Rainbow Arts

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Rainbow Arts Software GmbH
Rainbow Arts.png
Founded 1985
Closed 1999
Headquarters Gütersloh (until 1988), Düsseldorf, both North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Rainbow Arts was a German developer best known for Turrican.

Initially, its founder, Marc Alexander Ullrich from Gütersloh, co-wrote database programs for C64 and CPC computers and sold them to Ariolasoft. Shortly after, he discovered computer games. Specifically awed by Frogger and Falcon Patrol, he had freelancers write games for the still-new Amstrad CPC. Starting with those games, Rainbow Arts initiated a reputation of copying arcade hits, which went remarked by many gamers, litigious companies, and Chris Hülsbeck looking back.

In their heyday, Rainbow Arts was associated with more labels:

  • In October or November 1986, they became a corporation (GmbH) owned by Rushware and Softgold. The focus was now on games for Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST and DOS, whereas CPC and ZX Spectrum versions were outsourced to British companies.
  • By mid-July 1987, Rainbow Arts had bought a company named Time Warp.
  • By 1988-07-22, headquarters had moved to Düsseldorf, with the Gütersloh office remaining as Golden Goblins until May 1989.
  • In 1988–1989, reLINE Software was a sister company of Rainbow Arts. As a result, they shared developers and exchanged publications.
  • In 1989, Rainbow Arts U.K. Ltd. started in Northampton, East Midlands, England.

Afterwards, several employees in the creative department left to form their own software companies like Thalion Software, Blue Byte, Kaiko, and Promotion Software. In 1992, Ullrich left the game industry. Funsoft bought Rushware and Softgold, and in December 1998, sold them to THQ, who eventually discontinued Rainbow Arts.


Audio Development

Every arranger had his own choice, but Chris Hülsbeck also shared unreleased tools and unreleased updates of his published tools.

In Gütersloh, Hülsbeck had to work at night so as not to disturb the neighbors (lawyers) and slept in his office at day.


The only NES game by Rainbow Arts was the European-exclusive Super Turrican (NES), single-handedly created by Manfred Trenz. According to Trenz, he had licensed David Whittaker's sound driver and made modifications to it for his game.

Audio Personnel

People who worked on more than one soundtrack for Rainbow Arts are:


Game Platforms

In early 1989, Rainbow Arts was designing an arcade cabinet under an exclusive Rainbow Games label. In a 2019 podcast, Hülsbeck recalled that possible audio hardware designs included FM Synthesis with up to two DACs, but also that the market was declining, and that some graphics may have ended up in X-Out (AMI).

Sound Devices

Picture Gallery