The snail cursor

I’ve been a fan of the LucasFilm snail cursor since playing Zak on the C64 in my childhood.

I pleaded with Ron enough during development that he added it in as the pause cursor. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I wanted to crowd source a little ‘research’…

So far I’ve found a few variants of the cursor. The standard white snail used in the C64/V1 Dos/V2 Dos Maniac Mansion and Zak.

It appears as though the Amiga uses a slightly jazzier variant.

The Amiga version is drawn via code rather than read from data, oddly the Amiga binary also contains an un-referenced block of data that is identical to the C64 white snail.

It’s also in the Atari ST versions of MM and Zak, it’s a slightly different variation again.

The Loom/ Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade manuals also make reference to the snail cursor ‘When the disk is being accessed or the game is paused, the cursor may change or disappear. On some computers, a picture of a snail replaces the cursor during these times’

I’m not sure it was ever displayed in those games though, can anybody clarify that from memory?

Is anyone aware of the cursor being used in other Scumm games/platform variants?


I have played all the Lucasfilm games until Indy Fate of Atlantis, and I remember the snail cursor until Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders.

But since I am aware that my memory is fuzzy by now, I avoid to insist on this point.
I will check the games :wink:

This is a version for Atari Pong drawn by me. :laughing:



Hi Robert,
I can confirm that DOS versions of Zak and MM have the snail cursor, while starting from Indy & Last Crusade, it was disappeared.
Can’t check on Amiga right now, but I remember the second snail you pointed out.


This is the Amiga version:

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Thanks for that! Hopefully it’s not Snail TM

Haven’t seen this before!
I prefer the simple single-coloured one though :slight_smile:

Me too. It’s the original one, simple and clear.

I actually love this :slight_smile:

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I love the C64 one most of all but the Atari version is interesting too. I think it’s a bladder snail(I have a tank full of them next to my desk! :wink: )

I’d love to know the genesis of these, presumably it was to hint to players that the game was busy during long loading sequences but why was it a snail?. Maybe it was a jab at the slow disk speeds of the time?

I’d also love to know who drew them. Maybe @RonGilbert or @David can chip in?

Snails are very, very important in videogames :slight_smile:

“There are moments when a single snail can make a world go extinct.”

(The Snail was an animal mentioned in Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma. The snail was indirectly responsible for the events that catalyzed the entirety of the Zero Escape series, as well as the apocalypse of 2029 on Earth.)

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Pretty sure this was all @RonGilbert’s doing… first time I remember the snail was during Maniac Mansion production, kind of our subtle complaint about how slow the disk load times were.


I’m pretty sure it’s called Mansion Mansion…

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Yikes! fixed.

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It was after all the legal issue were resolved. David is remembering the original name.