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

BOX=ART

Video game box art and artist history database

Home

Timeline

M.I.A

Sitemap

Privacy policy

Contact & thanks

Review

BOX=ART quick menus

BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2020 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

 >Ka - Ke

Katsumi Yokota.  Japanese box artist from 1998-2002.

Rez | Sega | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver | DreamCast, PS2. (2)

Rez | Sega | 2002 | NA ver. | PS2.







Panzer Dragoon Saga (アゼル パンツァードラグーンRPG) | Sega | 1998 | JPN ver. | Saturn. (1)

Yokota-san would get the job of character designer on Saga after working on the previous game in the series, Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei’s (1996) cinematic end-credit sequence. The illustrator recalls that much of the character art had been sketched out when he joined the project - by Manabu Kusunoki, director and chief designer - and that he was responsible for refining and bringing them to life. The designs were deliberately anti what Japanese characters looked like in the late 1990’s (see Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud for a typical example), with an attitude of the avent-garde permeating the development team’s work.

The dragon design was the work of Satoshi Sakai who remembers that Katsumi took a print off of one of his 3D dragon models and painted over it.  Katsumi recalls that he was never a fan of Sakai’s dragon designs at the time - thinking that looked too Kaiju (like Godzilla) - and so made them more elegant and fitting with the games overal feel.

Much like the rest of the development team Katsumi was influenced by artist Moebius, who was responsible for the first Panzer Dragoon box art.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

panzer-dragoon-saga-SAT-big.jpg

(1)

rez-DRE-big.jpg

(2)

Kazumi Kakizaki.  Japanese box artist from 1989-1990.

Double Dragon | Technos Japan Corp. | 1990 | JPN ver. | Game Boy.  





Double Dragon II: The Revenge (ダブルドラゴンⅡ ザ・リベンジ) | Technos Japan Corp. | 1989 | Famicom, Mega Drive (JPN ver), NES, PC Engine. (1)

Double Dragon II’s box art would be a classic example in urban, beat ‘em up cover design.  But where other early examples of the genre such as Renegade (1987), Shinobi (1989) and Bad Dudes (1988) portrayed their characters in drab tones, Kasumi, in a way only a golden age Mangaka would dare to, saw fit to bath his brawlers in vibrant pinks, purples and oranges.  It added up to an explosive montage that saw western appeal being released worldwide on the NES.

The American and European home computer versions would take direct influence from the original but would instead unclutter the scene, tone down the palette and Americanise the characters further.  It would add up to an OK interpretation of the original.

Kasumi would illustrate the Japanese Game Boy version of the first Double Dragon, and the Japanese arcade flyer for Double Dragon III, his work on the series would end there. Presently no other box arts are accredited to him.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

double-dragon-II-NES-big.jpg

(1)

Kazuyuki Hoshino.  Japanese box artist in 1993.

Sonic CD | Sega | 1993 | EU/ JPN ver. | Mega CD, Windows. (1)

This box art would introduce the Metal Sonic character (designed by Kazuyuki).  It was designed with a jet engine in mind. The Sonic art looks to have taken clues from Greg Wray’s characterisation. The gold leaf logo was deliberately used to distinguish itself for the Mega Drive Sonic logo’s in Japan, whilst the covers overall pop art design gave it some connection.

North America would tyipiacally drop the Japanese art and instead go for a Greg Martin piece.


>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

sonic-cd-MCD-JPN-big.jpg

(1)

Kazutaka Miyatake.  Japanese box artist in 1984.

Orguss (オーガス") | Sega | 1984 | Sega SG10. (1)

The game would be based on the Super Dimension Century Orguss TV series that launched in Japan (July,1983).  The box art looks to be a still or panel from the show by mechanical designer Miyataka.

The game would be released in Europe with this box art intact and is currently the earliest known mecha/ anime cover art to be used in the West.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

(1)

orguss-SG-big.jpg

Last Express, The | Broderbund Software| 1997 | Macintosh, MS-DOS, Windows. (1)

Return to Atlantis | EA | 1988 | Amiga.

Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi | JVC Musical Industries | 1994 | Game Boy, SNES. (2)




Kazuhiko Sano.  Japanese box artist from 1988-1997.

>Box art catalogue

(1)

(2)

super-return-of-the-jedi-GB-big.jpg the-last-express-DOS-big.jpg

>Gallery

Katsuya Terada.  Japanese box artist from 1987-2018.

    


Blue Almanac | Kodansha Ltd. | 1991 | Mega Drive. (1)

Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative NEO | Atlus | 2003 | PS2. (2)

Busin: Wizardry Alternative | Atlus | 2001 | PS2.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Akai Chō | WorkJam | 2010 | Nintendo DS.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Hai to Daiyamondo | WorkJam | 2009 | Sony PSP.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Early Collection | Data East | 1999 | PS1.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Fukushuu no Rinne | WorkJam | 2012 | 3DS.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Fuserareta Shinjitsu | WorkJam | 2009 | Nintendo DS.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Innocent Black | WorkJam | 2002 | PS2.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Kienai Kokoro | WorkJam | 2008 | Nintendo DS.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Kiken na Futari Zenpen | Data East | 1988 | Nintendo Disk System.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Kiken na Futari Kōhen | Data East | 1989 | Nintendo Disk System.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Kind of Blue | WorkJam | 2004 | PS2.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Mikan no Rupo | Data East | 1996 | PS1, Saturn.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Prism of Eyes | Arc System Works | 2018 | PS4, Nintendo Switch.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Shinjuku Chūō Kōen Satsujin Jiken | Data East | 1987 | Nintendo Disk System.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Shiroi Kage no Shōjo | WorkJam | 2004 | Game Boy Advance.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Toki no Sugiyuku Mama ni... | Data East | 1991 | Famicom.

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Tomoshibi ga Kienu Ma ni | Data East | 1999 | PS1. (3)

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Yokohama-kō Renzoku Satsujin Jiken | Data East | 1988 | Famicom. (4)

Detective Saburō Jingūj: Yume no Owari ni | Data East | 1998 | PS1, Saturn.

Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles | WorkJam | 2007 | Nintendo DS.

Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past | Aksys Games Localization, Inc. | 2009 | Nintendo DS.

Jake Hunter Detective Stories: Ghost in the Dark | Arc System Works | 2017 | 3DS.

Legend of Bishin, The | Magifact | 1993 | Super Famicom. (5)

Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts | TAKARA Lft Co. | 1995 | Super Famicom. (6)

Nanatama: Chronicle of Dungeon Master | GAE Inc. | 2001 | Sony PSP.

Prince of Persia | Masaya | 1992 | EU/ JPN ver. | SNES, Super Famicom. (7)

Sol Divide | Atlus | 1998 | PS1, Saturn.

Sword of Samurai | Majesco Entertainment | 2002 | JPN ver. | PS2.

Virtua Fighter Remix | Sega | 1995 | JPN ver. | Saturn. (8)

Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land | Atlus U.S.A | 2001 | PS2.















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.




>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

(1)

(2)

blue-almanac-MD-big.jpg busin-ps2-big.jpg

(3)

detective-saburo-ps1-big.jpg

(5)

(6)

tantei-jinguji-saburo-yokohama-ko-renzoku-satsujin-jiken-FAM-big.jpg

(4)

prince-of-persia-SF-big.jpg

(7)

(8)

maten-densetsu-SF-big.png Virtua-fighter-remix-SAT-big.jpg legend-of-bishin-SF-big.jpg

Karen Gerving.  North American box artist from 1979-1981.

Dunjonquest: Upper Reaches of Apshai | Epyx | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, TRS-80.





Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1979 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, TRS-80. (1)

The debut game in the series, Temple of Apshai would adopt a unique stencil art style that would go on to brand its many offshoots and sequels.   The term box art is slightly out of place here due to the original 1979 release being shipped within a clear plastic bag, complete with printed manual and disks (as was commonplace for late 70’s home computer games).   All post-1980 ports of the game would include boxes, and in the case of the CBS Electronics versions, a different cover art.

Compared to other home computer box arts from 1979, that in general were rather crude and simplistic, Temple of Apshai had more in common with the quality of art established by the 1970’s console scene (in comparison though its lack of box would exemplify the infancy of the 1979 home computer scene).  This quality undoubtedly contributed to the games huge success with a massive 30,000-40,000 units sold (!)

The 1985 remake, Temple of Apshai Trilogy would do away with the originals abstract style and instead adopt the fast becoming fashionable, high fantasy look.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

Dunjonquest-temple-of-apshai-TRS-big.jpg

(1)

Katsuhiko Sigeri.  Japanese box artist in 2006.

Odama | Nintendo | 2006 | EU/ NA ver | GameCube. (1)





>Box art catalogue

odama-GC-big.jpg

(1)

>Gallery

Kei Furutsuki.  Japanese box artist from 1988-1989.

Aleste | Compile | 1989 | MSX 2.

Aleste 2 | Compile | 1989 | MSX 2.

Shin Maō Golvellius Shin Maō Golvellius | Compile | 1988 | MSX 2.





>Box art catalogue

Kenneth Scott.  North American box artist in 2004.

Doom 3 | Activision | 2004 | Linux, Macintosh, Windows, Xbox. (1)

Lead artist Kenneth Scott would be responsible for the the character model used on the cover art.  It would be designed using computer art, a first for the series.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

doom-3-XBOX-big.jpg

(1)

Kev Walker.  English box artist from 1993-1997.

Kings Table: The Legend of Ragnarok | Mirage Techologies Ltd | 1993 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Perfect Assassin | Grolier Interactive Inc. | 1997 | MS-DOS, PS1. (1)

Retribution | Gremlin Interactive Ltd | 1994 | MS-DOS.




>Box art catalogue

perfect-assassin-DOS-big.png

(1)

>Gallery

Ken Macklin.  North American box artist from 1985-1994.

Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind | Accolade | 1993 | NA ver. | Genesis, SNES.

Bubsy II | Accolade | 1994 | Game Boy, Genesis, SNES.

Eidolon, The | Epyx | 1985 | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Manic Mansion | Lucusfilm Games | 1987 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Linux, Macintosh, MS-DOS, NES.

Temple of Apshai Trilogy | Epyx | 1985 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, Thomson TO. (1)



>Box art catalogue

temple-of-apshai-trilogy-c64-big.jpg

(1)

>Gallery

Kentarou Miura.  Japanese box artist in 1999.

Berserk | ASCII Corp. | 1999 | JPN ver. | Dreamcast. (1)





>Box art catalogue

berserk-DRE-big.jpg

(1)

>Gallery

Kenichiro Yoshimura.  Japanese box artist from 2006-2017.

Bayonetta | Sega | 2009 | JPN ver. | by Kenichiro Yoshimura | PS3, Xbox 360.

Bayonetta | Sega | 2010 | EU/ NA ver. | PS3, Xbox 360.

Bayonetta 2 | Nintendo | 2014 | Nintendo WII U, Nintendo Switch.

Okami | Capcom | 2006 | PS2.

Okami | Capcom | 2008 | Nintendo Wii.

Okami HD | Capcom | 2012 | PS3.

Okami HD | Capcom | 2017 | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Xbox One. (1)





>Box art catalogue

(1)

okami-HD-PS4-big.jpg

>Gallery

Keita Amemiya.  Japanese box artist from 1987-1996.

Hagane: The Final Conflict | Hudson | 1994 | SNES, Super Famicom. (1)

Rudra no Hihō | Square | 1996 | Super Famicom. (2)

Seiken Psycho Caliber: Majū no Mori Densetsu | Imagineer Co. | 1987 | Nintendo Disk System.





>Box art catalogue

(1)

(2)

hagane-SF-big.jpg Rudra-no-Hihou-SF-big.jpg

>Gallery

Artist index - Ka - Ke


    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 - Ka-Ke  Ki-Ku


Top


Pages - Ka-Ke  Ki-Ku