Tuesday, May 21, 2013

High Score: Ground Kontrol - Portland, OR

My last two high scores both happened on the same day during a recent trip to Portland, Oregon.  I played A LOT of pinball on this trip to Portland and my poor wife Claire was being dragged along for all of this!  Actually, Claire really enjoys playing pinball, but not for as LONG as I do.  After an hour or two, she's pretty much done, whereas I can play all day.

Saturday and Sunday we were tabling at the Stumptown Comics Fest and then Sunday night after the show wrapped we went to dinner downtown.  We made a plan for Monday that involved some fun non-pinball related activities, including a trip to the famous Goodwill "bins" for Claire, so I knew I was wrapping up my PDX pinball marathon.

We made one last trip to Ground Kontrol, and I promised to only stay for about 20 minutes, so I had to choose wisely...  When you see the lineup of machines that GK has on hand, you probably won't agree with my choice, but Jon at least will understand.  I plunked my quarters in Star Wars: Episode I, the Pinball 2000 machine that he and I cut our pinball teeth on.

I was having a great game, maybe the best game of SW:E1 that I've ever played, but about halfway through the South Park machine next to mine broke down and two techs came in to see what was wrong with it.  I TRIED to concentrate on my game twice as hard, but they were yelling back and forth, and taking the glass off, and playing a FULL game without the glass (super loud!), arguing about whether or not to turn the machine off, putting the glass back on (bumping my arm!) etc. etc.  My concentration lapsed and my best ball came to an end.  I got right up to the J-E-D-I of the third round and only had to sink one center shot to start the Jedi Master round of Darth Maul (which I've only seen once, and can't even remember what it is!) but it was not meant to be.  My ball drained before I could cash it in.  

I still ended up with 137 million, which was good enough for the #3 High Score.  It was very frustrating to be ONE SHOT away from getting into that third Darth Maul round, which would have added five million points, and opened up the fourth and final "Jedi Spirit" round (WHICH I HAVE NEVER PLAYED), but I guess that's the sign of a great pinball machine, right?  It leaves you feeling like you gotta play ONE more game, that surely this time you'll make it to the end!

I hope these High Score posts have been fun.  I'll post more as I score them!  

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