Williams Bram Stokers Dracula
Great game ! But it's a bit special..
People who own this machine all say the same about Bram Stokers Dracula..
'great game! but it needs to be part of a collection, it shouldn't be the only game you have'. Some collectors I know say this is the only game they will never sell, and from others who did sell theirs, they miss this game most. I once almost sold my game and am now very happy that the deal didn't go through, because it really is a keeper and after owning it for about five years it's still a game I play a lot.
Why is this pinball game special ? Probably because of its theme.
Whilst almost every other pinball machine made has a 'happy' theme and shouts I'M FUN, this one doesn't.
BSD is probably the darkest, most depressing pinball game ever made.
I have to admit in the beginning I had this game, I played it in a dark room and got cold shivers from it.
Main reason for this are its sounds.. there are wherewolves howling, bats flying around, and a lot of blood on the display.. (which is not the usual orange but red btw)
But Dracula is not a game about death.. Watch the movie.
The game is about passion and eternal love.
One more thing which makes this game more suitable for adults than for children (although there is a family setting in the options)(don't ask me what it does, haven't tried it).
Gameplay is hard if you play it for a first time. Like Twilight Zone it has a learning curve.
Maybe you won't like the first games you play, or succeed to start a multiball, but for some reason you keep returning to this game.
You know there's got to be more than just keeping the ball in play.
And there is more. Most important to this game are multiballs.
You should learn how to start them, or your scores will be very low. And if you really want high points, learn how to start multiple multiballs at the same time, because then jackpot points are added. That's the goal of this game: combining multiballs. The 'thirty million' sound quote is excellent ! And if you get a replay and hear the music and see the replay dmd animation, you'll feel great.
Killing Dracula and his concubines is.. well.. an interesting task :-)
And Mist Multiball, during which a pinball mysteriously crosses the playfield, impresses everyone.
So if you see this game somewhere, play it and give it a chance.
Certainly if you're a good pinball player, you should like it..
For beginning players it may not be easy enough. You have to be able to aim the pinball well, and a lot of shots have a high risk of draining, so you have to be careful what you do.. this is not a game where you can just try to keep the ball into play.
Especially the center targets are dangerous to shoot at. To score well and advance in the game it is essential you are able to shoot the left ramp a lot. You get bonusses from making this ramp often, and it's also used to lock balls for one type of multiball.
The video mode in which you have to shoot wherewolves who run towards you is also very nice and fits the theme. Play safe, shoot them early and they only score very low, wait until the very last moment and they score a lot !
Things to look for when buying this game:
- Make sure the magnet assembly below the playfield is present and working !!
- Check for wear where the ball drops onto the playfield when you launch it into play (upper right side of the playfield - see picture)
- The plastic above the 3 center targets usually is broken
- Last 'special' assembly is the ramp at the right which moves up but this part is similar to other games with moving ramps (ie Whirlwind, Road Kings, ..).
- The red text on the cabinet often fades.
The bracket of the drop target in the back of the playfield sometimes bends so the target is stuck. Especially if the playfield is taken out of the machine for moving it's easy to bend the bracket.
This game came from the factory with small yellow 'lightning' flippers installed
(similar to the ones used on Fish Tales).
These flipper bats are shorter than regular ones. The game however was designed to have regular flipper bats but shorter ones were added for production to decrease game time. Installing regular bats is a big improvement to gameplay. Some shots are easier to make, or feel at least more natural, whilst drains through the middle don't decrease noticeable. So if you find the game hard because some shots are difficult, put regular flipper bats on the game.
Something not a lot of people know: this game was first planned to become Alien 3.
The red dmd is not a special dot matrix display panel. It is just a regular orange dmd with a red colored plastic in front of it.
There are two promo plastics for this game: a speaker cutout with a bleeding woman on it and a smaller, round translucent plastic with a red Dracula logo.
Prototype games had two extra 'slingshot' plastics. These are installed on top of the regular
slingshot plastics using metal hex posts. These plastics are available as reproductions
so you can add them to your game.
The playfield has two metal rails on the sides for support. On almost every other pinball game has wooden supports (as far as I know only some Creature from the Black Lagoon machines also have metal supports). Maybe because of the additional weight of the magnet assembly they were used ? On my machine the pop bumpers feel really very powerfull and let the whole machine shake, because these metal rails don't absorb any vibration.