It is almost pointless to pursue the specific mission targets of the current mission. Rather, since the inevitable end of your game is the final draining of the third ball, changing the focus of your games to always having a center post in place and always having an extra ball or a number of extra balls available to greatly increase the number of fairly high score games. The key to both these goals is the Hyper Space ramp. By directing the ball from the right flipper (contain the ball with the flipper held stationary, let it drop, then direct the ball into the chute. With a little practice you should be able to do this 95% of the time) into the launch ramp. The next shot from the left flipper into the Hyper Space ramp is a little more difficult but you should be able to master a 75% success rate for this one. The ball must go right to the end of the ramp. As you continue to make this sequence of shots over and over, you will activate the center post and also have an extra ball available. When this is the case, then go after the specific mission of the moment. By always doing this before pursuing specific targets, your games should be greatly extended.
When using the Hyper Space routine for gaining a center post and extra balls, it is only necessary to start the sequence from the right flipper to the launch ramp and then off the left flipper into the Hyper Space chute. Once the ball has gone to the end of the Hyper Space chute and awarded whatever is appropriate for that play, it will kick back down and it is very often possible to send it right back up into the same spot where it just came from -- namely right back up into the Hyper Space chute. The goal is to send it up the chute as many times as possible. When you finally miss, the ball will start to move around the table and the actual mission of the moment can be pursued. Also, quite often the ball will kick out of the Hyper Space chute and off the left flipper into the launch ramp which you then use the left flipper again to direct the ball right back into the Hyper Space chute.
When you do not have an extra ball available and the ball in play has ended up in the Black Hole and it is likely to kick out into the right hand drain chute (thus costing you a ball), at the very moment it is about to leave the Black Hole, use your left table shift key to move the table and usually you will avoid the ball draining. Only hit it once otherwise it will tilt. Another note, this same Black Hole kick out will often put the ball right into the extra ball spot when same is still available.
The white bar across the Launch Ramp that registers the points awarded, if and when the ball has stopped just before it. Let it sit there for as long as possible before shifting the table to move in on through. The slower the ball goes under this bar the more points you will receive (usually about two to three million points, but can be as high as 15 million points. Note: Watch your fuel level so that the mission is not aborted.
You can also experience very substantial run ups by slowly turning the flags.
Light up all three lights at the top by going through the slots. The bumpers will change colors and are worth more points.
A hidden Skill Shot tunnel is in the deployment chute. Launch the ball partially up the chute and allow it to fall to the first yellow arch light. There are six yellow arch lights in the chute that are worth a varying amount of points.
To unlock the Skill Shot, the point range for each light up are:
First: 15,000 points
Complete one mission for promotion:
Complete cadet with the science mission. Just as the mission lights are flashing, drain the ball as quickly as you can. If you do not want to lose a ball, make sure have an extra ball or replay. After the ball returns to the plunger, you will be on the next level with full mission lights. Now you only need complete one mission for each level. Make sure you get an extra ball or replay before repeating this trick otherwise you will not make it very far.
Move the lights at the top by moving the flippers.
As your score climbs higher and higher, it becomes more difficult to touch the keyboard as softly and gently as possible. It becomes a bit of a challenge to see how softly you can do it and this seems to lead to much higher scores. Perhaps because you have to control the amount of force applied, better control of the game is achieved.
Hint: Using time wisely:
Until you reach about 40 million points with several levels of play achieved, it takes two minutes to gain each one million points. The arithmetic is fairly simple -- to get to 30 million takes about an hour of continuous play. A game that results in 86 million points will take almost two hours. A 70 million point game takes just a little over an hour and a half. If you do not have at least 5 million points when the ball number changes from one to two, press [F2] and start over. There is virtually no point in trying to achieve a high score if that is only where you are at when the number two ball shows on the board.