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.

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


Artist index: H - Hi


BOX=ART index

 >H



Top


H. R. Giger.  Swiss box artist from 1988-1995.

Dark Seed | Cyberdreams | 1992 | Amiga, Atari ST, CD32, MS-DOS, Macintosh, PS1, Saturn, Windows. (1)

Dark Seed II | Cyberdreams | 1995 | MS-DOS, Macintosh, PS1, Saturn, Windows.

Jaseiken Necromancer | Hudson Soft | 1988 | PC Engine.




Dark Seed

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

MS-DOS ver. pictured.



The original MS-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 left to right - original MS-DOS box art and Li II.

dark-seed-DOS-big.jpg il-II-giger-painting-big.jpg

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

HAN (Tetsuhiko Kikuchi).  Japanese box artist from 1993-2005.

Advanced Guardian Heroes | Ubisoft | 2004 | NA ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Advanced Guardian Heroes | Treasure | 2004 | JPN ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Guardian Heroes | Sega | 1996 | EU/ JPN ver. | Saturn.

Gunstar Heroes | Sega | 1993 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive. (2)

Gunstar Super Heroes | Sega | 2005 | Game Boy Advance. (3)

Mischief Makers| Enix Corporation | 1997 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64. (1)

Rakugaki Showdown | Enix Corporation | 1999 | Nintendo 64.



>Box art catalogue

HaruMaru.  Japanese box artist from 1999-2000.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 | Capcom | 1999 | JPN ver. | Saturn.

Strider 2 | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver. | PS1. (1)

Strider 2 | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1.





Strider 2 (ストライダー飛竜1&2)

Published by Capcom in 2000 for the Japanese PS1 market.



“Strider 2 came 10 years after the first game, and perhaps because of the pressure of living up to the prequel, the artist (Harumaru) really fretted over the pose and layout of this illustration. It has a lot of dynamic movement overall, but there are some problems with the composition. If only he’d had a little more time…” via Shoei in Capcom Illustrations: GAMEST MooK Vol.17.

strider-2-PS1-big.jpg

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Haruki Suetsugu - see SENSEI.

Haruhiko Mikimoto.  Japanese box artist from 1990-2000.

Aisle Lord | Wolf Team | 1992 | Mega/ Sega CD.

Chō Jikū Yōsai Macross 2036 | Masaya | 1992 | PC Engine.

Chō Jikū Yōsai Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu ka | Bandai | 1997 | PS1, Saturn.

Chō Jikū Yōsai Macross: Eien no Love Song | Masaya | 1992 | PC Engine.

Cybernetic High-School Part 3: Gunbuster | Gainax Co. | 1990 | MSX, PC-98.

Dogu Senki | Victor Interactive | 1999 | Dreamcast.

Final Zone | Wolf Team | 1990 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive, X68000.

Final Zone | Renovation Products | 1990 | NA ver. | Genesis. (1)

Khamrai | Namco | 2000 | PS1.

Record of Lodoss War: Advent of Kardis | Kadokawa Shoten | 2000 | Dreamcast.

Macross: Do You Remember Love? | Bandai | 1999 | PS1, Saturn.

Quo Vadis | Glams | 1995 | Saturn.

Quo Vadis: Iberukatsu Ikusa | Glams | 1997 | PS1, Saturn.

Quo Vadis 2: Wakusei Kyoushuu Orphan Rei | Glams | 1997 | Saturn.







>Box art catalogue

Hideaki Ebihara.  Japanese box artist from 1999-2004.

Advanced Daisenryaku IV | Sega | 2003 | Windows.

Advanced Daisenryaku 98 II | Sega | 1999 | Windows.

Advanced Daisenryaku 2001 | Sega | 2001 | Dreamcast, Windows.

Advanced Daisenryaku: Europe no Arashi | Sega | 2000 | Dreamcast.

Giant Gram: Zen Nihon Pro Wrestling 2 | Sega | 1999 | Dreamcast.

Gojira: Kaijū Dai Rantō - Chikyū Saishū Kessen | Atari | 2004 | Windows.

Ultima Collection Nihon Ban | Locus | 2000 | Windows. (1)

>Box art catalogue

Hideaki Ishii.  Japanese box artist in 1990.

Wallaby!! Usagi no Kuni no Kangaroo Race | Masaya | 1990 | PC Engine. (1)





>Box art catalogue

Hidefumi Kimura.  Japanese box artist from 1990-2000.

Battle Skin Panic | Gainax | 1990 | PC-98.

Battle Skin Panic 9821 | Gainax | 1993 | PC-98.

Crack Down | Sega | 1990 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive. (1)

Mercurius Pretty | AV | 1994 | PC-98.

Mighty Battle Skin Panic | Gainax | 1993 | PC-98.

Space Harrier | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | Game Gear.

Super Battle Skin Panic | Gainax | 1991 | PC-98.

Vanark | Jaleco | 2000 | NA ver. | PS1.




>Box art catalogue

Hidetaka Tenjin.  Japanese box artist from 1998-2014.


AeroFighters Assult | Video System | 1998 | EU/ JPN ver. | Nintendo 64.

Gradius V | Konami | 2004 | PS2. (1)

Macross 30 - Limited Edition | Bandai Namco | 2013 | PS3.

Macross 30: The Voice the Connects the Galaxy – Limited Edition | Bandai Namco | 2013 | PS3.

Macross Ace Frontier | Bandai Namco | 2008 | Sony PSP.

Macross Plus Game Edition | Shoeisha | 2000 | PS1.

Macross Triangle Frontier | Bandai Namco | 2011 | title art only | Sony PSP.

Macross Ultimate Frontier | Bandai Namco | 2009 | Sony PSP.

Macross VF-X 2 | Bandai | 1999 | PS1.

Mobile Suit Gundam Side Stories | Namco Bandai | 2014 | PS3.

Soukou Kihei Armodyne | Sony | 2007 | PS2.

Starhawk | Sony | 2012 | JPN ver. | PS3.





After graduating from the Shibaura institute of Technology's Department of System Engineering, majoring in mechanical control systems, Hidetaka became a freelance illustrator. The artist has become well known worldwide for his mecha designs following a long line of esteemed Japanese designers (such as, Yoshiyuki Takani, Noriyoshi Ohrai, Shigeru Komatsuzaki, Yuji Kaida and Tsuyoshi Nagano, all of whom Hidetaka counts as influential).

His breakthrough into the video game industry looks to be for the AeroFighters box art. Shortly afterwards he produced his first for the Macross series, a series along with Gundam the artist has a long history of involvement with. All box arts will have undoubtedly been designed using a computer art package, but the artist is equally adept at traditional media pieces also.

Outside of video game box art, Hidetaka has many credits to his name in the anime industry as well as box art for plastic model kits and DVD’s.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

Hiro Kimura.  Japanese box artist from 1981-1984.


Centipede | Atari | 1982 | Atari 5200, Atari 2800.

Crystal Castles | Atari | 1984 | NA ver. | Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600/ VCS.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial | Atari | 1982 | Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 2800. (2)

Joust | Atari | 1983 | EU/ NA ver. | Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 2800, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari ST.

Krull | Atari | 1983 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Mario Bros | Atari | 1983 | NA ver. | Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 5200, Atari 7800.

Yar’s Revenge | Atari | 1981 | Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 2800. (1)

Hiro is the earliest known Japanese artist to design box art and the first to design covers for the western market.  He would be employed by Atari in the States and design some of their most well known covers.

Yar’s Revenge

First published by Atari in 1981 for the North American market and later the Japanese market (1983).

VCS/ 2600 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 2800.



Yar’s Revenge turned out to be my first package art assignment after having done a couple of manual illustrations. I got the basic concept of the Yar, not as a gigantic fly, but a chrome-plated insect shooting spitballs. It was my first attempt of rendering chrome surface and I recall struggling mightily with it. Perhaps the biggest reason for it was that I used airbrush almost exclusively for the very first time, a tool I still wasn’t skilled in then.” Hiro Kimura via The Art of Atari.

Yar’s is likely the first time a Japanese artist designed a video game box art (Hiro worked in the States at the time and Japan’s video game industry in 1981 was very much in its pre-history phase) and certainly the first time a Japanese designed cover art was released in the West.  

yars-revenge-VCS-big.png

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

E. T. The Extra Terrestrial

Published by Atari in 1992 for the North American Atari 2600/ VCS market.



The infamous game that legend has heaped the coals of failure upon its shoulder - in part, and probably unfairly, accrediting it to the video game crash of 1983 - would have quite the pleasant and frank cover art.

The character art looks to have been taken from a movie still, cobbled together with phone motives and arguably does a good job of portraying the innocence and wide eyed wonder the movie is famous for.

e-t-the-extra-terrestrial-VCS-big.jpg

>Box art review

Hiroo Isono.  Japanese box artist from 1993-2006.

Dawn of Mana | Square Enix, Inc | 2006 | PS2.

Secret of Mana | Squaresoft | 1993 | Super Famicom, SNES. (1)






Squaresoft (now Square Enix) had always made a habit of producing poignant and thought provoking box arts (see, Final Fantasy, Alcahest and Romancing SaGa), and Mana was no different. For a game so geographically lush and a story centred on mother nature, the choice of artist, the late Hiroo Isono, would be inspired.

Hiroo’s penchant for painting forests and paradise would bring the longing world of Mana to life, and the cover art for the Super Famicom version would beautifully depict the scale and gravity of the world around those marvelling heroes.

The western release would thankfully and surprisingly retain the Japanese original, but due to the SNES’s landscape box shape, it would unfortunately crop the magnitude and awesomeness of the tree.


secret-of-mana-SF-big.jpg

Secret of Mana (聖剣伝説2)

Published by Squaresoft globally in 1993.  

Super Famicom ver. pictured.




>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Hitoshi Yoneda.  Japanese box artist from 1987-1998.


Ayakashi no shiro | SETA Corp. | 1990 | Game Boy.

Dungeon RPG Tsukuru | ASCII | 1994 | PC-98.

Elemental Gearbolt | Sony | 1997 | JPN ver. | PS1.

Elemental Gearbolt | Working Designs | 1998 | NA ver. | PS1.

Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor | Ving Co. | 1994 | JPN ver. | PC-98.

Falcata | Gust | 1995 | PS1.

Lenam - Sword of Legend | Hertz | 1989 | MSX, X68000.

Lunatic Dawn III | Artdink | 1994 | FMT, PC-98.

Meru Purana | Gust | 1996 | PS1.

Minelvaton Saga: Ragon no Fukkatsu | Taito Corp. | 1987 | Famicom.

Phantasy Star II | Sega | 1989 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

Phantasy Star IV | Sega | 1993 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

RPG Tsukuru Dante 98 II | ASCII | 1996 | PC-98.

Silva Saga | SETA | 1992 | Famicom.

Silva Saga II: The Legend of Light and Darkness | SETA | 1993 | Super Famicom.

Sorcerian | Nihon Falcom Corp. | 1987 | JPN ver. | PC-88.

Sorcerian | Sega | 1990 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive. (1)

Sorcerian | Takeru | 1987 | JPN ver. | MSX.

Vandal Hearts | Konami | 1996 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS1, Saturn.




The artist would start his professional career in 1980 drawing for Japanese magazine Uchuusen, a position he would hold until 1990. Throughout this period he’d also freelance designing Japanese novel cover arts.

His break in the video game industry would come through an illustration he did for a mook (Japanese magazine/ book) on Nihon Falcom’s Xanadu.  Getting the attention of company founder Kato-san, Hitoshi would design the cover art for Sorcerian on the PC-98 (1987), followed by the MSX ver (1987).  Both would painted in water colour, the artist’s favoured art medium at the time.  His highest profile covers would be for Sega’s Phantasy Star series (1989-1993). For the rest of the 1990’s he would be involved in mainly obscure RPG and tactics game covers. Hitoshi has also character designed for games (Silent Bomber, 1999. Mystic Ark, 1995. Silva Saga II, 1993), and post 2000 has done mainly guest illustration work for Windows and IOS titles.

Early inspiration came from the sci-fi art of Tetsuwan Atom (Atom Boy), whilst later on Hitoshi would prefer the fantasy art of Moebius and Frank Frazetta. He also sites Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac as important influences in composition and colour techniques.

Other than the US cover for penultimate box art Elemental Gearbolt (1998) no other cover art Hitoshi designed was ever published overseas, something the artist finds regrettable.  This would be mainly due to many of the games he worked on being rather niche and not getting an international release. It has meant that the artist although very popular in Japan does have the kind of following worldwide such as contemporaries Amano, Suemi and Kojima.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

Hiroaki Shioya.  Japanese box artist from 1989-1991.

Bahamut Senki | Sega | 1991 | Mega Drive.

Jewel Master | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive. (1)

Sangokushi Retsuden: Ransei no Eiyutachi | Sega | 1991 | Mega Drive.

Super League |  Sega | 1989 | EU/ JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

Vermilion | Sega | 1989 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

>Box art catalogue

Hiroaki (Hiroaki Hashimoto). Japanese box artist from 1997-2007.





Hiroaki was born on July 9 in Marugame, Kagawa. He attended Osaka University Arts for a design major but quit after a year to join SNK in 1998. After SNK dissolved, he became a freelancer. He is best known to fans for his work in Buriki One and the more recent The King of Fighters iterations.

His art is known for its quasi-realistic take on characters, giving them an unique polished look (almost like an oil painting) with humanistic proportions and a metallic feel to them. He strives to sketch the characters he's assigned in "confident and daring poses" so that their fans can feel prouder to use them. His biggest personal lament are the female and popular characters, as he struggles to make them charming as well as not "outshining" the others.

He's considered by many members of the company to be the protege of Shinkiro. Their teacher-student relationship started when Shinkiro asked him to create a poster for The King of Fighters 2000. He was personally critiqued by the veteran artist on his technique and coloring of the piece, which Hiroaki has taken to heart ever since. They continued to bounce back their thoughts and ideas until the company disbanded. In an interview with the company's artists, he relates his biggest pressure for King of Fighters is "matching Shinkiro's quality" as the latter's art has been in the minds of fans for years. Via - SNK wiki.



>Artist profile

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin | Nintendo | 2008 | Nintendo DS. (3)

God Hand | Capcom | 2006 | JPN ver. | PS2.

King of Fighters XI | SNK Playmore | 2006 | PS2.

King of Fighters ’94 Re-Bout | SNK Playmore | 2004 | PS2. (7)

King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match, The | Ignition Entertainment | 2009 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS2.

King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match, The | Ignition Entertainment | 2009 | NA ver. | PS2.

King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle | Playmore Corp. | 2002 | Neo Geo AES, PS2, Xbox. (2)

King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, The | Playmore Corp. | 2009 | PS2.

King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga, The | SNK Playmore | 2008 | PS2, Sony PSP, Nintendo Wii.

King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood, The | Marvelous Entertainment | 2003 | Game Boy Advance. (4)

King of Fighters: NESTS Saga, The | SNK Playmore | 2007 | PS2.

Lord of Arcana | Square Enix | 2011 | Sony PSP. (1)

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum | SNK Playmore | 2005 | PS2. (6)

SNK Arcade Classics Vol 1 | SNK Playmore | 2008 | JPN ver. | Sony PSP. (8)

Spikeout: Battle Street | Sega | 2005 | Xbox. (5)


>Box art catalogue

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