Date: 26th March, 2019

Following yesterday’s teaser video, Stern Pinball today released pictures and a video of their new Black Knight: Sword of Rage pinball.

The translite for the Pro model
The translite for the Pro model

As usual, the game is available in three variants – Pro, Premium and LE – with suggested prices of $5,999 for the Pro, $7,599 for the Premium and $8,999 for the Limited Edition.

Let’s take a look at the cabinet and backbox artwork for the three models.

The Pro side view
The Pro side view
The front of the Pro
The front of the Pro
The side view of the Premium
The side view of the Premium
The front of the Premium
The front of the Premium
The side of the Limited Edition
The side of the Limited Edition
The front of the Limited Edition
The front of the Limited Edition

Each model has its own art package, together with individual translite or backglass (on the LE) designs. All the artwork comes from famed pinball artist Kevin O’Connor.

The Pro, Premium and LE translite/backglass designs
The Pro, Premium and LE translite/backglass designs

Under the glass, the Premium and LE models share the same playfield features which include an acrylic upper playfield with a full-size flipper and a three-ball lock, a stainless-steel shooter lane with the choice to launch to the upper or lower playfields, a drop target in the left orbit lane, and a powder-coated steel bottom apron.

The LE playfield
The LE playfield

The Pro model doesn’t have an upper playfield, so it’s only a two-flipper game compared to three on the Premium and LE. It also has a plastic bottom apron, but gains a second spinner in the left orbit in place of the drop target on the Premium/LE.

The Pro model's playfield
The Pro model’s playfield

Here are the two designs side-by-side:

The LE/Premium on the left, the Pro on the right
The LE/Premium on the left, the Pro on the right

Probably the star of the game is The Black Knight himself. He is represented on the playfield for the first time as a model and, apart from being internally lit by RGB LEDs synced to his speech, he has a couple more tricks up his sleeves.

The Black Knight on the Pro
The Black Knight on the Pro

The Black Knight isn’t a bash toy exactly, as you shoot the standup target in front of him rather than hit the model directly. However, in his right hand is a a spinning flail which is motorised so it can spin whenever the ramp below is shot.

The motorised flail in the Black Knight's right hand
The motorised flail in the Black Knight’s right hand

In his left hand is his shield which is hit directly and which raises when struck.

The shield in The Black Knight's left hand
The shield in The Black Knight’s left hand

An opto switch in front of the shield senses hits and raises shield to allow access to a U-turn lane and upkicker behind.

The shield lowered and raised
The shield lowered and raised

The shield lane upkicker, like another upkicker on the left, uses the ‘web-slinger’ curved ball guide to deliver the ball onto a passing wireform.

The right 'web-slinger' and the steel launch lane to either the upper or lower playfields
The right ‘web-slinger’ and the steel launch lane to either the upper or lower playfields
The 'web-slinger' on the left side of the playfield
The ‘web-slinger’ on the left side of the playfield
There is a drop target in the left lane on the Premium and LE, but an extra spinner on the Pro
There is a drop target in the left lane on the Premium and LE, but an extra spinner on the Pro

The upper-playfield on the Premium and LE models are made out of Lexan so you can see the pop bumpers and rollover lanes below (as long as it is kept clean).

The upper playfield and ball lock mechanism
The upper playfield and ball lock mechanism
The upper playfield on the Premium and LE
The upper playfield on the Premium and LE

A standup target lights the locks on the metal ball lock mechanism which can hold up to three balls. These are shot into a vertical U-turn and then held in the lock by a retractable post.

Three balls are locked, so time for multiball
Three balls are locked, so time for multiball

The released balls drop onto the Lexan playfield. Being clear, there are limited opportunities for upper-playfield inserts to point to features, but no doubt the LCD display will direct you to the jackpot shots.

The Pro lacks the upper playfield entirely.

The Pro has no upper playfield
The Pro has no upper playfield
As well as being a model, The Black Knight rides again at the back of the playfield
As well as being a model, The Black Knight rides again at the back of the playfield

Two other big features from the earlier Black Knight games continue into this third game in the series.

The Lightning Wheel gives out awards whenever it is spun.

The Lightning Wheel features RGB LEDs beneath the lightning bolt inserts on all three models
The Lightning Wheel features RGB LEDs beneath the lightning bolt inserts on all three models

The awards range from super pops/orbits/lanes/slings/targets/spins to starting one of the six modes – Black Castle, Mud Bog, Molten Fire, Burning Sands, Wicked Cavern and Deep Freeze

The six modes and six 'super' awards
The six modes and six ‘super’ awards

The second carry-over from earlier games is Magna-Save, the player-operated electromagnet found just about an outlane which allows a ball draining down the outlane to be stopped and dropped into the inlane instead.

The feature is usually earned with playfield shots on a three-bank of drop targets and activated by a second flipper button. The three-bank is still there but on Black Knight: Sword of Rage the Magna-Save is activated by the action button on the lock bar.

The Manga-Save drop targets
The Manga-Save drop targets
The Magna-Save activation button on the lock bar
The Magna-Save activation button on the lock bar
A saved ball held by the Magna-Save magnet
A saved ball held by the Magna-Save magnet

Unlike the original Black Knight but in keeping with the Black Knight 2000, Magna Save is only available on the right outlane. There is a ball save feature available on the left lane to get you back in the game.

The ball save on the left outlane, along with the signed apron decal on the LE model
The ball save on the left outlane, along with the signed apron decal on the LE model
Powder-coated bottom apron on the LE and Premium models
Powder-coated bottom apron on the LE and Premium models
The individually-numbered plaque on the Limited Edition games
The individually-numbered plaque on the Limited Edition games
Limited Edition backbox side art
Limited Edition backbox side art
The Premium model's cabinet side art
The Premium model’s cabinet side art

Here’s a full list of the features found in each of the three models. As with all the pictures here, you can click this for a bigger version if needed.

The feature matrix
The feature matrix

In addition to the detailed pictures, Stern Pinball also released a two promotional videos showing snippets of gameplay from the Premium and the Pro models, along with a sample of the music created by Scott Ian from the band Anthrax.

Here’s the Pro model video:

and this is the video for the Premium with the upper playfield

Finally, here’s how Stern Pinball announced their latest release:

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 Knight franchise, Black Knight: Sword of Rage.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Eric Rodriguez

    March 26, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    I don’t think the upper pf is that significant on this title, it’s only for the castle lock and the little orbit, the balls drain down to the same right inlane on both Pro and Prem from the same areas (truth of the matter is that all versions of this game are a one habitrail layout). That said, I do believe the upper pf makes BK more complete looking and if given the choice I’d prob go for the upper tier model. But all the “money” in this new game is lower half with the knight toy and magna save and that’s on all versions. For once, SR made a bottom heavy BK game lol.

    Reply

  2. Russell Speak

    April 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    I thought the main Knight toy would revolve when hit, so it swings out and strikes the ball with it’s flail. Instead they’ve gone for a spinner and a gate. I’m all for creating brand new ideas in pinball. Maybe they had this idea and it didn’t work.

    It’s also hard to get into a theme where there isn’t any story. Who is the Black Knight? Is he the bad guy? Modern pins need to offer more in the story telling department to engage players. Not epic story telling, just the basics – kind of like a children’s book type of story telling: The Black Knight is the king of the Dark Realm and slays all the evil that tries to take his kingdom…his quest is to defeat the evil Necromancer and absorb his great power to rule the world. Stuff like would make the game more appealing.

    In 2019, there’s has to be more to offer than just scoring points and trying to beat a high score. Pinball is evolving but this basic gameplay concept is mostly unchanged.

    Reply

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