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Published on Oct 21, 2013
Here we have a 1979 Williams Gorgar pinball machine in the shop. This game has the distinction of being the first to hit the arcades with speech.
Starting a game summons Gorgar to say "GORGAR SPEAKS!". The other 5 words that Gorgar can say are "me, you, beat, hurt and got" resulting in combinations like "Me got you", "Me hurt", "You beat Gorgar", etc.
Although the speech is pretty ho-hum on Gorgar, the sounds on this game are actually really good. Williams employed programmer Eugene Jarvis at this time and he was responsible for developing some really great video games (Defender, Robotron, Sinistar) and some awesome pinball sound. Gorgar and Firepower are a couple of his masterpieces.
Gorgar's gameplay isn't bad, but it's not awesome. Hit the drop targets to light the pop bumpers and advance the kick-out saucer value towards Extra Ball. Complete 1-2-3-4 to max out the Snake Pit value. Complete A-B-C to advance the bonus multiplier. Pretty standard stuff.
The playfield layout is decent with the Snake Pit's magnet at the top left being the most interesting aspect. The spinner shot tends to be a tough one to hit reliably, although it's satisfying, and sweeping the upper left drop targets is nice to shoot for.
All in all, this is a memorable game from Williams in the late 70's/early 80's, and it was a good launch for speech into pinball, but games like Firepower and Blackout over-shadow it, in my opinion.
The artwork and theme wouldn't fly in a lot of households, but probably fit right into the deep dark corners of the early 80's arcade.
Gorgar was designed by Barry Oursler with artwork by Constantino Mitchell and Jeanine Mitchell. Sound by the great Eugene Jarvis.