There have been many mighty heroes in the world of arcade games. Almost everybody is familiar with Mario and Pac-Man, and Capcom's Street Fighter 2 characters have managed to find their way into a surprising number of titles. But most heroes are fictional characters only featured in a single game, and then soon forgotten. But not Mike Ferris, he was different, he was a real person.
Mike Ferris was a an employee at Marvin Glass, which was a Chicago based toy and amusement company. They had some dealings with Bally/Midway in the early 80s, which is how Mike Ferris ended up in his first arcade game.
Mike apparently seemed a bit like a video game character, he had a thick moustache, and always wore the same red shirt. Maybe it was just the shirt? Who knows? But Bally/Midway graphics man, Scott Morrison decided to make him the hero in his new game "Domino Man". Then he used him again only months later as the bartender in "Tapper", and in the alternate version known as "Root Beer Tapper" (they changed his clothes for the Tapper games). As if beer and dominoes weren't already enough, Mike was also the main lumberjack in "Timber".
Four games is a pretty good run for any video game hero, and it appears that the Mike Ferris character was retired with the release of "Timber". Too bad, as he probably could have given Mario a run for his money.
All of the games featuring Mike are currently highly sought after by collectors, but not because of Mike himself. They are very collectable simply for the fact that they are some of the best looking games ever made, and are quite fun to play.