The big tip: Ignore Comet. Shoot Cyclone.
Cyclone is both an easier shot and more forgiving. It feels like there's a considerably wider
timing window to hit it than the narrow Comet ramp. (This isn't at all unusual in TPA. Farsight's
flippers always seem better at hitting outside shots than interior. Compare the orbits to the ramps
on AFM, or the castle loop to the mystery scoop on BSD.) And Cyclone is less steep - shots rarely
fail to ascend Cyclone, while of course Comet loves to dump you into the dangerous bumpers. Finally,
misses to Cyclone are also much safer, hits to its left post will railroad back to a catch, while
Comet is chancy and has a rebound off its left post into the left outlane.
So ignore the Comet million, and get your points by collecting jackpots at Cyclone repeatedly. Don't bother
building the jackpot, just keep collecting 500K at a time on Cyclone. In fact, Cyclone scores exactly as
much as Comet: 50K + 100K + 500K per three shots is the same as 20K + 40K + 60K + 80K + 100K + 1M per six shots.
But of course hitting three in a row without timing out is a lot easier than six, so prefer Cyclone.
The big tip for ball control: any feed to the right inlane can be nudged for a hold pass to a catch on the left.
This works 100% if you time the upwards nudge right. My indicator is an instant before the ball is aligned with
the word "Show" on the right inlane. I get a catch on the left almost 100% reliably, and if I don't, the timing
was my own fault. Just do this to loop Cyclone for jackpots.
The shooting gallery duck targets (right side) are key to the game. Besides lighting Cyclone towards the jackpot,
they also light extra balls of course. They are mostly safe, there are lots of railroaded rebounds back to catches,
although there is one off the lowest target that finds the left outlane. I've learned to identify this early and
nudge early away from the outlane.
The instructions say that you're allowed a maximum of two extra balls per ball in play, so six total throughout
the game. This is correct, what it means is that you're allowed two EBs as long as you're on "Ball 1", but then
no more until you advance to "Ball 2". However, this only applies to EBs collected from the outlanes and wheel.
EBs collected from reaching the replay score do NOT count towards this limit, so are truly unlimited. Like several
System 11 games (Pinbot, High Speed, Taxi, Dr Dude, but oddly not any of the Lawlors), Cyclone re-awards a replay
for another EB each time you roll over and reach X2,000,000 again. Scoring 10M per ball means going infinite.
Also, the game can make you think you have one more EB available than you really do. If you've already collected
one EB this ball, the game will still allow you to light both outlanes from the shooting gallery. BUT, if you then
collect one to reach the EB limit, the other outlane will unlight.
Besides Comet, also ignore the ferris wheel and spooky house (the backglass wheel spin). They score little and are
risky. Ignore double scoring, the bumpers are never worth the risk. If you get it, don't rush on trying to hit
Cyclone for points, take your time, better to let it time out than to drain. Also ignore the ball toss targets
(left side standups) which light Comet. It might be OK to try to complete them once on a ball towards Hold Bonus,
but never more than that.
But one shot NOT to ignore is Boomerang, the leftmost sinkhole that increases bonus X. It is lit from either inlane.
This is a very easy shot, I hit it like 98% accurate. This is because even if you miss low, there is a railroad that
makes the shot anyway by glancing off the left slingshot. Always shoot Boomerang from a catch, never from a rolling
feed or loose flail, that is risky, but it's safe and reliable from a caught ball. Boomerang is important not just
for the bonus X, but also because it scores 100K per shot after that's maxed (which is actually more than bonus X
can be worth which is max 99K.) Actually, it scores 150k per lit shot, since it also silently scores an extra 50K
whenever lit in addition to the 100K the game displays. Boomerang is well worth shooting whenever you have control
and you're not on a timer for Cyclone.
In fact, I think the optimum risk/reward play is not even to try to light the jackpots, but just loop back and forth
between Cyclone and Boomerang endlessly. Boomerang ejects to a guaranteed catch, Cyclone relights Boomerang and
yields a near guaranteed hold pass and catch, so just post pass L2R and do it again. The unlit Cyclone still
scores 25K and the inlane is 5K, so this is actually 180K in total per cycle and actually scores just about as
fast as going for Cyclone jackpots. It's hellaciously boring though. I did this for a sequence of about 10M points
during my high game, which worked, but was so dull that eventually I went back to jackpots.
Finally, bangbacks are possible. I've done it from the left outlane three times now. Hit the upwards and rightwards
nudges an instant apart and you might just get lucky in bouncing onto the center pin. I haven't managed it from the
right side yet, but have come close and I think it's possible.