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


BOX=ART index

 >Mi - My

Artist index: Mi - Mo


Video game series index: Mi - Mo

Pages - Ma-Me  Mi-My

Special category index - Mo

eZZXgory index: Mo


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Pages - Ma-Me  Mi-My

Michael Hellmich.  German box artist from 1990-1994.

Atomix | Thalion Software | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS DOS.

Backgammon | Magic Soft | 1990 | Amiga.

Bundesliga Manager Professional | Software 2000 | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS DOS.

Charly | Magic Soft | 1991 |  Amiga.

Cubulus | Software 2000 | 1991 | Amiga, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Death of Glory: Das Erbe von Morgan | Software 2000 | 1994 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Die Kathedrale | Software 2000 | 1991 | Amiga, MS-DOS. (1)

Encharted Land | Thalion Software | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Ghost Battle | Thalion Software | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Hexuma: Das Auge des Cal | Software 2000 | 1992 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Jonathan | Software 2000 | 1993 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Kengi | Software 2000 | 1991 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Manager, The | Software 2000 | 1992 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

O.B.Y.1 | Magic Soft | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Prehistoric Tale, A | Thalion Software | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Shiftrix | Software 2000 | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Think Twice | Magic Soft | 1991 | Amiga.

Tower Fra | Thalion Software | 1990 | Amiga.

Wild West World | Software 2000 | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.




>Box art catalogue

Michael J. Winterbauer.  North American box artist from 1989-1994.

Double Strike | American Video Entertainment | 1990 | NES.

Keys to Maramon, The | Mindcraft Software | 1990 | Amiga, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen | New World Computing | EU/ NA ver. | MS-DOS.

Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen | New World Computing | EU/ NA ver. | MS-DOS.  (1)

Ninja Taro | American Sammy | 1992 | NA ver. | Game Boy.

Origamo | QQP | 1994 | MS-DOS.

Power Blade | Taito | 1991 | NES. (2)

Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos | CSG Imagesoft | 1990 | NES.

Spaceward Ho! | New World Computing | 1992 | Amiga, Macintosh, MS-DOS, Windows 3.x.

Trouble Shooter | Vic Tokai | 1991 | NA ver. | Genesis.

War Eagles | Cosmi Corp | 1989 | MS-DOS.

Wing Commander | Mindscape | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

WolfChild | JVC Musical Industries | 1992 | NA ver. | Sega CD.



Power Blade (パワーブレイザー, Pawā Burez)

First published by Taito in 1991 for the European and North American NES markets.



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North American artwork. Published by Taito in 1991 for the European and North American NES markets.  





The title screen of the game features a picture of main chararter NOVA that closely resembles promotional images of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1984 film The Terminator, the box art also features a similar portrayal of NOVA. According to artist Winterbauer, "a certain movie star's lawyers" sent him a very unpleasant letter regarding the painting used for the cover. Michael was able to prove that he had used a photograph of himself for reference and received no further contact.

>Pictures from left to right - original box art and photo reference.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Michael O. Haire.  North American box artist from 1981-1983.

Dunzhin | Med Systems Software | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter, TRS-80.

Kaiv | Screenplay | 1983 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Institute, The | Med Systems Software | 1981 | Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, TRS-80. (1)

Wylde, The | Screenplay | 1983  | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Ziggurat | Screenplay | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 400/800.





Institute, The

North American artwork. Published in 1981 for the North American market.

TRS-80 ver. pictured.



Psychological drama The Institute would be another text-based adventure from publisher ScreenPlay and coding superstar Jyym Pearson. Its cover by artist Haire paints a Freudian nightmare, with delicately draw character art that wonderfully depicts the player’s slipping into a hellish dreamlike state of madness. Using vivid and juxtaposing pinks and yellows against black on white, The Institute leaps off the cover and mesmerises with its suggestiveness.  

Due to it heralding from the dawn of the home-computer scene no box was originally produced (the game came in a plastic bag, as was common of the time) and so this artwork was made available on the cover of the instruction manual.



 

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>Box art review

>Box art catalogue

Michiaki Satoh.  Japanese box artist in 1988.

Altered Beast | Sega | 1988 | Genesis, Mega Drive, PC Engine. (1)






Altered Beast (獣王記)

First published by Sega globally in 1988 for the Genesis/ Mega Drive market.  

Mega Drive ver. pictured.




As one of the Genesis/ Mega Drives launch games Altered Beast’s cover would deliberately appeal to a maturer audience than what Sega had previously tried to with its SG-1000/ Master System.  The cover would also prove to be more gothic and horror focased compared to much of what Nintendo had allowed on its NES/ Famicom, again, to differentiate Sega’s audience from Nintendo’s.

>Pictures from left to right - original box art and complete panoramic artwork.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Mick McGinty.  North American box artist from 1991-2008.

3-D Ultra lionel Train Town Deluxe | Sierra On-Line | 2000 | Windows.

3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride | Sierra On-Line | 2000 | Windows.

Final Fight | Capcom | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Final Fight II | Capcom | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Monster Bass! | Magical Company Ltd | 2000 | NA ver. | PS1.

Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition | Capcom | 1993 | NA ver. | Genesis, Master System.

Street Fighter II: The World Warriors | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy, MS-DOS, SNES, ZX Spectrum. (1)

Street Fighter II Turbo | Capcom | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES. (2)

Streets of Rage II | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Super Street Fighter II | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Return of the Incredible Machine: Contraptions | Sierra On-Line | 2000 | Macintosh, Windows.

Zoo Tycoon | Microsoft | 2001 | Macintosh, Windows.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species | Microsoft | 2005 | Windows.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection | Microsoft | 2008 | Windows.





Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (ストリートファイターⅡ)

Published by Capcom in 1992 for the European and North American markets.  

Amiga ver. pictured




Debut western Street Fighter II series box art. Artist Mick McGinty’s, The World Warriors would be used on all home computer and console releases bar the Japanese Super Famicom version (the only Japanese release of the game). The artists western portrayal of original artist Akiman’s Japanese characters would polorize Capcom of America, with some believing that Akiman’s box art should have prevaled State side. Ultimately it was decided against as not being suited enough to American tastes, in a time when Japanese art was not yet accepted as it is today.

The box art was designed using McGinty’s favored media of the time, air brush.

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>Box art review

>Box art catalogue

Might and Magic.  Video game series from 1984-2014.

Might and Magic | American Sammy Corp | 1992 | NES.

Might and Magic | NEC Avenue | 1992 | by Akihiro Yamada | PC Engine CD. (8)

Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World | New World Computing | 1988 | by Jim Krogel | Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, Genesis, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, SNES.

Might and Magic III: Isles of Terror | FCI | 1995 | NA ver. | SNES.

Might and Magic III: Isles of Terror | Hudson Soft | 1993 | by Akihiro Yamada | JPN ver. | PC Engine CD. (7)

Might and Magic III: Isles of Terror | Hudson Soft | 1993 | NA ver. | Turbo Grafx CD.

Might and Magic III: Isles of Terror | Starcraft Inc | 1992 | by Jim Krogel | PC-98.

Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven | The 3DO Company | 1998 | by Larry Elmore | Windows. (6)

Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor | The 3DO Company | 1999 | by Boris Vallejo | Windows. (2)

Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer | Imagineer Co | 2001 | JPN ver. | PS2. (4)

Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer | The 3DO Company | 2000 | by Larry Elmore | Windows. (2)

Might and Magic IX | The 3DO Company | 2002 | Windows.

Might & Magic X: Legacy (Deluxe Edition) | Ubisoft Entertainment | 2014 | Windows.

Might and Magic Book One | Gakken Co | 1990 | JPN ver. | Famicom.

Might and Magic: Book One - Secret of the Inner Sanctum | New World Computing | 1986 | by Jim Krogel. | Apple II, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX 2, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X-1, X68000. (5)

Might and Magic Book II | LOZ/G Amusements | 1993 | JPN ver. | by Akira Komeda | Super Famicom. (9)

Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen | New World Computing | EU/ NA ver. | by Michael J. Winterbauer | MS-DOS.

Might and Magic: Clouds of Xeen | Starcraft | 1993 | JPN ver. | FM Towns, PC-98.

Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen | New World Computing | EU/ NA ver. | by Michael J. Winterbauer | MS-DOS. (1)

Might and Magic: Darkside of Xeen | Starcraft | 1993 | JPN ver. | FM Towns, PC-98.

Might and Magic: World of Xeen | New World Computing | 1994 | Macintosh, MS-DOS.












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>Box art catalogue

Might and Magic Book One

Published by New World Computing inc. in 1986 for the Japanese and North American markets.  

Commodore 64 ver. pictured.



Debut box art for the Might and Magic series. The box art would see a international release on the Japanese home computers, but would miss out Europe’s hardware. The Tolkein inspired map design would also be used globally for the Book II follow up, and Book III in Japan only.

Little is known about the artist other than he was skilled in map design, and his time within the video game industry seems limited to these two box arts.

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>Box art review

Mike Bryan. North American box artist in 1988.

Robocop | Data East USA | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy, MS-DOS, NES, TRS-80. (1)





Robocop

First published by Data East USA globally in 1988.

Atari ST ver. pictured.




Mike’s original movie poster would be used across the globe and on all formats. It was arguably the first movie poster box art to have mass appeal.


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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Mike Koelsch.  North American box artist from 1994-2000.

Earthworm Jim | Playmates Interactive Entertainment | 1994 | Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, SNES, Super Famicom.  (2)

Earthworm Jim 2 | Playmates Interactive Entertainment | 1995 | Game Boy Advance, Genesis, Mega Drive, PS1, Saturn, SNES, Windows.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition | Interplay | 1995 | Windows.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition | Interplay | 1995 | Sega CD.

Escape from Monkey Island | LucasArts Entertainment | 2000 | Macintosh, PS2 (EU ver), Windows.  (1)

Timon and Pumbaa’s Jungle Games | Disney Interactive | 1995 | Macintosh, SNES, Windows.





>Box art catalogue

Minoru Maeda.  Japanese box artist from 1984-1986.

Excitebike | Nintendo | 1984 | JPN ver. | Famicom, Game Boy Advance. (1)

Legend of Zelda, The | Nintendo | 1986 | JPN ver. | Nintendo Disk System, Famicom, Game Boy Advance. (2)





>Box art catalogue

Mitsuru Nakamura.  See 326.

Moebius (Jean Giraud). French box artist in 1995.

Fade to Black | Electronic Arts | 1995 | EU/ NA ver. | MS-DOS.

Panzer Dragoon | Sega | 1995 | JPN ver. | Saturn. (1)




Panzer Dragoon (パンツァードラグーン)

Published by Sega in 1995 for the Japanese Saturn market.  




panzer-dragoon-SAT-big.jpg

Taking clues from the game’s opening level and it’s “Alexandrian” inspired architecture, Moebius would deploy his trademark style of minimalist detail and masterful use of colour.  He would also add a healthy dose of surrealism to the mix whilst doing away with the usual blasting and destroying that shooter cover arts often depicted.

His work on comic book Arzach in 1975 would be one of Team Andromeda’s main artistic influences for Panzer Dragoon, and Moebius would go on to produce original artwork for their creative process.  It would be an unusual collaboration for its time but his influence on Japanese illustrators, and such famed purveyors as Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli), Katsuya Terada (Blood: The last vampire) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), would certainly explain Sega of Japan commissioning him.  

The box art would interestingly not make it to western shores making it one of a few European cover arts from that period to be exclusive to Japan.  Unfortunately Europe and America would have frowned upon them a computer art equivalent with none of the comic book wonder of Jean’s.  

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

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Monkey Island.  LucasArts video game series from 1990-2011.

Curse of Monkey Island, The | LucasArts Entertainment | 2000 | by Larry Ahern & Bill Tiller | MS-DOS, Windows. (3)

Escape from Monkey Island | LucasArts Entertainment | 1997 | by Mike Koelsch | Macintosh, PS2 (EU ver), Windows. (2)

Escape from Monkey Island | LucasArts Entertainment | 2001 | NA ver. | PS2.

Monkey Island: Special Edition Bundle | Activision | 2011 | PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360. (5)

Monkey Island II: LeChuck’s Revenge | LucasArts | 1991 | by Steve Purcell | Amiga, FM Towns, Macintosh, MS-DOS. (4)

Secret of Monkey Island, The | LucasFilm Games | 1990 | by Steve Purcell | Amiga, Atari ST, FM Towns, Macintosh, Mega CD/ Sega CD, MS-DOS. (6)

Tales of Monkey Island | LucasArts | 2009 | by Steve Purcell | Macintosh, Windows. (1)

Tales of Monkey Island (Deluxe Edition) | Telltale | 2010 | Macintosh, Windows.

Tales of Monkey Island: Premium Edition | Lace Mamba Global | 2011 | by Steve Purcell | Macintosh, Windows.






Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge by Steve Purcell.

North American artwork. First published by LucasFilm Games in 1991. For the global market.

MS-DOS ver. pictured.



Steve would credit LeChuck’s Revenge, in comparison to his cover for The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), a more successful box art from a design perspective. It’s character art was created by Steve taking photos of his girlfriend modelling pirate attire whilst being dramatically lit.  

LeChuck’s Revenge would be painted in oils over the course of a month and as with the first game, Steve would be responsible for the conceptual art and animation.

On the colour composition he says: “Here, of course, is the comp for the final LeChuck's Revenge painting. Looks like I hadn't yet thought of the idea of the dead bird plume and what is Elaine doing there besides looking like a man? It appears I reversed the values of the clouds and sky for additional eeriness and tried punching up the phoney baloney lighting on the figures. All in all a handy exercise I guess.”

>Pictures from left to right - original box art, colour composition and alternative cover.

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Debut box art for the series and Steve’s most widely used cover art. Compared to the familiar territory of Zak McKracken’s cartooned style (1988), Monkey’s more painterly realism in opaque watercolours would creatively stretch the artist at the time.

>Pictures from the top - original box art and sketch on tracing paper.

Secret of Monkey Island, The by Steve Purcell.

North American artwork. First published by LucasFilm Games in 1990. For the global market.

MS-DOS ver. pictured.



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>Box art review

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>Box art catalogue

A View to a Kill | Domark | 1985 | by Daniel Goozee. (1)

Back to the Future | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | by Drew Struzan.

Back to the Future III | Image Works | 1991 | by Drew Struzan.  

Batman | Ocean Software | 1989 | by Anton Furst.

Cars 3 | Warner Bros. | 2017.

Cutthroat Island | Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. | 1995 | by Drew Struzan.  

Goonies, The | Konami | 1986 | by Noriyuki Ohari.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom | Mindscape | 1987 | by Drew Struzan. (7)

Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom | Mindscape | 1984 | by Bruce Wolfe. (3)

James Bond 007 in The Living Daylights: The Computer Game | Domark | 1987 | by Brian Bysouth.

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game | Ubisoft | 2009 | BLT Communications.

Jaws | Screen 7 | 1989 | by Roger Kastel.

Jurassic Park | Ocean Software | 1993 | by Chip Kidd & Sandy Collora.

King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu | Konami | 1986 | by Noriyoshi Ohari. (2)

Masters of the Universe: The Movie | Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd. | 1987 | by Drew Struzan.

Men in Black: The Game | SouthPeak Interactive | 1997 | by Pulse Advertising.

NeverEnding Story, The | 1985 | by Renato Casaro.

Robocop | 1989 | by Mike Bryan. (5)

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | LucasArts | 1999 | by Drew Struzan. (6)

Super Return of the Jedi | JVC Musical Industries | 1994 | by Kazuhiko Sano. (4)

Super Star Wars | JVC Musical Industries | 1992 | by Tom Chantrell. (8)




Movie poster art.  From 1984-2017.


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For publishers such as Domark and Ocean Software the movie tie -in game was big business in the 80’s and 90’s with pretty much every blockbuster film getting its own.  Much of the time the original movie poster would be used to promote the game, giving the product an obvious marketing tie.  Come the 2000’s movie licence video games would start to lose much of their previous allure and would commonly be branded as inferior gaming experiences.

Due to this, many blockbuster movies would release without any tie-in game as demand waned - for example, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Skyfall, Wonder Woman and Star Wars: Episode VIII.  Marvel and Disney/ Pixar properties in recent times have arguably been the biggest users of movie poster art, attracting younger gamers and on more kid-friendly systems such as the Nintendo 3DS.   

>Box art history

>Select box art catalogue

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