Williams Earthshaker

earthshaker backglass
earthshaker playfield

Earthshaker was the second game Pat Lawlor made for Williams (his first was Banzai Run). Game rules are similar to the pinball machines Pat designer after this: Funhouse and Whirlwind. Lock balls for multiball and then try to score jackpots, complete all modes to start a frenzy.



The goal of the game is to lock balls to start multiball. To light a lock, one must complete a number of shots. These are shown in the earthquake institute, as lit numbers from 1 to 9. Each number (zone) corresponds to a shot on the playfield. First levels are easy and shots can be made in random order, after that zones have to be made in numeric order.

At the top of the playfield are Nevada and California. As you can see on the picture above, they're still together and a pinball shot to the ramp in the upper right corner of the playfield is diverted to this part. The ball will roll left of California onto the left ramp.
When a lock is lit however, California and Nevada split, and the pinball will roll in between them onto the right ramp where it will fall down under the playfield and be locked.

This game has great music and a great flasher show. It really is a joy to play it in a darkened room.

My game

I had bought it as I like Pat Lawlor games, and at that time I had also had Funhouse and Whirlwind. In my opinion Earthshaker is less fun of the three. They're similar but I like the others more. And as almost half the gameroom was full with Pat Lawlor designed pinball games (we have Twilight Zone and Safecracker too), I sold it.

Things to look for when buying

Make sure the shaker motor works.

Check the playfield, many games have damage (worn inserts or discolorations from the mylar).

Tech tips



There are four promo plastics for this game, two square speaker cutouts and two small round keychains.

Earthshaker still uses a real backglass. This is one of the last games to have a glass backglass, as Williams was making the transition to translites.

Earthshaker was the first pinball machine that has a shaker motor.

On about the first 100 games made the earthshaker institute could sink into the playfield. On later games this assembly was removed to save costs.

Click here to see the IPDB entry of this game.

earthshaker pink cadillac
The license plate on the pink cadillac says 'flip out'.