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Metallica Pro


Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
Adam analyzes...


At personal request I bring what has to be my favorite game right now, Metallica!

I don’t know what it is about this game but I just love playing it. It could be how tough playing it can be, the risk vs reward, how fast it is, or perhaps just the theme but it is the most played game in my collection right now for sure. So let’s get the simple stuff out of the way before we break into the real meat and bones.

Unlike ACDC, the songs mean absolutely nothing as you get a choice of song at the start of the game. So just pick your favorite and get rocking! Before I talk about the 4 main multiballs I want to talk about my favorite feature in the game which is the the multiball add a ball.

I had a discussion with someone a while back about if the add a ball in Metallica made the standup targets the most valuable standups in all of pinball. By that I mean during multiball you hit each of the 4 pick standups on the playfield and that will lite an add a ball and 2x Score multiplier for 20 seconds at the Snake. So once the you have hit the four pick targets the snake starts flashing, hit that and you get a ball added into your multiball and 20 seconds of double score.

So with that out of the way there are 4 main multiballs:

Electric Chair


Bash the chair till you fill the gauge and once flashing bash the chair again and you get a fun build up to the start of your multiball. Electric chair is a switch based multiball, you get Jackpots off the left/right loops and from hitting the chair. However switch hits also build toward filling the gauge again to light Super Jackpot.

Now this is where the add a ball is important because you really want to try and stack in the add a ball/2x scoring at the same time as collecting the Super Jackpot or if you want to get really fancy go for a “JACK FUCKING POT!”(One of my new favorite call outs) and bring in the fuel 2x scoring (more on that later).

Later, rinse, repeat until you are back to single ball play.

Cross Multiball


Simple fun but a very frustrating multiball. You need to knock down the in line drops (which also adds to your bonus multiplier) and then hit the cross twice to start cross multiball. It’s a 2 ball multiball where each shot is lit on the playfield. Shooting a shot will un-light that shot and to relight the shot you must shoot the cross again. I think it’s 5 or 6 shots and then Super Jackpot is lit. The cool thing about this Super Jackpot is you can try and rack it up if you like. You shoot the cross and the magnet grabs the ball, you then have 20 seconds to shoot around the rest of the game on the lit shots to increase the score multiplier for the Super Jackpot.


Then add in a add-a-ball 2x scoring and 2x from the fuel targets and you have yourself a massive Super Jackpot. It’s all about the risk vs reward especially with the timer. If you can set it all up you are going to get paid big time but fail and you get nothing... this is my favorite part of pinball :)


The most frustrating part of cross multiball comes from its start. The in line drops do not have memory on them so it’s all or nothing with cross multiball. You either start it before you drain or get to start over (mostly) on your next ball. You also can’t drop the drop targets during another multiball because the game won’t count them toward to progression of the multiball and reset them whenever you make your next shot. The drops are also very risky as they are quite the drain risk. But it’s also the easiest multiball to get to in terms of number of shots required. So it’s a really interesting balance between risk and reward.

Coffin Multiball


This is the one you will see the least on any given Metallica. You light locks by hitting the captive ball on the left hand side of the snake. The problem is it takes a lot of hits to light the lock. I think 10 hits for the first lock, 15 hits for the second and 20 for the third or something crazy like that.

Coffin is the only multiball you can build towards during multiball. You can’t start it but you can work towards locks. Progression is locked out once on the other multiballs get started. Coffin itself is a bit of a flail fest where basically all shots are lit and then you make a shot that lights the captive ball. Shoot the captive ball and then all the remaining shots you haven’t made light back up. It can be a bit of a flail fest with 4 balls on the playfield. Also don’t forget about your add-a-ball.

But the important feature of this multiball is that it is the only one you can stack! So once you start coffin, you are really spending time trying to work towards stacking in something else. Chair being the best choice since it takes so many shots and you have lots of balls on the playfield. So it’s an important strategic multiball that can get you over the hump to your second or third Ssparky multiball.

I need to take a second before I talk about Snake multiball and explain the inserts in front of every shot.

Left Loop


Drop Targets


Left Ramp


Right Ramp


Right Loop


The inserts represent the Electric Chair, Snake and Cross. This may sound confusing but every time you hit one of those items it lights up that insert on the shot. It always lights up the active shot but how do you know which shot is the active shot? The arrow insert with the spider on it for the shot.

When you make any of the shots listed above the spider arrow lights up to let you know that it is now the active shot. If you hit either the chair, snake or cross the corresponding insert then lights under that shot. There is much more to this but more on that later. Now that I have explained that on to snake multiball.


Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
Snake Multiball


At the start of your game the snake is lit. When you shoot the snake for the first time in a game it will light the snake insert for your current active shot. Along with the insert on the right and left of that active shot. So as an example, if your active shot is currently the right loop, shooting the snake will light the snake insert for the right ramp, right loop and left loop. If your active shot is the left loop and you shoot the snake, it will light up the drop targets, left loop and right loop.

Every time you shoot a shot with a lit snake insert the snake then lights to add a letter into S-N-A-K-E. Completing Snake lights Snake multiball. From a strategic perspective I really like to have the snake insert lit on the drop targets. That way I can work toward 2 multiballs at the same time. Shoot the snake to light the drops, hit a drop target, snake is lit, shoot the snake and get a letter. Then shoot the drop target, snake is lit, shoot the snake get another letter. You get to work toward both Snake and Cross at the same time.

The multiball itself is not bad either, it’s another 2 ball multiball with the usual add a ball option. Each shot awards a Jackpot value and at the same time adds a score multiplier onto the snake to a maximum of 3x I think. So ideally you make two Jackpot shots and then shoot the snake for a Super Jackpot. This is the main premise of the multiball and really all you are going to focus on doing. While at the same time thinking about your add-a-ball and fuel score multiplier.


Ok, now with the meat of the game out of the way let’s get into the bones. So above before the Snake multiball I talked about the lit inserts in front of each shot and how to light. Now I will explain what they mean. Every time you light each of the inserts on a single shot, the shot flashes. This means that if you make the shot again, it will start a hurry up for 1 million. After you make the flashing shot, the hurry up is collected at the captive ball for the award. But you can actually stack in multiple hurry ups at the same time to double or triple the hurry up value.

The whole feature is very reminiscent of AFM and Total Annihilation but without the multiball. This make sense because it’s Lyman doing the programming. I kinda wished it had a multiball for the work involved but Metallica already has enough multiball as is so there ya go. The important part about this is what you do get for completing all of the 5 hurry up’s? You start a great mode called Seek & Destroy! This mode can be started at any time during any mutilball but not during a Crank It Up mode but if started before it can be played during the mode.


It’s a great mode where each shot is worth an increasing number of points and it is a timed mode. You get an initial 40 seconds on the playfield there will be one flashing shot. When you make that shot it then lights the captive ball for an award similar to how you actually started the mode. But what is really cool is once you hit the flashing shot, each shot made afterward before you hit the captive ball gets added to that value. So if you hit the flashing shot and then ignore the captive ball, you really are basically going to get double points since every shot you make awards you points and at the same time builds that jackpot value. With a 2x scoring going I’d had hurry up values as high as 14 million off one shot to the captive ball.


What is also really cool about this mode is IT NEVER ENDS! As long as you have a ball in play and as long as you can make any of the lit shots it will reset your timer back to just above 10 seconds. I love the pressure it puts on you to keep this thing going. Every time it gets down to 10 seconds you start getting a count down and you are frantically trying to make any shot to keep it going and reset that timer. So as long as you can keep making shots, you can keep this mode going! It can be extremely lucrative!

Now up to this point I’ve been talking about a lot about 2x score multipliers and honestly I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned how to actually light them. On the left hand side of the playfield is a Fuel Target.


Each time you hit it adds 1 letter to the word Fuel. Spelling fuel will increase the fuel gauge on the main section of the playfield and light the 2x scoring at the standup target behind the fuel target. You can hit that standup at any time to start 2x scoring. The important thing to remember is that while on a 20 second timer, at any time you can hit that standup target again and reset the 2x time back to 20 seconds!

Now if you fill up the fuel gauge, the next time you hit the fuel target it will start Fuel mode. This is a switch frenzy mode where each switch adds to the total of the fuel mode. You can increase the value of the switches by hitting the fuel target and you increase the timer on the mode for each hit to the fuel target. So this is another one of those modes that you can keep running for a long time! There is also a Fuel Jackpot. I don’t quite understand the nuances of it but during the mode it will light on the standup target (Also called piston target) behind the fuel targets for a value. I think it has something to do with how much you have collected since the last fuel Jackpot but I’m not really sure.

The last thing to talk about over there is the Ccombo Jackpot. If you have ever played Tron or read my write up on Tron you should remember the End of Line Jackpot on the scoop. This is exactly the same thing. As you make combos the value at the piston target increases, after every shot you will see the insert for the piston target flashing, hit the piston target and you get an award that starts at a base value of I think around 750,000.


Now if you are REALLY good, this can get very lucrative. Jorian prove it at the last Pinball Expo, he got his 2x Scoring lit and then did nothing but right ramp and Piston target over and over again! With the 2x scoring going he was getting 2million+ a shot and since he was so accurate he was able to rack up a huge score by just doing that. Remember the 2x scoring reset every time he hit the piston target. I’ve tried the strategy myself but find the shot very hard to hit with consistency.

The last thing I want to talk about is the Lady for Justice mode which is a pretty simple mode. Similar to that of Bogey on Iron man. Each shot to either the left or right ramp adds a letter in the word Metallica. Spell Metallica and you start Lady for Justice mode where just like Bogey in Iron Man. The ramps and loops are lit for an increasing value. But unlike in Ironman, this game awards you for actually making the combos. If you try and just hit one side, say left loops over and over again you’ll get some points. But you get way more points if you go back and forth. So left ramp, right ramp, left ramp, right loop etc... It’s not a mode you really are going to focus on but like most of the things in this game it stacks and can be started during any multiball. So if you start it great, points are points, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

There is one last thing to talk about before I move on and that is Blackend. It’s a new mode added in the last code update. You start it by collecting all the bad members.


To collect the band members you need to complete the pick targets. The same way you would to get an add-a-ball during multiball. It gets increasingly difficult, for the first band member it’s only 1 set of pick targets, second member 2, third member 3 and fourth member 4... so it’s a lot!


I’ve only seen the mode a couple times so I don’t really understand it. I know it has something to do with the pick targets once you get into it. But I can’t really speak to it. I’ll post an update in here if I ever really figure it out. The difficult nature of getting there and I don’t remember it being over lucrative. I don’t think it is something you are going to focus on really something you are going to get by accident one day just cause you’ve had a long game.

Ok, so up until now Metallica has been a ball’s out, multiball, flail fest but this is the best part that changes the entire structure of the game and makes you rethink exactly how you have been playing up to that point. Hell this is like a game within a game and this is the Crank It Up modes. Each mode is unique in its execution and very different from how the game has been played up to this point.


Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
While before Crank It Up it’s been multiball after multiball, mode stacked upon mode with everything and the kitchen sink being thrown at you. Crank It Up is slow and methodical, one objective, one thing to accomplish, nothing to stack, just play it out and the better you play the better your score. But first how do you get to Crank It Up?

Remember those inserts I kept talking about earlier, the ones for Seek and Destroy, the hurry up’s and snake multiball? Well to get to Crank It Up you need to “collect” 20 of each item to light the mode. The items being Coffin, Cross, Snake and Electric chair. On the inserts you have Cross, Snake and Electric Chair, so each time you hit a shot with any of those inserts lit, it adds to your total to build toward Crank It Up. This can be during normal play or during multiball. Coffin can only be collected on the captive ball and yes 20 shot is a lot!

Thanksfully in the last code update there is some relief in that every time you roll down an inlane for a short 2 – 3 seconds the captive ball lights up. If you hit the captive ball you get two hits instead of one. This also counts as two hits toward your locks as well. This is very helpul to get to Crank It Up and after a multiball or two you are going to rack up enough hits to the captive ball to light it up anyway.


Once you collect 20 of a single item, the main insert by the flippers will light up letting you know you have completed that item. Complete all 4 and Crank It Up is now lit on the Mystery Scoop.

Oh man that reminds me! Allow me to side track if you wouldn’t mind for a minute, I forgot how ingenious an implementation of the mystery mode this was! Lyman took something as generic as the Mystery award and made it something actually worth going after! He created levels, so to light mystery you complete the 5 inlanes/rollovers. There are three inserts for the in lanes plus the two at the top.



When you complete those it lights mystery at the scoop. Now what is really cool is you can complete those inserts again and it will “Level up” the mystery. The higher the level the better your reward. It’s such a simple thing but a great little innovation that takes the mystery from some generic thing everyone gets to something you can actually use and hold out on to try and get better rewards.

So anyway back to Crank It Up, once you shoot the ball in the scoop you will now get 5 choices, 4 of them being a mystery award and a number value starting at 5 million and increasing by 1 million each time you enter. No one takes the 5 million cause the points in Crank It Up are the largest in the game thus far!

Each crank it up mode represents a song and the mode will last for the entirety of the song. Now the important thing to remember is during Crank It Up for everything you accomplish you are collecting points. A LOT of points! Even MORE points if you keep a 2x running. The points are being awarded as you play and you will get them no matter what. The cool part is you can “collect” these points again at any time by exiting the song. By that I mean once you pick a Crank It Up mode, if you hit the Coffin, Snake, Cross and Electric Chair, you will light the scoop to end the crank it up mode.

So as an example, if you have scored 20 million up to the point you shoot the scoop, you can then collect another 20 million at the scoop for a total of 40 million. Even better, you can start 2x scoring, shoot the scoop and then collect 40 million for a total of 60 million on the mode. But if the song ends before you can shoot the scoop you only get the points you have collected up to that point. So it comes down to how confident are you in your ability to play that mode and make the scoop shot when you need it.

Do you pick up a few points and get out early?
Do you try and complete the mode and really maximize the value?
Do you wait till the last possible second getting every point you can?
Do you double it?

This is what is awesome about pinball --> CHOICE. It’s up to the player to decide how they want to play and how much risk they want to take.

So with that your choices for Crank It Up modes are:

For Whom the Bell Tolls

I think the simplest of the modes but also really lucrative. Each of the 5 shots is lit and each time you make a shot you get a Jackpot value of I think about 1.5 – 2 million. I have no idea what determines the value of the Jackpots during the mode. But you get extra value of points for every row and every column you complete. So as an example, if you make the right ramp shot 3 times, you have now completed a column. If you shoot the left loop, cross drop target, left ramp, right ramp and right loop you have now completed a row and those award more points. I’m not sure if you need to do one before the other to maximize points but either way lots of points. Once you complete all of the shots you get a LOUD tune letting you know you have completed the mode and you get an extra 15 million on top of everything else you have collected up to that point.

Fade to Black

This is my favorite of the modes because it’s the longest and also switch based. So it’s the only mode you actually get awarded for missing shots. What is also really cool about this mode is as per the name, as you get closer and closer to completing the mode the table gets darker and darker as the GI dims as you play. But as you start the mode all shots will be lit with a flashing shot that is worth more points than then others. Shooting the flashing shot moves it to another location. The non flashing shots are worth only like 500,000, the flashing shot being worth 1.5 million and when you reach a switch threshold you are awarded 2.5 million. I like to shoot for the pops and pick off a few flashing shots here and there.



This is the easiest of the modes to complete but also the least lucrative depending on how you play it. The basic premise is bash Sparky. You need to hit him something like 12 times. So you can jump in nail him 12 times quickly, get your 15 million and be done or each time you hit Sparky it lights all the shots on the playfield. Shooting each of these shots increases the value of Sparky the next time you hit him. So you can either try and pick off a few shots and then shoot Sparky or like I said just keep nailing him over and over again. The cool thing about this mode is the animations on the DMD. Each shot to Sparky shows off an animation for some form of toruture you are doing to Sparky


Enter Sandman

This is one of the most unique modes is all of pinball in that it’s smart and interesting similar to that of Alien Invasion (from AFM) and Springfield Mystery Spot (TSPP). All shots are lit similar to that of For Whom the Bell Tolls but the unique feature is in that every switch hit changes the lit shot. So one shot could have 2 out of 3 inserts lit and if you make the shot you complete those 2 inserts and then the lights will move somewhere else. But miss and you hit a switch and now it has switched to somewhere else. It can be quite disconcerting when you have just made a shot. As an example to say the right ramp and now your lining up to shoot the left only to hit the inlane switch and have the lit shot change to somewhere else.

Everyone of these modes is unique and fun to play and really changes the game immensely once you have completed the mode either by the song finishing or you collecting at the scoop the game returns to regular play for you to try and get back there again. I will add that if you collect the Crank It Up mode bonus on the scoop it then lights a Crank It Up Jackpot during regular play that is collected by making each of the shots once. After collecting it then lights again to be collected again. I think the Jackpot value has something to do with how well you do during the CIU mode but I’m not sure.

Finally there is...

End of Line,

This is the wizard mode of the game that you get to by starting each of the Crank It Up modes. I know nothing about it as I have never seen it and unless I set my game up easier with some extra balls I doubt I ever will (Unless I play someone else’s machine that is setup really easy lol)

Anyway that is Metallica. It’s simplistic in its execution on the surface, enough for the casual player to have some fun, bang away on Sparky to get a multiball. But the depth is where it really shines and the constant choices to be made. The Crank It Up modes are a thing of beauty, really some of the most fun to be had in pinball right now and just a perfect implementation into the game. Lyman is the king of software and he keeps raising the bar with every game. It’s not as complicated as an ACDC, I liken Metallica to a more in depth Iron man. I have games where it just kicks my ass and I walk away with less than 10 million on the board and other times I’ll have a game and it just feels awesome! The magnets keep the ball in constant motion and the tight shots along with great flow make the game a blast.

** Special thanks goes out to Martin at Pinball News for giving us permission to use his Metallica pics in this write up by Vengeance **
Last edited:


Jan 9, 2014
It's easy to have a ton of fun on Metallica, but once you understand the Insert Locking, the Add-a-Balls, etc etc... A whole new game opens up. Donny nailed the art package, Borg delivered a really fun layout, and Lyman knocked the rules out of the park. I think it's a modern Masterpiece. Thanks for the great in depth write up.

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
Mississauga, ON
Amazing what code can do-wasn't the reaction to this on release a pretty universal "meh"?

So far my strategy on this game has been to at least be able to start a crank it up mode, but I can definitely see some other possibilities in there. Thanks for the detailed writeup!


New Member
Feb 19, 2013
Edmonton, AB
Blackened mode works something like this (on a premium):

-Once all band members are collected, all 4 pick targets will strobe. A hit to any one will start the mode.
-The mode is timed (40 sec to start?)
-During the mode you are trying to complete the 4 pick targets 4 more times to recollect the band members.
-Every time you complete the pick targets you receive a band member, a small jackpot (1-2 mil?), and light all spider arrows (on a premium at least - they turn purpley blue). These lit shots are worth a few hundred thousand themselves and contribute to a SJP.
-There is a super jackpot that builds based on (as far as I can tell) pick hits, collecting band members, and shooting 'Blackened' spider arrow shots that are lit from collecting band members. It may also build from other values I am unaware of.
- Once all band members are collected, one spider shot will flash (seems random - it can be the fuel lane shot fyi) for collecting the SJP, which can be doubled or 4x in a multiball. The SJP is not reset on collecting it AFAIK and continues to build. (fyi - the SJP dots are hilarious). The band members unlight and the mode repeats after collecting the SJP.
-The mode ends when you run out of time or drain. The timer is reset to 15 seconds by collecting the 4 picks, or by shooting any lit spider shots (like Seek and Destroy) so this mode can run indefinitely.

The scoring opportunity can be huge if you can keep the mode running. I myself have kept it running through two multiballs, with the first SJP coming in around 15 mil in the first MB, and the second SJP coming in at 130 mil in the second MB with a 2x multiplier going. This posted my best of around 220 mil total in Blackened IIRC.