Black Knight (Williams, 1972)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 UTAD from the bottom and Multiball all day up top [lock the balls up top via the mini-orbit shot with the upper left flipper; may need to complete the top drop target bank to light lock].
 Go-To Flipper:  Right on the bottom, balanced on top.

Full Detail

Once popular in tournaments and leagues, Black Knight has fallen out of favor for being too easy when in normal condition. You hold the upper right flipper up on the moderate-strength plunge to deflect the ball over to the left, then shoot it around the upper orbit into the lock trough above the upper left flipper. Continue to do this until three balls are locked, then play multiball, where you get 3X playfield scoring while you still have all three balls alive and 2X scoring once down to two balls.

Multiball is also available by shooting the green-arrow-lit shot in the center of the lower playfield once you have at least one ball locked up top. That’s the only way to play a two-ball multiball, i.e. lock one ball, then shoot that. If you have two balls locked and shoot it, you get a three-ball multiball. It’s better to start multiball up top, though, since that way all three balls are ejected to the upper playfield, making it easier to keep all three of them in play longer.

In multiball, you don’t really aim so much as just try to keep as many balls in play as possible. You’ll hit lots of targets, orbits and loops just doing that. Your score is more a function of how long you keep multiball going rather than what specific things you hit during it.

The half-figure-eight shot partially hidden to the right of the left orbit / ramp is your bonus multiplier advance shot. It can be drainy, so I generally don’t shoot for intentionally, rather I “let it happen” during multiball.

Completing target banks lights one of the “magna saves.” These are mostly-reliable ball saves triggered manually, not automatically, by hitting one of the extra set of buttons next to the flipper buttons. The magna saves [try to] grab the ball, hold it for a few seconds, then [usually] drop it into the return lane below.

Bonus goes up to 49K and 5X for 245K maximum total.

Lastly, the return lanes: the left one lights the center ramp briefly for a “mystery” award shot value of between 20K and 99K. The right return lane lights the spinner briefly for 2500 per spin. These two shots are the best ones to take from the lower flippers during multiball.

I’ve seen Black Knight set so that to light each lock, you have to complete the upper drop target three-bank before the timer it’s on runs out and resets the targets. Set that way, the game works well in competition, since now it’s not so trivial to start multiball.

One other strategy I’ve seen is to keep hammering the top left target bank all day. If you can keep the ball up top long enough doing this, it’s a viable scoring alternative.

Don’t bother shooting at things on the main [lower] playfield, just go UTAD from the bottom.

Key feed: where do balls through the half-figure-eight go, drain or safe?

Key shot selection item: is the right flipper strong enough to shoot the ball up the left ramp? If not, find a way to transfer to the right and go up top via the right or center ramp.

This page is one of many in the The Players Guide to Classic Pinball by written by Bob Matthews