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Swords of Fury
Source: The Pinball Archive

Rules: Swords of Fury

Written by: B. Elmore. Copyright .

ObLegal: Swords Of Fury is undoubtedly Williams, etc. etc. I believe it was released in 1987, but I'm not 100% certain of that.

Playfield features: 2-level machine, 4 flippers, 2 ramps. Kickback on left side. Normal inlanes and lower flipper setup. No jet bumpers anywhere on the machine! Upper playfield is small and in upper-left: one right-side-type mini flipper and 5 drop targets of an unusual kind across the top; more about this later. Full-sized left flipper just to the left of center high up on the machine.

Like most games of this era, it has 7-digit scoring, and a jackpot that ranges in value from 500K to 4M, held over from game to game slowly building till collected. When collected, the jackpot drops to 500K and builds from there; when a game (or multiple games at once) finish and credits are 0, the jackpot increases to a minimum of 1.5M. Again, like other games of this era, scoring rolls over at 9,999,990, and any score that exceeds this is automatically given #1 on the high scoreboard and displayed as 9,999,999 no matter what the final score is or what the final scores of the other games on the high scoreboard were. Replay does not auto-increment after a game where replay is obtained, unlike newer machines. In fact, replay will only adjust by 100K at a time, no matter how badly it needs to be adjusted, and replay is always xx00K points. During the game, once 10M is reached, only the rightmost 7 digits of the score are displayed. If replay+10M is reached, another replay is awarded, similarly for replay+20M, and I presume for all further ones.

High on the right side of the top half machine is a plastic gate system that can direct a ball sent into it down one of 3 paths; it's reached by the center ramp or by the plunger. The mechanism is similar to that across the top of High Speed. The first path sends the ball across the machine on a habitrail into the upper playfield. The second sends the ball across the playfield on a parallel habitrail into the ball lock; if another ball is already there, it's ejected before the first lands (if the sensor is functioning properly), and if no ball is there, it's locked as Ball 1 locked. The third path drops the ball back onto the upper part of the lower playfield, above the upper flipper, and awards a bonus multiplier increment, if it is less than 7x.

The algorithm for which gate is open at any given time is somewhat complicated to explain, but becomes intuitive after some play. The first few times the ball is sent down path 1. After this the ball is sent down path 2, and path 1 is lit briefly. Path 2 is again lit after path 1 is successfully shot or timed out. After a few times of this it's sent down path 3 a few times, then back to path 1, etc.

The upper playfield can be reached via the first path from the center ramp (or plunger), or from the right ramp. It consists of a mini-flipper and 5 drop targets across the top, with lights above each. Unlike most drop targets, there's nothing immediately behind them; a ball that goes through where a dropped target is falls off the back of the upper playfield and exits onto the lower playfield through the same exit that locked balls exit, onto the upper flipper on the main playfield. Early in the game, dropped targets pop back up almost immediately, and as the game progresses they come back less quickly. All five need only be collected once to collect the value for the set, whether they are up or down. Once the final one is collected, all five will again pop back up, no matter how long or short they've been down. A score from 50K to 250K is awarded via a scheme as follows: the initial value is 150K (?), and drops by 50K whenever the ball leaves the upper playfield, and raises by 50K whenever the U-Turn is shot. (is this right?) A bonus multiplier is awarded, and if the multiplier is to 7x, special is lit for the next one (on harder settings, 2 more may have to be collected before special is lit).

The upper playfield is also used to collect jackpot in multiball. Its normal function is suspended until jackpot is collected or multiball ends.

The center ramp is used to advance and collect Lionman. It starts out at 100K, is advanced 25K by shooting it the first time, 50K the second, 75K the third, 100K the fourth, to a maximum of 1M. Thus it can have the values 100K, 125K, 175K, 250K, 350K, 475K, 625K, 800K, and 1M. Lionman is lit by spelling AVENGER. I forget whether collecting Lionman resets its value to 100K, I believe it does.

The Lionman value is not multiplied by the playfield multiplier during multiball.

Seven round contact targets are scattered around the main playfield spelling AVENGER: two on the upper left above the upper flipper, three to the right of the upper flipper and above and to the left of the right ramp, and two below and to the right of the right ramp (and above the right outlane area). Hitting the appropriate one spots the corresponding letter. Making the return lanes (labeled with *) spots the next letter in AVENGER and lights the right ramp to spell out AVENGER. (Thus if the * gives you the last letter in AVENGER, making the right ramp immediately afterwards can collect 2 AVENGERs quickly). Making AVENGER scores 50K, 150K, 250K and then Extra Ball, resetting to 50K afterwards. Multiple extra balls can be collected this way simply by making sufficiently many AVENGERs. AVENGER also lights the center ramp for Lionman.

The AVENGER value resets to 50K after each ball, unless it's on Extra Ball, in which case it stays there until collected. If ball 1 and 2 are very low-scoring (score after ball 2 of around 400K or less), the AVENGER value is advanced to Extra Ball at the start of ball 3, as a "pity" award.

The left tunnel (Titan?) is shot to lock balls. It is always lit to lock balls except during multiball itself. Multiball starts after the 3rd ball is locked. At the start of multiball the drop targets are raised on the upper playfield, and all 3 balls are kicked out. A roving light moves back and forth on the drop targets that are still up on the upper playfield; hitting this target awards jackpot. While 3 balls remain on the playfield, all playfield scores excluding the jackpot and Lionman are multiplied by 3; after 1 ball drains and 2 balls remain all scores are multiplied by 2 with the same exceptions. Jackpot on the upper playfield goes away as soon as multiball ends.

There is a spinner at the entrance to the Titan tunnel, with lights under it reading 1000, 1500 and 2000. I don't know what controls its value, but I suspect it's tied to the bonus multiplier somehow.

The lower exit from the upper playfield underneath the mini-flipper drops the ball halfway up the Titan tunnel, where it falls toward the lower flippers.

Starting multiball also relights the kickback. This is the only way kickback can be relit, except for draining the ball.

After a player's score reaches 2M (this score seems to be fixed regardless of the replay value), the game does several things to increase game difficulty. Lionman on the center ramp times out very quickly (within about 3 seconds), as does scoring AVENGER on the right ramp. There are some other things that happen as well, I believe, but I can't remember what they are.

Low on the left center of the machine is the U-turn. It has two spinners, one in front of each entrance. Unlike the U-turn in Black Knight 2000, it isn't buried back under anything. Each spinner adds 200 to your bonus, and can be lit for 3x for a little while (600 to bonus) by the star on the return lanes. They also advance the clear drop target value on the upper playfield.

Behind the upper ramp, there's another u-turn with entrances on either side of the upper ramp named Ogres Alley. One side is lit to advance its value, and the other side to collect. The values are xx-xx-xx-xx-100K-500K; it can be collected at 500K only once per game. Since Ogres Alley values are multiplied by the playfield multiplier, it's often a good strategy to save collecting it at 500K until the start of multiball, so it can be collected for 1.5M instead. When it's at its maximum value, one side is lit to collect and the other is unlit. The sides are exchanged by the slingshot kickers. Both outlanes are also part of Ogres Alley, and mimic their upper-playfield counterparts.

Editor's Notes

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