The -nostartup command line parameter forces ZDoom to use the text-mode startup log from Doom.
The GAMEINFO lump can be used to override the game default, provided the needed lumps are successfully used.
Heretic displays a 80x25 ANSI text screen called LOADING. It is altered by the executable as such:
- The character in position [49,2] is used to represent the minor version of the executable (e.g., "3" for Heretic 1.3). ZDoom always displays a 3 here. Background and foreground colors are not modified.
- The characters in positions [17,7] to [32,7] are used to display "Loading graphics" in "bright white on cyan background" (3F) characters.
- The characters in positions [17,8] to [32,8] are used to display "Init game engine" in "bright white on cyan background" (3F) characters.
- The characters in positions [17,9] to [45,9] are used to display "Checking network game status." in "bright white on cyan background" (3F) characters.
- The characters in positions [14,14] to [65,14] are used to display the loading bar and are used to display the blocks (█) in "light green on green" characters (AA).
Hexen uses a lump called STARTUP to show a 4-bit, 16-color, 640×480 picture on the startup screen. It is stored in a custom, non-standard format: the first 48 bytes are for the 16 color palette (three bytes per color entry), followed by raw 4-bit planar graphics. The total size is therefore 153648 bytes exactly. The music lump "ORB" is played during loading.
The pixels from [64,441] to [576,464] are used to display the status bar, with hardcoded "notch" graphics. Each time one is drawn, the sound "StartupTick" is played.
The notches can be replaced by raw 4-bit bitmaps. The loading notch is 16×23 (184 bytes) and called NOTCH and the netgame waiting notch is 4×16 (32) and called NETNOTCH. They use the palette defined in STARTUP.
Note: in vanilla Hexen, the net notches are technically 8×16, however they are hardcoded in the engine and cannot be redefined.
Strife displays part of a raw 320×200 picture contained in the lump STARTUP0. Only rows 57 to 151 are drawn, 0 to 56 and 152 to 199 are instead filled with color index #240 from the palette (in Strife, it is fully black). To display progress, Strife uses a Sentinel shooting on a Peasant.
- The sentinel is drawn from the STRTBOT lump, a 48×48 picture (2304 byte)
- The peasant is drawn from the STRTPA1, STRTPB1, STRTPC1 and STRTPD1 lumps, each a 32×64 picture (2048 bytes)
- The laser dots that serves as a progress meter are drawn from the STRTLZ1 and STRTLZ2 lumps, each a 16×16 picture (256 bytes)
All these are in raw format and use the PLAYPAL palette.