Pinball: Dungeons & Dragons
A pinball with a built-in saving throw!
"Mystical Million!"Dungeons & Dragons
is an arcade pinball game
designed by Ward Pemberton with art by Larry Elmore, released in 1987 by Bally
As one would expect, this game is based on the world-famous role-playing game
from TSR. The player must lead a party of four adventurers — a Warrior, a Valkyrie, a Wizard, and a Dwarf — up a castle, where a fire-breathing red dragon awaits. Use the shield, sword, and magic dust to douse the flame, then enter the Dragon's Lair to claim the treasure. Ascend the dungeon's levels for more rewards, but beware of the Teleporters, which will magically move your pinballs across the table. Use the Magic Save to avert a draining ball, then use magic to summon backup for three-ball multiball.Dungeons & Dragons
was released during shaky times for Bally; this was an attempt to revitalize the company with a game that was both visually attractive and challenging to play. Unfortunately, while it is a challenging game that requires expert skills to master, some of the shots are too dependent on lucky random bounces, which detract somewhat from its appeal. It's rather popular among some collectors, but only 2,000 tables were manufactured, and the money-saving wood fiberboard cabinets made them more susceptible to aging.
The Dungeons & Dragons pinball game demonstrates the following tropes:
- Action Girl: The Valkyrie.
- Barbarian Hero: Loin cloth? Check. Taut, rippling muscles? Check. Oiled back? Check. Impressive weapons? Check.
- Breath Weapon: Of course the dragon breathes fire.
- Chainmail Bikini: Played with; the Valkyrie's chainmail armor actually covers her well — except for her arms and upper chest area.
- Damsel in Distress: On the playfield, the dragon has captured one member of the party already; no points for guessing who it is.
- Dragon Hoard: Apparently the adventurers are after the dragon's hoard of gold coins.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: The game included a "Dragon Box" topper with two strobe lights. Operators could put it on top of the backbox to raise the game's profile and attract bystanders.
- Heroic Fantasy
- Just in Time: The "Magic Save", which (if the player presses a button fast enough) raises a block to deflect a draining ball back to the flippers.
- Kill It with Fire: This is the dragon's main defense against the heroes; dousing the fire is a key part of the game.
- Licensed Pinball Table
- Loincloth: That's all the Warrior is wearing.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Invoked with the Warrior, whose only defense against the dragon's flame is a circular shield one meter in diameter.
- Mama Bear: The dragon is implied to be one, as several smaller red dragons can be seen among the treasure hoard.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Not that different, actually...
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Complete with Viking helm and long hair.
- Party of Representatives: A Warrior, a Valkyrie, a Wizard, and a Dwarf walk into a castle...
- Power Glows: Used by both the Wizard and the party's weapons.
- The Smurfette Principle: The Valkyrie is the only female adventurer.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The game has a "Teleport" mechanism that instantly whisks balls from one side of the table to the other.spoiler
- Wizard Classic: Played straight by the Wizard, complete with pointy hat and long beard.