Last week I got to remove another machine from my Pinball Bucket List, Grand Lizard Pinball. This was a game had some vague memories of playing as a kid, but could not nail down what I liked about it. It became very apparent when I started playing it. Grand Lizard Pinball, while a simpler machine, has some evocative sound and lighting design that I just find irresistible.
The theme of Grand Lizard Pinball is Heavy Metal-esque. Muscled warriors fighting mace wielding mandrills and rescuing scantily clad damsels. The whole time a boss battle with the titular Grand Lizard looms large.
Gameplay is easy to control. It has two levels of play, Magna-Save and a variable sized multi-ball. I like this style of multi-ball because you can “control” the number of balls locked away through skill.
But as I mentioned, the real star of the show is the sound and lighting. Grand Lizard is a crazy combo of driving drum beat and constant chatter that when turned up to full volume can rule an arcade. That combined with some dramatic lighting schemes, including some complete darkness on the playfield, makes an oddly compelling combination. One that just had me pumping quarter after quarter into this machine.
According to programmer Ed Suchocki, “Bill Parod was the sound designer on this game. The background drum music was the first time that Williams games used digitized audio samples for music. After Bill worked on Grand Lizard, he improved his technique of digitized music samples on the High Speed pinball game.”
After spending about 10 dollars on the game, I took some photos. They don’t really capture the majesty of the game, but hopefully the video I post after the photos will shine some light on this wonderful machine.
Enjoy some photos of Grand Lizard Pinball
Watch Grand Lizard Pinball in action
Are you in Seattle?
The Seattle area has a lot of great retro arcades and the city itself is home to a couple that focus solely on pinball. So knocking out my bucket list has really been a simple “wait and see” game. Grand Lizard Pinball appeared at Flip, Flip, Ding, Ding. Which is a two-story arcade in the Georgetown neighborhood catering to the 21+ crowd. While they focus mostly on pinball machines, they do have a couple of retro arcade machines available. So if you are in the area why not check them out and make sure to try Grand Lizard while you are there. Line starts behind me.
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