Date: 4th May, 2023

The second ‘2.0’ upgrade kit to be released by Pedretti Gaming is to be Whirlwind: Total Chaos.

Pedretti Gaming’s new Whirlwind: Total Chaos upgrade kit

The game is another multi-national collaboration, with Pedretti Gaming in Italy managing, manufacturing and marketing the kit, while the rules and software are created in Wales with the computing power originating in the US and France. The artwork and music comes from Italy too, with overall supervision by Planetary Pinball and SG Gaming, both headquartered in the US.

A whole new storyline has been created for the Total Chaos package which adds multiple new modes – including a video mode, two mini-wizard modes and a full wizard mode.

Storm Blasters - Any Time... Any Where!
Storm Blasters – Any Time… Any Where!
Just another day on the job?  Not quite!
Just another day on the job? Not quite!

The original theme of a storm-blaster attempting to track the whirlwind and subdue its lethal power has been retained and extended to incorporate the effects of the impending storm on people, animal, plants and, yes, donuts too.

Won't somebody think of the donuts?
Won’t somebody think of the donuts?

The upgrade kit includes a new speaker/display panel featuring a full-colour LCD monitor which will show the all-new custom animations along with scoring and gameplay information as well as new diagnostics screens. Running the new code and driving the LCD requires a whole new set of controller boards which are included, along with a new backglass and a pair of interior cabinet artwork decals.

As with the Funhouse upgrade, the player can choose to switch between the 2.0 version’s rules and the classic rules before starting the game by holding in the left flipper button.

Part of the attract mode video for Whirlwind: Total Chaos

The original Whirlwind speaker panel included illuminated sections below the score displays for the seven Super Cellar Door awards. These awards have been greatly enhanced in the new ruleset while the original seven awards are emulated on the display panel when playing the classic version of the rules. The alpha-numeric displays are also emulated, in the same way they are in Funhouse: Rudy’s Nightmare.

The new colour display and the new speaker panel
The new colour display and the new speaker panel

A new backglass is included in the kit along with the interior cabinet artwork decals, all featuring re-imagined artwork created by Italian designer Morti Morti.

The new backglass artwork
The new backglass artwork

Unlike the Funhouse kit, there are no playfield modifications required for the Whirlwind: Total Chaos package other than the addition of the cabinet interior art decals.

These self-adhesive decals feature scenes and characters from the new Whirlwind: Total Chaos storyline

The interior cabinet decals
The interior cabinet decals
The right-side cabinet artwork
The right-side cabinet artwork
The left-side cabinet artwork
The left-side cabinet artwork

The sound package includes voice work by Marc Silk, another Funhouse team alumnus.

The new backglass and speaker panel
The new backglass and speaker panel

Driving the display and running the new code is a replacement boardset mounted in the backbox. As with Funhouse: Rudy’s Nightmare, a new sound card is included in kit to produce all the new music tracks, Marc’s voice calls and the new sound effects, as well as an emulation of the original Whirlwind sounds when playing in classic mode.

There are some differences from the Funhouse kit. While Funhouse was Williams’ first pinball to use their WPC system (WPC-89), Whirlwind used the earlier, less capable System 11B. That requires a different, larger System 11 controller/driver board, while the original Whirlwind also uses an additional Sound Overlay board to drive the spinning discs and the backbox topper’s fan.

Whirlwind: Total Chaos with the original fan topper
The complete Whirlwind: Total Chaos package

To find out more about the new title and the development process, Pinball News visited the offices of Team Pinball in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales where we spoke with Janos Kiss who creates the rules for Pedretti’s 2.0 version of the game and writes the software.

Programmer Janos Kiss with the first two Pedretti 2.0 games
Programmer Janos Kiss with the first two Pedretti 2.0 games

He told us how the team discusses what the next 2.0 title should be based on a number of factors such as the number of units originally sold, possible hardware enhancements and potential ideas for extending the original ruleset.

Although Pedretti Gaming’s Funhouse: Rudy’s Nightmare is probably the most well-known 2.0 kit available, other manufacturers have also been licensed by Planetary Pinball for either existing or future Bally/Williams upgrade kits, meaning not every title is necessarily available.

Janos told us they chose Whirlwind because the theme gave them many possibilities for new rules and, with more than 7,000 units produced, there would be a sizeable market for the kits.

Pedretti Gaming devises the new storyline and create the new mode names and concepts, while Janos creates rules around them and writes the code to implement them, working with the video artist, composer and voice artist to ensure all the necessary assets are available and fully integrated into the gameplay.

There are lots of new player-selectable modes in Whirlwind: Total Chaos based around the storm and its toxic effects, along with attempts to repair the Storm Blasters van and finally defeat the storm. Most are timer-based with a mix of single- and multi-ball modes featuring shot sequences and roaming shots, and even a video mode. Here are some of them:

The Donado is a multiball mode
The Donado is a multiball mode
Armor the House
Armor the House
The Scaryboyz
The Scaryboyz
5G Zombies
5G Zombies
Area 51
Area 51
Run Run Chicken is a video mode in the style of 'Run From Spike' in Junkyard
Run Run Chicken is a video mode in the style of ‘Run From Spike’ in Junkyard
The Piggies
The Piggies
Bermuda Crab
Bermuda Crab
Nuke Nick
Nuke Nick
Acid Plants
Acid Plants
Sewie vs Nannies
Sewie vs Nannies

If all the required shots in a mode aren’t completed in the time available, the mode can be chosen again and will pick up from where you left it. The difficulty varies across modes, with some easily completed, while others may well require two or more attempts to finish.

Completion of all the regular modes is required for one of the sub-wizard modes, while the other is awarded for collecting all the Super Cellar Door prizes, the range of which has also been considerably extended.

Here’s Pedretti Gaming’s promotional video of their new Whirlwind: Total Chaos game.

Whirlwind: Total Chaos is now available to order. The price is yet to be confirmed but check Pedretti Gaming’s website for availability and distributors, and check their Facebook and Instagram feeds for more announcements.

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