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Pinball / Black Rose

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I'd avoid making any "seamen" jokes...tis a jolly good way to get yer cannonballs blasted off!
"I am Black Rose, queen of the high seas!"
Black Rose, upon starting a new game

Black Rose is a pinball machine created by John Trudeau and Brian Eddy, with artwork by Pat McMahon. It was released by Williams Electronics (under the "Bally" label) in 1992. Only 3,746 units were made, making it something of a rarity.

The game focuses on the title character, a female pirate captain who commands her crew of grizzled sea dogs. Your goal is to sink as many ships as you can by lighting S-I-N-K-S-H-I-P through various means, then fire a cannonball through the broadside at the far end of the table. Along the way, you'll find the Pirate's Cove, get a random award from Polly, and play no less than three Video Modes.

Possibly the most interesting feature of the game is its cannon, which sits below the playfield just above the flippers. At certain points, the cannon will become loaded and start pivoting back and forth. The player must then press the "Fire" button on the lockbar, causing the cannon to pop up and launch the pinball at various playfield targets for different bonuses. Accurate cannon-firing is needed to hit the broadside of opposing ships and establish your reign as Queen of the seas.


Though the game has Awesome Music, it was overlooked due to being released around the same time as The Addams Family. Nonetheless, it's often praised today as a great game, combining smooth, fast gameplay, gorgeous artwork, and a captivating theme.

A digital version of this table is available for Williams Pinball Classics by Encore Inc. It was also available for The Pinball Arcade by FarSight Studios before their WMS license expired on July 1, 2018. Another version is currently available for Pinball FX3, along with a remastered version that includes the typical Zen Studios flair.

Has no relation with either a 2013 freeware horror game Black Rose, or another freeware horror game named The Black Rose. It is also unrelated to the 1992 steampunk webcomic of the same name.


The Black Rose pinball machine contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Captain Rose, with lots of action and all girl.
  • Button Mashing:
    • "Walk the Plank" requires you to mash the Fire button (or the flipper buttons) to outswim a shark.
    • You can also do this to kill Polly.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Black Rose is a variation.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Sunken ships go out like this.
    Black Rose: "Beautiful!"
  • Chainmail Bikini/Of Corsets Sexy/Stripperiffic: Captain Rose's completely impractical red corset.
  • Creator Cameo: According to designer John Trudeau, the backglass shows himself, Greg Freres, and Pat McMahon among the pirates.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: One crewmate does this on the backglass.
  • Dem Bones: Davey Jones appears to be an actual skeleton who demands that you sink ships for him.
  • Easter Egg: Mashing the Fire button when getting "Polly says" can kill Polly for 2 million points.
  • Everything's Better with Cows:
    • The jet bumper display can show cows fencing instead of men.
    • Starting the Unlimited Millions Round can sometimes start "Cow Millions" instead; the dot-matrix display shows many small cows, and the table moos for every ramp hit.
    • Getting a Combo Shot can prompt a cow to walk across the screen, mooing.
    • The last sound clip in the Sound Test is a moo.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Whirlpool ramp, which whipsaws pinballs around to the left inlane. A weak shot will drop down to the bumpers beneath.
  • Flynning: Done by two men when your ball hits the pop bumpers.
  • Golden Snitch: Sinking a ship awards 20 million, but this is just the beginning. For every other ship sunk, that's an additional 10 million on top of that. By the 9th ship, they're worth 100 million. The value doesn't stop until the game ends.
  • Guide Dang It!: The "Walk The Plank" video mode instructs you to use the Fire button to swim, although you can also use the flipper buttons which make the mode much easier since they allow faster Button Mashing.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Exaggerated by the unproduced X-rated backglass, intended for interested European markets.
  • Kick the Dog: The player can do this by killing Polly.
  • Match Sequence: Given an interesting twist - your score's last two digits will appear... but there are three numbers in all, and they appear on bombs which ignite as soon as all three are shown. One of the fuses is a fake: the other two aren't.
  • Painting the Medium: The ball is used as a cannonball to sink ships (among other things).
  • Pirate: Dur.
  • Pirate Booty: Among the player's goals.
  • Pirate Girl: Black Rose, natch.
  • Pirate Parrot: Polly, who calls out a random Video Mode award. You can kill her by Button Mashing for 2 million points.
  • Skill Shot: At the start of each ball, the torch targets will be flashing in some sequence. Hit the lit target for 500K and an open locker. This Skill Shot has adjustable difficulty settings, too.
  • Spelling Bonus: S-I-N-K-S-H-I-P lets you make the Broadside shot, and L-O-C-K lights the lock.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: The crew
  • Threatening Shark: One shows up in one of the Video Modes.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Killing Polly, which nets you 2 million points.
  • Video Mode: Three of them, depicting a crewmate throwing a knife at a target, swinging from riggings, and walking the plank.
  • Walk the Plank: The focus of one Video Mode, where a crewmate does this and has to outswim a shark.


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