Fish Tales


Williams Electronic Games

Origin Date

October 1992


Fish Tales is a fishing-themed pinball game released by Williams in 1992. It is one of the top 20 most produced pinball machines of all time, selling more than 13,000 units

The general goal is to catch as many fish and tell the most outlandish stories about their size possible. The machine’s backglass is topped with a plastic fish that thrashes its tail when the player achieves certain goals, and the players launches balls with an autoplunger shaped like a fishing rod.

Fish Tales introduced flippers with lightning bolts on them that were believed to be 1⁄8 inch (3.2 mm) shorter than other Williams flippers of the time. While seemingly minor, an extra 1⁄4-inch (6.4 mm) gap creates a far greater ball control challenge for the player. As such, this enhancement was only added to a few pinball titles before being abandoned.

Multiball is achieved by shots to the Caster’s Club to lock balls. Three locks start multiball.

Two sets of side targets allow the player to catch fish. When at least one fish is caught, the player has about 10 seconds to shoot a spinner to “Stretch The Truth” about its size, from 1× to 5× actual size (points for the catch multiplied accordingly), or a “total lie” which awards the player nothing for the fish. However, completing the “L-I-E” rollovers at the top does remove the lowest value from “Stretch The Truth” and advances the bonus multiplier.

The center of the board contains a captive ball area in the shape of a boat. Successful hits to a lit captive ball give the player increasing awards, from Hold Bonus to Instant Multiball, and then increasing point awards leading to a “Special”.