Menu Disks... Love them for the opportunity to play more games or hate them for prematurely killing the Atari ST gaming scene. That's up to you. But one thing you cannot deny is how great they are with funky menus featuring great visuals, music and scrollers. These disks are an essential part of Atari ST history.
Some are incredible with jaw-dropping intros doing things a programmer employed by a commercial gaming company could only dream of. I have many favourites myself, like Dream Weavers, but I also adored: Automation, Fusion, Elite, FOF, Cynix, FOFT, Zulu, Mad Vision, POV, Bad Brew Crew and more. Ahh, the list is almost endless!
Sadly, not many of us kept these floppies - or they have stopped working over recent years. These menus are getting harder to find and some have disappeared from existence, which is terrible. Thankfully, a website has taken up the challenge to preserve this part of Atari ST's history. It's called Stonish and is run by Bruno Mathieu.
I asked Bruno why Stonish and what he hopes to achieve:
"Stonish.net tries to collect all menu disks made on Atari ST. They are mainly games menus, but it will feature tools, demos and mod menus in the next months. The site provides more than 1600 disks at the moment (more to come). All disks have been tested and some of them have been repaired.
The goal is, of course, to provide a safe database for all disks, but not only. Some crews didn't spread very well their disks. A lot of compilations have been lost since the 80's. So we need to fill the gap: any help is welcome ;) This is the first of the website, which will probably evolve in the next months."
Many disks have now been rescued but there is still lots missing so please, if you find anything lurking in your attic then consider helping. Stonish is a great website, doing great work, I wish them much success!