Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

Pinball / Bally Midway 1993

Twilight Zone is a pinball machine designed by Pat Lawlor and released by Bally Midway in April 1993. The game is based on the classic television series “The Twilight Zone,” created by Rod Serling. Known for its complexity and innovative features, Twilight Zone includes elements such as a gumball machine, a working analog clock, and a Powerball made of ceramic. The machine incorporates themes and references from several episodes of the TV series, providing a rich and immersive playing experience.

Twilight Zone was developed during a peak period in pinball design, following the success of Pat Lawlor’s previous game, The Addams Family, which became one of the best-selling pinball machines of all time. The design team aimed to surpass their prior success by creating a machine with even more complexity and innovative features. This ambition led to one of the most feature-packed pinball machines ever produced. The game was initially developed under the constraints of maintaining a balance between complexity and playability, with many unique mechanisms and toys integrated into the final design.

Upon its release, Twilight Zone received widespread acclaim for its deep rule set, innovative features, and challenging gameplay. It quickly became a favorite among pinball enthusiasts and collectors, appreciated for its replay value and intricate design. Over the years, it has maintained a strong following and is frequently listed among the greatest pinball machines of all time in various rankings and fan polls. Critics and players alike praised its intricate playfield and the incorporation of elements from the TV show, which enhanced its thematic depth.

Twilight Zone has not seen direct sequels or remakes, but it has significantly influenced the design of subsequent pinball machines. Additionally, it has been included in digital form in several pinball simulation platforms, such as Pinball Arcade, allowing fans to enjoy a virtual version of the classic game. Related games in terms of thematic elements and complexity include other Pat Lawlor-designed machines such as The Addams Family and FunHouse.

Bally Midway produced approximately 15,235 units of Twilight Zone, making it relatively rare compared to some other machines of the era. Due to its complexity and popularity, well-maintained machines are highly sought after by collectors. As of the latest estimates, the value of a Twilight Zone pinball machine ranges from $8,000 to $12,000, depending on its condition and any modifications or restorations it might have undergone. Fully restored models can command even higher prices in the collector’s market.

Twilight Zone is notable for its complex and feature-rich hardware design. It operates on the Bally/Williams WPC (Williams Pinball Controller) system. Key components include:

CPU Board: WPC-89
Display Type: Dot matrix display (DMD)
Power Supply: WPC-89 Power Driver Board
Sound Board: WPC-89 Sound Board with DCS Sound System
Playfield: Widebody design with multiple flippers, ramps, and toys
Toys and Features:
Working analog clock
Gumball machine
Powerball (ceramic ball)
MagnaFlip (magnet-controlled flippers)
Various magnets and diverters
Multiple ramps and wireforms
Repair and Maintenance Parts
For those looking to maintain or repair a Twilight Zone pinball machine, the following parts are essential:

Flipper Assemblies: Including coils, bats, and switches
Clock Mechanism: Motor, optos, and gears
Gumball Machine Parts: Motor, diverter, and housing
Powerball: Ceramic ball specific to the game
DMD Display: Replacement dot matrix display
Magnets and Magnet Driver Boards
Opto Boards: For trough and various sensor points
Pop Bumper Parts: Coils, skirts, and caps
Ramps and Plastics: Specific to Twilight Zone’s unique design
Rubber Rings: Various sizes specific to the playfield layout
Lamp Bulbs and LEDs: For illumination and playfield inserts
Maintaining a Twilight Zone pinball machine can be challenging due to its complexity, but it is rewarding for collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate its intricate design and gameplay.

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