I'll throw a rock...
remember SWIV on the amiga? vertical shooter tank and heli reminiscent of the arcade silkworm, but vertical instead of horizontal.
So, that game, by sales curve, was a masterpiece of code as it would play the game from beginning to the end with simultaneous loading of titles for background and sprites and bob. Although it was said to load gfx and palletes simultaneously, it was done briefly during some places where no enemy sprites were there and a common background with general simple titles was displayed.
Like the idea above, it was a brief pause of a second and it was during a level.
At the end of a level with it's guardian, it would load again while the guardian was exploding.
It was really clever into disguising the load,
a loooot diferent from shadow of the beast 2 and 3 where everything except music would freeze for some 30 seconds...
Anyway, just a set of ideas, hope it inspires.