High Speed


High Speed Version 1.10
by Bill Ung
"Dispatch this is 504, suspect got away"

"High Speed", and dozens of other things in here are probably copyright Williams Electronics, Inc.

Everything else is Copyright 1991-1997, Bill Ung. Freely distributable.


"High Speed" is a pinball game by the fabulous Mr. Steve Ritchie, and is dated February 1986 (according to the manual). It is a fast-paced, high-testosterone game, with pretty lights and shiny chrome rails. I met mine in June of 1986 and it sparked the beginning of my descent into the fascinating world of pinball. High Speed turned out to be a very popular game, based on the estimated run of over 13,000 units. "Hot Action Pinball", indeed!!! The game credits are as follows:

  • Design and Concept: Steve Ritchie
  • Software: L.E.D.
  • Sounds: Bill Parod, SSR, and Eugene Jarvis
  • Graphic Design by Mark Sprenger

Steve Ritchie is known for numerous pinball machines, such as: Airborne Avenger, Superman, Flash, Stellar Wars, Firepower, Black Knight, Hyperball, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat, Black Knight 2000, Rollergames, Terminator 2, High Speed 2: The Getaway, Star Trek: The Next Generation and finally, No Fear.

Steve Ritchie took a break from pinball in 1995/1996 and is (at the time of this writing), working on video games somewhere in California. We most certainly anticipate his return in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

QUICK REFERENCE CARD (straight off the game)

High Speed

  • Make Stoplight Targets to change Ramp Stoplight from Green to Yellow to Red.
  • Eject Hole and Ramp spot Stoplight Lamp.
  • Shoot Ball up Ramp to run Red Stoplight, starting Police Chase.
  • Shoot Ball up Ramp DURING Police Chase to Escape from Police and Begin *Multi-Ball* Play.
  • Shoot Ball up Ramp DURING *Multi-Ball* Play to WIN Hideout Jackpot.

  • Flipper return lanes light timed Freeway Arrow.
  • Shooting up Lit Freeway scores and advances Freeway value toward Extra Ball.
  • Each ball: 1st Freeway Shot lights Flipper Lanes; 2nd lights Spinners; 3rd lights Hold Bonus.
  • Flashing 1-6 Targets Advances Ramp value and lights Kickback.



Advance the traffic light to red, run the red light and get away at High Speed! Once you have gotten away, during Multi-Ball, hide in the hideout for the bonus jackpot!


One to four players can play. Traditional High Speed games support the 1-game, 3-balls per quarter (Factory Settings). 50 cent High Speed games will not display half-credits. New players can enter the game by inserting coins and pressing Start until the end of the first ball; after that, pressing Start aborts the current game for all players and begins a new one.


High Speed does not truly have a plunger skill shot. While it is possible to shoot a ball up the ramp and have it slide down the guide rails into a hideout, but no extra points are awarded for such a feat. Depending upon the difficulty level, the game will spot a stoplight for you for just making it up the ramp off the plunger (see STOPLIGHTS and RAMP SHOTS).

Another possible skill shot would be to hit a flashing stoplight target opposite or above the opening of the plunger slot. No special points are awarded, but it gets you out of hitting the target later. Use this only if you don't get a free stoplight for a plunger ramp shot.


The main stoplight is located above the opening to the ramp. You begin with a green light. Around the board are three sets of stoplights lights with red, yellow and green targets. The game begin with a green light. Each light begins with its light flashing on each of the three stoplight targets. Complete each light by spotting each flashing target by hitting it with the ball, or using the ramp (see RAMP SHOTS) or the eject hole (see EJECT HOLE). When the all targets of the current light have been spotted, the light is advanced to yellow, then to red. When you reach the red light. You must now send the ball up the ramp to begin the police chase. This can either be done from the playfield or off of the plunger. During the police chase, spot all nine stoplight targets in any order to light the "Escape" lamp at the eject hole. During Multi-Ball and *after* scoring a jackpot, all nine target lights may again be spotted in any order to light the Extra Ball. Ramp shots and the eject hole will not help you here. Whenever a stoplight is spotted, the game adds 1,000 points to your bonus total (see BONUS POINTS).

The three traffic lights around the board can be hit/marked in the following ways:

  1. Hitting the target next to the light with the ball.
  2. Sending the ball up the ramp (see RAMP SHOTS). Depending upon the difficulty setting, you may or may not be awarded a stoplight target for a plunger ramp shot. 3-ball settings typically do, 5-ball settings typically don't.
  3. Landing the ball in the eject hole (see EJECT HOLE). Again, depending upon the difficulty setting, this feature may be disabled. 3-ball settings typically do, 5-ball settings typically don't.

If the game has a choice, it will always spot the lower bank targets first, then the upper bank targets, and finally the center bank targets. If more than one target is valid on a bank, the game will spot the red first, yellow second and green last.


During normal gameplay, when a ball is sent up the ramp, the game will push the ball down one of the guide rails and into one of the side hide-outs. You are also awarded the Ramp Bonus, plus a Bonus Multipler. Ramp Bonus can be 50,000 to 250,000 points, in 25,000 point increments (increased by the 1-6 Targets). The Bonus Multipler can be 2X thru 5X.

Each ramp shot will also spot a stoplight target and advance the current light, if necessary. Depending upon the difficulty setting, the game may or may not spot a stoplight for a plunger ramp shot. The ramp value and bonus multiplier are not awarded for a plunger ramp shot.

If the main traffic light is red, you will be awarded the usual rewards but it will start the "Police Chase". This mode is entered whether the ramp shot is from the playfield or the plunger. A shot to start Police Chase does not divert the ball into a hideout, and instead exits at the right-end of the ramp, dropping back onto the playfield, just above the upper-right flipper.

Sending a ball up the ramp during the "Police Chase" constitutes a "Getaway" and will lock the ball in one of the hideouts. A second ball will be served up which will be locked in the other hideout. A third ball will be served which when it registers anywhere on the playfield, will release the other two balls, beginning Multi-Ball play. In the event you miss the ramp on the second ball, the game will abort to two-ball multiball by ejecting the other locked ball. However, if you haven't touched anything, some games will allow you to drain the ball and try again. Others will drain the ball eject the locked ball, starting you over at a green light.

"Escape" is pretty much the same thing, except that the first ball is locked in the Eject Hole saucer, and the other two in the hideouts. Multi-Ball starts, but the ball locked in the Eject Hole is released last. :-(

During Multi-Ball play, sending a ball up the ramp will lock it in a hideout and will award a jackpot bonus (see JACKPOT BONUS). Sending a second ball up will lock it in the other hideout and but only awards a standard ramp bonus. Sending a third ball up awards a standard ramp bonus and kicks out one of the other balls, and locks the one you just shot up the ramp. When the last playfield ball is drained, all locked balls are released and play continues. If you have more than one ball locked, you continue Multi-Ball play. When you are down to one ball, you start over at a green light.


Above the upper right-hand flipper, there is an eject hole. During normal play, landing a ball there will temporarily lock the ball. The game may also award you by marking off a light target, depending upon the difficulty setting. The biggest advantage is the ball is kicked out to the lane where the upper right-hand flipper is located. This makes for an easy ramp shot (if you are skilled enough and have a decently powered upper-flipper).

During "Police Chase" mode or Multi-Ball, the eject hole will mark off an unmarked target for you. If all targets are marked, the ball lock will constitute an "Escape".

If lit, the eject hole will award an "Extra Ball".


There are two freeways and three freeway spinners. Two are on the outer lanes around the upper half of the board, the third leads to the eject hole. The two outer lanes award the Freeway Bonus, when its Freeway Arrow is lit. Freeway scoring is as follows:

  1. When nothing is lit: 100 points for each time the freeway signs (spinners) spin when hit by the ball.
  2. When nothing is lit, riding both outer-lane freeways in succession (ie: one big loop) will light the timed Freeway Arrow on the side you entered first. If you're good at making this loop, it's a great way to pick up points and bonuses (ie: Hold Bonus, Light Extra Ball).
  3. The lower flipper inlanes will light the opposite-side timed Freeway Arrow.
  4. The lower flipper inlanes, when lit, will also award 20,000 points and will re-light the Kickback, if necessary.
  5. When the Freeway Arrows are flashing, the freeway awards:
    1. 50,000 points and lights the flipper inlanes.
    2. 75,000 points and lights the spinners.
    3. 100,000 points and lights Hold Bonus.
    4. 100,000 points and lights Extra Ball.
    The above is for 3-ball games. 5-ball games start you at 25,000 points. All other awards are the same, except that Light Extra Ball shows up on the fifth run.
  6. When the spinners are lit, they award 1,000 points per spin when hit by the ball (plus a really cool sound).

The Freeway Bonus indicators only flash for a short period of time. They go out when the time has elapsed or the Freeway Bonus is collected. The 20,000 bonus/light kickback and 1000 point indicators will last till the end of the ball. The Extra Ball lamp will last until collected on 3-ball games, or till the end of the ball on 5-ball games.


One of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 targets will be flashing at all times. Hitting the target will advance the Ramp value and will re-light the Kickback light, if necessary. These targets score 20,000 points when flashing, or 1,000 points when unlit.


Various targets will award bonus points and your total is kept tallied on the main playfield (designed to look like a tachometer). You start each ball with 1,000 bonus points. Each stoplight adds 1,000 points to your bonus total. The outlanes add 3,000 bonus points to your bonus total. At the end of each ball, the game awards you these bonus points, multiplied by your bonus multiplier (you start at 1X, advance using the ramp, see RAMP SHOTS). The game will start you over at 1,000 bonus points unless Hold Bonus has been awarded (see THE FREEWAY). If you have finished your last ball with a Hold Bonus, the game holds both your bonus points, as well as your bonus multiplier, otherwise, bonus multipliers are not carried over from ball to ball.


The jackpot bonus starts at 250,000 points and climbs from game to game. Every point earned in Multi-Ball, *before* scoring the jackpot, is added to the jackpot bonus. Once awarded, the jackpot bonus resets itself to 250,000 points (kinda like the lottery), but does not begin to accumulate more Multi-Ball points until the *next* Multi-Ball. The maximum Jackpot value is 2,000,000 points.


There are two special lights, one for each outlane. When lit, they will award 1 credit. When only one is lit, the slingshots/bumpers move the light from one side to the other. You light the outlanes by making it to the red light (you don't need to run it) twice in a 3-ball game, or three times in a 5-ball game.

When the special light is not lit, the outlanes will add 3,000 points to your bonus total.


Get good at the freeway shots, the ramp shot and the eject hole shot. The freeway shots are probably easiest and if you can collect the Freeway Bonuses often enough, this strategy easily outruns multiple ramp shots, plus you get bonuses like Hold Bonus and Light Extra Ball. The ramp shot is best to spot a hard-to-reach stoplight. The ramp bonus isn't bad either and bonus multipliers are always a good thing to have. The eject hole is really only worth it on games that will spot a stoplight for you. All games will spot stoplights from the eject hole when all stoplights are off and can be hit in any order. Also, if a playfield ramp shot cannot be made for one reason or another, the eject hole is your only hope of getting away (starting Multi-Ball).



The spinners/freeways are labeled as follows:

  • Left Spinner: Bayshore Freeway
  • Right Spinner: Santa Monica Freeway
  • Eject Spinner: San Diego Freeway


High Speed target scoring is as follows (summary):

  • Slingshots: 10 points.
  • Spinner: 100 points per spin.
  • Lit Spinner: 1000 points per spin.
  • Bumpers: 500 points
  • Freeway Scores:
    • 1/ 25,000;
    • 2/ 50,000;
    • 3/ 75,000;
    • 4/100,000;
    • 5/Light Extra Ball
  • Ramp:
    • 1/ 50,000;
    • 2/ 75,000;
    • 3/100,000


  • Plunger (starting): 1,000 points
  • Stoplight Target: 1,000 points
  • Outlanes: 3,000 points

TRIVIA (from the Steve Ritchie IRC chat):

High Speed was based on the true story of Steve Ritchie being chased by the cops, while doing 146mph in his 1979 Porsche 928.

Editor's Notes

  • HTML added by David Gersic dgersic_@_niu.edu
  • E-mail addresses have been expunged to prevent web-bot spamming, and Web links have been updated where possible.

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