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Pinball: High Speed
"Pull over!"
Car 504: "Dispatch, this is 504. Suspect ran a red light, over."
Dispatch: "Roger, 504. Apprehend him!"

High Speed is a pinball game designed by Steve Ritchie, with software by Larry DeMar and art by Mark Sprenger (playfield) and Python Anghelo (backglass); it was released by Williams Electronics in 1986. The game is based on a high-speed police chase between the player (in his cherry-red Lamborghini) and the long arm of the law. The player must first advance a set of traffic lights from green to yellow to red; after he runs the red light, the police will immediately follow. If the player escapes, he can start three-ball multiball for a chase at breakneck speeds, complete with flashing lights and siren.

High Speed is noted for several industry firsts — it was the first pinball with a full theme song, the first Williams pinball with alpha-numeric displays, the first pinball to dynamically adjust match percentages and replay score values, the first solid-state pinball with detailed diagnostic reports, and the first game to detect and compensate for broken switches on the playfield. Even without these features, it is fondly remembered by numerous players for its adrenalin-pumping action and fast gameplay, a sterling example of why Steve Ritchie is considered "The Master of Flow". This was the most popular pinball of 1986 with over 17,000 tables sold.

A video game version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was developed by Rare Ltd. and published by Tradewest. To the detriment of purists, it added video-only obstacles, such as a mad mechanic who attempted to slap the ball down the flippers. After over twenty years, a true recreation of the game without extraneous features is available for The Pinball Arcade.


This pinball table demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Based on a True Story/Dramatization: Word of God is that the game was based on a real-life police chase. Ritchie was caught on Interstate 5 in California driving at 146 mph in his 1979 Porsche 928.
  • Cap:
    • The bonus counter maxes out at 69,000 points.
    • A player's score caps at 9,999,999.
  • Cool Car: The game's cherry-red Lamborghini.
  • Creator Cameo: Steve Ritchie and Larry DeMar, the designer and programmer, respectively, provided the speech for this game.
  • Flat "What.":
    Car 504: "Dispatch, this is 504. He got away, over."
    Dispatch: "504, this is dispatch. He what."
  • Have a Nice Death: When you drain your last ball down the outlanes, you hear a sound a car skidding and crashing.
  • Hood Ornament Hottie: Seen on the back glass, looking astonished at the policemen chasing her.
  • Hot Pursuit
  • Progressive Jackpot: The first pinball game to feature this.
  • Rated M for Manly: How else can you describe a game centered on a high-speed police chase in an exotic car with a sexy blonde in the passenger seat?
  • Real Place Background: The playfield freeways are labeled after their Real Life counterparts — the Bayshore Freeway (route 101), the Santa Monica Freeway (interstate 10), and the San Diego Freeway (interstate 5).
  • Vanity License Plate: The car sports KINGPIN plates, as seen on the backglass.

"He's back!"

The Getaway: High Speed II was a sequel designed by Steve Ritchie, with software by Dwight Sullivan and artwork by Mark Sprenger (playfield) and Doug Watson (backglass), and released in 1992 by Williams. Once again, the player hits the highways in his souped-up sports car, and once again, Car 504 is on his tail... and he's bringing his friends.

The game features a magnetic Supercharger on the playfield that accelerates pinballs around an upper loop, building up speed before returning it to the player. A gearshift allowed the player to change gears, and judicious shifting is needed for higher scores. The table also features ZZ Top's "La Grange" as the main theme music.

A video game version for the Nintendo Game Boy was developed by Unexpected Developments and published by Williams.


This pinball table demonstrates the following tropes:


Car 504: "Dispatch, this is 504. He got away, over."
Dispatch: "504, this is dispatch. He what?"
Car 504: "Suspect got away."

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alternative title(s): The Getaway High Speed2; High Speed 2
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