Star Wars (often abbreviated simply "SW"), features the following main components:
- Display Board: The orange dot-matrix screen on the front of the backbox.
- Shifter Handle: The black lever on the front of the machine.
- Playfield: The plane on which the ball travels.
- Left Orbit: The path the ball takes when shot over the Darth Vader picture on the playfield.
- RIght Orbit: The path the ball takes when shot over the R2-D2 picture on the playfield.
- Inside Lane: The path the ball takes when shot over the Yoda picture on the playfield.
- The Ramp: The ramp in the center of the playfield, above the picture of a Star Destroyer.
- Left and Right Return Lanes: The lanes on the playfield that guide the ball to the left and right flippers.
- Outlanes: The outermost lanes near the flippers.
- Left Scoop: The opening on the left edge of the playfield directly to the left of the picture of Darth Vader.
- Right Scoop: The opening on the right edge of the playfield directly under the picture of Jabba the Hutt.
- Turbo Bumpers: The circular bumpers on the left side of the playfield.
A note on scoring: Most of the points gained while playing are instant points, that is, they are added immediately to the player's total while the ball is in play. However, some of the features award points that are only added to the player's score at the end of the round (when the ball is lost) and will be marked as such below. Gaining a round-end multiplier does not multiply these points, but rather only the "bonus" points displayed at the end of a round. This bonus will be multiplied by whatever the multiplier is at the end of the round. Multipliers do not carry over to the next ball, except in the case of a Hold Bonus award (see The Force, below).
A lot of the fun comes from just hitting the ball around and seeing what happens, but if you want to maximize your score, mastering the machine's unique features is key.
Before each ball launch, the display board will show a TIE Fighter zooming back and forth. A well-timed press of the fire button on the shifter handle will destroy the TIE Fighter and award the player points based on the ball number:
- Ball 1: 2 million
- Ball 2: 3 million
- Ball 3: 4 million
When launching on an extra ball, the TIE Fighter will be invisible, forcing the player to rely on timing.
The ramp plays into many other features, but it is also useful by itself. The ramp awards players 3 million points for 3 ramp shots, 7 million points for 7 ramp shots, 14 million for 14, 21 million for 21, etc. The ramp streak does not end with the loss of a ball.
The "STAR WARS" letters (located in the middle of the playfield) are lit by shooting the ball through the left orbit, the right orbit, or the ramp. Each successful completion awards one letter. If the player manages to shoot through the left orbit immediately after tripping the right return lane switch, the player is awarded two letters. Lighting all the letters awards 10 million points.
To light the Force, shoot the ball through the inside lane. Shooting the left scoop when the "Force" light above it is lit will yield one of four awards displayed on the display board. To relight the Force, shoot a ball through the inside lane, or up the ramp a random number of times. Each visit to the Force will yield another of the four awards, and eventually a fifth once it is revealed.
The possibilities for the first four awards are:
- AT-ATs: See below.
- C-3PO Eyes: Lights one C-3PO eye (see R2-D2 Runaway, below).
- Cantina Band: See below.
- Extra Ball: Awards an extra ball (see Extra Ball, below).
- Hold Bonus: Carries over the current round-end multiplier to the next ball.
- Jedi Return: See below.
- Lite Special: See below.
- Lite Taun-Taun: See below.
- Lite Yoda: See below.
- Max Multipliers: Sets round-end multiplier to 8x.
- Million Pops: Each turbo bumper is worth 1 million points for a limited time.
- Points: Awards between 3 and 9 million points.
- Speeder Mode: See below.
- Super Laser Kick: Keeps relaunch active for the duration of the current ball (see Relaunch, below).
- Tri-Ball: See below.
- Wild Card: Awards the current Sarlacc Pit value (see Sarlacc Pit, below).
- X-Wing Multi-Millions: See below.
The possibilities for the fifth hidden award are:
- 25 Million: Awards 25 million points.
- The Empire: Shoot the ramp four times for 30 million points.
- Return of the Jedi: Shoot the left orbit, the right orbit, or the left scoop for 10 million points.
- Super Death Star: Countdown starts at 50 million, lasts for a limited time. Hitting the Death Star will award whatever points are remaining.
- Super R2D2: Countdown starts at 50 million, lasts for a limited time. Shooting the ball through either the left or right orbit will award whatever points are remaining.
Note: In addition to lighting the Force light at random times, a random ramp shot may bring up the current status of the Force on the display board and then give the player the next award.
The Dark Side
Shooting the left scoop while the "Force" light above it is unlit will decrease a countdown (starting at four) by one until it reaches zero, at which point it will award the player 25 million points. The countdown then returns to four.
To light Jabba's Bounty, trip the left return lane switch. Shooting the right scoop when the "Jabba's Bounty" light above it is lit will randomly give the player an award. Possible awards include those seen in the Force feature (see above).
The Sarlacc Pit value starts at 500,000 points at the beginning of each ball. The value in increased by hitting the turbo bumpers, which award 34,695 points with each hit. Shooting the right scoop while the "Jabba's Bounty" light above it is unlit will add the current Sarlacc Pit value to the player's score. The Sarlacc Pit value is cumulative throughout the round and does not reset after being achieved.
To the left of the ramp there is a bank of three drop targets. Hitting all three of the targets will cause them to pop back up. Hitting the three targets again will activate Hyperspace. Each subsequent dropping of all three targets will award an additional Hyperspace. Each Hyperspace increases the round-end multiplier by 1x, with a maximum of 8x. If, at any point, the player hits a ball up the ramp during Hyperspace, 5 million points are awarded, and round-end multiplier is locked in, and the Hyperspace multiplier streak is reset. If the player manages to again activate Hyperspace multiple times and surpass the previous Hyperspace multiplier streak, and manages to lock in this new number with a ramp shot, the round-end multiplier will be set to this new number. The loss of a ball prior to a ramp shot means any increases to the round-end multiplier as a result of Hyperspace are forfeited. The end of a round resets all Hyperspace bonuses.
Example Sequence (all on the same ball):
- Player hits all three drop targets twice: Hyperspace is activated, round-end multiplier is tentatively 2x.
- Player hits all three drop targets again: Round-end multiplier is tentatively 3x.
- Player hits ball up ramp: 5 million points are awarded, round-end multiplier is locked in at 3x, Hyperspace is deactivated, Hyperspace multiplier streak is reset.
- Player hits all three drop targets twice: Hyperspace is activated, round-end multiplier is still 3x since it was locked in previously.
- Player hits all three drop targets again: round-end multiplier is still 3x since it was locked in previously.
- Player hits all three drop targets again: round-end multiplier is now tentatively 4x since the old number has been surpassed.
- Player loses ball: Hyperspace is deactivated, round-end multiplier remains 3x since the player failed to hit the ramp after achieving a tentative multiplier of 4x.
Death Star Tri-Ball
Shooting the target on the front of the Death Star will advance the lights on the eight Yavin moons located in the center of the playfield. Once all moons are lit, the Death Star will open. If the player loses a ball while the Death Star is open, it will remain open for the next round (this will only happen if the ball is lost before the initial Tri-Ball activation). Shooting a ball into the open Death Star will award 5 million points and activate Tri-Ball (two more balls are launched into the playfield). Upon the loss of two of the three balls durning Tri-Ball, the Death Star will open and the player has a limited time to hit the ball into the Death Star to restart Tri-Ball. If the player fails to do so, play resumes as usual and the Yavin moons are reset to one. The player is granted an additional Yavin moon with every new ball. If the player does not manage to open the Death Star on balls one or two, it will open automatically on the launch of the third ball.
If desired, the player can open the Death Star with only five of the eight Yavin moons lit. To do this, the player must push the shifter handle into the down position and press the launch button. This can be done at any time, as long as five or more of the moons are lit. Opening the Death Star by this method initiates a countdown timer, after which the Death Star closes and the Yavin moons are reset to one.
Jackpot and Double Jackpot
Hitting the Death Star target during a Tri-Ball will increase the jackpot value by 1 million points (it starts at 10 million). To claim the jackpot, the player must shoot the ball up the ramp. This awards the jackpot value, opens the Death Star, and begins the double jackpot countdown timer. Shooting the ball into the Death Star before the countdown ends will award a double jackpot (twice the current value of the jackpot). The jackpot sequence can then be restarted, except this time the Death Star requires two target hits to activate the jackpot. Jackpots can continue to be activated as long as at least two balls from the Tri-Ball are active.
This feature is activated by lighting both of C-3PO's eyes, which is done one-at-a-time by shooting the ball into the inside lane. Once both eyes are lit, the R2-D2 light in front of the right orbit will illuminate and a countdown will start at 15 million points and decrease over time. Shooting the ball into the right orbit will collect whatever points are remaining.
If the player's points surpass the replay value (see Custom Settings, below), the "Victory" light (just above the turbo bumpers) will illuminate for a limited time. During this time, a right orbit shot will award 25 million points.
Storm Trooper Shoot-Out
This feature is activated at random points throughout the game. Once activated, the display board will show a line of Storm Troopers. The player must rapidly press the launch button on the shifter handle multiple times to kill all the troopers. If successful, the player is awarded 4 million points.
The left outlane features a "relaunch" light. When lit, a ball that goes down the left outlane will get launched back up into the playfield. Once used, the relaunch light will go dark. Relighting the relaunch light is done by hitting all three drop targets and then either a left or right orbit shot. Sometimes, one orbit shot will do it, though it may take more. If the picture of a Landspeeder just below the turbo bumpers is flashing, the relaunch light should relight with the next orbit shot.
This is achieved if, immediately after a ramp shot, the player shoots the ball through the left orbit using the right flipper.
Drop Target Million
If the player manages to hit all three drop targets to the left of the ramp in quick succession (within 3 seconds or so), the player will be awarded 1 million points.
This feature is activated via an award. Once activated, an animation of an AT-AT approaching Echo Base will show on the display board. If the player manages to hit 20 turbo bumpers within a limited time, the player is awarded 20 million points.
This feature is activated via an award. While activated, every target on the playfield is worth 250,000 points for a limited time. Points acquired are added to a starting value of 5 million points. These points are awarded at the end of the round.
Extra balls are can be gained as awards, or by the following process: The extra ball light on the playfield can be lit by hitting the ramp a random number of times. Once lit, the player claims the extra ball by shooting a ball through the inside lane.
This feature is activated via an award. When activated, a timer starts counting down. During this time, the following will award the player 10 million points: the left orbit, the right orbit, and the left scoop.
This feature is lit by the Force or by shooting the ball up the ramp a random number of times. When Yoda is lit, shooting the ball into the inside lane will prompt the player (on the display board) to choose between two options using the flipper buttons. Possible awards include those seen in the Force feature (see above).
Note: It may be necessary to hit the flipper button twice to select the desired option.
This feature is activated via an award. Once activated, the "Special" light under the R2-D2 model will illuminate. To collect the award, shoot the ball through the right orbit or start a Tri-Ball.
This feature is activated via an award or by hitting all five X-Wing targets. The player must then shoot the ball up the inside lane, at which point the player is awarded 10 million points.
Note: To skip the long animation, repeatedly press the launch button.
This feature is activated via an award. It works just like R2-D2 Runaway except the countdown bonus starts at 50 million. Lighting C-3PO's eyes is not required.
This feature is activated via an award. Once a ball goes down either of the outlanes, the Taun-Taun value is locked in and awarded at the end of the round. If the ball gets relaunched after traveling down the left outlane, the Taun-Taun value increases. If the ball falls down the center, failing to hit either of the outlanes, the Taun-Taun value is lost and does not carry over to the next ball.
This feature is activated via an award or by shooting the ball through the inner lane when the X-Wing light is illuminated. When activated, a 20-second timer starts counting down. During this time, all X-Wing targets (the square targets in front of the pictures of X-Wings on the playfield) are worth 1 million points.
Shoot the Ramp
Most of the bonuses in Star Wars rely on the Ramp, so get used to shooting it a lot. Also, repeated ramp shots award points (see The Ramp, above) and light many of the machine's features.
Cheat on Skill Shot
On balls 2 and 3, hammering on the launch button before the TIE Fighter comes up will always result in a hit, awarding 3 and 4 million points, respectively. This does not work for launches on extra balls.
Maximize Cantina Band
During Cantina Band, all targets are worth 250,000 points. To take full advantage of this, try to get the ball in the turbo bumpers so the ball ricochets around and gives you tons of points.
If the machine is in a home environment, you may consider tweaking some of the settings to make life a little easier. To change the settings, open up the coin door and locate the push-buttons on the left side of the machine. The button furthest from the door is the STEP button. The button next to it is the FORWARD/REVERSE button, which toggles between "down" (pushed in) and "up" (not pushed in) positions.
To begin changing settings, ensure the F/R switch is in the up position (not pushed in). Use STEP to cycle through the adjustments, which are displayed as numbers. The F/R button changes the cycle direction. You will need to progress past the "Audit" settings before reaching the "Adjustment" settings. Press the START button on the front of the machine to select an adjustment, then set the F/R switch in the direction you would like to change the value. Press the START button to change the value and press STEP to accept the changes. To exit the adjustment menu, press STEP until you pass Adjustment 99.
Note: Adjustments 14-49 are locked by default and will not appear in the adjustment menu. To do unlock them, select Adjustment 13 and change the value to YES.
- 01: Sets replay calculation mode. The replay value is the score the player must get in order to be awarded either an extra ball or a new credit (whichever is selected in Adjustment 04). Setting Adjustment 01 to a number means the replay value is calculated based on past players' scores (the number is a percentage, adjustable from 1 to 50 percent). Choosing FIXED, selected by going lower than 1 percent, means the replay value is a static number, determined by Adjustment 02.
- 02: The score the player must get to receive a replay award, provided Adjustment 01 is set to FIXED.
- 04: What the player will receive when the replay value is reached. Options are CREDIT, EXTRA BALL, NONE, or SPECIAL.
- 06: Limits the number of extra balls a player can earn, from 1 to 9. Can be turned to OFF, which means unlimited extra balls.
- 12: Resets high scores to backup values (select YES to reset scores).
- 13: If Adjustments 14-45 do not appear when cycling through, change this value to YES.
- 15: Sets balls per game, from 2 to 5.
- 16: Sets tilt warnings, from 1 to 3.
- 30: High score reset every * games, from 100 to 900. Can be turned to OFF.
- 31: Clean game message every * games, from 100 to 2000. Can be turned to OFF.
- 32: Toggles free play.
- 33: Sets custom message. To change, set to CHANGE, then press STEP. Use the flippers to cycle through icons, then letters, pressing START button to lock in your choices. Press STEP to save changes.
- 34: Toggles attract mode music. When set to ON, the machine will play music every 3 minutes. To prevent this, set it to OFF.
- 39: Toggles next game promo. When set to ON, the machine will play music and display a promo for another Data East game. To prevent this, set it to OFF.
- 43: Sets background music volume to 0, 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent. This does not affect the game's sound effects.
- 49: Restores machine to factory settings. To do so, set to ON, then press STEP to restore the factory settings. This will erase all high scores and the custom message.
A full list of all game adjustments is available in the machine's manual, available for download here.