Quoted from TreyBo69:
Flash is really underrated here. It's hard to fully appreciate just how important that design was. It helped saved Williams who hadn't had a sales hit in a while, I think it created the cross playfield plunge or at least really popularized it, it was an early example of a repeatable loop shot from an upper flipper that shows up on so many later Ritchie games (protip: upgrade your flippers to later system 11 designs to really pop off some loops), it introduced flash lamps and background noise to pinball, and is frankly still a pretty fun game overall. The only thing you can really ding it for is the art is very meh and the background noise did not age well (defaults to off for a reason)
Flash is one of those layouts that you can see it so many other games made later, like Skateball and Blackout. It really is one of his all time great layouts that influenced countless other games.
My respect for you! I can't stand this permanent bashing of FLASH anymore. If one is too young to simply understand how important this machine was and still is than he should be quiet. A "poop-game" ? Gee-Whizz look at that boring and terrible sounding Four-Letter-Word-Bally-machine from the same year. (Of course, that machine sold 17.000 units too but in this case it was the name and a clever strategy that made big numbers - FLASH had nothing of that)
If FLASH really is that bad how could it be that it sold over 19.000 units?
And please no one should forget (Steve Ritchie confirmed this) that Williams stopped the production-run because they "wanted to leave the market still demanding" - so it is a fact that FLASH could be the most-produced Flipper-Game ever, topping Eight Ball and TAF. And when you keep in mind that there were also some FLASH-licensed machines in Brazil and Europe like Super-Zeus, Zeus and Storm, it will even be in fact the most produced machine of all time. A "poop-game"? Hahaha!
And as you said, Williams did not have a hit for a couple of years. Bally dominated the market in such a huge way that it became extremely boring in 1978. Who knows what could have happened to Williams' Pinball-department if they did not hire Steve Ritchie with his idea for FLASH, and the fantastic new sound-system ? Anyone who bashes that great new sound - compare it to Bally's from the same time!
Williams surely made tons of money with FLASH and that money helped Williams through the very bad years 83 and 84. There would have been no High Speed, no success, no DMD, no WPC, nothing. Pinball could have gone in a completely other direction if it wasn't for Williams and Steve Ritchie who invented High Speed in late 85. You must remember that in 85 most manufacturers were gone or built very cheap "Retro"-designs. Only Williams stood strong and invented new and up-to-date designs! And all this only happened because Steve Ritchie went to Williams and designed FLASH. So please give FLASH a break, OK?