Star Trek The Next Generation

Star Trek the Next Generation backglass as described in the post

Star Trek the Next Generation, 1993, Williams.

More branded machines! More marketing!

Since it’s an illustration, everyone looks super young and quite fit. From left to right we’ve got Geordi LaForge, Deanna Troi, Jonathan Riker, Data, Beverly Crusher, Jean Luc Picard, and Worf who’s about to fire his phaser at someone. Wow I forgot that phasers were the size of boxy dildos back then.

Behind our heroes we see the Enterprise-D, a Romulan Bird-of-Prey, a Klingon battle cruiser, and the silhouette of a Borg, probably Hugh.

See, I do know some pop culture!

The Getaway: High Speed 2

The back glass for The Getaway as described in the post

The Getaway: High Speed II, Williams, 1994.

So a break to the 1990s now, which means a machine whose backglass looks at least somewhat plausible. This is the sequel to High Speed, yesterday’s post.  That’s right, more illegal car racing.

In the center of the backglass a red — Lamborghini? Ferrari? — generic 80’s sports car drives down the center line of a two lane highway directly at the camera. The black asphalt is impeccable and the road is dead straight. On the left of the backglass we see a steep drop-off and behind it a mountain. On the right of the backglass we see another steep drop off but it’s unclear what may be beyond.

Our view is obstructed by two black helicopters, one on each side, and police cars behind the red sports car. I suspect the main character is in trouble.

High Speed

The backglass to the pinball game high speed as described in the post

High Speed, Williams, 1986.

This game is about racing an 80s red sports car, possibly a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, through the streets of some small town while the police chase you. Consequently the backglass is the view of the inside of a police cruiser staring out the window at a red sports car racing down the road in front of it. If the illustration’s speed lines are to believed, it’s moving pretty quickly.

We can also see two officers of the law. The one on the left has his left hand in the 2:00 position on the wheel on a straight road, so he flunks my high school driving test. The other is reading off of a long list of warrants into a handheld police radio similar to a CB. Based on the number of his teeth we can see and how wrinkled his face is, he is displeased.

The dashboard is the scoreboard, but each of the players is labeled as “Speeder 1”, “Speeder 2”, etc. which means the higher your score the faster you’re zooming away.


The backglass for Taxi, as described in the post.

Taxi, Williams, 1988.

Hoo boy is this a 1980s machine.

The framing of this backglass is over the right shoulder of a taxi driver (United States, so he sits on the left of the car) who’s stopped at a red light. As the viewer, you’re presumably either in the back seat or straddling the center console.

The driver is a bit scary looking, like if Rudy from Funhouse became real, six foot tall, and got a job. He’s wearing a red newsboy cap with three buttons on it: MIA/POW, Say NO To Drugs, and a third I can’t make out. He’s also wearing what appears to be green camo with a green patch on the shoulder.

In front of our hero’s tax from left to right, Marilyn Monroe in her famous red dress stands with two green suitcases, Russian President Gorbachev waves while holding a briefcase, Pinbot stands back from the curb, Dracula raises a hand from behind his cape, and Santa Clause is running up the street to wave down the taxi.

Marilyn is not actually Marilyn for the purposes of the game, by the way. Williams had a problem getting the rights to Marilyn Monroe’s likeness, according to the Internet Pinball Database, and the character was renamed Lola for the purposes of the game. Williams modified the art for all but 200 machines that had already shipped, and sometimes she was a brunette and sometimes a redhead. According to the same source, she was named for The Kinks song Lola.

I’m pretty sure that makes her the first official trans person represented in pinball. Good.

The building Santa is running past has a Williams Pinball Palace sign on the corner, and a placard advertising “The greatest pinball games: Cyclone, PinBot, Space Station, High Speed, Bonzai Run, Comet, and Big Guns”. Nice product placement, there, Williams

We can also see the taxi’s rear view mirror which is half painted with the driver’s right eye and ear reflected in it, and half chromed so we can see what’s behind the machine (in this case a wall and part of a basketball game).  The car’s hood is of course taxi yellow, the dashboard looks so squared off it could’ve been made of lego brick, and the meter doubles as a jackpot display.

If you look at the other machines tagged 80s aesthetic on here you’ll find that Taxi fits the “we’ll turn any concept into a pinball machine” feel of that decade, which might be why the 1990s were so incredibly dominated by branded properties.

Black Knight 2000

Backglass for the black knight 2000 pinball machine as described in the post

Black Knight 2000, Williams, 1989.

Yes it’s named “2000” even though it was made in the late ’90s. That’s what the ’90s were like, folks. Everyone just waiting around for the next big round number to come up and see if we all make it to the other side.

Anyway… this is the sequel to Black Knight, only “modern”.  The art looks like a fancy crest of sorts, with the Black Knight riding a black horse through a big circle in the center of the screen.

The horse is wearing chair armor on its neck and your typical renaissance faire blanket like drape in bright red with fancy blue triangles on it. The horse for some reason has a blonde main and tail, which, I mean, those are some interesting genetics right there.

The Black Knight is, of course, wearing black armor, but it’s highlighted in pink and blue at the edges — as is the armor on the horse. The knight is also wearing a red sash and a big bulky gold necklace of some sort. Oh and of course a red cape. The knight is wielding a lighting bolt, which is no easy trick when one is wearing metal armor.

The circle the knight and horse are jumping through is lined with lightning bolds around its rim, and oh hey coincidentally that same circle and ring of lightning bolts is on the playfield (not shown) where it does fancy things during the game.

To the left is a set of towers that look like they are actually chromed-up truck pistons that have been stretched a bit. To the right is a castle that resembles an angry robot only with sharp spikes around all the edges of the parapets.

Everything else is a mixture of red shapes with chrome borders. Because the future is about shiny spiky things, the color red, and chrome.