I want to dedicate a new thread to a gem that sometimes seems to be some kind of forgotten. It's almost exactly 40 years ago that Williams presented Steve Ritchie's 2nd masterpiece for the company.
I absolutely agree when "new" Pinsiders or anyone who was born after, say, 1970, now replies "so what" and back in 1980 me too would have replied "so what" to anyone who told me "oh yeah, Firepower is cool, but never forget Humpty-Dumpty"
You simply had to be there in 1980, the impact that FIREPOWER created can't be described in words. It was the same impact that FLASH did one year before. Anyone who is interested can read my appreciation to Steve Ritchie and Flash on the FLASH-splash-page, where I tried to sum-up the important role of FLASH in history.
Me I grew up with Pinball because my family had a bar with a separate room full of amusenent-machines. And I can't exactly explain why, but from early on I was a "Williams-Guy" and loved that company. So it was a little bit sad when Williams slowly seemed to fade away in 1978. Of course Bally designed great machines but their domination got boring in 1978. There was a very dull period in the summer of 78 when you indeed could bet that if you visited a location with just 1 oder 2 machines you'd find an Eight Ball, Mata Hari or Strikes and Spares. When FLASH arrived in early 1979 it felt like a rebirth of Williams. The Stern-games also got better and better and from then on the market got more balanced and interesting. It was a very cool period and FIREPOWER kinda topped it. From then on Williams dominated and they fought hard to get pinball through the bad years 82 to 85. Stern gave up, Bally and Gottlieb tried to save money whereever they could and manufactured "cheap" machines in those years but Williams went the "all-or-nothing" way with expensive machines like Space Shuttle or Comet. And finally they succeeded and were able to invent High-Speed - the rest is history of course.
And I honestly believe this would not have happened if there had not been Steve Ritchie, Flash, Firepower, and Gorgar of course. Williams surely made good money with those wonderful machines and this money helped to save Williams and finally saved Pinball.
And to this day I feel very sad when I see a "dumpster" Firepower and Flash and people saying "so what"
Please everybody think twice next time - and even if only 1 FIREPOWER or FLASH will be saved by someone who reads this and thinks about it then this toppic made sense.