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

BOX=ART

Video game box art and artist history database

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BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2019 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.

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 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.

BOX=ART index

 >Ga - Go

Artist index: Ga - Go


Video game series index: Gh - Go

Hardware index: Ga

Gary McNamara.  English box artist from 1983-1990.

Alchemist | Imagine Software | 1984 | ZX Spectrum.

Battle Command | Ocean Software | 1990 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC,  Atari ST, MS DOS, ZX Spectrum. (1)

Bewitched | Imagine Software | 1983 | VIC-20.





>Box art catalogue

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Game Boy/ Game Boy Color.  Nintendo hardware from 1989-2003.



Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Tom Dubois.

Donkey Kong ‘94 | Nintendo | 1994 | by Yoiche Kotabe.

Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Cobi’s Journey | Enix | 2001 | NA ver. | by Akira Toriyama.

King of Fighters ‘96 | TAKARA | 1996.

Kung Fu Master | IREM | 1990 | by Phil Howe. (1)

Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, The | Nintendo | 1993 | JPN ver. | by Yoiche Kotabe.





Metroid II: Return of Samus | Nintendo | 1991. (3)

Pokemon: Red ver. | Nintendo | 1998 | by Ken Sugimori. (4)

Space Invaders | Taito | 1994 | JPN ver. (5)




Super Mario Land | Nintendo | 1989 | by Yoiche Kotabe.

Tetris | Nintendo | 1989 | by GIRVIN. (7)

Top Gun: Guts and Glory | Konami | 1992 | by Tom Dubois.

X | Nintendo | 1992 | by Kenichi Sugino. (8)










Although not the first video game handheld console (that caveat would go to the MicroVision, 1979), Nintendo’s original Game Boy would be the first to popularise portable gaming to the masses. Launched in 1989 in Japan and North America (Europe in 1990), the Game Boy debuted with Super Mario Land, Baseball, Alleyway and Yakuman in the East, with Tetris and Tennis added to the western launches minus Yakuman. Super Mario Land’s box art arguably led the way in terms of design and would be used across the globe - a first for the series - giving the West a very Japanese Mario cover for the first time.  The other Japanese covers did not see a western release, with design studio GIRVIN taking resposibility and adding the bankable Mario to them (Alleyway and Baseball). GIRVIN would take responsibility for pretty much all of Nintendo of America’s box art output, with a majority of these covers being used by Nintendo of Europe.

With the Game Boy’s tech being in line with Nintendo’s NES many third party publishers ported their NES titles to the Game Boy. Much of the time the same cover art would be used. Exclusive box arts tended to highlight character art in more cartooned/ chibi styles, targeting the Game Boy’s overal younger gamers and high percentage of young female users. More mature and painterly efforts also abounded (see Kung Fu Master and Caslevania II), showing that no age group was truely exempt from Nintendo’s overal plan (Game Boy ads appear to target everyone from small kids to business people).

Outside of Tetris, many will link the original Game Boy with the Pokemon series. Starting with the Red and Yellow/ Green versions, Ken Sugimori’s art would forever be tied to the global craze, being Pokemon’s lead monster designer. The debut game’s layout would be the basis for all other main series releases.

The Game Boy Color hit the market in 1998, but other than a slight change to box layout, the attitude to cover art design would not differ. The final offical Game Boy Color cover would be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002, in Europe Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! (2003) and Japan, Doraemon no Study Boy: Kanji Yomikaki Master (2003).

The Game Boy name would carry on with the Game Boy Advance in 2001.

>History

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Metal Gear Solid (Metal Gear: Ghost Babel) | Konami | 2000 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Yoji Shinkawa. (2)

Character designer Yoji would take a more anime/ cartooned approch to the Game Boy Color’s ‘Solid’ game, arguably targetng Nintendo’s younger gamers (as was often the case when more mature games received Game Boy versions).

North America would receive a more traditional take on Yoji’s Solid Snake.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (スーパーマリオブラザーズデラックス) | Nintendo | 1999 | by Yoichi Kotabe. (6)

Possibly the artist’s final Super Mario box art to date. The game would not see a physical release in Japan making it the only game in the series to miss out on a Japanese box art.

    Index - 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

Directory - 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

Pages - Ga-Go  Gr

Gary Ruddell.  North American box artist from 1989-1998.

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain | Crystal Dinamics | 1996 | PS1. (1)

Chessmaster 6000 | Mindscape | 1998 | Macintosh, Windows. (2)

Prophecy | Activision | 1989 | MS-DOS. (3)

Shufflepuck Cafe | Broderbund Software | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Famicom, MS-DOS, PC-98, X68000. (4)






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Gavin Macleod.  UK box artist from 1987-1990.

Arcade Flight Simulator | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Grand Prix Simulator 2 | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Italian Supercar | Codemasters | 1990 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Jet Bike Simulator | Codemasters | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Super Stuntman | Codemasters | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.




>Box art catalogue

Gou Takeuchi.  Japanese box artist in 2011.

Pandora’s Tower | Nintendo | 2011 | Nintendo Wii. (1)





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

Arthur to Astaroth no Nazomakaimura: Incredible Toons | Capcom | 1995 | PS1.

Demon’s Crest | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver | by Julie Bell | SNES. (1)

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

Gargoyles Quest (レッドアリーマー) | Capcom | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Gargoyles Quest (レッドアリーマー) | Capcom | 1990 | JPN ver. | Game Boy.

Gargoyles Quest II (レッドアリーマーⅡ) | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg Winters | NES.

Gargoyles Quest II  (レッドアリーマーⅡ) | Capcom | 1992 | JPN ver. | Famicom.

Gargoyles Quest II (レッドアリーマーⅡ) | Capcom | 1993 | JPN ver. | Game Boy .

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (魔界村) | Capcom | 1986 | Famicom.




Ghosts ‘n Goblins (魔界村) | Elite Systems | 1986 | EU ver. | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (魔界村) | Capcom | 1999 | by Raymond Fung | Game Boy Color.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (魔界村) | Bandai | 1999 | WonderSwan.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (魔界村) | Capcom | 1989 | by Yuji Kaida | Genesis, Mega Drive. (3)




Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (魔界村) | Capcom | 1989 | Master System.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (魔界村) | NEC Avenue | 1990 | by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu | PC Engine. (5)

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (魔界村) | Capcom | 1994 | X68000.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2001 | JPN ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | PS2.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2002 | EU ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | PS2.

Maximo: Ghosts of Glory | Capcom | 2002 | NA ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | PS2.

Maximo vs Army of Zin | Capcom | 2003 | JPN ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | PS2. (6)

Maximo vs Army of Zin | Capcom | 2004 | EU/ NA ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | PS2.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Susumu Matsushita | Super Famicom. (7)

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

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 2002 | by Shinkiro | Game Boy Advance.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 2006 | by Shinkiro & Shoei (logo) | Sony PSP. (8)















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>Box art catalogue

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (魔界村) | Capcom | 1986 | JPN/ NA ver. | Amiga, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, NES, PC-88. (2)

Debut western box art for the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. The artwork was originally designed in 1985 for Japan’s arcade release.  The box art introduced both protagonist Arthur and antagonist the Red Arremer, a character that would later spawn its own series.


>Box art review

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Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (大魔界村) | U.S. Gold | 1989 | EU ver. | by Ian Naylor | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (4)

Naylor’s cover would be a reworking of the North American arcade flyer by Frank Cirocco, but with the comic book look replaced with a fantasy paint job more in line with what European box artists in the 1980’s were designing.


Golden Axe.  Sega video game series from 1989-2008.

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (アックスバトラー ゴールデンアックス伝説 ) | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Jun Satoh | Game Gear. (1)












Golden Axe (戦斧) | Sega | 1989 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Golden Axe (戦斧) | Sega | 1989 | NA ver. | Master System.

Golden Axe (戦斧) | Sega | 1990 | NA ver. | MS-DOS.

Golden Axe (戦斧) | Sega | 2002 | by Taku Makino | WonderSwan.

Golden Axe (戦斧) | Telenet Japan | 1990 | by Yasushi Torisawa | PC Engine. (4)











Golden Axe II | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | Jun Satoh | Mega Drive.

Golden Axe III | Sega | 1993 | by Sohhei Oshiba | Mega Drive. (7)

Golden Axe: Beast Rider | Sega | 2008 | PS3, Xbox 360.

Golden Axe: The Duel | Sega | 1995 | JPN ver. | Saturn.

Golden Axe: The Duel | Sega | 1996 | EU ver. | Saturn.

Golden Axe: The Duel | Sega | 1996 | NA ver. | by Taku Makino | Saturn. (8)

Golden Axe Warrior | Sega | 1990 | Master System.


Golden Axe (戦斧) | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990 | by Dermot Power | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (5)

The European cover art would be penned by 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.

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (アックスバトラー ゴールデンアックス伝説 ) | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by Julie Bell | Game Gear. (2)

Julie would coin the artwork as “Savage Lands” after the game’s topography. The artwork would sit firmly in line with Julie’s other early 90’s cover arts (see, Eternal Champions, Defender of Rome II) and exudes a detailed, high fantasy look that was painted in the artist’s preferred media, oils. Japan would unsurprisingly not use Julie’s art. Instead, it interestingly removed the series’ usual western barbarian look and replaced it with a “Koei war game” style box art by illustrator Jun Satoh.

Her equally famous partner Boris Vallejo would also that year create the box art for the stylistically similar American/ European release of Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/ Genesis).

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Golden Axe II (ゴールデンアックスⅡ) | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Boris Vallejo | Genesis, Mega Drive. (6)

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.


Golden Axe (戦斧) | Sega | 1989 | JPN ver. | by Yoshiaki Yoneshima | Mega Drive. (3)

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 (by an, at present, unknown artist) would be a weaker effort both styalistically and artistically.

Gouda Cheese - see Bengus.

Gerald Brom - see Brom.

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

>Box art catalogue

Guderian | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1986 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Spitfire ‘40 | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1986 | NA ver. | Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64. (1)

Under Fire! | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1988 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.





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George Opperman.  North American box artist in 1981.

Missile Command | Atari | 1981 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (1)




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

Crush, Crumble and Chomp | Epyx | 1983 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, TRS-80, VIC-20.

Dragon’s Eye | Epyx | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET/CBM.

Dunjonquest: Sorerer of Siva | Epyx | 1981 | Apple II, TRS-80. (1)

Rescue at Rigel | Epyx | 1980. | Atari 400, Apple II, Commodore PET, MS-DOS, PC Booter, TRS-80, VIC-20. (2)

Star Warrior | Epyx | 1980 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80.

Sword of Fargoal | Epyx | 1983 | Commodore 64, VIC-20.





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Glenn Fabry.  British box artist from 1987-2012.

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

Asura’s Wrath | Capcom | 2012 | PS3, Xbox 360.

Captain America and the Avengers | Mindscape | 1992 | Game Boy, Game Gear, SNES.

Damage Incorporated | Macsoft | 1997 | Macintosh, Windows.

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

Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes | Atari | 2003 | Xbox.

Incredible Hulk, The | U.S Gold | 1994 | Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, SNES. (1)

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









Slaine: The Celtic Barbarian | Martech Games | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (2)

The box art appears to have been originally designed for the game (over a reused 2000AD comic cover, as is often the case). It is Glenn’s earliest know cover art and is a particularly detailed and realistic depiction of the character for the artist.

Some inspiration can perhaps be found in Glenn’s cover for 2000AD prog #448 (1985) and its equally intense close-up profile.


>Box art catalogue

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Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe | Image Works | 1990 | EU ver. | Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Atari ST, CD32, Commodore 64, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, Master System, Mega Drive, MS-DOS.

Arguably one of the more memorable box arts to come out of the early 1990’s, Speedball 2 by UK comic book artist Fabry does well to dipict the game’s brutal on pitch excess. Much like his contempory of the time Dermot Power, Glenn’s character art with it’s torn, agonising muscles, carved out of stony flesh perfectly fits the tone of the more violent/ visceral video game such as Speedball 2.

The cover would be widely used throughout Europe.  North America and Japan would both receive there own covers, neither compare to Glenn’s.  Original painting.


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