High Speed

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For other uses, see High Speed (disambiguation).
High Speed
HS flyer.jpg
Manufacturer Williams
Release date January 1986
System Williams System 11
Design Steve Ritchie
Programming Larry DeMar
Artwork Mark Sprenger, Python Anghelo
Music Bill Parod, Steve Ritchie
Sound Bill Parod, Eugene Jarvis
Voices Steve Ritchie, Larry DeMar
Production run 17,080

High Speed is a 1986 pinball game designed by Steve Ritchie and released by Williams Electronics. This game was based on Ritchie's real-life police chase inside a 1979 Porsche 928.[1] He was finally caught in Lodi, California on Interstate 5 and accused of speeding at 146 mph.[2]


During its design, High Speed was jokingly called "High Cost" by some rival Williams designers due to its then-high production cost. The advances in the mechanical design that went into High Speed, coupled with the machine's popularity, led to many machines being kept in service much longer than was previously the norm. The play surfaces of the machine were not initially given as much attention, leading to many High Speed machines seeing service to this day in extremely worn condition. Williams rapidly addressed this issue by making mylar playfield covers available and later adding hard clear paint coats to their playfields. Canadian specialist Classic Playfield Reproductions produced an officially licensed High Speed 13-color Reproduction Playfield, which shipped as limited edition in 2014.

Notable features[edit]

High Speed Full Machine.jpg

The game was noted for the following firsts:

  • First pinball to play a complete song
  • First Williams pinball game to use alpha-numeric displays
  • First diverter in a pinball
  • First "Kick-Big" (kicker and scoop) in a pinball
  • First use of Auto Percentaging (for replay scores)
  • First "Jackpot" in a pinball, during multi-ball
  • First Jackpot that carried over between games


High Speed was one of the games (along with 1986's Pin*Bot and 1984's Space Shuttle) that helped revitalize the pinball industry, which had become stagnant due in part to the North American video game crash of 1983. High Speed sold 17,080 units.

Notable pinball designer Pat Lawlor[3] and pinball programmer Dwight Sullivan[4] stated that High Speed is one of their favorite games.


A sequel to this pinball was released by Ritchie in 1992, is called, The Getaway: High Speed II, the game also featured some new pinball innovations.

Digital versions[edit]

Digital version of this table had been released on The Pinball Arcade for multiple platforms and is licensed.

Rare Ltd. adapted High Speed also into a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System; Tradewest published the game, which is also called High Speed, in 1991.


  1. ^ IRC Chat with Steve Ritchie
  2. ^ http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=1176
  3. ^ "My favourite machine besides my games is High Speed by the great Steve Ritchie." -- Pat Lawlor. PinballNews.com: Lawlor Talks. Retrieved on 23 October 2011.
  4. ^ My Pinball Blog: T2, Getaway, and Star Trek: TNG, by Dwight Sullivan. Retrieved on 23 October 2011.

See also[edit]

  • Checkpoint - another pinball machine with racing theme

External links[edit]