The NES cemented Nintendo’s reputation as a video game force to be reckoned with, sporting a seemingly endless library of titles. NicksplosionFX has taken that library and compiled a three-hour video with hundreds of game start screens. Organized in alphabetical order, it starts with games like 720 and 1942, and covers tie-ins like The Addams Family and Popeye, George Foreman’s KO Boxing, Kid Icarus, and all the other classic and obscure titles from the console’s run through to the early ‘90s. It’s an exhaustive list—though, as Wired notes, Final Fantasy III seems to be missing, so it might not be entirely complete.
The start screen for video games has something in common with the album cover in music, insofar as it provides an initial snapshot of a piece of art and entertainment. Some are minimalist lists of title, studio, and copyright, while others feature fully animated sequences ending in the start screen. Played one after the other, the style and subtle art of an alluring title screen starts to emerge. There’s a huge difference between plopping down a menu without purpose and setting a tone before a player presses start.