Monday, June 9, 2014

Presidio Bowling Center - San Francisco, CA

Back in March, my cousin Read and his wife Maggie held a birthday party for their son at Presidio Bowling Center in San Francisco.  Here is Maggie teaching the kids how to bowl:

Imagine my delight when I found four pinball machines tucked in the corner of their game area.  If memory serves they were 75¢ a credit, but you got five balls instead of three!  Indiana Jones (Williams), World Cup Soccer, Avatar, and South Park?  Pretty sweet lineup!

I started going down the line, playing each machine, and a few of the kids came over to watch.  I let them each play a ball (probably their first game of pinball!) and then they took off to keep bowling.  When I got to South Park, I was very surprised to see this:

Somehow, the machine had a Harley Davidson dot matrix display!  All the sounds were still South Park, but absolutely nothing corresponded to the animations and points that were being scored.  It was pretty surreal!

Like, you'd hit a shot that was supposed to start multiball, but instead it would just give you points. It was pretty weird - a sort of pinball mashup.  It would be cool to do this with different machines and see what kind of combinations you could get.  Anyway, I was very proud of the fact that I was able to start multiball (somehow!) and that I also earned a replay before my game was over.

This was the only weird thing about these machines.  Everything else played great!  So if you ever find yourself in the Presidio, definitely swing by and play a few games!


  1. Yep! On any DataEast, Sega, or Stern pin (up until ... Spiderman I think?) you can mix and match display and CPU roms to your heart's content. How this happened at a location I have no idea, but as you've seen it can be pretty entertaining.

  2. Wow, that's funny.

    It looks like the line-up has completely changed since you were there.