All information on this site is through my own findings and is believed to be correct.  Any corrections, errors or admissions that need to be made, or artists that would like to be involved in BOX=ART, please feel free to contact me.

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About BOX=ART

BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.


Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1986 and used across all major teritorries.

Famicom version pictured.  

Also available on: Commodore 64, Nintendo Disk System, DOS, Game Boy Advance, MSX 2, NES, X68000.


The series debut box art would depict the whip-tottering Belmont hero, the character art being based on illustrator Frank Frazetta’s famous ‘Norseman’ painting (1972).

It was the only box art to promote the game - an unusual decision for the time, and was used across more gaming formats than any other in the series.  

Castlevania

Notable Castlevania box arts

Riding on the back of the popular 80’s barbarian craze, Castlevania’s debut box art in 1986 would depict a hulking and anglicanised protagonist set against a back drop of eastern European horror clichés.  It would be the archetype design for all subsequent box arts (discounting the two Kid Dracula games) until Akihiro Yamada’s Dracula XX (1995), and also the most widely used box art in the series history.  


With Dracula XX a more Japanese anime look was adopted and helped bridge affermentioned period of western influence to the start of artist, Ayami Kojima, eastern influenced time with the series.  The stunning, Symphony of the Night (1997) for the PlayStation would be Kojima’s first cover art and its romantized art style made for a delicate and resolutely Japanese flavoured box art.  


She would by the series main stay illustrator for the majority of box arts running through the PlayStation 1 and 2 periods and is the longest running artist used thus far.


The series come the mid-00 started to use a variety of artists with more leanings towards tradition Manga and anime styles of art (Portrait of Ruin, Judgement and Order of Ecclesia), only for it to be brought back to its more fantasical horror roots with the psuedo-series off-shoot, Lord of Shadows (2010).  


BOX=ART profiles the cover art hisory behind Konami’s long running gothic series Castlevania.




BOX=ART series

 >Castlevania


Posted - 06/07/16, by Adam Gidney

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North American artwork. First published by Konami in 1990 and designed for the EU/ NA NES markets.

Also available on: na.


Tom Dubois would become the first westerner and the only North American to date to create a series cover.

Based on the famous designs by Ray Harryhausen and created in Alkayd, Dracula’s Curse would arguably better all series covers that had come before it.

Tom would go on to produce series box arts, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania II: Belmonts Revenge and Castlevania: Bloodlines.


Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse by Tom Dubois



Super Castlevania IV. Published in 1991 by Konami. One of the great SNES box arts and possibly artist Tom Dubois’ finest.  This cover has the distinction of being far superior to it’s Japanese counterpart - something that happened very infrequently at the time.  The Japanese version was the first Super Famicom box in landscape format.  

castlevania-IV-SNES-big.jpg

Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1993 for the Japanese PC Engine market.

PC Engine version pictured.  

Also available on: SNES.


Rondo of Blood would be remade in 1995 as Castlevania: Dracula X in Europe and North America and Castlevania: Dracula XX in Japan. Confusingly, the North American box art for the remake would adopt this cover, whereas Japan would commission Akihiro Yamada for the below masterpiece - the European version used a cropped version of this.

Rondo of Blood and Dracula XX would signal the end of the anglicanised style of character art that had dominated previous covers as the series’ artistry moved into the Ayami Kojima period and became more eastern flavoured.



Castlevania: Rondo of Blood



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1995 and used across the EU/ JP markets.  

Super Famicom version pictured.  

Also available on SNES.


Akihiro’s wounderful cover adopts a more anime look than had previously been seen, complete with a colour palette that is delicate and sumptuous.

The heavy use of darks would again be used over a decade later by Takeshi Obata on Castlevania: Judgement.

BOX=ART review  HERE.




Castlevania: Dracula XX by Akihiro Yamada



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1998 for the Japanese Saturn market.

Also available on: na.


Ayami’s second box art for the series would undoubtably have been a part of the previous years art sessions that the PlayStation’s, The Symphony of the Night came out of.

The change in art direction for the series was pivotal in making it critically relavent once again, with Ayami not only designing character and concept art but also in-game sprite art.

The dark, gothic style of art would be the basis for all other Kojima Castlevania box arts and at the time was a shining gem in a sea of CGA produced covers.

BOX=ART review HERE.




Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by Ayami Kojima

Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1999 for the Japanese Nintendo 64 market.  

Also available on na.


Castlevania 64’s cover would be the first computer generated designed box art in the series - the favoured media in the N64 persiod. Along with sequel Legacy of Darkness they were the only games in the series to receive a different cover art in each of the three major regions.


Castlevania 64 by Tomohiro Morisawa



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 2001 for the worldwide Game Boy Advance market.  

Also available on: na.


The box art’s anime leanings would be a change in art direction for artist Ayami Kojima and one that didn’t last long.  It was more than likely seen as a way of appealing to the Game Boy Advance’s younger audience.


Castlevania: Circle of the Moon by Ayami Kojima



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 2001 for the EU/ JP PlayStation markets.

Also available on: na.


This remake of the Sharp X68000 Castlevania game would remove that box art’s hulking demon hunter character art and instead place the art style firmly in line with recent cover.



Castlevania: Chronicle by Ayami Kojima



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 2007 for the EU/ JP Nintendo DS markets.

Also available on: na.


Masaki’s, thus far, only series box art would be commisioned after the fan backlash brought on by the change in art direction of the previous two Nintendo DS games, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. Masaki’s art style would eschew these covers Manga-lite representaions and instead go for something more inline with what Ayami Kojima had proven successful.



Castlevania: Order of the Ecclesia by Masaki Hirooka



Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 2008 for the worldwide Wii market.  

Also available on: na.



Castlevania: Judgement by Takeshi Obata



Castlevania series box arts

1986

>Castlevania (worldwide) Commodore 64, Disk System, DOS, Famicom, Game   Boy Advance, MSX 2, NES, X68000.

1987

>Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (worldwide) Disk System, NES.

1989

>Castlevania: The Adventure (worldwide) Game Boy.

>Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (JP) Famicom.

1990

>Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (EU/ NA) NES. (TD)

>Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun (JP) Famicom, Game Boy.

1991

>Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (JP) Game Boy.

>Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (EU/ NA) Game Boy. (TD)

>Super Castlevania IV (JP) Super Famicom.

>Super Castlevania IV (EU/ NA) SNES. (TD)

1993

>Kid Dracula (EU/ NA) Game Boy.

>Castlevania X68000 (JP) X68000.

>Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (JP/ NA) PC Engine, SNES.

1994

>Castlevania: Bloodlines (NA) Genesis. (TD)

>Castlevania: Bloodlines (EU/ JP) Mega Drive.

1995

>Castlevania: Dracula XX (EU/ JP) SNES, Super Famicom. (AY)

1997

>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (EU/ JP) PlayStation. (AK)

>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (NA) PlayStation.

>Castlevania: Legends (worldwide) Game Boy.

1998

>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (JP) Saturn. (AK)

1999

>Castlevania 64 (JP) Nintendo 64. (TM)

>Castlevania 64 (NA) Nintendo 64.

>Castlevania 64 (EU) Nintendo 64.

>Castlevania: Legend of Cornell (JP) Nintendo 64.

>Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (NA) Nintendo 64.




2000

>Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (EU) Nintendo 64.

2001

>Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (AK)

>Castlevainia: Chronicles (EU/ JP) PlayStation. (AK)

>Castlevania: Chronicles (NA) PlayStation. (AK)

2002

>Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (AK)

2003

>Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (AK)

>Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (NA) PlayStation 2. (AK)

>Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (JP) PlayStation 2. (AK)

2004

>Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (EU) PlayStation 2.

2005

>Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (worldwide) PlayStation 2, Xbox. (AK)

>Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (worldwide) Nintendo DS.

2006

>Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (worldwide) Nintendo DS.

2007

>Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (worldwide) PSP. (AK)

2008

>Castlevania: Judgement (worldwide) Wii. (TO)

>Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (EU/ JP) Nintendo DS. (MH)

>Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (NA) Nintendo DS. (MH)

2010

>Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (worldwide) PS3, Xbox 360. (JLV)

2013

>Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (JP/ NA) 3DS. (JLV)

>Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (EU) 3DS. (JLV)

2014

>Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (worldwide) PS3, Xbox 360, Windows. (JLV)

Spanish artwork. First published by Konami in 2013 for the European 3DS market.  

Also available on: na.


Jose would be the first and thus far only European box artist in the series.  

The style of art would reminisce Ayami Kojima’s but with character designs that dropped her delicate, femine look and instead opted for heavy-set, masculine figures.     

The same art style would be used on the console version, Castlevania: Lord of Shadows and it’s sequel.




Castlevania: Lord of Shadows - Mirror of Fate by Jose Luis Vaello


Sources and further reading:

>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlevania

>http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Castlevania_Wiki


Related BOX=ART pages.


Series box artists.

>Akihiro Yamada. (AY)

>Ayami Kojima. (AK)

>Jose Luis Vaello. (JLV)

>Masaki Hirooka. (MH)





>Takeshi Obata. (TO)

>Tom Dubois. (TD)

>Tomohiro Morisaw. (TM)


Ayami Kojima box art artist page| BOX=ART

Ayami Kojima artist page

Symphony of the night box art review page| BOX=ART

SOTN review page

Dracula XX review page

Dracula XX l box art review page| BOX=ART

Categories: American artist| Castlevania| Fantasy| Konami| Japanese artist

Tom Dubois box art artist page| BOX=ART

Tom Dubois artist page