11 Cool Easter Eggs in Pinball Machines

11 Cool Easter Eggs in Pinball Machines
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11 Cool Easter Eggs in Pinball Machines
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11 Cool Easter Eggs in Pinball Machines
Published on
April 5, 2018
Updated on
April 5, 2018
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Before starting this article, we must give a huge shoutout to the go-to Cow and Easter Egg site which was built by Torbjörn Molander out of Stockholm, Sweden – check it out his list of Cows and Easter Eggs here!  Much of what you find below is found on his website!!

With Easter being last weekend, what better time to check out some of the cool Easter Egg and Easter Egg traditions in pinball??  Below are seven general Easter Eggs and four specific examples of Easter Eggs.


Are cows in pinball considered Easter Eggs?  Well they’re hidden items a lot of the time, so we’re going to consider them Easter Eggs.  Cows are EVERYWHERE in pinball!  Why you may ask?  Good question.  From the Cows and Easter Eggs site mentioned above:

Having cows appearing in pinball games started as an internal joke for the people at Williams/Bally. The first game to include a cow was The Machine: Bride of Pinbot (see below) and the man responsible was programmer Brian Eddy (designer of The Shadow, Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness). On the question why he replied:

“Why breathe? Why Eat? Why live without cows in pinball machines?”

The story of the cow comes in many different versions. This is the “truth about the cow” according to Mark Penacho: “The cow in Fire (gravy) had nothing to do with the cows that appeared all over later on.  One person (who shall remain nameless, BRE) started putting cows in the games he worked on, and eventually people started copying  (there’s also cow stuff all over his house).  It kind of got out of hand after that.  The fact that one person at the time (SS) did all the dot matrix effects for all games did nothing to curb that trend.  I did hear at one time that the Sega people assumed this was some kind of jab at pinball designer Joe Kaminkow (which it wasn’t, talk about vanity).”

There are way too many cows to list (and we’ll go through some of them later in this article), but just keep an eye out for these hidden gems.  They are a part of pinball history!!

Medieval Madness Cow


DOHO appears on dot matrix displays in many Williams pinball machines from the 90s. Here is an example from Star Trek: The Next Generation and here is an example from World Cup Soccer.  For a long time, people wondered where DOHO came from and what it meant.  The following was found on this forum post and appears to have originated from the Pingame Journal, issue #103, March 2004, and explains the history of DOHO:

Like most of you I loved to play pinball as a teenager, especially the Indiana Jones pinball was my favorite. In August 2002 I could finally afford money and room for an IJ and a youth dream came true.

I used the internet to learn more about maintaining my IJ. During my searches I visited the “Lost Temple of DOHO” with its lost scenes (archived here), on the RGP newsgroup I read that DOHO is used as a synonym for easter eggs in Williams pinball machines, and that it is an acronym for “Documented Occurrence of Hidden Object” or “Discovery Of Hidden Object”. This was all I knew about DOHO until January 2004.

As I’m a programmer, debugging and changing the IJ game ROM with PinMAME was fun and very interesting. In October 2003 I decided to mail Brian Eddy, the software coder of IJ, some questions about his experiences in pinball development as a coder. While researching his email address and other information related to him, I found some interviews at the Swedish Pinball Association homepage. I contacted one of the interviewers, Torbjörn Molander, to confirm Brian’s email address and if he had some more questions for Brian in his mind. Torbjörn also maintains a list of DOHOs, this led me to ask Brian what DOHO really means. Brian avoided this question in his reply in January 2004. This aroused my interest in why DOHO was such a big secret.

How I solved the meaning of DOHO

I searched the RPG first and one post from 1995 striked me which mentioned the sighting of the text “CONGRATS SCOTT AND DOHO” on the display of a No Fear pinball. A reply of Steve Ritchie stated that this is correct and it is indeed Scott and DOHO. So DOHO had to be a person with some kind of relationship to someone named Scott.

To revise these posts I re-visited the Williams homepage to download the latest No Fear game ROM 2.3. While downloading the ROM I remembered “The Lost Temple of DOHO” and found the name Scott “Matrix” on its front page. In the No Fear ROM I also found the text “HI DOHO”.

So DOHO is a person with some kind of relationship to Scott “Matrix”.

A newsgroup search for posts by Scott “Matrix” showed that his last name is Slomiany and that he uses DOHO email addresses, but all posts with those DOHO addresses where from 1999 or later – long after his pinball carreer. A websearch for his full name revealed that he uses those DOHO email addresses also in other, mostly programming related, forums. Another striking hit of that search was the content description of Pingame Journal issue #039, April/May 1995, mentioning Scott’s wedding. Unfortunately no name of the bride was given and it could also be an April Fool’s joke. But the next fact I recognized is that everything of the discovered information happened in 1995: the RGP post and No Fear’s ROM were from late 1995 and the wedding report was also from 1995, hence No Fear’s “CONGRATS” has to refer to Scott’s wedding.

So DOHO was/is Scott’s girl-friend/wife for sure.

But what the hell does DOHO really stand for?

Hence I decided to investigate further on Scott and his wedding. Again I did a websearch for his name, but this time I watched for everything family related. I must admit that Scott didn’t leave many private trails on the net, but he made a “mistake” by posting into a guestbook of Polynesian Adventures (Hawaii) and naming his wife’s first name “Dorris”. Got you!

So after two hours of search, I knew that DOHO is Scott “Matrix” Slomiany’s wife Dorris.

I believe that Scott started putting DOHO in easter eggs to pay homage to her. And as he put DOHO in all of his easter eggs it became a nickname for her at Williams. Hence DOHO could mean “DOrris HOmage”, be her initials (with maiden name) or even be her real life nickname. For the people outside Williams it became the above mentioned synonym for an easter egg. I mailed my solution to Scott and asked him if he would be so nice to explain the meaning of HO to me.

The following days I searched for the PGJ issue #039 on the net, but to no avail. I was told that I could order those old issues and so I did. In the order I mentioned my interest in the article about Scott’s wedding, hours later Jim of PGJ asked me why and I told him everything I found out.

Jim always wanted to get permission from Scott to print the real meaning of DOHO in his journal, and as I solved the mystery by myself, he finally got permission after several years of waiting. Some days later the issue #039 arrived and on page 19 it stated Dorris’ maiden name Ho, an oriental/asian (sic) name.

Mystery solved!

DOHO was/is Scott “Matrix” Slomiany’s girl-friend/wife Dorris Ho (maiden name).

Now you know more about DOHO that you ever wanted or needed to!


The internal clock on your pinball machine hits midnight, and suddenly, your machine goes into chaos.  If you’re not expecting it, you’ll think something malfunctioned.  Nope, it is Midnight Madness!  Several machines have this hidden feature, including Dirty Harry, Congo, NBA Fastbreak, Johnny Mnemonic, Junkyard, Whodunnit, Game of Thrones, and Ghostbusters.

Want an example?  Here is Game of Thrones entering into Midnight Madness…HODOR, HODOR, HODOR!


Legendary pinball designer Pat Lawlor is also known including a red button on most (all?) of his pinball machines, even his newest one, Dialed In!.  Here are a few examples:

Funhouse Translite (photo courtesy High End Pins)
Button in Rudy’s Hand (photo courtesy High End Pins)
Button in Driver’s Hand (photo courtesy High End Pins)
Gofer has Button (photo courtesy High End Pins)


You get a great score and are entering your initials – did you know that by entering in certain initials into certain games, you’ll trigger a hidden Easter Egg?  A couple examples include:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Enter S-U-N and the display will read “No not the sun, arghhh!”

Cirqus Voltaire: Enter M-O-O and the Ringmaster will pop up and say “Moo!” (on 2.0 home ROM)

There are many more.  Sometimes there are shoutouts to the team that worked on the machine.  And there are a lot of shoutouts to cows.


We mention the red buttons above, but there are a LOT of Easter Eggs in the artwork of pinball machines.  Here are just a couple examples:

Cirqus Voltaire: After stripping down the playfield, you’ll see a note that says “Thanks for cleaning under the plastic!”

Photo courtesy High End Pins

Guardians of the Galaxy: Artist Christopher Franchi snuck his name into this gauge on the left slingshot if you close…

Guardians of the Galaxy: Underneath the metal shooter ramp on the playfield, you’ll find a hidden message (on the right)…

Photo courtesy Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show


This is another thing to love about pinball – you get a lot of machines that pay homage (or at least acknowledge) other machines.  A few examples include:

Cactus Canyon Continued – references Addams Family, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, etc. – check out an example here!

Twilight Zone – hit the clock enough times during Clock Chaos to hear Rudy from Funhouse say “Quit Playin’ with the Clock!!”

Houdini – during the mystery awards, sometimes the hand pulls out a Stay Puft marshmallow man (Ghostbusters), an alien from Attack from Mars, or a Total Nuclear Annihilation logo – check them out below (courtesy of our friends at Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show):

And now some specific Easter Eggs…


To activate this Easter Egg:

Get the quote “Anyone for Peking duck?” by doing one of the following:

  • Pull the trigger at the beginning of each mode (does not work on Duel of Wills and Hotel).
  • Pull the trigger at the end of Duel of Wills.
  • The quote is also heard during the Extra Ball animation, during the quote “I know” in Who Knows award, when you get a Scene Bonus of 2M, when the ball is in the Battle Field popper.
  • The quote is only heard once per playfield location.
  • The quote is said by three different people and when you´ve heard all three, start a scene to start The Secret Laughing mode (Observe the duck on the right, quacking.).

See it in action here!!


To activate this Easter Egg:

With a game started, press the following sequence: B, 11L, 1R, 5L, 1R, 6L, 1R (that spells KEF). If entered successfully Lyman Sheats will say “Totally” and your next award at the “venue” scoop will be “Lyman´s Lament”.

See it in action here!!


To activate this Easter Egg:

Ball in plunger lane from a ball start (won’t work if you land in the lane while playing)…Hold the right flipper for at least 45 seconds.  Hold the left flipper for at least 45 seconds.  Hold BOTH flippers for at least 45 seconds and you will hear a small  BEEP sound to show that you did it correctly.   Now, Tap out the song starting with the right flipper.  Note: You must sing along or it will not work!

R – OLD…..L – MAC…..R – DON….L – ALD….R – HAD …L – A…R – FARM…..Display will show:

L – AND…R – ON ….L – THIS …..R – FARM ….L – HE….R – HAD …L – A Display will show (and the cow will moo):
Note: The timing between the RLRLRL is sensitive so tap consistently as you sing or it will not all come up. You must also start the second verse while the EEEIIIIEEEIIIOOO is going on or you will not see the second part. Remember, time your taps as you would if you were singing it. You can do it as many times as you like by starting from the beginning of the song once it finishes. Once you shoot the ball into play you can’t do it again until the next ball (must go through full sequence again)

See it in action here!!


This particular Easter Egg stayed hidden for 18 YEARS, until it was discovered a few years ago by someone on Rec Games Pinball (RGP)!

To activate this Easter Egg:

1. Start the game with flipper buttons pressed.
2. Start Mine Cart Mode
3. Count the number of barriers on RIGHT tunnel only (while successfully navigating the turns).
4. Crash into the 4th RIGHT barrier that you encounter.

See it in action here!!