Start Screen

Pretty much any video game will have these. This is a static screen, or else an Attract Mode, which usually contains the title and a pulsating "PRESS START" prompt. In olden days, if a game had cheat codes, this is where you entered them. Many start screens change depending on your progress in the game.

In true arcade games, "Press Start" will be replaced by "Insert Coin" (or credit or quarter). Start screens for games for older consoles, such as the Atari 2600, won't always have "press start" stated outright - but even they usually have a start screen.


Video Games
  • Blue Dragon, oddly, instead of having a typical start screen with a title, just has a white screen with copyright information on it.
  • If you beat most Soul Series games with every character, you are awarded with a fancier title screen. Different characters will also announce the title.
  • Beating older Amuro's final mission in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 gets you a new graphic of the earth being surrounded by sparklies, possibly a mix of space dust, psychic energy, and the viscera of dead pilots you just sent to their unholy demise.
  • The start screen in Yoshi's Island gives you a mode-7 overview of the eponymous landmass, and actually shows your progress through the game since your last save.
  • The first Sega Genesis X-Men gave does not begin with a start screen-instead, you are prompted to pick a X-Man and travel through a short level, and then the screen proper appears. Its sequel does the same thing, only your character is random. X-Men 2: Clone Wars for the Sega Genesis goes even further with it, as seen in the Angry Video Game Nerd's review; you start playing the instant the console is turned on.
  • Super Mario 64 had the famous screen in which you could stretch Mario's face.
  • Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2 changed their Start screens as you progressed through the games.
  • Mario Party changed its screen each time a character beat 1 player mode, with a personal background for each character that won last.
  • Averted from Grand Theft Auto III and onwards. The game automatically loads your latest save (or starts a new game) when you boot it up.
  • Scribblenauts has a start screen that acts like a sandbox mode.
  • The WarioWare series tends to have start screens with some degree of interactivity.
  • Braid's Start Screen was curious in that the game loaded directly into the gameplay, with Tim standing in shadow on a bridge underneath the emblazoned title. It's interesting to speculate how many players sat there for a good long while before realizing that A) there wasn't going to be a Press Start prompt or menu, and B) they could move.
  • Valve games (on PC anyway) have a 'load your game or access the options' screen that changes depending on where you saved last.
    • Oddly enough, almost all Source-based multiplayer FPS's have near-identical title screens (the exception to this being Team Fortress 2). The only thing that varies is the image in the background and the font of the menu text. The escape-key menu is this same menu with a few extra options and your current view in-game instead of a background image. Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 both seem to be the only games close to an exception so far, but even then they're still somewhat similar.
  • In Psychonauts it's actually a level in itself, though a more generic in game menu is available as well.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword; which all run on similar engines, have start screens rendered as in-engine cutscenes. If you use a glitch called Back In Time (done by soft resetting during a transition period such as resetting after falling into a pit) you'll be able to play in the title screen; although it doesn't have that much use in Wind Waker, it can be used for some awesome Sequence Breaking in Twilight Princess (start the game with the Master Sword and Hylian Shield) and Skyward Sword (using a Bird Statue in the title screen can warp you around the game world or out of bounds depending on where you are).
  • Much like the X-Men examples above, in Vice: Project Doom, the title screen doesn't appear until after you beat the first stage. The "Push Start Button" screen appears after the intro.
  • Averted in Wii Fit, which boots directly into the Wii Fit Plaza (where the players' Miis can be selected). If the game is booted for the first time, you instead get the Wii Balance Board introducing itself, followed by the usual procedure for adding a new player.
  • Guitar Hero: "PRESS ANY BUTTON TO ROCK!"
    • On 5, Band Hero and Warriors of Rock, the game launches directly into a random song in the jump-in Party Play mode (pressing Start still goes to the main menu)
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations has a barebones start screen with glitches on the screen, since the game has the Animus breaking down with your mind inside it.

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