TAF Dot Matrix Display Screen Shots: Pictures of the many Addams Family Pinball DMD images you never see because you're focusing on the ball.
If you're like me, when playing an Addams Family pinball game you are so focused on the game that you dare not take your your eyes off the ball. While this is certainly an effective technique the price paid is that you never get to see many of the great shows put on by the dot matrix display. This is a real loss because with a pinball game as complex as the Addams Family there are over 100 entertaining displays, many of which are animated.
I collected most of these displays and posted them here for players who have never had to opportunity to see them. They are collected into three groups: playfield shots, mansion room rounds and Cousin It's bonus awards.
These are DMD displays of general playfield shots.
Bear Kick Ramp:
Shooting the ball up the middle ramp causes the image of a growling bear to appear. It opens its mouth as it rushes toward you creating the impression that it's swallowing the ball... or about to swallow you.
The total bear kick count appears in his throat, in the case of the image directly above, ninty-nine.
Make this and you earn $2 million to $5 million dollars.
Get the ball into the Swamp and you're awarded the Graveyard value, starting at $1 million.
Make the Swamp shot using the Thing flipper after the ball drops down out of the left ramp and the Swamp award is multiplied by 5.
When this image is displayed the sea monster on the left blinks his eyes at you.
Hitting the G-R-A-V-E targets in any order earns you the GRAVE award when the last letter is hit.
The sign flashes between this one and its negative, bright letters on a darker background. By the time you've finished a second Tour of the Mansion this award is usually at its maximum of $10 million.
This is one of the great graphics on the DMD. Unfortunately it plays while the ball is plummeting down toward the center drain so I seldom get to watch it. The first Train Wreck target hit shows a train rolling down the track.
The second hit shows a different train going the opposite direction.
The fun starts with the next hit; two trains appear heading towards each other...
...and the inevitable ensues:
Advance X Award:
If the ball drains down the alley to the lower right flipper it triggers the ADV. X light. If you are able to fire the ball up through the heart of the Graveyard pop bumpers without hitting any so it follows the left loop all the way around, a multiplier is applied to the bonus points when that ball drains. The multiplier depends on how many times you made the left loop after the ADV X light is triggered: anywhere from 2 all the way up to 5X. The DMD acknowledges with the following graphic:
When the ball drains the bonus points are multiplied by it.
When the GREED letters are all lit the DMD flashes back and forth between these two graphics:
One of the most exciting times of the game. The buildup to starting the multiball round has been described as the greatest climax in any pinball game. Single, double and triple multiball graphics are all similar enough so that if you've seen one you've seen them all. Here are some shots from Triple multiball:
Shoot the left ramp and Gomez screams "Triple Jackpot" with so much enthusiasm that you'd think her was about to pass out. The first thing that happens is that you get a triple jackpot sign...
...followed by a second sign flashing your earnings.
If you are able to capture both balls, you get a sign telling you to shot one of them into the vault to reload the jackpot with $30M.
Mansion Room Rounds
These are DMD displays that appear when a mansion room round is initiated. I've listed them in the order they are most likely to be activated, assuming the ball isn't sent into the Graveyard bumpers.
This is one of the best animated sequences, which is a shame because the action is so demanding that not one in ten players ever gets to see it.
When the Cousin It round starts, Cousin It stands there waving at you. If the ball goes around the left loop or gets into Thing ramp or the kickout saucer, as it drains past the upper right flipper the DMD shows a ball flying across the top of the DMD. If one of the Cousin It targets isn't hit, then Cousin It ducks his head and laughs at you for missing.
Every other time instead of the ball firing at his head it rolls along the bottom of the DMD trying to trip him. If you miss he jumps up to let it pass beneath him...
...and again, laughs at you.
If you do manage to hit one of the Cousin It targets a ball clobbers him in the head knocking him over. He then sits up shaking a fist as he squeals It-like invectives at you.
Two guys do a little dance during this round...
...and jump up spread eagle whenever a pop bumper is hit.
All that happens is that are awarded 6 million.
Get the ball into the vault and you are awarded the Vault Jackpot.
One of my favorites. Firing the balls into the Chair, Vault and Swamp, in any order, awards $5M, $10M and $15M while the DMD treats you to a series of images. Look carefully to see how the backgrounds change and where sacks of gold appear.
The round opens with the following scene:
The first animation features a little dog or weasel poking its head into the right tunnel.
He turns his head toward the player, turns back, then withdraws. As far as I've noticed he never appears again.
Repeatedly during the Tunnel Hunt the trap door in the lower middle of the DMD image lifts and a little man sticks his head up...
... looks left and right then goes back down.
Getting a ball into a tunnel changes it to the following: (Note the sack of gold that's now in the left alcove.)
The scene changes to the following after two seconds:
And the theme repeats.
The goal in the Seance round it to make contact with the "other side" by sending a ball up either the Bear Kick or Left Ramps. "Contact" is acknowledged by a loud knock and an award of $5M, $10M and $15M.
Getting a ramp causes the award to wriggle up the DMD wave-like before straightening out.
Instead of a normal Seance round the game randomly awards a Super Seance.
Everything's the same except the awards are $10M, $15M and $20M.
Because the total award for getting all three contacts is $30M ($45M for Super Seance) and the Bear Kick ramp is an simple shot this is one of the easiest rounds for making a lot of money.
You are awarded $9M.
The goal is to get the ball into the Thing Ramp as quickly as possible because the amount of the award decreases from $15M by $1M per second.
Anything above $12M is doing good.
Raise the Dead:
Firing the ball into the graveyard area to get a high score in this mansion room round is risky because the ball can get blasted out in such a way that it may be impossible to get it back under control. This is a shame because this round features the most entertaining graphics in the entire game.
The round starts with an image of four graves and a coffin.
The time remaining counts down in the upper left corner. Every time a pop bumper is struck, the grave or coffin associated with it pops open.
When that bumper has been hit four times the dead in the grave or coffin linked to it wakes up and floats slowly upward off the DMD and you are awarded $3,000,000. Each burial location has a different resident.
Starting with the lower left and going counter clockwise: a man being hanged:
A man who sits up in the coffin after pushing back the lid, smiles and waves at you and then lays back down:
A finally a one-eyed octopus-like ghoul;
This round starts with $2,000,000 and you earn $100,000 per bumper strike. That means if you raise all of the dead you will earn at least $19,000,000.
Getting the ball into the Thing Ramp so it drops into the kickout saucer awards you an extra ball. The graphics are the word "EXTRA" with a circular zone with "Extra Ball" scrolling across it followed by "BALL" with the same scroll.
In the original game this mansion room simply awarded you $3M. In the Gold TAF version it does that but also sends you through Wednesdays and Pugley's trap door to award you another mansion room.
The animation shows two people, I assume Wednesday and Pugsley, running from opposite sides of the DMD and jumping down the trap door.
Graveyard At Max:
The pop bumpers are set at $30K and remain that way until the balls drains. Every time a bumper is hit, the grave or coffin associated with it pops open.
Tour the Mansion:
This is what we strive to obtain.
Cousin It's Bonuses
These bonuses were added to the Gold version to increase the money players could earn, add randomness to the game and provide additional graphics. The default is to have two bonuses for the first time you work through the mansion rooms. This can be increased up to 4 bonuses. Which rooms award these bonuses and what bonuses are awarded vary randomly. More valuable awards show up less frequently than lesser awards.
Cousin it brushes himself.
He adjusts his shades.
The graphic shows Cousin It driving his car in from the left.
The action just shows It's hair blowing a bit.
No action at all. This is odd considering the large value of the award.
He twirls the gold chain around.
Here he grabs a handfuls of gold coins and throws them into the air. The award is that the "Special" light is lit. Draining a ball down through it awards an extra game or extra ball depending on how the game is set up.
To me the most valuable bonus is the Golden Pinball, an extra ball. In the graphic Cousin It repeatedly throws a ball up and catches it.
Super Bear Kick:
If a game lasts long enough for you to acquire 99 bear kicks, from then on every additional bear kick earns you $5,000,000 and the following sequence of four images:
This is a significant achievement. I've owned my own TAF for a year and a half and the highest bear kick count achieved is 63.
Using the notation L=left flipper, S=start button, R=right flipper, keying in the following sequence in attract mode: 7L, 1S, 14R, 1S, 20L, 1S displays the following on the dot matrix display:
In Gold versions, 12L, 1S, 5R, 1S, 4L, 1S gives you the following:
Entering 13L, 1S, 1R, 1S, 2L, 1S lists the people involved in creating the Addams Family pinball game accompanied by loud booms and DMD flashes. I didn't post images of this because it's just a list of names. Here's who's mentioned:
Conspicuous by its absence is Angelica Houston's name. Why she wasn't included would probably make an interesting tale.
To view these last three graphics you have to comply with three conditions:
1. The game must be in attract mode.
2. There can be no credits stored or the first time the start button is pressed a game will start.
3. The game must not be configured for free play. If it is, the first time the start button is pressed a game will begin.
That's most of the graphics that are difficult to see during play. I hope you enjoyed seeing them.
I sincerely hope that anyone visiting this page found it useful and if they haven't done so already, will pay my main page a visit where they will find several other weaving-related pages and over 100 pages covering many other topics: everything from gardening to kaleidoscopes.