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Start Screen

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Almost 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.

PC games have this screen as a shibboleth to differentiate console ports from native PC games — if a game asks you to "PRESS ENTER" or "PRESS ANY KEY", chances are it's a multiplatform release, or it was initially born on consoles. Smartphone games usually render this as "TOUCH SCREEN TO START".

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.

If you don't see this screen when you first load the game, then that's Automatic New Game.

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    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem opens up with a shot of a puddle on the ground, pressing the start button pans the camera up to show the protagonist, Ann, in the middle of Noctis City.
  • Blue Dragon, oddly, instead of having a typical start screen with a title, just has a white screen with copyright information on it.
  • 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 first Sega Genesis X-Men (1993) 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 Bros.:
    • Super Mario 64 has the famous screen in which you can stretch Mario's face.
    • Mario Party: The game is notable in that it changes the title screen each time a character beats 1 player mode, with a personal background for each character that won last.
    • 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 WarioWare series tends to have start screens with some degree of interactivity.
  • The Splatoon games start up with a shot of each title's main city.
  • 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.
    • The smartphone ports also boast initial screen menus optimized for touchscreens.
    • No More Heroes does this as well.
    • As does inFAMOUS. There is a "Press Start" screen, but it's integrated into the plot: pressing the start button activates the Ray Sphere.
  • Scribblenauts has a start screen that acts like a sandbox mode.
  • 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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Alternative Title(s): Title Screen


Need for Speed Unbound

The start screen of Electronic Arts and Criterion Games' "Need for Speed Unbound" (2022) begins with EA, Criterion, and Frostbite engine logos (past and present) and street art glitching in and out in a similar vein to the beginning of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018) as the camera zooms into the Chicago-inspired setting of Lakeshore City. Then it cuts to a slow-mo shot of some of the games' characters posing at a meetup with a car, and then another cut shows two cars, one of them being A$AP Rocky's modified Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 featured as the game's cover car, starting a race with cartoonish smoke coming off the rear tires of A$AP Rocky's car as it burns out to start. It then cuts to a couple of extended clips of a car in bumper cam driving through the streets of downtown Lakeshore as the game's logo appears and sometimes glitches out itself, with A$AP Rocky's original song for the game "Shittin' Me" playing. The Need for Speed 'N' logo from "Undercover" (2008) to "No Limits" (2015) also makes a brief appearance at the beginning and end of the bumper cam clips.

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