Cliffy's New Style Neutral Zone protector

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

My man Cliffy... Not only does he manage to go on vacation across the pond, but he also managed to get his stuff together enough to drop a NEW Neutral Zone protector in the mail on his way out the door. Personally, I would have said I'd put it in a box with some reimported chips, but maybe that's just me.

"OK, I'm daft." you may have just said to yourself. You didn't even know Cliffy had an old Neutral Zone protector. So to get you up to speed, check out a picture of the old one here:

Cliffy's old NZ stylings (never mind the dirty targets!)

Keep in mind that this protector is an alpha; only one (or maybe two... :) ) of these exist right now, so some fine tuning is necessary. This was just intended to be a "first look", to see how it'd look, play, etc. So I put it in, and have to say it looks sharp!

New style(ish) NZ protector (and clean targets!)

So if you have the eagle eye, you might notice that the "flaps" that extend into the hole aren't quite even up with the sides of the hole. You're absolutely right; they don't, yet. But those are the joys and pains of being a beta tester; you see all the great results early, and in return check it for any flaws. Have no fear (hey, it's Cliffy, man!), this mistake will be corrected before anyone can actually buy these protectors. :)

lower left view

How does it play? Well I have to say that because the hole isn't quite the regular width, that the Neutral Zone shots are a bit more difficult than normal. Anything but a dead nut center shot doesn't like to drop. That kind of makes sense, given the protector being about two tenths of an inch shallower than the original hole. (And I hear Cliffy scream out, "You're killing me man!" from all the way across the Atlantic... :) )

But if you were to stop right there, you'd be missing the point. If you factor the reduced width into account, then the protector really doesn't affect the play much at all. Flail-type shots that happen to drift on over to the Neutral Zone still drop easily like they should, and cannon shots are still about the same level of difficulty.

lower right view

So where do you get it? Visit the C-man at the Passion for Pinball, baby!

Or you can say nuts to Cliffy and see what other pages are up here! :)