Playfield layout described from the flippers, and going around the playfield clockwise.
Flippers: There are two. Normal configuration, normal placement.
Left slingshot: A normal slingshot. Scores 10 points.
Rollunder Gate: Prevents balls from the left flipper from rolling up and draining via the left outlane.
Left Drain: Magic Castle features reversed inlane and outlane on the left side, with the inner lane leading to this drain, and the outer lane having the ball jump over this drain channel.
Inlane: Reversed from the usual inlane/outlane arrangement, this inlane leads to the Left Drain, though the player can attempt to save the ball via rubber rings on either side. Scores 30,000 points when lit, 1000 points when not lit.
Outlane: Reversed from the usual inlane/outlane arrangement, this outlane will lead the ball to jump over the Left Drain, go through the Rollunder Gate, and feed the left Flipper. Scores 30,000 points.
Left Blue Drop Target Bank: "M-A-G-I-C" drop target bank. Four targets that must be completed on the way to advancing the Red Special. Each target scores 20,000 points.
Left Blue Drop Target Standup Target: Behind the drop targets is a standup target. Scores 50,000 points.
Ramp: Ramp that leads to the Upper Playfield. Can be lit for "Zekyle" (300,000 points), "Zankenstein" (500,000 points), or "Zaccula" (Special) by completing the M-A-G-I-C and C-A-S-T-L-E drop target banks. When not lit, the player still scores 200,000 points for making the ramp shot.
"A" Standup Target: Advances the A-B-C sequence. Scores 10,000 points when lit, 1000 points when not lit.
Right Blue Drop Target Bank: "C-A-S-T-L-E" drop target bank. Four targets that must be completed on the way to advancing the Red Special. Each target scores 20,000 points.
Right Blue Drop Target Standup Target: Behind the drop targets is a standup target. Scores 50,000 points.
Upper Loop: Accessible from the lower left flipper, or the upper right flipper. Completing the Loop is worth 10,000 points (unlit), 30,000 points, or 50,000 points, and advances the Orange Special when lit.
Orange Drop Target Bank: A three bank of drop targets. Completing the bank advances the Orange Special. Each target scores 20,000 points.
Plunger Scoop The elevated ball launch rails lead to a scoop that dumps the ball on to the playfield in the upper right corner, allowing it to feed to the Upper Right Flipper.
Upper Right Flipper: Situated at the exit of the Plunger Scoop and the rightmost exit ramp from the Upper Playfield, the Upper Right Flipper can be used to complete Orange drop targets, or to make the Upper Loop shot.
Pop Bumpers: Three pop bumpers in the classic triangle arrangement. Worth 100 points when not lit, and 1000 points when lit.
"B" Standup Target: Advances the A-B-C sequence. Scores 10,000 points when lit, 1000 points when not lit.
"C" Standup Target: Advances the A-B-C sequence. Scores 10,000 points when lit, 1000 points when not lit.
Orange Special Drop Target: Each time the Orange Special is advanced, this single drop target is raised. Hitting it collects the current Orange Special value, from 100,000 to 500,000 points, or the Orange Special, as shown by the series of lamp inserts that lead to this target.
Right Lane: A short lane that leads to the Right Standup Target. Lamp inserts in the lane show the current value of the Right Standup Target.
Right Standup Target: Scores 10,000 points when not lit, 30,000 points, 50,000 points, or can be lit to advance the Orange Special.
Right Outlane: A normal outlane, with a "REACT" flipper. Scores 30,000 points.
Right Inlane: A normal inlane. Scores 30,000 points when lit, 1000 points when not lit.
"REACT" Flipper: When lit (by completing a drop target bank), the REACT flipper is a one-shot flipper that the player can use to attempt to save the ball that is draining via the Right Outlane. It is activated only when the ball trips the rollover switch in the outlane, and the player has a split second to flip the ball back in to play.
Right Slingshot: A normal slingshot. Scores 10 points.
Red Special: Advanced on the Ramp by the Blue drop targets, the Red Special is worth 300,000 points (Zekyle), 500,000 points (Zankenstein) or whatever the operator has configured the Special to award (Zaccula). The options for Red Special are Superbonus, Extra Ball, Credit, or 4,000,000 points. The player must light each level by completing Blue drop target banks, then must collect the lit award via the associated level of the Upper Playfield.
Orange Special: Lit by completing Orange drop target banks, completing the Upper Loop shot, or by advancing the Right Standup Target, the Orange special advances in value from 100,000 points through 500,000 points, then can be lit to award whatever the operator has configured the Orange Special to award. The options for Orange Special are Superbonus, Extra Ball, Credit, or 1,000,000 points.
Upper Playfield: Reached via the Ramp, the Upper Playfield has four switches to detect where the ball goes, and two exit ramps that lead back to the main playfield. The first switch awards 200,000 points and is used to confirm that the ball has made it to the upper playfield. The other three switches are the "Zekyle", "Zankenstein", and "Zaccula" levels, which must be lit by the player and collected here. A soft shot may only trip the first switch, then will drain back to the main playfield via the first ball exit ramp. A somewhat better shot may complete the first (Zekyle) switch before draining back to the main playfield via the first ball exit ramp. A better shot will complete the second (Zankenstein) or third (Zaccula) switches before draining back to the main playfield via the second ball exit ramp.
Upper Playfield - Zekyle: The first level of the Red Special, worth 300,000 points when lit, this is the first special scoring switch on the upper playfield. Once lit, this can be collected repeatedly until unlit by collecting the Red Special.
Upper Playfield - Zankenstein: This is the second level of the Red Special, worth 500,000 points when lit, this is the second special scoring switch on the upper playfield. Once lit, this can be collected repeatedly until unlit by collecting the Red Special.
Upper Playfield - Zaccula: This is the third level of the Red Special. Worth whatever the operator has configured the Red Special to award, this switch collects the Red Special value when lit, and unlights all three levels of the Red Special.
Bonus Multiplier: This multiplier is advanced from 1X through 80X by completing the A-B-C sequence standup targets.
End-of-Ball Bonus: The bonus scored at the end of the ball, ranging from 1 to 15 bonus (at 1000 points each) multiplied by the current Bonus Multiplier. The bonus does not carry over from ball to ball.
M-A-G-I-C and C-A-S-T-L-E: Complete the Blue drop target banks to advance the Red Special sequence. On the game's "hard" settings, all eight drop targets must be completed to advance the Special one level. This is operator adjustable to allow easier settings.
Red Special Strategy: Depending on how the operator has configured the game, and depending on the player's ability to advance the Red Special by completing Blue drop target banks, it may be advantageous to avoid lighting the third level of the Red Special. Lighting only the second level, then repeatedly making Ramp shots to collect the first two levels of the Red Special may be worth more points, and may be easier to collect them, than advancing the Red Special to the third level and then collecting it, because it then unlights all three levels. Since the state of the Red Special carries over from ball to ball, lighting it early in the game is important, as is being able to collect it via the Ramp.
Orange Special: This Special does not carry over from ball to ball, so collecting it when lit can be important. Being located in the centre of the playfield, though, it is a dangerous shot to make dead on, and can lead to an instant drain of the ball in play. A glancing blow on the left or right edge of the target is much safer.
REACT: Keeping the right outlane REACT feature lit at all times will help keep the ball in play. The timing of hitting the ball back in to play is not easy, but practice helps. Re-light REACT by completing a bank of drop targets. The Orange targets, up at the top of the playfield, are somewhat easier to complete than either of the Blue targets, and are safer to hit.
Game Time Bonus: This is a timed play option. During the player's last ball, a timer will be incremented up from 10 seconds by every other switch closure. After the last ball drains, the ball will be returned to the player and the timer begins counting down. When it reaches zero, the game is over, the flippers are shut off, and the ball is allowed to drain. During the last (regular) ball, any Extra Balls the player earns will stop the clock from incrementing until all Extra Balls have been used up and the player is again on the last ball. During the timed play, the countdown clock can be stopped by lighting the Red Special, or by collecting an Extra Ball. Lighting the Red Special stops the clock until the ball drains. Collecting an Extra Ball stops the countdown clock until all Extra Balls have been used, then timed play resumes where it left off. During timed play, no End-of-Ball bonus is collected, and the Blue and Orange drop targets are not reset when the ball drains. The Orange Special is reset when the ball drains, making it difficult to light and collect during the Game Time Bonus. When the timer expires, the End-of-Ball Bonus is counted up normally.
Tilt: Tilting the game during normal gameplay results in a loss of the current ball with no End-of-Ball bonus.
With a game configured for HARD settings on the Blue drop targets, each advance of the Red Special requires dropping all eight Blue targets within the same ball. This tends to make it difficult to light the Red Special. Collecting Red Special values via the Ramp is also not an especially easy shot. Light Red Special early, and hit the Ramp often. The Red Special is configured to award 4,000,000 points, making it a valuable shot to collect when possible. The Orange Special is configured to award an Extra Ball, making the Orange drop targets important to complete as many times as possible. Most of the other scoring is incidental to the Red and Orange specials, but the Bonus can be quite lucrative as well and advancing the Bonus Multiplier to 80X is important. Keeping the REACT flipper on the right outlane lit is critical.
Portions written by David Gersic.