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From Jeremy Grayson (3/4/02):

Mike Goldberg has been in regular contact with the Archive over the last couple of months and has proved a charming, helpful and deadly funny source of information on the company he co-founded and ran for about three years. Many thanks to him for providing all the details that follow on this fun-loving Grimsby-based set-up!

M, R and M were the initials of Mike Goldberg, Ron Wylie and Mike Williams, the three lads who were effectively MRM, writing (nearly) all the games, doing all the packaging, art work and reproductions.

Mike G wrote Bones, Nutter, Q Man, Mr Shifter, Guy in the Hat, Bananaman, Yossa, Screwball, Sorcerer, Darts, Hangman, part one of Secret Sam (both parts released by MRM and not by Blue Ribbon, as the Archive currently indicates) and Ghost Hunter. Mike W wrote Castle Assault, 3D Munchy (the best MRM game of all, according to Mike G), Q Man's Brother, Diamond Mine and Secret Sam 2.

Bones, Nutter and Yossa all featured on the (in)famous Sicksoft disc, along with other delights such as Sex Invaders. But here's the twist - MRM NEVER manufactured the Sicksoft disc! None of the three MRMmers knew who put it together, sent it to Acorn User, or indeed brought it into a school, whereupon a teacher - and subsequently the Sun newspaper - pounced upon it. "Good publicity or bad? About half and half", Mike G recalls. None of the Sicksoft items were ever really intended for anything other than the trio's own consumption / amusement, but Mike does not object to their inclusion in the Archive.

Mr Shifter and Sorcerer were never publicly released either; the former was shelved as substandard, whereas the guys could not agree how best to market Sorcerer ("my best game and six weeks' hard work", according to Mike G), and opted to release Castle Assault instead.

Ghost Hunter was never released either, but someone ripped it off Mike G and sent the listing to a computer magazine. MRM sued the offending magazine but received no payment from it. As with the two games listed above and the Sicksoft stuff, Mike has given us his blessing for it to be on the site.

Several releases were initially available only via Micronet, Prestel's (sort of) pay-per-usage forerunner to the Internet. As a thankyou, Micronet's Richard Tyner is credited on the title page of Bananaman.

Castle of Gems was a rare example of a bought-in MRM title, but when Atari waded in the guys wished they hadn't bothered! See the "Lost Games" section of the ever-excellent Stairway To Hell site ( for the story behind this.

All MRM items retailed for between £4.50 and £4.95, a conscientious attempt at undercutting to sell. It did work quite well! MRM was the 5th biggest selling software house in the UK during 1983-4, before selling out to Blue Ribbon!

Ethel the Cat, who stars on the title page of every MRM game and also in the actual game of Bananaman, was Mike G's cat - full name: Ethel the Frog Goes Quantity Surveying, after the elusive book in Monty Python's bookshop sketch [Hang on! Wasn't it Ethel the AARDVARK Goes Quantity Surveying? Ethel the Frog was the spoof crime reportage on the Piranha Brothers! - Jeremy (pedant)]. MRM's stand at the Micro User Shows featured a stuffed Ethel.

Some of MRM's titles found their way onto the Atari, Amstrad, C64, C16 plus 4 and Spectrum via Blue Ribbon. Mike G isn't quite sure of the genesis of these conversions, but does remember that Mike W had a C64 and Amstrad and was always adept at picking up other computers' machine codes. Mike W did go on to write at least one new game for Blue Ribbon - the superb Balloon Buster - so maybe he was behind the conversions of the old MRM games also.

In the score tables of most of Mike G's games, read the columns (like a wordsearch) down for secret, and often risqué messages!

The Secret Sam text adventures are cheerily described collectively by Mike G as "bloody awful", the first part as "ropey, and tenuous and unpredictable" and the second as "totally incomprehensible"! More use of common sense rather than his and Mike W's own logic, he concedes, may have served these games better.

MRM manufactured a DFS, devised by an associate of Mike W (who constructed/designed the circuit board). It retailed for around £25 and represented the company's only foray into hardware production.

When MRM sold out to Blue Ribbon both Mikes were offered jobs at The Micro User, and their first job was to design a game for the official Red Arrows. Mike G says it never came to anything; although a Red Arrows game was eventually released on the magazine's Database label - the same one after all? He was responsible for several games listings to appear in Micro User/Acorn Computing in the years to follow ("5-Alive", "Blue Meanie"...).

Mike G has a wealth of post-MRM writing and illustrating credits to his name. He wrote and illustrated Let's Compute!, the first computer comic (Rom and Ram, Star Cat etc.). As with the MRM games, illicit messages can be found if looked for hard enough! He also wrote the Graphics Page for Acorn Computing for 2-3 years, did the comic strip for the PC shareware magazine Games-X, and produced a couple of covers and a game or two for the cover disk of Archimedes World. Right now, though, much of his creative interest lies with Omnipuss, a fantastic pottery shop situated in the old part of the city of Lincoln [chanced upon it in March '02 and it's lovely; hi to Omnipuss potter Lea Bason also - Jeremy]. Unsurprisingly, pottery cats of all shapes and sizes figure prominently among the wares (all made on-site), along with any other animal you can think of. Among other things, Mike G is responsible for all the super cat cartoons which adorn the shop and can be bought as well. No Ethel, but the delectable Betty Shopcat ensures everything runs smoothly! Visit Omnipuss at 39 Steep Hill, Lincoln, or at

Please contact me if you have any additional information about the company or its games!