- Muhammad Ali: "You gotta be tough to take on me,
But only the best can whup Ali!"
Like Muhammad Ali himself, this is a fast, bombastic game that never lets players forget who they're up against. The table is festooned with famous Ali-isms, such as "I am the Greatest", "Three-Time Champ", "Ali Shuffle" and "Rope-A-Dope", all drawn with comic-style pop lettering. The center of the playfield has a portrait of Ali pointing at the player along with a facsimile of his signature, while the backglass features the boxer's face surrounded by his form in the ring. The game also supported the then-new Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, and gave players an extra game for using one.
Aside from being one of a handful of pinball machines themed after an individual athlete, Ali is memorable for being one of the few Stern pinball games that was actually designed by Williams Electronics' founder Harry Williams. Though it was not a standout when first released, Ali has attracted its fans over time who appreciate its uncluttered gameplay.
The Ali pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Amazing Technicolor Population: For some reason, Muhammad Ali is depicted as light blue on the playfield.
- Celebrity Endorsement
- Celebrity Star
- Floating Head Syndrome: Done with Ali on both the backglass and the playfield.
- Friendly Enemy: Arguably, Harry Williams working for Stern Electronics could be seen as this.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: On the playfield, Ali is jabbing his finger at the viewer and calling him out.
- Protagonist Title
- Rhymes on a Dime: The promotional booklet for this pinball is filled with rhyming sales pitches, ranging from the rather clever to the awfully Narmtastic.Muhammad Ali: "A fast fortune is easy to earn,
just go with a winner like I do with Stern!"
- Short Titles
- Spelling Bonus: A-L-I increases the value of the center saucer, while A-L-I and G-R-E-A-T-E-S-T lights the Extra Ball and Specials.
- "The roar of the crowd, the flashing of light,
At the ring of the bell you've got a fight!"