Black Knight (pinball)
|Release date||November 1980|
|System||Williams System 7|
|Designer(s)||Designer: Steve Ritchie
Programmer: Larry DeMar
Artwork: Tony Ramunni
This game is known for its two-level playfield (a first for a pinball game), and introduced the patented "Magna-Save", in which a player-controlled magnet is used to prevent outlane drains. This was first of a series of four games that were both two-level and featured magna-save. The later games (Jungle Lord, Pharaoh, Solar Fire) feature a variable type magna-save in that the magnet is energized as long as the player likes (up to the time they have earned); on Black Knight the machine controls the magnet time (adjustable by the operator from three to ten seconds). The sequel to Black Knight abandoned the variable magna-save which had become standard at that point and reverted to a fixed time. Balls drained down the outlane in spite of using magna-save caused the machine to laugh at the player, reinforcing the theme of the game as an evil knight vs. the player.
Black Knight was not the first game to have electro magnets installed - an earlier example is Williams' Electronics Gorgar (the first "talking" pinball game), which features an area of the playfield that when hit, holds the ball on an electromagnet for a second or two while a speech call plays.
Black Knight 2000
In 1989, Ritchie designed a sequel to Black Knight, called Black Knight 2000. It featured the voice of Chicago singer Stephanie Rogers.
Black Knight is available as licensed table of The Pinball Arcade for several platforms. The table is also included in the Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection. Unlicensed recreations of the game are available for Visual Pinball.
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