Medieval Madness Pinball Machine by Williams was released in June 1997. Designed by Brian Eddy and programmed by Lyman Sheats, Medieval Madness Pinball Machine by Williams had a production run of 4,016 units. It was an immediate critical and popular success, earning well on location and achieving widespread popularity among collectors. Demand for the machine soon outstripped supply significantly, and today it is one of the most collectible and expensive machines.
Much of the game’s dialogue was written by Scott Adsit and Kevin Dorff, at the time, members of the Second City Mainstage in Chicago.
The centerpiece of the playfield is an animated castle with a solenoid-controlled portcullis and motorized drawbridge. One of the game’s primary objectives is to “destroy” six castles by hitting the castle’s entryway with the pinball. As a result, the drawbridge will lower with a specific number of hits, exposing the portcullis. Additional hits will cause the portcullis to rise, and shooting the ball into the castle entrance generates an explosion effect on the dot matrix display, a lightshow, and a sizable award of points.
Medieval Madness also features two Trolls, animated targets that are normally concealed below the playfield, but can pop up during certain gameplay modes. Other objectives can be scored by shooting the left and right ramps, the left and right orbits, and the catapult ramp in the lower left corner of the playfield. The game’s ramps introduced a patented feature that would prevent a failed ramp shot from draining straight down the middle between the flippers.
In order to get to the Wizard Mode “Battle for the Kingdom” one has to achieve the following goals:
- Joust Champion: Shooting the loop(s) advances Joust and finally lights Joust Madness.
- Patron of Peasants: Shooting the left ramp advances the Peasants and finally lights Peasant Madness.
- Catapult Ace: Shoot the catapult to shoot various items at the castle (Catapult Madness).
- Defender of Damsels: Shoot up the right ramp to advance the Damsel. The final shot up the tower lights Damsel Madness.
- Master of Trolls: Light the Trolls by hitting the targets in front of the castle. Collect the Trolls in “Merlin’s Magic” and finish them off by three shots at the head each to light Troll Madness.
- Castle Crusher: Destroy the castle.
All these goals have to be repeated several times to get the corresponding insert in front of the castle to light up.
- Castle Multiball: Light the Lock at the broad side (hole to the left of the castle gate) and lock three balls (same hole).
- Multiball Madness: Each of the sub-missions (except for “Castle Crusher”) can light an insert in front of “Merlin’s Magic”. Collecting at least one can start the Multiball by shooting into “Merlin’s Magic”:
- Single Madness: 2 Balls.
- Two to Four Madnesses: 3 Balls.
- Five Madnesses: 4 Balls.
- Barnyard Madness: Shoot all catapult items at the castle.
- Battle for the Kingdom. This two-phased Wizard Mode starts once the player pockets the ball in the castle, with five balls on the playing field. In the first phase, the player has to score all the Battle Jackpots by hitting the madness targets. Once all the Battle Jackpots have been scored, the second phase of the mode starts. And here the player must hit the castle gate seven times, and get inside to score the final jackpot. Unless the player has any “Troll Bombs”, two trolls will be in the way of the gate making hitting the gate very challenging. If the player succeeds in scoring the final jackpot, all remaining balls are drained and the display shows the King of Payne’s demise and Merlin announces you are the new King of Payne. As a result, a new game starts up as the score carries over to the new game.