Monopoly Pinball Rule Sheet


Version 1.3 – June 2002 by Jim Hicks –


Initial version: September 24, 2001

Last update: June 1, 2002


Still to do:

Verify ramp board advances and  how Land Grab is started.  Check Ripoff and regular multiball jackpot values.

Create non-Word HTML version (version 1.4), Add with pictures and hyperlinks (Version 1.5)


Contributors: Matt Young -,  Jerry Clause -,  Bowen Kerins -,  Ray Johnson, John Rhodes, Wei-Hwa Huang


This rule sheet may be freely distributed or reproduced in any form, provided the above credits remain.  Please e-mail me with any corrections or updates. 

The most current version of this rule sheet can be found at with pictures to illustrate key points or game areas.


NOTE: There may be some rule variations experienced, depending on the game software level.  This rule sheet reflects the most current rule set available (Version 3.01) and will only document major variations between software levels.  See the Software Levels section for additional details. 


For additional game play and strategy tips beyond what is in this rule sheet, see Bowen Kerins’ Monopoly excellent strategy guide at  


See my Monopoly page at for additional pictures and information on the game. 

Some additional material is available on the official Stern web page located



This document contains the following sections: 


1.      Overview

2.      Credits

3.      Artwork

4.      Goal

5.      Game Instruction Card

6.      Playfield layout and basic rule set

7.      Skill shot

8.      Ball saver

9.      Video mode

10.  Combination shots

11.  Collecting property (modes)

12.  Multiball

13.  Game Over (High Scores)

14.  Game settings (adjustments)

15.  Service Bulletins / Bugs / Game Issues / Maintenance Tips

16.  Software Levels

17.  Game Play sound bites

18.  Attract mode ticker quotes

19.  Easter Eggs

20.  Official Stern Pinball Press Release

21.  Trademarks and Legal Stuff

22.  Miscellaneous Observations


Sections 2,3 and 13-22 contain additional information on the game and are not directly related to the rule set. 




Monopoly is the first game designed for Stern Pinball by Pat Lawlor Design and features a more varied and deeper rule set than the earlier Stern offerings.  Sample games were available in September 2001, and initial shipments of production games started in October 2001. The game is bright and inviting and offers a wide variety of shots and modes. Multiple mulitball modes are available and none are of the “newbie-friendly-hit-the-flashing-shots-for-continuous-multiball” modes that have been traditionally featured on Stern pins. Fans of Pat Lawlor’s previous games will find some familiar design elements along with new ones, resulting in a clever implementation of the Monopoly board game theme. 



            Game Design:  Pat Lawlor

            Mechanical Design: John Krutsch

Game Software:  Louis Koziarz

Display Software: Greg Dunlap

Sounds & Music: Chris Granner

            Art:  John Youssi

Display Art: Kurt Andersen

            Additional Support:   Mark Galvez, Keith Johnson, Lonnie Ropp, Dwight Sullivan, Ray Tanzer

Special Thanks:  Gary Stern, Pat Schmidt




The backglass, (actually a translite), features the traditional Monopoly game board against a rich blue background, with “Mr. Monopoly” (a.k.a. Rich Uncle Pennybags) striding along the outer edge, with his cane in his right hand and the title card for Boardwalk in his left.  There is a wake of houses, hotels, money and tokens trailing behind his right foot.  To the left of his front foot, adjacent to the first Community Chest space past GO is a chest open with moneybags inside.  Two houses and a hotel partially cover the Income Tax and Reading Railroad spaces.  Two dice cover the light blue bar of Oriental Avenue, two houses on Vermont and a large race car token between St. Charles and the Electric Company.


The traditional Monopoly logo is featured at the top, with “Own it all” in italics between the logo and the top left edge of the board.  The Pat Lawlor Design logo is featured in the lower left corner and the Stern Pinball logo in the lower right hand corner. 




The playfield features a modified Monopoly game board oriented on the diagonal as the major feature on the lower half of the playfield. Mr. Monopoly appears to be climbing over the top right side of the board, with his cane in his left hand, rolling the dice with his right. 


Income and Luxury Tax, the Electric Company and Water Works and all but one of the Chance and Community Chest spaces have been removed from the playfield version of the game board, which, as a result only has 32 of the standard 40 spaces. (Compare to the standard board that is depicted on the backglass).


Smaller images of Mr. Monopoly are scattered about the playfield.  Water Works pipes are featured under the lower jet area.  The top center alley shot to the Roll & Collect lane feature two large dice over a white arrow.  There are major areas of yellow/orange, pink, green, blue, orange and light purple.  The artwork is bright and inviting and suggests the Monopoly theme very well.




The cabinet is predominately black, with crisp looking artwork.  The lockdown bar is black, as is the speaker panel.  The backglass/translite is backlit by a single fluorescent tube located slightly below the Monopoly logo.  The front has a standard coin door.  The red start button is on the upper left.  Directly below it is the GO square offset up from a red diamond.  On the right, under the plunger is a similar offset square with a picture of Mr. Monopoly pushing a wheelbarrow.  There is a Monopoly logo directly underneath the door.  To the left of the logo is Mr. Monopoly holding his cane rolling a large pinball.  In the bottom right corner, is the game slogan “Own it all”.


The side art features a colorized version of the traditional Monopoly logo, with a pinball flying away from Mr. Monopoly, as if he pushed it away.  Just above the top left of the logo is a large “Own it all.”  Below the logo for the length of the cabinet is a repeating pattern of four game icons (Water Works spigot, The cop, Electric Company light bulb, Free Parking car), linked on the diagonal by dice, across two rows.  


The head side art features the Monopoly logo at the top, drawn as if Mr. Monopoly was rolling two dice toward the viewer, over a background of alternating black and multicolored squares.  The colored squares feature Water Works, Electric Company and Railroad icons. A red border frames the checked pattern.



By default, each player starts the game with 1500 points (the same amount of money each player starts with in the Monopoly board game).  Each player moves around the Monopoly board, attempting to collect all eight of the property groups. Once all the property groups (monopolies) are obtained, LAND GRAB is started.  LAND GRAB is a timed, four ball multiball mode where the object is to build houses and hotels to acquire points.  As the game says, your goal is to own it all!


Game Instruction Card

OBJECT  Own it all  Collect as much property as possible.

SKILL SHOT  The Water Works hole collects Skill Shot

COLLECT PROPERTY  Shoot for ROLL & COLLECT when lit.  This will move you

 around the board & collect any property.  When you collect any property watch the display

 for instructions on how to play that mode.  ROLL & COLLECT is RE-LIT on RIGHT RAMP.

EXTRA BALL  Extra Ball is awarded by getting the ELECTRIC COMPANY to a higher power %.

 The upper POPS (bumpers) raise the ELECTRIC COMPANY’S power.

BONUS X   Awarded on the outer loop shots when lit or when completing the A B C lanes.

MULTIBALL  Advancing around board to GO lights LOCK. LOCK 2 balls by shooting for the

 center ramp.  Then start MULTIBALL by shooting up the RIGHT RAMP.

CASH GRAB  The LEFT RAMP closes the bank door.  Hitting the closed door spells “B-A-N-K”.  This




CHANCE  Shoot for the left CHANCE ? CARD scoop

 when lit for random awards.

HINT:  Collect all property to play LAND GRAB!


Note to Beginners:  To score better, shoot at the ( FLASHING SHOTS ) !!

  Be sure to LOOK UP at the Dot Display for instructions when possible.



Playfield layout and basic rule set


(Major playfield areas, targets or shots, more or less clockwise from the bottom center of the playfield)


OUTHOLE / FLIPPERS / BONUS – Main flippers are here in standard position, above Mr. Monopoly in a pile of money.  On games exported to the United Kingdom, Mr. Monopoly’s head is the center ball save post, activated by the second set of flipper buttons.  Standard left and right sling bumpers and inlanes. The SHOOT AGAIN lamp is directly above Mr. Monopoly’s head and five Bonus Multiplier lights (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X + Light Extra Ball), each in the side of a hotel, are arranged in a row above that.  The Bonus multiplier is advanced by completing A-B-C lanes or making outer loop shots (when lit).  This multiplier is applied to the bonus awarded at the end of each ball, which is calculated using the number of times you’ve been around the board, the number of railroads collected and the number of monopolies (property groups) owned. The minimum bonus award is 5000 points.


MONOPOLY BOARD – Animated game board, rotated 45 degrees, with the GO! space centered between the flippers, is directly above the Bonus Multiplier inserts and occupies the main open portion of the lower playfield area.  The board has fewer spaces than the board game, with only 9 spaces on a side (32 total space, rather than the normal 40). The “Income Tax”, “Electric Company”, “Water Works”, “Luxury Tax”, all but the first “Community Chest” and last “Chance” spaces are not represented.  All other property groups, railroads and the four corner spaces (GO, Jail/Just Visiting, Free Parking, and Go to Jail) are depicted as in the standard American version of the Monopoly board game.  Each space and the Chance and Community Chest card locations in the center of the board are lit and are animated as each player moves around the board.


Landing on a property scores 1000 times the listed purchase price (e.g. New York Avenue with a purchase price of $200, awards 200K points).  If the property group is unlit, the appropriate mode will start (see section below) and the entire property group will be lit (i.e. you own the monopoly).  Collect all 8 monopolies to start LAND GRAB.


Landing directly on a corner space other than GO (“JUST VISITING”, “FREE PARKING” and “GO TO JAIL”) starts a multiball mode.  See the Multiball section for additional details. 


Each time the dice are rolled, you hear the token move accompanied by a flashing light moving across the board spaces on the playfield with animation of Mr. Monopoly hopping across the dot matrix display (DMD).  The effect on the playfield is particularly well done.  The dice roll is also shown on the ELECTRIC COMPANY display.  If you watch carefully, you will notice that the dice rolls aren’t exactly random, but “rigged” to favor the player.  For example, the roll is weighed to land on a property in an unowned group if there is one within range.  If there is no unowned property group within 2 to 12 spaces, the roll will likely result in landing on an unowned railroad or one of the corner spaces (which starts the corresponding multiball mode).  And, unlike the board game, you don’t get to roll again if you roll doubles.  J



LEFT OUTLANE – Special is available here (when lit)


JAIL – Multiball lock area to the far left of the playfield.  Accessed when the left ramp diverter is active.  Balls are dropped from the ramp and physically locked here.


CHANCE and COMMUNITY CHEST  – Scoop located about 1/3 way up on the far left side of the playfield, similar to that found on Whirlwind.  There is a sign above with two sections and lamps (“COLLECT CHANCE CARD w/LIT” and “COLLECT COMMUNITY CHEST w/LIT”). When neither light is lit, shoot the scoop to collect Pocket Change (a very small random point award).




 Awards 100,000 points and one of the following awards:

·        Advance to St. Charles Place (starts Free Money)

·        Advance to New York Avenue (starts Tax Refund)

·        Advance to Illinois Avenue (starts Board Chase)

·        Advance to Pacific Avenue (awards 1M points)

·        Advance to Boardwalk (lights special)

·        Advance token to nearest Railroad

·        Bank Error in your Favor Collect (various point values)

·        Bank Pays Dividend 200,000 points

·        Building and Loan Matures Collect (various point values)

·        Collect Bonus

·        Pay each player 50,000 (points)

·        Free Parking

·        Breakout Multiball

·        Ripoff Multiball

·        Light lock

·        Light Dice Roll

·        Light Extra Ball

·        Award Water Works Bonus

·        Advance Bonus X

·        Advance 3 spaces

·        Go Back 3 Spaces

·        Cash Grab

·        All jets to max (check wording)


CHANCE is re-lit by shooting the “Free Parking” ramp.





For games with software levels lower than 2.33 (games manufactured before late October 2001):


There is no rule implemented, and consequently no scoring, for COMMUNITY CHEST.  The COLLECT COMMUNITY CHEST w/LIT light is not lit during regular game play and will only flash during light shows, multiball modes or jackpot sequences.


For games with software levels at 2.33 or above:


A rule for COMMUNITY CHEST has been implemented. 


Making the scoop shot when COLLECT COMMUNITY CHEST w/LIT is lit awards a “Land Grab Bonus” (apparently in the 100K-300K range, which may be some percentage of the Land Grab value) that is doubled for each successive successful COMMUNITY CHEST shot.  


COMMUNITY CHEST is only available after LAND GRAB has been started and after CHANCE has been lit and awarded at least once.  If you shoot an orbit shot before hitting the scoop for the award, you will relight CHANCE and the COMMUNITY CHEST award will no longer be available until the CHANCE shot is made.


COMMUNITY CHEST is not available after the last “Land Grab” ball has drained.




LEFT LOOP – “Bonus X” lamp insert is located between the scoop and the entrance to the Railroad Ramp.  This is the left loop shot, which, when made, advances the bonus multiplier value.


RAILROAD RAMP –  Located just above the orange property group on the board, the “railroad” is an open silver wire ramp that quickly returns the ball to the playfield just above the left flipper after a very sharp right turn.  This ramp shot can be made to either “Relight Jackpot” or “Advance to Next Railroad” when the corresponding light on the sign immediately above the entrance is lit.  Shooting the outer loop lights “Advance to Next Railroad”.  Collect all 4 railroads to light Railroad Multiball.  Shoot the ramp to collect jackpots in Railroad multiball.


LOWER JETS (also called the Water Works jets) – Three jet (pop) bumpers with red caps are located about mid-way up the playfield on the far left.  There is a an outer loop shot when the ball follows a path from the lower right flipper through the lower jets up and around the back of the playfield.  There is a large lamp insert “5000 when flashing” (check wording) in between the jets. Jets advance token one space for each 5 hits (operator adjustable).


“Free Parking”, upper left or SIDE RAMP – not sure what to call this one – take your pick.  This ramp is actually a second entrance located mid-way on to the center ramp, prior to the diverter.  At the top of this ramp entrance is the “Free Parking” space and yellow standup target on the far top left of the playfield.  This ramp can be made only from the upper right flipper.  Shot made advances token 3 spaces around the board and relights the CHANCE scoop.  A “Jackpot” lamp insert is located in front of this ramp (all multiball jackpot shots, other than RAILROAD multiball, are made by shooting this ramp.) 


FREE PARKING TARGET – a small yellow standup target at the top of the “Free Parking” ramp.  Hitting the yellow standup target awards the current “Free Parking” score, which starts at 75,000 points and increases by 25,000 points (for each consecutive Free Parking target hit?), and advances the “Free Parking” multiball jackpot value by 5,000 points.  (See “FREE PARKING” under the Multiball section for additional details on the jackpot value.)


UPPER JETS (also called the Electric Company jets) – Three jet (pop) bumpers with white caps are located just below the top left A B C lanes, centered around a large lamp insert labeled “5000 WHEN FLASHING”.  Jets advance token one space for each 5 hits (operator adjustable) and increases the ELECTRIC COMPANY power level.


BALL CONTROL POST –  A pop-up post located in the far top left of the playfield, just to the left of the “A” lane and just above the left loop rollover switch.  The post is raised at the start of each ball to divert a strong plunger shot into the top (ABC) inlanes rather than continuing down the left outer loop.  The post remains up for a few seconds after the initial plunger shot.  (Not sure if this post is used at other times in the game).


A B C INLANES – Three rollover lanes in the top left hand corner of the playfield.  When completed, the Bonus Multiplier is advanced and token moves 8 spaces.


“COP” (drop) TARGET – Angled slightly off-center between the Roll & Collect lane entrance and the Bank door in front of the “B” insert.  The target can be made from any of the three player controlled flippers and generally blocks shots to the Roll & Collect lane.  Hitting the target in any mode adds 5 seconds to the mode duration.  Each target hit (“COP Stop”) scores the current target value, which starts at 125,000 and increases by 25,000 for each subsequent hit to a maximum value of 250,000.


ROLL & COLLECT LANE – Located immediately to the left of the Bank door.  Ball guides direct the ball around the Bank, under the left and right ramps and into he Roll & Collect saucer.  This shot is also used to collect the Extra Ball when the Extra Ball light is lit.  A sign above the Roll & Collect lane indicates whether Roll & Collect and/or Extra Ball is available.  The ROLL & COLLECT shot is lit by shooting the right ramp.  When ROLL & COLLECT is made, the dice are rolled, the player advances on the game board the number of spaces rolled and is awarded the points for the property landed on, the monopoly itself (if not already owned) and then the corresponding mode is started

(See additional information in Modes section below).


CENTER RAMP - The center ramp, protected by the BANK vault door, has a diverter that allows the ball to be returned to either the left flipper inlane or to JAIL, where balls are locked for multiball.  “Build” and “Lock” inserts are located in front of this ramp. Shot made advances token 1 space on the board.

The BANK door is closed by shooting this ramp, except during CASH GRAB. 


RIGHT RAMP - The right ramp also has a diverter and will return the ball to either the right flipper inlane or to the shooter lane (to activate Multiball).

“Move 2” (spaces on the board), “Lite Roll”, and “Multiball” lamp inserts are located in front of this ramp.  Making the ramp shot collects award shown (lit). 


BANK VAULT – A small door that guards the primary entrance to the center ramp. The door is opened when B-A-N-K inserts directly in front of the door are lit, which then starts CASH GRAB.  Hit the door to advance letters. On default settings, the “B” letter is spotted at the start of a game and is advanced one letter per ball. The door is closed when the center (?) ramp shot is made.


ROLL & COLLECT SAUCER – Located in the upper right section of the playfield, this saucer can be made from either the shooter lane or the ROLL & COLLECT lane.


TOP RIGHT SQUARE STANDUP TARGET – This target is directly in front of the Roll & Collect saucer and immediately to the right of the right ramp entrance.  There are five awards indicated on lamp inserts in front of the target:

“Advance to GO”

“Water Bonus X”

“Power UP”

“Lite Spinner”



RIGHT SPINNER – Silver spinner on the upper right of the playfield starts the right outer loop shot, which feeds to the A B C lanes or the outer loop.  Normal spinner value is 2000 per spin, Super spinner value (when lit) is 3000 points. “Bonus X” lamp insert located in front of the spinner and indicates the beginning of the right outer loop shot, which, when made, advances the bonus multiplier).


UPPER RIGHT FLIPPER - There is a standard size flipper about halfway up the playfield on the right side (similar to the layout on Whirlwind or No Good Gofers).


LARGE  STANDUP TARGET (COP standup)  – Large yellow standup target (may be two targets) located on the right side of the entrance to the Railroad ramp entrance. Made from the upper right flipper. “COP” lamp insert located in front of these targets.  Shoot this target to raise “Cop” drop target. 


ELECTRIC COMPANY - One of the primary shots from the upper right flipper.  A small “speed bump” ramp feeds the ball into the lower jets.  Each shot into the Electric Company increases the accumulated voltage level by 5% and each subsequent jet hit raises the voltage level slightly.  “Roll & Collect” is lit at 15% and 60%, Extra Ball is lit when 30% is reached (operator selectable), and “Special” is lit at 100%.  “Super Jackpot” lamp insert is located in front the ramp.


Directly above the ELECTRIC COMPANY is a three position red LED display that is used to augment information displayed on the main DMD.  This sign is also used in attract mode to display over one hundred sometime humorous messages.  See Attract mode ticker quotes section below.


WATER WORKS SAUCER – There is a saucer immediately to the left of an entrance from the shooter lane, about 1/3 up the playfield from the plunger. A small yellow (orange on sample games) game-controlled flipper continuously rotates over the saucer and can both block the shot or clear the ball once the shot is made.   The shot can be made while the ball is in play or at the start of a ball as a skill shot.  Scoring is the same for skill shot.  (See Skill Shot below for scoring details).



Skill Shot

Monopoly features perhaps the most unique skill shot yet in a pinball game, the WATER WORKS shot. (See WATER WORKS SAUCER above).


The WATER WORKS bonus award starts at 25,000.  The Skill Shot bonus multiplier starts at 2X for the first WATER WORKS shot made and increases by 1X for each subsequent shot completion.  The value of the bonus itself is increased by hits to the water works (lower) jets. 


Once the shot has been successfully made the flipper will change speeds and directions. The shot can be harder than it looks, as you have to have both the right touch to make the shot and have timed the action of the flipper movement to be successful.


If the ball misses the entrance to WATER WORKS when launching the ball, it can make the Roll & Collect saucer or go all the way up to the A-B-C top lanes.  Unlike most skill shots, the shot can also be made while the ball is in play and successful saucer shots are scored the same as if made on a skill shot. 


Ball saver

There is a ball saver at the beginning of each ball (if 5 switches are not hit before the ball drains), a ball save when the Water Works skill shot is made (in case the ball is cleared out directly to the left outlane) and a very short ball saver when LAND GRAB is started. 


Video Mode

As in all Pat Lawlor games, there is no video mode.  After all, this is a pinball game … J


Combination Shots

At least one four-way combination shot was added in game software level 3.01. 

When made, the DMD will display “FOUR WAY COMBO” and award (unknown) points. 


The FOUR WAY COMBO shot sequence is:

-         Left Ramp

-         Center Ramp

-         Right Ramp

-         ROLL & COLLECT saucer


Collecting property groups (Modes)

When ROLL & COLLECT is lit and the shot is made, the dice are rolled and the player advances along the board (indicated by the flashing light).  After landing on an unowned property, points are awaded (1000 times the purchase price of the property) and the corresponding mode or award for that color property group is activated.  Once any property in a property group has been landed on, the entire monopoly is obtained.


Some property groups have multiple options (Purple, Green, Blue).    For example, in the Blue group, if you land on “Park Place”, EXTRA BALL is lit.  If you land on “Boardwalk”, SPECIAL is lit.  However, you may only get one or the other the same game


Collect all eight property groups (monopolies) to start LAND GRAB. (property states may get reset once LAND GRAB is reached – need to check this). 


Purple:  Lower Jets to Max or Upper Jets to Max

Just as the description implies.  All three pop bumpers in the corresponding jet group award maximum points (value?)


Light Blue:  Token Race

Your token (the race car) races the dog across the DMD display.  You advance every time a major playfield shot is made.  Winning the race awards 800,000 + 10,000 per major shot for a minimum of 870,000 (?? – check this scoring) and a race bonus of 150,000+ points.  Losing the race awards a minimum of 40,000 points.  Sparks fly if you shoot the ball into the ELECTRIC COMPANY during the mode (watch the dog!).


Violet:  Free Money

Timed mode.  Make BANK shot multiple times for Free Money.  Each shot locks a digit in the amount of cash available, shown scrolling on the ELECTRIC COMPANY ticker (thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands).  When amount displayed, shoot the Bank door to collect.

In addition to points earned, a bonus of 1 million points is awarded if you get three of a kind (e.g. 555, 666, 777, 888, or 999).

The minimum mode award is 1000 points.


Orange: Tax Refund

Starts Hurry Up mode.  Award starts at 500,000 points, and can be collected by shooting the BANK door.  This shot can be made numerous times during the mode, up to a maximum of 30 (check this) awards.  (Shots made while the animation is playing may not be awarded).  The minimum mode total is 100,000 points.


Red: Board Chase

Cop chases Mr. Monopoly around the board.  The mode starts with Mr. Monopoly saying “I’m too young to go to Jail!”  Your token starts on the “Jail” space, heading towards “Go to Jail”.  Hitting “COP” (drop) target or right standup target awards 250,000 points, increasing by 50,000 points for each subsequent hit. Each “COP Stop” increases token movement speed and changes token direction (think Clock Chaos in TZ).  Mode ends after you reach “Go to Jail” space with quote "You’ve got the wrong tycoon!".


Yellow:  Utility Overload 

Jets start at 10,000 points for each hit and increase by 5000 points with each completed ELECTRIC COMPANY or WATER WORKS shot. The minimum mode total is 100,000 points. Utility Overload can be stacked with non-multiball modes (e.g. in Utility Overload you can light and collect the dice roll (ROLL & COLLECT)).


Green:  Millions

Collect 1 Million points (Pacific), 2 Million points (North Carolina), or 3 Million points (Pennsylvania), depending on the property landed on.


Blue:  Light award

Lights “Extra Ball” if you land on Park Place or “Special” if you land on Boardwalk. 

When “Extra Ball” is lit (indicated on sign to the left of the Roll & Collect lane), shoot the Roll & Collect lane to collect.

When “Special” is lit, left and right outlanes will alternate.  Make the lit one to collect.


CASH GRAB:  Started when Bank door is opened.  Each COP target hit adds 5 seconds to the mode duration. Shoot ramps, loops, CHANCE scoop, and lit shots to collect displayed values.  Value starts at 250,000 points and increases by 25,000 points for each shot made.  If no shots are made, 100,000 points are awarded as a consolation.


LAND GRAB:  Timed (35 seconds?), four ball multiball mode.  Light Roll & Collect after all eight property groups and 4 railroads have been collected and then shoot the Roll & Collect shot to start LAND GRAB mode.  Water Works bonus is set to 7X, Lower pops score (xxx) per hit, Upper pop score (xxx) per hit, (list what else is set here).

The object is to build as many houses and hotels as possible.  Build houses by shooting the center ramp or 4 houses by shooting the “Free Parking” ramp (this also adds time to the mode).  Build a hotel by shooting the ELECTRIC COMPANY.  Advance to the next property by shooting the right ramp.  A bonus of (???) points is awarded when this mode is completed.





There are five different multiball modes – corner modes (Breakout, Free Parking, Ripoff), Railroad, and regular multiball (a.k.a Monopoly multiball).   Shooting the “Free Parking” ramp collects jackpots.


MONOPOLY – Advance token past GO to light lock (i.e. go around the board).  Lock two balls by shooting up the center ramp and then shoot the right ramp.  Ball will be diverted to the shooter lane and the autoplunger will start Multiball after a really cool animation sequence starts (A pinball rolls though the board at high speed and knocks some houses down.  A second pinball rolls left through the board knocks the dice around.  Mr. Monopoly looks left, looks right and then jumps out of the way just as the two pinballs collide at the spot where he was standing).

The jackpot starts at 1 Million points and increases by ??? with each Jackpot shot made.  Shoot Railroad ramp to enable Super Jackpot.  Make the ELECTRIC COMPANY shot to collect Super Jackpo, which scores 2 Million points.


BREAK OUT – Started when you land on “Just Visiting”.  Jackpot starts at 400,000 and increases by 50,000 (??) points for each Jackpot.


FREE PARKING – Jackpot starts at the current “Free Parking” value.  This value starts at 100,000 points is increased by 5,000 points each time the Free Parking standup is hit during game play.  This value is game-specific and rolls over game to game, increasing to a maximum value of 500,000 points.

Collect Jackpot by hitting Free Parking target.  Relight the Jackpot by shooting Railroad ramp (verify). The “Free Parking” value resets to 100,000 when multiball ends.


RAILROAD – Collect all 4 railroads to light.  Collect 250,000 Jackpot by shooting Railroad Ramp (increases by ?? for each subsequent RR multiball).  Lighting subsequent Railroad Multiballs requires an increasing number of  railroads owned (check this).


RIPOFF – Started when “Go to Jail” is landed on.  Releases (“rips off”) any locked balls from Jail.  Jackpot starts at 400,000 points and increases by 50,000 points for each collected Jackpot.  


Game Over (High Scores)


When all players have completed their games, the game moves to Game Over mode.  Unless the operator has disabled them, credits are awarded for each player whose last two score digits match the game selected numbers display. 


Operator adjustable credits may also be awarded if any player achieves one of the top 4 high scores.  By default, 3 high score characters may be entered for each of the top 10 high scores.  During the entry process, a fireworks display is shown on the Electric Company display.  After characters are entered, “USE FLIPPER BUTTONS TO CHOOSE YOUR TOKEN.  PRESS START BUTTON TO CONFIRM” is displayed and the player can select from one of the following:


·        Boat

·        Thimble

·        Money Bag

·        Iron

·        Cannon

·        Dog

·        Horse and Rider

·        Boot

·        Hat

·        Wheelbarrow

·        Racecar



The selected token will appear to the right of the characters/initials entered whenever that high score is displayed.  The top three high scores are displayed during each attract sequence.  The remaining high scores are displayed periodically during the attract sequence.


If you do not have an opportunity to select a token after you enter your high score characters, the game most likely does not have display software at Version 3.01 or higher.  (Note that some early production games shipped with a level of display software that supported token entry, so it’s also possible that the display code is back level.  CPU and DISPLAY code levels are displayed on the DMD when the game is first turned on.)


If no initials are entered or if there is no token selected with a high score entry, the PLD logo will be displayed instead of a Monopoly token.




Game settings (adjustments) notes

The game software allows an operator to make many adjustments for game play settings.  Some of these are generic (e.g. “Free Play”) and some are specific to Monopoly.  These are fully documented in the Monopoly manual (Stern part number 780-5075-00 in pages 34-42.  They will not all be documented here, but some of the more common ones (especially those that may be of interest to home users) are noted here.  For typical home use, consider using the “Film Star” setting from the adjustment menu.  This sets “Game Difficulty” to EASY and “Free Play” to YES.


Adjustment 33: Free Play. 

Default is NO.


Adjustment 34: Custom message


Adjustment 41: Tournament Mode

            Default is NONE.  Can be set to NONE, IFPA, EXPO, PAPA or HOME.  This setting adjusts multiple settings to establish a tournament mode.

                        NONE – same as factory reset

                        IFPA – Straight 50 cents play, no replay, no extra balls, no high scores, no match, 2 tilt warnings

                        EXPO or PAPA – same as IFPA, except that “Free Play” is set to YES.

HOME – Sets game for Free Play, Extra Ball play (i.e. Special awards Extra Ball), No replays, 10% match and 30% Extra Ball (i.e. an Extra Ball will be made available to players approximately 30% of the time).

            NOTE: Setting any of the above adjustments will also reset game audits


Adjustment 50: Bank Difficulty

            Default is MODERATE, can be set to EXEASY, EASY, MODERATE, HARD, EXHARD


Adjustment 52: Bonus X Difficulty



Adjustment 55: Electric Company difficulty



Adjustment 56: B-A-N-K letters

            Default is 01, can be set between 00-04.  Determines how many bank letters are spotted at the beginning of the game.


Adjustment 58: Pops hits to move token

            Default is 05, can be set to 00?-06.  Indicates how many pop bumper hits are required to move player 1 space on the game board.


Adjustment 63: Electric Company  Extra Ball at %

Default is 30, can be set between 20-80. Specifies the required percentage necessary to light Extra Ball in Electric Company “Increase Power” mode.



Service Bulletins / Bugs / Game Issues / Maintenance Tips


There are a number of official Service Bulletins release by Stern that apply to Monopoly.  These are available in PDF files available on the Stern service page, which can be found at


Of the bulletins listed below only number 131 should be considered critical, though all should be reviewed to determine if the information is applicable to your game.


Number 135 - Optional MONOPOLY Butyrate Fix Kit

Number 133 - CPU/Soundboard Modification Low Volume Setting Hum

Number 131 – Electric Company Sign / Backbox J2 Harness re-dress

Number 130 – Tips and Tricks: The Water Works Rotating Flipper

Number 129 – MONOPOLY Playfield Mylar

Number 126 – The Bubble Level is Back !undboard Modification Low Volume Setting Hum


The remainder of this section documents credible, reported suspected software bugs, prevalent maintenance issues and fixes if known.  Additional information on other changes can be found in the Software Levels section below.



Number of railroads collected is displayed incorrectly after 9 railroads have been collected.


The number of railroads collected in displayed in hexadecimal (10 displayed as “A”, 11 as “B”). 


This is a known bug, which does not affect game play or scoring in any way.



Use of HOME setting disables most CHANCE awards:


When Adjustment 41 is set to HOME, making the CHANCE scoop when lit will only award one of three CHANCE cards, each of which is worth 200,000 points. 


This is a known bug in the handling of tournament rules and is fixed in software level CPU V3.01.  To correct the problem when running earlier versions of the software, take the following actions:

Reset to game to the factory defaults

Set Free Play to YES

Set Match to 10%

Set Extra Ball to 30%

Set Replay award to “Extra Ball”.



First shot to Roll & Collect saucer after game is powered on takes two attempts for the ball to kick out:


The first time a ball lands in the Roll & Collect saucer after the game has been powered on, the game takes two attempts to clear the ball.  The game  will make a sound as if it’s clearing the ball from the saucer, but nothing happens.  After about a second, the sound will be heard again and the coil will kick the ball out.


Subsequent Roll & Collect saucer shots are not affected.


This is a known issue.  It appears to happen less frequently when running game software level CPU V3.01 and above.



Roll & Collect saucer doesn’t clear under some circumstance(s):


Make the skill shot, followed by a shot to the upper right saucer (Roll & Collect). Game plays a small animation.  Game made a sound (e.g. trying to eject the ball from the saucer) and flashed the red Flash Lamp above the saucer, but the coil didn't kick out the ball. 


Condition is corrected (i.e. the ball is kicked out) by slam tilting or resetting the game.


This is a known bug and has been fixed in game software level CPU V2.30 and above.



Ball gets stuck in CHANCE scoop:


This is a known bug and has been fixed in game software level CPU V2.30 and above.




There is a noticeable hum when the game is operating:


There is a “fish tank” type-hum heard when the game is operating in fairly quiet locations, most notably in home game rooms.  This was covered in detail on the newsgroup in early 2002.  For those willing and able to perform a minor change on their sound board, the following has been reported to significantly improve the situation:


“The best combination of resistance can be achieved by connecting the following in parallel (DO NOT put them in series) with the existing resistors that are already on the board. This seems to be the best compromise between idle noise and maintaining the original factory sound, though does not completely eliminate the background noise.”

            To the existing R106 (backbox speakers), add 10-15Kohm

To the existing R110 (bass cabinet speaker), add 40-47Kohm


Others have added a 4.7K @ 106 and 33K @ 110 to the back of the board.

Note: The manual schematic shows that both are 22K ohms, but some games were shipped from the factory with 10K in R110, and 22K in R106.


(See additional detail and information here: )


Note: Subsequent to the development of the fix mentioned above, Stern issued a service bulletin that recommends a 10K ¼ watt resistor at R106 and a 22K ¼ watt resistor at R110.


This was a design consideration.  See Service Bulletin 133 for the official Stern recommendation regarding this situation.



The COMMUNITY CHEST light never lights during regular game play:


The “Collect Community Chest w/lit” lamp at the scoop is never lit during regular game play.  Early versions of the game ROM did not have a rule for COMMUNITY CHEST, so the lamp could never be lit nor an award collected.

This was a design consideration. A rule has been implemented in game software level CPU V2.33 and above.



Ramp shots are not made or air balls result when balls enter the middle or right ramps.


This is caused by high ball velocity and is more common on the center ramp.  It generally occurs when the ball hits the switch assembly or center gate and is more noticeable on new games or those recently cleaned.  This is not currently considered an issue by Stern pinball engineering and should be less common once a game “breaks in”. 

This was a design consideration.  See Service Bulletin 135 for information on the official butyrate kit to address this.


This situation can be prevented by installing ramp covers to prevent balls from lifting off the center or right ramps.  Before Stern decided to issue a Service Bulletin and an official fix-kit to address this problem, Todd George designed ramp covers that can be installed without any modifications to the game as shipped from Stern (i.e. the solution does not require any additional holes to be drilled in any part of the machine and it is completely reversible.)  See further details and fabricating instructions at 


These can be also be purchased as part of an after-market kit.  See for additional details and ordering information.


(In my opinion, since the Stern kit requires drilling, the after-market kit is the better option, though both solve the problem effectively.)



Fuse F21 (50V solenoids) blows


This is not known to be a common problem, though there have been reports of fuse F21 blowing.  When this happens, the game was tilted and the ball was stuck in the Chance/Community Chest scoop.


If this occurs, look under the playfield at the Chance/Community Chest metal scoop assembly. In one reported case, the edges of the scoop assembly were physically touching the exposed end of the lamp sockets for the feature lamps under the purple properties (States Ave) and light blue properties (Connecticut Ave). The lamp sockets lightly touched the scoop intermittently in two different places causing fuse F21 to blow. You may see char marks on the scoop assembly.  A piece of electrical tape can be placed over the sockets involved as a temporary fix.




Software levels

All rule sheet information based on the most current code levels:














Voice 1




Voice 2




Voice 3









For additional information on current game ROMs, see

To download a zip files with the ROM images, see


When updating game software you may have to update both the game software and the display software, depending on the level of code available at the time your game was produced.  At this time, there are no updates to the sound code. 


BEFORE YOU REPLACE THE CHIP(s), take note of the location and direction of the notch in the chip(s) involved.  Each notch on a replacement ROM must have the same orientation as the one on the chip it replaces.  For a comprehensive, illustrated overview of how to replace ROM chips, please see Ray Johnson’s “ROM Chip Replacement Instructions” page at -  make sure to read both sections.


If you do not have the ability to burn chips, updated ROMs can be obtained from your distributor or many pinball dealers, including Action Pinball.

See for additional information.


For the best Monopoly experience, you should run the latest level of software in your machine. 



Software Release 3.01 – February 5, 2002


NOTE: Proper function of this software level requires that the Display ROM level 3.01 or higher be installed


* Player can now choose a token in high score to date (HSTD) entry

* Added some speech to Token Race mode.

* Added quick ball saver activated if Water Works sends the ball out the left outlane

* Fixed bug where installing Home installed tournament settings.

* Fixed extra ball show when replay is set to EB

* Fixed stray lamp glitch on ROLL AND COLLECT lamp

* Fixed some glitches in HSTD entry sounds

* Fixed A-B-C inlane lamps and award effects

* Fixed bug where Water Works flipper would sometimes freeze

* Fixed Chance so only one Special lamp is lit when “Advance to Boardwalk” awarded

* Restored missing BALL SAVED messages and speech

* Disabled flipper buttons during ball search at Game Over

* Changed broken coil messages to be consistent with those listed in the manual

* Improved coil drivers for bank to prevent coil and fuse F21 from overheating

* Fixed credit handlers to be friendly to a $5 bill acceptor

            * Updated coin tables for proper Euro coin support


Display ROM (level 3.01) – January 29, 2002

* Required updates to support Version 3.x game code


Software Release 2.51 – November 13, 2001 


* Fixed Tilt handling during Land Grab

* Fixed Breakout and Ripoff Multiball score displays

* Improved broken dice eject and lockup detection and handling

* Fixed hotel display in Land Grab

* Improved speech during Match

* Improved ball search to jiggle Cop target

* Fixed interaction between Chance and the quick multiballs.



Software Release 2.50 – November 8, 2001 


* New dispatch edge routines should help do a better job of knowing which edge they are really on and help fix the missing coin problem.

* Stopped ball lock and dice eject fail messages if the door is open.  The device is probably working, just powered off!

* Fixed tilt handlers to correctly handle tilts when bonus is underway.  Music would improperly update and tilt would hang forever if a ball was in the lock.                                   


Software Release 2.41 - October 29, 2001 


* Fixed gaff problem in left outlane

* Entering initials show on LED also



Software Release 2.40 - October 25, 2001


* Fixed coin switch debounce problem to prevent coins from being missed.

* Custom message now also displayed on Electric Company sign.

* Fixed Free Parking multiball jackpot to score correctly

* Fixed dice roll display on LEDs to match display.

* Fixed player carryover problems with Land Grab Bonus

* Fixed plunger to kick ball away at multiball start.

* Fixed property count for post-Land Grab play

* Fixed "award all players" card scoring in Chance.

* Changed Land Grab to move player to next unfilled property instead of just the next property when the right ramp is made.

* Fixed bug in A-B-C carryover between players

* Fixed rare crash in dice roll eject lane.

* Improved waterworks flipper compensation code

* Improved ball search to prevent ball from getting stuck behind bank door at the start of a ball.



Display ROM (level 2.06) - October 19, 2001

* Added correct release version (no other changes from 2.05 level.  Remaining changes are in level 2.05)

* Added Spanish text

* Fixed text in German coil list

* Fixed custom pricing bug where custom pricing adjustments were not displayed correctly

* Added bonus for Land Grab



Software Release 2.36 - October 12, 2001 

* Improved performance of waterworks motor when the gearbox is not performing to factory specifications.



Software Release 2.33 - October 11, 2001

* Improved waterworks flipper action

* Fixed handling of dice eject kickout

* Fixed crash when player hits three-of-a-kind in Free Money mode

* Fixed team player scoring in attract

* Improved TILT handling

* Fixed crash that could occur when difficulty set to HARD

* Added rule for Community Chest.

* Special now awards 500K points.

* Added self-test at game power up for lockup and dice eject

* Restored missing Special lamp in Land Grab.

* Adjusted Cash Grab scoring to be more consistent with other game scoring (no change from level 2.31 noticed)

* Improved tournament rules


Display ROM (level 2.03) – October 11, 2001

* fixed team scoring display while game is in attract mode

* Removed  the token from the high score table  (see above – this is back in Display level 3.01)


Software Release 2.31 - October 8, 2001

* (changes unknown)


Software Release 2.20  - October 2, 2001

* Choreography of lightshows, f/x

* Chance bug fixed that correctly returns balls back into play

* Land Grab bug fixed (flippers temporarily lock up)

* Fixed bug in Railroad multiball that occurred when awarded from Chance

* other minor tweaks


Display ROM (level 2.02) – October 2, 2001

*minor tweaks, diagnostic mini-menu bugs in Dr. Pinball


Software Release 2.03 - September 17, 2001

* New default replay %, match %, starting replay level

* replay bug fixed that cleared audit when viewing replay adjustment

* added flipper motor speed adjustment based upon country

* fixed Land Grab variable/flag that wasn't cleared at game start

* added phone support


Display ROM

* removed some accents in diagnostics, shortened some text to fit on screen

* added phone support


Software Release  1.10 - September 12, 2001

*Initial release for sample games.



Game play sound bites


All speech present in the game is recorded by Mr. Monopoly.  Some of the Mr. Monopoly quotations featured during game play are listed below. 


Start of game: “Own it all”, “Be a tycoon – like me!”, “I want to be a millionaire!”


Skill Shot: “Very skillful!”


When Roll is made by shooting the Electric Company: “Owning property never goes out of style” or “Let’s Roll!”


During Token Race: various quotes, including “If you can’t beat them, buy them!”


Starting Board Chase: “I’m too young to go to Jail!”

Ending Board Chase: “You’ve got the wrong tycoon!”


If you don't shoot the ball for a while  (mini DMD also says "Let's go!"):

“Time is Money”

“Let's Go!”


End of game: “Bye Bye Now” (a.k.a. buh-buy now)


Match: Congratulations!


Drain through the outlanes: “Uh oh!”


When ball save is activated: “Don’t Move!”, “Stay Right There!”, or “Stay Right There, Old Chum!”


There are various instructions during individual modes.



Attract mode ticker quotes

            There are over 100 quotes that scroll by on the ELECTRIC COMPANY display in attract mode, including the following:


·        “The ELECTRIC COMPANY keeps the Bank safe from Safe Crackers”

·        “Become Lost in a Zone – Play Pinball.”

·        “Game tip – collect all property to play LAND GRAB”

·        “NASDAQ +230  DOW JONES +410 … We Wish”

·        “Never Panic”

·        “A Jackpot a day keeps boredom away”

·        “Hey, it’s only Pinball”

·        “The future of Solar Electricity is Bright”

·        “This sign is fun to watch”

·        “Did you know famous people play MONOPOLY?”

·        “Take a Chance – Play MONOPOLY”

·        “Boardwalk, Park Place … Not just for rich folks”

·        “The ball is always wild”

·        “How many messages does this sign have, anyway?”

·        “Electric Company reports POWER ON in game”

·        “Did you know that RACECAR spelled backwards is RACECAR?”

·        “Pinball is the only 3D game”

·        It's not whether you win or lose.... it's how you play MONOPOLY!

·        Glowing romantic!

·        Game tip ... collect all property to play LAND GRAB!

·        Volts...Ohms...Current...confused?  Us too!

·        Pinball is sooooo coool!

·        Play this game to use electricity

·        Get out of jail free!... Play MONOPOLY!

·        Electric power is as close as your wall

·        FYI... Monopoly was first sold in 1935!

·        FYI... Boardwalk is schlossallee in germany!

·        Roll and Win with MONOPOLY

·        pinball... a real game of skill

·        FYI... Charles B. Darrow designed Monopoly...

·        Amaze yourself … Play MONOPOLY

·        Do these messages frighten you?

·        Play with property like the rich folks... Play MONOPOLY!

·        Never give up on your last ball.... until it drains

·        Insert coins now

·        Game tip.... don't let the ball drain....

·        Feel the thrill of an extra ball

·        How much fun can you stand?... Play MONOPOLY!

·        Flip out!... Play pinball!

·        Own a railroad.... Play MONOPOLY!

·        This is not a real presentation of a simulated video game

·        Now... is this a great game or what?

·        It is 78 degrees... somewhere

·        Rolling blackouts possible

·        Be a tycoon... Play MONOPOLY

·        Have you played MONOPOLY pinball today?

·        Insert coins... Press start… Live the adventure!

·        Make new friends... then beat them playing MONOPOLY ...

·        Game tip... Shoot the center ramp while playing CASH GRAB

·        Get out of jail free!... Play MONOPOLY

·        Finally... the last message... until the next one ..

·        Electric power can be a hair drier or a hair raiser

·        MONOPOLY pinball.... who would have thought it possible?

·        Whack a steel ball! ... Play MONOPOLY pinball!

·        Flip out!... play pinball!

·        MONOPOLY pinball.... not vaporware!

·        FYI... MONOPOLY players start with 1500 dollars!

·        Power is where you find it

·        FYI... Boardwalk is Paseo del prado in Italy

·        FYI... Boardwalk is Mayfair in the U.K.!

·        Mr. Monopoly...what a guy!

·        Own property!...   Collect rent!...  Fling a steel ball!...

·        Pinball... yesterday, today, tomorrow....

·        Quick!... Count the lit dots in this sign!

·        Pinball and MONOPOLY... Two wonderful originals!

·        We're back!

·        Electric power is as close as your wall

·        Pinball rocks

·        Game tip.... don't let the ball drain...

·        Boardwalk is a "Special" place!

·        The Electric Company  ... not just another utility!

·        If this sign is blank you cannot read this

·        Game tip... light extra ball by raising the Electric Company power



Easter Eggs

There are some flipper codes (“easter eggs”) active in the production level of the software.  These can be entered at any time during attract mode.


Flipper code

Shows on DMD display

2R 7L 1R 4L 1R 4L 1R

Sound and light show with display of  Monopoly design credits

11L 1R 10L 1R 5L 1R 14L 1R

Reverse video display of  a paperboy with an Extra Edition and text “ALL YOUR BASE BELONG TO US”


There may be more flipper codes – if you find them, please let me know.  Note that there are some flipper codes that are “red herrings” and sound good, but don’t do anything (for example, any that you can read in the display code <g>).


There may also be some combination of shots, play, score or some combination of those that allow a player to find “THE GOLDEN THIMBLE” and possibly receive a T-shirt, Coffee Mug, Backglass, Jacket or Grand Prize by following instructions displayed on the DMD.   If you ever receive a message related to the golden thimble in game play, please let me know!


Official Stern Pinball Press Release


September 19, 2001 - MONOPOLY®, the best-selling board game of all-time is now the hottest pinball machine on the boardwalk. Brought to you by Stern Pinball, Inc., Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) and Pat Lawlor Design, the MONOPOLY pinball is designed by Pat Lawlor and his team of mechanical and programming engineers. Pat Lawlor has designed some of the most famous titles in the history of pinball, including The Addams Family®, Twilight Zone®, Funhouse™, Whirlwind®, and Earthshaker™. These machines, even today, consistently rank among the top earners on both the RePlay and Play Meter Pinball Polls. This MONOPOLY-themed game is made in the great tradition of these classic pinball machines


The MONOPOLY game has a grand history. In 1934, during the height of the United States' Great Depression, Charles Darrow sold his board game to Parker Brothers (now a part of Hasbro), who in turn brought it to the public. Within a year, MONOPOLY became the best-selling board game in the country. The MONOPOLY game has since sold an estimated 200 million copies in 80 countries, and has been produced in 26 languages. Stern Pinball, Hasbro, and Pat Lawlor Design are proud that the MONOPOLY game is now their newest pinball machine title.


Some of the MONOPOLY pinball machine's classic features include: an Electric Company billboard, a bi-directional, rotating mini-flipper in the Water Works, and a Ride on the Railroad ramp. Also, you can take a lesson from MR. MONOPOLY and break the Bank, start the cash grab, and shoot the upper ramps for big MONOPOLY points. The goal of the MONOPOLY pinball machine is to move your piece around the game board, collect properties, and lock balls. When you pass GO, multi-ball will start and you can become the millionaire you've always dreamed of being!


The MONOPOLY pinball machine also features an outstanding art package by John Youssi, fantastic sounds and music by Incredible Technologies, and the voice of MR. MONOPOLY, who makes all sales final.


Pat Lawlor says, "We have designed an outstanding street piece with a timeless theme that should be a strong earner for a long time to come." 


"We're very excited to have Pat Lawlor designing this pinball," adds Gary Stern. "We really feel that this will be our biggest game yet."


To get your MONOPOLY pinball machine, contact your nearest Stern Pinball distributor.  Visit Stern's website at for more information on Stern Pinball.


The MONOPOLY pinball machine will begin shipping in October 2001.



Trademarks and Legal Stuff


"FUNHOUSE", "ROADSHOW" and "WHIRLWIND" are trademarks of Williams Electronics Games, Inc.

"THE ADDAMS FAMILY" is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation

"THE TWILIGHT ZONE" is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc.


“Own it all”, MONOPOLY, the distinctive design of the game board, the four corner squares, the Mr. Monopoly name and character, as well as each of the distinctive elements of the board and the playing pieces are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. for its property trading game and game equipment.



Miscellaneous Observations


Most of the following observations were originally posted on the USENET group and are listed here in chronological order, with the exception of the first item, an interview with MONOPOLY designer Pat Lawlor.  Minor editing has been done on some comments to improve formatting or to clarify the intent.



Stern Pinball Newsletter, Issue #1  (October 30, 2001)


The following interview is excerpted from the first issue of the Stern Pinball newsletter


STERN NEWS: Pat, what led you to become a pinball designer?


PAT LAWLOR: I had been working in the coin-op business since 1980 when I was hired by a group that was part of Bally to do video games.  That lasted until the industry's video collapse in 1984. In 1986,  I met one of Williams' premier software designers, Larry DeMar, and we built a prototype for what was to become Banzai Run.  Larry sold the idea to Williams and I began my career as a pinball designer at that point.


SN: What do you feel are some of the key elements that go into making a great pinball machine?


PL: Great coin-op games by definition are those [that] collect the most money for their operators.  Everything we do is designed to enhance the player's experience so that he is willing to spend as much time as possible with the game. The game MUST be challenging, but not intimidating. It must also be accessible so that a great deal of time need not be spent learning its basic elements.  Once those elements are learned, however, the game must have enough depth to earn for its operator for an extended period. All of this is a balancing act that is carried out with the goal of a fun game that hopefully translates into a strong collecting career for the piece.


SN: Having been the designer of such classic hits as The Addams Family® and Twilight Zone®, how would you characterize the MONOPOLY pinball?  Is this a continuation of your past work or is the MONOPOLY pinball something new altogether? 


PL:  Everything that is done in pinball is a continuation of the games that have come before. [Pinball] has been in its current form, more or less, for 50+ years. I have been lucky enough to work with and learn from some of the pinball greats.  People like Steve Kordek, Steve Ritchie, Larry DeMar, and others. So yes, MONOPOLY pinball is a continuation of mine and other peoples work.


SN: Could you tell us a little bit about your newest game, MONOPOLY pinball?


PL: It isn't often that a game designer has the opportunity to do a variation on a classic theme.  MONPOLY pinball allowed us to do a three-dimensional representation of the items contained in the MONOPOLY board game. Railroads, the utilities, rolling the dice, and the very concept of passing GO are all included on our pinball machine.  The challenge in the design of the game was to keep the game simple enough for a casual player, yet deep enough for the dedicated street player. We think we have accomplished that to a large degree.  The shots and rules are such that just shooting the ball around the   playfield will start various fun things. But to be really good at the game a player must come back again.  This translates to strong earnings for an operator. It was an honor to design for the MONOPOLY license and we hope that players have as much fun playing as we did making the game.


SN: Thank you Pat for taking the time to speak with us and much success with MONOPOLY pinball and any other future projects you have in store.


PL: Well thank you for this opportunity to speak with you and everyone in the pinball community.




Matt Young,   (October 4, 2001)


“Initial impressions:  Great looking playfield, I wish the cabinet art was sharper, but it's still quite good.  The game is *fun* --  I'm really anxious to play more.  Took a peek under the playfield, I was surprised by the amount of wiring - I got used to the nice Williams PCBs for lamps that are in strips, but it looks like individual wires are run to each 555. GI is bright, flashers are at times *very* bright, and there's some really interesting software stuff going on with brightness levels on them.  *Very cool* Sound is great, music is great.  There's a little too much car honking :)


Had one ball get "lost" in the chance/community chest scoop, ball search couldn't find it.  (Seemed like the only ball search was the bank door).   But, with rev 1.0 of the software I'm sure all this stuff will be corrected soon.  [Note – this has been corrected in subsequent releases].  Also, the 2x I got multiball to start, I got awarded a jackpot immediately and don't think I did anything to earn it.  Could be a switch problem.


People have commented on some build elements seeming 'cheap.'  On some level I have to agree... the ball arch is plastic, the flipper coils were uncovered, some wires along ramps with no sheathing.  But I'm not disappointed by that - if Stern puts its money where it counts (designing great, fun, reliable games) and cutting little corners like this will enable them to do it better, go to it.  I think they're doing the right thing.


This game should earn money - It's bright and appealing to look at, fun to play even if you don't know what you're doing.  Seems deep, too... love the mini-dmd and the air the ball catches out of the electric company.  Though I am surprised the at the end of the game the guy says something like 'bye bye' rather than 'why not try again?'  Seems the he wants you to leave or something. Anyway, very minor criticisms aside (I do miss animated backglass lighting), this game is great.”


Bowen Kerins  (


“I was very impressed by Monopoly.  It's hard to pinpoint why I like it; it is a solidly built game with good flippers, fun shots, interesting things to do (and lots of them), and the little touches that make a good game great.  In my opinion, it is Stern's best game yet (although I have not played enough High Roller Casino to decide for sure).  I don't feel that the game is as innovative as many Lawlor games, but considering the state of pinball today, it makes sense.  The rotating flipper is certainly innovative.


Game play involves moving around the board, and lighting and scoring "Roll & Collect"; this awards property and starts rounds.  A separate ramp awards railroads, and there are several other things to play for, including a bank vault and a saucer hole protected by a rotating flipper.  If you're more interested in rules and scoring strategies, I will be putting together a bare-bones rule sheet soon (before Expo).


One of the nice things about this game is the homage to previous Pat Lawlor games, including certain aspects of game play.  One round is very similar to Clock Chaos from Twilight Zone; one round is very similar to Cart Attack from No Good Gophers; the main multiball is similar to that of Funhouse and Addams Family, and a final finished-all-the-rounds round reminiscent of Road Show.  It also borrows quality elements of some other games, particularly the "More Time" feature used in Tommy (and other games).


One cool feature is the Electric Company message board, basically a dot matrix display on the playfield.  It displays tips and animations, dice rolls, and the remaining time during a round.  The sign is very well integrated into play, and pretty informative.  If you see a Monopoly on location, PLEASE watch the Electric Company sign during attract mode.  You'll laugh, many times.


Mechanically, the game I played wasn't perfect.  The Electric Company kickout started to need several kicks after a while, and shots to the hole were rejected fairly frequently.  The "Roll & Collect" light was out, which made it difficult for me to figure out how to get property.  The ball would occasionally hang up during a skill shot.  The Bank door sometimes blocked the center ramp, especially annoying during multiball (even more annoying during the final mode, Land Grab).  Still, there was nothing major broken, and the flippers felt more solid than on other Stern games; perhaps this is only due to the design of the ramps, which are low risers.  I think it's more difficult to shoot the center ramp on Gophers than any ramp on this game.”



Jeff Newton,  (October 11, 2001):



“I have TZ... it ain't no TZ.  As Lawlor pins go, I call this a "sweet spot".  It's pretty fast... actually very fast with the fresh playfield and strong flips.  You get a few moments to glance up at the DMD, but they're gonna have to be quick.  The Ramp placement is just awesome.  I love the upper flipper -- a reverse of the Player Piano shot in the middle, with an added left ramp shot that is pretty much like NGG's.


This one has elements of alot of Lawlor's tricks.  Funhouse really comes to mind.. the pace of that game is felt in this one... Things are close and far away.  You get punished for GREEEEEEEEDy shots like you do in TZ.  There's some really tight and accurate shots to the upper right side of the PF that you get good advancement out of the rules.


I know that [sound] is the most "unknown" element of this game right now.  Let me say that PLD did a GREAT job on the sounds.  They're very clever.  There are some fun little sound bytes of classic arcade games and vids in this one.  Plus when the ball is in the upper pop bumpers, the bass really kicks in.  The music is fun and very easy to listen to.  NOTHING is annoying, I haven't even latched onto a "catch phrase" yet except the big production before "CASH GRAB"


Anyone who's on the [fence] needs to play it.  This game has "Instant appeal" for everyone who walks up to it.  The kids can whack the ball around and get some good response out of it.  The player can really engage with the game and push their skills -- and NOT be insulted by the youthful theme.


Thanks so much to PLD and STERN for pushing the envelope again, and putting out a FUN and ENTERTAINING game!!  Great great stuff.  Play one if you ever get a chance.


Watch my website”



Louis Koziarz  (October 13, 2001)


In response to a comment regarding the lack of artwork on the MONOPOLY ramps:


“Pat hasn't put artwork on ramps in a long time, if ever.  I know for a fact Road Show, Safecracker, No Good Gofers didn't have any decals on the ramps.  I think it's visually nicer to have undecorated ramps rather than decals that will only make dirty ramps look worse after 6 months of operator neglect.


As for the lamp boards, we inquired into making a printed circuit board for the lower part of the Monopoly playfield, but the tooling costs and per-piece cost of the PC boards was way too high.  Stern buys the IDC lamp connectors (with integrated diodes) in bulk and gets a great price on them, so the decision was made to use a low-cost butyrate lamp socket holder and then put a little extra fixed labor cost into building the subassembly instead of the higher cost lamp boards.


These kinds of decisions happen all the time in game design and they all happen for a reason.  The money we saved on the lamps below allowed us to put the mini-DMD into the game budget, which I think gives a lot more bang for the buck than a single-connector lamp board. You never need to remove the entire assembly to change a lamp, so I think the difference in maintenance time is a wash for the operator. Everyone wins.


Like Pat said in his talk yesterday at Pinball Expo, you gotta live long enough to play again another day.  Cutting a few corners here and there is kind of the way we need to get along until pinball comes back again and we're all happy guys.  You can't expect a Twilight Zone anymore, sorry.


If the only complaints people have about Monopoly (from reading the net) is a few missing decals and switch covers, I think I can live with that.”


-         Louis



“metallic”  (October 15, 2001)



“Just played a friend's Monopoly fresh out of the box.. figured I'd share my thoughts on the game.  I only played about a half-dozen games.. a few decent ones, a few stinkers, then finished with a nice 33M GC :) Also watched many games played by others.


Overall, I was very happy with it.  The game is EXCITING to play.. which to me makes for a fun pin. If I had the money right now I'd probably get

one. If the run lasts long enough (into next year maybe) I still may get one NIB. Very fun game.  Breakdown:


Art is nice overall.. quality stuff and fits the theme great.  Two areas of the playfield seem rather bare: the yellow area in the jets, and the light green drain area, but from the position of the player, they're pretty much hidden, so no problem - you only notice if you're staring straight down on the game. The black lettering on the inserts seemed light.. almost grey..  maybe the first batch of playfields had a lighter than normal black ink applied?


Ruleset is VERY nice.. There always seemed to be at least a couple things to shoot for, and the awards and modes were creative and fun to play.  There seems to be decent stack possibilities as well. I didn't get Land Grab (was 2 groups away) but I did see most of the modes.. fun stuff here. The rulesheets that have ben posted recently give a good description of the rules.


Playfield is laid out very well.. Nice, unique feel.. this is no AFM/MM/MB/AP clone.. Has a bit of Whirlwind/NGG feel, but definitely stands out on it's own. Shots flowed well.. the close proximity of posts on the left combined with the deep shots on the right gives nice variation, and the railroad ramp in place of a saucer really livens things up on the lower playfield.. balls comimg off this require very fast reflexes. Lots of jet action as well.


Sound is MUCH better than I expected.  PLD has *almost* matched WMS DCS sound quality..  you can still barely notice a slight "raspiness" of the

voices, but again, barely.  Music is very good.. sounds like 30's style tunes. One tune seemed to have bits of TZ's Fast Lock in it.. not sure if coincidence or design.  Lots of cool little quotes, and they're used very well in context (none of the old sega "say the same thing over and over" stuff here). When things get going, the music and sounds really help build the excitement level.


Lots of flasher usage.. I thought I'd read someone post they thought the flashers were underutilized on the proto game, but this version (cpu 2.2 I believe) has a very nice lightshow... just as good as any other Lawlor game I've played.  Lamp matrix is done very well.. nice attract mode tricks on the gameboard :)


Mechaincs were good.. flippers are strong and pretty much WMS quality. Slapsaves, drop-catches and the dead-stop tricks all were happening just as well as a WMS game.  Slings still felt "Sega-ish" but were adequate. Jet bumpers had excellent action (accompanied by great sound effects). There are definitly problems keeping the balls on the ramps.. fast shots would launch out, bounce around and come back. I'd expect some kind of ramp cover to make an appearance soon enough.. if not, this should be easily remedied with a bit of clear lexan fastened over the twin ramp entrances.  Lots of ball-hopping around.. it's a lively playfield. Got one ball stuck on a small plastic near the Chance hole. No skillshot problems, but did have the "1st ball in the roll-and-collect hole = no kickout" issue for a bit.. game eventually kicked though.


Misc:  Dots are on par with any WMS game.  Very cool animations.. Mini-DMD pretty cool, although I didn't watch it as much as I would have liked during my game. Fake replay "knocker" is the worst I've ever heard.. worse than Pinball2000.. best to shut this one off :(  The little "match" ditty makes up for it.. this game makes SURE you know you matched :) Lane change seemed responsive, but initial-entering routine still sluggish.. make sure it's stopped on your letter before hitting

that button! Nifty post-game lightshow set to music.


Well, that about does it for first impressions.  Thank you Stern and PLD for bringing us a really fun game to play.”




Ray Johnson  (October 16, 2001)


“Okay, from now on, I *will* listen to Jim Hicks! <g>  Stern can do wonders with a board-game theme!  I am a believing convert!


I spent the afternoon playing this new hit from Stern and hanging out with Jolly Backer from Stern Pinball.  Wow- what a great experience! This game is fantastic- Jolly basically told me that they gave the ball to Pat Lawlor and John Youssi on this game and let them run with it. And the difference was obvious!  This game plays great- as close to a Bally/Wms-type game as Stern has ever come so far.  A lot of feel from some of the past Lawlor classics- no doubt.  They're getting better and

better with each game!


> For those with any doubt on flipper and sound issues - play Austin, then  Monopoly, then Austin again.  You will be convinced beyond any  reasonable doubt that things are better with Monopoly.


Exactly- Jolly mentioned this at the show today- they had AP and Monopoly side by side and you could tell the difference.  I also noticed that the slings on Monopoly were more Williams-ish- star post on the bottom, and narrow posts on back and top.  AND, none of those round rubber donuts at the bases of the narrow posts.  So what happens is the ball actually BOUNCES off the tips of the slings now, instead of losing all momentum (thunk) when it hits them on earlier




Joe Martz  (October 16, 2001)


“I just picked up the single Monopoly that Mountain Coin received in New Mexico.  Unpacked and set it up this evening.  A couple of impressions:


Haven't played it much yet, has the Lawlor feel to it, very fast shots and ramps.  Initial play impressions are very positive.  Sound was super. Broad rule-set, open PF, lot's of shots from each flipper. 


Playfield was in beautiful shape.  I was a bit worried after reading posts that some games had grain, bubbles, and other PF defects.  None of that here.  ROM was version 2.32, manufacturing date was Oct. 11, 2001.  I took a long look and inspection at the internals and was favorably impressed.  Cabinet construction was equal to [that of] Williams, the board designs are clean and well-mounted. The speaker panel was beefy and made of wood; a nice change from the plastic panels on the later WPC95 games.  Some care was given to cable mounts, routing, etc.


There's several thoughtful touches here such as the backbox locking mechanism, the dual-option [playfield] supports, the shields between the display and driver boards, etc.  The side rails are attached via small, external screws, a real advantage for future collectors who wish to easily change these parts.  The bubble level is present (a first for Stern I'm told; thank you!).  Stern has placed foam around various parts to eliminate "light-leaks" from the backbox, another nice touch showing attention to detail.   I like the black hardware on the exterior, helps to emphasize the bright PF.  Nice work on the attract lighting sequences as well.


The menu structure was intuitive and well done with graphic icons everywhere.  If you've used the WPC or WPC95 menus, you'll adjust to these quickly.  I was navigating through the various options in about 90 seconds without a need to refer to the manual.


The lockdown mechanism is sturdy and the hardware is beefy.  The front is undrilled.  The manual is excellent, considerably more complete than [that with] Williams games.  Overall, I found construction and engineering layout to be very well done, equal to the last of the Williams WPC95 games (but not as nice as P2K; alas, what an engineering marvel that system was...) and a step (or steps) above the earlier Data East and Gottlieb designs.


There's some obvious cost-saving measures here, most notably the backbox lighting scheme, but this didn't bother me much (same thing was done on P2K).  Also, the power cord on my machine was ridiculously short (about 3 feet total).  Not a problem for my location, but if you're not parked directly in front of an outlet, you'll need an extension cord.  The "goodie-bag" was pretty sparse, with no extra bulbs or fuses (though it did have an extra set of kicker plastics).  The game uses several colored #555 bulbs for key indicators (not bulb sleeves), something that will complicate future maintainence and I would guess a lot of location machines are going to end up with all-white lighting, I'll probably replace these on my home machine with bulb covers.  The flipper buttons are standard leaf-switches.

Personally, I'm a fan of the Williams opto-activated flipper buttons.  The use of simple contact switches may also be a decision based on cost.


A key point I haven't heard anyone comment on: the cabinet and backbox dimensions appear IDENTICAL to Williams/Bally games.  Sitting side-by-side,

you can't tell the difference.  I appreciate this, as the other non-Williams games I had didn't look as clean next to all the WPC/95 games (especially the Gottliebs which were about 3" taller).


Overall, an excellent effort.  As someone said, you could cover the Stern logo and be hard-pressed to tell this from a Williams machine.  That "PLD" logo was a pleasure as well, let's hope we see more designs from Lawlor and crew.  Thanks Stern, I hope you sell a zillion of these and can find it profitable to make future pins such as this one.”