|Designer(s)||Art 13, Katsuhiko Gen (credited as "Katsupro")|
|Composer(s)||Akihito Hayashi (credited as "Hayashi")|
|Mode(s)||Single-player or multiplayer|
Pinball Quest is a 1989 pinball video game developed by Tose and published by Jaleco. Released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Pinball Quest was unusual at the time of its release for its "unique" mash-up of pinball and role-playing game (RPG) mechanics, and it is considered the "first ever RPG pinball game."
The game includes four modes: a story-driven "RPG mode" as well as "Circus," "Viva! Golf," and "Pop! Pop!"
In RPG mode, the player controls the silver pinball and progresses through a six-level castle to rescue Princess Bali from Beezelbub, the "Dark Lord of the Machine". As in traditional pinball, flippers are used to keep the ball in the playfield and accomplish objectives, such as hitting targets or defeating an enemy.
The role-playing mechanics are very limited. There is just a minimal character development, consisting in developing a single statistic, but no immersive world simulation, no freedom of exploration, and no active dialogue.
During game play, the player earns gold which can be spent at the Black Market, a store run by imps. At the Black Market, players can purchase upgraded flippers and stoppers.
Below are the six "RPG mode" stages and the notable characters or features in each stage.
- Tomb (the Captain's Spirit, skeletons)
- Gate (Ziffroo the witch, demon dogs)
- Goblins (goblin kids, goblin guards)
- River ("toitles," "Wheel O' Luck," dark knights)
- Harpy (harpy, demon guards)
- Throne room (Beezelbub)
Retrospective reviews of Pinball Quest focus on the novelty of its RPG elements. The game has been called a "curious mix of genres", with some reviewers describing it in more extreme terms, stating it is "among the most bizarre genre hybrids in the history of video games" and a "baffling experiment."
Cutscenes such as this were unusual for a pinball game at the time
- "Pinball Quest". Nintendo Power. No. July-August 1990. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
- Scullion, Chris (2019). The NES Encyclopedia. Pen & Sword Books. p. 145. ISBN 9781526737809. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
- "Pinball Quest". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
- Lachel, Cyril. "Pinball Quest". Defunct Games. Retrieved 1 August 2021.