Fish Tales


Earlier this spring we made a wish list with Taru, and decided that the two games we absolutely want, would be Indiana Jones and Fish Tales. We got the Indy two months ago, and today it was Fish Tales's turn. The machine is in decent shape, of course it needs the standard disassemble-clean-put back routine but otherwise no bigger problems. A nice thing is that the kicking fish on top of the backbox is still there and kicking :)

Taru plays a test game.

Protective bag helps preventing transport damage.

Overall, a nice looking game.

Playfield does not have much wear.

The boat is intact, but a little bit dirty.

Bumper skirts are worn. The ball must have hit them a few times! The seller gave new skirts with the game, so we only need to replace them and it will be good as new.

Some cleaning required also here.

Side targets are a little bit worn. But they will look better after cleaning, despite the wear.

As is seen on the picture, all rubbers need replacing. But that is easy since the playfield must be stripped anyway, to clean everything.


Today we managed to disassemble and clean the game, and even put it back together, with no leftover parts!

Playfield stripped and cleaned.

Bumper skirts needed replacing. That is a tedious job, the bumper ring and body must be removed, and the light socket leads must be cut to remove body. Cutting and resoldering the lamp leads is best done with the bumper mechanism under playfield removed. So lots of work, but on the positive side, now also bumpers are nice and clean.

Taru attaches the bumper mechanism.

Right flipper was a bit weak. No wonder, the link hole had spread and there was almost half a centimeter of play. On the left side, it was better but we replaced both flipper mechanisms anyway.

Flipper plunger and link, at its end of life.

Sure looks good now!

And the side targets were not worn at all, just dirty. Not anymore.

What a difference a days work does! Of the twenty or something general illumination lamps, over half were burnt out. And the plastics were not exactly clean either. But now there is plenty of light and shine. A fine machine it is. We threw in the latest software version L-5, now lets play!


The old slingshot plastics were broken, but we found a new replacement set. Also the boat plastics are a bit damaged, maybe someday we replace those also.

Slingshot plastics.


Taru went fishing today, and look what a catch she found!

Todays catch.

Actually, this fish came from top of our Fish Tales, and Taru removed it for cleaning. The fish and the plastic bowl over it were a bit dirty. At the same time, some new light bulbs were installed.

Minor surgery.

The fish shakes its tail wit help of a solenoid coil, and this fish had a little wear on its tail. Some minor surgery was needed, but now it should again last for a while.

Fish soup ingredients.

Strange, but many Fish Tales seem to have the kicking fish missing. Who knows where they have swum, but buyer beware, the fish is hard to catch afterwards.


Taru replaced the broken boat plastics, looks good! At the same time we swapped games, she got our Scared Stiff and I have the Fish Tales now for a while :)


Some playfield lamps were constantly on and very bright. Turned out that one lamp column drive tarnsistor Q91 was shorted. Replacing transistor helped, but also some lamps burned out and needed replacing. But now everything's OK again.


Heavy metal. A beer bottle for scaling.

I removed the add-on 500 VA isolation transformer, now the game is much lighter to move. I am sure that the Williams original transformer is safe enough. At the same time I installed a new power switch, the original was missing.


I replaced the display, not with a completely new one but anyway less used. The old display was showing its age, it took a while after power on, before all dots were lit.


Lamp board connector pins are almost loose.

Right side target lamps were out of order, and wiggling the lamp sockets did not help. Typical problem in lamp boards, the connector pins solder joints had cracked open. Re-soldering all pins fixed the problem, now all lamps work.


There has been some battery leak on the CPU board, that has not been neutralized in time. Now the board stopped working because of corrosion in switch matrix chips and connector. I will fix the board, but meanwhile, as a test, I put in a repro CPU board and just replaced the switch matrix column wire connector. The new board seems to be OK.