select to read historical Ottawa memories of each game
(you can submit your own memories, too!)
Mike Remembers: Xenon was the first game to feature female synthesized speech, and was a real eye catcher with the infinity effect and chase lights. The sound package was a tour de force with distinct female and male voices, and classic Bally electronic sounds.
Mike Remembers: This game was at the O’Tools on Ogilvie when it was new, among other places of course. This particular Star Wars is one I have payed before, as it was at the Fire Button Arcade in Orleans from the day it was first purchased new in the box until the day they closed their doors. This is the first in a series of games that made up a large purchase of all their remaining games and parts, dating back to the 70’s and their old arcade under the Hayloft restaurant on Rideau, my all time fave pinball arcade!
It has been run through the Pinball Medics Custom Shop, and now features a full LED conversion with colour matched inserts, a colour DMD display, upgraded all new WMS/Bally style Pop Bumpers, freshly rebuilt flippers, new coil sleeves all around, Superband flipper, post, and mini-post rubbers, and much more.
This game was a fixture all over town, but I remember it best at the Wizard arcade in Carlingwood Mall in 1980. Every day after school I would change busses right in front of the arcade and would of course always visit. This game would have a line of quarters halfway up the playfield with a line of kids to match, and at 50 cents a game, it was doing very good business.
Black Knight was a groundbreaking game for a number of reasons. First multi-level playfield, first use of Magna -Save, speech, 3 ball multiball with playfield points multiplier, 4 flippers, 4 sets of timed drop targets, and a great theme, sound, and light package. All that and a cowbell!
This Black Knight had been upgraded with all LED illumination featuring colour matched inserts and a full psychedelic general Illumination treatment, LED displays, newer fliptronic style flipper assemblies, Superband flipper and post rubbers, fully rebuilt pop bumper and target banks, and much more!
Mike Remembers: I only remember playing Ali at one spot, the old arcade under the Hayloft restaurant on Rideau Street. The first thing that struck me when I first saw it was the photo realistic image of Ali himself in the center of the backglass, something never before seen in Pinball at the time. The second thing I noted was that the game played incredibly fast, and was not easy to beat. Added to that was the soundtrack, similar to Meteor with the background buildup sound, and tons of other great Classic Stern sound effects. I have been waiting 30 years to play this game again, and this one got the full Pinball Medics Black Label Process and plays like a beast! This game is a must play for any fans of the Classic Stern era, or of crazy fast action in any game.
Mike Remembers: Genie is one of my all time fave games. It was featured beside Circus (also here at the Arcade) at the Mister Arcade at Bank & Alta Vista when it was new. I always considered these “sister” games, but despite their similarities, I have always far preferred the artwork, theme, sounds, and most importantly gameplay of Genie. It has been on my must have list for many years, and this is the first time I have played one that works well since I was 15 years old! The wide body Gottliebs needed a lot of punch to get the ball around the playfield, and this machine features the first use of newer Williams flipper systems in a classic Gottlieb, making this the first Pinball Medics Custom Shop Black Label Gottlieb! Never have I witnessed a massive wide body Gottlieb that played this fast, it is extremely lively, and with an upgraded Pascal MPU, features additional options and depth of gameplay previously unavailable.
Mike Remembers: Doctor Who was one of the first Dot Matrix Display games I remember playing. I played it at the Imperial Arcade on Bank street when it was new as well as many other locations across the city. A great theme with a great soundtrack and tie ins to the seminal BBC series it is based on.
Mike Remembers: To be honest, I don’t have any Arcade memories of this game, but it is one of the best DMD games I have played, and is the first in a series of 90’s machines that we have acquired. We have accepted that the 90’s were actually a while ago now, and as such are now considering all the great games from that decade to be “Classic” Pinball Machines. This game has been fully refurbished and upgraded by Pinball Medics and plays amazingly well. While we are moving into the 90’s with our game selection, our prices will still reflect the past, and this and all the newer games coming in will still be one Dollar per game, with 5 balls per game!
Mike Remembers: My most vivid memories of the Fireball II Pinball Machine were at a corner store in Vanier up the road from my friend’s place.
The three banks of drop targets and both close in and long sweeping shots, combined multi-ball and speech made it a great package, sort of Skateball meets Eight Ball Deluxe, with one of the best art packages to ever grace a mirrored glass.
It is a very challenging game as well and very difficult to obtain multi-ball. This was usually made even more difficult when the qualifier targets so close to the upper flippers were not set up correctly with with properly functioning capacitors.
The good news is, this is another Pinball Medics Custom Shop Black Label Pinball Machine.
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!
And yes, the aforementioned caps on the qualifier targets have been replaced and all switches are working flawlessly, so Demon catching has never been easier.
Don’t take our word for it, come experience the ultimate Fireball II 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!
I first remember this from the arcade, I forget which name it was under at that time, at Carling and Broadview. It stood out from any other game at the time (and it still does), and you couldn’t help but be blown away by the double mirror and chasing lights. I walked up to it, dropped a quarter, and rolled the game on my first ball, and played it for the next hour or so. I would also play it at the Mr. Arcade on Alta Vista at Bank, and various other arcades in Ottawa and well beyond.
This rare game was at Hampton Park Bowling Alley when I was 14 years old or so. It was incredibly fast playing, and after playing this game, I considered Stern machines to be up there with the best of them. Great sound effects, a great art package, 4 flippers, and many drop targets make for one of the best games in our collection.
The first Flash I played was at the Merivale Arcade near the North West corner of Kirkwood and Merivale. The background sounds were amazing with their constant ever building intensity, and the first use of high powered Flasher bulbs under the playfield that would go off when you completed a bank of drop targets were stunning, accompanied by electronically synthesized thunder. I would bike a long way just to play this game there when it was new, and it still brings back those early memories as soon as I hit the start button. The playfield configuration is very similar to another of my faves here at the Arcade, Skateball by Bally from 1980. I have to assume the layout was “borrowed” by Bally from this hugely successful groundbreaking machine which established Williams as a serious competitor to Bally, and was the first to use what I consider to be some of the coolest pinball sound packages ever which were common to the Williams games produced over the following few years.
Mike Remembers: Skateball was a fixture in the Lincoln Fields Mall in 1980, same as Star Trek which I have positioned by its side like I remember them back in the day. A long line of quarters would work its way up the side of the playfield glass as we would all wait for our turn at this awesome super fast playing game with the wicked sound effects and the dude with the mirror shades.
Mike Remembers: This game was a fixture at the Britannia Pizzeria at the bottom of Britannia Road when I was about 10 years old. We would bike down the hill to Smiley’s Confectionary which was located cross corner from the Pizzeria to stock up on candy and head over to spend the rest of our money knocking down the massive row of drop targets that almost covered the entire width of the centre playfield. As a fan of drop targets, this was one of those amazing old Gottlieb’s that was missing nothing in this area.
Mike Remembers: As the sister game of Capt. Fantastic, Wizard! also holds a prominent spot by its side at the Arcade. My earliest memory of this game was at the Wizard Arcade across from the Britannia Drive In Cinema on Carling Avenue. Another beautiful work of art by Dave Christensen, this game would still draw coins from my pocket even after the solid-state pinball machines had taken over, where at 2 games for 25 cents, it was a great value and still a fun game to play.
Mike Remembers: I was barely 10 years old when I first played the Captain and it was the game that pushed my love of pinball over the top. My grandparents had a winter place in Florida we would visit with an arcade on the grounds, and I spent countless hours pumping dimes into the most amazing pinball machine I could have imagined. Before even knowing the story of Tommy the pinball Wizard, I was captivated by its theme and the incredible artwork by Dave Christensen.
Even after I ran out of coins, I would sit and stare at the detailed artwork, entranced by its beauty and incredible detail. It was as if I knew every character on the backglass and to this day this is still the machine I cherish the most. In the early 1990s, I would play it at the Imperial Arcade at Bank and Gilmore beside Barrymore’s where it brought back memories of my childhood even then. I am thrilled to share this game here at the arcade where it sits in prominence as the shining jewel of the electro mechanical collection.
Mike Remembers: Fire! is another game I remember playing at multiple locations but can’t put my finger on one specific location that stands out in my memory. I do remember the incredibly steep ramps and fast looping shots that would soon become the norm with Williams pinball machines.
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 special many hours were spent playing this game over and over obeying its command to “Quit Talking and Start Chalking”.
Cosmetically, a few liberties were taken, including replacing the pop bumper assemblies with modern Williams/Bally style in blue, Blue Superbands and acorn nuts, and a few strategically placed blue LED’s. Besides all new drop targets, rebuilt pop bumpers and slingshots, and a head full of new connectors, this is a Pinball Medics Custom Shop “Blues Deluxe” Black Label Pinball Machine! This includes a complete LED conversion with custom lamp drivers colour matched to the inserts, 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 11630 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!
Mike Remembers: I used to play Stargazer at the games room on Bank Street. I always loved the great sound package and the astrology theme was very attractive to me as well. The classic Sterns were some of my favorites and this and some of their other rare titles have always held a special place in my heart.