April 21 was the eighth and final regular season meeting for Season 4. As Addams Family had been repaired, and in keeping with the tradition of always playing games that are new (or in this case, newly returned) to the Avenue, it was selected to be one of the league games for the night. World Cup Soccer did not repeat the mid-game resetting issue that had hit Joseph and me three times in a row during our previous night’s practice, so it made the cut too. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, was now resetting instead (I blame the gremlin), so it got turned off and removed from the night’s lineup. Also in the mix for the night were Getaway and Medieval Madness.
We had not played Medieval Madness in a while and I was glad, but nervous. Although it had once been my best game, in recent times I have been in something of a slump. I decided to play a practice game on it. This broke my superstitious rule against playing a game in practice that I’m going to play in league (a good game in practice seems to predict a bad game in league), but I decided it was worth it to check on how the ball was hitting the flippers today. Then my game started going on a while. Then I hit a replay. Then I was on the fifth castle. “Joseph,” I yelled with genuine dismay, “my game is going too well.” Afterward, Mike S. reminded me that I had broken the rule against practicing games before league play. I tried to brush it off with a show of optimism.
Mark surprised me, Matt, and Joseph with some gifts from his pinball memorabilia collection. He had promotional plastics from The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot and Fish Tales, and gave Matt first choice, with the suggestion that he could use it as a prize for the Zen Tournament. Matt chose Fish Tales, so Mark presented me with the Bride. I was delighted to have it, as I quite like that game, and touched by Mark’s generosity. He was apologetic because he had once offered to give me the plastic Rudy head that he knew he had somewhere, but ultimately was not able to find it. I told him it was just as well, because my brother had given me that very Rudy for Christmas. (It now sits on a shelf in my office, where it provides silent backup and moral support. My officemate has not yet complained of nightmares.)
Mark also had a small gift for Joseph: his very own pinball. Unfortunately, he has not figured out any way to add it to The Simpsons to make his own multiball.
Medieval Madness, or as I called it afterward, “Medieval Sadness,” proved to be cruel to a lot of people. Before I stepped up to play, Joseph tried to calm my nerves by pointing out that Chris had managed a score of around 11 million. Lucky Chris. I managed to get a score of about four and a half million – just about exactly a tenth of the score I had done during my practice game. I try not to be so superstitious, but circumstances keep encouraging me like that. I was so dismayed to end my night and my season on such a disappointing game that I almost went home without going to Theio’s, but Joseph convinced me I should go anyway and after a short time of chatting with the rest of the Theio’s regulars (minus Mike S., who had to leave early) I felt back to my old self.
The regular season ended with Alex taking first place back, Chris knocked to second, and Matt P. in third. This is the first time the season has ever finished without Chris in first place, but this is also the first time final rankings will be determined by playoffs. In the first three seasons, the final rankings were based entirely on the number of points earned during the eight regular meetings. The end-of-season “Zen” (split flipper) tournament was just for fun. This time around, prompted by a suggestion from Mike S., we will instead have a double elimination tournament. Seeds will be based on points earned during the regular season; the tie for fifth will be resolved by a one-ball tiebreaker between Joseph and Aaron prior to the start of play. A division will be the top eight seeds, and everyone else will play in B division.
Will Chris manage to battle back to first place, and continue his undefeated reign over the Lansing Pinball League? Or will he have to hand his pinball crown to Alex? There is going to be a crown, right? Does B division get a tiara instead? Find out the answer to these questions and many others on Tuesday at the first ever Lansing Pinball League final tournament! You can view the seeds for the final tournament by checking the most recent results and sorting by overall standing.