BOX=ART: Retrogamer and modern video game box art history.


Video game box art and artist history database





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BOX=ART copyright ©2013 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.


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 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.

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.

123 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Box art index: Da - Du

Artist index: Da - Do

BOX=ART index

 >Da - Du

Video game series index: Do - Du

Dai-Chan.  Japanese box artist from 1995-2000.

Darkstalkers 3 | Capcom | 1998 | EU/ NA ver.

Resident Evil 2 | Capcom | 1998 | EU/ NA ver.

Resident Evil: Survivor | Capcom | 2000 | NA ver.

Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams | Capcom | 2000 | JPN/ NA ver.

Street Fighter Zero | Capcom | 1995.

Street Fighter Zero 2 | Capcom | 1996.

Daigo Ikeno (Ikeno Metaka).  Japanese box artist from 1996-2014.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2004 | PS2 ver.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ NA Dreamcast ver.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2000 | JPN Dreamcast ver.

Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2009.

Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition | Capcom | 2011.

Street Fighter IV: Collectors Edition | Capcom | 2009.

Street Fighter EX3 | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver.

Super Puzzle Fighter II | Capcom | 1996.

Super Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2010 | EU/ JPN ver.

Super Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2010 | NA ver

Ultra Street Fighter IV  | Capcom | 2014.

Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection | Capcom | 2005.


Dave Pether.  English box artist from 1993-1994.

Lemmings Chronicles, The | Psygnosis | 1994.

Puggsy | Psygnosis | 1994.

Wiz ‘n’ Liz | Psygnosis | 1993.

Dave McMacken.  North American box artist from 1983-1995.

Alien Syndrome | Sega | 1989 | DOS ver.

Archon: The Light and the Dark | EA | 1983 | Atari 8-bit ver.

Battle of Olympus | Broderbund | 1989 | NA ver.

Dark Heart of Uukrul, The | Broderbund | 1989.

Deathlord | EA | 1987.

Destiny of an Emperor | Capcom | 1990 | NA ver.

Legacy of the Ancients | EA | 1987.

Mars Saga | EA | 1988.

Ninja Gaiden | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver.

Operation: Clean Streets | Broderbund | 1988 | NA ver.

Secret of Evermore | Squaresoft | 1995.

Swords of Twilight | EA | 1989.

Toki | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA Mega Drive/ Genesis ver.

Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic | EA | 1988.

Shanghai | Actvision | 1986 | Apple II ver.

Total Carnage | Malibu Games | 1993.

Wings of Fury | Domark | 1991 | EU DOS ver.  

David John Rowe.  English box artist from 1983-1995.

David would obtain his B.A in Visual Communication in 1975.  Until he made his name as a box artist he would be a “jobbing artist”, illustrating for catalogues and painting from pets to pubs. He would be at the forefront of the UK’s and Europe’s box art scene in the early 1980’s.  Working for Spectrum studio Quicksilva, David along with artist’s Steinar Lund and Rich Shenfield in 1982 would pioneer the use of quality art used for video game box art.  

Up until then in Europe, little in the way of quality art was available lest it came from North America. The European industry was still finding its feet and was a far more modest enterprise than the monolithic one in America, and box art in general was either non-existent or crudely implemented.  

David’s first cover would be The Chess Player (1982), he would follow it up with the classic Ant Attack (1983). Sandy White’s isometric adventure would be well complimented by Rowe’s 1950’s B-horror movie style cover art, so much so that the game’s sequel Zombie Zombie (1984) would also be a Rowe. He would enjoy this new artistic expression allowed by the box art medium, stating it almost demanded the art to be fun and whimsy and early box arts were a mix of airbrushed liquid acrylics, coloured pencil.

3D-Pinball | Mastertronic plus | 1989.

Ant Attack | Quicksilva | 1983. (7)

Bill’s Tomato Game | Psygnosis | 1992.

Bounces | Beyond | 1986.

Budokan | EA | 1991 | EU ver.

Chameleon | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Chambers of Shaolin | Grandslam Entertainments | 1989. (3)

Chess Player, The | Quicksilva | 1982.

Chubby Gristle | Grandslam Entertainments Ltd. | 1988.

Clue! The | Kompart UK, Ltd. | 1994.

Continental Circus | Virgin Mastertronics | 1989.

Crosswize | Firebird Software | 1988.

Cygnus XI | Atari | 1989.

Dandy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Dante’s Inferno | Beyond | 1986.

Dark Castle | Mirrorsoft | 1987.

Dark Universe | Max Design GmbH & Co. | 1995.

Deathscape | Ariolasoft | 1987.

Death Wake | Quicksilva | 1985.

Delta | Thalamus | 1987.

Dogfight 2187 | Ariolasoft | 1987.

Enterprise | Masterronic plus | 1987.

F-16 Fighting Falcon | Virgin Mastertronics | 1990.

Fist II | Melbourne House | 1986.

Flood | Electronic Arts | 1990.

Flying Shark | Firbird Software | 1987.

Fred | Quicksilva | 1984.

Frenzy | Quicksilva | 1983. (4)

Friday the 13th | Bug Byte | 1989.

Glass | Quicksilva | 1985.

Hunter Killer | Mastertronic | 1990.

Hybrid | Ariolasoft | 1987.

I Ball II | Firebird Software | 1987.

Infodroid | Beyond | 1986.

IO | Firebird Software | 1988.

James Pond II: Codename Robocod | Electronic Arts | 1992.

John Madden Football | Electronic Arts | 1990 | EU ver. (8)

Kelly X | Virgin Mastertronic | 1989.

Micro Mouse | Mastertronic | 1989.

Monkey Nuts | Bug Byte | 1988.

Off the Hook | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Pandora | Firebird Software | 1988.

Peter Beardsley’s international Football | Grandslam Entertainment | 1988.

Populous | Electronic Arts | 1989. (5)

Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods | Electronic Arts | 1991.

Prodigy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Pyramax | Atari Corp. | 1990.

Risky Woods | Electronic Arts | 1992. (6)

River Raid | Firebird Software | 1987.

R.M.S. Titanic | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Shadow of the Beast III | Psygnosis | 1992. (2)

Sentinel, The | Firebird Software | 1986.

Silkworm | Mastertronic plus | 1991 | C64 ver.

Skyhawk | Quicksila | 1983.

Speedball | Image Works | 1988.

Spindizzy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Sting 64 | Quicksilva | 1984.

Super Aquatic Games, The | Electronic Arts | 1992. (1)

Tank Attack | CDS Software Ltd. | 1989.

Tempest | Electric Dreams Software | 1987.

Tetris | Mastertronic | 1989.

Tetris | Mirrorsoft | 1988.

Throne of Fire | Melboure House | 1987.

Ultisynth 64 | Quicksilva | 1983.

Way of the Exploding Fist, The | Melbourne House | 1985.

Wild West Hero | Timescape Software | 1983.

Will Harvey’s Zany Golf | Electronic Arts | 1989.

Winter Sports | Electric Dreams Software | 1985.

Xarax | Firebird Software | 1988.

Xarq: The Zimmerman Trenches | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.

Xeno | Bug Byte | 1986.

Yes, Prime Minister | Mastertronic plus | 1990.

Zombie Zombie | Quicksilva | 1984.

Coming into the 1990’s David would be a sought after box artist working for various publishers such as Electronic Arts, Domark and Core Design, producing diverse cover arts from the fantasy laced Risky Woods (1992) to cartooned hijinks of The Super Aquatic Games (1992).  His cover arts in this period would become more detailed and elaborate compared to his work in the 1980’s, where functional and basic covers such as The Way of the Exploding Fist (1985) gave way to creatively rich box arts such as Shadow of the Beast III (1992).

His work on the James Pond series would be familiar to children growing up with home computers in the early 1990’s and with this style of art he would bring lightness to Psygnosis’ portfolio with title’s Bills Tomato Game (1992) and Lemmings 2 (1993).

He would also move into the area of graphic design working on games such as platform hit Alfred Chicken (1993), and would be responsible for producing many magazine covers for Emap, Europress and Future Publishing.  Not one to let any media left untapped, David would work within television with his greatest contribution being the interior perspective paintings for the popular ITV children's programme "Knightmare".









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Dark Seed (グリーンベレー) by H. R. Giger.

Swiss artwork. First published by Cyberdreams in 1992. For the global market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, CD32, Macintosh, PS1, Saturn, Windows.

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>The original DOS box let you detach the diamond shaped artwork (it was a smaller and slightly raised box), offering a rare effort in box design that went beyond the usual video game casings.  

The rest of the game would also use Giger’s art, who was involved with the games art direction allowing Cyberdreams full access to his works.

The artwork is one of Giger’s more famous pieces dipicting Swiss actress Li Tobler and is named Li II. It was an airbrushed piece.    

>Pictured from the top - original DOS box art and Li II


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Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Vampire: The Night Warriors) by Bengus.

Japanese artwork. Published by Capcom globally in 1996 for the PS1 market.

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Death or Glory: Das Erbe von Morgan by Michael Hellmich.

German artwork. First published by Software 2000 in 1994 for the European market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga.  

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Deep Blue (ディープブルー・海底神話) by Itsuki Masaki.

Japanese artwork. Published by NEC Technologies Inc. in 1990 for the Japanese PCE market.

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Deep Space by Roger Dean.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1986 for European and North American markets.

Atari ST ver pictured. Also available on: Amiga.

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>Deep Space would be the second release by publisher Psygnosis and also the second box art by Roger Dean. Introduced was the black box design with a thin line of colour that would go on to be used on all Psygnosis releases over the coming years.  

The artwork depicts a space ship, but keeping with Roger’s organic style, it is amphibious rather than angular and mechanical.  This look would be again used on Dean’s cover for Aquaventura (1992).



Defender by Steve Hendricks.

North American artwork. First published by Atari in 1981 for the global market.

Atari 2600 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 8-bit, Atari 2800.  

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Demon Attack  by Michael Becker.

North American artwork. Published by Imagic in 1982 for the European and North American markets.

Atari 2600 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 8-bit, Intellivision, Odyssey 2, PC Booter, TI-99/4A, TRS-80, VIC-20.  

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Demon’s Forge, The by Oliver Frey.

English artwork. Published by Mastertronic in 1987 for the North American PC Booter market.

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>Frey’s artwork originally appeared on the cover of Zzap #13, 1986 and under the name Cauldron & Antiriad.  It is one of a handful of his covers that the US arm of Mastertronic used exclusively in the States.

The game was orignally released in 1981 and with a very different cover (see below).  

>Pictures from top - box art and Zzap cover.


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Demons Forge, The by Vicente Segrelles.

Spanish artwork. Published by Saber Software in 1981 for the North American Apple II market.  

>The legendary designer Brian Fargo’s first video game, The Demon’s Forge would be home to a box art of extraordinary detail and beauty.

Its high level of artistry would raise the bar on what had come before it, and gave an early taste of a style of art that post mid-80’s proliferated in the industry.

Painted in oils by Spanish artist Vicente Segrelles, it would be an early example (if not the earliest) of a recommissioned artwork used as a box art. Originally the cover art to Segrelles fantasy epic El Mercenario #3: Los Juicios (1980), it is also presently the earliest known example of a European artist’s art adorning an American video game.

The artwork was exclusively used for the Apple II, North American release, with the later PC Booster port (1987) getting a completely new cover art that paid little stylistic homage to the original - but is still rather good - and is the artists only known box art to date.

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David Martin.  English box artist from 1982-1985.

Air Rescue I | MicroProse | 1984.

Crusade in Europe | MicroProse | 1985.

Decision in the Desert | MicroProse | 1985.

F-15 Strike Eagle | MicroProse | 1985.

Kennedy Approach | MicroProse | 1985.

MiG Alley Ace | MicroProse | 1983.

NATO Commander | MicroProse | 1984.

Solo Flight | MicroProse | 1985.

Spitfire Ace | MicroProse | 1982.

David Schleinkfer.  North American box artist from 1982-1996.

Crossfire | Sierra On-Line | 1982 | PC Booter ver.

Dare Devil Derby 3D | Mindscape | 1996.

SimCity 2000 | Maxis | 1993 | DOS ver.

SimCity 2000 | Maxis | 1995 | Saturn ver.

SimCity 2000: Network Edition | Maxis | 1996.

SimCopter | EA | 1996.

SimTower | Maxis | 1995.

Derby Stallion ‘96 (ダービースタリオン96) by Susumu Matsushita.

Japanese artwork. Published by ASCII Entertainment in 1996 for the Japanese Super Famicom market.

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Dinosaur (ダイナソア) by Yū Kinutani.

Japanese artwork. Published by Falcom in 1990 for the Japanese market.

PC-98 ver. pictured. Also available on: PC-88, FM-Towns.  

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Dishonored by Charles Bae.

North American artwork. First published by Bethesda in 2012 for the European and North American markets.

Xbox 360 ver. pictured. Also available on: PS3, Windows.

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>Charles’ cover is a great example of modern box art design incorporating the rather prolific and consistant formula of “Hero + Logo = Box Art” (the artist’s words, 2010). It’s conservatism is certainly a product of the time, exposing the lack of risk taking modern publishers are willing to take on AAA products.

Bae and his company at the time Rokkan draw up high-contast black-and-white sketches before handing them over to media company Meduzarts who created the high-resolution final artwork.

>From the top - original box art and complete artwork.


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Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング Donkī Kongu).

First published by Nintendo in 1983 for the Japanese Famicom market.

Famicom ver. pictured. Also available on: NES, Game Boy Advance.

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>Donkey Kong would launch with the Famicom in 1983 along side Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye. All three would adopt a slightly Americanised cartooned look, with flat colouring and clean inking. This style of art would be used on all Nintendo published box arts throughout 1983-1984.

Certain countries in Europe (Spain, Germany and some Nordic nations) would receive the Famicom’s artwork but revised with greater deptjh of colour and shading applied. This was also the artwork that both Europe and Japan received when Nintendo re-released Donkey Kong under the NES Classic and Famicom Mini ranges.

>Pictures from the top - Famicom box art and revised artwork, Game Boy Advance NES Classics version.


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Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング Donkī Kongu) by Zavier Leslie Cabarga.

North American artwork. Published by Ocean Software in 1986 for the European market.  

MSX ver. pictured.  Also availble on: C64, ZX Spectrum.

>Cabarga’s Donkey Kong cover would be North America’s first exposure to both the titular ape and Nintendo’s future superstar-mascot Mario.

Originally created as the game’s arcade flyer (1981) it would be one of the recently formed Nintendo of America’s (NOA) first promotional efforts, and by far one of the companies most profusely used and recognisable of the era.

Cabarga’s name would be passed on by fellow illustrator Lou Brooks who had been NOA’s first choice but was unavailable at the time (Lou would go on a produce the Atari box art’s for Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr).  

The choice of artist would be inspired.  Donkey Kong was originally going to be a Popeye game but Nintendo of Japan (NOJ) was unable to secure the licence from animation studio Fleisher (they would the following year). Cabarga’s Kong characterisation is unmistakably Fleisher inspired (also the house of Betty Boop cartoons from the 1930s) which is understandable with the artist’s background: golden-era, animation historian and 1980’s Betty Boop illustrator.  He would interestingly parallel the game’s three characters with Popeye (Mario), Bluto (Kong) and Olive (Pauline), little knowing Donkey Kong’s original designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, had done the same.

The artwork was designed with opaque watercolour using an airbrush and he took inspiration from NOJ’s arcade flyer original – used on arcade cabinets worldwide – but would add gloves to Mario, a trait that from Super Mario Bros. (1985) onwards would become standard.

Interestingly Cabarga’s artwork would only be used as box art for the European home computer scene (Europe didn’t get the arcade version), and other than some Donkey Kong promotional designs for a Ralston cereal and Topps’ stickers he hasn’t to date produced any other covers.    

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Donkey Kong Jr (ドンキーコングJR) by Lou Brooks.

North American artwork. First tublished by Atari in 1983. For the European and North American markets.

Atari 7800 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200.  

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Doom II: Hell on Earth by Brom (Gerald Brom).

North American artwork. Published by id Software globally in 1994.  

DOS ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Game Boy Advance, Mac, PC-98, Windows.

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>Briefed with designing an artwork centred around ‘Marine vs. Cyberdemon’, Brom has stated he had a great deal of freedom in what he created.  This would go someway in explaining the differing look of ‘Doom Guy’ from Punchatz’s original characterisation on Doom.  

id’s first choice of painter for Doom was Julie Bell (Turrican, Splatterhouse 2, Eternal Champions), but the commission went to Brom after her depiction of the Cyberdemon was too much like a bulls.

The original piece was created logoless with Punchatz’s famous lettering later added.


Doom by Robert Motzcus.

North American artwork. First published by Williams Entertainment globally in 1995.

PS1 ver. pictured. Also available on: Saturn (JPN ver).  

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Doom 3 by Kenneth Scott.

North American artwork. Published by Activision in 2004 for the European and North American in markets.

Xbox ver. Pictured. Also available on Linux, Mac, Windows.

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>Lead artist Kenneth Scott would be responsible for the the character model used on the cover art.  It would be designed using computer art, a first for the series.


Double Dragon II: The Revenge by Kasumi Kakizaki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Technos Japan Corp. globally in 1989.  

NES ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Famicom, Mega Drive, PCE.

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>Double Dragon II’s box art would be a classic example in urban, beat ‘em up cover design.  But where other early examples of the genre such as Renegade (1987), Shinobi (1989) and Bad Dudes (1988) portrayed their characters in drab tones, Kasumi, in a way only a golden age Mangaka would dare to, saw fit to bath his brawlers in vibrant pinks, purples and oranges.  It added up to an explosive montage that saw western appeal being released worldwide on the NES.

The American and European home computer versions would take direct influence from the original but would instead unclutter the scene, tone down the palette and Americanise the characters further.  It would add up to an OK interpretation of the original.

Kasumi would illustrate the Japanese Game Boy version of the first Double Dragon, and the Japanese arcade flyer for Double Dragon III, his work on the series would end there. Presently no other box arts are accredited to him.


>The late Don Ivan Punchatz famed for his fantasy and sci-fi art would achieve what would possibly be his most recognisable work in the box art for id’s smash hit, Doom

The artist would dip his brush into a macabre pot and iconize “Doomguy” and his battle against the legions from hell in a work of art bereft of the usual surreal satire much of Don’s art encompassed.  He would also be responsible for the classic Doom logo which would end up being used on both sequels.

To keep development costs down and in budget, Don reduced his usual fee and refused a percentage of Doom’s profits - little knowing it would go on to be such a mega hit. But with one of the most popular and recognisable box arts of all time adding to an already impressive legacy, I’m sure he wasn’t wasn’t overly concerned…

Doom by Don Ivan Punchatz.

North American artwork. Published by id Software globally in 1993.  

DOS ver. pictured.  Also availble on: 3DO, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, Mac, PC-98, Sega 32X, SNES, Super Famicom, Windows.

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Dragon & Princess, The (ドラゴンアンドプリンセス).

Published by Koei in 1982 for the Japanese PC-6001 market.

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>The artwork is a very early example of box art design in Japan, credited as the first RPG cover art.  

It was a rather crude effort when compared to Koei’s later efforts, but arguably displayed a far higher understanding of promotional prowess in comparison to North America and Europe’s (amature) home computer beginnings.



Dragonfire by Michael Becker.

North American artwork. Published by Imagic in 1982 for the European and North American markets.

Intellivision ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 2600, ColecoVision, TRS-80, VIC-20.  

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Dragon Age: Inquisition by Matt Rhodes.

North American artwork. Published by Electronic Arts in 2014 for the European and North American markets.

Xbox One ver. pictured. Also available on: PS4, Windows.  

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Dragon Valor (ドラゴンヴァラー Doragon Varā) by Tarou Yamazaki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Namco in 1999 for the Japanese PS1 market.

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Dragons of Flame by Jeff Easley.

North American artwork. First published by SSI in 1989 for the global market.

C64 ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, DOS, Famicom, FM-Towns, NES, PC-98, ZX Spectrum.  

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Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト) by Akira Toriyama.

Japanese artwork. Published by Enix Corp. in 1986 for the Japanese market.

Famicom ver. pictured. Also available on: MSX.  

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Published by Activision in 1980 for the North American Atari 2600 market.

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>Dragster would be the worlds first 3rd party video game release.  Its distinctive use of bold colour and strong, simple design would be in sharp contrast to Atari’s cluttered, painterly efforts that had helped make the Atari VCS a roaring success (see Night Driver and Missile Command).

The use of rainbow colours would be repeated on future releases and gave Activision’s early covers a strong design brand.

At present, information about the studio and the artist/s that were responsible for Dragster’s design is lost.  


Drakkhen by CAZA (Philippe Caza).

French artwork. First published by Infogrames in 1989 and for the global market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, Atari ST, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.  

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Duke Nukem II by Robert G. Depew.

North American artwork. Published by Apogee Software in 1993 for the North American DOS market.

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Duke Nukem 3D by Robert Grace.

North American artwork. First published by GT Interactive Software in 1996 and for the global market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Genesis, N64, PS1, PS4, Saturn, Windows, Xbox 360.

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>Duke Nukem 3D’s unabashed stance of poking fun at/ paying homage to/ taking the piss out of popular culture up until the mid-90’s saw it’s box art deliberately take a stab at Don Ivan’s Doom cover (1992), but also various B-movie posters (see Army of Darkness, 1992).

The games wild popularity saw it released on many different formats worldwide and under many different re-release packages over the years, the most standout being the Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition (1996).

>Pictured from top - original box art and Atomic version.


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Duke Nukem: Zero Hour by Victor Gadino.

North American artwork. Published by GT Interactive in 1999 for the European and North American N64 markets.

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>Pictured from top - box art, original prilim sketch and Duke Nukem: Zero Hour promotional artwork (also a Gadino)


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Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior by Lela Dowling.

North American artwork. Published by Automated Simulations, inc. in 1980 for the North American market.

Atari 400 ver. pictured. Also available on: Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore  PET, TRS-80.  

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Dungeon Campaign by Robert C. Clardy.

North American artwork. Published by Synergistic Software, Inc. in 1978 for the North American Apple II market.  

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>Clardy’s cover would be wonderfully crude in a time when cover arts for home computer releases were usually the case, especially in comparison to there Atari VCS brothers. As was also the case in the late 1970’s no box shipped with the game, so the cover art here is the instruction manuals.

This cover also has the distinction of being the earliest to depict a dragon.


Dunjonquest: Sorerer of Siva by George Barr.

North American artwork. Published by Epyx in 1981 for the North American market.

TRS-80 ver. pictured. Also available on: Apple II.  

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Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai by Karen Gerving.

North American artwork. Published by Automated Simulations Inc. in 1979 for the North American market.  

TRS-80 ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Apple II, C64, DOS.

>The debut game in the series, Temple of Apshai would adopt a unique stencil art style that would go on to brand its many offshoots and sequels.   The term box art is slightly out of place here due to the original 1979 release being shipped within a clear plastic bag, complete with printed manual and disks (as was commonplace for late 70’s home computer games).   All post-1980 ports of the game would include boxes, and in the case of the CBS Electronics versions, a different cover art.

Compared to other home computer box arts from 1979, that in general were rather crude and simplistic, Temple of Apshai had more in common with the quality of art established by the 1970’s console scene (in comparison though its lack of box would exemplify the infancy of the 1979 home computer scene).  This quality undoubtedly contributed to the games huge success with a massive 30,000-40,000 units sold (!)

The 1985 remake, Temple of Apshai Trilogy would do away with the originals abstract style and instead adopt the fast becoming fashionable, high fantasy look.

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Dunjonquest: The Datestones of Ryn by Jonquille Albin.

Published by Epyx in 1979 for the North American market.

Apple II ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 400/ 800, TRS-80.  

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David Stoupakis.  North American box artist in 2000.

Thief II: The Metal Age | Eidos | 2000.

Dermot Power.  English box artist from 1990-1992.

Of Irish decent and growing up in a family of artists, the young Dermot would move to London in 1987 with the career aspirations of illustrating within the comic book industry.

In 1989 he’d interview with Virgin Mastertronics who, unknowingly to the artist, happened to be producing a Judge Dredd home computer game. Dermot’s portfolio of comic art strips would land him the job designing the cover. His portrayal of Dredd was duly noted by the comic book anthology 2000 AD and within a few months of the games release he’d be commissioned to pen his first comic cover for Megazine prog #699.

Follow up cover for Virgin, Sega’s arcade smash Golden Axe (1990), would stylistically set the tone for much of the artist’s early character art. Scorned with deep, fissured muscle formations, heavily shaded and painfully bulging, his characters would feed a generation of kids still greedy for the excessive action hero of 80’s movie pop culture. But the 80’s pomp and glossy sheen of Hollywood (see Boris Vallejo’s box art catalogue) was nowhere to be found in these covers. Dermot’s art would instead glamorize the hard-edged style that illustrators, and influences, Frank Frazetta and Metal Hurlant alumni, Moebius (Panzer Dragoon, JPN Saturn ver.) and CAZA (Kult, Drakkhen) had popularized, and would help further establish Europe’s most prolific and creative box art period.

The 1991 cover for Wonderland saw the artist embark upon a long history of illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland characters that would also take him into TV with the Hallmark series (1999), and into film with Tim Burton’s 2010 film offering. Lure of the Temptress (1992), would be Dermot’s final box art and the beginning of an 18-year hiatus from the video game industry that would be briefly interrupted in 2010 with some design concept work for 2K’s Bioshock 2. His role on this project would be far removed from the humble beginnings at Virgin, being more akin to film conceptual design, and wonderfully illustrated the complex demands that could be required of the modern box artist.

As was common of the period all of Dermot’s box arts were created using traditional media, specifically acrylic and gouache on Cs2 paper. Today, the artist is very much a digital proponent.





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Golden Axe | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990. (3)

Judge Dredd | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990.  

Lure of the Temptress | Virgin Mastertronic | 1992. (1)

Magnetic Scrolls Collection, The | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991.  

Realms | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991.  

Sarakon | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991. (2)

Supremacy | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990.  

Wonderland | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991. (4)

Denis R. Loubet.  North American box artist from 1981-2002.

Akalabeth: World of Doom | California Pacific Computer Co. | 1981.

Arx Fatalis | JoWooD Productions Software AG | 2002.

Autoduel | ORIGIN Systems | 1985.

Caverns of Callisto | ORIGIN Systems | 1983.

Exodus: Ultima III | ORIGIN Systems | 1983.

Omega | ORIGIN Systems | 1989.

Orge | ORIGIN Systems | 1986.

Pagan: Ultima VIII | ORIGIN Systems | 1994.

Ring Quest | StarCraft Inc. | 1985.

Shadowcaster | ORIGIN Systems | 1993.

Tangled Tales | ORIGIN Systems | 1989.

Times of Lore | ORIGIN Systems | 1988.

Ultima I: The First Age of Darkess | ORIGIN Systems | 1986.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | ORIGIN Systems | 1985.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny | ORIGIN Systems | 1988.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet | ORIGIN Systems | 1993.

Ultima IX: Ascension | EA | 1999.

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss | ORIGIN Systems | 1992.

Ultima Underwold II: Labyrinth Worlds | ORIGIN Systems | 1993.

Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2 - Martian Dreams | ORIGIN Systems | 1991.

Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire | ORIGIN Systems | 1990.

Designers Republic, The.  English box artist studio from 1995-2000.

Grand Theft Auto | Take-Two | 1997 | EU/ NA ver.

Hardwar | Interplay Entertainmant | 1998 | EU ver.

WipEout | Psygnosis | 1995.  

WipEout 2097 | Psygnosis | 1996 | EU ver.

Wip3out | Sony | 1999 | EU/ NA ver.

Wip3out | Sony | 2000 | JPN ver.

Wip3out: Special Edition | Sony | 2000 | JPN ver.

Dieter Rottermund.  German box artist from 1992-1995.

A320 Airbus: Edition USA | Thalion Software | 1993.

Albion | Blue Byte Softwrea | 1995.

Ambermoon | Thalion Software | 1993.

Amberstar | Thalion Software | 1992.

Lionheart | Thalion Software | 1992.  

Drew Struzan.  North American box artist from 1986-2009.

The famous poster artist would lend his talents to the box art medium with either already commissioned film posters such as Star Wars: Episode 1 and the Back to the Futures or exclusive artworks such as Crimson Skies and Spyro.  All would exude Drew’s immeasurable skill for character art and add an enviable Hollywood sheen.

Back to the Future | Electric Dreams Software | 1986.  

Back to the Future II & III | LJN Ltd. | 1990.  

Back to the Future III | image Works | 1991.  

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge | Microsoft Game Studios | 2003.  

Cutthroat Island | Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. | 1995.  

Fintstones in Viva Las Rock Vegas | Midas Interactive | 2003.  

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb | LucasArts | 2009.  

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine | LucasArts | 2000.  

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom | Mindscape | 1987.  

Masters of the Universe: The Movie | Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd. | 1987.  

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace | LucasArts | 1999.  

Spyro: A Heroes Tales | Vivendi Universal Games Inc. | 2004.  

Don Dixon.  North American box artist from 1980-1982.

Eliminator, The |  Adventure international | 1981.  

Mask of the Sun | Ultrasoft Inc. | 1982.  

Mission Asteroid | On-line Systems | 1980.  

Savage Island: Part 1/ Part 2 | Adventure International | 1981.  

Don Ivan Punchatz.  North American box artist in 1993.

Doom | id Software | 1993.  

Dan Quarnstrom.  North American box artist from 1984-1986.

The artist would start out as an illustrator before later going into design work. Along the way Dan picked up a few cover art and magazine promotional art jobs. All were bold comic art style pieces where the artist first of all designed striking black and white artworks - using with pen and ink - and then ‘trapped’ the underlying colour.

Later Dan would work for Rhythm & Hues - an animation and visual effects studio.  While there he’d be heavily involved in the design for Eggs of Steal (Hello Charlie!! In Japan). Even though the game was not successful the artist remembers the time very fondly.

Eggs of Steal | Enix | 1998 | JPN ver | with Nick Pugh and Sei Nakashima.

Eggs of Steal | Atlus Software | 1998 | NA ver | with Nick Pugh and Sei Nakashima.

Skyfox II: The Cygnus Conflict | EA | 1988.

Spy vs. Spy III: Arctic Antics | Epyx | 1986 | NA C64 ver.

Zaxxon | Sega | 1984 | Atari 5200 ver.

Doom.  Id Software video game series from 1993-2017.

Doom | id Software | 1993 | DOS ver. | by Don Ivan Punchatz. (3)

Doom | Williams Entertainment | 1995 | PS1 ver. | by Robert Motzcus.

Doom | GT Interactive | 1997 | EU/ NA Saturn ver.

Doom | Bethesda | 2016 | PS4/ Xbox One/ PC ver.

Doom | Bethesda | 2017 | Switch ver. (4)

Doom: Collectors Edition | Activision | 2001.

Doom: Collectors Edition | Bethesda | 2016.

Doom II: Hell on Earth | id Software | 1994 | by Brom. (1)

Doom 3 | Activision | 2004 | by Kenneth Scott.

Doom 3: BFG Edition | Bethesda | 2012.

Doom 3 (Limited Collectors Edition) | Activision | 2005.

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil | Activision | 2005.

Doom 64 | Midway Games | JPN ver. | 1997.

Doom 64 | Midway Games | EU/ NA ver. | 1997.

Final Doom | id Software | 1996. (2)

Master Level for Doom | id Software | 1995.

Ultimate Doom, The: Thy Flesh Consumed | id Software | 1995 | by Gregor Punchatz.





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Dunjonquest.  Epyx video game series from 1979-1985.

Date Stone of Ryn | Petsoft | 1979. (1)

Dunjonquest: Datestones of Ryn | Epyx | 1979 | by Jonquille Albin.  

Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra | Epyx | 1981 | by Karen Gerving.

Dunjonquest: Danger in Drindisti | Epyx | 1982.

Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior | Epyx | 1980 | by Lela Dowling.

Dunjonquest: Morloc’s Tower | Epyx | 1980 | by Jonquille Albin.

Dunjonquest: Sorcercer of Siva | Epyx | 1981 | by George Barr.

Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1979 | by Karen Gerving. (3)

Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1983.

Dunjonquest: The Keys of Acheron | Epyx | 1981.

Gateway to Apshai | Epyx | 1983 | NA ver.

Gateway to Apshai | CBS Electronics | 1984 | EU ver.

Le Temple D’Apshai | Sogiciel | 1983.

Rescue at Rigel | Epyx | 1980 | by George Barr.

Temple of Apshai Trilogy | Epyx | 1985 | by Ken Macklin. (2)

Upper Reaches of Apshai | Epyx | 1981 | by Karen Gerving.





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