Full Tilt! Pinball

Full Tilt! Pinball (codenamed Maelstrom), is a pinball simulation game developed by Cinematronics and published by Maxis for Windows 3.1x, 95, and Mac OS 7. The game was released on 31 October 1995 and featured three CGI pinball tables: Space Cadet (space-themed), Skullduggery (pirate-themed), and Dragon's Keep (medieval-themed).

Microsoft release[edit | edit source]

3D Pinball for Windows
Component of Microsoft Windows
3D Pinball Icon.png
Introduced inMicrosoft Plus! 95
Last included inWindows Vista build 5048

A direct port of the Space Cadet pinball table was included in the initial Microsoft Plus! add-on for Windows 95 as 3D Pinball for Windows. The version of the table included in Plus! was later ported to Windows NT, and was removed in Windows Vista due to a floating-point bug in the port's collision detection,[1][2] later clarified to be an issue sourced from the 64-bit DEC Alpha port of the built-in C runtime included as part of Windows NT[3] and remained unpatched during development of the initial Windows XP Itanium port, resulting in it being omitted from builds' installation media entirely, two factors that largely motivated its removal from mainline Windows releases. The version of Pinball included as part of Windows XP build 2210 crashes on launch, and is likely an exacerbation of the aforementioned issue.

The Microsoft release has several key differences from the original game:

  • Full Tilt! Pinball tables load an introduction video that displays the respective logos for the developer and game. The Microsoft port simply uses a static image as a splash screen.
  • A test mode including several features for debugging is included as part of the port.
  • The original version included three unique music pieces per table for regular, challenge and win/loss cues; only the standard theme is included in the Microsoft port.
  • The display resolution is locked at 640×480 pixels compared to the original version (which supported a resolution of up to 1024×768 pixels), irrespective of full-screen modes.
  • Earlier revisions of the Space Cadet table in pre-release Plus! builds included a different table artstyle that depicted an alien invasion; the layout remains identical in both ports.

Full Tilt! Pinball was originally written in x86 assembly,[4] and was later rewritten in the C programming language and ported to different architectures by then-current Microsoft engineer David Plummer, who was responsible for the development of the cut-down port.[5]

The game in both its 32- and 64-bit forms remained playable on later versions of Windows, and was last included in Windows Vista build 5048.

Builds[edit | edit source]

Beta (Maelstrom)[edit | edit source]

Preview[edit | edit source]

RTM[edit | edit source]

Leaked build RTM

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Chen, Raymond. Why was Pinball removed from Windows Vista?, The Old New Thing. 18 December 2012.
  2. NCommander. The REAL Story On Why Space Cadet Pinball Was Removed (ft. Windows on Itanium). 3 September 2021.
  3. Chen, Raymond. Filling in some gaps in the story of Space Cadet Pinball on 64-bit Windows, The Old New Thing. 6 January 2022.
  4. Thorpe, Danny. Responses to "Why was Pinball removed from Windows Vista?", The Old New Thing. 18 December 2012.
  5. Plummer, David. Windows 11 Pinball: by the original Microsoft programmer of the XP Game port, Dave's Garage. 11 September 2021.