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Pinball / The Champion Pub

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Welcome to Champion Pub, kid!

Established in 1864
Come on in & pound a few.

The Champion Pub is a 1998 pinball machine made by Williams Electronics (under the Bally label).

It's centered around the concept of boxing matches held in bars - the player, as a newcomer named "The Kid", must work his way up through the circuit, training to get his health up, before eventually beating the final man, getting the Pub Champion belt, and fending off five more foes in "Ultimate Challenge".

The game's design is rather nonstandard - there are health meters for the player and his opponent, and there are a number of toys in the machine, the most prominent of which is a large, revolving target that can present either a heavy bag or a boxer figurine. Two others are a small speed bag with a pair of fists and a rotating metal bar styled as a jump rope; each of these is a separate Mini-Game that the player must complete in order to train for the fights, using the flipper buttons to knock the ball against the bag or make it hop over the turning rope. Pinheads are somewhat divided in their opinions of the game, with some enjoying its design and humor, and others believing the toys are the only real draw to the game. If anything, it's worth a play just to see what it's like.


The Champion Pub was formerly available for The Pinball Arcade before their license to it and all other Williams/Bally tables expired on July 1, 2018. Those who purchased it before then can still play it, however, and another digital version is currently available for Pinball FX3, along with a remastered version that includes the typical Zen Studios flair.

This pinball machine provides examples of:

  • Bar Brawl: The theme of Multi-BRAWL, the typical lock-three-balls multiball mode.
  • Betting Minigame: After you play through the Ultimate Challenge, each subsequent fight requires you to wager part of your score, up to a maximum of 200 million points. It is possible to zero out your score this way.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Franz von Pain does this:
    Franz: It pains me to have to hurt you... No, it doesn't.
  • Advertisement:
  • Calling Your Attacks: As a martial arts sensei, Master Bim Bam Boom does this frequently. Franz von Pain has a less enthusiastic version. "Punch. Punch punch."
  • Camp Gay: Steveo, from San Francisco.
    Steveo: "You are weak and defeated. (Call me later.)"
  • Chef of Iron: Antonio Jaberini is an Italian chef.
    Antonio Jaberini: "I'm-a gonna cook you up some-a nice helping of pain."
  • Circling Birdies: The "KO" bits of the playfield have stars circling around them.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Franz von Pain.
    Franz von Pain: "Prepare your flabby body for intense prolonged pain."
  • Combos: One way to win a fight quickly is to shoot the loops, which are now diverted vertically back to the flippers, for jab shotsnote . Enough of these stun the opponent in perfect position for an instant knockout headshot.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Done constantly by the opposing boxers.
    Patrotsky Yirbitov: "Hey, look. The weakling is back."
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The boxing man was modeled after Duncan Brown, the game's programmer.
    • Music and sound developer Rich Carle voices Antonio Jaberini and Dan Unda.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Armando Santiago.
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby: Worn by nearly all the men.
  • Drunken Master: Subverted in Fisticuffs Multiball. The opponent is so drunk that he can't hit you.
    The Drunk: "Stand still for a second, will ya?"
  • Easter Egg: If you hear an insect buzzing when you hit the heavy bag, pressing the launch button awards 100,000 points and a Smart Punch.
  • Everything's Better with Cows:
    • The 14th jackpot level is "Cow of a jackpot".
    • Sometimes, when the Barfly is swatted, it will instead be a Cowfly (complete with moo).
  • Fanservice Extra/Fan Service With A Smile: The two serving ladies on the bumpers, and the one on the backglass.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On 1.5 and lower ROMs, the only thing you can do after Ultimate Challenge is over is F. Multiball.
  • Heroic Second Wind: The "Second Wind" knockback launchers, which saves your ball and adds three health.
  • Koosh Bomb: Used to represent punches on the playfield.
  • Life Meter: Shown on the playfield: both the player and his opponent have the exact same amount of health. You must work your health up by training before you can start fighting.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: If you're playing video poker and you are dealt a near straight with an ace on the side, dropping all the cards except the ace will almost always give you a four-of-a-kind or royal flush, despite the sheer improbability.
  • Match Sequence: The Kid punches the speed bag several times, two changing digits behind it, before knocking it down and revealing the final number.
  • Medium Awareness: Several opponents are aware that the opposing boxer figure has no visible legs. Patrotsky will sometimes start a fight with "Be thankful this glass separates us".
  • Mini-Game: Two of them. The Jump Rope, where you must hit the buttons to make the ball jump over a swinging metal "rope"; and the Speed Bag, where you use the buttons to control a pair of fists and knock the ball into the bag target. You have to complete both of them as part of the requirements for the Ultimate Challenge.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Franz von Pain, one of your opponents.
  • National Stereotypes: All of the boxers, much like Punch-Out!!
  • The Need for Mead: The Champion Pub is essentially one of these.
  • Not in the Face!: One of Steveo's reactions to being hit.
    Steveo: "Not the face!"
  • Oireland: Knuckles O'Brian plays to the "fighting Irish" stereotype.
    "Top of my fist to you, lad. I'm O'Brien."
    "Hello to ya! I'm O'Brien. And these are me knuckles!"
  • Old Master: Master Bim Bam Boom.
  • Only Six Faces: All the boxers have the same playfield character model toy; unavoidable, given the limitations of the medium.
  • Pink Elephants: The drunk in Fisticuffs Multiball will sometimes mention that you're "turning all pink and elephanty".
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The game uses Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" as one of its gameplay tunes.
  • Punny Name: Dan Unda. He's from Australia, obviously.
    Dan Unda: "Good day, mate. Ready to lose, are ya?"
  • Rank Inflation: Taken to ridiculous extremes. The normal Jackpot is worth 100K. Then there are double, triple, quadruple... all the way up to Octuple Jackpot, Super Jackpot, Mega Jackpot, Ultra Jackpot, Turbo Jackpot, Maximum Jackpot, Cow of a Jackpot, and Jackpot Deluxe. That's 15 jackpot levels, and you have to earn all of them as part of the requirements to qualify for the Ultimate Challenge.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Defied if you look on the side of the backglass - the poster there specifically says "NO GLOVES ALLOWED".
  • Score Multiplier
  • Shout-Out:
    Commentator: "Bite his ear off!"
    • One alternate outcome of the Barfly is the Bobfly, who happens to be Crazy Bob from Junk Yard.
  • Single Malt Vision: The drunk. "Put up your dukes. Both of you." You get two balls for Fisticuffs Multiball because the drunk is seeing double.
  • Skill Shot: The game cycles through various awards, and you must launch the ball at the right time to get the one you want.
  • Smart Bomb: The Smart Punches, equivalent to a head shot that can be triggered any time during a fight by pressing the launch button.
  • Spelling Bonus: To start Fisticuffs Multiball, you must spell BAR FLY FISTICUFFS by hitting the heavy bag repeatedly.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: The token British chap, Winston Pounds.
  • The Stoic: Franz von Pain.
    • Not So Stoic: Whenever his masochistic tendencies show. Also one of his loss quotes:
    Franz von Pain: "Zis did not turn out as I had planned. Goodbye!"
  • The Place
  • Toilet Humor: Belches are common in this game.
  • Training Montage: You must hit the speed and heavy bags, as well as jump rope, in order to fight.
  • Victory Is Boring: Franz thinks so.
    Franz: (sigh) I have achieved victory once again.
  • Video Mode: Two of them.
    • In "Spittin' Gallery", you must move a spittoon around with the flippers to catch some men's spit.
    • In "Poker Night", the player is given fifteen seconds to decide which cards they want to keep and discard.
  • Wizard Mode: Ultimate Challenge, available after getting all five jewels in the Pub Champion belt. You fight the five challengers you haven't encountered yet on one life bar. Notably, if you lose, you can't try it again (possibly only on early ROMs, however).
  • Written Sound Effects
  • Zonk: Each true award on the Skill Shot alternates with a "10" between them. This awards a measly ten points.

"Keep training, kid."


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