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Label / Production Information For Rainbird Software
Last Updated: 2 Oct. 2012
Added By: franz_opa
The Rainbird label was established by Tony Rainbird, a former Micro-Gold employee who joined Telecomsoft to help set up the Firebird label. For legal reasons, the label's original name, Bluebird, had to be changed, although it still retained Tony Rainbird's original idea of releasing all its games in striking blue packaging.
The 16-bit home computer market, largely represented by the Atari ST and Amiga, was just beginning to take off in 1986 and the Rainbird label was an ideal opportunity to capitalise on it. Rather than concentrate on the more simplistic arcade action games that had dominated the 8-bit era, Rainbird aimed to introduce cutting edge simulators, adventure games and utilities to the full-price market.
Rainbird quickly forged a strong partnership with a number of developers who would produce their next range of high profile games. Magnetic Scrolls and Argonaut Software were amongst the first developers to benefit from a publishing deal with the label. Titles such as The Pawn and Starglider received unprecedented levels of critical acclaim and much attention outside the popular gaming media (a special version of the latter made it onto Get Fresh, a popular Saturday morning children's show in the UK, in a regular competition slot). Realtime Games, a successful ZX Spectrum developer who specialised in fast 3D action games, came on board to convert Starglider to the ZX Spectrum and would go on to develop the critically acclaimed Carrier Command for Rainbird.
The company republished enhanced versions of adventure games by Level 9 Computing, beginning with their Middle-earth trilogy: Colossal Adventure (itself an enhanced conversion of Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods), Adventure Quest and Dungeon Adventure, these last two featuring the Demon Lord Agaliarept. Rainbird published this sequence as Jewels of Darkness and references to Middle-earth were expunged. Rainbird also published Level 9's Silicon Dreams trilogy: Snowball was followed by Return to Eden and The Worm in Paradise.
Microprose continued to use the Rainbird label for a number of years, after its acquisition of Telecomsoft, before gradually phasing it out. Tony Rainbird left the company a short while earlier to set up a new company, Intermediates Ltd, which would go on to set up the popular Special Reserve mail order club.
Carrier Command Theme (cassette) by Uncle Art (Dave Lowe)
Corruption by John Molloy
Druid II: Enlightenment - Title by David M. Hanlon
Fish! by John Molloy
Jinxter by John Molloy
Just Another Mission (Carrier Command) by Uncle Art (Dave Lowe)
Starglider by Uncle Art (Dave Lowe)
Starglider 2: The Egrons Strike Back by Uncle Art (Dave Lowe)
Starglider 2: The Egrons Strike Back - Title Music by Uncle Art (Dave Lowe)
The Pawn by John Molloy