UPDATE: Stern has posted a press release, which I’ve added at the end of the post. You can also download a PDF file of the full features matrix here.
Yesterday was the teaser on Stern’s new Black Knight game, which means that today is the full course. Let’s get to it.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Black Knight: Sword of Rage is the third in a series of pinball machines that have been created by Steve Ritchie. The first was in 1980, the second 1989, this one coming in 30 years later. If you aren’t familiar with the original, here’s gameplay of the ’80 model; here’s BK2K.
As they have done several times in the past, Stern has revealed the game through gaming news site IGN. You can read the full article here with an action video, full pics of the 3 models, and an interview with Steve Ritchie at that link.
To sum it up: this new game does hearken back to the originals, while adding modern tech and features to elevate for today’s audience. Scott Ian of Anthrax composed and performed the music, although for fans of the original BK2K music, there is a “special retro mode” where you can hear that in all of it’s 80’s glory. Ed Robertson of the band Bare Naked Ladies also contributes his voice to the game. Kevin O’Connor created the artwork, who has an impressive resume of pinball machine art starting with Galaxy Ranger in 1978.
As you can see, the playfield art and some of the layout does hearken back to Sword of Rages predecessors (LE playfield shown)
This is the first time time that players will battle “the Black Knight and his minions,” with an interactive 3D toy setup in the middle of the playfield. The Black Knight has two mechanisms – an impressive looking spinner flail weapon and a shield. He also contains two “independently controlled” LED’s for eyes.
All models have the Black Night toy, color changing LED’s, drop targets, an LCD screen and the Magna Save player-activated magnet skill feature. The Pro model does not feature the transparent upper playfield, so you’ll have to spring for the Premium or LE for that. 600 LE’s are planned.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Even though the Pro doesn’t have that upper playfield, it still does keep the pop bumpers in a kind of sectioned off spot. One of the ramps also goes behind the playfield backwall. Click on either of these images for a larger view:
Selling at an MSRP of $7,599, you’ll get a little more with this model, particularly the upper playfield with extra flipper and targets for some extra fun & depth.
In addition to it’s unique artwork, this has side-blades (which do look pretty cool). Only 600 of these will be made
I’ve asked about this coming to Amusement Expo in Las Vegas tomorrow, but as of this writing, have not received a response on that yet. If that changes I’ll update it here; otherwise I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Again, IGN has more details and a nice interview with Ritchie that provides more info. By all of these details, what do you think about the return of the Black Knight?
UPDATE: Stern Press release on Black Knight:
Stern Pinball Announces New Black Knight: Sword of Rage Pinball Machines!
CHICAGO, IL – March 26, 2019 – Stern Pinball, Inc., a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball, proudly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines 40 years in the making. The iconic pinball character, the Black Knight, returns to entertain a new generation of pinball players with the third game in the Black KnightTM franchise, Black Knight: Sword of RageTM.
For the first time ever, players will explore, discover, and unlock the secrets of the Black Knight universe. Navigating through these dark, mysterious, and twisted realms, players will uncover foes, demons, riches, and secrets in their quest against the Black Knight. Black Knight: Sword of Rage pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models.
“There’s nothing more iconic in the pinball universe than the Black Knight character,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc. “Created by game designer Steve “The King” Ritchie, the Black Knight has always taunted and antagonized players to battle him and now, for the first time, players will be able to fight back.”
Stern’s Black Knight: Sword of Rage Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models feature stunning and distinctive hand-drawn art in homage to this pinball icon. Each game features a custom sculpted, interactive, and multi-functional Black Knight bash toy. This interactive Black Knight toy features a bi-directional motorized flail, a glowing RGB helmet with individually controllable expressive lighting to interact and taunt players with custom speech, and a sliding coil-driven shield that will bash and block your shots.
All models include the distinct “Magna-Save”, a player-controlled magnet used to prevent a ball from draining, and timed resetting drop targets. In addition, Black Knight: Sword of Rage features a legacy sound package composed and performed by Scott Ian of Anthrax with Brendon Small, adrenalizing the audio experience for players on their journey, and custom speech by Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies.
The Premium and Limited Edition models both feature a transparent upper playfield with a distinct 3-ball lock mechanism, giving players the ability to achieve a 6-ball multiball.
The Limited Edition – 600 units globally – includes additional unique features such as an exclusive mirrored backglass, anti-reflection pinball glass, shaker motor, exclusive custom art blades, a custom autographed bottom arch, a sequentially numbered plaque, and exclusive battle art custom themed cabinet artwork.
Complementing the immersive theme and exciting gameplay experience, Stern Pinball’s powerful SPIKE™ electronics hardware system enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations on the high-definition video display. SPIKE™ reduces system complexity and energy usage resulting in enhanced reliability and simplified servicing. The state-of-the-art electronic system also powers a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations.
Pricing and Availability:
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price:
MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes.
Pro Model: $US 5,999
Premium Model: $US 7,599
Limited Edition Model: $US 8,999
Black Knight: Sword of Rage pinball is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.
About Stern Pinball, Inc.
Stern Pinball, Inc. is a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball. Headquartered minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in the heart of North America, the company creates, designs, engineers, manufactures, markets, and distributes a full line of technologically advanced terrestrial and digital pinball games, parts, accessories, and merchandise. Stern Pinball serves digital, consumer, commercial, and corporate markets around the globe.
Recent Stern Pinball titles include The Munsters, The Beatles, Deadpool, Iron Maiden, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Aerosmith, Ghostbusters, KISS, Metallica, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, AC/DC, Batman, and Spider-Man. A broad range of players enjoy Stern Pinball’s games from professional pinball players who compete in high-stakes international competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time. To join the fun and learn more, please visit www.sternpinball.com.
All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.