Navbar Hyperball Graphic

Thanks to Scott Piehler for his wonderful Hyperball FAQ that inspired me to find my Hyperball game

My $400 Hyperball I have updated my old Hyperball L-5 ROM that allows your Hyperball game to save the high scores upon restart instead of resetting it everytime. The L-5 Version had a flaw that caused the game to stay in the diagnostics mode by not putting the correct checksum into the battery backed RAM. If you ever replaced your batteries under L-5, you would need to replace the IC20 ROM with a factory L-4 ROM to initialize the RAM with correctly checksummed data and then put the L-5 ROM in to continue. In short, this was a problem (thanks to Dave Langley for finding this). The new L-6 takes care of this problem, I highly suggest upgrading to it. It is downloadable here...


Hyperball looks like a pinball game at first glance, it is housed in a classic Williams Pinball body and has two 7-digit score displays along with a Credit/Match looking display. The coin door is mounted in the classic position and the game also has metal cabinet moulding just like a pin. One distinction that stands out when looking at it are the two large handles mounted on the oversize front moulding.

Hyperball Playfield

What it does not have are flippers, slingshot kickers, pinballs, a match feature, pop bumpers, extra balls or specials. Instead the playfield is complety open and around the perimeter are 23 holes lettered A-Y (Q, X and Z are skipped). Some of these holes are right on the edge of the open 'playfield' while others are at the end of small 'lanes'. At the top of the 'playfield' are three banks of 3-target banks (HIJ)(KLM)(NOP). These targets look very similar to drop targets but instead let the ball fly under them while triggering an opto switch. At the base of the 'playfield' is a 'cannon'. The actual name by Williams is the Hypercannon. This device is a high power gravity fed solenoid that fires the 3/4" Hyperballs at an amazing rate, about 250 balls per minute. Now don't get too excited, you have to pull one of the triggers on the handle assemblies once for each ball to be fired. So it isn't like an automatic rifle or anything, I guess it is semi-automatic. The only reason I note this is because a few of my friends have played the game and sat there saying "it's not firing" while holding down the triggers. Sorry, but you have to work for your fun in this game.

One other note about the playfield is that it is entirely red plexiglass with a small amount of convexity (sp?) to keep stray balls from cluttering the middle of the 'playfield'. There are many lamps below the plexi and a most notable Alpha-Numeric Display in the lower middle.


Hyperball's gameplay is a lot like a video game, sort of like Atari's Missle Command. The object is to defend your Energy Center from attacking enemies of different types. Here is the "GAME OPERATION" text from the Instruction Manual.


    * Indicates adjustable features.

    Game Over Mode - Turn game ON; HYPERCANNONS (Energy Centers) Player 1 Display indicates 0, Player 1 Score Display indicates 00. All playfield lamps cycle in an attract mode and the alphanumeric display cycles an attract mode message. The factory high score signature is displayed and the Player Score Displays indicates 500,000*. Pressing Z-bomb in Game Over also presents the high score signature and high score displays.

    Credit Posting - With 1 credit posted, 1-player standard play is possible. With 2 credits posted, 2-player standard or 1-player extended* play is possible. With 4 or more credits posted, 2-player extended* play is possible.

    Game Start - Push 1- or 2-Player Start button. For extended play, push button twice. The number of credits (indicated on the alphanumeric display) is reduced appropriately. The HYPERCANNONS Player 1 Display indicates 1* or 4* (for 2-player games, HYPERCANNONS Player 2 Display indicates 2* or 5*), Player 1 Score Display flashes; the ball feed motor and ball shooter fan start. Operating the shooter handle switches shoot balls onto the playfield.

    Game Play - Lightning bolts light up at the sides of the playfield and "walk" to the top of the playfield. From the top of the playfield the bolts can strike toward the Energy Center. There are five Energy Units for each Energy Center; after five hits on the Energy Center the player's turn is over. Flashing bolts appear between the lift-up targets and the Energy Center. They fire at the Energy Center and maneuver left and right down toward it; should they reach the level adjacent to the Energy Center, all remaining Energy Units are destroyed. Rotate the shooter handles to aim, and operate the shooter switches to hit lit and flashing bolts. Depress the Z-Bomb pushbutton on the front molding to destroy all bolts. Scoring is awarded for hitting lit bolts. Hitting 30 bolts completes an attack wave, and a bonus (1000 x Wave No.) is awarded for each remaining Energy Unit. The wave no. multiplier remains at 9 for wave 11 and subsequent waves. "COMPLETED" is indicated in the alphanumeric display, then the bonus is indicated and scored. Bonus features are indicated in the alphanumeric display. Hitting an indicated bolt or spelling a specified word, awards bonus Energy Units (E.U.), Z-Bombs (Z.B.), or Points.

    Every fifth wave is a Reflex Wave. A bolt lights randomly and a score is counted down in the alphanumeric display. Hitting the lit bolt stops the countdown and the remaining score is awarded. The Reflex Wave consists of up to 20 opportunities. After the first five opportunities, failing to hit the bolt before the countdown passes zero terminates the wave, and "YOU MISSED" is indicated on the alphanumeric display. A bonus is awarded at the end of a successful Reflex Wave; 50,000 for Wave 5 and 100,000 for Wave 10 and subsequent waves.

    When one Energy Unit remains, "CRITICAL" is indicated on the alphanumeric display. A player's turn continues as each wave is completed and terminates when all Energy Units are used up. An additional Energy Center and Z-Bomb is awarded every 400,000* Points.

Tech Info

Hyperball is a System 7 game and uses standard System 7 Circuit boards with the exception of the Driver Board which has an Extra PIA (Mapped at 0x4000) for the Alphanumeric Display Output. A15 on the CPU board is not used so the effective address space for the game is from hex 0000-7FFF. The game ROM's are therefore mirrored at D000-FFFF.


    • Jumpers W5, W24, W27 and W28 must be connected.
    • Jumpers W3, W6, W10 and W25 must be removed.

    ROM Images

    Williams is doing a wonderful thing by archiving all their game ROM's on their web site. Hopefully other companies will follow their lead :-) You can get the Hyperball ROM's from them after filling out a license agreement form.

    Memory Map

      Game ROM 2IC177000-7FFF2532
      Game ROM 1IC146000-6FFF2532
      Game ROM 0IC 205000-5FFF2532
      Alpha/Numeric PIAIC124000-40036820/21
      Switch PIAIC113000-30036820/21
      Display PIAIC182800-28036820/21
      Lamp PIAIC92400-24036820/21
      Solenoid PIAIC52200-22036820/21
      Sound/Comma PIAIC362100-21036820/21
      Battery RAMIC191000-11FF5101
      Scratch RAMIC13,160000-03FF2114

    Sound Board

    • Hyperball uses Sound ROM 8

HTML'ized Diagrams

  • Hyperball Switch Matrix.

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