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Talking KISS pinnie!

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  • Talking KISS pinnie!

    I got this email from a mate who's got a Kiss pinnie. He got it from a while back. It's basically talking about the talking Kiss pinnie. Always good to read about these sorts of things.

    Would be a nice find now days!!

    Shortly before I left Bally in the spring of 1983 I was crawling around the warehouse across the street from the old Bensenville factory. Under some dusty tarps I found a forlorn looking Kiss Pinball machine uniquely identifiable in it's special fiberglass cabinet. While it's place in history has been long forgotten by most I still remember the tale.
    The story goes back to the summer of 1979. Williams was the number 2 manufacturer of Pinball and needed a gimmick to jump themselves up to #1.
    Bally was playing it safe with simple yet artistic inspired games like Kiss, Star trek, Paragon, and Dolly Patron. These games were simplistic but relied on some of the most inspired artwork ever put on an amusement game to draw attention and keep the public interested.
    Speech had been something we at Bally had thought out but seemed hardly necessary at the time to develop as the technology of the day was rather crude and expensive. Bally had developed, from outside consultants, a primitive bank of memory chips tied to a D-A chip that could re-produce a few seconds of barely intelligible speech.
    Enter Williams. Williams went to the next level that year and introduced, a few weeks before the Chicago AMOA show, a new game, Gorgar, that could talk.
    The talk was primitive and hard to understand, but was just intelligible enough to shock the game world. The buzz was this was to be the hit of the upcoming show. Bally management panicked. Something had to be done immediately to prove to the pinball world that we were still #1!
    Summoned from the lame idea warehouse was a one of kind, experimental, white fiberglass cabinet. Into the lab came the primitive bank of boards placed into the cabinet that could barely say, "Get the K!", and, "KISS!" Once hastily assembled in the old lab on Belmont Ave, the talking Kiss was displayed downtown Chicago at the AMOA show. Gorgar screamed "Gorgar" and was answered by an almost as loud, "Kiss!".
    That show marked the beginning of the rise of Williams and the decline of Bally. While Williams would sell thousands of Gorgars the talking Kiss would be spirited away to a warehouse and not see the light of day for many years.
    Following the 1979 show the AMOA put noise levels in place to quiet future shouting matches but that summer was magical as the last Pinball dominated show. Space Invaders would lead to Pac Man and the video game would rise up to dominate the industry. Bally continued to produce uninspired games like Harlem Globetrotters, and future spa and did not produce a talking game for more than a year later with Xenon. By then Williams had upped the ante with innovations like Multi-ball and Multi levels. Bally never recovered and eventually would be absorbed by Williams.

    Allan Reizman


  • #2
    Cheers..Thanks for the interesting read..funny I always thought KISS would have been a better game with voices or even better, a song


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