The Ottawa Pinball Arcade
Canada's Largest Classic Pinball Arcade
— 2559 Baseline Road, Ottawa —
The Ottawa Pinball Arcade will re-open October 1, 2021.
Proof of vacination and mask required, and follow social distancing guidelines.

Past Pinball Games

These are games we have retired, but you can still
select to read historical Ottawa memories of each game
(you can submit your own memories, too!)

Police Force – Williams 1989

Police Force – Williams 1989

 

Mike Remembers:

 

Police Force came out when I was past my teenage Pinball heyday, but it is of the same era as Taxi, Elvira, Diner, and other late model Williams alpha-numeric titles that paved the way for the Dot Matrix animated displays that would come out the following year.

 

This unit has been severely upgraded with all the usual Pinball Medics mods, including a full LED conversion with colour matched inserts and flashers, LED displays, new Fliptronics style flipper mechs, all now pop bumpers, and much more.

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James Bond – Gottlieb 1980

James Bond – Gottlieb 1980

 

Mike Remembers: I was 14 years old and a huge fan of the Bond series since I was into Pinball as a young boy of 4 years. This game is rare, and I only recall playing it in one location at a now closed cinema downtown.

The unique thing about this game is it is based on time, not the number of balls.

Filled with drop targets. you can add time, as when you run out, your current ball is also  your last!

This game has been brought back from the dead. It was literally a barn find from the East coast, but due to it’s rarity and the awesome theme, we decided to give it a full overhaul. Come try your hand on this drop target infested precision shooting gallery and see if your flipper fingers are as accurate as a professionally weilded PPK.

 

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Pinbot – Williams 1986

Pinbot – Williams 1986

Mike Remembers: Pinbot was a smash hit, and I remember playing it at the Merivale Arcade, and at the old El Toro in Brittania Plaza. Amazing sound effects, and a really cool concept and art package conspired to make this the classic it is today.

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Taxi- Williams 1988

Taxi- Williams 1988

Mike Remembers:

Taxi was a very popular game, and this version is one of the originals featuring Marilyn Monroe, as opposed to the much more common and less desirable “Lola” version. Featuring a full ground up rebuild, complete LED treatment featuring colour matched inserts and flashers, modern WMS/Bally fliptronic style flippers, LED displays, completely rebuilt pop bumpers with all new parts, Superband flipper and post rubbers, and much more.

This Taxi was a fixture at the Fire Button Arcade in it’s prime, and is the second game we have brought in from that collection, putting Ottawa’s Pinball past on display for all to play.

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High Speed – Williams 1986

High Speed – Williams 1986

Mike Remembers; High Speed was a groundbreaking machine, heralding the resurgence of pinball in the arcades at a time when video games had all but obliterated their presence in the early to mid 80’s. With it’s amazing background sounds and speech, working police light, and classic Williams feel; fast and smooth.

It was popular game that was found in many locations, but the High Speed at Hampton Park Bowling lanes is the one I played the most, and I will always identify it to that spot.

This High Speed has been thoroughly reconditioned with LED displays, LED illumination colour matched to inserts, rebuilt pop bumpers, new fliptronic style flippers, and a new aftermarket computer, driver board, and sound board, and hours of tweaking to bring the ultimate High Speed experience to the Arcade.

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Vector – Bally 1982

Vector – Bally 1982

Mike Remembers: I don’t have any specific memories that come to mind for this game, it is somewhat rare by Bally standards. This Vector has just been refurbished, and is now in residency at the Arcade before being listed for sale. Come try it now before it’s gone, or buy it yourself! Includes a full LED conversion, Bally/WMS Fliptronic style lower flippers, upgraded roms with additional speech, Superband flipper rubbers and miniposts, and much more!

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Gorgar – Williams 1979

Gorgar – Williams 1979

 

Mike Remembers: Gorgar was a very popular game that was available to play at many Ottawa locations in 1979, but I remember playing the one at the West end Skateway on Morrison Drive the best.

This game came out at a time when Williams were starting to push the envelope and give Bally a run for their dominance in the world of Pinball Sales and innovation. Gorgar has the distinction of being the first Pinball Machine capable of speech, with a vocabulary of 7 words, used in various combinations to great effect!

It also featured one of the most awesome background sounds ever, a deep thumping heartbeat that speeds up as play progresses.

It is the first use I can think of a playfield magnet, used to temporarily “capture” the ball in the Pit feature, prompting Gorgar to say “ME GOT YOU!”.

This Gorgar has been upgraded with new Bally/Williams Fliptronic style flipper assemblies, LED displays and bulbs with colour matching inserts, rebuilt power supply, MPU and driver board, fuse mods on the bridge rectifiers, and much more.

After a tour of the Arcade, it will be available to purchase through Pinball Medics. But don’t worry, we have two more in stock currently, so the option to slay Demons in Ottawa will still be a reality for some time.

Come experience the first talking Pinball Machine.

GORGAR LIVES!

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Star Trek – Data East 1991

Star Trek – Data East 1991

Mike Remembers: Star Trek was the only Pinball Machine I can remember from the Fire Button Arcade at the corner of Richmond and Woodroffe from the early 1980’s. It was one of the first Dot Matrix Animation games I can remember, and with the awesome theme featuring call-outs from the actual actors from the original TV series, and the very cool transporter effect, this game did stand out at the time.

This Star Trek was brought back from beyond the grave, stored in a non climate controlled environment for decades, every single board severely damaged or missing, and it’s innards picked through for parts to go with other games.

Now fully refurbished, updated, and bullet proofed, featuring LED displays, all illumination converted to LED with colour matched inserts and flashers, Superband rubbers, fully rebuilt pop bumpers, and much more.

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Joker Poker – Gottlieb 1978

Joker Poker – Gottlieb 1978

Mike Remembers: I was 12 years old when this game was new, and while I have vague memories of it, I can’t put my finger on a local Ottawa location with this Pinball Machine in it.

It an amazing game, littered with drop target banks! A single drop target, a 2 bank, 3 bank, and 4 bank of drops on the lower playfield, and a 5 bank up top shootable with the mini-flipper!

With 15 drop targets, this game is a beast, and completing the cards associated with each bank of targets makes up the hands that score your bonus.

Featuring a full LED conversion with colour matched inserts, all new drop targets, completely rebuilt pop bumpers with all new parts, all three flippers converted to the modern Bally/Williams Fliptronics systems, and a Pascal All-in-one CPU/Driver board/Power supply allowing for many new gameplay features never available with original equipment.

This game was also produced in an electro-mechanical iteration, and while this game is the solid state version, it retains the original “Chime” Unit for sound, adding an old-school charm to this amazing souped up old game!

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Black Hole – Gottlieb 1981

Black Hole – Gottlieb 1981

Mike Remembers: This is one of my all time favourite games, and was at Hampton Park Bowling Alley when it was new. It was right beside Haunted House, which was of course also a serious classic.

A difficult game for sure, with a lower playfield, visible through the plexiglass section of the main playfield, and slanted towards the back. You must complete a row of drop targets while you’re down there, compensating for the Pinball equivalent of reverse gravity, or it’s right out the gutter when the ball comes back up after you lose it downstairs!

The multi-ball, while difficult to achieve, is incredible, with three balls over two playfields at once!

This Black Hole has been through the Pinball Medics Custom Shop, and features many incredible modifications, which include;

A full LED conversion with colour matched inserts and psychedelic Black Light style Comet Purple Passion’s in the head, mated with Comet 1 SMD colour changers behind the rotating disc.

The lower playfield illumination has been converted from 24v to 6v, allowing for Comet Twin 2835 SMD Ice Blue illumination from above, combined with a blue Comet Matrix strip on the re-entry tube. The Purple theme is reflected again in the Purple Superband flipper and mini-post rubbers, with black rubbers including post caps rounding out the machine.

Beyond the flashback inducing cosmetic illumination mods, ground mods and pop bumper board mods, of course it features the upgrade of all Six flippers to modern fliptronics style units, proving once again that more cowbell and amps that go to 11 are never a bad thing, regardless of Time Space, and a distinct advantage when it comes to Gravity Wells, and this flipper mod is actually powerful enough to escape the event horizon of the Black Hole at the center of the Ottawa Pinball Arcade Universe.

The existing original working boards will be used for the first couple of weeks at the Arcade to ensure their reliability before being sold as certified working 100% for 14 hours a day every day, to make room for the patiently waiting Pascal all in one boardset which will add many custom features to the gameplay not available with the original equipment. We will update this post once it is installed. Contact us if you need any boards from this game other than the sound board, as it is still required at this time even with the FLIPPP system we will be installing.

Come experience the only Black Label Black Light Black Hole in the known Universes for yourself.

It’s a trip!

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Silverball Mania – Bally 1980

Silverball Mania – Bally 1980

Mike Remembers: The first time I saw this machine was at the short lived futuristic multi-levelled Arcade on the East side of Bank Street just North of the Wizard Arcade. This was a fave weekend hangout with the Fat Albert’s Pizza shop right there for a quick break from buying quarters to feed to the machines lining Bank and Rideau, the two Main Streets in Downtown Ottawa, when just a little over 10,000 copies of Silverball Mania were rolling off the presses back in the USA at the Bally production headquarters in Chicago.

No drop targets, but more stand up and rollover targets than you can imagine. One for each letter of S-I-L-V-E-R-B-A-L-L-M-A-N-I-A.

It had advanced sounds at the time as well, similar to Space Invaders Pinball, which came out two months later. Aside from the sounds, they also shared the same center horseshoe feature, as well as the arrangement of 3 pop bumpers stacked Chessboard style with 4 dead bumpers that score but do not “Pop” to repel the ball.

Of course the incredible use of Mirror finish in the background art with the fantasy liquid mercury Silverball Maniacs in a Cosmic Fusion with the liquid mercury Pinball Machines are one of the most iconic and stunning visuals of the medium in that late Golden Era period just before translites and generic cabinet art would start adorning Pinball Machines two years later.

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Supersonic – 1979 Bally

Supersonic – 1979 Bally

Mike Remembers: Supersonic was another one of the great classic Bally machines I enjoyed at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre in the 70s’ and 80’s. In 1979 when it was new, this game showed up one day, and was an instant fave. It had all the great Bally features I loved then as now, including a 5 bank drop target bank, a kick-out hole, 3 pop bumpers, a spinner, a ball save gate on the right out-lane, 4 stand up targets, and a pile of star roll-overs, including 5 of them in a row on the side alley.

 

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Lethal Weapon 3 – Data East 1992

Lethal Weapon 3 – Data East 1992

Mike Remembers: I’ve played this game in many different locations, as it was a popular game at the time, but the old Merivale Arcade which I believe was King Arthur’s Court at the time, is where I recall playing it the most often. It was a brand new game at the time, and had advanced sounds, courtesy of Data East, purveyors of fine Pinball tables in said time, with as the still new”ish” at the time Dot Matrix Display!

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Dolly Parton – Bally 1979

Dolly Parton – Bally 1979

Mike Remembers: Dolly was always a tough game, and it was in several locations in Ottawa, though I can’t say where would have been my most vivid memory of the game. It was a difficult game to beat, and based on that and it seeming somewhat “girly” to me as a young boy, I did not give it the attention I now know it deserves. This is a quintessential classic Bally, and one of the most challenging and exciting early Solid State games in our collection.

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Centaur – Bally 1981

Centaur – Bally 1981

Mike Remembers: The first time I laid my eyes (and ears) on a Centaur was at the Games Room on Rideau. This was a game that had a few really cool features that made it stand out immediately. First off, five ball multi-ball. That alone made this game responsible for a good percentage of my chronic early 80’s quarter depletion condition. Of course the artwork is a tour de force, in Greyscale with Red as the only actual colour used anywhere on the glass, playfield, or cabinet.

The other amazing thing unique in all of Pinball to this game, is the analog echo unit, the Bally “Say it Again” board, which complimented the already amazing synthesized speech and futuristic sounds of the Bally “Squawk and Talk”. The background music/sound uses the eerily dissonant “diabolus in musica”, often referred to as the “Devil’s Interval” for those not versed in Latin, a musical scale believed to have been forbidden by the Catholic Church back in the day, reminiscent of the background music in another of my all time faves here at the Arcade, Devil’s Dare, as well as some of my favourite Zeppelin and other Classic Rock songs, and many great pieces of Classical Music.

This Centaur has of course received the full hot-rod & restoration treatment from Pinball Medics, and is a Certified Black Label Bally,  featuring rebuilt pop bumpers, Black Rubbers with Superband flipper & post rubbers, Williams/Bally Fliptronic style flipper assemblies, all new drop targets, a full LED conversion using Comet TWIN 2835 SMD bulbs with colour matched inserts, using only a few strategically placed red and mostly Natural White for general illumination, with unfiltered white UNO LED displays to enhance the Greyscale and Red effect that is one of the unique and beautiful features of this amazing classic.

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Party Animal – Bally 1987

Party Animal – Bally 1987

Mike Remembers: This game was at the Arcade beside the Dairy Queen on Walkley just East of Bank Street when it was new. I recall the music and sounds were very advanced at the time, and with three ramps, 3 ball multiball, inline drop targets and 3 flippers, and lots of speech, this was a flashy game. And of course Pinball Medics has upgraded all the flippers to the new Williams system they put on all their old Ballys, rebuilt the custom blue pop  bumpers, and performed a full LED conversion with color matched inserts, so like all our games here, plays better and faster than new. It is here at the Arcade for a limited time, and will ultimately be sold or returned to the Pinball Medics showroom once it has passed the Ottawa Pinball Arcade stress test, but in the meantime, come enjoy this great game this summer while it is in residency!

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Six Million Dollar Man – Bally 1978

Six Million Dollar Man – Bally 1978

 

Mike Remembers: The first time I played this game was at the Pizza shop at the bottom of Brittania Drive, kitty corner to Smiley’s Candy Store, at least that’s all we bought there! The Six player option was pretty cool, and I believe this may have been the first time I heard Bally’s new Solid State electronic sound board. It also holds a bit of Pinball synchronicity for me as this game replaced the first digital display game I ever played, at the same Pizza shop, Bally Eight ball! Odd that with all the Arcades I frequented, this little Pizza shop was my first exposure to these two huge milestones in the history of Pinball. Not only in Ottawa, but in the World!

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F-14 Tomcat – Williams 1987

F-14 Tomcat – Williams 1987

 

Mike Remembers: F-14 was a fixture at the Games Room on Rideau street, and when I first played it I was blown away by the speed and incredibly fast flow of this game. Of course within a year, this was the norm, but at the time it was like hearing Eddie Van Halen for the first time before everyone else was trying to play like him too.

Four ball multi-ball, four flippers an three police lights on top, the crazy kickback feature, ball save, advanced background music and callouts, this really was a groundbreaking machine, and to this day still plays faster than most games out there.

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Eight Ball Deluxe LE – Bally 1982

Eight Ball Deluxe LE – Bally 1982

Mike Remembers: One of my all time favorite games, which I first became acquainted with at the Hampton Park Bowling Alley. This game really had it all and was the perfect combination of sound, light and game play. As a fan of drop targets in general, this game was a tour de force with a seven bank and two sets of inline drop targets. With more ways than any other game I can remember to achieve a “Special”, many hours were spent playing this game over and over, obeying its command to “Quit Talking and Start Chalking”.

This 8 Ball Deluxe is the Limited Edition version, which came out as a re-issue of what is arguably the best Classic Pinball Machine ever made, but what really separates this one from the pack, besides all new drop targets, rebuilt pop bumpers and slingshots, and a head full of new connectors, this is one of our Pinball Medics Custom Shop Black Label Pinball Machines! This includes a complete LED conversion with custom lamp drivers, LED displays, rebuilt and upgraded processors and power supplies, and much more. And the reason it has black rubbers like newer dot matrix games? We put in our signature flipper upgrade system with matched parallel wound coils, and the old white rubbers don’t last more than a couple of days with these fire breathing monsters!

Don’t take our word for it, come experience the ultimate Eight Ball Deluxe for yourself, and find out why the Ottawa Pinball Arcade is renowned for having the best playing Classic Pins in the known Universe. In this era or that from which they were forged!

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Sinbad – Gottlieb 1978

Sinbad – Gottlieb 1978

Mike Remembers: Sinbad was one of those games you saw all over Ottawa back in the day, and that was a good thing, as this game was a pile of fun. With tons of drop targets and not one but two sets of double flippers, this is still a great piece.

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King Pin – Gottlieb 1973

King Pin – Gottlieb 1973

Mike Remembers: King Pin was another of the classic single player Gottlieb tables with smaller wedge shaped heads, commonly referred to as “Wedgeheads” , that graced the Merivale Arcade in the mid Seventies. Its huge row of drop targets is a real challenge to complete, and for its time, similarly to more than several of its Wedgehead brethren, was amongst the most advanced rule sets in Pinball until the advent of Solid State electronics. These games were so coveted by the experienced players at the time, that Gottlieb continued to produce them for a couple of years after the industry had shifted over to Solid State electronics, and Arcade owners knew these Gottlieb mechanical beasts were the Gold Standard in Pinball since the flipper hit the steel ball!

Check out the ten (10!) pin line of drop targets:

 

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Volley – Gottlieb 1976

Volley – Gottlieb 1976

Mike Remembers: Volley was a fixture at the Merivale Arcade for years, and even a couple of years (think current Iphone models for perspective, pinball technology was moving forward at warp speed from 1976 to 1982) after the advent of Solid State Pinball, Volley was one of the few Electro-Mechanical Pinball Machines to still take in a decent piece of the quarter dropping action. With its plethora of drop targets, beautiful colours, and fantastic artwork, it’s still a fabulous game to play.

 

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Lightning – Stern 1981

Lightning – Stern 1981

Mike Remembers: This pinball machine has not been seen by many, and even as an avid arcade hound when his game was new, I only have vague memories of playing it in Ottawa, though if I had to guess, I think it was at the Wizard on Bank Street, where rare classic Stern games were commonplace. The incredibly fast two level gameplay and three ball multi-ball make this a very challenging game, and the amazing synthesized speech of a Classic Stern is hard to beat. We are thrilled to present yet another in our series of the best playing Classic Stern pinball machines available to be played anywhere in Canada.

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Meteor – Stern 1979

Meteor – Stern 1979

Mike Remembers: This machine first caught my eye when it was in front of the shoe rental kiosk at the West end Skateway Roller Disco. It was beside an Asteroids, and they went so well together I spent a lot of time right there as they were two of my fave pinball and video games at the time. The constantly higher pitched background sounds, an abundance of drop targets, and incredibly fast gameplay made this an instant classic, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this game at the arcade.

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Time Line – Gottlieb 1980

Time Line – Gottlieb 1980

 

Mike Remembers:This game was at the Games Room on Rideau for a time. I remember there also being another wide bodied Gottlieb Star80 game there at the same time, Panthera. I enjoyed both those games, and as was the norm for these oversized beasts, the wide body Gottliebs generally had many drop targets, and this is no exception. Awesome sounds and lights add up to a really great hidden gem of a game, as only 3167 were ever produced.

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Pioneer – Gottlieb 1976

Pioneer – Gottlieb 1976

 

Mike Remembers: I can remember seeing this game around back in the late 70’s, but have more vivid memories of the four player version of the same game, Spirit of ’76:

 

This machine was a fixture at the Wizard on Carling across from the Brittania Drive-In. Lots of drop targets, and an almost Bally like symmetrical playfield, which was uncommon on the Gottliebs. I would mistaken it for the similarly themed Bally Freedom, and always be pleasantly reminded of how awesome the old Gottliebs could be.

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Harlem Globetrotters – Bally 1978

Harlem Globetrotters – Bally 1978

 

Mike Remembers:

Harlem Globetrotters was another staple at the Lincoln Fields mall in the late 1970’s. This was one game I chose to play not only for it’s cool look and great new fangled at the time Bally second generation electronic sounds, but because it was very generous in the free game department. After racking up a few credits I would sell them at 2 games for a quarter, or face value if there were eager players in wait, to put in the tougher games in the lineup. The inline drop targets were always a favourite as well, and while the double flippers were a hard lesson for many to learn, my early schooling on Capt. Fantastic left me prepared for the treacherous between the same side flipper drain, and has also always been a feature I quite enjoy.

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Millionaire – Williams 1987

Millionaire – Williams 1987

 

Mike Remembers:

I recall this game from the Imperial Arcade on Bank Street. It was late in the Arcade era when Pinball was in it’s decline before the DMD revolution a few short years later.

 

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Jet Spin – Gottlieb 1977

Jet Spin – Gottlieb 1977

 

Mike Remembers: I can’t say where I played this game and only have only vague memories of it in the days of my youth. It reminds me of one of my favorite Gottlieb’s, Target Alpha, with its use of colour and pulp sci-fi artwork. Although it has no drop targets, I enjoy its asymmetrical playfield design and its inclusion of a roto-target, a vari-target, kick out hole and in lane stand up target which combined make up for the lack of said drop targets.

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Surf Champ – Gottlieb 1976

Surf Champ – Gottlieb 1976

 

Mike Remembers: Surf Champ is a beautiful game that I remember enjoying as a kid. Though I can not remember the specific locations where I played it, with its drop targets, spinner, roll-over, and kick out hole, it possesses most of my preferred features found in pinball machines. Combined with its awesome art work, this remains one of my favorite electro mechanical pinball machines to this day.

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Space Station – Williams 1987

Space Station – Williams 1987

 

Mike Remembers: I have always enjoyed Space Station for its fantastic sound track, sound effects, and speech. When the multi-ball mode is achieved, the entire playfield illumination changes from the standard white to green to amazing effect. I don’t remember exactly where I played it, perhaps someone can remind me of some of the locations it was available to play in Ottawa, though I seem to vaguely recall it being at the arcade in the strip mall at Ogilvie and Montreal Road.

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Elvira and the Party Monsters – Bally 1989

Elvira and the Party Monsters – Bally 1989

Mike Remembers: I used to play this machine at the Midway at their first location on St. Laurent Boulevard. It was one of the last games that to me still retains some of the classic feel of the pinball machine of my youth.

This Elvira was the first game to grace the floor of the Ottawa Pinball Arcade, and after 3 years, it came home for a quick visit to the Pinball Medics Custom Shop to receive  a full rebuild and bullet-proofing, and is now a certified Black Label Bally! If you liked the way this game played before, you will be blown away by how it now plays, and looks!

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No Fear – Williams 1995

No Fear – Williams 1995

 

Mike Remembers: This is a game I don’t have many memories of playing in the arcades. I have owned a couple and the animated skull is a novel toy and the jumping ramp with the magnetic assist is a great test of hand eye coordination and timing. It is a great “newer” game, and will ultimately be sold for someone to enjoy in their home and make room for some more treasured memories to fill the dream arcade of my youth.

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Comet – Williams 1985

Comet – Williams 1985

 

Mike Remembers: Comet was one of those games that you had to line your quarters on and wait to play. My most vivid memories of it were at the Mister Arcade at Bank and AltaVista. The first ever one million shot in pinball combined with the plastic ramps, which were a novelty at the time, made it a very popular game.

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Flash Gordon – Bally 1980

Flash Gordon – Bally 1980

 

Mike Remembers: My first memories of Flash Gordon were at the Hampton Park Bowling Alley. The incredible sound effects, two level playfield and strobe light combined with inline drop targets made it a very attractive game to play. It was a very challenging game as well and very difficult to obtain a free game on. The quarters seemed to disappear very quickly when playing this game; however, Emperor Ming would always draw you back for one more game with Bally’s amazing speech synthesis capabilities and the games taunting vocabulary.

Now Flash Gordon is fresh back from a visit to the Pinball Medics Custom Shop, Flash Gordon is now a Certified Black Label Bally, joining it’s fellow hot-rodded Classic Pinball Machines in the lineup.

Now featuring Williams Fliptronic style flipper systems all around (even upstairs), completely rebuilt pop bumpers, reenforced machine screwed posts with black rubbers, full color matched LED conversion, LED displays, and all the other features and extensive fine tuning common to the Black Label series of Classic Bally & Sterns featured here at the Arcade.

This machine, like all early Solid State multi-level games, suffered from a lack of flipper power, most obvious when trying to reach the upper play area. While some of our hot-rodded games may feel over the top to some players or purists, this is a game where these modifications can only be felt as a huge improvement in overall game play, and while this game is fast, even faster than new in fact, it now has flippers that can more than handle whatever the game can throw at them.

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Star Trek – Bally 1978

Star Trek – Bally 1978

 

Mike Remembers: My fondest memories of Star Trek were at the Lincoln Fields shopping centre where it was in residence for some time in the four-pinball line-up at the top of the escalator from the old Woolco Department Store. I remember loving the early electronic sounds reminiscent of some of the theme music from one of my favorite TV shows, and at the time the first of a series of movies. I played the game before seeing the first Star Trek movie, and remember wondering why they were wearing blue uniforms on the backglass.

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Eight Ball – Bally 1977

Eight Ball – Bally 1977

 

Mike Remembers: Eight Ball was the first solid state pinball I ever saw. I still remember bicycling to Britannia Road to the pizza shop kitty cornered with Smiley’s confectionary to play Royal Flush with my friend. Imagine my surprise to see Royal Flush pushed to the back of the seating area and a brand new Eight Ball in the front window with bright orange electronic score displays. The fact that the game remembered the balls you had achieved by hitting the corresponding targets from player to player and from ball to ball was nothing short of amazing. From the first game, I knew pinball would never be the same.

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Mata Hari – Bally 1977

Mata Hari – Bally 1977

Mike Remembers: Mata Hari was positioned beside an old Stern Stars at the Spider’s Web Arcade underneath the Britannia Plaza. I would frequent this location throughout my childhood and the arcade owner would always answer my many pinball questions and tell me stories of the games, their makers, and their significance. I remember him explaining to me that this game came in two versions. both solid state with electronic displays, and electro mechanical with the roll over digits. This was at the cusp of the solid state revolution and it seemed that almost overnight the electro mechanical marvels I was so drawn and accustomed to were becoming yesterday’s news. Even at that young age, Dave Christensen’s artwork stood out to me and as it first did with Captain Fantastic, and to this day stands for me as the pinnacle of pinball art and style.

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Power Play – Bally 1977

Power Play – Bally 1977

 

Mike Remembers: My best memory of Power Play was at a little diner in the small town of Waterloo in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I would visit my grandparents and this was the only pinball machine in the town. My grandmother would reluctantly give me quarters to bike down the hill every morning to play that infernal “slot machine”. I would do my best to achieve as many specials and free games as possible to stretch out my only pinball fix while away from my regular supply of pinball arcades and locations in Ottawa.

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Evel Knievel – Bally 1976

Evel Knievel – Bally 1976

Mike Remembers: The first place I remember playing Evel Knievel was at the House of Pizza at the corner of Woodroffe and Richmond. It was one of the first solid state games I remember playing and was worth the bike ride down the parkway. I remember it again at another Pizza Shop across Baseline Road from the Old Pinto in the Shoppers City West parking lot. Being just a couple of years after his famed jump attempt of the Snake River Canyon, Evel was a great licensed theme at the time.

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The Incredible Hulk – Gottlieb 1979

The Incredible Hulk – Gottlieb 1979

 

Mike Remembers: The only location I remember playing the Incredible Hulk is at the Mister Arcade at Bank and Alta Vista. They always had a great selection of Gottlieb games. The angry Hulk sounds really stood out for me and it always drew me back in because once you lit the specials you could rack up the free games. And with the TV show being a hit at the time made it that much more special.

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Circus – Gottlieb 1980

Circus – Gottlieb 1980

Mike Remembers: The first time I played this game was at Mister Arcade at Bank and Alta Vista. It was an extra wide body Gottlieb, with the largest playing surface of any standard game along side its sister game Star Race. It was nestled beside Gottlieb Genie and while it was not my favorite game at the time, though I have grown to appreciate it much more here at the arcade.

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Devil’s Dare – Gottlieb 1982

Devil’s Dare – Gottlieb 1982

Mike Remembers:
I remember being blown away by the artwork on this game when I first saw it at the Hampton Park Bowling Alley.

Although it was a very difficult game, it drew me back time and time again with its unusual playfield layout, the reverse back hand upper flipper, and its difficult to achieve multi-ball mode.

Combined with its awesome sound track and sound effects, this game has always been one of my all time favorites.

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