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BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2019 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.
Artist index: Fr - Fu
Video game series index: Fi
Final Fantasy | Square | 1987 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | Famicom, MSX. (5)
Final Fantasy | Nintendo | 1990 | NA ver. | by GIRVIN | NES. (7)
Final Fantasy I-II | Square | 1994 | by Kazuko Shibuya | Famicom. (4)
Final Fantasy II | Square | 1988 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | Famicom. (6)
Final Fantasy II | Square | 1991 | NA ver. | SNES.
Final Fantasy III | Square | 1990 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | Famicom. (3)
Final Fantasy III | Square | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.
Final Fantasy IV | Square | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Kazuko Shibuya (chibis) & Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | Super Famicom.
Final Fantasy IV | Square | 1997 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | PS1.
Final Fantasy V | Square | 1992 | JPN ver. | by Kazuko Shibuya (chibis) & Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | Super Famicom.
Final Fantasy V | Square | 1998 | JPN ver. | by Kazuko Shibuya | PS1.
Final Fantasy VI | Square | 1994 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | Super Famicom. (1)
Final Fantasy VII | Eidos interactive | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | Windows.
Final Fantasy VII | Sony/ Square | 1997 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano | PS1. (2)
Final Fantasy VII | Sony | 1997 | NA ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | PS1.
Final Fantasy VII: International | Sony | 1997 | JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | PS1.
Final Fantasy VIII | Square | 1999 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | PS1.
Final Fantasy VIII | Square | 1999 | NA ver. | by Yoshitaka Amano (title/ logo) | PS1.
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー) by Yoshitaka Amano.
Japanese artwork. First published by Square in 1987 for the Japanese Famicom market.
Famicom ver. pictured.
The box art that debuted the enduring Final Fantasy (FF) series , would also be the start of Illustrator Yoshitaka Amano’s career in video games.
Yoshitaka would bring FF’s delicate ukiyo-e woodblock print to life through its wispy lines and vibrant colours, and flavour it with eastern romanticism. It was a cover art seeped in sorrow and anguish, setting the tone for one of gaming’s epic adventures.
FF’s artistry would speak volumes and be a central part of the game’s - and series’ - success’. Amano would complement Square’s vision of explaining how video games could emotionally appeal to their audience through story and art, and helped promote the Famicom to enormous levels of success.
Amano’s style of fine art was interestingly at odds with a great deal of Manga/ anime inspired Japanese box art of the day. This is especially apparent when you compare the cover art to FF’s main competitor Dragon Quest.
Unfortunately, as with much Japanese artwork from the late 80’s, FF’s cover art would be replaced, deemed too unsuitable for the American market in 1990, and not see a western release until over a decade later.
>Pictures from left to right - original box art, sketch and alternative colour version.
>Box art review
Adventures of Rad Gravity, The | Activision | 1990 | NES.
Alpha Mission | SNK Corp | 1987 | NA ver. | NES.
Athena | SNK Corp | 1987 | NA ver. | NES.
Burai Fighter | Taxan USA Corp. | 1990 | NES. (1)
Castlequest | Nexoft Corp. | 1989 | NA ver. | NES.
Cobra Command | Data East USA | 1988 | NA ver. | NES.
Commando | Data East USA | 1986 | NA ver. | Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, PC Booter.
Ikari Warriors II: Road to Victory | SNK | 1988 | NA ver. | NES.
Ikari Warriors II: Road to Victory | Data East | 1987 | PC Booter.
Karate Champ | Data East USA | 1985 | NES, Nintendo Disk System.
Karnov | Data East USA | 1987 | Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, NES, PC Booter (4)
Kung Fu Master | Data East USA | 1985 | Apple II, Atari 2600/ VCS, Commodore 64 (NA ver).
Ring King | Data East USA | 1987 | NA ver. | NES.
Tag team Wrestling | Data East USA | 1986 | NA ver. | Apple II, Commodore 64, NES, PC Booter. (2)
The famous comic book artist would get an early start in the video game industry producing artworks in many different forms including arcade cabinet facades to manual illustrations to magazine promotional pics and in-game character art.
He would be one of the earliest third party artists to produce box art for the NES under Data East USA. His distinctive cartoon style and vivid use of colour would be a welcome change to Nintendo’s black box covers (see Super Mario Bros. Metroid, Ice Climber etc…) that had dominated early NES releases.
>Box art catalogue
ICO | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS2, PS3. (1)
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2001 for the European and Japanese markets.
PS2 ver. pictured.
The acclaimed ICO would be a jewel in SCE’s crown and it’s box art a complimentary masterpiece in minimalism. Director and lead designer, Fumito Ueda would take inspiration from Giorgio de Chirico’s, The Nostalgia of the Infinite, stating “… I thought the surrealistic world of de Chirico matched the allegoric world of Ico”. It would certainly match the game’s mood more so than its in-game artistic direction, with the sense of grand architecture isolating - but far from engulfing - companions Ico and Yorda.
The North American cover art would by designed by artist Gregory Harsh. It would be used due to Fumito’s original not being ready for Ico’s American release date. The later European release opted for the Japanese original.
>Pictures from left to right - EU/ JPN box art, The Nostalgia of the Infinite and NA box art.
>Box art catalogue
>Box art review