Many thanks to Chris Werfel for the pictures.

The T3 legacy is as famous as it is soon to be ubiquitous.

In 1984 James Cameron's Terminator film blasted the public all the way from the year 2029 to the present day and sent Arnie back with them as the bad guy out to kill off rebel leader John Connor before he was even born.

Seven years later, the sequel saw Arnie as the good guy battling the T1000 of Robert Patrick to save the (now) 10-year old John.

Now in 2003, John is 22 and has to face a new foe, the Terminatrix or T-X - a female killing machine. Thus we have Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Stern's previous film tie-in was Austin Powers and it did well for the company despite divided opinions about the game itself from players. Buoyed by that game's success and the company's continued intent to use licensed themes, T3 seemed a natural choice.

Terminator 2 was a big hit for Williams selling around 15,000 units and was the first WMS game designed to use a dot matrix display. It was designed by Steve Ritchie and despite his predictions about the impending terminal decline of pinball, he joined up with Stern to develop Terminator 3.

And now we find it on test in Chicago.

The backglass as previously mentioned features an interactive rocket propelled grenade launcher feature. A white plastic ball can be fired across the backglass to hit one of five stand-up targets as the launcher sweeps up and down. Insert lights indicate the required shot and the ball is fired by the gun-style ball launcher.

It is easy to make comparisons with Terminator 2 and to be fair, the playfield invites such comparisons. The left and right loops look very similar and of course the chromed head at the top left is very familiar. The left and right ramps are where we remember them and the lock shot even has the same drop target blocking the skull shot.

But it's clearly beefed up from T2 and has more shots, more features and that extra head. Perhaps it is to T2 what Roadshow is to Funhouse?

As promised, the ramps are metal without any plastic in sight, there's a captive ball and does the T-X fire locked balls down that centre wireform back at the player? We even get a real kickback on the game.

While the metal face looks nice and chromic, Arnie's doll looks more like one of those Elvis face masks. When the game is over, will he mumble "thank you very much"?

Chris Werfel tells us about the game from is playing experience. "The game definitely has a classic, Steve Ritchie feel to it with all the long shots. Due to the long shots and lack of any real playfield 'obstacles' the game play is fairly fast with really good flow.
Not a lot of starts and stops perhaps with the exception of locking a ball and getting another served up and the pause in the gameplay when RPG (rocket propelled grenade) mode is active in the backbox."

The RPG is one of the game's big selling points.

Chris says: "RPG utilises a 'sweeping' C shaped gun turret and a lightweight (think ping pong) ball. As the turret sweeps it loads up the ball which is launched when the trigger is pressed.

So far I have only seen two RPG modes. The first requires you to hit each of the five targets in any order. The second illuminates each target in turn, sweeping from bottom to top and back down.

You must hit the lighted target three times. I'm sure there is a third mode required to earn the RPG mode light but haven't gotten that far."

So now we know what the game looks like and the playfield layout.

We are eager as ever to get our hands on one and we will be able to bring you the full Pinball News game review very soon now.

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