Capcom Kingpin (1996)

Here is the "manual" for Capcom's Kingpin!
To my knowledge, no real printed manual exists for this game.

Kingpin was to be the next Capcom pinball machine to be made after Big Bang Bar. When the Capcom pinball factory closed in 1996, Big Bang Bar wasn't released yet, and only 10-or-so copies were built. Kingpin is just as rare, if not more so. It is less polished than Big Bang Bar, but is still a completely functional, working, and fun machine.

There are two playing styles contained within Kingpin! The playing style is operator-adjustable. There are also two known versions of the ROM floating around. At first it was thought that each playing style was locked to its respective ROM version. This is not the case! The choice of playing styles is an operator setting and all known ROM versions can indeed run both playing styles.

One of the playing styles is a standard 3-ball game. The other is a bizarre timed game in which the player is given unlimited balls, but with a twist: the player has a "power meter", and it must not be allowed to dwindle to zero, or the flippers will go dead and the game will be over! Various goals in the game will raise the power meter, so the player can continue playing. Still, it is much harder and more frustrating than the standard 3-ball game. A unique feature of Capcom hardware is the software-adjustable flipper power, and the game uses this to good effect: the flippers gradually go weaker, accompanied by sound effects, when the player runs out of time. The player can see the flippers moving slower until they no longer move at all!

The two known ROM versions are 1.4β and 1.5β.
Each version has a bug (when the Capcom factory closed, the game was never completed). One of the ROM versions has no music during 3-ball Multiball. In the other ROM version, it is impossible to tilt!
TODO: Find which ROM version corresponds to each bug.

Here is a page that has all Capcom ROM files available! It is by Pfutz, who programmed many of the Capcom pinball games (and many other games).

Capcom hardware is very advanced, and has some good ideas in it that unfortunately haven't seen wider use. The switch matrix and GI (general illumination) circuit, very unreliable components of most modern pinball machines, have been eliminated. All lamps formerly controlled by GI, even minor ones behind plastics and such, are now under software control. To handle all of these lamps, there are 2 lamp matrices, not just 1 lamp matrix. Both lamp matrices are 8x8 in size, and with both in full use, this gives a total of 128 lamps! To replace the switch matrix, Capcom used multiplexers, like old Stern games. The game has a capacity of 80 switches.

TODO: Are the 80 switches multiplexed 20x4 or 16x5? I think 16x5, but am not sure.
TODO: Any other interesting/unusual features of Capcom hardware?
TODO: Is there a way to decode the video animations? Looking at the raw bitmaps of Big Bang Bar, a ROM that I do have, I see maybe at most 5% of the graphics that were in that game. Most of the graphics must have been compressed in some way.

Other parts of the machine appear standard. Solenoids (other than having software-adjustable strength) are implemented normally. The DMD (dot matrix display) is standard. I don't know much about the sound hardware of the game, but it does use MP3-compatible sound encoding! (This was before Fraunhofer started seriously cracking down on their MP3 patents.) If you run the sound ROM's through a MP3 player, you can hear the game's sound effects!

Install 4 balls in Kingpin.

And now, the good stuff:

Lamp Matrix A
  10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
1 Coin Slots 1 & 3 (playfield guns) 6X (center modes) Powerup Payola (power meter) 1 (left side) 9 Left Ramp Powerup Right Orbit Powerup Finish 'Em Off (into slot machine)
2 Coin Slots 2 & 4 8X Double Spin City 2 10 North $ (left ramp) East $ (right orbit) (slot machine modes) Get The Guns
3 Start Button 4X Bump & Roll 'Em 3 Bonus 2X (playfield above center) Hurry (left drop targets) $ (lane to right gun standup) Big Heist
4 Launch Button 2X Arms Race 4 4X Quick (right drop targets) Charmed Life (lane to right gun standup) Ramble & Gamble
5 Left Outlane Kingpin's Vault Spin City 5 6X Hideout (under left ramp) Big Al (face on playfield by guns) Deliver The Goods
6 Left Inlane Sudden (by left flipper) Lock 1 6 8X Gun (standup between ramps) Captive Ball Start Feature Payoff Panic
7 Right Outlane Death (by right flipper) Lock 2 7 10X Right Ramp Powerup 2 Ball (lane to right gun standup) Double Cross
8 Right Inlane Live Again Lock 3 8 Slot GI (x2) (bright above and behind slot machine) South $ (right ramp) Gun (right gun standup at end of lane) Hit The Kingpin

Lamp Matrix B
  10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
1 Left Orbit Powerup Gun (by right side of slot machine) Left Jet Bumper (behind right gun standup in slot machine) Top Lane (between K and I rollover lanes, x2) (behind and near end of right drop targets) (under tracks at right ramp entrance) Left Spin City (over spinner)
2 West $ (left orbit) Backglass Jackpot Jump 2X Bottom Jet Bumper (behind above and red) Top Lane (between I and D rollover lanes, x2) (behind above and red) (behind above and red) Right Spin City (over spinner)
3 Jackpot (into slot machine) 4X Right Jet Bumper Top Lane Divider (left of K rollover lane) (left of base of captive ball) (behind far end of right drop targets) (behind lamp #38B, between right orbit and lane to right gun standup, red) NU
4 Super Jackpot 6X (behind KING targets, under "Flow" in "Flower Shop") (behind above and red) (behind above and red) (behind above and red) (back of playfield, vertical, behind artwork on left side) NU
5 K (top rollover lanes) 8X Left Flipper Return (x2) (right of slot machine structure, between it and left jet bumper) (end of captive ball lane) (in front of right orbit, between it and right drop targets) Between Left & Right Ramps (x2) NU
6 I 10X Right Flipper Return (x2) (behind above and red) (behind above and red) (behind above and red) (behind above and red, x2) Jackpot Jump (text on backglass, above gun, x2)
7 D 12X Lamppost ("Flower Shop", red) Left Slingshot (x2) (behind left orbit, far back corner of playfield) (behind right orbit, far back corner of playfield) (murder victim, center of vertical artwork at back of playfield, red) (behind right gun standup and at corner between that lane and right orbit, x2)
8 Gun (by left side of slot machine) 14X (at bottom of divider between right orbit and lane to right gun standup, yellow) Right Slingshot (x2) (behind above and red) (behind above and red) (right side of vertical artwork) (behind above and red, x2)

I have personally verified the placement of each of these lamps, using operator mode on a real Kingpin machine. I have added additional commentary in parenthesis, beyond what the ROM text says, to help map the position of each lamp. The abbreviation "NU" means Not Used.

As with most pinball charts, they are to be read in columns, top to bottom, before advancing left to right. Many lamps are grouped with each other, as part of a main playfield feature consisting of several lamps, and these will be clear if you read the chart in this way. Lamps 21A and 22A, 6X and 8X lights, might appear to be in error since they are not in order, but this is how the game was made. Lamp 38B is unusual, since it is the only light that is colored yellow. I suspect that this might have been a nonstandard modification to this machine, made to reduce glare from this lamp.

A common metaphor for the second lamp matrix is "behind above and red". The game has many pairs of GI lights, each pair consisting of one normal light and one red-colored light immediately to the rear of that normal light. This gives the game the capability to turn almost the entire GI to a red color, looking very much like the "Red Mode" of Terminator 3! (Note that Kingpin was made about 7 years before T3 was built)

Now, on to the switch table. This is not a switch matrix! To read this table, sum the number at the top with the number at the left. This will give you the number of the switch, as used in the game software. (As shown above in the TODO, I'm not sure how this maps onto the actual multiplexer chips.) For convenience in table layout, I show switch 80 as if it were numbered as switch 0, but switch 0 does not exist. Switches in the game are numbered from 1 to 80.

Switch Table
  0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
0 NU (this is actually switch 80) Tilt Right Inlane I NU Right Gun Target (by slot machine) Gun Target (at end of lane by right side of machine) NU
1 Coin 1 NU Left Outlane N Left Slingshot Slot Machine Saucer Left Spinner (on ramp) NU
2 Coin 2 NU Right Outlane Captive Ball Right Slingshot Slot Machine Opto Left Ramp Exit NU
3 Coin 3 Extra (for optional token dispenser) Left Orbit Left Flipper EOS Plunger Lane (ball resting at start) K (top lane rollovers) Gun Target (between ramps) NU
4 Coin 4 Launch Button (for autoplunger) Right Orbit Right Flipper EOS Gun Lock 1 (hideout under ramp) I NU NU
5 Left Flipper Button Exit (for optional token dispenser) K (left drop target bank) Outhole Gun Lock 2 D NU NU
6 Right Flipper Button Notch (for optional ticket dispenser) I Trough 1 Gun Lock 3 NU NU NU
7 Start Button Right Spinner (on ramp) N Trough 2 Left Ramp Down (active when lowered) Left Jet Bumper NU NU
8 Coin Door (operator's Advance button, not a coin lockout) Right Ramp Exit G Trough 3 Gun Trough Opto Bottom Jet Bumper NU NU
9 Slam Tilt Left Inlane P (right drop target bank) Trough 4 Left Gun Target (by slot machine) Right Jet Bumper NU NU

In the above table, switches named in italic are optos, not normal switches. As with the switch matrix, "NU" stands for Not Used. I am not sure of the purpose of switch 48, "Gun Trough Opto", but believe that it is used when preparing to kick balls out of the lock. Note that the lock kickout is highly unusual: the playfield area near the left orbit is hinged at the rear. The force of the kickout pushes this up, and the ball appears to come out from underneath the floor of the playfield! From this position near the left orbit, the ball is fired directly down at the player.

Here is the solenoid table. Kingpin contains 32 solenoids. I show this as a 4x10 table, only for convenience of visual layout. To my knowledge, the game internally treats each solenoid as a separate entity, and does not multiplex or group them into a table in any way. Read this table the same as the switch table.

Solenoid Table
  0 10 20 30
0   Right Flipper Big Al (bad yellow guy on backglass) Behind Left Drop Targets (lamp post by "Flower Shop", behind left drop targets and near "Hurry" light)
1 Outhole (ball lift) Slot Machine Eject Gun Tip Flashers Behind Right Drop Targets (behind right drop targets and near "Quick" light, approximately symmetrical with flasher behind left drop targets)
2 Trough Slot Machine Motor Right Ramp Flasher Autoplunger (ball launcher)
3 Knocker Top Diverter (behind and to the left of top lanes, blocks left orbit) Building Flasher  
4 Left Slingshot Left Ramp Entrance Raise (reveals entrance to Hideout when raised) Flasher under "Death" (near flippers)  
5 Right Slingshot Bottom Jet Bumper Flasher under "Start Feature" (in captive ball lane)  
6 KING (left drop target bank) reset Right Jet Bumper Bumpers Flasher  
7 PIN (right drop target bank) reset Left Jet Bumper Flasher under Power Meter  
8 Gun Eject (upkicker from under playfield, near left orbit) Left Ramp Flashers Flasher under "Hotel Lex" (sign near slot machine)  
9 Left Flipper Flasher under "Sudden" (near flippers) Flasher under East light (right orbit)  

Solenoids in italic are flashers. Sorry for the vague description of some flashers. Unfortunately, I do not know the exact placement of many of these flashers. Some flashers may be on the backglass as well as the playfield. Some flashers may be wired in parallel so that there are 2 or more flashers per entry. As stated above, this table is just for visual layout only, so ignore the fact that it has 40 possible entries. I do not know the actual solenoid capacity of Capcom hardware.

Note that Kingpin uses unusual flasher bulbs: #67's and #906's. This is different from other games, which often use standard #89 flashers. In a pinch, #89's can be used to replace #67's, but #67's will last much longer. The #906 is unique, though (it looks like a standard #555 but is a flasher).

TODO: Is the Capcom hardware internally capable of handling more solenoids? Kingpin uses 32, is this the maximum allowed, or can there be more?
TODO: Get access to a Kingpin machine again, to learn the exact location of the flashers! Get exact counts for each flasher, on both backglass and playfield.

Kingpin contains one main toy, a spinning slot machine. The slot machine consists of one motorized revolving drum. Even though there might appear to be three slot machine reels, they do not spin independently. The drum spins through nine rows, scrolling the previous row off the bottom of the window as the next row comes into view from the top. On each row, three identical symbols appear. Here are the nine rows, in the order that they appear when spinning.

Slot Machine Rows
1 Money
2 Goods
3 Sevens
4 Gangsters
5 Bars
6 Power
7 Guns
8 Crazy Cash
9 Cherries

A common flaw on Kingpin machines is that the motor does not stop cleanly aligned on a symbol. This means that sometimes the slot machine will stop in an invalid area, between two rows. The software handles this well, though, and rounds off to the nearest row. This isn't like a modern Vegas slot machine that rips you off by landing between symbols!

And finally....

Frank Tossed from window
Butch Struck by blow from behind
Jimmy Strangled
Pat Crushed under thrown boxes
Rocco Cement shoes, slept with fishes
Trixie Methodically shot, jewelry shot off first
Kingpin Shot full of holes, face rots away to skull

Kingpin is a very violent and graphic game, as you can see!

"Welcome to the Big City, kid!"

Here are pictures of Kingpin! Feel free to slurp them all using "wget" or another site-ripper, but please use a long delay between downloads, as I don't have much bandwidth.

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