Stern’s Star Trek pinball machine is a terrific game that gets more fun the more you know about it. Set your phasers to “fun” and beam yourself up to pure pinball satisfaction with this guide to Star Trek pinball! This guide contains all the information you need to make a starship captain out of you, including Missions, multiballs, and more!
Star Trek’s layout has excellent geometry that shoots more fluidly and naturally than almost any other pinball machine ever designed. There are plenty of shot options, however none of them are especially narrow, making the game “flow” wonderfully. Long metal lane guides adorn every shot and ramp entrances are flanked by thin stand-up targets, not rubber posts like in other games. This results in more recoverable misses than say a game like Black Knight: Sword of Rage, and makes it extremely approachable to beginning pinball players.
Left Lane/Kickout Hole (Mission Start)
Side Ramp (Warp Ramp)
Left Ramp (Alpha Quadrant)
Drop Target + Magnet Lane (Vengeance Spaceship)
Right Ramp (Beta Quadrant)
Under Upper-Right Flipper (Away Team)
There are also plenty of stand-up targets including:
Light Locks (3)
Red Matter (5)
Black Hole (1)
Additionally, there are three rollover lanes at the top of the playfield that spell BEAM-ME-UP. These can be reached with left or right orbit shots that don’t quite go completely around.
Complete BEAM-ME-UP to advance the Bonus Multiplier by 1x. The rollover lanes drop into a nest of three pop bumpers. The pop bumper nest only has one exit, to the right, down the right orbit, feeding the upper-right flipper.
The Warp Ramp
The Warp Ramp is a particularly steep side ramp that can only be hit from the upper-right flipper. This ramp can be hit repeatedly, but it’s very fast!
There’s a trick to hitting the Warp Ramp, though. Look at the playfield artwork near the upper-right flipper. Do you see the thin white arrow pointing up the Warp Ramp? That’s when you want to flip. This is similar to another great Steve Ritchie game, Rollergames, where a magnet holds the ball in a similar spot to reliably hit a side ramp.
Each time you make it up the Warp Ramp you advance your Warp Speed by 1. An Extra Ball lights at The Vengeance after reaching Warp 3. Double Scoring (where literally everything in the game is worth double points) begins (and lasts for 60 seconds) at Warp 9.1. You can re-activate Double Scoring again at Warp 9.9!
Our Five Year Mission
Now that you know the pieces of Star Trek pinball, it’s time to dive into how to actually play it. At the start of the game, before you plunge the first ball, you may choose your Mission using the flipper buttons. The current Mission’s corresponding insert will be light in the triangular matrix just above the flippers. Each Mission is color-coded to make it easy to recognize your goals.
The Missions and their colors are as follows:
Prime Directive: Blue
Klingon Battle: Red
Space Jump: Yellow
Destroy the Drill: Teal
Save the Enterprise: Green
During each Mission, the large Starfleet Insignia inserts at the main shots will light up the color of the current mission. The goal of each Mission is to shoot these lit shots. When you are 1 shot away from completing your current Mission, the Final Shot will flash 2 different colors. Hitting this Final Shot awards bonus points greater than ending the Mission with a standard lit shot.
Completing any 3 Missions in a row will put you in the Captain’s Chair with one of three great rewards: Super Pops, Super Ramps or Super Spinner. Super Pops are achieved by completing the left-side inserts, Super Ramps are unlocked from the right-side Missions and Super Spinner is activated by completing the bottom row of Missions. These each boost the value of their corresponding shot. (If you think you can only accomplish one 3-in-a-row, go for Super Ramps!)
Our Star Trek is equipped with a handy-dandy rule card with a quick reference for the Captain’s Chair 3-in-a-row rewards:
Completing all of the Missions will award you with an awesome Multiball Mode: Kobiyashi Maru Multiball! We will get more into that later.
Level II and Level III Missions
Once you complete a Mission in Star Trek pinball, you start the next by hitting either the Mission Start or Away Team shots. The game will suggest the next Mission for you to undertake once you hit either of these shots. By pressing the “Punch It” button or by plunging the ball, you accept the next Mission and it begins.
However, you can manually select your next Mission, and even select the Mission you just completed. Selecting a previously-completed Mission accesses the “Level II” version of that Mission, featuring new, more challenging goals. Successfully complete a Level II Mission and the Level III Mission will become available. These are very challenging, featuring fast timers and moving shots.
Why go for Advanced Missions? Completing all of the Level II Missions enables the Enterprise Amok Multiball mode and finishing all of the Level III Missions unlocks the elite Five Year Mission mode, which very few players have ever seen.
This is Star Trek’s “standard” mutliball mode. To engage Klingon Multiball, start by lighting locks by completing the 3 Light Lock stand up targets.
Once Locks are Lit the green Lock inserts will light at both The Vengeance and the Mission Start scoop. Lock three balls at either The Vengeance or the Mission Start scoop to begin Klingon Multiball.
In Klingon Multiball mode, all of the shots will be lit red. Keep hitting red lit shots to earn Jackpots. Hit enough Jackpots and you’ll earn a Super Jackpot. Hit the Warp Ramp for even bigger points!
If you hit the Black Hole stand-up target during Klingon Multiball (when it’s lit) it will Add-a-Ball to your multiball.
The big spaceship hanging over the middle of the playfield isn’t actually The Enterprise, though it looks very similar. That’s The Vengeance, the “bad guy” ship from the second Star Trek reboot movie, Into Darkness, and its mission is to drain your ball!
The Vengeance is guarded by a lone stand-up target. Knocking this down opens the ship up to attack. You need to hit the Vengeance a given number of times to light the next Vengeance Mode. Beware – it shoots back! If you’d like to avoid enemy fire, you can also use the Punch It button to fire Torpedoes to damage The Vengeance. Each Torpedo hit counts as a hit by the ball.
How do you earn Torpedoes? Completing the Weapon stand-up targets grants you three Torpedoes. You can see how many Torpedoes you’ve earned at a glance by looking at the yellow triangular inserts running up the middle of the playfield. Check the display to see how many more hits the Vengeance needs before it will start the Vengeance Mode.
Vengeance Mode 1 is “Vengeance Multiball.” Upon activation, the magnet under the Vengeance ship will capture your ball and another is fired into play. Knock the captured ball off the magnet with the second ball to add a ball (up to 3 balls) and extend the ball saver time. Hit The Vengeance directly or any white-lit shot to damage it. You can also use Torpedoes to damage the Vengeance in this mode and track the damage via the health bar towards the bottom of the display.
Vengeance Mode 2 is “Vengeance Scoring.” This is a fairly straightforward hurry-up mode where you try to score 5 shots on the Vengeance. Beware – there’s only one ball in play and it shoots your ball back viciously! If you can hit the Vengeance 5 times in this mode, you’ll earn yourself an Extra Ball.
Vengeance Mode 3 is “Vengeance Battle” and it’s rarely activated. This mode has you shooting the Vengeance for some serious points – up to 10% of your total score or a bonus 10 million points – whichever is greater. Bringing Double Scoring bonuses into this mode can yield some absolutely outrageous points…but you need to make it there first!
Accompanying each Starfleet Insignia insert is a red arrow-shaped insert. These, when lit, designate a Combo shot. Hitting a lit Combo shot awards double the amount of points the shot would’ve normally been worth.
The trick is that Combo shots don’t stay lit for long and need to be hit on-the-fly. If you cradle the ball and carefully aim, the Combo shot will most likely be un-lit by then. This adds a significant amount of risk vs reward to the game.
Do you fire away at these combo shots, even though they’re dangerous? On this smooth-shooting layout, sure! With practice you will know how to time each shot, and the satisfaction of combo-ing these ramps and orbits at high speed is super worth it!
These advanced rules are over my experience level (I’ve never even made it to Enterprise Amok and barely understood Kobayashi Maru the handful of times I’ve been there) so I have copied them from the Tilt Forums Star Trek Wiki just for you hardcore pinheads that can actually pull this off!
Kobayashi Maru Multiball
Started by completing all Level I Missions
Once all level one modes have been completed, the Vengeance shot will light white for Kobayashi Maru. Starting Kobayashi Maru will immediately award you medal bonuses based on all medals collected so far. Then it is a 2-ball multiball with all shots lit except the Warp ramp. Each shot requires 2 shots to clear it out – first shot is nominal points (500K to start); the second shot scores based on your performance in the corresponding level 1 mode (color coding tells you which mode). Clearing them all out allows you to continue in single ball play even though you have 2 balls (or more with add-a-ball) active on the playfield. Shots in this mode max at 7.5M.
The medal bonus awarded for starting the mode is as follows:
Set of 6 Bronze medals = 10M. Otherwise, each bronze is worth 1M up to a set.
Set of 6 Silver medals = 20M. Otherwise, each silver is 2M up to a set.
Set of 6 Gold medals = 35M. Otherwise, each gold is 3.5M up to a set.
Started by completing all Level II Missions
Set of 6 Bronze medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 15M ; otherwise 1.5M each
Set of 6 Silver medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 30M ; otherwise 3M each
Set of 6 Gold medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 50M ; otherwise 5M each
Once all level two modes have been completed, the Vengeance shot will light white for Enterprise Amok. Starting Enterprise Amok will immediately award you medal bonuses based on all medals collected so far. This begins as a 2-ball multiball with all shots lit and a switch hit counter on the display. Completing the number of switch hits required will add a ball into play (except for the 6th and final round) and light all shots white for a final shot. The next shot hit will then be unlit for future final shots in the mode and will start a new higher switch hit requirement. After completing the 6th and final round, the Vengeance shot will be lit for a Super Jackpot. Completing this final shot allows you to continue in single ball play even though you have more than one ball active on the playfield.
Five Year Mission
Started by completing all Level III Missions
Set of 6 Bronze medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 25M ; otherwise 2.5M each
Set of 6 Silver medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 45M ; otherwise 4.5M each
Set of 6 Gold medals when starting Enterprise Amok = 75M ; otherwise 7.5M each
Once all level three modes have been completed, the Vengeance shot will light white for Five Year Mission. Starting Five Year Mission will immediately award you medal bonuses based on all medals collected so far. This begins as a 4-ball multiball with all shots lit and…to be continued!
Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before
With everything you’ve learned from reading this guide, you have all you need to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, new civilizations, and achieve high scores that no one has done before!