The Force is with us!

As Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, Chewy et al take to the skies once again we bring you a mould breaking pinball machine in the form of ‘Star Wars Episode 1’ The fact that you don’t even need to be Star Wars fan to appreciate this machine speaks volumes about its playability, its innovative technology, and its overall appeal.

Along with ‘Revenge From Mars’, this was one of a few machines to feature the 'Pinball 2000' concept, an ingenious new system developed by the well known manufacturer Williams to marry a computer monitor featuring animations, scores etc with the usual gameplay. This innovation created a clever illusion called ‘Pepper’s Ghost’, whereby the player perceives the on-screen video to be integrated with the playfield. The effect is created by mirrored playfield glass which reflects the monitor installed in the head of the machine. This allows the display of virtual game targets in the playfield’s upper third to be ‘struck’ by the machine’s steel ball, even though no actual contact has taken place. ‘Impacts’ on these targets are detected by physical targets in the middle of the playfield, and by recognizing successful shots up the left and right ramps and orbits/loops.

This innovative integration of pinball and video was inspired by the ‘Asteroids Deluxe’ arcade machine, which used a one way mirror to add a static background graphic to the game's animated vector graphics.

This machine has been praised by enthusiasts for its excellent artwork, (step forward designer John Popadiuk and artists Dave Mueller/Kevin O’Connor), and for its brilliant sound quality, which includes crystal clear voiceovers by the original cast of the movie. The game play has also won many plaudits, with fans noting that the seamless integration of video generates fresh challenges that wouldn’t have been possible in a conventional machine. Industry gossip has it that the Darth Maul character in the video sequence is actually the artist Kevin O’Connor, who reputedly trained in stick-fighting for several weeks so that he could be filmed in ‘green screen’ and play his own small part in cinema’s greatest ever franchise!

The ultimate goal of this game is to achieve the rank of ‘Jedi Spirit’, and whilst we can’t guarantee that you’ll ever achieve this exalted status, we can promise that you’ll have a blast trying!

Shortly to undergo a painstaking restoration by The Games Room Company's engineers, this machine will be returned to its former glory.

Allow us to explain how and why we go to such extreme lengths when repairing and restoring vintage games.

Over the years we are fortunate enough to have gathered together a select few individuals whose enthusiasm for jukeboxes, pinball machines and vintage arcade games ensures that they are never less than 100% committed to the task in hand. They quite simply love breathing new life into old circuitry and want to see as many of these classic pieces preserved for future generations as possible.

Not for them the perfunctory checklists and proverbial ‘tyre kicking’ which pass for an inspection at other dealers but instead an unflinching determination to get to grips with the detail. This usually begins with a thorough strip down of the machine and a forensic examination of the internal workings. They’ll be aware of the particular quirks and foibles of any given piece and instead of just replacing failed parts they’ll always go the extra mile, swapping out components which are likely to fail in the near future.

An obvious comparison would be between a classic car which remains on show in a garage and one that you can actually enjoy driving.

Rare though many of these machines are, rarer still are the examples which have been properly restored or can truthfully be said to be in full working order. It goes without saying that when unrestored machines come up for sale online or at auction, they’ll often be priced rather lower than the machines sold by The Games Room Company, and the point we wish to get across above all others is that there’s a reason for this.

In this business The Games Room Company’s reputation is second to none, and as it’s been hard won over the years it’s something we never take for granted. Every machine that goes off to a customer, be they corporate or private, is a potential advertisement for the business and if we didn’t do our job properly then we wouldn’t have the high number of loyal, returning customers that we do.

We’re justly proud of our One Year Parts and Labour Warranty, which extends to on-site visits so if your machine does require some attention, you won’t necessarily have to endure the pain of separation.

We’ve always recognised that with specialised products such as these the after sales service is just as important as the initial sale. It takes a long time to build a reputation and over the years our commitment has won us not just the loyalty of our clients but also the trust of the last remaining American Jukebox manufacturer, Rockola, who in 2014 appointed us as their Exclusive British dealer.

The Games Room Company is one of the oldest pinball dealers in the country. Our founder, Reginald Waldersmith, played his first pinball game in 1960, and described it without irony as being “flipping excellent”. We’ve been selling pinball machines since 1962, so know a thing or two about our products! Our showroom will gladly assist you on any questions you may have before or after you purchase any Games Room Company equipment.

Star Wars favourite

1999 Star Wars - Episode 1 Pinball Machine by Williams 'Coming Soon'

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