Cookie's Guide to Black Rose


This rule compilation and tips sheet is, to the extent possible (in light of the subject matter being the property of Bally/Williams), public domain.

Questions, corrections, additions or insults should be sent to me.

All the information here is based only on one machine, so I have no idea which parts are settings-dependant. Scores, times etc may vary.

The Playfield

Black Rose has two normal length lower flippers in the usual place, a full length upper-right flipper, two normal slingshots, a proper plunger with a spring, a big red button marked "Fire!" and, from lower left:

Pirates Cove
A very short orbit shot at the left side of the machine, turning sharply inwards to sit on a kickout. This is the lock shot.

Left Ramp
A long straight ramp starting right next to the Pirate's Cove, near the flippers, and feeding to the upper flipper. The jackpot is collected here when lit, and this is the first shot in the three way combo.

Torch Targets
A bank of three yellow standup targets, facing right. The skill shot is to hit these, and completing all three sets of standups opens the locker.

Upper Ramp
A looping ramp, shot from the upper flipper and feeding back to it. Looping it a few times will cause it to lift, opening...

Underneath the upper ramp, shooting this shot puts the ball in the cannon, from which you then shoot what you're told for a variety of interesting awards.

Back Loop
Shot from the upper flipper, this loop feeds down the left orbit. It's the second shot in the three-way combo, and the source of one of the two cows in the game.

Bomb Targets
A bank of three red standup targets, facing down and slightly to the right. See torch targets.

A hole in the centre of the top of the machine. More later!

A little gap the ball can slip through to get in or out of the pop bumpers. Kinda like the one on Dr Who.
Gunpowder Targets
A bank of three green standup targets, facing left and slightly downwards. See torch targets.

Right Ramp
(also known as the whirlpool) A spiralling ramp which feeds to the left inlane for repeat shots. Slow shots around here will fall into the...

Pop bumpers
These are quite well hidden, you could play the game and not realise it had any (I did). The score from these depends on...

Right orbit
Up past the upper right flipper and into the pops. Shots up here add 1000 to the value of the pops, which start at 1000. Real big points ;) The game also has a bad habit of not counting these points until the display has finished showing other sequences.

Broadside Target
A single yellow standup target, facing to the right. Works towards lighting broadside (more later) or spots a standup if the broadside is already lit.

The word LOCK is written across them, one letter per lane. Rolling over the relevant rollover lights the letter, and the lit letters can be cycled either way with the flippers.

The cannon
That thing badly set into the playfield just above the flippers. The ball ends up here and you get to shoot things with it.

The big metal thing in the middle
This is the feed from the broadside shot back to the right flipper, and works very well. The ball comes screaming down here, hits the bit of metal at the end and lands on the flipper slow enough that you simply have to hold it up and it's caught.

The Whirlpool

The first shot up the right ramp on a ball is worth 100K, the second 200K, the third 300K, the fourth 400K, the fifth an extra ball and the sixth and later shots are worth a million. It's possible the extra ball shot is also worth a million.

Actually, that's not quite true. There's a timer. Before the million is lit, the awards step down one at a time, pretty slowly. After you get to the million, they all time out at once. After a multiball, they'll all be reset. But you can't collect more than one extra ball from here on a ball.

Random Awards

Throughout, if I refer to a random award without further information, it's chosen from this list.

and possibly others. The only one that isn't obvious is spot letter, and this spots a letter in "Sink Ship" (more later) and not in LOCK.

The Broadside

There are seven awards available from here in normal play, and they're written up the middle of the playfield. Which one you'll get changes quite quickly (about 4 times a second). Once you've collected an award, it'll stay lit and won't be available again until you've collected them all. The awards, in the order they cycle, are

Polly Says
A random award.

Knife Throw
One of the three video modes in the game. You'll be offered a random award if you can hit the barrel with the knife, and you have to press the "Fire!" button at the right moment.

Instant Multiball
Gee, what does this one do?

Walk the Plank
Another video mode. Hammer the fire button as fast as you can to outrun the shark and win a random award. Like the other video modes, you're told what you'll win before you play.

Awards a random number of points, which seems to be between .5M and 2.5M.

Rigging Swing
The third video mode. Press "Fire!" at the right time to land on the ship and win a random award.

Millions +
All ramp shots score million plus. Note that you don't have to concentrate on a single ramp, they all go up a million whichever one you hit.

Once you've shot the broadside and gotten the ball back, there's a two million point hurry-up award for shooting it again, which relights it. This hurry up bottoms out at 500K and times out after a while, after which point you'll have to shoot the broadside once to restart the countdown and again to get the points and actually relight it.

Whenever the broadside isn't lit for an award, hitting the broadside target counts as shooting the broadside - it will start the countdown, or collect the points and light the broadside, or, if you hit it twice, do both.

Once all seven awards have been collected, the broadside is lit for light jackpot. It stays lit until you shoot it or the end of the ball, and then the broadside resets unlit.

The Jackpot

The jackpot lives on the left ramp, and it's worth 5 million plus additions for various things which carry over between games. It can get as high as 15 million or so, but I always seem to collect it before then, so I don't know how high it can go.

It also has an annoying habit of obscuring everything else the game would normally display with the value of the jackpot, so even when it's worth very little it's worth getting it out of the way.

The Cannon

The cannon is loaded by shooting the ball into the open locker. You can open the locker three ways - the skillshot, completing the three sets of standup targets, or looping the upper ramp a few times. Once the ball is in the locker, it'll roll down under the table, and once it's sitting on the kicker, the cannon will light up and turn from side to side. Some of the shots on the table will be lit, and you'll be offered an award for hitting a lit shot. You press the fire button to fire ;)

If you miss, the locker will reopen, and you get a countdown (about ten seconds I think) for an "instant reload." Whether you make the timer or have to reopen the locker, I believe you shoot for the same award until you manage to collect it.

If you hit your shot, or rebound onto a set of standups that also happened to be lit ;), you get the award you were promised plus a letter in "Sink Ship" - more about that later.

The first three awards, in order, are "Double Broadside", video mode and 5 Million. They continue to follow the same pattern, but I can't remember where it goes next.

Double Broadside
If you're accurate, this is the most lucrative scoring round in the game. You get a 30 second timer, and the broadside shot is lit for a million points. Once you collect that, it's lit for 2 million, then 4 million, 8 million, 16 million, then 32 million. It maxes out at 32 million, and you can collect this multiple times.

Video Mode
Starts one of the three modes at random.

5 Million
Gee, I dunno.


You can start multiball in two ways. Get awarded "Instant Multiball" or complete the LOCK letters and shoot the lock. Yes, as soon as you lock ball one, you start two ball multiball.

During two ball multiball, all three ramps are worth a million points plus a "Sink Ship" letter, and the lock shot is lit. Shooting one ball into the lock starts a timer, and shooting the other in there before the timer runs out serves up a third ball at the plunger for three ball multiball. I have no idea if anything is different in three-ball, or if the lock awards anything.

And that leads us on to...

Sinking Ships

As you may have guessed already, sinking ships has more than a little to do with those "Sink Ship" letters written across the playfield. You can collect your letters in many ways, and as soon as you're in single ball play with "Sink Ship" all lit, the locker will be open to load the cannon to sink a ship.

Shooting the locker loads the cannon, gives a quote "Send 'em to Davy Jones!" and lights the broadside shot, which isn't trivial from the cannon. Hitting sinks a ship, missing puts you back a step to trying to shoot the locker.

For your first ship, 4 "Sink Ship" letters are spotted, and then one less letter is spotted after each ship sunk. Letters can be collected in advance and will be held over, so with one good multiball you can light two or even more ships to be sunk at once.

The first ship is worth 20 million, the second 30 and the third 40. I imagine this trend continues to a point and then maxes out, but I don't know where.

Sinking some number of ships will light special on the left (Pirate's Cove) and right orbits. On the local machine, this is currently two, but I wouldn't be suprised if it reflexed.

There is a position on the high score table for most ships sunk, and sinking the same number of ships as the previous holder will win it.


There are two cows I've found in Black Rose, and I don't actually know how to make either of them appear reliably.

Sometimes a shot around the back orbit will generate a whole herd of cows all over the screen and a nice mooing noise, and sometimes, instead of men fencing while the ball is in the pops, you get cows.


My personal best so far is 288 million, with three ships and 95 million from Double Broadside. My most ships is three, my best Double Broadside is 159 million.


Kevin Martin for the disclaimer at the top and the general format, both of which I blatantly stole without permission ;)

Editor's Notes