--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.