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

 >G

Artist index: Ga - Gr


Video game series index: Gh - Go

Hardware index: Ga

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

Greg & Tim Hildebrandt.  North American box artists from 1988-2005.

Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur | Infocom | 1989 | by Greg | Amiga, Apple II, Macintosh, MS DOS.

Diplomacy | Paradox Interactive | 2005 | by Greg & Tim | Windows.

Halls of the Dead: Faery Tale Adventure II | Encore | 1997 | by Greg & Tim | MS-DOS, Windows.

Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom | Silmarils | 1993 | by Tim | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I | Interplay | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg & Tim | Amiga, MS-DOS.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Vol. II The Two Towers | Interplay | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg & Tim | MS-DOS.

Rastan | Taito | 1988 | NA ver. | by Greg & Tim | Apple IIgs, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Ultima Online | EA | 1997 | by Greg & Tim | Windows.




>Box art catalogue

Glenn Fabry.  North American 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.





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




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

>Gallery

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Greg Winters. North American box artist from 1984-2002.





Aerobiz | KOEI | 1992 | NA ver. | Genesis, SNES.

Alien vs Predator | Activision | 1993 | NA ver. | SNES.

Asteroids | Atari | 1987 | EU/ NA ver. | Atari 7800, Game Boy. (1)

Batter Up | Namco | 1992 | NA ver. | Game Gear.

Beyond Oasis | Sega | 1994 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Bionic Commander | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Burning Road | Playmates Interactive | 1996 | NA ver. | PS1.

Cabal | Milton Bradley | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Chakan | Sega | 1992 | Game Gear, Genesis, Mega Drive.

Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition | Microprose | 1998 | Macintosh, Windows.

Conan | Mindscape | 1991 | NA ver. | NES.

Dark Wizard | Sega | 1993 | NA ver. | Sega CD.

Doomsday Warrior | Renovation Products | 1992 | NA ver. | SNES.

EXO Squad | Playmates Interactive | 1995 | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Final Fight 3 | Capcom | 1996 | NA ver. | SNES.

Galaxy Force 2 | Sega | 1992 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Gargoyles Quest II | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero | Taxan USA Corp. | 1991 | NES.

Goonies, The | U.S. Gold | 1985 | EU/ NA ver. | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Gremlins | Atari | 1984 | Apple II, Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 5800, Commodore 64, PC Booter.

Gremlins 2 | Sun Corp. | 1990 | NA ver. | Game Boy, NES.

Heart of the Alien | Virgin Interactive | 1994 | Sega CD.

HAL’S Hole in One Golf | HAL America | 1991 | NA ver. | SNES.

Hyperzone | HAL Laboratory | 1992 | NA ver. | SNES.

Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics | Data East | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.  

Klash Ball | SOFEL | 1991 | NES.  

Little Sampson | Taito | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Marble Madness | Milton Bradley | 1989 | Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System, Mega Drive, NES.  

Mario’s Game Gallery | Interplay | 1995 | Macintosh, MS-DOS, Windows. (2)

Mega Man II | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.  

Mega Man 3 | Capcom | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.  

Mega Man III | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Mega Man 4 | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Mega Man IV | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Mega man 5 | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | NES. (3)

Mega man V | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Mega Man 6 | Nintendo | 1994 | NA ver. | NES   

Mega Man 7 | Capcom | 1995 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Mega Man X | Capcom | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | MS-DOS, SNES.

Mega Man X2 | Capcom | 1995 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Mega Man X3 | Capcom | 1996 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Mega Man Soccer | Capcom | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.

Mercs | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive.  

Mighty Final Fight | Capcom | 1993 | NA ver. | NES.

Movie Monster Game, The | Epyx | 1986 | Apple II, Commodore 64.

My Disney Kitchen | Disney Interactive | 2002 | Macintosh, PS1, Windows. (4)

Phelios | Namco | 1990 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Pink Panther: Passport to Peril | BMG Interactive Entertainment | 1996 | Windows 3x.

Powerball | Namco | 1991 | NA ver. | Genesis.  

Robocop 3 | Ocean | 1992 | Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, NES, SNES. (5)

S.D.I | Cinemaware Corp. | 1986 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Shadow of the Ninja | Natsume | 1991 | NA ver. | NES.

Shinobi | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear.

Shinobi II: The Silent Fury | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear.

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master | Sega | 1993 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Sinbad and the Thrown of the Falcon | Cinemaware Corp. | 1987 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Software Toolworks’ Star Wars Chess, The | Software Toolworks | 1993 | Mega/ Sega CD, MS-DOS, Windows 3x.

Splatterhouse 2 | Sega | 1992 | Genesis, Mega Drive.  

Starlancer | Microsoft | 2000 | Windows.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault | LucasArts | 1993 | 3DO, Macintosh, Mega/ Sega CD, MS-DOS.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron | LucasArts | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo 64. (6)

Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire | Nintendo | 1996 | Nintendo 64.

Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire | LucasArts | 1997 | Windows.

Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight | Capcom | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Streets of Rage | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear, Genesis, Mega Drive. (7)

Super Bowling | American Technos | 1992 | NA ver. | SNES.

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

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back | JVC Musical Industries | 1993 | SNES, Super Famicom. (8)

Tyrants | Virgin Games | 1992 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Wacky World’s Creative Studio | Sega | 1994 | Genesis.

Wizard of Oz, The | SETA | 1993 | SNES.

Yo! Noid | Capcom | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Ys III: Wansers of Ys | Renovation Products | 1991 | NA ver. | Genesis.  


>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Greg Vance.  North American box artist in 1978.

Canyon Bomber | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Sky Diver | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (1)






>Box art catalogue

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>Gallery

Greg Theakston.  North American box artist in 1982.

Telengard | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commordore PET, MS-DOS. (1)





>Box art catalogue

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>Gallery

Greg James Martin.  North American box artist from 1990-1997.


Adventure Island | Hudson Soft | 1992 | NA ver. | Game Boy.

Adventure Island II: Alien’s in Paradise | Hudson Soft | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Adventure Island 3| Hudson Soft | 1992 | NA ver. | NES.

Amazing Penguin | Natsume | 1990 | NA ver. | Game Boy.

Aero the Acro-Bat 2 | Sun Corp of America | 1994 | Genesis, Mega Drive, SNES.

Atomic Punk | Hudson Soft | 1991 | Game Boy.

Bomberman II | Hudson Soft | 1991 | NA ver. | NES.

Bonk’s Adventure | Hudson Soft | 1993 | NA ver. | Game Boy, NES.

Daffy Duck | Sun Corp | 1994 | Game Boy.

Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions | Sun Corp of America | 1993 | SNES.

Disney’s Aladdin | Sega | 1994 | Game Gear.

Doctor Robotnic’s Mean Bean Machine | Sega | 1993 | Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive.

Duck Tales 2 | Capcom | 1993 | Famicom, Game Boy, NES.

Felix the Cat | Hudson Soft | 1992 | Game Boy, NES.

Flintstones, The | Taito | 1993 | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Flintstones, The: King Rock Treasure Island | Taito | 1993 | Game Boy.

Flintstones, The: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak | Taito | 1994 | NES.

Flintstones, The: The Treasure of Sierra Madrock | Taito | 1994 | SNES, Super Famicom.

Inspector Gadget | Hudson Soft | 1993 | SNES.

Jetsons, The: Cogswell’s Caper | Taito | 1992 | Famicom, NES. (1)

Jetsons, The: Invasion of the Planet Pirates | Taito | 1994 | SNES.

Jetsons, The: Robot Panic | Taito | 1992 | Game Boy.

Landstalkers | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Little Nemo: The Dream Master | Capcom | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Marvel Land | Namco | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Milon’s Secret Castle | Hudson Soft | 1993 | NA ver. | Game Boy.

Ms Pac-Man | Namco | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy, Game Gear.

Pac-Attack | Namco | 1993 | CD-i, Game Boy, Game Gear, Genesis, SNES.

Pac-Man | Namco | 1991 | NA ver. | Game Boy .

Pac-Man | Tengen | 1993 | NA ver. | NES.

Pirates of Dark Water | Sun Corp | 1994 | SNES.

Pocky & Rocky | Natsume | 1993 | NA ver. | SNES.

Pocky & Rocky 2 | Natsume | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.

Shining the Darkness | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Snow Bros | Capcom | 1991 | NA ver. | Game Boy, NES.

Sonic CD | Sega | 1993 | NA ver. | Sega CD. (2)

Sonic Chaos | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear.

Sonic Labyrinth | Sega | 1995 | NA ver. | Game Gear.

Sonic Spinball | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear. (3)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sega | 1994 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Sonic: Triple Trouble | Sega | 1994 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear.

Speedy Gonzalez | Sun Corp of America | 1993 | Game Boy.

Super Adventure Island | Hudson Soft | 1992 | NA ver. | SNES.

Super Bomberman | Hudson Soft | 1993 | NA ver. | SNES.

Super Bonk | Hudson Soft | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.

Taz in Escape from Mars | Sega | 1994 | Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive.

Taz-Mania | Sega | 1992 | Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive.

Taz-Mania 2 | THQ | 1997 | Game Boy.

Time Gal | Renovation Products | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Mega/ Sega CD.

Toxic Crusaders | Sega | 1992 | Genesis.

Whirlo | Namco | 1992 | NA ver. | SNES.

Woody Pop | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear. (4)

Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush | GameTec | 1994 | Game Boy.




Greg would start his illustration career at animation studio Hanna Barbera in 1979, graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena the following year. The artist would take on the role of production designer and was responsible for animation projects such as, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo. Beginning in 1986, he would freelance and take on a range of clients from Disney (The Black Couldron); to Jim Henson (Muppet Babies); to Rankin Bass (Thundercats).

The start of the 1990’s saw Greg become involved in the video game industry where he’d begin a highly prolific period designing box arts and promotional material. His previous experience with animated characters would make him an obvious choice when it came to the video games starring them.  His cover art portfolio would soon be bulging with artworks of famous cartoon characters, but I would be his time in Sonic the Hedgehog’s dizzing world that would immortalise Greg’s art within gaming history. Taking over from fellow cartoon illustrator Greg Wray - responsible for Sonic’s debut North American cover - Martin would alter little of Wray’s Sonic design, but over the course of four years would get the opportunity to develop the hedgehog and his cohorts within different and exciting settings.  

Much of Greg’s work would be finished by 1995 but he did resurface in 1997 to design the Taz-Mania 2 box art. Rather unbelievably, the artist would remain largely unknown and uncredited for his work within the gaming world, until in 2014 when it came to light he’d passed away the previous year.

>Box art catalogue

>Artist profile

>Gallery

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Greg Harsh.  North American box artist from 1995-2003.


Armored Core | Sony | 1997 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1.

BassMasters 2000 | THQ | 1999 | Nintendo 64.

I-War | Atari | 1995 | Jaguar.

ICO | Sony | 2001 | NA ver. | PS2. (1)

Land Before Time, The: Big Water Adventure | TDK Interactive | 2002 | PS1.

Lode Runner 3-D | GT Interactive | 1999 | Nintendo 64.

Micro Machines 1 and 2: Twin Turbo | THQ | 2000 | Game Boy Color.

Silent Hill | Konami | 1999 |  NA ver. | PS1.

Spyro the Dragon | Sony | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1. (2)

Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic | LucasArts | 2003 | Windows.

Steel Harbinger | Mindscape | 1996 | PS1.

Steel Reign | Sony | 1997 | PS1.

Tomba! | Sony | 1997 | NA ver. | PS1.

Twisted Metal | Sony | 1995 | PS1, Windows.

Twisted Metal 2 | Sony | 1996 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1, Windows.

Twisted Metal 3 | Sony | 1998 | PS1.

Twisted Metal 4 | Sony | 1999 | PS1.

Wild Arms | Sony | 1997 | PS1.



Starting with Beeline Group in he mid-90’s, Gregory would be involved in video game packaging design, incorporating manual layout and box art duties. Come the 2000’s he would join LucasArts and help them develop their brand quality for IP such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones.   

He is the designer for the infamous North American ICO cover and would help launch the PlayStation’s Spyro the Dragon, Twisted Metal and Silent Hill franchises in North America with their debut covers.  

>Box art catalogue

>Artist profile

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>Gallery

Gou Takeuchi.  Japanese box artist in 2011.

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





>Box art catalogue

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>Gallery

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).

>Gallery

>Box art catalogue

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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.

Gradius.  Konami video game series from 1986-2006.





Gradius III | Konami | 1991 | SNES, Super Famicom.

Gradius III & IV | Konami | 2000. | PS2. (3)

Gradius V | Konami | 2004 | by Hidetaka Tenjin | PS2. (4)

Gradius Collection | Konami | 2006 | EU ver. | Sony PSP.

Gradius Collection | Konami | 2006 | JPN/ NA ver. | Sony PSP.

Gradius Gaiden | Konami | 1997 | by Yoshihiro Hashizume | PS1. (5)

Gradius Galaxies | Konami | 2001 | Game Boy Advance.

Gradius: The Interstellar Assault | Konami | 1991 | Game Boy.

Life Force | Konami | 1986.

Nemesis | Ultra Software | 1990 | EU/ NA  ver. | by Tom Dubois | Game Boy.

Nemesis 2/ Nemesis ‘90 Kai | Konami | 1987.

Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction | Konami | 1988.














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Gradius/ Nemesis (グラディウス) | Konami | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Famicom, Game Boy, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC Engine, Sharp X-1, X68000, ZX Spectrum. (1)

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.

Original sketch.

>Box art catalogue

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Gradius II: GOFER no Yabō | Konami | 1988 | by Akira Nishimura. | Famicom, PC Engine, Sony PSP, X68000. (2)

Gradius II is at present Nishimura’s only known box art. It’s vibrant use of colour would be a profound statement after the cooler shades found on the original Gradius cover. The art design is based upon the opening level.

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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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

>Select box art catalogue

>Gallery

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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.

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

Disney’s Aladdin | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Jungle Book | Virgin | 1994 | Game Gear, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS.

Lemmings | Sun Corporation of America | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

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

Mickey Mania | Sega | 1991 | Genesis, Mega Drive, Mega CD/ Sega CD, SNES, Super Famicom.

Quackshot: Starring Donald Duck | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.









Who Framed Roger Rabbit? | Capcom | 1991 | Game Boy.




Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) | Sega | 1991 | NA ver. | Genesis. (1)

Wray’s Sonic art would add a slight edginess to Akira Watanabe’s original character designs and took the step of placing the hedgehog within the game’s world over the graphic design seen on both the European and Japanese covers.

Wray’s background as a Hanna Barbera and Disney artist would perfectly compliment Sega of Japan’s original and deliberate vision of Sonic foremostly appealing to the North American market. The chararter art would arguably not look out of place in a Mickey Mouse cartoon and was designed using air brush.

Wray’s cover also has the distinction of not only being the first North American series cover, but also the first published anywhere in the world - a strange situation for a Japanese designed game.

Sonic the Hedghog would end up being Wray’s only cover for the series, as duites passed to the equally talented Greg Martin for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


>Box art catalogue

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