Hercules Game Photos

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Hercules is a pinball machine manufactured by Atari Incorporated in 1979. Design by Steve Bicker. Art by Jim Kelly.
Primary manufacturer:
Atari Incorporated
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Game type:
Solid State
Display type:

Flyers & Promo Media

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Hercules Design Team

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Hercules Rules

Quickie Version:

Up top (left side) and Orbit (right-to-left) all day, except hit the 10K/20K/30K/40K pad targets when flashing to advance bonus further. When the Path of Victory (right orbit) shot is flashing, shooting it is top priority.

Go-to Flipper:


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Full Rules:

While you’ll almost never see Hercules in a tournament, it’s a must-play if you encounter it just because it’s the biggest production machine ever made. The pinball is the size and color of a pool table cue ball. The strategy is simple: up top on the left to score top lanes, orbits on the right to advance features. Scoring is a blend of lane points and bonus. I prefer to pass balls to the right flipper at first and go up top until I have at least the double bonus and extra ball features activated. I then switch to favoring the left flipper to make the “path of victory” right-to-left orbit shot to advance and collect them. After that, I return to right flipper up top shots except for hitting the bonus pad advance targets as mentioned below. Base bonus goes up to 49K, but you have to hit one of the large pad stand-up targets to move beyond each 10K level. Once at 10K, hit the pad to the left of the right orbit. You can then move on from 10K to 20K. At 20K, hit the pad left of the bumpers. At 30K, hit the pad right of the right orbit. At 40K, hit the pad left of the left orbit. Bonus is earned for each lane or pad target scored. Double bonus is a three-step approach. First, score the top left lane to “start” double bonus earning. Step two, score either that lane again or a path of victory orbit shot with the now-lit advance double bonus light. Your progress is shown in the center of the playfield with the yellow lights under Double Bonus. Get three lights to ready the double bonus shot. Step three is to shoot a path of victory shot to earn double bonus. Base bonus is held from ball to ball, but double bonus resets. If extra balls or specials are on, which they usually are, you earn them similar to double bonus, first by making the top lane to start them, then getting that lane again or the right orbit to advance them. You need five total for extra ball, six for special, and again the shot to complete it must be the path of victory. A path of victory shot advances all features for which you have made the top lane on that ball in play. If you make shots up top to collect the two lanes you didn’t score on the plunge, each subsequent path shot will advance double bonus, extra ball and special for the rest of the ball. You can even finish more than one of them on the same path shot if more than one is ready. The game plays extremely slowly; so slowly, you’ll be able to see the spin on the ball as you play. And spin it does; the spin sometimes affects your shots. The flippers are hand-sized and somewhat sloppy, though you can shatz-pass the ball with them. If the flippers are weak, attempted path of victory shots may not go all the way around but drop into the bumpers after going halfway. Any switch hit between the star rollovers in the right orbit and left orbit negates it counting as a path of victory shot. Assuming the flippers are in decent condition, it’s easy to regain control of the ball after a path of victory shot via loop passing: use the left flipper to deflect the ball to the right return lane to set up a cradle and a shot up top. For a strong left flipper, it’s a standard hold-and-drop loop pass, easy to perform at the slow ball speeds here. For a medium-strength flipper, just hold the flipper up and the flipper will sag enough when the ball comes back to it to deflect into the return lane.

via Bob's Guide

How to Play Hercules

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Hercules Gameplay Video

Gameplay Discussion & History

Mods and Toppers

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