Black Knight: Sword of Rage Deep Dive! In Depth Overview of the Machine

Overview | Price | Who's Who | Features | Rules and Code | Interviews with Tim Sexton and Steve Ritchie

Black Knight: Sword of Rage is the newest creation from Stern Pinball!  Below is an in-depth overview of the machine, and a dive into the features and rules – check it out!


Overview of Black Knight: Sword of Rage

Pro/Premium/LE
Pro/Premium/LE
Pro/Premium/LE
Pro/Premium/LE
High Res Pro Playfield
High Res Premium Playfield
High Res LE Playfield

Release Details

Black Knight Sword of Rage is the third game in the Black Knight Series, following the original Black Knight (Williams, 1980) and Black Knight 2000 (Williams, 1989).

It was revealed today on an article on IGN: BLACK KNIGHT: SWORD OF RAGE PINBALL REVEALED: FIRST IMAGES, VIDEO, DETAILS, AND AN INTERVIEW WITH CREATOR, STEVE RITCHIE

Stern also released the following teaser videos:

General teaser:

Pro Model teaser:

Premium Model teaser:


Price

  • Pro
    • MSRP: $5,999
    • Street Price: ~ $5,600-$5,700
  • Premium
    • MSRP: $7,599
    • Street Price: ~ $7,300
  • Limited Edition
    • MSRP: $8,999
    • Street Price: ~ $8,800

Who’s Who

Design: Steve Ritchie

Software: Tim Sexton

Artwork/Graphics: Josh Clay, Kevin O’Connor

Sound Design: Jerry Thompson

Music: Scott Ian of Anthrax


Features

All Models:

  • Voice work by Steve Ritchie, Ed Robertson, and others
  • Retro mode features music, speech and sounds from previous Black Knight games
  • 6 balls
  • Black Knight Toy with Spinning Flail and Power Shield
  • LED Fire Panel simulates real fire as you burn down the Black Knight’s Castle
  • Lightning Wheel with RGB LEDs
  • Spinners

Premium/LE Models:

  • Transparent Upper Playfield
  • Drop target in VUK (Vertical Up Kicker) lane

LE Model:

  • Mirrored backglass
  • Battlefield Art Blades
  • Shaker motor
  • Limited to 600 units

Rules and Code

Main Objective

The Black Knight and his minions are invading your lands. Use your sword to defeat him, his Skeleton Army, his Evil Allies, and burn his castle!

WAR Top Lanes

Complete W-A-R lanes to advance Bonus X and Hurry Ups.

RAGE Bottom Lanes

Complete R-A-G-E to light Mystery.

Knight Lights

Completing main feature objectives awards Knight Lights. Scoring K-N-I-G-H-T lights Knight Mode at the Castle VUK.

Knight Mode

Travel back in time to experience classic pinball.

Hurry Up

Bash the Black Knights Flail to open up the flail ramp shot for bonus points.

Lightning Wheel Modes

Shoot the Flail Ramp and Bash the Black Knight’s Shield to light Modes.

WAR Hurry Up Features

Shoot the Black Knight’s Flail, Shield, and BK Bash Target for big scoring opportunities.

Sword of Rage

Charge the Sword’s power with the right drop target 3 bank. Activate during modes for increased scoring.

Triple Knights Challenge Multiball

Shoot the Lock target to raise the shield. Lock balls behind the shield to start Triple Knights Challenge Multiball.

Magna-Save

Center button activates Magna-Save to save ball when lit.

Super Features

Shoot the BK Bash Target when lit to start Super Features.

Black Castle Wizard Mode

Use all of your power to vanquish the Black Knight before he can defeat you!


Interviews with Tim Sexton and Steve Ritchie

Our friend Nate Shivers of the Coast2Coast Pinball Podcast interviewed both Tim Sexton and Steve Ritchie alongside the reveal of Black Knight: Sword of Rage! You can check out the full interviews by clicking here! Here are just a few highlights:

Tim Sexton

“From the perspective of you – the person playing the pinball machine – you’re always looking at your target or at the enemy in front of you.  So the Black Knight is the big boss of the game, he’s hard to defeat because he’s so powerful.  He keeps putting his first level of minions which are his Skeleton Army in front of you to trip you up on your way.  With the skeleton army we have a few events in the game like the WAR hurry up comes back in this game as a 3 in 1 hurry up.  You’re faced with some skeletons which each have unique weapons and you have to battle them.  After you get through all three WAR hurry ups you get to the Black Knight.  But then if you don’t get him in time he [goes back] to the castle.  We also have these monsters that guard these different realms which are sort of akin to a video game that has different levels that have different mini boss fights leading up to the big bad guy in the main castle in the game.  So we have an environment that is a greenish swamp with a [monster] that comes out.  We have an environment that is a frozen wasteland where these Lich Lords come to life from their frozen rocks and start attacking the player.  The player in this situation – you’re a hero with a sword, and you’re drawn to these different areas to cleanse these areas from the Black Knight’s power because he really controlling these lands and controlling the monsters with his power and his rage.  And eventually if you knock them all out, you get the power in your sword to go head to head against the Black Knight in his throne room for a big final battle wizard mode scene in the Black Castle.”

“There is another multi ball that is on both models of the game where you’re trying to infiltrate the Black Knight’s keep to get to his money that presumably he stole from all the kids playing Black Knight 2000 and Black Knight on location.”

“Steve [Ritchie] did the voice of the Black Knight.”

“On this game we have what we call the power feature, and on your UI (User Interface) you’ll have a sword that will get charged up as you progress through the game.  And you can save that fully charged sword until the moment you want it…and hit that center target to activate a super charged mode where everything is worth more points, all the shots are a little bit easier, and there are more shots to hit.”

On Scott Ian doing sound:

“That was through our Director of Licensing Jody Dankberg…we were looking for someone to do the music, we didn’t know who it was going to be…we were exploring some options…and Jody says “Why don’t we get [Scott Ian of Anthrax] to do it?”  So we gave him a phone call and he was on tour at the time…and we told him the timeframe of the game and we’re looking for this much music, do you think you’d be able to do it?  And he said yes, I’ve got some time…we waited a little while and he was on his tour, and he got back…and he sent us the first Black Knight main theme but his version of it, and wow.  [We thought] this is spectacular…this exceeded our expectations…he crushed the soundtrack.”

On the software:

“I am not exactly sure what number we’re going to be coming out with yet, but it is going to be…high 0.8 or low 0.9 territory…I’ll make sure this game gets to 1.0 as soon as I can with all the features that I’ve planned and all the polish and all the stuff that makes it shine…”

Steve Ritchie

On the Black Knight toy:

“I knew we were going to have a Black Knight toy, but it could’ve been on a horse, it could’ve been somewhere else on the game.  My artist, Kevin O’Connor, he thought about a central [toy]…he drew in a flail hanging down.  That gave me the idea to make a motorized flail on one side and also a shield on the other side that raised up and down, and there would be a hole behind it, a place to put a ball…I also wanted his head to move up and down but we gave that up.  It was just too many mechanics in one close very tight area.”

On the Fire Panel:

“Another thing we have in the game that is really cool – it is like an LED fire panel.  I think there are 60 LEDs or so, and it looks like real flames, it is awesome…it is in the back panel.  We have a drawing of the castle and the gate, and the gate has the flames behind it or not.  When you strike the castle with a ball, figuratively it burns…it is a really nice effective piece.”

On the Topper:

“The topper has Black Knight’s head, probably six inches high by 3 inches wide.  A big ostrich feather sticking out of the top of it.  It is totally robotic, it can look left and look right.  It also has modulating LEDs in the mask, where all the holes are…so he can express anything he wants…when it says “No way”, it is going to shake his head left and right.  And he is going to rock his head back and [laugh]…I think it is the best topper ever.”

On retiring:

“I’m not retiring, that is for sure.”


Look for a stream from Dead Flip soon!