Pinball: insert Black Knight 2000 theme here


#1

It’s been around a hell of a lot longer than video games (and considered the ancestor to them) but even today pinball is still damn fun. I got back into it around 2014 or so after watching the excellent documentary Special When Lit and then finding out about PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) and its numerous tutorial and gameplay videos.

As of now, there’s basically only one major manufacturer of pinball machines, Stern (Williams, Bally, and Gottlieb all folded, and Data East became Sega, then Sega essentially became Stern), and they’ve been pumping out some impressive stuff. Recently they switched from using dot matrix displays (DMDs) to full on LCD color screens and while it certainly makes me miss the charm of DMD animations it is pretty nifty.

Might as well list some of my favorite tables while I’m at it:

Twilight Zone (Bally/Midway) - the source of the picture in this thread. Hard shots, but the theme is awesome and the multiball start sound is fantastic. DON’T TOUCH THE DOOR!
Addams Family (Bally/Midway) - Everyone knows this one. I love how the flippers sometimes automatically flip along with the “snap snap” in the theme music when you lose a ball.
TX-Sector (Gottlieb) - Very underrated table with awesome music. One of the best mid 80s Gottliebs in my opinion.
Attack From Mars (Williams) - Hit that saucer! Great light show, even has a strobe light multiball mode. And it had a sequel called…
Revenge From Mars (Williams) - One of only two machines using Williams’ “Pinball 2000” platform, which had a video screen you’d shoot the ball into (holy shit). Just as good as AFM.
Medieval Madness (Williams) - Roughly the same as AFM, but with hitting a castle. It even shakes and falls apart when you destroy it! Also has some really funny sound bites. "They took our shrubbery!"
Black Knight 2000 (Williams) - In the OP title. YOU GOT THE POWER, YOU GOT THE MIGHT! Aside from the great theme it’s got some tough shots but is super fun to play.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Williams) - Great license, fun shots. Also, you can tell Data to shut up and get a point bonus for it.
Stargate (Gottlieb) - One of Gottlieb’s late tables before they folded up. Plays well, also has some nifty callouts including “Shoot the pyramid!”, “Get the pyramid!” and, uh…“Shoot the pyramid!”

If you can’t get access to a real pinball table, FarSight has you covered: they’ve released The Pinball Arcade, which has a LOT of real machines to play virtually. The physics aren’t exactly the same as in real life (they never will be, as real machines can have wear and tear and various factors that can affect ball trajectory) but it is a great way to figure out the rules and strategy for a specific table so when you ever come across a real one you’ll know what to do!

Resources:
PAPA Youtube Channel
Dead Flip - Regularly streams pinball on evenings during the week. Cool dude.