by 4th Place Andy
Centaur is a fun classic pinball table. You can hear it taunting you from across the room, saying “Energize Me!” The black and white and red all over table art is beautiful. If you play at Shorty’s it is only 50¢ for 5 balls! So it is overall a very attractive game to practice. However, it probably plays a little different than other games you are used to playing. For starters, there are no extra balls. Bummer! The next difference is that there is no extra scoring for multiball–no score multipliers, like on Fathom, nor any Jackpots, like most multiball-equipped tables. Therefore, I like to think of it that you are ALWAYS in multiball. The reason for this is because you can, at any time (regardless of how many balls you have in play), lock balls or release locked balls or even add a ball! So don’t get too bogged down on how many balls you have, every shot still scores the same. Here are the ways to lock/release/add balls:
To lock a ball– Shoot the O-R-B-S targets, in any order. One of the orange “captive ball” targets (1-2-3-4) will light up to show you how many balls you have locked. When you hit each target once, they reset and can be completed again for another lock, up to a maximum of 4 simultaneous locks. Note: these are virtual ball locks, so you will not see a pinball physically restrained.
To instantly add a ball– either A) Complete the four lower blue lanes (“Guardian Releases Power Orb”) or B) Shoot the O-R-B-S targets, in that order. Orbs… Pinballs… same thing, right? Option B also locks a ball, as mentioned above. Remember, you can add a ball during single ball play to get two balls on the playfield at once, or during a multiball you can add another ball! Option A is great when one of your pinballs is going down the left or right outlane–if you can rotate the lit blue lights so that you roll over and light the last blue light, another ball is launched automatically. What a great way to save your game when you are about to drain your last ball!
To release all captive (locked) balls , there is a little more prep work required. Release Option I: Complete the right bank of drop targets in order (1-2-3-4) to light the orange “Release Power Orbs” shot on the upper right. You can shoot the upper right white stand-up target (with playfield green light) to spot a number, and the middle left white stand-up target (with playfield green light) resets them if you accidentally hit one out of sequence. Once the “Release Power Orbs” light is lit, shoot the upper right shot to release all of your locked balls. The game will say “Orb Release Sequence Activated!” Release Option II: Complete the Queen’s Chamber. This is the mini playfield on the upper left-hand side that can only be accessed by hitting the captive ball hard enough to send it up to collide with the drop targets. Once all drop targets are completed, the top-most stand-up target alternates between “Release Power Orbs” and “Special” for the remainder of your ball. Release Option III: During ball 5 of every game, the top right “Release Power Orbs” shot automatically lights and unlights approximately every 2 seconds. This is a good last chance effort to get a multiball even if you were unable to strike 1-2-3-4 in sequence.
Using the above techniques, it should be pretty easy to start a multiball and keep it going indefinitely! The game scores rather slowly, so be prepared to play for a long time if you want to get a high score. If you are attempting to roll the score over, expect about 30-60 minutes of continuous play to get 10 million points. Good luck destroying Centaur!