Did You Know That In 1983 We Came Close To Getting A Krull Pinball Table?

Image courtesy of the Internet Pinball Machine Database.

Image courtesy of the Internet Pinball Machine Database.


I consider myself a pretty big fan of Krull, I have the movie…on Laserdisc and DVD…I also have the awesome board game, the plastic collector’s cups and back in the day I racked up a pretty good score on the arcade game. However, it was thanks to our friends Mike Maginnis and Carrington Vance over at the No Quarter Podcast that just last week I learned we almost had ourselves a Krull table from Gottlieb back in 1983!

Image courtesy of John Trudeau and the Internet Pinball Archive.

Image courtesy of John Trudeau and the Internet Pinball Archive.

According to the Internet Pinball Machine Database the designer of the table, John Trudeau, there was a prototype of the table with a transparent playfield but Gottlieb honchos deemed it to expensive to produce. Due to the failure of the movie and arcade game to set the world on fire the pinball table was shelved though a few have made it into collector’s hands.

Image courtesy of Mark Clayton and the Internet Pinball Machine Database.

Image courtesy of Mark Clayton and the Internet Pinball Machine Database.

Image courtesy of John Trudeau and the Internet Pinball Machine Database.

Image courtesy of John Trudeau and the Internet Pinball Machine Database.

Thanks to Basil LeBlanc’s YouTube Channel we can see the Krull table in action, by the way he doesn’t have the glass on the table so you might notice the play mechanics are a little loud.

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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12 thoughts on “Did You Know That In 1983 We Came Close To Getting A Krull Pinball Table?

  1. TheSixMillionDollarJedi says:

    I don’t like hear these “almost had” stories. Man, that would have been cool.

  2. I had never seen that movie when it came out. I knew it existed because I’d seen the arcade game at Aladdin’s Castle (an arcade at the local mall) many times but for some reason I just never saw it back then.

    I was randomly going through MAME last Winter, looking for old games to play and ran across the game Krull. That got me to thinking about it and I had to track the movie down and watch it.

    I knew very little about it in advance (except that a 5 bladed “glave” was involved). I wasn’t sure it would even be watchable now, but to my surprise, it was, and it was pretty entertaining. It’s one of those rare movies that’s not afraid to kill off a lot of main characters along the way too, which is surprising for that kind of movie from that time period.

    Too bad that they didn’t make the pinball table.

  3. Dan, I was lucky enough to catch the movie when it first came out, I had a Father that was big into the Sword and Sorcery genre so it pretty much met my expectations. Though I can remember tearing up something fierce when some of those characters died! :)

  4. I saw krull on hbo or cinemax back around the early/mid 90s, I quite liked it. I only learned that there were video games based on it within the last year or so, and I wasn’t aware of this pinball machine at all until this post.

    Has anyone here ever tried pinmame, the pinball emulator? I tried it briefly many years ago but couldn’t get it to work & gave up on it. I wonder how well it works, and if it’d work for games like this one.

  5. Well, I went and tried it. Pinmame is a royal pain to setup, you have install both pinmame and visual pinball, plus a handfull of other files just to get a working emulator with no tables to play. I don’t get whyTF it’s done in such a fashion instead of just having 1 program.
    Anyway, once installed getting and playing tables is as easy as any videogame emulator. I found 2 krull ones but can’t get either one to launch the friggin ball, I don’t know if the roms are bugged or if there’s some trick on the real machine.
    I did however get a version of a machine I had in my teens going, “Wild Wheels”.

  6. I messed with PinMAME for a while years ago and pretty much gave up on it. I’m no stranger to MAME and emulators in general, but the setup for PinMAME had a few too many hoops to jump through just to get the thing to work and I lost interest.

  7. “Future pinball” is very much like “visual pinball/pinmame”, but much more straight forward to set up. It seems to have a more limited selection of tables though, and the tables are not compatible between the 2 progs.
    While adding & running games once you have the prog installed is easy, the quality of any given game (visuals, sounds, etc) and the functionality of any given game are extremely hit & miss. The problem is that it’s not possible to just dump the original program in like you would with a video game, since much if not all of it was originally done with mechanical devices. The net result is that every table is actually a homebrew game, usually recreating a real machine.
    re krull: It definitely seems to be some bug with the table. If I change some of the components in the table editor the ball will appear briefly, but then quickly disappears again.

  8. update: I’ve been doing some poking around and found a few things; To begin with, I found a single file installer for visual pinball/pinmame, get up & running with minimal effort. In the process of that, I got to play the krull table. It turns out that the krull one works on versions of visual pinball prior to 9.x, although there’s a graphical issue at the bottom end of the table when playing krull on vis-pin prior to 9.x (9.x+ looks great, but is unplayable). Most likely there’s some issue with the table which is causing the graphic issue in older versions of vis-pin and the unplayability in newer ones.
    I’m thinking of writing up an article on getting started with vis-pin, once I spend more time fiddling around with stuff.

  9. I actually have set up Future pinball (many years ago). Like you said though, those are re-creations, which often times are better in some ways than the original tables, often not as good, and are sometimes just new creations not based on anything retro. It’s great for what it is, but even the most faithful re-creations are always different than the original tables. That said, it’s still well worth getting and setting up if you’ve never used it before.

  10. Visual pinball is essentially the same as future pinball, just with different table availability (though the visual pin tables are just as homebrew as the future pin ones & thus just as hit & miss).
    Pinmame allows the use of actual roms within progs like visual pin, though you still need homebrew recreations of the tables (I’m not really sure what the actual advantage is to using that instead of just completely recreating the whole thing… *shrug*), but pinmame is useless without some other prog to be the actual emulator.

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