select to read historical Ottawa memories of each game
(you can submit your own memories, too!)
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.
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.
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: 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.
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: 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!
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!
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.
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.
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: 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: 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.