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Evolving Title Screen

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The title screen of a video game welcomes the player after the game is loaded. Most frequently it exists outside of the game itself, serving as the place to start a new playthrough, load an existing one, or adjust some options. However, in some games the title screen reflects your in-game actions and achievements. The main variations are:

  1. Title screen changing to a different one after the player has beaten the game once and has seen the ending.
  2. Title screen itself doesn't change, but new elements are added, reflecting the endings the players has seen or some other achievements.
  3. The title screen changes to reflect the last level visited.

A Sub-Trope of Cosmetic Award, Macro Game and Post-End Game Content. Sometimes may be used for Breaking the Fourth Wall, when the game's characters use it to address the player.


Compare Evolving Credits, which does a similar thing for a TV series, and Sequel Logo in Ruins.

This is not only a video game trope though, other mediums have been known to change their title information. With books and film, it's usually through holographic/lenticular gimmicks, or releasing a Variant Cover after spoilers are out (this is ignoring reprints and regional covers though). Because of the way "title screen" is defined here as the book/movie cover, a TV series could theoretically have both Evolving Credits and a cover that changes.



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    Action Adventure 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, the title screen's 3D background shows the area where the player last saved.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has an Evolving Loading Screen. After you pacify each Divine Beast, a small icon representing it appears on the loading screen.
  • Toren: season and the appearance of the Tower on the title screen changes depending on the last visited chapter.
  • LEGO Dimensions adds an animation to the title screen after the completion of any Year 1 level except the Bonus Level and the final three levels. This includes Level Pack levels. It, however, can only show five animations at the same time.
    • LEGO The Lord of the Rings, meanwhile, has a different title screen depending on what movie's levels you're in. The Fellowship of the Ring has the Shire, The Two Towers has Isengard, and The Return Of The King has Mordor.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: the title screen features Batman standing on a building ledge looking over the island and as you progress through the game not only does his cape and armor become increasingly damaged as it does in-game but he also goes from clean-shaven to a five o' clock shadow.

    Adventure Game 
  • The title screen of Unavowed changes as the player progresses through the game, showing all the members of the titular organisation as they either met or recruited. That even includes very first time the game is started up, where only Mandana and Eli are visible; the Player Character first appears once the prologue is completed. Of course, when a member of the Unavowed dies, they disappear from the title screen. In the bad or worst ending that includes all of them, except for the Player Character.
  • In Life Is Strange, depending on the progress of the active save file, the title screen will reflect the time of day and other conditions. At the end of Episode 4, it depicts the tornado.
  • In Dreamfall Chapters, items from Saga's life are added to the title screen as the story progresses.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Towards the end of Bravely Default, on certain paths (including the one for the true ending), it changes to show the true meaning of the subtitle: Where the Fairy Flies or Flying Fairy, making it Airy Lies or alternatively, Lying Airy.
    • Bravely Second once you get to a certain point the subtitle evolves to read as SEND PLAYER.
  • Devil Survivor adds characters' portraits to the title screen after the player beats the game to see corresponding characters' endings.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue, when player achieves a major milestone (such as collecting all the kinds of battle chips), they earn a star next to the Continue option. In 4 to 6, this is instead reflected as special icons for each milestone. The latter tradition is then carried over to Mega Man Star Force, where the icons form an outline of Geo Stelar's pendant in its first two games.
  • NieR adds a white flower to the title screen after the player sees the final ending which involves the main character being erased from the reality, leaving behind only a white flower.
  • NieR: Automata changes to title screen from the desert to the Lunar Tear field once certain story conditions are met, including finding the area in the first place. Return to the area as 9S after this change takes place, and his memorial to 2B is visible as well.
  • Super Mario RPG hides the sword in Bowser's keep until the early sword drop cutscene has happened.
  • The title screen for Akiba's Trip has characters added onto it depending on which ending the player gets.
  • The title screen for Tales of Xillia 2 normally shows 2 of the main characters (and the team pet). If your last save was when one is not with the party, they don't show up on the title screen.
  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light shows a picture of the world when you open the game. As you complete the story for each town, its icon is added. In the second half, portraits of the characters you help appear on top of their towns.
  • Final Fantasy XV changes the title's logo to include Noctis, changes the background to a clear sky rather than night, and changes the music after beating the game.
  • The loading screen of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, seen when the game is downloading additional data, initially only shows Lasswell and Rain, but progressing through the story will add Fina to this screen. The background of the main menu is also taken from the last battle attempted.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the title screen initially only shows Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario standing together. Once the game starts and the paper characters are released from their book, this is replaced by a lengthy skit involving the main characters and their paper counterparts. The bottom screen also fills with Paper Toads on one side and paper minions on the other.
  • In Nocturne: Rebirth, the title screen initially only shows Reviel standing in a forest, but Luna will stand next to him after the main story is beaten.
  • In Blue Reflection, the title screen has a cluster of diamond shapes to the right. It starts off with nobody but protagonist Hinako Shirai filling one of those shapes. As the player progresses through the game, meets Yuzu and Lime, and unlocks more and more Supporters, the shapes get filled out more.
  • After beating the main story of Capella's Promise, the title screen will include the CG image of Velk hugging Shena.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • The first game shows the playable characters that have joined the party taking the train, with the background of the most recent field trip appearing in the windows as the train rolls by. The party loses their jackets in the summer levels, and puts them back on in the autumn. In a brief period of time during the school festival, the party is seen wearing their festival costumes.
    • The second game starts with Rean lying in the snow, then later on shifts to showing Class VII in Ymir. During the intermission between halves, the screen shows Valimar and Ordine on the Alliance flagship. In the second half of the game, the party is shown on the deck of the Courageous, except when going through the final dungeon, when Valimar is depicted outside it. The Divertimento chapter shows Lloyd and Rixia in Crossbell. The epilogue chapter shows the party at Thors.
  • In Miitopia, the title screen shows the map screen where the player last saved. Each map also have their own title screen music.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: There are at least 10 different main menu scenes, each associated with the current chapter the player is on. There is also the scene shown when the player first starts the game (within the Cloud Sea), as well as the post-game scene.

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the title screen has all the fighters in the game (except the Mii Fighters) scroll by on the touch screen, though the Secret Characters only show up when you unlock each of them.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the World of Light adventure mode start screen has Galeem's silhouette on the right side of the screen. Dharkon's silhouette gets added to the left side of the screen once you reach the part of the story where he shows up.
  • 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.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Half-Life 2 turns the title screen into a scene from the last level visited.
  • Black Mesa, much like Half-Life 2 above, does the same.
  • Team Fortress 2 has a new title screen for each major event, and a special screen for full moons.
    • The character shown also changes every time you load the game. If you aren't a paying player, they will have unique dialog telling you to buy a dang hat. You hatless fool.
  • Like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch has a screen for each event, usually one or more of the characters in their Legendary Event skins, posing on one of the special maps for the event (ie, Witch Mercy on the Junkenstien version of Eichenwalde, or Christmas Mei, Tracer, and Lucio on a snowy King's Row with Scrooge McCree sulking in the background).
    • When not during an event, the title screen will be a model of a randomly selected hero (with the skin you've equipped for them) in some map. During release of a new character or map, they will always be featured.
  • Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault has the weather and radio broadcasts change for each campaign finished. In the latter case, the broadcasts even correspond to the time period of the next campaign.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: The title screen displays one of the three main characters, and the displayed one, is the character that was played as, last session.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game 
  • The login screen of World of Warcraft was updated with each expansion pack as seen here.
    • In the core game the login screen showed the Dark Portal.
    • In The Burning Crusade, it was a different view of the Dark Portal, with more view on the Outland landscape.
    • In Wrath of the Lich King, it was a view on Icecrown Citadel, home of the eponymous Lich King.
    • In Cataclysm it was a city wall with Deathwing towering over it.
    • In The Mists of Pandaria, it shows two gigantic Mogu statues.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, it is, again, the Dark Portal, but with an eerie red glow inside.
    • In Legion (not seen in the above video), it shows a new portal being guarded by two Felguards.
  • The Secret World originally featured a title screen with key art of the three factions, when it seemed like the biggest conflict in the game was the war between them. In Issue 11, when the true enemy was revealed, the title screen changed to a dragon made of liquid Filth.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has a variant. Once you log into your character, your initial Loading Screen has a brief recap of where your character is in their adventure, written in the style of a classic Star Wars Opening Scroll

  • In Cave Story, beating Sacred Ground and the True Final Boss quickly enough will change the cursor on the title screen (normally in the shape of the player character) into a different character, and also changes the music that plays. Interestingly, this is the only way to hear the songs "White" or "Toroko's Theme" in the game.
  • In Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils, the title screen starts out with a purple, dream-like background featuring Bunny. Unlocking Chelsea and the 7 Devils replaces Bunny with Chelsea and the background turns blue. After completing Chelsea and the 7 Devils, the title screens features both Bunny and Chelsea as well as the background becoming green.
  • In Metroid: Samus Returns, beating the game will add the baby Metroid you rescued near the end of the game to your ship in the menu screen.

    Platform Game 
  • In Crescent Pale Mist, the title screen is blue when you start a new game. However, as you slay more and more enemies, the title screen steadily turns red.
  • In Eversion, the title screen happy and cheery with bright colors and relaxing music. Once you completed the game with the true ending, the title screen turns into a black void with a single red eye staring at you, and the font in "Eversion" changed to something much more sinister while the same music still plays.
  • Kirby:
    • When you beat Kirby: Triple Deluxe, flowers will now appear on the Dreamstalk that Kirby climbs. If you beat the extra mode, King Dedede can be seen floating around in the background. If you get 100% Completion, Kirby will appear with the Hypernova ability.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot does the same thing with its title screen. Beating the game once adds the Halberd to the title screen, beating Meta Knightmare Returns adds Meta Knight to the screen, and attaining 100% Completion changes the Halberd into the Robobot Armor mode present during the Star Dream battle.
    • Kirby Star Allies did this with its title screen every time the game got major updates, with the screen's background colors changing for each update.
    • Star Allies also does the evolving title screen with Heroes in Another Dimension (added to the game in Version 4.0.0.). Initially, the Divine Terminus (the level select for the mode) looks as it does in Story Mode. After beating Dimension I, its appearance changes to that in Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go! when playing as any of the Friends initially present in Version 1.0.0. After beating a second dimension, the area changes to resemble its appearance in Version 2.0.0. Beating three dimensions changes its appearance to that in Version 3.0.0.
  • Bass appears in Mega Man 10's title screen as soon as the player purchases (original release)/unlocks (Mega Man Legacy Collection 2) him.
  • Vile appears in Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X's title screen as soon as the player unlocks him, and the background also changes from a standard metallic background to the whole screen on fire.
  • The character who appears on the title screen of Mega Man Powered Up and performs the Title Scream is the character the player last played as.
  • Mega Man X8 has an Evolving Vanity Plate: When the first step of the Double Unlock to obtain the Navigators as playable characters is fulfilled, the silhouettes of the three main characters on the Capcom logo when booting the game are replaced by those of the Navigators.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii initially starts out with all four of the playable characters riding hot air balloons with Princess Peach (à la the end of the original game). As you progress through the game, you get variations of the original title screen from New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Mario, Luigi, and the Toads just walking) based on the current world you're in. When you beat the game, you get a new title screen featuring all four characters riding Clown Cars (early prototype videos released by the deveopment team show that Peach would have been with them). The title screen goes through one final change upon 100% Completion, showing Peach's castle at night with fireworks going off.
    • Yoshi's Island places flags on finished worlds, switches to the final world once reached and adds instruments to the music.
    • In the GBA remake of Super Mario Bros. 2, a Yoshi egg is added to the title screen after Wart has been defeated. And it hatches into a Yoshi if you collect every Yoshi egg.
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, the opening screen is normally a very bright sky with white clouds. However, when player enters the code for "RKS Grollscwert" (for playing as Grolla), the opening screen turns into a shot of Grolla's stage.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Unleashed, as Sonic progress in getting parts of the planet back together, the title screen shows the Earth being restored with each level completed.
    • The title screen for Sonic Forces is a pan across the Resistance control room with a dark military theme playing. Once you've beaten the game, the room changes to a much brighter white palette with the ending credits theme playing instead.
  • After beating Gamer 2, the final boss will appear on the main menu trapped in a cell.

    Puzzle Game 
  • After completing Portal, the player is returned to a title screen that shows the famous cake sitting in GLaDOS's chamber, instead of the Relaxation Vault where they start the game. After closing, it chooses between one of them at random after completing the game. The first screen gets majority though.
  • Portal 2's title screen changes depending on what chapter you're on. The screen for the first third of the game is the overgrown Aperture ruins, which change to a refurbished version after GLaDOS's awakening, then to old Aperture, then to the facility falling apart as the reactor overheats, and after beating the game to Wheatley floating in space.
  • Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwa Mochi's title screen changes slightly after each playthrough. At first it's just Yuki inching closer to Ai to hold her hand while medical supplies begin to replace the sweets on the title screen. Then Ai's expression goes from happy to frightened as Yuki starts dragging her off the screen. Then Yuki transforms into a skeleton and he and Ai both disappear completely from the title screen, and the player needs to achieve a very high score to bring Ai back.
  • The title screen of Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney shows the court either dark for investigation / puzzle portions, or with the fires lit if you're in the midst of a trial. If you've gotten to the final trial, it'll show the outdoor court by the bell tower.
  • You Must Build A Boat: The title screen changes to the background color of whatever level you're on.
  • Love You to Bits has one where Nova joins Kosmo on their spaceship after rebuilding her.

    Rail Shooter 
  • Star Fox 64 slightly changes its title screen after the game is completed. The change isn't significant, mostly just a change in the characters' poses.

    Racing Game 
  • Every Mario Kart game since Nintendo 64 changes the title screen after some point. In 64, this happens when you unlock Mirror Mode (rather than the racers rushing towards the camera, it becomes a view from the side), while in other games getting gold in every cup is the objective to get the new title screen.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! gives a fancier title screen and different announcer depending on if the game is beaten, and who it was beaten with.

    Rhythm Game 
  • In Idolish 7, Completing certain story parts unlocks new title screens.

  • The Binding of Isaac's title screen changes as you reach various milestones in the game, like killing the Final Boss or collecting every item. The final title screen in the remake is obtained by getting every item on all three save files.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor unlocks new title screens when you download an Expansion Pack. Each expansion has its own title screen, and you can toggle between them.
  • After beating Rogue Legacy once, the colour of the sky on the title screen changes from red-dark to bright-blue.

    Shoot 'Em Up 

    Simulation Game 
  • Animal Crossing:
    • Animal Crossing shows a preview of the player's actual town, so the title screen is different for every save file.
    • In Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the game at first only shows your four coworkers, as well as the unopened facilities. After starting a new game, your Player Character will appear with your coworkers, and as you progress though the game, the facilities will change depending on how you've designed them. Occasionally, Lottie will appear without her makeup.

    Stealth Game 
  • In Hitman: Blood Money the various targets of the game attend 47's funeral and disappear after they are killed off. In order to get them back you need to play the tutorial or the first mission and quit.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Pictured above is Spec Ops: The Line, which changes the appearance of the character, the American flag and the city below on the title screen depending on the last level visited.
  • Jet Force Gemini: Depending on how far you were into the game, the title screen would change in order - Juno running solo, Juno & Vela running, the whole team running, the whole team running in their upgrades, the whole team walking on the Federation homeworld in celebration.
  • The title screen for Just Cause 3 shows Rico indulging in some Rebel Relaxation somewhere in the region the game was last saved. Choosing "Continue" makes him stand up and get ready for action as the HUD appears.

    Tower Defense 

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • When you start a fresh copy of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, you will see a shot of a perfectly normal Peach's Castle. Once you've started a game, the title screen changes to show the Rabbids trashing it. In addition, the Peach's Castle hub level (which the title screen pans through) gains background detritus from each world once you complete that world.
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia shows a young Alm and Celica running through the meadow where the prologue takes place. If the last save was made during the Playable Epilogue, it shows an adult Alm and Celica sitting there together instead, with more peaceful music.
  • XCOM 2's title screen shows one of the soldiers from your character pool overlooking an ADVENT patrol, and if you last saved during a mission, the scenery will be from the same tileset. The soldier's gear will be based on what they are/were wearing last: basic gear, mid-tier gear and advanced gear are all displayed accurately, including customization. If you have the Alien Hunters DLC, unique weapons and armor can be shown on the soldier as well, and if you have the Shen's Last Gift DLC, the SPARK unit can be the soldier depicted. The War of the Chosen expansion mixes things up, so that sometimes the screen will instead show one of the Chosen looking down one of your unaware soldiers in their Ascension Chamber.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, the initial title screen is solely the school building, as the game is progressed, objects related to the talents of the students who died appears on top of the building.
  • After the player has reached all the endings, the title screen of Fate/stay night changes to an image of cherry blossoms with much more soothing background music.
  • Katawa Shoujo has the title screen update with small pieces of artwork progressively added as the player goes through different acts and routes.
  • After finishing fault milestone one, the title screen adds Rune as she is now traveling with Ritona and Selphine.
  • CLANNAD has orbs of light gather on the title screen as the player collects them while playing through various routes. This is similarly reflected in its anime adaptation's title cards.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has its title screen change significantly as the story progresses. After Sayori's death and deletion, she's replaced on the title screen throughout Act 2 by a glitched amalgamation of the other characters (with the "New Game" text being glitched as well when that point is first reached). Act 3, in which just Monika is left, skips the title screen entirely. Act 4, where Monika is gone but the others are restored, features only the three remaining girls on the title screen.
  • If My Heart Had Wings changes the title screen to a shot of the Morning Glory and plays the eponymous BGM once all routes have been completed.
  • Little Busters! opens with an image of the original five as children running in a line together. After the True Ending Refrain is completed, it is replaced with an image of a beach, reflecting the beach the characters all resolved to go to in the epilogue, and seen driving there in a van during the credits.

    Western RPG 
  • If you follow the Pacifist or Neutral route in Undertale, the characters from the game's major boss fights appear in the titles if you spare and befriend them. The background music changes as well, becoming steadily more complex and cheerful and eventually becomes silent should you completed True Pacifist route since everyone has left the Underground.
    • If you follow a different route instead, then only Flowey is on the title screen, until New Home where he vanishes.
  • Steven Universe: Save The Light: As members of the team join in, they all appear on the title screen.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II starts with Darth Sion next to the main menu. Then it changes to Nihilus. By the end of the game it's Darth Traya. But if your Karma Meter hits bottom, the Sith on the title screen is you.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • A number of books and film covers at one point had holographic or lenticular covers.
    • Among these, one that comes to mind is Jack Frost cover, which has three pictures in transition, a snowman plus title, snowman with teeth and subtitle "he's chillin'...", and a snowman with wide open mouth and subtitle "and killin'".
    • The blue ray cover of Man of Steel did this (shifting from Superman to Zod), as did The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (changing from Bilbo to Gollum).

Alternative Title(s): Evolving Start Screen


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