Cookie's Guide to Black Rose
This rule compilation and tips sheet is, to the extent possible (in light of the subject matter being the property of Bally/Williams), public domain.
Questions, corrections, additions or insults should be sent to me.
All the information here is based only on one machine, so I have no idea which parts are settings-dependent. Scores, times etc may vary.
Black Rose has two normal length lower flippers in the usual place, a full length upper-right flipper, two normal slingshots, a proper plunger with a spring, a big red button marked "Fire!" and, from lower left:
The first shot up the right ramp on a ball is worth 100K, the second 200K, the third 300K, the fourth 400K, the fifth an extra ball and the sixth and later shots are worth a million. It's possible the extra ball shot is also worth a million.
Actually, that's not quite true. There's a timer. Before the million is lit, the awards step down one at a time, pretty slowly. After you get to the million, they all time out at once. After a multiball, they'll all be reset. But you can't collect more than one extra ball from here on a ball.
Throughout, if I refer to a random award without further information, it's chosen from this list.
and possibly others. The only one that isn't obvious is spot letter, and this spots a letter in "Sink Ship" (more later) and not in LOCK.
There are seven awards available from here in normal play, and they're written up the middle of the playfield. Which one you'll get changes quite quickly (about 4 times a second). Once you've collected an award, it'll stay lit and won't be available again until you've collected them all. The awards, in the order they cycle, are
Once you've shot the broadside and gotten the ball back, there's a two million point hurry-up award for shooting it again, which relights it. This hurry up bottoms out at 500K and times out after a while, after which point you'll have to shoot the broadside once to restart the countdown and again to get the points and actually relight it.
Whenever the broadside isn't lit for an award, hitting the broadside target counts as shooting the broadside - it will start the countdown, or collect the points and light the broadside, or, if you hit it twice, do both.
Once all seven awards have been collected, the broadside is lit for light jackpot. It stays lit until you shoot it or the end of the ball, and then the broadside resets unlit.
The jackpot lives on the left ramp, and it's worth 5 million plus additions for various things which carry over between games. It can get as high as 15 million or so, but I always seem to collect it before then, so I don't know how high it can go.
It also has an annoying habit of obscuring everything else the game would normally display with the value of the jackpot, so even when it's worth very little it's worth getting it out of the way.
The cannon is loaded by shooting the ball into the open locker. You can open the locker three ways - the skillshot, completing the three sets of standup targets, or looping the upper ramp a few times. Once the ball is in the locker, it'll roll down under the table, and once it's sitting on the kicker, the cannon will light up and turn from side to side. Some of the shots on the table will be lit, and you'll be offered an award for hitting a lit shot. You press the fire button to fire ;)
If you miss, the locker will reopen, and you get a countdown (about ten seconds I think) for an "instant reload." Whether you make the timer or have to reopen the locker, I believe you shoot for the same award until you manage to collect it.
If you hit your shot, or rebound onto a set of standups that also happened to be lit ;), you get the award you were promised plus a letter in "Sink Ship" - more about that later.
The first three awards, in order, are "Double Broadside", video mode and 5 Million. They continue to follow the same pattern, but I can't remember where it goes next.
You can start multiball in two ways. Get awarded "Instant Multiball" or complete the LOCK letters and shoot the lock. Yes, as soon as you lock ball one, you start two ball multiball.
During two ball multiball, all three ramps are worth a million points plus a "Sink Ship" letter, and the lock shot is lit. Shooting one ball into the lock starts a timer, and shooting the other in there before the timer runs out serves up a third ball at the plunger for three ball multiball. I have no idea if anything is different in three-ball, or if the lock awards anything.
And that leads us on to...
As you may have guessed already, sinking ships has more than a little to do with those "Sink Ship" letters written across the playfield. You can collect your letters in many ways, and as soon as you're in single ball play with "Sink Ship" all lit, the locker will be open to load the cannon to sink a ship.
Shooting the locker loads the cannon, gives a quote "Send 'em to Davy Jones!" and lights the broadside shot, which isn't trivial from the cannon. Hitting sinks a ship, missing puts you back a step to trying to shoot the locker.
For your first ship, 4 "Sink Ship" letters are spotted, and then one less letter is spotted after each ship sunk. Letters can be collected in advance and will be held over, so with one good multiball you can light two or even more ships to be sunk at once.
The first ship is worth 20 million, the second 30 and the third 40. I imagine this trend continues to a point and then maxes out, but I don't know where.
Sinking some number of ships will light special on the left (Pirate's Cove) and right orbits. On the local machine, this is currently two, but I wouldn't be surprised if it reflexed.
There is a position on the high score table for most ships sunk, and sinking the same number of ships as the previous holder will win it.
There are two cows I've found in Black Rose, and I don't actually know how to make either of them appear reliably.
Sometimes a shot around the back orbit will generate a whole herd of cows all over the screen and a nice mooing noise, and sometimes, instead of men fencing while the ball is in the pops, you get cows.
My personal best so far is 288 million, with three ships and 95 million from Double Broadside. My most ships is three, my best Double Broadside is 159 million.
Kevin Martin for the disclaimer at the top and the general format, both of which I blatantly stole without permission ;)
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