Model No: 1118-E
Released: January 17, 1977
Designed By: George Christian
Art By: Paul Farris
Eight Ball was one of Bally's early solid state pinball machines. As such, it used electromechanical devices for sounds, bells and chimes, instead of the electronic sounds that would soon become commonplace.
At the time of its production, it set records for flipper pinball machines - 20,230 units of this machine were built. It was not until The Addams Family (also by Bally) that another machine would have a bigger production run - and that was the only machine to top Eight Ball.
The popularity of this billiard-themed machine helped spawn a sequel, Eight Ball Deluxe.
There were some legal problems upon release of the machine, as there was a character on the backglass artwork who was extremely similar to Fonzie from Happy Days. The settlement involved is unknown.
The plunger lane launches the ball to the top of the machine, where two gates guarantee the ball will head through one of the four rollover lanes, down into the three pop bumpers right below it. A lane at the top left of the playfield will send the ball into the top, with a spinner at the lane's entrance. On the right top is a turnaround horseshoe lane, which directs the ball into the pop bumpers.
On the left and right sides, just below the entrance to the lane is a target. The bottom right has the traditional triangular kicker, along with an outlane and an inlane. The bottom left has no inlane, only an outlane with a kicker to return the ball.
In the center is artwork of a rack of billiard balls in order with one at the front and fifteen at the end. Each ball has a light for the number, and the light will activate when the ball is lit.
Hitting the target for balls 1-7 will light the ball. Balls 1-4 are in the top rollover lanes, ball 5 is the target below the left lane, ball 6 is the target below the right horseshoe, and ball 7 is the right inlane. Upon lighting balls 1-7, in any order, the eight ball is lit, and the player must hit the target to the upper right, between the bumpers and the horseshoe. Then the player must light balls 9-15 (the same targets as before, in the same order). The eight ball will then light again, and hitting it will light special.
The right horseshoe, shown on the playfield as the "bank shot", will award, in sequence, 100 points, 300 points, 1000 points, Kick Back, Spot Ball and Double Bonus. The bank shot cannot light the eight ball.
Pinball Machine: Eight Ball, http://www.xmission.com/~daina/machines/eight_ball.html
The Internet Pinball Database, http://www.lysator.liu.se/pinball/IPD/