Spectrum HoloByte

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Logophile and Gilblitz112

Captures by
Logophile and Gilblitz112

Background

Spectrum HoloByte was a video game publisher and developer founded in 1983 in Almeda, California. The company was well-known for simulation games, most notably the flight simulator series Falcon. The company would acquire MicroProse in 1993. Both companies released games under their own respective names, but all titles from both companies went under the MicroProse banner in 1996. The merged companies were acquired by Hasbro Interactive in 1998, and that same year, the development studio which was Spectrum HoloByte closed.

1st Logo (1984)

Logo: On a black background, a double-layered purple box quickly draws itself in, which is followed by "SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE" in a blocky font drawing inside of it. The "S", "H", and "B" in the name are bigger than the other letters. A green copy quickly draws itself over the text, followed by a white copy and a "TM" in the upper right corner. A small white triangle then appears in the middle of the screen and a white line slowly draws itself towards it. When it reaches it, it becomes a dual-colored ray of light colored blue and orange, which gets drawn in slowly from top to bottom. After a few seconds, a purple box appears at the bottom of the screen, being much smaller than the top box, and contains "PRESENTS" in a computer font. It then wipes away via an "elevator door"-styled transition.

Variant: On the DOS port of GATO, the logo's colors are now just turquoise, pink, and white, and the animation is faster. There is also a notable amount of differences, like the "TM" and "PRESENTS" text now being in a serif font, the ray splitting from the middle instead, and no transition to the title screen can be seen.

Technique: The drawing of the logo, the ray being split into 2. Pretty good considering this was made in-game.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. Seen on the Atari 8-bit and DOS versions of GATO.

Legacy: An unique specimen among MS-DOS game logos for having actual animation.

2nd Logo (1986-1992)

Logo: On a black background, the text "Spectrum HoloByte" can be seen in a white curly font. Above and below it is "A" and "PRODUCTION" respectively.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the game.

Availability: Common, although the on-screen logo only appears on Falcon 3.0 and Super Tetris, while most other games just include it in the corner or in the copyright.


3rd Logo (1992-1996)

Logo: On a black background, a multicolored wavelength can be seen, growing in intensity as it gets to the end of its path. To the right of it are the words "Spectrum HoloByte" in white, stacked on each other.

Variants:

  • An early animated variant has the logo contained in a dark blue box, barely distinguished from the background of the same color, with the name below in gray. It shines with a reversed rainbow gradient as the line wipes in. This variant also has a still variant with a black background, a short variant with a color-changing wavelength, and a version without the box and the text in the same color as said box.
  • On the Iron Helix game, it has "Presents" below it, extended to "Presents a Drew Pictures production" on the Sega CD port. It's also bigger on the latter.
  • On some DOS titles, the line flies into a dark purple box at the bottom of the screen, coming in from the top right. It crashes into a corner, condensing into the box as the name appears letter by letter below it. "PRESENTS" then unfolds in the middle of the screen.
  • On their final titles, a new animated variant was used. This has the multicolored line, this time glowing, flying all across the screen on a black background (a spacefield on Star Trek: The Next Generation -- "A Final Unity"). After a bit, it forms the wavelength and the Spectrum HoloByte is wiped in, colored red before it wipes to become white. A short variant has the line just coming in, the animation continuing as usual.

Technique: Depends on the variant, but usually none.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game. In its early years, it would have a dramatic 16-bit fanfare. The later animated variants had whoosh sounds for the line moving, and a set of twinkling notes with a bang at the end, or none.

Availability: Uncommon. It first appeared on Tetris Classic and appeared on most of their games until their closure. The early animated variant could be seen on National Lampoon's Chess Maniac 5 Billion and 1, Hornet: Naval Strike Fighter, MiG-29: Deadly Adversary of Falcon 3.0, and a few more DOS and console titles. The last animated variant appeared on Top Gun: Fire at Will!, the Japanese Sega Saturn and Playstation ports of Clockwerx and the Windows version of Star Trek: The Next Generation - "A Final Unity".

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