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.

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Box art index - A

Box art index: Ga - Gy

Artist index: Ga - Gr

BOX=ART index


Gerald Brom - see Brom.

George Barr.  North American box artist from 1980-1983.

Crush, Crumble and Chomp | Epyx | 1983.

Dragon’s Eye | Epyx | 1981.

Dunjonquest: Sorerer of Siva | Epyx | 1981.

Rescue at Rigel | Epyx | 1980.

Star Warrior | Epyx | 1980.

Sword of Fargoal | Epyx | 1983.

George Opperman.  North American box artist in 1981.

Missile Command | Atari | 1981.

Gary McNamara.  English box artist from 1983-1990.

Alchemist | Imagine Software | 1984.

Battle Command | Ocean Software | 1990.

Bewitched | Imagine Software | 1983.

George I. Parrish Jnr.  North American box artist from 1986-1988.

Guderian | The Avalon Hill Game Company  | 1986.

Spitfire ‘40 | The Avalon Hill Game Company  | 1986.

Under Fire! | The Avalon Hill Game Company  | 1988.

Games Pack 1.

Published by AcornSoft in 1981 for the European Acorn Atom market.

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>Games Pack 1 would be the start of 11 video game packs that AcornSoft released for its short lived Atom machine.  

Pack 1’s box art is an early example of European graphic design being used on cover arts.  Its look would fall in line with other software releases - outside of gaming - that AcornSoft also produced at the time.  

The lack of art to promote the Pack might seem odd, but the little competition at this point in the European home-computer scene meant that there was hardly a need to stand out from the crowd.  Also, these packs were not sold in shops but rather by mail order, again adding to lack of need to have an attention grabing artwork.  This attitude would change through with the painterly artworks that publisher Quicksilva started to produce for the ZX Spectrum in 1982.    


Gauntlet by Joseph Chiodo.

North American artwork. First published by Tengen Inc in 1987 for the European and North American markets.

NES ver. pictured. Also available on: Genesis.  

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Golden Axe (戦斧) by Yoshiaki Yoneshima.

Japanese artwork. First published by Sega in 1989 for the Japanese Mega Drive market and then 1990 for the European.

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>Debut box art for the series.

The box art would be heavily influenced by the ‘swords and sorcery’ genre made popular by Hollywood in the 1980’s, blending both western characters with eastern dragon designs.

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


Golden Axe (戦斧) by Dermot Power.

English artwork. Published by Virgin Mastertronics in 1990 for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64 and ZX Spectrum markets.  

C64 ver. pictured.

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>The European cover art employed famed comic artist Dermot Power whose CV includes artworks for comic book 2000 AD’s barbarian character Slaine.    

Slaine’s unashamed aping of Conan would make Power an excellent choice, and the box art ended up as a thoroughly European take bereft of the glossiness seen on the console versions.

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


Golden Axe II (ゴールデンアックスⅡ) by Boris Vallejo.

Peruvian/ North American artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the European and North American Mega Drive/ Genesis markets.  

>One of great Vallejo box arts, painted in oils and full of the high detail he was made famous for.

The Japanese version of Golden Axe II would loose the high gloss look and instead go for a muted pastel composition.

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Guardian Legend, The (ガーディック外伝) by Naoyuki Katoh.

Japanese artwork. Published by IREM in 1988 for the Japanese Famicom market.  

>The Japanese exclusive box art by famed illustrator Naoyuki Kato would prove an artistically complex and mature effort within the Famicom’s catalogue.  

The Guardic cyborg’s design would take inspiration from the fetish, steampunk world of H. R Giger and Europe’s pantheon of artist’s that made up the roster of 70’s magazine, Métal Hurlant.  It would interestingly pay little homage to the in game character design, and because of this, could well have been a recommisioned job rather than an original.

The title banner’s vibrant pallette and metallic sheen added to the composite well, but would have benefited from being smaller and not drawing the eye so much.

North America and Europe would both adopt a different box art on release - probably due to the different publisher in each region - with the later's characterisation crossing the game’s heroine and Katoh’s design.  Neither would compare to the Japanese original.

>Pictures from top - Famicom box art and original artwork.

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Gyruss (ジャイラス Jairasu) by Tomo Yamamoto.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami in 1988 for the Japanese and North American markets.

NES ver. pictured. Also available on: Disk System.  

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Guerilla War (ゲバラ) by Marc William Ericksen.

North American artwork. Published by SNK Corp. in 1989 for the North American NES market.

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Gods by Simon Bisley.

English artwork. Published by Mindscape in 1991 for the European and Japanese markets.

Mega Drive ver pictured. Also available for Amiga, Atari ST.  

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>Strikingly thematic as if resembling some well-preserved Grecian plaque, Gods’ boldness, detail and palette fitted the in-game’s artistic direction perfectly.  But it was the cover art’s portrayal of strength that worked so brilliantly, with the hulking protagonist, weighty, brutal and iron clad, dealing death so effortlessly.  

Gods’ art style would standout from realism found in so many fantasy box arts in the early 90’s. Artist Simon Bisley would instead draw upon the stylised look of his comic book work found in 2000 AD and most prominently his depiction of warrior king Slaine - a character not far removed from the game’s protagonist.  

With Simon’s preferred medium being acrylic, chances are Gods was created using it along with anything from coloured pencils, to oils and car spray paint.

Gitaroo Man Lives! (ギタルマン ライブ! Gitaru Man Raibu!) by 326 (Mitsura Nakamura)

Japanese artwork. Published by Koei globally in 2006 for the PSP.  

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Gitaroo Man (ギタルマン, Gitaru Man) by 326 (Mitsura Nakamura)

Japanese artwork. Published by Koei in 2002 for the European and North American PS2 markets.  

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>Gitaroo Man follows what is seemingly a consistent trend within the rhythm game genre of employing impossibly wacky and exaggeratedly freaky looking individuals (see, PaRappa the Rapper, Elite Beat Agents and Space Channel 5).

The series artist, 326, known for his ‘super kawaii’ or ‘cute’ characters would be drafted in on design duties for both promotional and in-game art. He’d come up with a cover brimming with childish innocence but devilishly laced with nightmarish robotic and patch worked details.

The artist’s self-taught style has always been shocking in its subtleties. The odd exposed brain here or randomly drawn genitalia there are mischievously woven amidst soft toy characters, and can be somewhat difficult to absorb.  In comparison, Gitaroo Man’s cover was a more toned down affair, but at some level still maintains these difficult and unsettling juxtapositions.

Ghost Pilots (ゴーストパイロット) by Shinkiro (Toshiaki Mori).

Japanese artwork. Published by SNK in 1991 for the Japanese Neo Geo AES market.

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>One of Shinkiro’s early period box arts and distinguished for being one of a handful that don’t have the artist’s distinctive character art emblazoned across the cover.

It is also one of the artists personal favorite covers.

The lettering looks like it was shamelessly ripped of from Nintendo’s F-Zero game, released two months previous.


Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (大魔界村) by Ian Naylor.

English artwork. Published by U.S Gold in 1989 for the European market.

Atari ST ver. Pictured. Also available on: Amiga, C64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

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>A reworking of the Japanese arcade flyer with the original’s anime look replaced by a fantasy paint job in line with what European box artists of the day were designing.

>Pictures from top - Original box art and arcade poster.


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Gitaroo Man (ギタルマン, Gitaru Man) by 326 (Mitsura Nakamura

Japanese artwork. Published by Koei in 2001 for the Japanese PS2 market.

Glass by David John Rowe.

English artwork. Published by Quicksilva in 1985 for the European ZX Spectrum market.

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Golden Axe III (ゴールデンアックスⅢ) by Sohhei Oshiba.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1993 for the Japanese Mega Drive market.

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>The finished box art would take a rather transatlantic route, in that it was a reimagining of a Boris Vallejo original called ‘Silver Sword’.  

At some point Golden Axe III was set to be released in North America and so Sega of America commissioned Vallejo - who had already done Golden Axe II’s cover. The game was then canned but Vallejo’s artwork went on to be used as the basis for Japan’s cover art version.  It is likely that the Japanese didn’t have the rights to Boris’ art.

As with many Vallejo paint jobs, the female warrior is his wife and fellow artist Julie Bell.

>Pictures from the top - original box art and unused Vallejo artwork.


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Golf by Jerrol Richardson.

North American artwork. Published by Mattel Electronics in 1980 for the North American Intellivision market.

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Gradius II (グラディウスII GOFERの野望) by Akira Nishimura.

Japanese artwork. First published by Konami in 1988 for the Japanese market.

X68000 ver. pictured. Also available on: Famicom, PC Engine Super CD ROM, PSP.  

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Gradius Gaiden (グラディウス外伝 Gradiusu Gaiden) by Yoshihiro Hashizume.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami in 1997 for the Japanese PS1 market.

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Gradius V (グラディウスV) by Hidetaka Tenjin.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami globally in 2004 for the PS2 market.

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Grand Theft Auto III by Stephen Bliss.

English artwork. First published by Rockstar Games in 2001 for the European PS2 market.

PS2 ver. pictured. Also available on: Windows (2002).  

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>Loaded with American blaxploitation and cop movie clichés, Grand Theft Auto III’s (GTA) European box art would be a throwback to explosive 1970’s film poster art.

Stephen’s caricatured characters, full of gross societal parodies, would interestingly be at odds with GTA’s gritty realism depicted in game. It’s 1970’s look would also disagree with the game’s early 2000’s setting, but the chaotic mash up of villains, fast cars and explosions would bridge the game and box art perfectly.

The movie poster look can also be seen to parallel the game’s filmic qualities, and it’s Americanisation would have an obvious appeal with European audiences.

The cover’s look would be a one off for the series with all subsequent box arts worldwide using the North American version’s ‘picture frame’ style.

Gradius (グラディウス).

Published by Konami globally in 1986.

PC Engine ver. pictured. Also available on: Amstrad CPC, C64, Famicom, Game Boy, MSX, NES, PC-88, Sharp X-1, X68000, ZX Spectrum.

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>The series debut box art and the most widely used.  It would start the trend within the series of the original cover art being used across the globe unaltered.  

The inspiration clearly came from Star Wars and would go on to inspire many other covers within the space-shooter genre.

>Pictured from the top - Original box art and design sketch.


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Ghosts ‘n Goblins.  Capcom video game series from 1986-2006.

Arthur to Astaroth no Nazomakaimura: Incredible Toons | Capcom | 1995.

Demon’s Crest | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver | by Julie Bell.

Demon’s Crest |  Capcom | 1994 | JPN ver.

Gargoyles Quest | Capcom | 1990.

Gargoyles Quest II | Capcom | 1992.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins  | Capcom | 1986 | Famicom ver.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 1986 | JPN/ NA home computer vers.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Elite Systems | 1986 | EU home computer vers.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 1999 | GBC ver | by Raymond Fung.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Bandai | 1999 | WonderSwan ver.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1989 | Mega Drive ver | by Yuji Kaida.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | U.S Gold | 1989 | EU home computer vers | by Ian Naylor.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1989 | Master System ver.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | NEC Avenue | 1990 | by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1994 | X68000 ver.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2001 | JPN ver | by Susumu Matsushita.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2002 | EU ver | by Susumu Matsushita.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2002 | NA ver | by Susumu Matsushita.

Maximo vs Army of Zin | Capcom | 2003 | JPN ver | by Susumu Matsushita.

Maximo vs Army of Zin | Capcom | 2004 | EU/ NA ver | by Susumu Matsushita.

Red Arremer | Capcom | 1990.

Red Arremer II | Capcom | 1992 | Famicom ver.

Red Arremer II | Capcom | 1993 | Game Boy ver.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Susumu Matsushita.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1991 | EU/ NA ver.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 2002 | by Shinkiro.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 2006 | by Shinkiro.

Video game series index: Gh

Greg Wray.  North American box artist from 1991-1994.

Aladdin | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA ver.

Jungle Book | Virgin | 1994.

Lemmings | Sun Corporation of America | 1992 | EU/ NA ver.

Mega Man: Dr Wily’s Revenge | Capcom | 1991 | NA ver.

Mickey Mania | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver.

Quackshot: Starring Donald Duck | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | NA ver.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit ? | Capcom | 1991.

Greg Winters.  North American box artist.

Star Wars: Rouge Squadron | LucasArts | 1998 | EU/ NA ver.

Streets of Rage | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver.

Super Double Dragon | Tradewest Inc. | 1992 | EU/ NA ver.

Greg Theakston.  North American box artist in 1982.

Telengard | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982.

Glenn Fabry.  North American box artist from 1987-2012.

Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura | Sierra On-Line | 2001.

Asura’s Wrath | Capcom | 2012.

Captain America and the Avengers | Data East | 1992.

Damage Incorporated | Macsoft | 1997.

Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive | Infogrames | 2001 | NA ver.

Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes | Atari | 2003.

Incredible Hulk, The | U.S Gold | 1994.

Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems | Capcom | 1996.

Slaine | Martech Games | 1987.

Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe | Image Works | 1990 | EU ver.

Greg Vance.  North American box artist in 1978.

Sky Diver | Atari | 1978.

Canyon Bomber | Atari | 1978.

Gou Takeuchi.  Japanese box artist in 2011.

Pandora’s Tower | Nintendo | 2011.

Gouda Cheese - see Bengus.

Green Beret (グリーンベレー) by Bob Wakelin.

English artwork. First published by Imagine Software in 1986 for the the European market.

MSX ver. pictured. Also available on: Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, BBC Micro, Commodore 16, ZX Spectrum.

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>Green Beret’s character art would be a shameless copy of 1986 comic The Punisher #5: Final Solution Part 2’s cover - by artist Mike Zeck. Bob certainly wasn’t alone when it came to ‘paying homage’, with box artists worldwide in the 1980’s ripping off popular character art from various art forms (see, Metal Gear and Navy Moves).

>Pictures from the top - Original box art and Punisher comic.


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