May 08

TECH : STEVE RITCHIE, DESIGNER AT STERN PINBALL HAS POSTED FIXES FOR THE BLACK KNIGHT ON FACEBOOK

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Steve Ritchie, the designer of Stern’s Black Knight pinball has just written on FaceBook about some of the issues he has read from users about the game.  Steve has posted some fixes you can try to hopefully fix the game.


Black Knight Sword of Rage Info:

While reading Pinside, I see that some people are having problems with their Pro’s. Here’s some fixes for you:

1) If the ball is flying off the right wire ramp near the right flipper here’s what you need to do: Run the ball up and down gently on the lower section of the wire ramp. You will feel the ball hitting a screw end. Gently lift the wire ramp with your hand from underneath (it’s flexible) until the ball flows down the wire ramp smoothly. If it doesn’t fix the problem, lift a bit higher and harder. Once set, the wire ramp will stay put, and the ball won’t touch the screw any longer.

2) If the Shield one way gate traps the ball under it, do this: With the game turned off, lift the shield with one hand and find the gate wire with the fingers of your other hand. Flex the wire gate all the way up a few times. This gate is a spring gate, with a piece of spring steel forcing the gate to close after the ball passes through to the up kicker. Flex it, and the sticking problems will go away. It will still be possible for the ball to stop under the wire, but when adjusted correctly a few flips on the right flipper lets the ball fall into the up kicker. It gets better with time and break in.

3) Black Knight Sword of Rage was designed to play at 6.5 to 7 degrees. While I realize game owners can do as they wish with their games, this game plays fast at 6.5-7 degrees. Making it steeper is absolutely cheating, because it removes the side-to-side action that makes the game interesting. I hate a float-y game as much as you guys do, ya think?  It is fun to learn to react with the right nudges and flipper skills to keep the ball in play, and is part of the Black Knight’s challenge. It will help improve your game play skills. Side-to-side ball action when mastered also affords some really cool ways of knocking down the drops, scoring the Ball Saver in the left drain and setting up for nice feeds to the flippers. BKSOR has made me a better player, but👑 I am no champion.

4) If the ball in play gets stuck endlessly behind the rotating Flail (not the Shield), you need to check the optical switches at the mid-Flail Lane: There are 2 sets of optos in the Flail Lane, one at the entrance, and one set about halfway up the Flail lane. Look for 1/4″ holes in both left and right Flail Lane ball guides. Lift the playfield and follow the opto wires coming out of the holes in the playfield to connectors, and see that the connections are good. Next, go into switch test in the diagnostics, and break the opto beam with your fingers. If the opto set is working, you will hear a beep and see the switch closing in a graphic LCD display. Most of the time, the problem is caused by bad or intermittent wire connections at the connectors.

When a game is new, the ball can fly all over the playfield. I don’t design this into the game, but it happens with fast loops and rebounds off of closer shots. My games utilize stronger flipper power, and when they are new, they can be overwhelming, especially with good players. I ship them that way, so that later in the games’ life, (parts wear + heat), and the power to flip or kick the ball becomes less over time, yet the game remains fully playable for a longer time.

We have included flipper power adjustments in the diagnostics. The flipper power can be dialed up or down. Most games settle into a sweet spot after break in. Use the adjustments if you must, but some of the excitement and adrenaline in BKSOR will be lost.

With the Premium and LE, a steeper slope is not a good idea. Besides cheating, fewer shots will make it to the upper playfield through the Flail Lane.

All NIB pins need some small adjustments to get them to play near perfectly. If you ask any experienced owners, they will tell you the same thing. While we at Stern strive to make sure your games work well, sometimes things are missed or change in transit and handling. If you aren’t a klutz and have some mechanical sensibilities, don’t be afraid to make adjustments when something isn’t working quite right. If mechanics aren’t your thing, there are plenty of people on Pinside that can help you get it right. I’m thinking Lloyd, Levi, and if you ask me for help, I will do what I can. Just write here on my Facebook page. I don’t know all games, but I know mine pretty well.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Steve