Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Updated Deep Dive! In Depth Overview of the Machine, Features, Rules and Code

Overview | Who's Who | Features | Detailed Rules and Code

Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle is a creation from Spooky Pinball!  Below is an in-depth overview of the machine, and a dive into the features and rules – check it out!

Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Overview

Price and Production

ACNC was sold at $6450 and is limited to 500 units. All games have shipped. All games are identical in play. Optional items included interior graphics or mirrors, lighted speaker kits with powdercoated grills, “scary blue” powdercoat, knocker, shaker, plastic protectors, target decals, and the “butter cabinet” which is a direct print cabinet with automotive clear coat.

Who’s Who

  • Game Design: Charlie Emery
  • Programmer: Fawzma
  • Rules Direction: Bowen Kerins
  • Animations: David “Bunyip” van Es
  • Music: Matt “Piggy D” Montgomery
  • Soundtrack: Alice Cooper
  • Sounds: Scott Danesi
  • Artwork: Jeff Zornow
  • Toy Sculpts: Matt / Back Alley Creations


  • 2 ball locking Frankenstein castle mech
  • Left ramp accessible from two directions with a lock diverter
  • Working “ball chopping” guillotine ramp
  • Three ramp shots
  • Danesi style “Cold Ethyl” drop target lock system, in line style with subway access
  • Four subway access points, including a castle turret from the upper playfield to the subway
  • Three drop targets
  • 4 ball multiball
  • Three flippers
  • Balcony drop lock
  • Mag Neat-O Save
  • Vortex of Doom habitrail
  • Comic book style animations
  • Over 700 speech calls from Alice Cooper himself

Rules and Code

A HUGE thank you to Bowen Kerins and the folks at Spooky for providing the rules and code information below!!


Enter Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle and escape with a billion dollar coin! Or die. Probably die.

Co-Op Play

Activate Co-Op by holding in the start button for a second player or any additional player. In Co-Op, all players keep the same progress toward their battles. Players also keep the same score, except for the 1-point bonuses earned by defeating a monster. With 4 players, 2-vs-2 is also available by continuing to hold the start button.

Mag-Neat-O Save

Spell SAVE on the inlanes and outlanes to light a magnetic save that activates on any outlane drain for a limited time. You might prefer not to finish completely spelling SAVE…

Skill Shot

Shoot either orbit for a skill shot, which will instantly light SAVE on the outlanes. Shoot either ramp or the Crypt for a super skill shot, which will instantly light SAVE and light the Secret Passage.

Room Navigation

The map in the status report shows the title of each room. The first move, from left to right, goes to the Parlor or the Library. The second move, from left to right, can be to the Ballroom, the Kitchen, or the Conservatory. For example, it takes two left moves to reach the Ballroom. The third move, from left to right, can be to the Laboratory or the Dungeon. And the final move goes to the monster.

To help players reach more monsters, the game is made more difficult over time. At the beginning of the game, the first shot you make counts as three moves, so you’ll go directly to the Laboratory or the Dungeon. Later, the first shot counts as two moves. Further on, all shots count for only one move, and that makes every room in the Castle accessible.

Secret Passage

You can advance directly to a monster through the Secret Passage on the inner loop. Light the Secret Passage by making a super skill shot, or by hitting the Monster Select targets three times after starting room navigation.

Mystery Award

Light the Mystery Award by shooting the center scoop. Then collect the Mystery Award on the left scoop. Further Mystery Awards become more difficult to collect, since the left scoop will unlight.

Dungeon Bonus

If you are in the Dungeon, shoot the Guillotine for a Stretch Bonus of 1 million points.

Fly Bonus

When you are in the Foyer, the display will tell you there is a fly in a specific room. Go to that room, and shoot the Monster Select targets to kill the fly. You’ll get 1 million for the first fly, then 2 million, 3 million…

Chop Bonus

The guillotine ramp gives awards at set numbers of shots, as shown in the top right of the score display.


While going after a monster, you can collect a Weapon in certain rooms, depending on the monster. Weapons make battles much simpler! Collect weapons by hitting the “eyes” target in the back of the upper playfield. See each monster for details.

Frankenstein Multiball

Shoot the left ramp for the first lock. Light the second lock by hitting the drop target or the eyes target on the upper playfield. Shoot past the drop target for the second lock.

During multiball, shoot ramps for jackpots. Other shots increase the jackpot value. After 3 jackpots, the guillotine lights for the super jackpot. Jackpot and super jackpot values can be raised at any time, and you can still score jackpots while the super jackpot is lit.

Crypt Multiball

Lock a ball in the Crypt by shooting it, or by dropping it in from the upper playfield. Hit the Crypt again to start Crypt Multiball. The three scoops are jackpots, then hit the right “X” standup to relight them as super jackpots.

Both Crypt and Frankenstein can run at once, if Frankenstein is started first.

Battles and Frenzy

Entering a monster battle changes the game to focus on one of 8 monsters. You’ll enter a battle automatically if you haven’t started one on Ball 3. Defeating the monster sends the game into Frenzy, where new objectives appear and the player is invulnerable.

Monster Multiplier

The value of shots in any monster battle, including Frankenstein, are increased by 20% for each monster previously battled. This makes later monster battles much more valuable.

Battle: Cold Ethyl

Lock a ball in Ethyl by dropping it below the upper playfield flipper. A second ball will launch, start a multiball by hitting the captive ball or by dropping the second ball below the upper playfield flipper. Each hit to the Crypt targets scores a Jackpot, three will score a Super Jackpot and enter Frenzy. All shots score during Frenzy, with Crypt shots scoring additional jackpots, until multiball ends.

If a ball is already in the Crypt lock when Ethyl begins, progress is awarded for the locked ball. Due to the interfering objectives, Crypt Multiball cannot run along with Ethyl, so if Crypt begins, the monster advances to the next available one.

A weapon found in the Library or Laboratory defeats Ethyl in one shot.

Battle: Igor

You must find Igor behind one of the lit green shots. In Round 1, there are three shots. In Round 2, there are five. In Round 3, there are seven. Watch the lights and display for help in figuring out where Igor moves. Completing Round 3 enters Frenzy. All shots score during 30 seconds of Frenzy, and a higher-valued Round 1 continues.

A weapon found in the Library or Dungeon starts this battle in Round 3.

Battle: Vampire

You must stake the vampire three times by hitting the eyes target on the upper playfield. If you hit ramp shots five times, the Monster Select targets will light to score a stake shot. After three hits, all shots score during 30 seconds of Frenzy, with the eyes target continuing to collect and the orbits collecting double jackpots.

A weapon found in the Parlor or Kitchen makes the Vampire vulnerable to a single stake. 

Battle: Alice Cooper

You must chop off Alice Cooper’s head by shooting the Guillotine three times. If you hit ramp shots five times, the Monster Select targets will light to score a Guillotine shot. After three hits, all shots score jackpots during 30 seconds of Frenzy, with the Guillotine shot continuing to collect.

A weapon found in the Ballroom or Conservatory sets Alice ready for the guillotine, one shot away.

Battle: Werewolf

You must shoot the werewolf five times, by loading the gun then shooting the Monster Select targets to fire. To load the gun, shoot a loop or ramp. Once a loop or ramp is shot, hitting that shot again will damage you. If you take enough damage, you lose and the battle ends. The final shot gives a bonus based on your remaining health, with a big bonus for a clean sweep. During 30 seconds of Frenzy, another werewolf appears at double value.

A weapon found in the Parlor or Conservatory loads the gun with a silver bullet, setting up a single shot to kill the werewolf at a significantly reduced reward.

Battle: Zombie

You must shoot five zombies by hitting the strobing shot. Each new zombie counts down again from a high value, with the fifth zombie worth double. During 30 seconds of Frenzy, hit any shot to kill a zombie. After enough zombies, shoot the Monster Select targets to end the wave, reset the timer, and start again.

A weapon found in the Laboratory or Dungeon starts the battle at the fifth zombie, needing only one shot to enter Frenzy.

Battle: Insects

You must kill 10 insects to enter Frenzy. Kill an insect by shooting any green shot, and they will scatter to other shots. Add value by shooting an insect or by shooting the spinner. During 30 seconds of Frenzy, shoot green shots to take off the giant insect’s legs, then shoot either ramp to kill the insect for a super jackpot.

A weapon found in the Library or Ballroom starts the battle with 5 insects instead of 10.

Battle: Pit Creature

The Pit Creature is hiding in one of the three scoops. After finding the Pit Creature, you must hide from it for 15 seconds. To hide, put the ball out of site through any orbit or scoop. When the 15 seconds is complete, shoot the Monster Select targets to kill the Pit Creature and enter Frenzy. All shots score during 30 seconds of Frenzy, and scoops can find the Pit Creature for additional points.

A weapon found in the Kitchen or Conservatory will find the Pit Creature on the first shot.

Hurry Up

When Frenzy ends after any monster is killed, the left standup target awards a Hurry Up worth the grand total of all points earned during the Frenzy, or a minimum of 5 million per monster killed. It counts down quickly, then vanishes.

Billion Dollar Babies

To reach Billion Dollar Babies you must battle all nine monsters, including Frankenstein. You will start Billion Dollar Babies with life points: 1 point, plus 1 for each monster killed during your game.

During Billion Dollar Babies, climb the 20 floors of the tower by shooting blue shots. Blue shots increase the escape value and add to the remaining time. Red shots take away a life point. Scoops (green shots) pause the timer and give you a chance to walk away with your escape value. The top floor is worth 1,000,000,000 points. If you run out of time or life points, you get nothing. Either way, the game is over!

Extra Ball

An extra ball lights when you battle your third monster. Another extra ball lights on your 10th chop. Extra Ball is collected on the upper playfield target.


Special lights when you kill your fourth monster. Special is collected on the orbits.

End Of Ball Bonus

Bonus multipliers are earned by completing the two X rollovers on the upper playfield, then hitting the X on the lower playfield. Bonus multiplier increases as 2x, 4x, 6x, up to 14x.

Bonus is (100k x rooms) + (300k x chops) + (1m x kills), multiplied, with 13,000 kicked in on top thanks to Alice.

Disclaimer: Any articles, interviews, or mentions of pinball manufacturers or pinball products is NOT an endorsement.