The music (if you were lucky)
A Mini Game (if you were mega lucky!)
All of these things made up the loading screens that we stared at for minutes and hours of our youth.
These cool screens are now stuff of Retrogaming legend.
Whenever you mention these loading screens there will always be someone who makes the incessant screeching / squealing noise that is synonymous with the screens.
Some people saw them as an annoyance and I guess at the time they were. I remember waiting for 45 minutes for Wec Le Mans to load and very much thinking that they were annoying.
The thing is, when you look back at these things and nostalgia kicks in then all of a sudden they are something to be celebrated from a video gaming era gone bye.
Looking back then, what made these screens so awesome?
The first thing that jumps out to me was the cool pixel art which would display itself on screen.
It was usually a version of the box art that was on the cassette inlay.
Some game games would slowly reveal the art onto the screen as it loaded others would proudly display it after a moment of loading.
These screens teased you with an action scene or something similar that would generally depict the feel of the game. The talent of the artists who did these screens was clear to see as awesome art was created from minimal resources and colours.
Then there was also the chip tune music that would often accompany the screen. Although I think that this was again dependant on the machine and the game that was being loaded.
The music from the Ocean games is also the stuff of legend and is ingrained into my brain. Maybe we were brain washed by this music but I have to admit it is mega awesome listening back to the music in the here and now.
The final thing that I love about some of the loading screens is the mini games that were sometimes included. Some games had a simple shooter to play which kept you entertained while you preyed that the screen didn't display the fatal Syntax Error.
It was all of these things that kept you sane whilst waiting for the game to load.
Some loaded reasonably fast (10 minutes) others took silly amounts of time (45 minutes) so some light relief was well and truly needed in order to aid the overall experience.
The Gallery Of Goodness
As always whilst undertaking this reminiscing exercise I have found myself wracking my brains to think of my Top 5 faves from back in the day and hopefully I have come up with some beautiful examples for you to go misty eyed over.
5. Robocop (1985)
Everyone loved the Robocop film back in the day so when it hit the video games shop shelves you just had to buy it. The game was made even more appealing With the awesome Robocop Pixel Art. Just awesome to look at and pretty cool to play too!
4. Rambo First Blood Part II (1985)
There he is, John Rambo in his full glory, what a guy and how well he was captured in this beautiful pixel art rendition.
Heralded as a thinking man's commando it was actually a decent game to play.
3. Rainbow Islands (1987)
As you would expect, this loading screen is full of colour to match the vibrant colourful game play of the Rainbow Islands game.
2. Professional Snooker (1988)
I know the subject matter might not be so interesting but come on you have got to appreciate how great that is as a piece Of art. It's got the lot. Perspective, colour and it actually looks like a proper game of Snooker.
The artist could of taken the easy route and given us a top down Snooker table, but oh no, he gave us this to marvel at.
I'd say this screen alone probably accounted for 75% of the sales of this game!
1. Platoon (1987)
Platoon is an absolute work of art, just look at that depiction of the iconic film scene. It's an absolute marvel. I'd happily hang that on my bedroom wall.
That Is My Gallery Of Loading Screen Greatness, Now Over To You
Let Me Know Your Favourite Loading Screen In the Comments Box Below