CFTBL: Tactics and Strategies

superballs

New member
Apr 12, 2012
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Hello Boys and Girls:

Welcome to another edition of TPA Tactics and Strategies.

Today we will cover the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

This is a wonderful table but is also deceptively simple. Great atmosphere, great theme (within a theme).

The basic idea of this table is to start the movie and save the girl.

Ok, I have to describe this strategy as being very repetitive, mechanical and linear. The nice thing about this is that the table's movie theme lends itself very well to linearity.

This is essentially a five shot table. But you want to be able to hit these shots in your sleep. You have the left loop (KISS), the left ramp - which you are going to want to get to the point that you never miss, the center lane (to the bumpers and MOVE YOUR CAR), the snack bar (missing is dangerous) and the right loop (slide).

The right ramp is less important but is instrumental in attaining video mode, which is pretty fun.

Post transfers are very consistent on this table sometimes it will fall short but for the most part you will have no trouble with this technique. It's more dodgy from left to right.

Trapping is very very easy. Anything being delivered to the right inlane to the flipper can be trapped. This means KISS shots, the snack bar and balls coming down from the pop bumpers.

Let's begin:
We want to light all four letters in FILM. You get an additional 8 Million if you light them in order so do this whenever possible.

SKILL SHOT: There are four lanes at the top of the playfield. When launching the ball one lane is flashing. You cannot change this with the flippers. On the first ball, don't even bother with the skill shot, the launch, if too hard will be sent around the table and return through the left loop .
Lighting the F
You can light the F by spelling KISS. This can be done simply by launching the ball. Before launching, you will notice the KISS lights lighting up in sequence (K, KI, KIS, KISS). Hold the plunger at full strengh and wait until the second S lights up and let it go. If you time it right, when the ball triggers the KISS, all four letters should be lit up and you have the F in FILM lit.

DANGER - When launching the ball full strenght, don't raise the left flipper to trap, it's a bad bounce. Just perform a dead pass over to the other flipper. Post transfer if necessary.

Lighting the I
This is accomplished by lighting the four blue targets in the center of the table. Two of these are at the left of the right ramp entrance, the other two are just to the right of the snack bar. The lit targets are rotated with each bumper hit. If the snack bar has not been opened on a particular ball or since the last Creature feature, each shot to the snack bar itself will light one of the targets (if you collect the snack bar points it does not light a target). Put the ball on the right flipper and try and bounce it off of the blue targets and up the left ramp. Each time you do this, you build a combo score, starting at 500,000 and doubling each time you hit the ramp (within a time limit) up to 16 million. You shoot up the center lane to collect these points. Suffice it to say, missing the targets is not that huge a deal, just shoot at the two targets, once the combo is maxxed, shoot up the center lane, collect the points, try not to complete all the lanes (if you are shooting for the sequential FILM bonus). Trap the ball when it's returned to the right flipper and start shooting the ramp off the targets again until 3 targets are lit. Light the last target by shooting the snack bar. This will open the snack bar. Make sure that before starting the Creature Feature, you collect the snack bar reward.

Lighting the L
You do this by lighting all four rollovers (PAID) at the top of the playfield. This can also be done with a successful skill shot. Every hit off the pop bumpers will increase the Jackpot value. You want to increase the jackpot as much as possible.

Lighting the M
This one is simple. Hit the right loop. That's it.

Starting Multiball
The left and right loops will light to lock the ball, shoot either one. Remember which one you hit though. When you launch the second ball, make sure you shoot it up into the bumpers, you are going to want some time to set up. Here is where you want to remember where you locked the ball. In the left loop? You'll hear the Boing noise and the ball is going to be delivered to the right flipper through the inlane. Quickly trap it and post transfer to the left flipper and hold it there. Wait for the other ball to come down from the bumpers.
Did you lock in on the right? It's going to be sent around the top of the table and through the KISS loop down to the left flipper. Trap the ball and keep it there. This isn't the easiest trap as sometimes it can bounce chaotically around the center of the table and other times it can bounce too hard into the outlane. This isn't too too common but happens enough, usually it will bounce up and around the kicker and down the inlane. Trap and hold, wait for the other ball to come down to the right flipper.

Playing Multiball
Cool, slow and patient. You want to be EXTREMELY accurate and EXTREMELY methodical about this.
You should have one ball trapped on each flipper.
Shoot the left ramp repeatedly. The ball will roll around the whirlpool and light up letters in CREATURE. Each time you complete CREATURE, the scoring multiplier will increase and you will get 1, 2, 3 and 4 Million. Once table scoring is 4X, trap the ball.

Now you have to search the three caves for the girl. These are the Right and Left Loops, and the snack bar. I always start with the snack bar as I find she's in there most often. Maybe not but whatever. This is why you want to increase your multiplier first. Finding the girl is now worth 20 Million. Don't get excited, that's nothing.

Next you want to shoot for the jackpot. Shoot the snack bar. Depending on how much you increased the jackpot value with the pop bumpers, you will probably be pulling down about 50-70 Million (times 4 of course so more like 200-280 Million for the first Jackpot).

Now, to light the Super Jackpot, you want to shoot up the center lane and you need 20 bumper hits. Once you've collected these hits, shoot the snack bar to collect the Super Jackpot. I think this is also dependant on what the jackpot is, but it's massive. A good first multiball with a well built up jackpot value and the super jackpot collected can put you in the Billion plus point range.

If you drop a ball in multi-ball, hurry up and shoot the snack bar to restart it. Plunge to the bumpers, trap the ball on the right flipper and post transfer as soon as you can and be ready. You always want to have a ball on each flipper in multi-ball.

Extra Balls:
There could be others, but the ones I know of are at 2 KISS and ever 4 thereafter
200 Million
Random Snack Bar Reward

MOVE YOUR CAR:
This mode is activated after hitting the center lane enough times, I think it's five times.
First shot is set up as a hurry-up with points that count down. Once you make that, you have 15 seconds to repeat the center shot for the value you set in the hurry up.

Unlimited Millions:
This is activated by shooting the right loop.
You collect millions by shooting the left ramp.
Starts at 3 million
Each subsequent shot increases by 3 million until time runs out.

Big Millions:
Much like Unlimited Millions, except you need to shoot the Right Ramp, the first shot is 5 Million and it increases by 5 Million each shot.

Video Mode:
Shoot the Right Ramp 8 times then shoot the right loop to activate video mode.
Use the right and left flippers to punch. Punches are crosses. If the guy dodges left, use the right flipper to hit him and vice versa.

For me, there's not much else to this table. Just remember, if you wan make the five main shots reliably, you will net some huge scores. Each shot is important in it's own way but the ball delivery makes it easy to repeat shots. The easy post transfers also make it easy to put the ball on the flipper of your choice.

If you are not methodical with this table, you will score so low, you will wonder if the replay score is even realistic. Once you find a flow, the replay score is ridiculously low. That's another good thing about this table is how it unfolds.

Enjoy
 

Bonzo

New member
May 16, 2012
902
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Trapping is very very easy. Anything being delivered to the right inlane to the flipper can be trapped.

No longer true for the recent version of CftBL on Android (and iOS, too, I think). So one has to worry about control a little more, as this is indeed very crucial for high scores (true for all tables, but can't be stressed often enough). Much more fun this way, though. The easy right flipper trap was really slowing down the flow of the game too much.
 

superballs

New member
Apr 12, 2012
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That will be a welcome change. Though I'll have to run through the OP and find all the real specific trapping stuff :D
 

Bride of Trolls

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Jul 29, 2012
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Good guide! But i think it needs a few more words.

First the snack bar, missing this shot is dangerous, you are right. But it's much safer to shoot if
you use the left flipper for it, so because the most safe balls come down on the right flipper do it
this way: Backhand the right ramp and than shoot the snack bar from the left. Very important!

Before starting FILM multiball shoot the ball to the bumpers until the jackpot value reaches at least
125 millions, everything else is a waste of time. With every SuperJackpot you score the jackpot
value will increase, with a good start value it increases more!! When you start with 125 millions
the first SuperJackport is a tasty billion (if you make a 4x playfield with the whirlpool).

This is a nice jackpot value:



Now, to light the Super Jackpot, you want to shoot up the center lane and you need 20 bumper hits. Once you've collected these hits, shoot the snack bar to collect the Super Jackpot. I think this is also dependant on what the jackpot is, but it's massive. A good first multiball with a well built up jackpot value and the super jackpot collected can put you in the Billion plus point range.

SuperJackpot is twice the Jackpot value.

SuperJackpot is the key to fantastic scores on CFTBL. It is not the sense of the game to
score one, it is sense of the game to score multiple SuperJackpots.

For the first SuperJackpots you need 20 bumper hits, for the second SuperJackpot you
need 40 bumpers and so on.

On this picture i am on my way to the sith SuperJackpot with a jackpot value like shown above:



I scored this SuperJackpot with nearly 9 billion points and i think much more is possilble.

If farsight adds one number to the highscore display, so that it shows more than 10 billions
i will try it to score 99 billion.

At last, did somebody win the third video mode? 31 hits are needed in this fight, i never
made more than 26.
 
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pezpunk

New member
Jul 29, 2012
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i haven't spent much time on this table, but i'm pretty good at it (usually rack up multiple big super jackpots and games are longgggg)

several tips:

- trying to trap on the right is a little more interesting now (ios) but it's still pretty easy. from the kickout, it's about 50/50, and even if the trap fails, the ball trickles off the end of the flipper and you can do a quick tap with the left flipper and send it directly into the snack bar hole, which is a nice safe recovery.

- i have discovered a way to get an extra ball from the first snack bar every single time. if you listen to the (cheesy) background music after launching the ball, it plays a song that goes "verse / verse / guitar solo / verse". each section is about 30 seconds long. if you grab the snack bar during the 30 second span of the "guitar solo" (or "bridge") section of the song, you will get a Special or Extra Ball automatically. it happens about a minute into the game, so you have to be relatively quick but not TOO quick about getting the snack bar. (i've missed it by getting the snack bar too soon, but you have to be very quick to do so.) if you've done it right, all the rewards on the board as the selector flashes around will be "special", "extra ball", "light special", "eb countdown", "a new car", etc, and it will always stop on either special or extra ball. (is it possible to get "a new car" and if so what does it do??).

- if you are interested in a high score, seriously do not worry about the right ramp, "move your car", building up the left ramp bonus, or the rollover multipliers (except to light "film"). ignore the flashing lights and calls to hit various ramps or targets. much like BoP, high scores on this table are about one thing only: huge super jackpots. learn to throw the ball up the "move your car" lane into the bumpers. do this a LOT. over and over. bumper hits build the jackpot value. then get the 4x scoring during multiball and score the SJ. that's the sole route to big numbers.
 

Advalle

New member
Jul 18, 2012
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Do you guys nail that kiss and slide shot when the ball has momentum as it comes from the inoanes or can you guys hit it from a cradle
 

shutyertrap

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
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I hit KISS with ball momentum all the time. If I miss, it usually goes up the left ramp instead, and then I can try again!

This table is so all about the right flipper, it's ridiculous. I tend to drain my controller battery real fast when playing this table, due to me cradling one ball in the left flipper for minutes on end while I make every shot needed during multiball with the right. I've even thought of putting a rubber band on the controller to hold down the button due to my finger cramping after a while.
 

samtny

New member
Feb 29, 2012
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then get the 4x scoring during multiball and score the SJ. that's the sole route to big numbers.

I would say it is not quite the "sole" route to big numbers; my 77Bil score comes from a different method entirely. Movie Madness! This is the right ramp shot during multiball. The value is progressive, so with 4X multiplier the first shot is 2M, second 4M, third 6M, so on and on and on. I had it up around 350M per shot a couple times during that game.

Perhaps moot as the left flipper catch from the kickout is not so easy any longer. :) But it is still something to keep in mind in case you are playing IRL and just need to make a few easy points to surpass your opponent.
 

Slam23

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Jul 21, 2012
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Nice addition samtny! I have hit the right ramp by accident a couple of times during multiball and saw some other DMD animations than I'm used to in regular play, so I kinda wondered what that was. I did know about "super mode" that you can get to with about 12 right ramp shots, that can give some nice regular play scoring also. I can establish a rhytm of consistently hitting the right ramp, but misses can cost you dearly, more so than shots from the right flipper.
Maybe a small addition for "Move Your Car"-mode: I find it most (time)effective to dead-pass the ball from the right to left flipper when it returns from the jet bumper area, and then hit a quick moving shot up the center lane. Cradling at any flipper takes precious time of the clock and cradling right has it's own risks as mentioned above.

@Advalle: I mostly use live shots to KISS but in multiball I cradle before hitting that shot because I want more control. I find live shots more easy btw.

I'm surprised at how much I like this table. I played a version in VP but because of the transparant ramps that are difficult to make, it didn't play well. I like how it has some more depth than meets the eye at first. It may have benefitted from tying isolated modes such as "Move Your Car" into a deeper ruleset in which it would have been a prerequisted mode for reaching multiball, or conveying some kind of delayed benefit towards the total game and scoring (for example giving 12x scoring, surpassing the max 10 from the rollovers). That would have been a nice incentive to steer away from only going for multiball/jackpot/SJ. I still think games like LOTR and TSPP are superior in that respect. But I find myself still playing for better scores, even after reaching 1000 HOF points for this one.
 

DanBradford

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Apr 5, 2013
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Wow, you guys talking about tens of billions of points makes me feel inadequate.

My biggest problem is the snackbar, I just can't hit the thing. I played this game for about 4 hours straight this evening, found my groove with everything except that damn snackbar.

I consistently got up to 10 or even 14 kisses for plenty extra balls, I consistently got up to 3 or even 4 x the move your car score, I consistently raped the left ramp to get 16,000 again and again, and I consistently got the rollovers giving me loads of 5M scores. Then I consistently got the jackpot raised up nice and high, consistently started loads of multiballs, consistently raised it up to 4 x playfield, usually found the girl, sometimes rescued her, and consistently failed to score a jackpot. I got one jackpot in 4 hours and about 30 or so games.

Failing to be able to hit that snack bar also usually stopped me from restarting multiball after dropping one.

Any tips?
 

shutyertrap

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Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
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I play on the PS3, so I don't know if this will help the same Dan on your iPhone...

To hit the snackbar, start by practicing with the right flipper. With the ball cradled, let it just barely roll and then flip. Keep doing that, letting it roll a little more each time until you hit that snackbar. Ignore 'playing' the game, just practice that shot, getting the ball to the right flipper, and shooting for the snackbar. When you can hit it 7/10 times, move to the left flipper.

The left flipper is a little trickier, as the ball needs to roll more than it did on the right flipper. Still, use the same method to dial it in. It's amazing what muscle memory will do for you once you have found the sweet spot. To be sure, the shot from the left flipper is much riskier. When I am in multiball, 95% of my shots are with the right flipper since I cradle the other ball with the left until I absolutely need to use it. When I do use it though, it's typically to shoot the snackbar so you will need that shot in your back pocket.

Good luck, hope you find the touch!
 

Squid

Senior Creature
Mar 22, 2012
591
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Oddly enough, I have a better chance of hittin' the snack bar off of the left flipper. I can't do it too well from the right one.
I usually flub the shot or send it up the center lane or maybe the left ramp. From the left, I'm good. It's just a matter of gettin' on the left flipper to make the shot in the first place.
 
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DanBradford

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Apr 5, 2013
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Thanks for the replies fellas, much appreciated. SYT I will do just as you suggest. I've been continuously playing nothing but Creech for about 8 hours now and am seeing a small improvement and agree that once I have it dialled in, my muscle memories should do the job.

I got a bit sidetracked from multiball trying to confirm and exploit that trick about nailing the snackbar during the guitar chorus, and am not yet convinced that its a definite. Is it only supposed to be on if you opened the snackbar from targets rather than snackbar hole itself? Is it only supposed to be on if its during that first guitar riff of the game? Surely if this was a confirmed ROM exploit then it'd be written somewhere else in the pinball Internet, but I've not seen it.

Anyway. I've managed to get very close to nailing that 4xSJ a few times now, so a bit of pure snackbar practice and I'm confident it will happen. I want to make sure the base jackpot is up at least to 100M for when it does though, as it makes for a payday of 1.2B for 4(J+SJ)

jezu4u5y.jpg
 

TomL

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Mar 12, 2013
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Love that doodle.

I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but sometimes, I find that if I take a break from a table for a few days to play other tables, then go back to the first table, my game is drastically improved.
 

pezpunk

New member
Jul 29, 2012
427
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I got a bit sidetracked from multiball trying to confirm and exploit that trick about nailing the snackbar during the guitar chorus, and am not yet convinced that its a definite. Is it only supposed to be on if you opened the snackbar from targets rather than snackbar hole itself? Is it only supposed to be on if its during that first guitar riff of the game? Surely if this was a confirmed ROM exploit then it'd be written somewhere else in the pinball Internet, but I've not seen it.
well, I haven't played it in a while, so I can't 100% confirm it still works like this, but I tested it a lot and if you hit the snackbar during that guitar riff part of the first song the FIRST time it occurs (about a minute or two into the game) you would get an extra ball or special every time, 100%. too soon or too late and you'd get something else. I don't think it works for subsequent times through the background music or on subsequent balls. it may have nothing to do with the song, that's just how I mark the timeframe. I am pretty sure I lit the snackbar both ways and it didn't matter.
 

DanBradford

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Apr 5, 2013
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Finally nailed a big 4xSJ this afternoon thanks to shutyertrap's advice. I got it a few times yesterday when the base jackpot wasn't up high enough to satisfy, so it felt nice to score over a billion in one shot.

I'm hooked though. I had forgotten that scoring the SJ doubles the base value, so when I finally flailed my last ball down the drain, at that point the base was over 300M, and a 4xJ followed by 4xSJ at *that* point woulda been worth AT LEAST 1.2B plus 2.4B = 3.6B and the base would again have been doubled to well over 600M...... so the one after that, taking into account that every few minutes the base climbs just from popper hits, lets say it had reached 625M, would have been 7.5B .........

Suddenly I can see how Lyman allegedly scored over 20B on a Creech. He would have needed to get the multiplied SJ about four or five times, and could potentially have done all that in a relatively short space of time. Blimey. Gotta love exponential scoring systems.

______________________________

On the subject of pezpunk's discovery of the potential route to EBs, I've set a few pinhead mates in the UK the task of testing this out on a real Creech with the glass off. Who knows, maybe there's a similar Easter egg for each of the songs in the game? I think you get a different song each ball, all played in "three-day rotation" - whatever that means, exactly. That's the description in the promotional flyer.

The five songs are -
Rock Around The Clock
Get a Job
Summertime Blues
Hand Jive
Red River Rock

I have no idea which of these is the one being played at the start of ball 1
 

pezpunk

New member
Jul 29, 2012
427
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it's red river rock that you hear first. i also remember Farsight mentioning that they couldn't get the rights to all of the songs so some are missing.
 

Eegah

New member
May 12, 2013
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Finally, after months of work on this table, it finally clicked today.

I've spent a good two weeks playing pretty much nothing else. Have the Snack Bar shot from the right flipper mostly down pat, the left loop and car ramp almost at 100%, but Criminy 'almost 100%' pretty much means 'never' when you have to make each shot as many times as you do here and missing is usually an insta-drain. Game after game of almost starting multiball, almost getting the jackpot and a couple games of almost getting the super-jackpot but I have never been able to get that one run where I could finally nail the SJ. Hell, I racked up a 1.2B game without a single Super. But I've never been able to get that one perfect run where it all falls into place.

Until today.

Ironically I was on the train home from playing the real-world Creature (let's not discuss how that went... weak right flipper isn't fun on this table). On the way home I concentrated on nothing but finally getting the Super -- no extra ball, no move your car, no 4x multiplier, nothing but getting that SJ. And I finally got it. Game was only ~300M since I was so singularly focused and intentionally drained the rest of the game to make sure my final Wizard Goal registered, but I got it.

Then at home came the monster game. Didnt get the Snack Bar EB but after three separate Creature Features I had an excellent SJ, with north of 200M on the pops for the monster final jackpot.

Final damage: 4.16B. Not quite 1000HoF but I'll take it. And I'm exhausted!
 

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