Maintainer: Rich Derr
He welcomes any additions, corrections, or comments on this rulesheet.
Johnny Mnemonic (JM) is a 4-ball, narrow
body game from Williams.
Everything described in this and associated
documents is probably (c) 1995 Williams, or possibly someone else. Any
rules which I have made up and are not actually part of the game are (c)
1995 Rich Derr.
I have no idea exactly what versions of the
game software were used to write this rulesheet, although I can
distinguish between three versions, at least.
You may also be interested in reading the
rule card on the game, or in finding out
who created Johnny Mnemonic. You are probably
not interested in the
author of this rulesheet.
- Joel Iott
- for posting to rec.games.pinball
some notes, including one I hadn't myself noticed (the Yakuza
Strike/Mnemonic Recovery bit).
As always, we
start from the drain and go clockwise.
- I think these are small flippers. I say
I think because I have a hard time concentrating on these flippers.
The plastic and rubber are both black -- for my first game, I could
hardly use them at all. While the flippers are small, the gap is
small as well.
- Triangular, and as small as I've seen
in a while.
- Left inlane
- Can be lit for
'Light Throwing Spears'.
- Left Outlane
- Can be lit for 'Mnemonic
Recovery'. This is fortunate -- the machine at Gala North had
the sidewall rubber post set all the way up, leaving just a huge
amount of bare wood on the side.
- Left Standup
- Lights 'Access Jet Bumpers'.
- Left Loop
- A typical left orbit. There is a sensor
gate at the entrance, but nothing counts unless it goes at least
most of the way around and doesn't come back out the left orbit.
Weak shots will come back out the spinner lane. This can be lit by
an orange arrow and a white triangle ('Anna'). This can be lit for
- Left Ramp
- Think of Dr. Who's W ramp, on the other
side. This ramp is rather shallow and short, and is easily
backhanded. This has three red triangle lights for
Yakuza Strike, and can be lit by a white triangle ('Upload').
- Bumper area
- The upper left of the playfield is
where the usual triangle of three bumpers and three rollovers
reside. The only way to exit the bumpers is through a narrow opening
at the bottom -- think of T2. Balls go to the right slingshot after
rolling along the left ramp wall.
- The game's diverters are above the
rollovers. One diverter stops balls from the spinner lane and right
loop (and plunger) from going around to the left loop and shunts
them to the other diverter. The other diverter decides whether balls
go to the data glove or the rollovers.
- Data glove
- A magnet crane with two degrees of
freedom. Never mind the plastic, this toy is a magnet that floats up
near the glass, which can move left, right, back, and forward. When
under the player's control, the normal flipper buttons move it left
and right, and extra buttons move it back and forward.
There is a sinkhole in the diverter
assembly which kicks the ball straight up to the glove. The glove
holds on to the ball, moves, and drops it. When modes are being
started, or when a ball reaches the sinkhole when it shouldn't, the
glove moves slightly forward and drops it above the rollovers. The
primary purpose, however, is locking balls, which is done on the ...
- Think of a 3x3 grid of mass sensors,
with a metal plate covering the vertical gaps. Balls are locked
here; the data glove moves over here and drops the ball on one of
the sensors, under the player's control. When it comes time to
unlock the balls, the metal plate springs up in back which drops the
balls into habittrails.
The matrix is in the upper (in both
senses) right of the playfield. After taking the high road following
the left ramp, we now take the low.
- Crazy Bob's
- This is a sinkhole which is just about
dead center in the playfield. It cannot be shot directly from the
left due to a wall (part of the guide for balls leaving the
bumpers). The right side is open, and I've seen plenty of wild balls
bounce in. This is a deep sinkhole, and has a Neutral Zone-like
thing for a backstop; I've only seen one direct hit out of a hundred
not fall in. The kickout goes to the lower part of the right
slingshot (usually), except when it goes to the knee of the right
This can be lit by an orange arrow and a
white triangle ('Download'). The sign above it can also light up --
not with a coloured bulb as in TAF and TZ, but with a white lamp.
It's plenty visible, and fits the theme, I guess. Of course, it's
also easy for the operator to not realize it's a lamp instead of
- Center Lane
- This is shootable from either flipper,
but is a very precise shot from the left. This can be lit by an
orange arrow, a green arrow (Cyberlock), and can be lit for
Start Mode (a big hexagon).
The center lane leads directly to the
VUK in the diverter, but is protected by a large drop target-like
thing. I say drop target-like because it is controlled completely
through software -- you don't hit it to make it drop. The target
lowers when the lane is lit.
- This is not an ordinary spinner with an
ordinary decal, this is a large, round spinner with a large, round
decal. The spinner seems heavier than the ordinary ones; I've seen
plenty of balls hit it and just stop. A good clean shot will send
the ball on through towards the diverter area. If not diverted the
ball will come out the left loop. If diverted it can go to either
the data glove or the rollovers.
This can be lit by an orange arrow and
by a white triangle ('Power Down'). It can be lit be a green arrow
(Cyberlock). It can be lit for Spinner Millions.
- Right Ramp
- I guess this is like the Beta Quadrant
ramp, although it's been a while since I've seen a ST:TNG, and my
memory isn't so good. It's not as steep. It can be hit from the
right flipper, although not as a controlled shot.
This has three red triangle lights for
Yakuza Strike, and can be lit by a white
triangle ('N.A.S. Riot').
- Right Orbit
- The usual. This sends balls to the same
place the spinner lane does: normally out the left orbit, but can be
diverted to the glove or rollovers. This can be lit by an orange
arrow, a green arrow (Cyberlock), and a white triangle ('Cartoon
- Right Standup
- Lights Mnemonic Recovery.
Note that there is one big target, but two lights; it must be hit
twice to light the saver. And you can't collect the first of those
lights while Mnemonic Recovery is still lit -- it does nothing
unless M.R. is not presently lit.
- Upper Right Rubber
- I mention this because there is a huge
rubber band to the right of and below the right standup. It's as big
as a slingshot. It keeps the ball moving horizontally after a shot
to the standup or a missed shot to the right side.
- Automatic. Merges with the right loop
and can be diverted in the same ways.
- Right Outlane
- Gee, they put all that lovely rubber up
by the standup, and left bare wood down here. At Gala North, the
rubber post was down farther than the one on the left was, but not
all the way. Even with the posts set to easy this is a bad place to
get a ball. Can be lit for Special (from a "Mystery"
- Right Inlane
- Can be lit for Hit Me.
There is a skill shot at the start of each numbered ball and earned
extra balls. There is no skill shot following ball savers or locks.
Hit the launch button to plunge the ball. It
will be diverted to the rollovers. The middle lane will be flashing; the
flippers move the flashing light left and right. If the ball goes
through the correct lane, you score
25M x (number of skill shots made),
Plunging the ball scores
points. I thought you'd like to know.
Light all three lanes to advance the bonus multiplier. If a skill shot
is made, the lane is not spotted. Move the lights left and right with
The bonus multiplier can also be increased
from a matrix award.
If the bonus multiplier was already at
is awarded instead. In early software versions, there was a potentially
undesired behaviour regarding the bonus multiplier and hold bonus.
The bumpers score
each in normal play. The triangle is such that balls dropping through
the middle lane often don't hit any bumpers.
The left loop spots letters in
Johnny, and the right loop spots
starts a frenzy: every switch is worth
One of the matrix awards is Super Loops,
which makes loops worth
the first time awarded,
the second time, etc. (I think for the rest of the ball; I saw no
timer.) I infer that the normal value is quite a bit less.
Each ramp shot scores
If a red triangle remains unlit on the ramp that was shot, one is lit.
When all six red lamps -- three at each ramp -- are lit,
Yakuza Strike begins.
Shooting a ramp when a video frame is on the
display collects one frame. These are worth points in the bonus count,
and at some reflexing number (I've seen seven and eight) an extra ball
is lit. It appears that frames are on the display whenever nothing else
is -- when no modes or other at all special things (Yakuza Strike,
Throwing Spears, Hit Me, Combos, etc.) are happening.
I'm not sure exactly what makes a combo, but it's probably repeatedly
making shots to the same side of the field, such as right loop -> right
loop -> spinner -> right ramp. (I think that would be three combos.) Of
course, when you're doing this you have no time to look at the display,
so I have no idea how much these are worth or when they are scored. I
have gotten the impression that they are worth a few million points and
a couple gigabytes. I could be confusing that with the award for hitting
the loops themselves, of course. Combos are worth points in bonus.
If this light is flashing when a ball drains down the left side, another
ball is plunged. The plunged ball is not diverted, so it will come out
the left loop fast. Don't watch the display; it's showing abstract art
while your second chance is draining.
This starts the game lit, and once used, is
relit by hitting the right standup twice.
Mnemonic Recovery cannot be relit during
After each ramp has been hit three times, Yakuza Strike begins. During
this round all the orange arrow shots plus both ramps are lit. A timer
and counts down at about
Hit a shot to score the value remaining on the timer. The mode stops at
This mode can continue during, and I do
believe start during, multiball. If you can hit the sixth ramp and
immediately lock the third ball, a billion from Yakuza Strike is not out
of the question.
During Yakuza Strike, Bob's Bunker does not
give out hints -- it scores the timer and immediately spits out the
ball. It does, however, give out the power item
award if lit.
During most of the game, the left inlane will light Throwing Spears. To
collect the award, shoot either the right ramp or right loop. This is a
timed shot, and there is time to try again if you miss the first time,
but not that much extra. After making the shot or having time run out,
the left inlane relights.
The following are awarded in order every
time, and reset upon every drain.
The display doesn't say how many,
- Big Points
Again, I don't know how many. I doubt
- Lite Spinner
When lit, the spinner is worth
- Quick Multiball
A second ball is plunged. The ramps
award jackpots of
each, as many times as you can hit them. This continues until you
drain one or both balls.
- Hold Bonus
Now go for those bumper lanes!
- Extra Ball
I think this actually awards the extra
ball, and doesn't just light it. It's one or the other. I wouldn't
be surprised if there's a limit on how often you can collect this.
(It's no more than once per ball. There may be no other limit other
than the overall total extra balls/game adjustment.)
During most of the game, the right inlane lights Hit Me. You have a
short time -- essentially one shot -- to hit the left loop. This is
the first time and
the second time .... I don't know if the value resets to
every ball or not. I usually would have rather hit the left ramp to set
up a Throwing Spear shot.
The center lane starts the game lit for Start Mode. Shooting the ball up
that lane will send it to the VUK. The ball is kicked to the glove,
which moves forward and drops it above the bumper lanes to start the
Start Mode is re-lit after locking a ball
for multiball. If the number of Start Mode shots made is less than the
number of locks made in the game, Start Mode is re-lit by shooting Bob's
The lit mode moves every couple seconds
while Start Mode is lit. This is quite a change from earlier versions,
which required that the modes be completed in sequence. All five
'normal' modes must be played before Power Down is lit. After Power Down
all modes become unlit, even if the playfield lamps don't immdeiately
reflect this. These modes exclude Start Mode. They do not exclude Yakuza
Strike, Throwing Spears, and Hit Me. In early versions they excluded
multiball locks, but in the most recent version locks can be lit unless
the shot is used by the particular mode. If multiball is started during
a mode, the mode may end (if little time remained) or pause and continue
as it was when single-ball play resumes.
Scoring and Timing
All modes start with a base score of
Score by making shots indicated by lit white triangles. Except for
Upload, modes start with
seconds on the timer. However, after every shot is made the timer resets
seconds if it had counted down below that. (This makes it very easy to
complete the modes, which is valuble. This latter behaviour was not
present in earlier versions.)
The left loop, left ramp, right ramp, and right loop are lit. Shoot them
in any order. The first shot is worth
and the fourth
All shots are also worth
The timer for this mode starts at about
counts down at about
Every other mode has a
second timer, so I'd bet this one does too, even though you can't read
The left ramp is lit. After that shot is made, the right loop is lit.
The right ramp and left loop follow. The first shot is worth
and the fourth
All shots are also worth
If you don't like seeing violence in
pinball, don't watch the display after shooting the right ramp! (Right
loop in early versions.)
This is a bumper mode, unlike the others. Bumpers score
per hit. The spinner lane and right loop are lit and diverted to the
lanes. When the lanes are completed during Riot, not only is the Bonus
Multiplier increased, but the bumper scores are multiplied as well. I
assume some gigabytes are also awarded in this mode, but I don't really
know how. I also don't know what constitutes finishing this mode -- I've
hits and not lit Crazy Bob's.
Hit the left loop three times for
Hit the center lane four times for
Upon completing any of the five modes, Crazy Bob's is lit (the sign
above the hole, that is). Shoot Crazy Bob's for a power item and
Power items are one of the things that flashes by on the normal score
display (along with current ball, credits, gigabytes, and video frames).
Thus, I assume they are important. They seem to effect how Power Down
All white triangle shots are lit, and all four balls are put on the
field. Each white triangle shot scores
Well, enjoy, because those shots start going away. Every few seconds the
game announces that a section is being powered down, and those shots
become unlit. More than that, that whole portion of the field goes dark,
G.I. and all!
If you start Power Down with no power items,
the shots start going away after just a few seconds, and the whole mode
lasts maybe 30 seconds. If you collect some power items, it seems (I
don't get this far often enough to be sure) you get more time. Or maybe
the shots are worth more, if they felt like borrowing a good idea from
Drained balls are replunged after a
five-second delay. When the time runs out, there's nothing left to do,
so stop flipping. (Earlier versions killed the flippers. I don't know
why that changed.) The total for the round is displayed, the lights come
up, and a ball is plunged.
(In early versions this mode was totally
unbalancing. The powering down part hadn't been implemented, so all the
shots were lit all the time. The timer behaved as if a whole bunch of
power items had been collected, and the mode lasted at least sixty
seconds, if not ninety. Not knowing what I was doing, as the display
didn't provide even the information that the white triangle shots scored
at the time, I got
from this mode. Knowing what I'm doing I haven't gotten half that since
the rules changed.)
During normal play, shooting Bob's Bunker will give you information
about one of the matrix awards. This lights the first lock.
Locks are lit at the center lane, spinner lane, and right loop. (Start
Mode takes priority over Cyberlock at the center lane.) Shooting one of
these sends the ball to the VUK, where it is kicked to the glove. The
glove is under the player's control, and you have seven seconds to drop
the ball where you wish.
Dropping the ball on a lock gives you an
award. These awards are shuffled after every multiball and every game,
but information is availible from Bob's Bunker.
After shooting the first lock, the display
flips through six or seven of the possible awards. At the same time, the
lights on the physical matrix itself flash. Yes, the game is showing you
what's available at most of the locks! Easy extra ball here. (This is
NOT duplicated on the display, as the physical lamps usually are. You
have to keep both the DMD and matrix in your vision, or quickly shift
downward and to the right when you see 'Light Extra Ball' on the
display. Never to my knowledge has the maintainance of lamps been so
important to gameplay!) (Also, in early versions what was on the display
did not have anything to do with the lamps being lit.) If you drop the
ball somewhere other than the matrix, the locks will be re-lit.
Start a mode to light the second and third
- Bonus X
- Hold Bonus
- Light Extra Ball
- Light Crazy Bob's -- lights Crazy Bob's
for a power item (the name of which appears
to be meaningless, but which always occur in the same order) and
- 50 GB -- becomes 10 GB if collected
more than once in a game.
- Super Loops -- the left and right loops
for the rest of the ball.
50,000,000 if collected again
in the game, and probably more if collected even more often.
- Award Bonus
- Video Mode -- A curious mode. You must
use all four buttons to move your square around the display and
catch all the dots before time runs out. My best guess at the
after the first. I've never completed Wave 1, so there may be
completion bonuses or additional points on subsequent waves that I
don't know about.
- Mystery -- This can start
Yakuza Strike, award points or gigabytes,
light an extra ball or the right outlane special, and start
Touch-Tone Multiball. It can probably do most anything. (In early
versions, this always started Touch-Tone Multiball when possible. In
later versions it rarely does, thankfully.)
Two balls are launched. The goal is to hit Crazy Bob's as often as
possible while keeping both balls in play.
On the display, the digits
randomly flash on the telephone. The first hit to Crazy Bob's sets
whatever digit is lit as the 10,000,000 digit of the jackpot. The second
hit sets the 1,000,000 digit of the jackpot. The third hit awards the
jackpot. Repeat as often as possible while keeping one ball in play.
This mode precludes normal modes and further
locks while running.
(This is very infrequently awarded in recent
versions. Considering the difficulty of hitting Crazy Bob's three times,
the fact that even
is not much reward, and the possibility of draining both balls, I'm not
sorry to see it go.)
After three locks, the balls are released. Balls locked in the left
column go to the bumpers. Balls locked in the middle column go to the
left flipper. Balls locked in the right column go to the right flipper.
There is a ball saver at the start of multiball which is longer than the
usual (insignificant) start-of-ball saver.
The shots lit for jackpots vary. At first,
three shots are lit. After the first three jackpots have been collected,
the jackpot rotates between the three. Which three shots they are go
according to where the balls were locked:
Right Jet Lane Right Loop Crazy Bob's
Middle Jet Lane Right Ramp Left Ramp
Left Jet Lane Spinner Loop Left Loop
My best guess at the value of jackpots is:
for the first three,
for the fourth,
for the fifth, and so on. If the three balls were locked in a row,
jackpots are tripled.
Between getting good matrix awards, getting
shots you can make easily lit for jackpots, and getting all three balls
in a row, locking balls in JM is not trivial.
After each ball, you are awarded
4,000,000 for each video frame
for each gigabyte you have collected up to that point in the game. You
for each combo made in that ball.
Hold Bonus now works like every other Hold Bonus in pinball. The value
after multiplier is remembered, and added in after the multiplier has
taken effect in the next ball. Hold Bonus also holds the Bonus
Multiplier for the next ball. In early versions it was added in
before the multiplier on the next ball. However, it did not
hold the multiplier between balls. Hold Bonus has no effect if collected
on the last ball.
You can buy-in once. Nothing special happens except for a reasonable
There is a Grand Champion, and High Scores 1-4 are kept. There is no
seperate table for bought-in games.
The most recent person to collect 320 GB is
stored as the Cyberpunk.
The display has no trouble showing these somewhat high scores at any
time. Anyone gotten it up to
Just the basic animation first seen in ST:TNG. So?
Broken Dataglove Compensation
It seems like the big toy is always breaking. Obviously, this affects
gameplay. Here's how.
Locks are virtual; balls will be autoplunged
when multiball starts. When Crazy Bob's would have just shown the
location of an award, it now gives that award immediately. The player
gets no choice. I don't know what the jackpot shots are or whether they
are tripled in this compensation mode.
The game tries to keep balls away from the
VUK. The drop target registers as a center lane shot. (Warning: these
tend to drop SDTM. There ought to be a ball saver.) Spinner lane and
right loop shots that would have been eligible for locking go out around
the left orbit, scoring the virtual lock as they go. When a ball does
get to the VUK, and it will, the game repeatedly and quickly fires the
kicker, so that the ball will eventually accumulate enough spin to
bounce off the dataglove sideways and not return to the VUK. This
typically requires five to ten kicks, and does work.
This is not a compensation that gives you an
advantage (like a bad trunk in ToM or mini-playfield stuck up in Dr.
Who). By taking away the best opportunity for a break, it really makes
the game much harder. Don't feel bad about not playing a broken JM.
This is a direct
copy of the rule card in JM, and is reproduced for completeness. The
rulesheet could probably stand on its own,
without this, but I may as well include the bits of the official rules
that we know.
ALWAYS SHOOT FOR THE FLASHING
SHOOT "CRAZY BOB'S" TO LIGHT LOCKS
AND LEARN ABOUT MATRIX AWARDS.
MULTIBALL: SHOOT CYBERLOCKS WHEN LIT
AND PLACE BALLS IN MATRIX TO COLLECT AWARDS AND LOCK BALL.
LOCK THREE BALLS IN MATRIX TO
PLACE THREE BALLS IN A LINE TO
COLLECT TRIPLE JACKPOT VALUES.
YAKUZA STRIKE: START BY COMPLETING
RED TRIANGLES ON BOTH RAMPS.
MODE PLAY: DURING MODES SHOOT
FLASHING WHITE TRIANGLES.
COLLECT VIDEO FRAMES BY SHOOTING
RAMPS WHEN FRAMES ARE DISPLAYED.
COLLECT GIGABYTES TO BECOME THE
CYBERPUNK. GB'S ARE AWARDED THROUGHOUT THE GAME.
THROWING SPIKE AWARDS: LEFT FLIPPER
LANE LIGHTS SPIKES. TO COLLECT NEXT SPIKE, SHOOT RIGHT RAMP OR RIGHT
LEFT LOOP SPELLS "JOHNNY" AND RIGHT LOOP
As long as I'm copying things straight off
the game, you ought to give credit to all the people who helped make JM.
Let's thank these
folks for bringing us another great pinball game!
From the right outlane:
DESIGN MANIAC:.............GEORGE GOMEZ
SOFTWARE GURU:.............TOM UBAC
MECHANICAL WIZARD:.........TOM KOPERA
COMBAT ARTIST:.............JOHN YOUSSI
MUSIC MAGICIAN:............DR. DAVE ZABRISKIE
DOT MATRIX COWBOYS:........ADAM AHINE/BRIAN MORRIS
3-DIMENSIONAL PUNK:........DAVE LINK
From the left outlane:
CYBERNETIC SUPPORT:.....P. BARKER, K. O'CONNOR, M. HUDSON,
R. SHARPE, B. ORTEGA, B. THOMPSON,
K. PEMBERTON, J. LOVEDAY, J. SHIRD,
G. FRERES, G. MARCONI, W. ROEDER,
R. PANKATASHAN, J. PARRISH