Multimorphic today announced the latest addition to the line-up of titles for their P3 pinball platform with the launch of their new The Princess Bride game.

Based on the popular 1987 Rob Reiner-directed movie – which itself is based on the 1971 book of the same name by William Goldman – and set in the fictional kingdom of Florin, the game features many of the best-known scenes from the film, including the Cliffs of Insanity, Miracle Max’s hut, the Fire Swamp and Prince Humperdinck’s castle.

Multimorphic's latest release, The Princess Bride
Multimorphic’s latest release, The Princess Bride

As with most new game releases these days, there were teases published in the weeks and months prior to today’s announcement. However, whereas most companies tease the game but don’t reveal the title until it is launched, Multimorphic announced the title of the game with a dedicated website and promotional flyers, but didn’t reveal which company would be making it.

Pinball News asked the head of Multimorphic, Gerry Stellenberg, about the teaser campaign. He said, “As everybody knows, the pinball market is pretty crowded right now; there are a lot of new games coming out every year. With the prices of new machines being what they are, we thought it important to let the superfans of the film know that it was coming so they could decide how to budget their pinball funds.

As to why it wasn’t announced as an upcoming P3 game? He told us, “Most people who play a P3 judge the playing experience based on the game that’s installed when they play it, and many of them hold onto early impressions and ignore all of the improvements and different content we’ve released over the years. So, we wanted people to learn about and get excited about what a Princess Bride game might be with absolutely no preconceived ideas about the P3 platform.

The Princess Bride‘s Creative Director is Stephen Silver whose previous credits include Weird Al’s Museum of Natural Hilarity and Heist!. He is joined by new Multimorphic team member, Josh Kugler, formerly of American Pinball, who is the lead on the software team which includes Steve Shoyer, Michael Ocean and Greg Goldey.

Artwork for the game comes from Matt Andrews who also worked on the Weird Al game, while mechanical engineering is by TJ Weaver and Trey Jones, and the technical advisor is BJ Wilson. Colin MacAlpine created the ruleset, Rory Cernuda was the technical artist, Matt Kern created the sound effects package and there is additional voicework by Lucas Pepke.

Talking about the voices used in the game, Gerry explained how there will be more callouts added from a couple of the characters thanks to Lucas’s contributions. He said, “We’ve used a LOT of the film quotes in the game, but we’ll be adding some more pinball-specific callouts too. Lucas Pepke is a brilliant voice actor who delivered samples of various characters, and we landed on two of them for additional quotes. The licensor approved the use of Lucas’s voice, and his callouts are going to fit in seamlessly.

In creating the game, Multimorphic had full use of the movie’s assets, including all the actors’ performances and six of the music tracks. The film’s music, originally written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame, has been adapted by composer Paul Farrer to better fit the gameplay, and is bolstered by multiple new tracks created just for the game.

Pinball News asked Gerry why they chose The Princess Bride as the theme for their first movie licence. He told us, “Grandpa’s line in the film sums it up perfectly: ‘Are you kidding? Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles….’ So many scenes in the film are perfectly suited for pinball modes, and so many of the quotes are memorable.

For the first time, Multimorphic have released one of their homegrown games in three versions – Collector’s Edition, Limited Edition and Standard Edition. The Collector’s Edition is limited to 500 units and is only available as a The Princess Bride-themed complete P3 machine, while the Limited Edition (limited to 750 units) and the Standard Edition (unlimited) models can be purchased either as a complete machine or as a game module package for existing P3 machines.

Here are the three models.

Collector’s Edition

The left side of the Collector's Edition
The left side of the Collector’s Edition
The right side of the Collector's Edition
The right side of the Collector’s Edition

Limited Edition

The left side of the Limited Edition
The left side of the Limited Edition
The right side of the Limited Edition
The right side of the Limited Edition

Standard Edition

The left side of the Standard Edition
The left side of the Standard Edition
The right side of the Standard Edition
The right side of the Standard Edition

The Collector’s Edition includes the CE/LE cabinet and backbox art package, bonze powder-coated metalwork (legs, lock bar, side rails, hinges, and speaker panel), replica Inigo swords mounted to each side, a custom backglass with a green and gold-bordered pattern, a printed version of the translite with the logo, and a customized launch button.

While it may look as though the replica swords could interfere with use of the flipper buttons, Multimorphic assures us that in practice that’s not the case.

The CE and LE models include the custom topper. This represents the game’s chapters and modes as a wide-open story book, where each chapter can be lit up to show what the player has accomplished so far. The rest of the design is themed around the Fire Swamp, with four individual fire spurts, plus separately lit Sand Pit and R.O.U.S (Rodents Of Unusual Size) images.

The topper included with the Collector's Edition and the Limited Edition models
The topper included with the Collector’s Edition and the Limited Edition models

We asked Gerry from Multimorphic whether having three models of each title was the way forward for future titles from the company. He told us it depends on the theme and the anticipated fanbase. He said, “It will likely depend on the title and how we envision making it special. Licensed titles are best suited for special models, as superfans of the theme are likely to want their copy to be special. We know The Princess Bride has a lot of fans who are going to love the opportunity to own a machine with Inigo’s sword mounted to each side of the cabinet, such that they’re basically wielding the sword as they play the game!

The playfield module and gameplay are identical in all three models, while the movie-branded games are still regular P3 machines inside, so they can utilise any of the alternative P3 playfields and game packages available from the Multimorphic store.

One change you might have noticed from the pictures above is the addition of cabinet front artwork. Previous games had a plain black front, but new P3 machines will have the ability to add artwork to the front of the cabinet as well as the sides. Buyers of The Princess Bride game kits will get the frame to mount the cabinet front artwork, while these frames will be available to purchase by existing P3 owners. Artwork packages for some of the previous titles will have cabinet front art panels added, and these will be available to purchase too if desired.

Also, the cabinets in the Limited and Collector’s Editions have different artwork compositions on the left and right sides – another first for Multimorphic games.

The Collector’s Edition has an alternative backbox LCD front glass which includes the green/gold border seen below. The Limited and Standard Editions retain the standard backbox glass design which incorporates a black border. For those editions the gold framing is a part of the LCD image instead.

The Collector's Edition and Limited Edition backglass artwork
The Collector’s Edition and Limited Edition backglass artwork

Also new is backbox LCD artwork for the Standard Edition which, rather than being a static image, morphs between a composition of Westley & Buttercup, and one of Dredd Pirate Roberts & The Princess. You can see the two versions in the pictures below.

The Standard Edition translite showing Westley and Buttercup
The Standard Edition translite showing Westley and Buttercup
The Standard Edition translite showing Dredd Pirate Roberts and The Princess
The Standard Edition translite showing Dredd Pirate Roberts and The Princess

So, what about the playfield and gameplay?

The new playfield module for The Princess Bride
The new playfield module for The Princess Bride

The game uses all four flippers – two at the bottom and two half-way up the playfield on either side – to shoot the eight major shots on the upper playfield module, along with all the shots to the scoops and the side targets.

Most of the major scenes in the movie are presented as individual modes you can play through, and each mode has a unique set of rules that further connect you to the story, such as starting with weakened flippers for which you need to build strength or having to use first just your left hand and then just your right to control both flippers.

These modes include:

• Farm Boy skill shot sequences
• Shrieking Eels
• Cliffs of Insanity
• Battle of Steel
• Battle of Strength
• Battle of Wits
• Fire Swamp
• Buttercup’s Nightmare
• There Will Be Blood Tonight
• Guide My Sword
• Miracle Max
• Mawidge
• To The Pain
• Storming The Castle

While qualifying any of these modes or while starting them, you can also bring in the two multiball modes, Prepare To Die Multiball and True Love Multiball.

There are also mini-modes available on each major shot, giving you more opportunities to score bigger points along with reliving memorable moments and quotes from the film.

Even when you drain the ball it’s not necessarily all over thanks to the Pit of Despair ball recovery mode. Is your ball all-dead or just mostly dead?

If you survive long enough and complete all the qualifying objectives, you can then play the final wizard mode, Four Horses.

The LCD under the playfield displays your mode choices, instructions on how to play them, and your progress towards completing them on a representation of the book, along with various shot indicators, side target progress, your score, your Pit of Despair ball save feature and the extra features you’ve collected so far.

Gerry explained which elements from the movie just had to be in the game. He said, “As far as software goes, we knew immediately we wanted players to experience the left-hand to right-hand switch in the Battle of Steel, and the Fire Swamp needed to be a really fun mode. Both are incredible to play, and I believe the Fire Swamp mode in this game is The Best Pinball Mode Ever Made! It presents beautifully, and it challenges the player in really unique ways.

When we started brainstorming playfield layouts, a lot of people had similar ideas… A castle on a hillside, the Cliffs Of Insanity with an interactive feature in front of it, Miracle Max’s hut, etc, and they all made it into the final design.

On the playfield, the Prince’s castle is at the back-left and the Cliffs of Insanity on the back-right.

The castle is accessed from the left ramp which is on the far-left side of the playfield. The castle gate has a magnet which can grab the ball during intro or completion videos, along with two mechanically-activated swords which come into play at specific points in the game.

The castle has two animating swords across the entrance
The castle has two animating swords across the exit

Balls are released from the castle onto a wireform and down to the left flipper.

Miracle Max’s hut has a drop target in front. Once you have hammered on his door and got inside, it traps the ball and holds it until the target is shot again.

The shot under the castle plus Miracle Max's hut
The shot under the castle plus Miracle Max’s hut

To the right of Max’s hut is the captive ball shot, followed by the centre ramp and the Cliffs of Insanity.

Miracle Max's hut and the captive ball shot
Miracle Max’s hut and the captive ball shot

The centre ramp feeds the ball on a wireform down the right side of the playfield and back to the right flipper.

The centre of the upper playfield module
The centre of the upper playfield module

The Cliffs of Insanity mechanism features a moving magnet which grabs the ball at the base of the cliffs and gradually raises it up the cliff face as you progress through the Cliffs of Insanity mode.

The Cliffs of Insanity feature
The Cliffs of Insanity feature

When you complete the mode, the ball reaches the top and is released across the top of the cliffs, along a wireform and back into play.

The top of the Cliffs of Insanity
The top of the Cliffs of Insanity
The ball can also be sent down the grassy slope
The ball can also be sent down the grassy slope
The right side of the playfield
The right side of the playfield
The right orbit lane also features the Dredd Pirate Roberts spinner
The right orbit lane also features the Dredd Pirate Roberts spinner

Prices for The Princess Bride are as follows:

ModelComplete MachineGame Module
Collector’s Edition$13,750N/A
Limited Edition$12,750$5,000
Standard Edition$11,500$3,750

The base price of a P3 machine is $8,500, so purchasing a machine with the The Princess Bride game module and branding pre-installed saves $750 on the cost of buying the base P3 plus either the Standard Edition or Limited Edition package separately.

Here is the feature matrix for each of the models:

The feature matrix for The Princess Bride
The feature matrix for The Princess Bride

Finally, Multimorphic have also released this promotional video for The Princess Bride.

Orders for the game open at 9am Central Time on Tuesday 20th February, 2024 from distributors or through the Multimorphic website, as you wish. Note that to order through the Multimorphic site you need to create an account first. Games are expected to start shipping in the summer of 2024.

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