Friday, January 11, 2008

Hidden brick game in ST:TNG

I wrote the following in January 2004:

There is a hidden brick-video-game mode for the dot matrix display in the “Star Trek The Next Generation” pinball machine. It is similar to many of the brick video games that came out in the ‘80s. At one point, after the start of production of STTNG, to avoid any possible legal problems, it was decided that we should keep the mode a secret.

Since we decided to keep the game a secret only a handful of people knew how to get to it. This created a mystery. For a long time the mystery around this mode was the most asked question of enthusiast when I was at pinball events. Even today the topic comes up from time to time. It has been long enough now and finally I have the time to tell about this mode.

How do codes work on my games:
All the games I have programmed from “Riverboat Gambler” to today have all had a system of monitoring for Easter eggs. An Easter egg is something that is hidden in the game that most people don’t know about and mostly are simple and/or silly text messages on the display. All codes are four digits and are entered using the buttons on the game. Most of them just use the flipper buttons.

The most common system uses the right button to enter the current number and clear. The left button is to bump the current number by one.

To enter a code you only have to know the series of four numbers for that code.
Tap the right flipper button once. (Clear)
Tap the left flipper the number of times of the first number.
Tap the right flipper button once. (Enter and clear)
Tap the left flipper the number of times of the second number.
Tap the right flipper button once. (Enter and clear)
Tap the left flipper the number of times of the third number.
Tap the right flipper button once. (Enter and clear)
Tap the left flipper the number of times of the fourth number.
Tap the right flipper button once. (Enter and clear)
The code is now entered and the game will probably do something.

Try the code 3333 where R = right flipper and L = left flipper.
This will give a message from me to you on almost any of my newer games.
For older games like Star Trek you need to start the sequence by holding both flippers and release to clear, and you have to hit the right flipper one more time at the end.

The code 3333 on Star Trek:

What is the code for the brick game?
0248 is the code for the brick game in STTNG.

The only feedback you will get is the display will sort of flicker. (It is doing a wipe of itself on top of itself).

Then you have to play Riker’s Poker Night. If you did the above code you will get the brick game instead of getting Riker’s Poker Night.

You have to do this code while in a game. I normally do it at the beginning of the first ball. Then you try and light video mode. Then you try and shoot video mode. Then you select what would normally give you Riker’s Poker Night.

Riker’s Poker Night is in itself a hidden video mode. To get Riker’s Poker Night you have to light and shoot for video mode. Then at the opening screen, where you are given a choice of video mode or points, hold the ball launch trigger while you select the point’s option. This will start a poker game.

What is the brick game?
It is a video game played on the dot matrix where a square ball propelled by a paddle that you control tries to knock out all the layers bricks looming above.

When the ball comes down you have to use the flipper buttons to move the paddle left or right to keep the paddle under the ball.

When the ball hits the paddle it will then head back up. If the ball hits a brick the brick is destroyed and the ball heads back down. Every time the ball hits something it will bounce.

If the ball breaks through the top layer it will bounce off the ceiling and continue to destroy bricks from the top. When the last brick is gone a new set of bricks will appear and the game continues.

It is possible to destroy the last brick from the top and have the ball stuck between the top of the new set of bricks and the ceiling. It will then have to destroy much of the new set before you have to hit it with the paddle again. This is a personal high for me.

If you miss the ball with the paddle it will go off the screen through the bottom. When you miss your fifth ball the game ends and it will kick you back out to your normal pinball life.

This video mode gives no score to the pinball game.

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