by Geoffro

After eight (and a half) successful issues of  Skill Shot, we thought it was about time to print an article concerning our namesake. And since the cover of our latest issue features the lovely Lt. Worf from the backglass of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we figured, why not talk about the skill shot from this classic game? Most machines’ skill shots are fairly straightforward affairs, and often simply hitting a lit target will do the trick. Star Trek’s opening shot, however, is a bit more complex.

After you’ve popped in your quarters and have been welcomed aboard the Starship Enterprise by Captain Picard, you’re faced with five different skill shot options cycling across the display. Just pull the plunger (in this case the trigger) when the option you want is on the screen (pressing the flipper buttons will cycle through them faster). Make sure not to dawdle or they’ll flash by too quickly to make an accurate selection.

Start Mission immediately activates one the game’s seven modes:  Battle Simulation, Time Rift, Q’s Challenge, Worm Hole, Asteroid Threat, Rescue, or Search the Galaxy.  These are all fun to play and of course have the potential to yield a significant amount of points.

Flipper Skill Shot gives you a limited amount of time to shoot for the Beta Quadrant (the right ramp).  A successful shot will award a random bonus – sometimes even an extra ball or special!

Launch Probe allows you to immediately utilize Star Trek’s most intriguing feature, the two plastic guns sitting on top of the slingshots. Launch Probe lights a flashing shot and sends the ball to one of the guns, which will then begin to rotate back and forth allowing you to pull the trigger and shoot the ball out onto the playfield. Hit the lit shot in time and collect a random award!

Light Lock is as straightforward as it sounds – although Light Lock lights AND locks the ball, advancing you towards multiball. This option can only be selected twice per game – the third time around Light Holodeck will appear instead, which is by no means a bad thing. Shooting the Holodeck (the Right Orbit) will allow you to access the game’s video mode Shuttle Simulation.

Warp Factor 4:  This requires a brief explanation of Warp Factors. Warp Factors are increased by hitting the Spinner (the Left Orbit) and the Delta Quadrant (the Left Ramp). Each advance in Warp Factor (from 1 to 9) yields a unique bonus of some sort (WF 8 is an Extra Ball and WF 9 starts Factor 9 Mode). So… selecting Warp Factor 4 as your skill shot gets you almost halfway there! Not bad…

As you can see, Star Trek’s skill shot possibilities are nearly as endless as the universe itself! Choose your skill shot and “Make it So.”