The Truth is Out There! X-Files Pinball!

Game Facts:

X-Files was produced by Sega Pinball in 1997.  A total of 1,500 games were produced.

The game is based on the Fox TV Series.  You need to be an "X-phile" to know why the match feature uses bees.

X-Files featured a "curved" back box, a design innovation that thankfully didn't catch on.  This necessitated a "stand" on the top of the back box that needed to be lowered when moving the machine, otherwise the translite would be crushed. 

Little known fact: while there are two speaker grills in the back box, there is actually only one speaker installed.

X-Files Resources from Mark's Pinball Pages:

  X-Files Flyer (front) - jpeg format
 
X-Files Flyer (back) - jpeg format
  Somebody who actually liked the machine

 

My X-Files Story:

I am an avid X-Files fan (until the Scully baby storyline at least...), having not missed an episode in the first 4 years of the show's run.  When I finally had the room to start growing my pinball collection, X-Files was the first addition to my initial purchases (Firepower and Black Knight).  It was an Ebay purchase (back when you could almost trust an Ebay pin) that I obtained from a "Family Fun Center" just north west of Pittsburgh, PA.  The manager of the center wanted to get a Medieval Madness in, and the owner told him that he needed to sell off some of the other machines to finance the purchase.  He was attempting to raise the cash by selling off the X-Files and a TOTAN.  

Now I live about 45 minutes south of Philadelphia near the Jersey shore, so Pittsburgh is not an easy drive.  I tried to combine the pickup of the machine with a trip I needed to make to Michigan.  My plan was to drive out to Pittsburgh and get the machine, put it in the back of the van, then head to the Pittsburgh airport to catch a flight to Michigan.  Then fly back to Pittsburgh, retrieve my van and the X-Files and drive back to Jersey.  Thanks to a head-on collision on the PA turnpike, I sat for 5 hours on my way out.  Hmmm, fly to Michigan or get the pinball.  My decision was made for me when I couldn't find the Pittsburgh airport in time for my flight (I had planned to ask when I picked up the machine), so I just continued on to get the game.

I literally bought the machine "off the floor" of the arcade.  It was one of these places where you can play miniature golf, race go-karts and play video games and the occasional pin.  We all stood around the pin while some 10 year old finished his game and then off it went into the van.  The poor kid started complaining to the manager on the way out, "but I like that game...".

I had to find a hotel on the way back, as its about 7 hours back home.  Currently the 14 hour round trip is my record for pickup up a machine, although I do have a 12 hour one also...

Here are some thumbnails to some larger photos of the machine.  Just click on them for a larger view.

                         

Full Playfield Shot             Upper Playfield Shot

I enjoyed playing the game for about the first month.  After that, it got extremely boring (for me at least, the kids continued to love it).  The game is based around three loop shots and the "Filing Cabinet".  You banged away at the filing cabinet, or made loop shots to get multi-ball.  Once in multi-ball, making ramp shots gave you the bonus.  That was about it.  The game did have a magnet at the base of the filing cabinet that would suspend the ball.  What the magnet wound up doing was wearing a hole into the playfield because it would hold the ball so long!  The magnet would also capture two balls at the same time, leaving you there with both balls hung up until the ball search cut off the magnet.

I sold the machine on Christmas eve to some friends who were looking for a gift for their father, who really like pinball and the X-Files.  The money I made from the machine went to finance the purchase of 4 other "project" machines which I enjoyed many times over.  About the only thing I miss with the X-Files is that picture of Scully staring down at you while you played!

Just to prove I actually owned it!  Christmas eve (dig those red sweats!) before moving the machine out.

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