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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.
Box art index: Ka - Kn
Artist index - Ka - Ku
King of Fighters ‘94 (KOF '94) by Shinkiro (Toshiaki Mori).
Japanese artwork. Published gloabally by SNK in 1994.
Neo Geo AES ver. pictured. Also available on: Neo Geo CD, Windows.
Click to enlarge
Kings Quest VII by Marc Hudgins.
North American artwork. Published by Sierra On-Line in 1994 for the European and North American markets.
DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Mac, Windows.
Katamari Damacy (塊魂 ) by Takeshi Ugajin.
Japanese artwork. Published by Namco in 2004 for the Japanese and North American PS2 markets.
>Katamari Damacy in 2004 would defy the usual trends and deliver an experience that was unique and utterly Japanese.
It’s box art by artist Takeshi Ugajin would compliment the game’s carefree weirdness and abstract playfulness perfectly. It was a deliberately simple and humorous cover, with strong design tones over creative artistic ones, whilst sporting an excellent colour palette.
The cover art would be used in both Japanese and American markets, but the games “quirkiness” was deemed too great for Europe who sadly missed out on a release.
Click to enlarge
Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1979.
Upper Reaches of Apshai | Epyx | 1981.
Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1992 for the Japanese Mega Drive market.
Click to enlarge
King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu (キングコング2 甦る伝説 Kingu Kongu Tsū: Yomigaeru Densetsu) by Noriyoshi Ohari.
Japanese artwork. Published by Konami in 1986 for the Japanese MSX market.
Click to enlarge
>This artwork was originally the movie poster for the Japanese release of King Kong 2 (1986).
>Pictures from top - original box art and movie poster.
Click to enlarge
Karnov (カルノフ) by Frank Cirocco.
North American artwork. Published by Data East in 1988 for the North American market.
C64 ver. pictured. Also available on: DOS, Mac, NES, PC Booter.
Click to enlarge
Odama | Nintendo | 2006 | EU/ NA ver.
The self-proclaimed “Rakuga King” - meaning doodler in Japanese - has built up a following through his copious amounts of sketchings. He asserts that this attitude to daily sketching is more a philosophy than a style of drawing and has a demand upon the artist requiring constant sketching wherever they may be.
Favouring pencil drawn art, Katsuya would start his box art career in the late 80’s as the illustrator for the Detective Saburo Jinguji series (1987). It would showcase a style of character art that he would use throughout his career, whereby people are drawn having a slight ill, grotesque look to them with heavy shading and off-skin colours. The series would be a main stay for the artist who’d provide all the box arts and character art up until the latest episode for the 3DS. This longevity of almost thiry years makes Katsuya duration with the series somewhat unique within the industry.
By the early 1990’s he would be in demand for his characterisation producing classic box arts such as Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (1995), The legend of Bishin (1993) and Prince of Persia (1992) all for the Super Famicom. His highest profile box art of this period though would probably be Sega’s Virtua Fighter Remix in 1995.
As was common with Japanese box artists he was credited many illustrative novel cover arts. He also has had a long history working within film and anime, providing costume production and monster design for live action Japanese “Godzilla” monster movies. It would be the anime movie Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), in which Katsuya provided character designs, that would bring mainstream attention to his art in the States, and led him to illustrate Marvel’s Wolverine and Iron Man comics.
Even though he says his illustrations always start with a basis in Manga, what sets them apart and makes them internationally appealing is the inspiration drawn from foreign artists. As with many Japanese artists of his generation, French illustrator Jean Giraud and his publicised works in comic book: Métal Hurlant had a profound influence, and Katsuya’s style and composition plays heavy homage. The look of Métal Hurlant’s fantastical and dystopian characters can be clearly seen in box arts for The legend of Bishin and Sol Divide (1998) and his later work on the Wizardry series (the latter looking like something UK illustrator Simon Bisley could have drawn).
This European influence has given his characters a softened western look to them and a distint lack of the effeminate and explosive appearance usually seen in Manga. He would of course also still find inspiration closer to home, crediting artists such as Raw Lai Range Defined (stable artist for Koei) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira).
With such international artistic appeal in place it is unfortunate that so few of of his box arts have made it overseas, with a couple of Wizardry games and a Jake Hunter from the 00’s being the only examples. This though has been down to the fact that so few of the games he’s worked on have been published abroad.
Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative NEO | Atlus | 2003.
Blue Almanac | Kodansha Ltd. | 1991.
Busin: Wizardry Alternative | Atlus | 2001.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: A Dangerous Duo Part 1 | Data East | 1988.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: A Dangerous Duo Part 2 | Data East | 1989.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Ashes and Diamonds | WorkJam | 2009.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: At the End of the Dream | Data East | 1998.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Early Collection | Data East | 1999.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Let Time Pass By | Data East | 1991.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Innocent Black | WorkJam | 2002.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Kind of Blue | WorkJam | 2004.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Red Butterfly | WorkJam | 2010.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Rondo of Revenge | WorkJam | 2012.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Abiding Spirit | WorkJam | 2008.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Ancient Memories | WorkJam | 2007.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Girl with the White Shadow | WorkJam | 2004.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Shinjuku Central Park Murder Case | Data East | 1987.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Unfinished Reportage | Data East | 1996.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: While the Light Remains | Data East | 1999.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Withheld Truth | WorkJam | 2009.
Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Yokohama Port Serial Murder Mystery | Data East | 1988.
Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles | Aksys Games Localization, Inc. | 2008.
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past | Aksys Games Localization, Inc. | 2009.
Jake Hunter: Ghost in the Dark | Arc System Works | 2017.
Kengo 2 | Majesco Entertainment | 2002.
Kitakata Kenzou Sangokushi | Koei | 2001.
Legend of Bishin, The | Magifact | 1993.
Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts | TAKARA Lft Co. | 1995.
Nanatama: Chronicle of Dungeon Master | GAE Inc. | 2001.
Prince of Persia | Masaya | 1992.
Sol Divide | Atlus | 1998.
Virtua Fighter Remix | Sega | 1995.
Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land | Atlus U.S.A | 2001.
Last Express, The | Broderbund Software| 1997.
Return to Atlantis | EA | 1988.
Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi | JVC Musical Industries | 1994.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge | Technos Japan Corp. | 1989.
Orguss | Sega | 1984.
Hagane: The Final Conflict | Hudson | 1994.
Rudra no Hihō | Square | 1996.
Seiken Psycho Calibur | Imagineer Co. | 1987.
Another Code: R - A Journey into the Lost Memories | Nintendo | 2009.
Doom 3 | Activision | 2004.
Berserk | ASCII Corp. | 1999 | JPN ver.
999: Nine Hours • Nine Persons • Nine Doors | Spike Co | 2009 | JPN ver.
999: Nine Hours • Nine Persons • Nine Doors | Aksys Games | 2010 | NA ver.
Cannon Spike | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ NA ver.
Code of Princess | Agatsuma Enertainment | 2012 | JPN ver.
Code of Princess | Index Digital Media | 2012 | NA ver.
Culdcept Revolt | NIS America | 2016.
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower | Capcom | 2004.
Dungeons & Dragons: Collections | Capcom | 1999.
Gaia Master | Capcom | 2000.
Street Fighter III: W Impact | Capcom | 1999.
Super Street Fighter II Dash Turbo | Capcom | 1993 | JPN ver.
Super Street Fighter II X | Capcom | 1994.
Super Street Fighter II X: For Matching Service | Capcom | 2000.
Kings Table: The Legend of Ragnarok | Mirage Techologies Ltd | 1993.
Retribution | Gremlin Interactive Ltd | 1994.
Perfect Assassin | Grolier Interactive Inc. | 1997.
Worms | Psygnosis | 1995.
Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind | Accolade | 1993 | NA ver.
Bubsy II | Accolade | 1994.
Eidolon, The | Epyx | 1985.
Manic Mansion | Lucusfilm Games | 1987.
Drakengard 2 | Square Enix | 2006.
Drakengard 3 | Square Enix | 2014.
Last Story, The | Nintendo | 2011.
Last Story, The | Nintendo | 2012.
Valkyrie Profile | Enix Corp. | 1999.
Xenoblade Chronicles | Nintendo | 2010.
Xenogears | Square | 1998 | NA ver.
5th Fleet | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1994.
1830: Railroads and Robber Barrons | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1995.
Advanced Civilization | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1995.
Age of Sail II | Take-Two | 2001.
Cavewars | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1996.
D-Day America Invades | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1995.
Devil Inside, The | Take-Two | 2000 | NA ver.
Dogs of War | Take-Two | 2000.
Flight Commander 2 | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1994.
Green Berets | Take-Two | 2001.
Merchant Prince II | Talonsoft | 2001.
Outlive | Take-Two | 2001.
Ski Resort Extreme | Global Star Software | 2004.
TalonSoft’s Divided Ground: Middle East Conflict 1948-1973 | Talonsoft | 2001.
Wooden Ships and Iron Men | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1996.
Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom by Larry Elmore.
North American artwork. First published by Topware Interactive in 1998 for the European and North American market.
Windows ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, Linux, Mac.
Click to enlarge
>The box art looks to be an early example of Larry creating art using a software package, (some covers are missing certain characters on the bottom of the piece) over his usual media of oils.