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Bethesda Pinball is a virtual pinball collection developed and published by Zen Studios as a standalone mobile app, as well as an add-on pack for Zen Pinball 2, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3. It contains three pinball tables based on three notable Bethesda games released in the 2010s: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4 (as Fallout), and the 2016 reboot of Doom.

While the Doom pinball table is primarily themed after the reboot game, it contains multiple references to the classic Doom trilogy. It is the first Doom game to not feature any graphic violence, due to Zen Studios' family-friendly policies and censorship, and was therefore awarded an Everyone 10+ rating by the ESRB.

Gameplay[]

Bethesda® Pinball 2019-08-03-09-24-19

Screenshot from the Android version, played on a tablet in portrait mode.

In the Doom pinball table, the goal is to close the portal to Hell by defeating a Cyberdemon, who can only be challenged after five missions are completed, with a traditional supply of three balls. Various side modes can also be activated, and the player must acquire more powerful weapons and Argent Cell upgrades to aid the Doom Slayer in combat against the demons that stand in the way during some of the missions. Samuel Hayden, Olivia Pierce and the UAC facility address are the table's three unseen announcers. Two levels of difficulty are available, "Hurt Me Plenty" and "Nightmare", with the latter sacrificing all ball protection for a 50% score boost.

Combat system[]

The table features a unique combat system that is paramount to completing at least three of the five missions, as well as some side modes. Combat begins when a wave of demons appear in sight, comprising of a series of demon drop targets popping up at the middle of the table (which can either be a Possessed Soldier that can be defeated in 1 hit, a Pinky that can be destroyed in 2 hits or a Mancubus that requires 3 hits to knock down), and a demon leader, which is usually an Imp or a Lost Soul, appearing on the right side of the table. The player must defeat both the demon drop targets and the leader within a brief amount of time to defeat the wave. Drop targets are attacked by directly hitting them with the ball, while the leader must be attacked by rolling the ball through any of three randomly selected attack lanes, indicated with the word "shoot". If a weapon other than the default pistol is equipped, attacking the leader will require and consume ammo. If a certain amount of time passes without an attack against the leader, it will attack the Doom Slayer, decreasing his health, and if it fully depletes, the current mode or mission will end prematurely. If the player defeats the drop targets but fails to defeat the leader (or drains the ball), one drop target will respawn. If the player defeats the leader, but fails to get rid of all drop targets in time (or drains the ball), the leader will respawn.

To increase the Doom Slayer's survivability, the player may typically shoot the large orbit several times to spawn a health or armor pickup. Health and armor pickups can also be spawned from defeated drop targets. Spare ammunition can also be found in a similar manner by shooting a smaller one-way orbit several times.

Main modes[]

There are five main missions to complete, and they can be completed in any order. Missions can persist between balls (but will prematurely end if health is depleted or the table's tilt alarm goes off), and a mission begins when the ball is shot into a Titan skull.

  • Observe, Repeat: The Doom Slayer must escape a dangerous part of the UAC facility by using a hologram device to highlight an escape route. To progress through it, the player must watch and retrace two series of hologram ball trails that briefly appear on the table, while encountering a demon wave in between the two.
  • Recharge: The facility's power generators go offline for some unknown reason, and Hayden instructs the Slayer to restore power. Partway through the operation, he must fight off a wave of demons.
  • The Pit: Named after the ninth level of Doom II, this mission sees the Slayer ascending through the levels of Hell, fighting off a wave of demons along the way.
  • Lazarus Labs: The Slayer travels through the Lazarus Labs, which is full of portals that resulted from the corrupt interdimensional experiments of the UAC. He must travel through the portals to investigate its secrets, but will typically not encounter combat.
  • To Hell and Back: The Slayer enters Hell through an interdimensional tether and looks for a way to close some portals to Hell to limit the spread of the demonic invasion.

Completing all five missions unlocks the table's wizard mode, Cyberdemon Takedown, which is a final battle against the Cyberdemon. This is an allusion to the final boss battle in the main campaign of Doom 3. The final battle is divided into four different phases, and once all four of them are completed, the Cyberdemon will be defeated, triggering a victory multiball that would give the player an opportunity to score a huge amount of points.

Side modes[]

  • Rune Trial: Shooting the left ramp several times will start a timed, mini-challenge that can be completed for points.
  • Cyberdemon Frenzy: Engage in a brief fight with the Cyberdemon by hitting the bumpers a lot of times. Higher points are awarded depending on how soon the Cyberdemon is attacked.
  • Titan's Realm: Two hell stones float across the lower half of the table to interefere with the ball.
  • Barrels o'Fun: Spawn explosive barrels by shooting the crossramp several times, then hit them for extra points.
  • Meltdown: Trigger a reactor meltdown that can be used to inflict extra damage against drop targets.
  • Pit of Evil: Play a minigame that involves bouncing a ball in a small chamber, hitting runes.
  • Hell on Mars: A fast-paced, time-limited battle mode where multiple waves of demons can be encountered.
  • Deathmatch Multiball: Locking three balls in the left sinkhole begins a battle against other players, represented as drop targets. Every third kill raises the jackpot.
  • Experimental Multiball: Locking two balls in the right sinkhole triggers a multiball where jackpots can be scored by shooting lit lanes.
  • Shotgun Frenzy: Acquiring the Super Shotgun triggers a time-limited two-ball multiball where double points are awarded.

Multiplayer[]

As with all other Zen Pinball tables, the Doom pinball table has an online multiplayer leaderboard that keeps a running list of high scores, plus the ability to challenge opponents by exceeding their best score on the table within a time limit.

In the mobile version, players aim to defeat higher-ranked opponents to rise through the leaderboard by achieving a target score within a 3-minute time limit, with a permanent ball saver. Perks can be unlocked and purchased to enhance or ease the experience, as listed below:

  • Gauss Saver: When a ball saver is used, it will behave as if the player had a Gauss cannon equipped, allowing them to freely aim and fire the ball back into play from the outhole with that weapon.
  • Loaded: The player has access to all eight available weapons for the duration of the match, but cannot use the abovementioned gauss saver.
  • Experiment: Decreases the number of balls that must be locked to start a multiball mode to 1.
  • Cyberdemon Takedown: The Cyberdemon Takedown wizard mode is immediately accessible, bypassing all 5 main missions. However, the player will only begin with a pistol and should collect new weapons to stand a chance against him.
  • Nightmare!: The Nightmare difficulty's 50% score boost goes in effect, and there are likewise fewer attack and jackpot lanes available during encounters and multiballs.

The mobile version also has an energy system that allows the player to battle three opponents, before having to wait for or purchase a full energy replenishment.

Connections to the classic trilogy[]

  • The dot-matrix display uses sprites from the original Doom game. The face of the Doomguy occasionally appears, grinning smugly.
  • The health, armor and ammunition counters are zero-extended, like in the heads-up displays of the first two Doom games. These counters are not zero-extended in the 2016 reboot.
  • Kickbacks are activated by spelling "IDDQD" (the invincibility cheat code for the original game) with target posts at the upper half of the table and finally shooting a miniloop.
  • The reload animation from the original game appears on the display when the player progresses towards acquiring a new weapon by hitting captive balls near the mission hole.
  • Shooting a certain combo will unveil a secret area, causing the ball to pixelate. Accessing the secret area will result in the display showing an animation of what it is like to enter one in the original game.
  • Sprites of the original Cyberdemon appear when the ball enters the bumper area.
  • When the Doom Slayer is attacked, sprites of enemies from the original game firing at him flash on the display.
  • During the "Recharge" mission, the mission's objective is displayed against a background of two wall switches from the original game that are at the "off" position. When the mission is completed successfully, these switches flip on to indicate that generator power has been restored.
  • During the Deathmatch Multiball mode, the display sometimes shows sprites of two multiplayer opponents shooting at each other.
  • The Barrels of Fun ramp and corresponding side mode are named after the 23rd level of Doom II.
  • The main mission "The Pit" is named after the ninth level of Doom II.
  • The wizard mode's final battle against the Cyberdemon is a reference to the final boss of Doom 3.

External links[]

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