The Black Knight has been intimidating pinball players since 1980, and he is more brutal than ever in his latest game. Our players step up to challenge him over and over again but few are able to put the trash-talking knight in his place. This article will help players get the edge on Black Knight: Sword of Rage. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Fight for Your Life!
Black Knight Sword of Rage is designed to punish players who reflexively flip when the ball gets close. While the lanes and targets are not especially small, the posts that guard them are very close to the flippers. This means that missed shots will ricochet at undesirable angles – and fast!
Compounding this issue are the rubbers at the entrances to the left and right orbits. On most games, such as Star Trek, No Fear or Attack from Mars, the metal lane guides continue the entire length of the shot. Not on Black Knight! On this game, the metal stops early and is replaced with bouncy, deadly rubber, giving any rogue ball tons of side-to-side motion.
The solution? Trap up! Cradle the ball in the crook of your flipper by holding down the flipper when the ball is moving slow enough. Then, aim your shots carefully. Release the flipper to allow the ball to roll down its length. Then, when your shot is aligned, flip! This is a good practice on most pinball machines, but pretty much required when fighting The Black Knight.
A great technique to use against The Black Knight is the backhand. This essential pinball skill involves flipping early, near the base of the flipper, to send the ball straight up instead of across the playfield. Nearly all of the shots on Black Knight Sword of Rage are backhand-able, so it’s a great game to practice this crucial move on.
The most important shot to backhand is the big shield. It is MUCH easier to hit this shot using a backhand off the right flipper than it is to aim from the left. This is also one shot that I do not recommend trapping up for. I find it easier to find the rhythm of the backhand shot and pop it up to the shield every time the ball gets returned to the “G” lane.
One way to get some big points on Black Knight is to start the WAR Hurry Up mode. You can start this exciting mode by completing the W-A-R rollover lanes at the top of the game.
Like most modern pinball machines, Black Knight Sword of Rage has “lane change”, a feature that cycles lit inserts by pushing a flipper button. You want to change the lane so the light is out when the ball rolls over, so you spell the word WAR when completed.
Once completed, The Black Knight will shout “WAR!” the music will become even more exciting, and the middle three shots (the Flail Lane, the Shield Lane and the Center Target) will all start to flash with white light. These three shots each now have a Hurry Up, a large jackpot that diminishes in value as time goes by. The faster you can make each shot, the more points you will receive. Then, once all 3 are completed, the Center Target is lit for a HUGE Hurry Up value! Every time you start the WAR Hurry Up mode, the Hurry Up starting values increase, so as long as your aim is true, it’s always a good idea to try to complete this mode.
The main quest of Black Knight: Sword of Rage has you fighting various monsters ol’ BK has guarding the various realms surrounding his castle. These monsters are The Hydra, The Lich Lords, The Sandworm, The Hell Hand and The Magma Beast. Once all 5 monsters are defeated, you will duel the Black Knight himself in his wicked Black Castle.
Each Monster Battle begins with a shot up the Flail Ramp when it’s lit. This ignites the fire behind the Black Castle gate, telling you the monster is ready for battle. Finally, tuck a shot under the Large Shield target, preferably from a backhand off the right flipper. This can be done without trapping; just get the rhythm right after the ball is returned from the wireform. After a fearsome animation, the ball will return to the right flipper and the battle begins!
Guide to Monster Colors and Behaviors
Every monster is color-coded: The Hydra is green, The Lich Lords are light blue, The Sandworm is yellow, The Hell Hand is red and The Magma Beast is orange. To defeat the monsters, you must hit lit shots of their color, however each monster has a “trick”:
- The Hydra’s heads must be chopped off before they regrow. To do this, you must hit the same shot twice, consecutively.
- The Lich Lords are similar to the Hydra in that they take two hits to finish off each shot. The first shot “freezes” the Lich while the second shot obliterates it! These shots do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be made within a time limit.
- The Sandworm moves back and forth across the playfield, so you must hit the yellow shots when they are lit in order to do damage. Cradle the ball and wait for The Sandworm to appear at a “safe” shot, then fire away!
- The Hell Hand is arguably the most challenging of all the monsters. It appears at a single lit shot on either the left or right edge of the playfield. Once that shot is made, it switches sides. It goes back and forth like this until it is defeated.
- Finally, The Magma Beast may be the easiest of all the monster battles. The fight starts with all shots lit. Every time you make a lit shot, the fire goes out, forcing you to make another shot. Keep making lit shots until The Magma Beast cools off.
You can earn extra balls by hitting the “U-Turn” shot multiple times. This is at either the right orbit shot or the second-from-the-left spinner shot. Consecutive shots change the color of the lightning bolt insert. After multiple shots, the game will announce “Extra Ball is Lit!” Collect the extra ball at the Big Shield shot.
More to Explore!
We’ve only scratched the surface of Black Knight: Sword of Rage. There’s still the whole aspect of powering up your sword, and the Super Features, but we don’t want to overwhelm you. Take your time, control the ball, choose less-risky shots, and before you know it, you’ll be standing toe-to-toe with The Black Knight himself!