Creature from the Black Lagoon (CFTBL) is a classic
Bally game from 1993, based on the cult 50's movie of the same name. It includes licensed versions of 5
memorable 50's tunes (including 'Rock Around The Clock') and replays some classic scenes from the film in
'dot-mation'. Your goal if to find the Creature and Rescue the Girl...
The game was released at the height of the last
pinball boom and was popular then, but has since become highly sought-after by collectors. Popular not only
with pinball enthusiasts, but by fans of the film - it also appeals to casual players due to the retro look
and familiar 50's music.
One unique feature of CFTBL is the appearance of
the Creature himself in the form of the only 3D hologram ever to grace a pinball table....he appears at
strategic points in the game beneath the playfield, visible through a clear window in the playfield - he
even seems to move...
CFTBL is probably designer John Trudeau's most
popular game, it initially looks cluttered with it's plethora of lights, abundance of signs, and huge winding
ramp sitting above most of the upper playfield, but the game flows well and does not seem cramped when playing.
CFTBL is a two flipper game, with all but the two
outside lane shots achievable from either flipper - the game also awards skillfull players with a host of
The main aim of the game is to find the Creature and
Rescue the Girl, from here multiple jackpots can be scored. To get this far, the player must achieve multiball.
This is done by completing the word F-I-L-M, lit accross the playfield just above the flippers. 'F' is generally
lit by shooting the far left K-I-S-S repeatedly until the couple in the car smooch, 'I' is lit by repeatedly
shooting the Snackbar hole in the centre of the playfield, 'L' is lit by lighting all four rollover targets at
the top of the playfield above the pop-bumpers, and 'M' is scored by shooting the Slide on the far right of
the playfield. (NOTE: This is described in more detail in the Rules page.
Lighting F-I-L-M starts a two-ball multiball greeted
with some superb animation straight from the film. Only two balls in multiball? Yes - and actually this is one
of the best features of CFTBL and it makes Multiball more skillful than if more balls were used. The skill is
to tuck one ball up the main 'Creature' ramp out of harm's way (and also to increase the jackpot value),
whilst aiming for the jackpot with the other ball.
The jackpot could be in any one of the holes - KISS
(far left), Snackbar (centre), or Slide (far right). The 'Creature' ramp is only available during Multiball
and feeds the Whirlpool bowl, just above the right flipper. Repeatedly shooting the ramp will increase the
CFTBL was not a game I particularly liked in the
arcades, but as a home machine I keep coming back to it, simple to get into and with plenty of challenges, plus
a few cows and hidden features...and, as you can see here - it looks great in the dark...
All the above is my personal opinion - Agree/Disagree? Drop me a line here.