The Pinnacle, or simply Pinnacle, is ARIA's combat stage in Killer Instinct (2013). It's the seventeenth stage to be introduced to the game and the eighth (or ninth, if counting bonus character Omen and his stage) as well as the final stage to be released for Season 2.
As its name implies, the Pinnacle is located on the top floor of a massive Ultratech complex and is a gargantuan hall which houses ARIA's mainframe computer. The space is initially very dark, almost pitch black even, being only dimly lit by blue holograms and small lights lining the walls and floor, and a large Ultratech emblem is emblazoned on the floor in the hall's center. A large table can be seen in the background which projects the hologram of a metropolitan city, and behind it stands a metal and throne-like seat; with ARIA's mainframe computer being suspended from the ceiling above it.
As the fight progresses, the ambient dynamics of the Pinnacle stage begin to change slowly but radically. The walls gradually start coalescing into dense panels featuring hexagon-shaped patterns, revealing large glass windows and letting the light of a sunset flood into the hall. In the sky outside, several airships can occasionally be seen flying around the Ultratech complex. Most of the holograms present in the room seem to fizzle out and disappear, but not all of them. The table in the back folds itself up and sinks into the floor, and two largely static Fulgore units rise up out of holes in the floor on either side of ARIA's "throne", acting as sentinels.
Ultra Combo Edit
During an Ultra Combo the room begins to break and collapse, with some of the windows cracking and debris and dust falling from the roof onto the floor in the background. ARIA's mainframe computer, suspended from the ceiling, comes crashing down.
Stage Ultra Edit
During a Stage Ultra Combo, the victor delivers one final hit to the opponent that causes them to spin backwards and crash through the large glass window behind them. The camera angle then changes to follow the opponent as they plummet down from the sky among the shards of broken glass, flailing helplessly as they go. As they approach the end of their fall, a large skylight shaped like the Ultratech logo can be seen on the ground below - the opponent crashes into the skylight, shooting a shower of sparks up into the air. The camera returns back to the top of the tower and shows the victor taunting in victory.
ARIA's theme, entitled ".execute" and composed by Mick Gordon, is used as the background music for The Pinnacle. It is a heavy electronic track that uses purely digital instruments, featuring a thumping beat, quick rhythm, deep bass, fast percussion, synth strings, and high-pitched waves. It is similar to modern "drum n' bass" music that could be heard in a night club or rave.
During the 16-hit Combo, a remixed version of the main theme, "The Instinct" can be heard.
When the characters hold still for a certain amount of time, the music will change to a subdued electronic version of the usual Killer Instinct character select-screen theme.
- The Pinnacle's Stage Ultra is very reminiscent of the Stage Ultras present in the original Killer Instinct and the 1996 sequel, where the victor sends the opponent plummeting to their doom in stages such as the Chicago Rooftop, the Desert Rooftop, or Spinal's Rooftop.
- The Stage Ultra is appropriately titled "Knockoff", which was the original call in KI2 for opponents sent off the stage by the victors.
- The Stage Ultra also bears a striking resemblance to Laurel Hedare's outrageous, and unintentionally hilarious death scene from the 2004 DC film Catwoman.
- "Pinnacle" is a word used to represent something or someone that is at their peak in existence. This is a play on words, since the Pinnacle is also an incredibly tall structure that towers over the other buildings below.