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Slamt1lt's Collection: Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-2
*** Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-2, Slamt1lt's Collection ***
Version 1.02-1 produced a meditation error that occurs when the table is tilted. It takes quite a few nudges to make the table tilt so you may not have noticed it. Version 1.02-2 fixes it so you won't get the meditation error.
*** Attack From Mars ULTIMATE 1.02-1 ***
Attack From Mars is often included in many top 5 lists for the best tables of all time. It was so popular that the Chicago Gaming Company created a remake of it in 2017. This posting updates Slamt1lt's version of the table that he released in 2014. It benefits tremendously from the addition of dynamic flippers, more so than any table I have tried lately. You can aim and control the ball much better than in the past. Proof is the dreaded center shots that are easy to do without sacrificing the other angles. In fact, I have never been able to complete the "Conquer Mars" mode until this version which requires many center shots to the main saucer. I also spent a lot of time reworking the right and left ramps so they operate smoothly without the ball hitting hidden objects. This makes it easier to complete the "Total Annihilation" sequence.
The menu system that I have been adding to tables has become quite popular so I added it to this version of the table. It does make things more convenient than trying to remember the different keys to press to make each option work individually. Since the menu fills the whole screen, I always set it up so you can only open it before you start the game. I happened to remember while writing this that BAM has a function to globally turn off all Heads Up Displays (HUDs) that I think is used by some cabinets users. Unfortunately, the menu uses a HUD so you will need to disable this feature in order to use the menu.
The shadow maps work particularly well on this table. It produces some really nice shadows. Perhaps it is due to replacing the playfield texture with Tomasaco's beautiful high resolution version.
I got an idea from the Zed version of this table. You can press a key and display the number of Martians killed during the current game and the Martian champion count. I decided to make it display when the "Martian Attack Multiball" mode ends. You can also press the "M" key on your keyboard at any time to display the same counts.
The table was originally created so that the lights on the playfield dim at different points in the game (like before you press the start game key and when the ball drains). I have seen this done on other tables and have always thought it was odd to not dim all the lights on the whole table. So, this version dims all the lights. I think it looks better this way.
Slamt1lt usually adds bulbs under the plastics that produce a glow through the plastics. He didn't do it on the ULTIMATE 1.02 version so I did it for him on this version.
I looked through comments on previous versions of the table. One of the most prevalent is the complaint that the table doesn't handle the score correctly. This is because the original table developers divided the high score by 100. Future Pinball can only handle a high score of about 2 billion points. This table awards scores in the millions of points so the high score of most games will probably exceed 2 billion points. Dividing the score by 100 kept the table from producing an error message that stops the game. BAM now has some coding that increases the maximum score to 922 trillion. I have added this coding to this table and removed the code that divides the score by 100. One of the requirements is to use BAM's new high score screen. If you are not familiar with the new high score screen, BAM defaults to using it so you don't need to worry about it. I have exceeded a 2 billion score several times so the code works well. Of course if you don't have BAM installed, you will get a high score overflow message at 2 billion points and the game play stops.
I have listed my objectives for this table below, all of which have been completed. You can read more about each item by clicking here:
1) Replaced the backglass texture and adjusted the color/brightness of it.
As noted above, I decided to use Gimli's multiplayer mod that he created several years ago. It does make it so you get the correct prompts when adding players but the score is still not calculated correctly. I decided to use it anyway because it works better than previous versions. Perhaps someone will make it work better in a future version.
NOTE: This table uses Dynamic Flippers and Lighting that require use of BAM v1.4-267 (or later) to be installed which was released on November 9, 2019. I did; however, add some coding for the ball brightness configuration form version 290 and bumper lighting from BAM 310. I set up the coding up so these will not run if you are not using the correct version.
There is a download that has a version of this table for rotated display. This version is intended to be used on a single monitor with a portrait orientation. I have added a screenshot of it to the posting. The download includes a PDF file with directions on how to set up this version of the table. On this table, the pinball cabinet users may want to use the rotated display version. It has the HUD turned off by default and has the table loading texture already set to the portrait version. Cabinet users will just need to ignore the *.pdf and *.cfg files that are saved with the download.
I sometimes add a user guide to the download in order to identify the special directions you need to know to operate the table. I decided to post them here because the list is short:
1) Press the "Special 2" key to open the menu before the game starts. You can use individual key presses during a game to operate each function (except balls per game) and the keys are listed in the upper right corner of each menu item.
2) The table has two loading textures, "!LoadingLandscape" and "!LoadingPortrait". The landscape version is for desktop usage and portrait is for pinball cabinets.
3) There are numerous items that can be changed in the script. Each item has directions on how to change it in the comments.
4) The download includes a zip file that has the same name as the table. It needs to remain unzipped and saved in the same folder as the table. It contains a texture that changes the unlit pixels on the DMDs so they are black instead of the default dark red.
5). Press the "M" key on your keyboard at any time to display the number of Martians killed during the current game and the Martian champion count.
6) You must use BAM's new high score screen that is turned on by default in order to allow the high score to exceed 2 billion (see above).
Attack From Mars is my favorite table so I took extra care to get everything just right. This is the first table that I have added emkickers to the slingshots. I decided to try it after having a conversation with Shiva. It really improves the bounce. It also prevents the endless bouncing between the two slingshots which is why I always set the strength low on other tables until now. I hope you enjoy this version of Attack From Mars!