hits of the ramps to power the 
time drive. Normally, you've already hit at least four ramps during the two 
explorations. If you have the opportunity to travel: Don't do it! You haven't 
collected the important fragment in the actual timezone ëThe Present'. This 
is the primary goal in the following multiball. The best way to light the 
fragment is to shoot a triple jackpot immediately. I usually use the 
following technique: I shoot the first ball coming out of the time machine in 
the right ramp and ignore the second one. When the ball comes down the right 
inlane, I shoot the left ramp and try to hit the right ramp with the third 
ball immediately. I try to shoot the first ball in the left orbit, but this 
one can be ignored, too. Since the ball saver is active at the start of 
multiball, I recommend to ignore every ball that might get in the way and to 
concentrate only on the triple jackpot. 

The following information might be useful: You can reset the timer for a 
double or triple jackpot by shooting the opposite ramp. You can also light 
the fragment by shooting several single or double jackpots - the continents 
indicate the number of jackpots you still need. Collect the fragment at the 
middle scoop as fast as possible. Ideally, the ball saver is still active 
now. Now it is important to slow the multiball down by catching some if not 
all balls. It's best to have two balls on the left flipper and one on the 
right one. Now I play only with the ball on the right flipper. The primary 
target is the super jackpot. It's best to collect it with a spinner - upper 
ramp combination since the spinner increases the jackpot value. The next 
jackpot would be the ultra jackpot after shooting a triple jackpot again, but 
I don't recommend collecting it now. I would wait until it reached its 
maximum value of 500 million points (the value is increased by every 
collected jackpot). 

Additionally, the risk of loosing a ball is too high, especially if you have 
three balls in play. It is much safer to wait until only two balls are left 
in play. In this case I catch one ball on the left flipper and one on the 
right one. I shoot the right one in the left orbit. The time this ball needs 
to come back out of the bumpers is more than sufficient most of the time to 
collect a triple jackpot (right ramp - left ramp - right ramp) with the ball 
on the let flipper. After that, shoot the spinner to get a chance to hit the 
upper ramp for the ultra jackpot. If the ultra jackpot is flashing and there 
are balls in the bumpers, I recommend getting them out of there by holding 
both flipper buttons. The ultra jackpot is one of the most attractive goals 
of the game, but also one of the riskiest. The multiball will often end when 
trying to collect it. I once succeeded in collecting three ultra jackpots 
during one multiball and each time with the maximum value of 500 million 
points, but most of the time you can be lucky to collect a single one. By the 
way, you can collect the super jackpot and the ultra jackpot even if the 
multiball is over. Although they don't flash anymore, a hit of the upper ramp 
still awards jackpots for a short time (I estimate this grace period is three 
seconds long) and additionally light the next continent. As usual when 
collecting a jackpot, the ball will be diverted to the upper scoop. If a 
super or ultra jackpot was active at the end of multiball, it is worth to 
slingshot pass the ball held on the left flipper to the right and to shoot 
the spinner - upper ramp combination. This is a nice technique especially for 
the ultra jackpot.

Another strategy is to repeatedly shoot one ball in the left orbit and keep 
the others on the left flipper. The goal is to increase the super jets and 
the bonus multiplier, which seems to be quite worthless at first, but in the 
long term it is no problem to collect 2-5 billion only with the super jets, 
esp. with super jet level 3. The only thing you have to do is to hit the left 
orbit - It's boring, but save and very effective if you succeed in holding 
the super jet level from ball to ball as mentioned above. The bonus 
multiplier is not so important at the start of the game, but gets more and 
more important during the course of the game, because you'll constantly 
increase the bonus. By the way: The multiplier has a maximum of 100x and can 
lead to a bonus of over 2 billion points in games with over 20 billion 
points. (I once had 3 billion, but that was in a game without factory 
settings.) The extra ball at 25x is attractive, too and you should collect it 
with the first ball by all means. I got used to circle the lit rollover to 
the right, since the ball is fed to the left rollover by the upper scoop most 
of the time and you have enough time to switch if it is not. The bumpers send 
the ball to the left rollover most of the time, too. The only exception is 
the middle bumper, which will often send the ball to the right rollover. With 
practice, you will be able to recognize this situation fast enough to switch 
the lit rollover to the left. With the first ball you will rarely get a bonus 
higher than 500 million points even at the maximum multiplier, but this is 
the same amount of points you get from an ultra jackpot. Additionally, you'll 
get the points from the super jets. You see, it's a boring, but very save 
strategy.

So, the basic multiball strategy is to catch one or two balls on the left 
flipper and play from the right flipper with the third. This will lead to 
many situations where the ball is heading for the left flipper. It is 
difficult to describe all these situations in detail, the trick is to play 
always in a way that the two balls will stay on the left flipper and the 
third will go back to the right one. If all three balls come to a rest on the 
left flipper, it often helps to flip very briefly. Often the rightmost of the 
three balls will lay on the tip of the flipper and can be kicked gently to 
the right one. It gets much easier when only two balls are left in play. If 
both of them are on the left flipper, you can release it briefly and flip 
again. This does not work if the balls are more in the inlane, they have to 
be on the flipper. The left ball will stay on the flipper and the other will 
roll up in the direction of the left orbit, rolls back down, hits the upper 
edge of the left slingshot and comes to a rest on the right flipper. If you 
ever played a real pinball machine, you should know this technique. The nice 
thing about Timeshock! is the unbelievably realistic ball physic, that allows 
to use such common tricks on the PC for the first time.

So, there are two strategies during multiball: Quickly get a lot of points 
with jackpots up to the ultra jackpot or the solid way of going for bonus and 
jets. The best way is a combination of the two. However, you played the 
multiball, collected at least the fragment and hopefully the extra ball for 
the 25x bonus. Now you have to lock the fragment. Now you can regard The 
Present' as completed.

The next goal is to travel to the next timezone, which is always ëThe Future' 
for me, as fast as possible. Now you can see the advantage of the played 
ëGlobal Domination': You can repeatedly shoot the spinner - upper ramp 
combination - the ball will always come back to the right flipper and makes 
it easy to start the next multiball. Naturally, you should travel to the next 
timezone now.

			
"The Future"

Hopefully, you completed the multiball at least up to collecting the 
fragment. I think I said enough about the basic multiball strategy. The next 
thing to do is to lock the fragment. The treatment of the continents changes 
a bit from now on. It is not recommended to avoid locking balls anymore. 
Firstly, the spinner lights only one lock at a time and secondly, the game 
seems to be good enough to continue (if you are still playing with the first 
ball) and go for a high core. This means that it is not tragic to play a 
multiball while going for the continents, but it is important to not travel 
to the next timezone until you completed both explorations. At first you 
can't travel anyway, because the time drive is not powered. Powering the time 
drive requires 10 hits of the ramps from now on, which is really risky. If 
you are lucky, you can choose 'Enable Timedrive' as a super scanner award. I 
recommend selecting this option over everything else, even the video mode. 
This is very important especially in this time zone, because you are not 
forced to shoot the ramp in the two explorations (in the 'Robot War' 
exploration you even lose points by hitting a ramp!). If you don't get that 
super scanner award, you should postpone the powering of the timedrive. Maybe 
you can get the opportunity to do so safely during a 'Time Warp' or maybe 
you'll shoot a super combo.

About the explorations in this timezone: Anti matter plant (represented by 
the third planet from top) is a matter of luck, it depends on how often the 
ball will hit a bumper. This can be manipulated by nudging softly upwards, 
but I would not risk more than one tilt warning. It is important to get the 
ball quickly on one of the flippers when it leaves the bumpers to shoot one 
of the lit orbits. By the ways: There is a grace period of 1-2 seconds to hit 
the orbits, too. 

If the ball rolls to the upper flipper, as it does most of the time, shoot 
the upper ramp to get the ball to the right flipper for a shot to the left 
orbit. If it leaves the bumpers on the left side, next to the ëP', you can 
keep the left flipper down - the ball will jump to the right flipper and you 
can catch it there. But be careful, this depends on the speed and ankle of 
the ball, so don't trust on it blindly. I won't combine this exploration with 
a ëTime Warp', too. If you do, try to shoot as many balls as fast as possible 
through the orbits.

ëRobot War' (fifth continent from top) is one of the view explorations that 
can be quite well combined with a ëTime Warp', but even here I prefer playing 
with a single ball. The exploration is quite easy if you succeed in 
completing a drop target bank before you hit a target on the other side. If 
you do, you already reached 30% and you hear Go for the ëuppercut'. Hitting 
the upper ramp pushes you to 80% and you only need to hit two more targets. 
Since the ball is fed to the bumpers at the start of the exploration, I try 
to hit the ëM' and hopefully the ëA' directly from the upper flipper. A shot 
to the spinner, with which you hit the ëG', followed by the upper ramp seems 
to be the fastest way. If you miss, I recommend going for the targets on the 
right side, not the left side. Firstly, they are easier to hit and secondly, 
the movement of the ball is more predictable. Attention: Every left and right 
orbit and ramp decreases the score by 5%!

I won't play ëGlobal Domination' by any means, unless you can combine it with 
a ëTime Warp'. Don't forget to collect the fourth quick shot before you 
travel on - You get the chance for an extra ball by combining it with the 
second souvenir from ëThe Present'. If you still play with the first ball, 
you'll likely get a problem now: Normally, all quick shots are lit now and if 
you collect the fourth one, you start the fifth. This results in the danger 
of starting ëQuick shot Mania' and collecting ëBonus X Held' and ëJets Held'. 
You should spare these for the next ball, since you already collected them 
with the first set of awards. In this case, you must try to prevent starting 
ëQuick shot Mania' by playing very carefully. If you already play with your 
second (extra) ball, it is naturally very advantageous to start it, because 
the chance to get the multipliers and the jets held is very big after that.
"Quick shot- Mania" is a very unhealthy mode, which I ignore always. That 
means I catch the ball and wait until the time is over. It is too dangerous 
to play and you can't collect enough points (about 350 million) to make up 
for a lost ball. I only play it if I can combine it with a ëTime Warp'. If 
you do so, shoot the ramps at the same time to power the time drive it is not 
powered yet, because after the next three locks you can travel to 

"The Ancient Rome"

There's nothing new to add to the general tactic, but ëChariot Race' (first 
continent) and ëPyramid' (last continent) are two of the few explorations for 
which I recommend a combination with a ëTime Warp'. Naturally, you can play 
them without a multiball, too. Both explorations have the advantage, that you 
need to hit the ramps and you don't have to care much about powering the time 
drive in ëThe Ancient Rome'. This indicates the strategy for ëChariot Race': 
Shoot the ramps and ignore the orbits - The ball takes longer to come back to 
the flippers (at least in the left orbit) and additionally it is harder to 
hit something after that. It doesn't matter if you hit an unlit ramp as long 
as you follow it up with the other ramp.

It is useful if ëTime Warp' is lit when you start ëPyramid'. Shooting the 
center scoop opens the pyramid and starts the multiball at the same time. But 
be careful to hit the right orbit before the ball saver expires, because the 
upper flipper might get in the way later on. The same is valid for the right 
ramp. It is also advantageous to combine this exploration with an ultra 
combo.

"The Prehistoric Age"

About the two explorations: ëVolcano' (sixth continent from top) is again a 
quite simple task. The best way is to shoot the spinner - upper ramp 
combination three times. The middle scoop completes the exploration. 
ëDinosaur Stampede' is can be much harder. Most of the time, I try to shoot 
the ball coming out of the left orbit into the middle scoop to catch it on 
the right flipper and shoot it back in the left orbit. With a bit of luck you 
can hit the right orbit directly after this. For the rest of the exploration 
it is important to know that only the lit orbits are valid shots. They are 
lit alternatively. I prefer catching the ball (if possible on the right side) 
to shoot the orbit at the right moment. Don't be confused by the fading music 
- You have all the 60 seconds to complete the mission, but in the last 
seconds you will only hear the dinosaurs stampede.

If the time drive is powered and you have all four fragments, you have the 
opportunity to travel to ëThe Dawn of Time'. You can also travel to ëThe End 
of Time', but as I said, you should go to ëThe Dawn of Time' first. If you 
complete it, you can travel to 'The End of Time' immediately.

But first, we have to consider something else: Timeshock! has a bug, even in 
version 1.07. It annoyed me quite a few times and I talked about it with one 
of the Pro Pinball designers. He promised to fix this bug maybe in a later 
version. This is the problem: If you still play with the third ball (that's 
the second extra ball - the display still says Ball 1), you should have a big 
bonus now and the super jets are at level 3, at least if you were able to 
hold them from ball to ball. If you play "The Dawn of Time" and "The End of 
Time" now, you'll come back to ëThe Present'. Unfortunately, you'll start 
over with a bonus multiplier of 1x and the jets are unlit, too. You might 
cope with that early at the game, but it is really annoying in games with a 
score over 20 billion points. I lost a bonus of over 2 billion points quite a 
few times, not to speak of the super jets. Therefore, you should make clear 
if you want to loose your bonus or not. If it is bigger than one billion 
points, you should not play these two modes immediately, buut start ëTime 
Machine Frenzy' after three locks. If you have your bonus held, the same 
applies to the next ball. So, in worst case, you can't travel on in time for 
two balls and that is really annoying!

"The Dawn of Time" + ìThe End of Time"

Depending on how many points you collected during the recent multiballs and 
ëGlobal Dominations', you should have about six to eight billion points in 
the meantime.

Travel to ëThe Dawn of Time' and start ëTimeshock Frenzy'. You have to 
complete this mode in two minutes - otherwise you loose. My tips here: Only 
concentrate to hit an orbit or a ramp as fast as possible and ignore the 
multiball. The ball saver is active all the time, so you can loose as many 
balls as you like to slow things down.

These are the rules: After hitting an orbit or a ramp, the crystal turns to a 
new position to make it possible to lock a ball in one of the timezone lock 
points. You have to lock all four fragments and an additional shot in the 
middle orbit wins the mode. The main goal is to do that during the two 
minutes. If you are trying to beat my best time for this mode (the so called 
ëMaster of Time', I did it in 38.64 seconds), the following is important, 
too: The center scoop starts to flash as soon as the crystal stops turning, 
but it is possible to lock a ball before this happens. If you are too early, 
the middle scoop ejects the ball again. It is very hard to find the right 
moment here - not too early and not too late. Remember that it is possible to 
hit the middle scoop with the upper flipper, too.

You can get one billion points in this mode. Additionally, you immediately 
have the opportunity to travel to ëThe End of Time' (This timezone was 
previously called ëThe Unknown'). This mode is the most attractive goal in 
the whole game, the finale. Almost everything is lit and it is very easy to 
get a lot of points. My record is 3.7 billion points and that even without 
getting the ultra jackpot (You can light the ultra jackpot in this mode, too 
- simply by shooting a triple jackpot!). It's quite hard to aim with six 
balls around, esp. if the ball movement gets jerky with so many balls on the 
table. You'll get the most points by lighting all continents as fast as 
possible in the ëGlobal Domination', which is active, too. Therefore, you 
have to repeatedly shoot the upper ramp. The ultra jackpots give a lot of 
points, too, esp. in combination with ëGlobal Domination'. Almost every time, 
I reach the one billion, which is necessary to light the extra ball. In 
average, I get around 1.5 billion points during 'The End of Time', everything 
above 2 billion is great. Naturally, it is very important to get the extra 
ball, which is sometimes not that easy because of the many balls flying 
around.

After successfully playing ëThe Dawn of Time' and ëThe End of Time', you 
should have about 10 billion points. If you are still playing with the third 
ball, you are well on the way to the Grand Champion and you already played 
for about an hour. That means that you got to take you time for a good game - 
my longest games lasted for about four hours.

After ëThe End of Time' you start over in ëThe Present'. It is of no use to 
complete the explorations first anymore. If you lock three balls, start the 
multiball in the actual timezone. As I said, this is valid for the other 
timezones, too. If you have one or two bad balls now, remember that you can 
get a lot of points from the bonus in games with over 20 billion points to 
compensate that. Going for Bonus Held' and a good bonus multiplier has a high 
priority now.

The only ways to get additional extra balls now are the video mode, the next 
ëThe End of Time' and ëReverse Frenzy', if you did not collect that yet. The 
best strategy to play ëReverse Frenzy' is to first shoot the upper ramp, then 
the right orbit and the right ramp. The other targets are not hard to hit 
even with reversed flippers.

The extra ball lit by 100 scans is important, too, but don't go for the extra 
ball quick shot again. By the way, Timeshock! resets the number of scans at 
around 250. I never paid much attention to the exact number, maybe it's 255, 
which is the last number many real pinball machines can store in their 
memory. This is another realistic simulation done by Timeshock!, but can get 
quite annoying, since you get 25K for each scan in the bonus count, which can 
be a lot, if you have a high bonus multiplier. After the game resets the 
scans, it offers an extra ball after six scans, but strangely it is not lit 
at the middle scoop, which is the usual thing even if you already get points 
instead of extra ball. Internally, Timeshock! is able to remember the correct 
number of scans - I remember playing a game, where the statistics (after the 
high score code) showed 291 scans.

     
Some final words about the challenge mode and the tournament mode:
For the challenge mode, you should play a game with four players and collect 
all extra balls with the first ball of the first player. You should play the 
balls of this player in the normal way and use the balls of the other players 
to light ëThe Dawn of Time' and ëThe End of Time' for the first player. I 
think this is the optimal strategy.

The tournament mode is much more difficult. You can choose to play multiball 
repeatedly and collect ultra jackpots. Most of the time, I play the normal 
way and try to get ëThe End of Time', which can get very annoying if you 
loose 
the last ball shortly before starting ëThe End of Time'. It is much more 
difficult to get there than in the normal mode because of the missing ball 
saver and the fact that the (super) scanner awards aren't always 
advantageous.


Contact me if you have additions, comments or questions.
Good luck when playing timeshock!

Tarek Oberdieck
E-Mail:      tarekob@uni-bremen.de
WWW:         http://www1.uni-bremen.de/~tarekob/
ICQ:         3705749

Thanks go to Jens Gˆring for the english translation of this guide.
Thanks to the Pro Pinball team for the best pinball simulation to date.
(I'm anxious to see Pro Pinball 3)

This is version 1.2 of this guide. (13.06.1998)

This text (or extracts) can be published for free, as long as it remains 
unchanged and I am mentioned as the author.