Replay Museum | Orbitor 1
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Orbitor 1

About This Project

Early games had no speech but a retrofit was made available. Most famous quote: “Shoot pinball again”, spoken every time a ball is placed in the shooter lane. Rotating target bumpers add spin in addition to bounce, making the physics of the curved playfield difficult for the inexperienced Orbitor-1 player. Playfield is (smooth) molded Plexiglas, with the moonscape surface artwork suspended beneath it. The moonscape is lit from below by a fluorescent tube. Drop all the targets in the two 3-target banks to advance bonus. Drop all the “Orbitor” targets and then hit all the Orbiter targets behind them to start multi-ball, or hit the captured ball hard and it’ll bounce out and start multi-ball. This game has a novel “minimum play time” feature which cannot be disabled by the operator. Game play is standardized at 3 or 5 balls, however, if the player has not had the specified minimum amount of play after his 3 or 5 balls, the game will continue to provide free balls until the minimum time is reached. The backglass is made of a clear protective plastic cover and a rigid translite behind which are raised 3D features. The flyer refers to the spinning bumpers as “revolving discs” and the manufacturer’s parts list indicates these discs can spin either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on which of two spinning motors is installed. Orbitor 1 was the last pinball machine produced by Stern Electronics. Ted Salveson wrote in his Coin Machine Trader (October 1982, page 2) that the last Orbitor 1 game shipped from the factory on August 10, 1982. Salveson wrote that, according to an authority from the factory, their suspension of pinball production would not be permanent. Salveson reasoned that video games would become their main interest.

Stern Pinball
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