Mechanical Music Through the Ages

A collection of Mechanical Music and Arcade Machines – highlighting examples of the development in mechanical entertainment over time.

“Apollo 13” Sega 1995 – (USA)

Apollo 13 is a 1995 pinball machine based on the film Apollo 13. It was designed by Joe Kaminkow and Joe Balcer, and released by Sega Pinball. It is notable for its 13-ball multiball mode, the largest of any pinball machine ever made.

After starting a game, you have a choice of “Regular” or “Novice” mode. “Regular” is the normal 3-ball arrangement. “Novice” is timed play; the player has 2 minutes when any drained balls are autoplunged, and after the 2 minutes expires, the game is over when the ball(s) on the field drains.

You can start a game in “League” mode by holding the left flipper button in while starting a game, and “Wizard” mode by holding the right flipper button in.

There are 9 Missions; after doing all of them, Master Alarm is lit at the right saucer. The Missions are:

  • Orbiter
  • CO2
  • Manual Burn
  • Rocket 2-Ball
  • Moon’s Gravity
  • Under Volt
  • Life Support
  • Docking
  • Lite Extra Ball

Once the 9 missions have finished, the wizard mode Master Alarm will start. It’s a 40-second frenzy where every target scores 1 million and adds 1 million to a Jackpot that is lit at the Blastoff ramp. The Jackpot does not reset after collecting it, and does not have a limit. This round can be worth many points if the player has mastered the ramp shot.

Multiball modes:

Apollo 13 has a number of pinball modes:

  • Regular Multiball (5-balls)
  • 13-ball (13 balls): When the 8 BLASTOFF letters (shown below the score display) are completed (they then flash), the next multiball will be 13 BALL.

When 13-ball starts, the bottom post raises and stays up for about 10 seconds. Five balls are launched, and after about 5 seconds the 8 balls in the 8-ball holder are released, all at once. There is no ball saver. During 13-ball, the Rocket is lit for Jackpots. After a Jackpot, the bottom post is not raised, increasing the difficulty of play.

After 5 Jackpots have been collected, the Super 13-Ball Jackpot is lit.