(Topic ID: 60193)

Blackwater 100 - appreciation thread

By ChadH

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by DennisNordman
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 6 years ago

Blackwater 100 is a very unique pinball machine that you don't come across very often. The theme is motorcycle dirt bike racing. Released by Bally in 1988. This was one of Dennis Nordman's earlier pinball designs.

This game has many interesting shots that have never been done before or since in any pinball machine that I have ever seen.

Instead of a regular game where you launch one ball into play... Blackwater 100 has three "heats" and each heat STARTS with 3-ball multiball. You launch the three balls behind the starting gate in the upper right corner. The game then counts down "READY", "SET", "GO" along with RED, YELLOW, and GREEN lights and the gate is dropped and the balls roll down the track and enter the playfield. You control the gate drop with two extra green buttons below the white flipper buttons. A bonus is given based on how well you time the gate drop when the game says "GO". If you are too early, no bonus... if you are right on you get a nice bonus... if you are delayed then your bonus quickly goes down.

Game play is chaotic at first with all three balls entering the playfield at the same time. Having been to many dirt bike races in my youth, the way the heat start along with the cool dirt bike sound effects really captures the mayhem and chaos that ensues at the beginning of a real dirt bike race.

Chances are you will quickly drain a ball or two in the initial chaos and that's OK. Luckily, the game has two ball locks that will temporarily hold a ball when it enters. This allows you to focus better on other balls in play.

The game has five flippers. Two in the regular position, two at the bottom of the upper playfield, and one down on the left on the apron. Yes, the apron... well... there really is no apron and instead there is a third playfield there for even more crazy fun.

Gameplay is pretty straight forward in that you are trying to complete three "laps". Each lap consists of accomplishing each of the eight challenges on the playfield. After each lap, there is a special timed test that you must accomplish for big points.

I picked up a Blackwater 100 a few months ago for a pretty good deal. It was fully functioning, but needed a major shop job. It was probably one of the most difficult playfields to take apart to shop out. Lots of crazy molded plastic parts that create hills, ramps, berms, and tunnels.

Just check out some of the up-close playfield shots here:

This game takes a while to "dial in". You need to make sure each switch is responding correctly and smoothly, otherwise you won't be able to complete all the challenges.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Blackwater 100.

Here is a picture of my game...


#2 6 years ago

I have nos translights for this game

#3 6 years ago

Ive been on the lookout for one of these for awhile, seems like a really cool game. Being into motorcycles helps me too with liking the theme alot.

#4 6 years ago

That lower PF is fast as hell. I remember the first time i walked up to it and noticed the upper flipper behind the normal flippers..."ummm WTF!"

#5 6 years ago

I Have a nice one for sale....coool game

#7 6 years ago

i think the art on this pin is amazing! Plus its a dennis nordman design. I have a special force and a dr dude

#8 6 years ago

Love this game, the best way to maximize your scoring is to SLOW yourself down and plan the shots by moving the blinking lights around with your extra flipper buttons. You'd be amazed how we'll it works for you.

John P. Dayhuff
Battle Creek, Mi.

#9 6 years ago

Very fun game.

#10 6 years ago

Does anyone have a PDF copy of the manual available? I can't find it online anywhere.

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinballer73:

Does anyone have a PDF copy of the manual available? I can't find it online anywhere.

IPD don't have one wow

#12 6 years ago

Badass pin. Really fun. It's got that whole apron playfield, the "insanity falls" style ramp on the left, all those mini ramps, the art on the inside cabinet walls. Just really cool. I had the opportunity to buy one a few months back and and it just wasn't going to work, but I still kind of want one.

#13 6 years ago

In Pinball Magazine No. 2 Dennis talks about this games and his reasoning behind the design, trying to simulate a motocrossrace with the multiball start and such. It sure helps to appreciate the game knowing these insights. I was able to play BW100 at Freddy's Pinball Paradise during the IFPA 10 weekend and it appears to be a bit underrated game. I found it pretty fun to play, easy to understand, but difficult to master. Once all the required shots are made there's probably not much left to do, but that goes for most games from that era. Quite an innovative game at the time.

#14 6 years ago


IMG_5521.JPG IMG_5527.JPG IMG_5529.JPG

#15 6 years ago

more pics

IMG_5534.JPG IMG_5538.JPG IMG_5539.JPG

#16 6 years ago

Does this have multi-ball other then at the beginning of the game? I maybe interested, as I know someone offered me a straight up trade for my HS for this title, should I do it? I can't afford any more pins at the moment so trade is in order.

#17 6 years ago

Each "heat" starts with 3-ball multiball.

There is also a 1-ball ROM out there... I have never played it so I do not know if that version has any kind of multiball.

#18 6 years ago

looks good Chad but this game is one of the hardest to work on

#19 6 years ago

Expo last year, bought a BW100 off someone and bumped into Dennis, told him about the machine out the back and he wanted to see it. He signed the game, had a few games on it, and spoke to us about designing the game. Dennis was awesome for taking some time out with us, its the most memorable moment I've had in pinball.

edit: Front right is Michael Shalhoub, the author of the pinball compendiums for anyone who hasn't met him.


#20 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Each "heat" starts with 3-ball multiball.
There is also a 1-ball ROM out there... I have never played it so I do not know if that version has any kind of multiball.

1 ball rom is 1 ball

1 year later
#21 4 years ago

Does the score reset at 10mil?

#22 4 years ago

So did Dennis say anything about the orange plexy they used on top of the backbox ?

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from TenaciousT:

So did Dennis say anything about the orange plexy they used on top of the backbox ?

Lights inside the backbox made the edge of the plastic light. Cheapest topper ever.

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