...You know you want one!

WMS Electronics Games, manufacturers of WMS and Bally pinball machines, presents the Uncle Willy Archives.

"Ask Uncle Willy" is a feature posted to the Usenet news group rec.games.pinball, where a crack staff of researchers and scientists answer your questions about WMS/Bally pinball machines and related issues.

Questions sent to Uncle Willy should be of a general-interest nature. Uncle Willy is sorry that he does not have the time or resources to provide individual answers to all the questions posed to him.

Be sure to check out Uncle Willy's Gallery

Newest Uncle Willy Article

Issue #16: January 4, 2000
Will Steve Ritchie design any more pinball machines?
Will there be/has there been a NARC sequel?
Ideas for new pinball machines?
Can I re-design older games?
A Video mode for Twilight Zone?
Can I revive the color of my Twilight Zone power ball?
What can I do with these peeling decals/stickers?
Can I obtain a whitewood playfield?
What does "M.E.L." stand for?
Is Sonic Super Straight a WMS Game?
Whatsgoingon with my Whodunnit multiball?
Does Whodunnit have a slot machine inside? Whogets murdered?
How did "Move Your Car" originate?
There are different versions/colors of Jungle Lord. What more can you tell me?
Can I ask Uncle Sam some questions here?
Is there a version of Funhouse for the PC?
Could the Olympic Hockey game have been produced as early as 1953?
Did the original design for Road Show include a post between the flippers?
Delco logos on the sample Corvette translites?
What's this hidden red lamp insert on instruction sheets?
Is there a gold plated Addams Family coin door?
Funhouse machine with DMDs?
How do I tell what serial number my game is?
Y2K and late model WMS games...
Are there two versions of Lady Luck?
Can I get an Uncly Willy t-shirt?

Older Articles

Issue #0: June 16, 1995
Who is Jorge Alfredo Gomez Y Marth?
What's with WMS' web page?
Black Knight hidden adjustments?
Issue #1: June 23, 1995
Riverboat Gambler Design Team
Star Trek: The Next Generation Neutral Zone lock rules
Elvira Skull lock rules
Star Trek: The Next Generation Hidden Video Mode
Playfield screws strip on Twilight Zone
"Beta" versions of pinball machines.
What is Brian Eddy up to these days?
What did John Popadiuk create at pre-WMS Bally?
Are WMS/Bally games programmed in 6809 assembly?
Issue #2: June 30, 1995
What is the optional printer kit for WMS/Bally pinballs?
What games did Ward Pemberton work on?
Is WMS/Bally making a three-level game?
What are "H" or "Home" versions of game ROMs?
Does WMS/Bally use computer simulations of new machines?
Will Willams/Bally fix software bugs in older games?
Issue #3: July 7, 1995
FEATURE: Sound Development for pinball machines
Issue #4: July 14, 1995
What games did Barry Oursler work on?
What is different about FIRE! Champagne Edition?
What are the mysterious wires on early F-14 Tomcats?
Is WMS/Bally game music available on CD?
Where can I find parts/manuals for older games?
Is a larger dot-matrix display in the works?
How many design teams does WMS have?
How long does it take to produce a new design?
Can I get my new rules put into a ROM for an older game?
Jack*Bot: Do Bomb Defusers carry over?
Jack*Bot: The lockup mechanisms won't hold a ball.
Issue #5: July 21, 1995
No Fear: How does the Match effect work?
What was Varkon?
What games did Steve Ritchie work on?
What games did Pat Lawlor work on?
What educational background do pinball designers have?
How were the Dr Dudes with WPC electronics programmed?
Issue #6: September 1, 1995
FEATURE: The Pinball Development Process.
Issue #7: October 13, 1995
Design Credits for early 80s games.
Strange flipper angle on Theatre of Magic?
What games did Mark Ritchie work on?
Where can I find older games to purchase?
What do you recommend for cleaning pinballs?
Does WMS give factory tours?
Why don't my flashers work in test mode?
Backglass touchup hints.
Issue #8: November 21, 1995
Does FirePower queue up pending scores?
What are these strange quotes in Addams Family?
Where can I send my pinball ideas?
Did Black Knight 2000 have a backbox sign?
Why does Twilight Zone have 0-Ohm jumpers in the clock?
Who designed Hot Tip and Lucky Seven? Are they collectible?
Is the ball supposed to hit the glass in Whitewater?
Why is the Whitewater kickback missing a pin?
Issue #9: January 16, 1996
Why did the playfield plastics change on Black Knight 2000?
What is the correct way to spell WHO dunnit?
What were the pre-DCS sound systems like?
There's a strange Troi quote in Star Trek TNG...
How do you light Special in Indiana Jones?
What games did John Trudeau design?
Where can I find classic WMS video games for the PC?
Issue #10: March 11, 1996
FEATURE: Buying and restoring old pinball machines.
Can I buy games directly from WMS Electronics?
What older games do you have in stock?
Where do I find old games for purchase?
How do I fix an older game? Where do I find parts?
How do I find a manual for an older game?
Why won't my game turn on/work properly?
Why doesn't feature x work on my game?
What is this old game worth?
Is this a good price for a used game?
Issue #11: June 7, 1996
Why does the ball drain from the HIPPO lane in Congo?
How does the Lost in the Zone champion work on Twilight Zone?
How does the Sausage Bonus work in FunHouse?
Why do the some characters in WMS games look like WMS employees?
Can I use my Firepower speech module in Firepower II?
How does the Officers Club and Q Continuum work in Star Trek: The Next Generation?
How do you get the Hula Hoop and New Car in Creature from the Black Lagoon?
What does the POOF! target do in Theatre of Magic?
How did the rules for the Superchararger change in High Speed II: The Getaway?
How can I hook up a real joystick to my PC to play WMS Arcade Classics?
How do I hook an old videogame monitor to my PC?
Issue #12: November 22, 1996
Where are the specials in Demolition Man?
How are the Steps awards arranged in Funhouse?
Can you help me fix my Fireball Home Edition?
Can I get proto software for my Twilight Zone with the different rules?
What is the "Secret of the Cow" in Whitewater?
What is the "Car Wash" in Corvette?
Why does High Score only let me enter three initials?
Issue #13: July 2, 1997
Why does the artwork on my pin differ from another one?
Who designed Hurricane? Firepower II?
Did Steve Ritchie supply the voice for the Black Knight?
Why do Big Guns and Pinbot have champagne glasses in the backglass art?
Is that Uncle Willy in the Whitewater backglass?
Does Jim Patla really look like a worm?
Was the echo board from Centaur/Centaur II used in any other games?
Was Banzai Run originally a 6-player game?
Where did the 'Geneva' switch get its name?
Can I convert a Defender video to a Joust?
Issue #14: July 29, 1997
How do I become a game designer?
What is Rat Race?
Does WMS have a game museum?
Why was 6.5 degrees chosen as the preferred playfield slope?
What is DiamondPlate?
Did No Fear used to have a post between the flippers?
Tell us more secret stuff!
Does Eugene Jarvis still work at WMS?
Does "BRRRLLRRL" have any significance in Roadshow?
What changed in the newest software revision for my game?
Issue #15: June 4, 1998
What are these mystery switches on Corvette?
Who else worked on Spy Hunter besides George Gomez?
Where can I get Robotron ROM images?
Was Defender programmed by a 12 year-old German?
How old is my WMS 4 Star?
How does one become a distributor?
Are there any more wide body games in the works?
Are you considering any new display technology?
How do you decide if a game is Bally or WMS?
Are there PC pinball games?
Why didn't Voltaire games at IAAPA have the backbox trim?
How do you increase the multiplier on Whirlwind?
Tell me all about the history of Pinball!
How can I set Jokerz for 5-ball play?
Can you tell me more about Diamond Score Pool?
How about the Dalek head on Doctor Who?
How can I change my Safecracker back to English?
Do you have any information on a United Skippy shuffle?
Did any other pins have the 'infinity' lights in the backbox?
Why don't you make a pinball about jukeboxes?
Is there a new KISS pin in the works?
Where can I get my EM fixed when all the repairmen disappear?
What did a stock T2 have for legs and rubber rings?
What games did Steve Kordek design?



All text and images Copyright © 2005 The Pinball Factory. All games made under license to Williams Electronics Games, Inc.