Firepower

Williams, 1980

Manufactured By: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.

Date: February 1980

Firepower is a Williams pinball machine, first released in February of 1980, designed by Steve Ritchie. Firepower is the second pinball to feature speech (the first being “Gorgar”). The eleven word ability was beyond Gorgar’s seven word memory. Firepower has three notable “firsts”:

1) the first pinball with the “lane change” feature in which the right flipper button controlled the lit/unlit status of rollover lanes;
2) the first SS pinball to have a multiball feature. Attaining three balls in play at the same time was an uniquely attractive reward;
3) the first playfield animation. This “countdown to multiball” animation was innovative and amazing in 1980. It was also near the limit of the electronic and computational capacity of the hardware.

It ranks at #5 in the list of the most successful Flipper Games of all time, with 17,410 units.