Black Knight (Williams, 1980) VP8

VP8 Williams SS Recreation Black Knight (Williams, 1980) VP8 v1.4 2020-01-28

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Black Knight (Williams, 1980) VP8 v1.4
by Kristian, Neurokinetik
IPD No. 310

Black Knight' introduced 'Magna-Save' and the Bonus Ball concept where the player with the highest score won additional seconds of free play.
BK was also the first game ever that had a split level or "two level" playfield. Magna-Save was a feature where a user could press a button on either side and magnets would prevent the ball from draining via that outlane. It would stop and hold the ball and drop it into the inlane. The user had to perform some task to re-enable magnasave.

Special big thanks to wpcmame for fixing the WMS System 7 emulation.
Special thanks to PacDude for his fantastic fading lights formula. Thanks also to PE 668 for sending me the original sounds of his real Black Knight machine!!!
Thanks to Neurokinetik for the scripting.
Thanks to the whole VPM team (Tom, Brian, Gerrit, Martin and Steve) for their great work.
Thanks to Shiva for file hosting.
Thanks to Rush, Pete Townshend, Dream Theater and Metallica for the background music.
Thanks to Pacdude, Scapino, Lander, Guittar, Eala and other VP-people & friends for the inspiration to break the graphics & design barriers.

Oct 2004, released at VP Forums.

Game Start -
Three balls must be resting on ball ramp or ball shooter switches (maximum of one ball in ball shooter trough) before game will start. Push credit button, startup tune played, ball served, credit display reduced by 1, player 1 score flashes 00 until first scoring switch is made, ball in play shows 1. Pushing credit button before ball 2 displayed allows additional players.

Bonus Advance -
The bonus is advanced (from 1,000 to 49,000) one time by making left ramp rollover, twice by making left and right inside rollovers or outlanes, three times by completing a bank of drop targets, and five times by making left or right inside rollovers as a result of Magna-Save feature. With bonus at maximum and multiplier at 5x, completing a bank of drop targets or making one of the advance switches scores 5,000. Bonus multipliers are advanced from 2X to 5X by making the Turnaround.

Magna-Save Feature* -
Completing a drop target 3-bank while associated lamp is still flashing scores 10,000, lights a target arrow, and lights a magnet. If the associated lamp goes out before the bank is completed, the bank is reset. With a magnet lamp lit, operating the corresponding Magna-Save button on the side of the cabinet energizes the magnet for a *few seconds and a ball held stationary by the magnet will tend to go through the inside rollover.

Mystery and Spinner -
Making the left inside rollover flashes the right ramp rollunder for a mystery value. Making the rollunder while still flashing awards the mystery value which will be indicated on other player display(s). Making the right inside rollover flashes the spinner.

Multi-Ball Play -
Making a ball in the lock mechanism when a lock arrow is flashing, lights a lock arrow steadily and lights the lower playfield eject hole. Locking three balls in the mechanism or making the eject hole when lit releases the balls from the mechanism. All scoring and mystery values are tripled while three balls are in play and doubled while two balls are in play. Lock arrows do not flash until turnaround is made.*

Extra Ball -
A maximum of four * Extra Balls may be accumulated at one time. Spotting three arrows for both top and/or* both bottom banks lights the left ramp rollover for the first possible extra ball. Spotting all 3-bank arrows lights the Turnaround for the second possible Extra Ball. Spotting all 3-bank arrows alternately lights the left ramp rollover and Turnaround for additional Extra Balls. Making left ramp rollover or Turnaround when lit awards an Extra Ball.

Last Chance* -
With locked balls on the last ball of the game, the left and right outside rollovers are lit for a "last chance." Making the rollover when lit releases any locked balls (no Multi-ball scoring). If Extra Ball(s) is won during "last chance", the rollovers are not relit.

Bonus Ball* -
With two or more players, a player with the highest score is awarded a bonus ball*. All three balls are released and play is allowed for 30* seconds with both magnet lamps lit. There is no Multi-Ball or mystery scoring or playfield Extra Ball feature during the bonus ball. Extra Balls won from Special or high score levels are awarded as additional bonus balls.

Special -
Completing all four drop target 3-banks during the bonus ball lights the Turnaround for a possible Special. Making the Turnaround when lit awards a Special.

Memory -
3-bank drop target arrows, locked balls, magnet lamps, and Extra Ball lamps.

Tilt -
Ball in play tilted on first closure of ball roll tilt and third* closure of Plumb Bob and playfield tilts. Slam tilt return game to game over.

End of Game -
Match Digits* appears in ball in play display, *credit awarded for match. Exceeding high score to date awards *three credits. Match, High Score to Date, and Game Over sounds made as appropriate. A new game cannot be started with more than one ball resting in the ball shooter trough; excess balls must be returned to the playfield and rest on the ball ramp switches.

+ Black Knight Rulesheet +

by Ray Johnson (
An enhanced revision of Larry DeMar's original Black Knight rulesheet.

Game Objectives:
- Lock balls on upper playfield to start Multiball play.
- Hit drop targets to advance toward Extra Ball, and to light
Magna-Save features.

Multiball play on Black Knight involves two or three balls. Balls are locked on the upper playfield, behind the left drop target bank. Balls are released for Multiball play by locking three balls on upper playfield, or by locking one or two balls on upper playfield, and another ball in the kickout hole on the lower playfield (behind the right drop target bank).

There is no time limit for locking balls for Multiball play. The game can be adjusted to allow lit "LOCK" lights to remain lit from ball to ball, or will reset with each new ball played (default). The latter is the more difficult setting, and requires the player to lock two or three balls on the upper playfield during the course of one ball-in-play, in order to achieve Multiball play. See the game's adjustments in the Instruction Booklet for more details.

During Multiball, all scoring is multiplied by the number of balls on the playfield (2X, or 3X).

Drop Targets:

There are two banks of drop targets on each playfield level. Targets on the left side of the playfield are denoted by blue lights in front of them, and targets on the right side are denoted by orange lights.

The drop target banks are timed, so after hitting one or more targets in a bank, you have only a limited amount of time to hit the rest of the targets in that bank, before the bank is reset.

Completing a bank of drop targets activates a Magna-Save on the lower playfield, if one or both are not lit. (See Magna-Save below.) Completing a bank of drop targets also lights one of the three arrow lights in front of the bank. Completing each bank of drop targets on either playfield level three times each, lights the Extra Ball on the upper playfield (see Extra Ball below).

The amount of time allowed to the player to complete a bank of drop targets before they reset, is adjustable. See the Instruction Manual for more information.

Extra Ball:

There are two possible ways to achieve an Extra Ball: one on the upper playfield, and one on the lower.

To light the first Extra Ball light (upper playfield), the player must complete the upper or lower playfield drop target banks three time each. Then shoot the ball through the left ramp u-turn on the upper playfield to score the Extra Ball.

The second Extra Ball is lit by completing all four drop target banks (upper and lower playfields) three times each. This lights the Extra Ball in the turn-around on the lower playfield.

One arrow in front of a drop target bank is lit each time the bank is completed.

Mystery Score:

When the ball goes through the left flipper return lane (which may be assisted by Magna-Save), the center ramp is lit for a short time for Mystery Score. The Mystery Score is awarded upon completion of the center ramp when lit, and awards a random value of 20,000 to 99,000 points. (Contrary to today's hyper-inflated-score games, this is a significant award).


When the ball goes through the right flipper return lane (which may also be assisted by Magna-Save), the spinner is lit for a short time for 5,000 points per spin. A well-placed shot through the spinner can award as much as 100,000 points!

Bonus Multipliers:

The turn-around on the lower playfield awards bonus multipliers. When all bonus multipliers have been attained (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X), and bonus value is at maximum, the bonus lights in the "sword" on the lower playfield will animate and "scroll". The bell will ring each time additional bonus-awarding targets are made after this point (flipper return lanes, outlanes, and drop target bank completion).


Magna-Save features are activated by completing a bank of three drop targets. The right Magna-Save will always become activated before the left. Pressing the red button above the white flipper button will activate the Magna-Save feature for the corresponding side of the playfield. The Magna-Save feature is used to attempt to "grab" the ball, and drop it down the flipper return lane, to allow it to continue in play. Magna-Save features must be re-activated after being used by completing a drop target bank again.

The amount of time that the Magna-Save feature is on, when activated by the player, is adjustable. See game adjustments in the Instruction Manual.

Bonus Ball:

If 2 or more players are in the game, the player with the higher score at the end of the game gets a 30 second Bonus Ball (this feature, and it's time limit are adjustable- see Instruction Manual). "Bonus Ball" is actually an unlimited number of balls available to the player, but only for the 30-second period. So you can lose the ball as often as you wish during Bonus Ball, and it will be replenished, until the 30 seconds has expired.

The goal during Bonus Ball is to complete all 4 drop target banks in the 30-second Bonus Ball time, in order to light the turn-around for Special. The turn-around must be completed to obtain the Special.


- Go for the Extra Ball. It is easiest to complete the drop target banks on the upper playfield to light the first Extra Ball (upper playfield). And drop targets can be completed much faster during Multiball.

- If center ramp is lit for Mystery Score, and you miss the shot from the lower left flipper, but manage to get the ball up to the upper playfield anyway, allow it to drain back down the center ramp, if possible. This will award the Mystery Score if you can do it before the Mystery Score light goes out.

- During Multiball, focus your concentration on the playfield level that has the most balls on it. That is, if more balls (2 or more) are in play on the upper playfield, focus your attention on the flippers there. Or if more balls are on the lower playfield, focus your attention there. The playfield with more balls on it will be the source of more scored points during Multiball.

- During Multiball, concentrate on making the Mystery Score and Spinner shots when lit, as described above. This is where the big points come in, especially with the Multiball playfield score multipliers lit.

- Biggest points are awarded during Multiball. To get bigger scores, focus on locking balls for Multiball play, and on personal strategies and skills for keeping balls in play longer during Multiball.
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Despite being very low-res and fixed to 4:3 the table is good for 2.5 MB
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