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.


BOX=ART series

>Golden Axe

Hacking its way on to the arcade and Sega’s home console’s in 1989, the iconic Golden Axe series would go on to inspire countless video games throughout the 90’s.



Paying obvious homage to the character Conan and Cimmerian’s world, the Golden Axe series box arts have been a great example of North American style fantasy art being produced by a variety of artists worldwide.


All box arts were produced using tradional art media other than the final game to date Golden Axe: Beast Rider with its computer art design.

Updated - 01/05/15, by Adam Gidney

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Golden Axe by Yashshi Torisawa. Published in 1990 by Sega, exclusively for the PC Engine CD. Torisawa would powerfully recreate the famous opening screen.

Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1989.

Designed for the EU/ JP Mega Drive markets.  

Also available on: na.


The series debut box art. It would be heavily influenced by the “swords & sorcery” genre made popular by fantasy novels and Hollywood in the 1980’s and blends western character art with eastern dragon designs.

The North American version would be a weaker effort both styalistically and artistically.


Golden Axe by Yoshiaki Yoneshima.

Notable Golden Axe box arts


English artwork, first published by Virgin Games in 1990.

Designed for the European market.  Commodore 64 version pictured.  

Also available on: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum.


The European home computer version woud have an exclusive cover art design by famed comic artist Dermot Power whose CV includes artworks for 2000 AD’s Slaine.    

Power’s background would make him an excellent choice, with this box art ending up as a thoroughly European take on the console counterparts, minus the glamour and sheen.

North America’s home computer version would comically pay a rather unfortunate lip service to the Master System’s terrible box art, replacing its art with a terrible photo.



Golden Axe by Dermot Power




Peruvian/ North American artwork, first published by Sega in 1991.

Designed for the EU/ NA Gensis/ Mega Drive markets.

Also available on: na.


One of great Vallejo box arts and to Sega’s credit a perfect choise of artist for this series.  It would be painted in oils.

The Japanese version would loose the glossy look and instead go for a muted pastel composition.

Boris would interestingly provide the box art for sequel, Golden Axe III, only for the game to not be released outside of Japan. Subsequently, and possibly due to publishing restrictions, the game’s box art was redone by a Japanese artist to far lesser effect.



Golden Axe II by Boris Vallejo



Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1991.

Designed for the Japanese Game Gear market.  

Also available on: na.


Jun’s second box art after the Japanese version for Golden Axe II . Ax Battler would remove the series usual barbarian look in favor of a rather odd traditional Eastern flavoured montage.

Artist Julie Bell’s version (below) would styalistically bring the series back on track again.


Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe by Jun Satoh



North American artwork, first published by Sega in 1992.

Designed for the EU/ NA Game Gear markets.

Also available on: na.


Possibly Julie’s first box art sge designed.

See BOX=ART review HERE.


Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe by Julie Bell



North American artwork, first published by Sega in 1996.

Designed for the North American Saturn market.

Also available on: na.


The first and only game in the series (thus far) to recieve a unique box art for each major region.

The box art was inspired by the Japanese flyer for the arcade exclusive, Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder.

Golden Axe: The Duel


Series box arts

1989

>Golden Axe (NA) Genesis.

>Golden Axe (EU/ JP) Mega Drive. (YY)

>Golden Axe (NA) Master System.

1990

>Golden Axe Warrior (NA) Master System.

>Golden Axe (EU) Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum,   (DP)

>Golden Axe (NA) Commodore 64, DOS.

>Golden Axe (JP) PCE-CD. (YT)

1991

>Golden Axe II (JP) Mega Drive. (JS)

>Golden Axe II (EU/ NA) Mega Drive/ Genesis. (BV)

>Ax Battler: Golden Axe Densetsu (JP) Game Gear. (JS)



1992

>Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (EU/ NA) Game Gear. (JB)

1993

>Golden Axe III (JP) Mega Drive.

1995

>Golden Axe: The Duel (JP) Saturn.

1996

>Golden Axe: The Duel (EU) Saturn.

>Golden Axe: The Duel (NA) Saturn.

2002

>Golden Axe (JP) Wonder Swan.

2008

>Golden Axe: Beast Rider (EU/NA) PS3/ Xbox 360.

Box artists

>Boris Vallejo (BV)

>Dermot Power (DP)

>Julie Bell (JB)





Related BOX=ART pages.




>Jun Satoh (JS)

>Yasushi Torisawa (YT)

>Yoshiaki Yoneshima (YY)

Ax Battler box art review page| BOX=ART

Ax Battler review page

Boris Vallejo box art artist page| BOX=ART

Boris Vallejo artist page

Julie Bell box art artist page| BOX=ART

Julie Bell artist page

Sources and further reading

>http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/goldenaxe/goldenaxe.htm

>http://segaretro.org/Golden_Axe

>Sega Mega Drive Collected Works book


golden-axe-PCE-big.jpg Dermot Power box art artist page| BOX=ART

Dermot Power artist page

Categories: Fantasy| Sega