Jump to content

WWC: MPU3 Lucky Strike (Pook DX)


Captain Caveman
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think it’s high time we had another waffle-fest about another truly ancient, glorious old fruity over at WWC, don’t you chaps? And the target of my fondest affections on this particular occasion is none other than the seminal Pook DX of MPU3 [Club] Lucky Strike, the first “modern” Barcrest MPU3 clubber in my estimation.

Of course, these WWC “reviews” are nothing more than tributes; a rambling mixture of unbridled yet inexpert enthusiasm, with plenty of vague personal memories chucked in for good measure, if you will. The very thought of me “reviewing” any layout – let alone a DX of this quality – is utterly absurd; “lamping technique” is something to do with pub brawls as far as I am concerned. Fcuked World this ain’t… but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a good old fireside chat about old fruities, right? :)

So, grab yourself a whiskey and soda, light yourself a fine cigar, pull up a comfy old leather chair, and come join me beside the Mecca Club Lounge roaring fire: let’s talk about Lucky Strike…

Upon first inspection, Lucky Strike is pretty similar to its (slightly) younger Barcrest club stablemates Sweepstake and Royal Exchange; all share the 16-square “single hit” trail of the type first seen on the Strike-A-Light MPU3 AWP (in fact, Lucky Strike is pretty much Club Strike-A-Light in many ways).

The prizes/features start from square 7 onwards, which is the crucial Lucky Dip feature – invariably the source of most, if not all jackpots. Thereafter, even numbers award nudges (up to a maximum of 8 nudges; unlike similar AWPs, there is no JP gamble beyond maximum achievable trail nudges) and odd numbers give Super Series games (up to a maximum of 12 Super Series).

At the top of the trail – square 16 – is the £100 JP, although in all the years and thousands of pounds in credits I’ve witnessed (not to mention emulated credits), I've never seen or even heard of this coming in for real.

In the case of trail nudges, the most that can be won is £25 (single bars), due to the sequencing of the reels. The double bars - £50 – and the triple bar JP can only be achieved either as a straight, normal reel win (e.g. off reel holds, hideously unlikely), or unlimited nudges via the Lucky Dip feature in the case of the latter.

Similarly, the Super Series games will never award anything like the JP, although can go for substantial amounts. In keeping with the later Sweepstake/Royal Exchange clubbers, it never seems to really matter whether you’ve 6, 8, 10 or 12 Super Series; if the machine is ready to drop a good cumulative win, it will do so. The most that can possibly be won from any single Super Series game is £10, usually off three double bars; the three melons also appear quite regularly for £5.60 within the more usual running order of cherry, lemon, orange and apple type small wins.

The Lucky Dip is, as I have said, ironically the key feature as far as winning the jackpot is concerned, despite it being the lowest feature, often giving no more than tiny wins of less than a pound at a time. When the machine is well and truly ready – and not a moment before – the Lucky Dip will award Unlimited Nudges, and as we all now know through the delights of emulation (although not, in my case, at the time I was actually playing these fine old machines), this is a guaranteed JP – the machine simply will not allow you to go wrong.

Unsurprisingly then, Lucky Strike’s gameplay is pretty much like its more recent stablemates, although there ARE subtle differences. For instance, it retains the old collect half/gamble half win facility from even earlier MPU3 clubbers such as Super Series.

Somewhat perversely, the absence of such things as a nudge exchange facility for small wins and Sweepstake’s “Re-run” respin square seem to actually improve the resulting gameplay – there’s less time-wasting/faffing about on the part of the machine over dressing up small wins into something they’re not (you’ll recall that £3.20 is the most you’ll ever win from Sweepstake/RE on a nudge exchange, and it can take forever to even get that by the time you’re done messing about, with the machine not taking any further credits during that time). Lucky Strike is therefore slightly more focused as a true club machine in my view (although it’s no classic Bellfruit in this respect, but is very charming none the less).

Sure enough, there’s the usual infuriating stream of pointless cherry wins (although you do get the hilarious old ‘Crest MPU3 type alpha messages reminiscent of so many old great, beloved MPU3 AWPs of the same era), and yes, the slow old roulette gamble is still capped at £10… but there’s no doubting that Lucky Strike is happier to give larger, decent wins more often, unfettered as it is with this “amusement type” saved/exchanged nudges/respin etc. sub-gameplay as I have described.

And so gentlemen, to the layout itself.

I know we should really be used to fantastic DX layouts by now in the world of FME, and there’s always the tendency to be complacent in this respect. We are, in effect, embarrassed by riches. However, there’s simply no denying that this particular layout really is something special.

For a start, it’s a Pook DX. That statement alone guarantees the highest quality, and this layout is no exception of course.

Then there’s the fact – more tellingly perhaps – that this is a particularly old, rare machine. There can’t have been too many of these made by Barcrest (since it’s a clubber, not an AWP, with far fewer potentially suitable sites for it), and this particular machine must be nearly 25 years old. There is precisely zero chance of anyone ever actually finding one of these venerable old beasts still out there, in the wild.

And yet, the layout preserves the game to the highest possible standard; there really is no compromise, it’s impossible for me to see how it could actually be improved. As jaded as I am, I am simply amazed to see such an old machine presented on my laptop screen as if it were really there before me – brand spanking new and flawless. I have to say that I personally love these “darker” layouts; this serves to contrast the lamping to a wonderful degree, and is so reminiscent of the dingy, dark old working mans’ clubs that these machines actually served. It is, in summary, a perfect facsimile and representation of the long-dead real game/machine, surely what FME is (or should be) all about, beyond all else.

Needless to say, everything works perfectly down to the finest detail, and even the sideart – not something I have to say I am a huge fan of personally – is a delight to behold, which compliments the layout perfectly.

It’s also set at the “proper” 10p club stake/£100 JP, rather than the moribund 5p cheap-to-play stake which robs the machine of so much excitement. This is a club machine - and club machines should offer big money prizes as a matter of course.

And the best thing about it is this:

The old girl’s ready to cough, as downloaded.

I nearly shat myself silly when, about a hundred quid in, and sat on the train to London, I got that rarest of commodities - my very first in fact - a true, emulated MPU3 club jackpot. Not some test mode frig I might add, nor via some resetting type malarkey, but a straight, fair JP. Something that quite often was up to three months in the making when these machines were in the wild.

Of course, it’s not really possible to do anything much other than to slavishly follow the machine’s intended profile with these old MPU3 clubbers (although Fruitsim might enlighten us to the contrary here, I shall defer to his expertise in such matters). If you try to force them, they’ll only force unavoidable wins upon you (thanks to the capped roulette gamble in the main). Try as you might to lose small wins off the gamble, this will eventually repeatedly win – even on the x12 gamble – and if the resulting win is anywhere near £10, it will auto-collect. Similarly, a trail nudge win will often pay a large value (say £10 off four grapes) even if you lose the nudge gamble, which will then subsequently autocollect of course.

My suggestion is therefore this; when playing the machine from its downloaded state, just sit back and enjoy it!

You’ll notice straight away that it does things slightly differently from other later MPU3 clubbers as I have described; in my own case, the third single bar just dropped in for a £5.60 straight reel win off a simple hold set piece, right from the off – not something the either Sweepstake or Royal Exchange would ever do (these would be too busy saving up for their nudge exchange/small win set pieces, which get tedious once you’ve realised there’s a £3.60 block). They’ll be the odd £10 forced nudge win (off 6 or 8 nudges) along the way, as well at least one Super Series win and a couple or more forced capped gamble wins of around £8-10 apiece.

However, after around £100 through it or so, the machine will go on an unmistakable, horrendous suck mode (really quite vicious for such a gentlemanly old MPU3 clubber) – nothing at all beyond the odd single cherry reel win will be offered. (I knew something must be afoot at this stage when I encountered this, so pushed on; this may go for £20 or so as in my own case). Eventually though, a Lucky Dip will be offered – and this will give Unlimited Nudges. Marvellous.

That familiar “whirring sound”, the nudge lamps and holds lazily flashing away, the machine’s alpha proudly displaying very reminiscent of MPU3 AWP Hyper Viper’s . And of course, the time-honoured Line Up “victory beeping tune” once you’ve reeled those “big yellows” in… fantastic.

So in a word then, thanks a million, Pook. You’ve made one old man very happy indeed. Lucky Strike is not a machine I ever got to play in the wild; it being too old even for me… but now, thanks to your fine efforts, I can genuinely say that I now feel I have played it.

I salute you, sir.

http://www.dxcellent.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:clap: Great review CC. A couple of question for you.....in your opinion:

 

Do you think the G.A.I.N. feature was possibly devised for later AWP's by the no-lose feature of Unlimited Nudges within Lucky Strike/SS/RE? Would make sense though I'm not sure of the timelines here.

 

Could this have been one of the first example of 'forced wins'? Like you I'm not up on the techs of machines (MPU3 is all you need to know:lol: ) but it seems most previous machines were almost all springs and coils.

 

It's very true to say RE/SS played for the exchanges. I too think out of the three machines that LS is the true clubber. Not too much confusion if you were a non-player with exchanges, afterall if you didn't play these, the only reason you'd put a pound in was to get the JP.

 

Shame these machines are so damn big/heavy lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Daren. :)

 

As regards G.A.I.N., I'm not even sure if this is the "I can do better" thing where the machine autonudges the best win if you cock it up; rather, I suspect this is simply a guarantee of a perfect nudge - no "half nudges" where the reels don't step properly. (Really old machines sometimes did this).

 

For example, I think I'm right in saying that Sweepstake has G.A.I.N., yet this will allow you to nudge a cherry in even if a better win is there (same goes for Big Shot and NBN too I think), as this is often the better strategy saving-nudges wise. (It's a pity that later MPU4 clubbers like Grandstand didn't let you do this, much to their detriment imo).

 

Might well be wrong though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, to be more specific - unlimited nudges on RE will let you nudge away. If you try to nudge anything else other than the jackpot in it will say somethng like 'are you sure you?' or 'you can nudge a jackpot' until after a few attempts to cock it up it will take over and autonudge. I think you're right here, strange that SS has GAIN but will still let you nudge in a cherry.

 

I still haven't got the jp off my own machine yet - only the emulator version on test mode

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I still haven't got the jp off my own machine yet - only the emulator version on test mode

 

Heheh, yes, these old MPU3 clubbers were in no hurry to drop a JP lol. The Sweepstake in our social club back in '84 was played very heavily every night - there was usually a queue of people waiting to get onto it or the Royal Exchange that sat next to it (unheard of by today's standards of course), yet neither it or RE ever paid the JP more than once per month, and it was frequently less often than even that. (The BFM Club High Roller that was brought in to replace SS paid the JP or very close to it every week off the stake gamble - as per usual, BFM bringing home the bacon as far as a good, hard clubber is concerned, even back then).

 

You could be waiting a very long time for a JP old chap if, say, you're only playing your lovely RE one or two hours a week, which is why this layout/RAM file is such a gem... has anyone JP'd it yet then? Screenshots...? :)

 

Cavey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heheh' date=' yes, these old MPU3 clubbers were in no hurry to drop a JP lol. The Sweepstake in our social club back in '84 was played very heavily every night - there was usually a queue of people waiting to get onto it or the Royal Exchange that sat next to it (unheard of by today's standards of course), yet neither it or RE ever paid the JP more than once per month, and it was frequently less often than even that. (The BFM Club High Roller that was brought in to replace SS paid the JP or very close to it every week off the stake gamble - as per usual, BFM bringing home the bacon as far as a good, hard clubber is concerned, even back then).

 

You could be waiting a very long time for a JP old chap if, say, you're only playing your lovely RE one or two hours a week, which is why this layout/RAM file is such a gem... has anyone JP'd it yet then? Screenshots...? :)

 

Cavey[/quote']

 

One/Two hours a week?? How about a year!!

 

Seriously, next time I decide to lock myself in my garage for a bit, I will take my camera w/video and tape every time I get a lucky dip

 

I'm hoping to make another aquisition soon 8) so will look to tape this too. Woohoo. I just love Fruitsim's Line-Up video. Was that a first attempt to gamble all the way to UN or just luck?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

wtf happened to EDIT

sorry rgrider, but the one on ebay looks so much nicer, with the original decals.

not that theres anything wrong with yours, lol

just always liked the lucky strike colour scheme,

cheers,

GAZ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Firstly, thanks to our Australian friend Cipdus for posting on this thread and alerting me to the delights of WWC.

 

Secondly I need to apologise to Cavey for dismisisng his column until now as something historic and not worthy of reading.

 

I read this review and was transported back to 1986 in an old sports and social club I used to belong to, where they had sited a Lucky Strike. I never won big on the thing, never had much stake money to put in it. But it was a Barcrest MPU3 in every sense, and one of the few clubbers I ever played on that, or indeed any, technology.

 

The memories of playing that machine came flooding back, just as they did when I reloaded Pook's DX of the machine recently. Pook's site was the first emulation foray I made and being on dial-up at the time meant I had to restrict my activity to limited sites and I am so pleased that was one of them. I had forgotten about this classic machine and it is a pleasure to be playing it again.

 

Cavey's article has given me hope that one day I too will get my first "genuine" clubber jackpot, and it will be from this DX. I shall also busy myself reading the other write ups in WWC and hopefully reading about other machines from "my era"

 

Thanks again.

 

bj

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your very kind comments Barcrest Junky, I am very glad you like my ramblings. :)

 

Keep plugging away at that Lucky Strike; after a couple of hundred at most, it will cough the jackpot. The preceding 'suck period' is absolutely unmistakable, as it is most uncharacteristic behavour for this normally genteel old clubber! Just wait for the seemingly innocuous Lucky Dip, which will be given eventually. :)

 

Great old MPU3 clubber - bags of entertainment back in the day. If the profile was too flat, at least it always gave a good run for your cash, much like its sisters-in-skin Royal Exchange and Sweepstake. Like most clubbers, the 10p/£100JP variant was rather better to play than the 5p/£50.

Edited by Captain Caveman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

There still knocking about. I picked this one up last week and after the enjoyable read i had from this thread im itching to get it going and hit the jp. After i flick the switch to set it to £100 of course. Thankyou for the wonderfull read.

post-6993-0-93951900-1391813295_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

….. and even more years pass and the rare beast survives, not been able to play properly yet (some inevitable issues to work thru with you kind folks helping hopefully) but here she is in demo mode soon after collection. Not bad eh for nearly 40 years young!   Ps. Great reading above btw, and I never realised there was a blue £50 version👍

B491AA34-FA20-40D7-AAB5-A81526162DD3.jpeg

30A03EB5-6E1F-485C-90A1-7FD1F1965EB6.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...