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When did the 'Idle' video game character begin?

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:49 pm
by Devin
One of the many pointless thoughts I had last night whilst playing Earthworm Jim 2 on the GBA, just when the hell did the 'Idle' video game character begin and whos' idea was it? You know the scene, where Sonic/Mario/Jim/Kratos just stand around doing nothing then they suddenly start a few rude moves of their own! My earliest memory was Sonic but when I really think about it Archer was on the ball well before that in IK+. Can anyone suggest the first instance of 'Idle' video game animations?

Re: When did the 'Idle' video game character begin?

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:53 pm
by woody.cool
Devin wrote:One of the many pointless thoughts I had last night whilst playing Earthworm Jim 2 on the GBA, just when the hell did the 'Idle' video game character begin and whos' idea was it? You know the scene, where Sonic/Mario/Jim/Kratos just stand around doing nothing then they suddenly start a few rude moves of their own! My earliest memory was Sonic but when I really think about it Archer was on the ball well before that in IK+. Can anyone suggest the first instance of 'Idle' video game animations?
Batman in the Jon Ritman 3D classic - when Batman is idle, he looks at you at starts tapping his foot impatiently.

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:59 pm
by necronom
The "Little Computer People" used to knock on the screen when they wanted your attention, but that was probably after Batman.

Re:

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:00 pm
by woody.cool
necronom wrote:The "Little Computer People" used to knock on the screen when they wanted your attention, but that was probably after Batman.
I believe so - Batman from from the early 80's - on Speccy and CPC only!!!

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:28 pm
by revgiblet
I thought that Boulderdash was one of the first to do this. At least, that's what I picked up from the RG article.

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:15 pm
by Antiriad2097
Other characters in Valhalla went about their own business, but I can't recall if the main character had an idle anim. Maziacs protagonist would indicate his impatience to get going iirc.

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:06 pm
by merman
Major Havoc from Atari has an idle/foot-tapping animation, that was 1983

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:56 am
by focusgaming
The first time I actually noticed was in the Spectrum version of Trivial Pursuit.... he used to try and hurry you up to answer a question :D

Re:

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:07 am
by CraigGrannell
revgiblet wrote:I thought that Boulderdash was one of the first to do this. At least, that's what I picked up from the RG article.
Peter's actual quote to me was: "I've seen this technique used in subsequent games, but I'd like to think I was the first to use it." Whether he actually was the first to use it or not is open to argument (and Merman's already noted that Major Havoc—which predates Boulder Dash—has something similar); still, Boulder Dash is definitely one of the first.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:27 am
by drws
Sonic was the first one I can remember seeing, and I loved waiting for the idle animations during Whirlwind Snooker on the Amiga.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:31 am
by felgekarp
The cursor in DOS used to blink on and off if you left it alone.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:56 am
by pforson
All this goes to prove is that computer games characters are bad and have no manners! If I need to wait for someone then I do it patiently. I would never be so impudent as to tap my foot at someone...

yours respectfully
pete

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:17 am
by Lindopski
I like the Idle in GTA San Andreas , the dude checking out tits and ass lol.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:33 am
by Opa-Opa
I have no idea about the first "idle" in a video game but what a great topic :)

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:53 am
by devilman
It's been a long time since I played it but did Maziacs have an 'idle' animation?