This rule compilation and tips sheet is, to the extent possible (in light of the subject matter being the property of Zaccaria), freeware. It can be modified, updated, or revised, provided only that credit to the original author(s) remains intact. It can be published or otherwise distributed, provided only that such distribution is effectively free.
Blackbelt the pinball machine is the property of Zaccaria, and a trademark of the licensor. The author disclaims all interest in any trademarks or other intellectual property referenced herein.
Described from the flippers, and going around the playfield clockwise.
There are two Red Special targets, on the left and right of the playfield. At the start of a game, they are un-lit and score 10K points when hit. These can be advanced to score 50K, 100K, 200K or 300K points by completing banks of drop targets. Each bank completed advances both Red Special targets. The primary goal of the game is to advance Red Special all the way to "Ippon" (Japanese - "one full point", is the highest score a fighter can achieve in a Japanese martial arts contest.). Collecting the Ippon scores an operator adjustable award (Nothing, Extra Ball, Replay, Superbonus, or 4,500,000 points). The Red Special targets can be hit for the lit value at any time, but reset to un-lit when Ippon is collected. Depending on the operator settings, Ippon can light both Red Special targets, or only one (alternating based on xxx).
The centre rototarget has seven numbered targets (1, 2, ... 7), representing the Dans (Japanese - "Dan" denotes a rank or level), and one Special target. The player must complete the seven Dan targets, in any order, to advance toward the Orange Special. Only three of the eight targets are exposed at one time, and the game will advance the rototarget one step counterclockwise each time any target on the rototarget is hit. There are a series of playfield lamp inserts showing the 1...7 Dans that have been collected, as well as three arrow inserts showing the player which target(s) to shoot for. Completing the seven Dan targets advances the Orange Special. Depending on operator settings, the player must complete all seven targets once, or twice, to light Orange Special. If the game is configured to have the player complete them twice, then the first time through, each target is worth 30K points (lit) or 20K points (unlit), and second time through the 50,000 lamp inserts are lit and each target is worth 50k points. When Orange Special is lit, the rototarget will advance until the Special target is in the centre position and will stay there until the player collects it. Collecting the Orange Special scores an operator adjustable award (Nothing, Extra Ball, Replay, Superbonus, or 1,000,000 points).
The B-L-A-C-K and B-E-L-T banks of drop targets must be completed to advance the Red Special. Each drop target is normally worth 20K points, but can be lit for 30K points. Completing a bank advances one Red Special and resets the bank. The targets are lit, in series, by hitting the lit rototarget targets.
The Kata (Japanese - "form" - a word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs) lane on the upper left of the playfield normally (un-lit) scores 10K points and advances the pop bumpers from lit to flashing, increasing their point value. Kata can be lit for 30K or Kata Special by spelling K-A-T-A on the rollover lanes at the top of the playfield. Collecting the Kata Special awards 300K points or Extra Ball, depending on the operator settings. Completing the K-A-T-A lanes also advances the Bonus X multiplier.
The Yoko Geri (Japanese - "Side Kick") is a horseshoe lane in the upper right corner of the playfield. It is worth 10K points (un-lit) and advances its value each time the player makes the shot around the horseshoe. Depending on the operator settings, it can be worth 30K or 50K points, when lit, and advances the Bonus Multiplier when Yoko Geri is lit. Lighting Yoko Geri requires 2, 3, or 4 trips around the horseshoe, depending on the operator settings.
The left Inlane (A) and right Inlanes (B-C) are used to collect the A-B-C sequence. Completing this lights the Outlanes for 100K.
The end of ball bonus can be multiplied by 20, 40, 60, or 80 by advancing the Bonus Multiplier by collecting the Yoko Geri lane multiple times.
There are eleven Bonus lights in the area above the flippers and between the slingshots. The bonus can be advanced to 20,000 points by pretty much any target or rollover lane on the playfield, and is collected at the end of the ball after being multiplied by the Bonus Multiplier. Maximum end of ball bonus is 1.6M points (20K bonus * 80X bonus multiplier). Once collected at the end of ball, the Bonus and Bonus Multiplier reset.
Tilting the game during normal gameplay results in a loss of the current ball with no End-of-Ball bonus.
This is a timed play option. During the player's last ball, a timer will be incremented up from 10 seconds by every other switch closure. After the last ball drains, the ball will be returned to the player and the timer begins counting down. When it reaches zero, the game is over, the flippers are shut off, and the ball is allowed to drain. During the last (regular) ball, any Extra Balls the player earns will stop the clock from incrementing until all Extra Balls have been used up and the player is again on the last ball. During the timed play, the countdown clock can be stopped by collecting an Extra Ball. Collecting an Extra Ball stops the countdown clock until all Extra Balls have been used, then timed play resumes where it left off. During timed play, no End-of-Ball bonus is collected, and the Left and Right drop target banks are not reset when the ball drains. When the timer expires, the End-of-Ball Bonus is counted up normally and the game ends.
This game is interestingly balanced between the Red and Orange specials. To maximize the score, the player should be collecting Dan targets to light the drop targets, as well as collecting drop target banks to advance the Red Special. By collecting Dan targets, the player advances Orange Special as well. Kata and Yoko Geri will generally happen multiple times, though aiming for them can be lucrative. Advance the bonus to 20K points, then use Yoko Geri to advance the multiplier, and the end of ball bonus becomes significant. I have my game set up so that Orange Special awards an Extra Ball, and Red Special awards 4.5M points. This encourages the player to go for both.
The "Superbonus" award is, as far as I know, unique to Zaccaria games. It's sort of underwhelming, until you understand its purpose. What "superbonus" awards is that it turns on the "Super Bonus" lamp on the backglass. That's it. But, what it's intended for is that it could be used by the location to signal that they need to award the player. This could be used, for example, in a bar and the player wins a free drink.
After the game ends, a score less than 2,000,000 will be awarded a "yellow belt" by the game. A score over 2,000,000 will be awarded a "black belt".
When the player completes a bank of drop targets, a few bars of Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick" are played.
When the player ???, a few bars of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo A La Turk" are played.
The game also includes a few bars of Ravel's "Bolero", which it uses during attract mode.