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Pinball / Kingpin

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"Fisk? Harrelson? You're next!"

Kingpin: "Welcome to the Big City, Kid!"

Kingpin is a 1996 Physical Pinball Table from Capcom, designed by Mark Ritchie and illustrated by Stan Fukuoka.

Set in The Roaring '20s, you take the role of "The Kid," the ambitious new member of the Big City's criminal underground. Ingrain yourself by delivering stolen goods, gunrunning, heisting trains, and paying off crooked cops, then relax with some slots at the Hotel Lex. Increase your firepower with the Two-Ball Fury, the Three-Ball Raid, and the Arms Race, and collect the Power-Up Payola to build up your Strength Meter. Finally, set your sights to the top of The Syndicate itself — take out the various lieutenants in your way, then confront the Kingpin himself in a shootout for control of the Mob.

Kingpin was developed for Capcom by Mark Ritchie after his non-competitive clause with Williams Electronics had expired. It was slated to begin production after Big Bang Bar, but Capcom closed its pinball division before manufacturing could begin. As a result, only eight near-complete prototypes exist, though it sometimes appears at trade shows and expos, drawing crowds looking for a chance to play this rare title. Although Gene Cunningham of Illinois Pinball Inc. has announced plans to reverse-engineer it for wide release, no official release has been announced yet, and the few remaining games are highly sought after by die-hard collectors.


Kingpin demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Trixie's red dress has a top that emphasizes her cleavage... which she further emphasizes with a pearl necklace that goes down to her waistline.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Kingpin and all of his lieutenants are dressed in immaculate suits with ties and hats.
  • Bastard Understudy: The Kid — and, by extension, the player — becomes this in the course of the game.
  • Big Bad: The Kingpin, naturally.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": An Extra Ball is called a "Charmed Life".
  • Cement Shoes: Rocco is eliminated by being tied up, having his feet placed in a tub of cement, and then kicked off a pier.
  • City Noir/Gangster Land: The whole game takes place in one.
  • Cool Guns: Nearly everyone is armed with either a Tommy Gun or an automatic pistol.
  • Advertisement:
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: This game features no downsides to becoming a mobster.
  • Death by Looking Up: Happens to Pat O'Bunion, who's killed under an avalanche of heavy crates.
  • Destination Defenestration: Frank Gritty gets killed by being thrown out of a window.
  • Dirty Cop: "Payoff Panic," where the player must bribe a Dirty Cop.
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: "Deliver the Goods" involves crates conveniently falling off the back of a flatbed truck.
  • Femme Fatale: Trixie Turner, the Kingpin's moll and a sexy Lady in Red who's proficient with a handgun.
    Trixie: "Hey, Kid, how about a little action?"
  • Final Boss: The Kingpin is this to The Kid.
  • The Flapper: Trixie is dressed like a stereotypical Flapper girl of the 1920s.
  • Hidden Weapons: Trixie has a small pistol holstered to her leg.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Trixie's jewelry are methodically shot off of her before she gets killed.
  • Lady in Red: Trixie.
  • Large and in Charge: The Kingpin is noticeably larger and brawnier than his lieutenants.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The Hotel Lex.
  • Life Meter: Kingpin has the Power Meter, which can be used in two ways:
    • During regular play, making Power-Up shots add to the Meter. At the end of the last ball, the game enters "Sudden Death", where you keep playing while it runs down. The flippers become slower and weaker as the Meter decreases, but making Power-Up shots add more Power (and playtime). Once the Meter is depleted, the flippers die and the player's game ends.
    • In addition to conventional pinball play, operators can set Kingpin to a Timed Mission mode. Here, the player starts with a full Power Meter, and can play until it drops to zero. Once again, the flippers got weaker as the Meter decreased, and making Power-Up shots added more Power.
  • Moll: Trixie, the Kingpin's girl.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: The Kingpin is killed by being shot full of holes while his face rots away to the skull.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The Kid and the Kingpin's lieutenants gladly backstab each other, without exception.
    "Hey! You double-crossed us, now you wanna double-cross the boss? I don't think so!"
  • Oireland: Pat O'Bunion, played straight.
    Pat: "Ah, there y'are, laddie. Take the right loop, then the left loop, then deliver these packages 'round back, ye follow me naw?"
  • The Roaring '20s
  • Safe Cracking/Train Job: "The Big Heist" involves breaking into a safe on a moving train.
    Butch: "Okay, Kid, here's what you gotta do — get on the train, get the money outta the safe. You got that, Kid?"
  • Self-Made Man: The Kid becomes this throughout the course of the game.
  • Spelling Bonus: K-I-D advances the bonus multiplier. Spelling either K-I-N-G or P-I-N lights the ball locks, while KINGPIN advances the Gunwheel and is used to defeat the Kingpin in the Final Boss fight.
  • She's Got Legs/Stocking Filler: Trixie is shown flashing one leg (with stocking) on the sides of the backbox.
  • The Syndicate
  • Tap on the Head: Butch Schotz is killed by being struck from behind.
  • Thief Bag: The playfield has several indicator lights featuring a bag with a dollar sign, while "The Big Heist" has The Kid fill up a bag that's several times larger than himself.
  • Vehicular Assault: The sides of the cabinet show three mobsters performing a drive-by shooting against an unseen target, while the backglass shows a shootout between two carloads of gangsters.
  • Villain Protagonist: The player is this, since his only motive to overthrow the Kingpin is to establish himself as the new crime boss.
  • Visual Pun: When an extra ball is loaded, the display shows a tiny mobster with butterfly wings, a.k.a. a "Fairy Godfather."
  • Vorpal Pillow: Jimmy gets eliminated with the "strangulation equals instant death" version of this trope.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The Kid doesn't hesitate to kill Trixie on his way to the Kingpin.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Quoted when Pat tries to kill you.
    Pat: "We have no more need of yer services."

"So, Kid, you did a pretty good job — but not good enough!"

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