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


Video game box art and artist history database





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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.

Artist index: Na - No

BOX=ART index


Hardware index: Ne

Publisher series index: Ni


Video game series index: Ni

Naohisa Yamaguchi - see Nao Q.


Octopath Traveler | Nintendo | 2018 | Nintendo Switch. (1)

Octopath looks to be the first box art by Naoki. The artist’s video game resume includes monster designer for Square Enix’s Braverly Default series, a series that has ties to the Octopath world. This conection is further evident through the similar character art designs and also the choice of artist, with Naoki’s art style baring many marks of Braverly artist Akihiko Yoshida.

Alongside the main cover, Octopath shipped with eight alternative covers, each depicting the main character from the eight story strands. All were Naoki designs.

Naoki Ikushima. Japanese box artist in 2018.

>Box art catalogue



Noriyoshi Ohrai.  Japanese box artist from 1986-1996.

>Artist profile

The artist would study oil painting at the Tokyo University of Fine art and Music in the mid-50’s, before dropping out and embarking on his illustration career. He’d start out as a cover artist for various novels and designed advertisement art for local newspapers throughout the 1960’s.  In 1973 Noriyoshi designed his first movie poster, The Sinking of Japan.  It would be the start of a long and prolific career in the movie business that would turn him into an internationally known artist through his works for the Star Wars and Godzilla franchises.  

His first video game box arts would be reused movie posters for The Goonies and King Kong 2 (both Konami, 1986); he’d shortly after start his career with KOEI designing the cover for Genghis Khan (1987).  His cover arts for KOEI - much like his film posters - would all be painterly, bold in their use of colour and character led with worn, etched facial features.  His preparation for all his artworks was meticulous and would give an authenticity to his box arts, that along with his masterful style of art, proved globally appealing - to the point where not one of his artworks was replaced with another artists when KOEI published overseas.

His final cover, Teitoku no Ketsudan (1996), was a Japan only release.  Post-millennium, Noriyoshi worked with Konami designing the incredible posters that came with the Japanese Metal Gear Solid premium packages (from 2001-2006). He’d design a promotional poster for the PS3 version of Ni-oh (2005) and his final video game illustration was in 2012 for Konami’s Zone of the Enders HD.

Noriyoshi passed away in 2015, leaving one of the art world’s great legacies.

>Box art catalogue

Bandit Kings of Ancient China | KOEI | 1989 | Amiga, Famicom, FM-7, FM-Towns, Macintosh, MS DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PS1, Saturn, Sharp X-1, X68000.

Gemfire | KOEI | 1991 | FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Genghis Khan | KOEI | 1987 | Amiga, Famicom, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, X68000.

Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Grey Wolf | KOEI | 1992 | Famicom, FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, PC Engine, PS1, Sega CD, SNES, Super Famicom. X68000.

Genpei Gassen | KOEI | 1994 | PC-98, Windows.

Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters | Toho | 1991 | NES.

Goonies, The | Konami | 1986 | JPN ver. | Famicom, PC-98, Sharp X-1.

Inindo: Way of the Ninja | KOEI | 1991 | FM-Towns, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Ishin no Arashi | KOEI | 1988 | Famicom, FM-7, FM-Towns, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, PS1, Saturn, Sharp X-1, X68000.

Kamigami no Daichi Kojiki Gaiden | KOEI | 1993 | FM Towns, PC-98.

L'Empereur | KOEI | 1990 | Famicom, FM Towns, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1, X68000.

Liberty or Death | KOEI | 1993 | Genesis, MS-DOS, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom.

New Horizons | KOEI | 1993 | FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, PC-98, PS1, Saturn, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Nobunaga no Yabō: Haōden | KOEI | 1992 | 3DO, FM Towns, Mega Drive, PC-98, PS1, SegaCD, SNES, X68000.

Nobunaga no Yabō: Tenshōki | KOEI | 1994 | PC-98, Saturn, Sony PSP, Super Famicom.

Nobunaga’s Ambition II | KOEI | 1988 | Famicom, FM-7, FM Towns, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PS1, Sharp X-1, Saturn, X68000.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Lord of Darkness | KOEI | 1990 | 3DS, Famciom, FM Towns, Game Boy Advance, Genesis, MSX, Nintendo DS, PC-88, PC-98, PC Engine, PlayStation, Sharp X68000, SNES, Super Famicom.

Operation Europe: Path to Victory 1939-1945 | KOEI | 1991 | FM-Towns, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.  

P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations | KOEI | 1989 | FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Dirve, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000. (2)

P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations II | KOEI | 1993 | FM Towns, PC-98, PlayStation, Saturn, SNES, Super Famicom, Windows.  

Rise of the Phoenix | KOEI | 1993 | FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98, PS1, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Romance of the three Kingdoms II | KOEI | 1989 | Amiga, FM Towns, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, PS1, Sharp X1, Super Famicom, X68000.

Romance of the three Kingdoms III: Dragon of Destiny | KOEI | 1992| FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, PC-98, PC Engine, PS1, Sega CD, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Romance of the three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire | KOEI | 1994 | 3DO, FM Towns, PC-98, PS1, Sega 32X, Saturn, SNES, Super Famicom, Windows 3.x.

Taikō Risshiden | KOEI | 1992 | FM Towns, Mega Drive, PC-98, Super Famicom, X68000, Windows.

Taikō Risshiden II | KOEI | 1995 | PC-98, PS1, Saturn, Windows.

Teitoku no Ketsudan III | KOEI | 1996 | PC-98, PS1, Saturn, Windows.

Uncharted Waters | KOEI | 1990 | FM Towns, Genesis, Macintosh, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X68000, SNES, Super Famicom.






King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu | Konami | 1986 | MSX. (1)

This artwork was originally the movie poster for the Japanese theatrical release of King Kong 2 (1986).  

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. | 1986 | by Shigeru Miyamoto | Famicom.

Devil World | 1984 | Famicom, NES.

Dragon Warrior | 1989 | NA ver. | by GIRVIN | NES. (2)

Legend of Zelda, The | 1986 | JPN ver. | Nintendo Disk System, Famicom.

Legend of Zelda, The | 1987 | EU/ NA ver. | by GIRVIN | NES. (3)

Mario Bros. | 1983 | EU/ JPN ver. | Famicom, NES.

Metroid | 1986 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Hiroji Kiyotake | Nintendo Disk System. (4)

Popeye | 1983 | EU/ JPN ver. | Famicom. (5)

Slalom | 1987 | by Tim Stamper | NES.

Super Mario Bros. | 1985 | EU/ NA ver. | NES. (7)

Super Mario Bros. 2 | 1988 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Super Mario Bros. 3 | 1988 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Yoiche Kotabe. | Famicom, NES.

Super Mario Land | 1989 | by Yoiche Kotabe | Game Boy.

Tetris | 1989 | EU/ NA ver. | by GIRVIN | Game Boy, NES. (1)

Nintendo.  Publisher years 1983-1989.

Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング Donkī Kongu) | 1983 | EU, JPN ver. | Famicom, Game Boy Advance, NES. (1)

Donkey Kong would launch with the Famicom in 1983 along side Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye. All three would adopt a slightly Americanised cartooned look, with flat colouring and clean inking. This style of art would be used on all Nintendo published box arts throughout 1983-1984.

Certain countries in Europe (Spain, Germany and some Nordic nations) would receive the Famicom’s artwork but revised with greater depth of colour and shading applied. This was also the artwork that both Europe and Japan received when Nintendo re-released Donkey Kong under the NES Classic and Famicom Mini ranges.

Super Mario Bros. (スーパーマリオブラザーズ) | 1985 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Shigeru Miyamoto | Famicom, Game Boy Advance, NES. (6)

Debut box art for the Super Mario series and the only to designed by creator Shigeru Miyamoto. The box art would introduce stable series characters, Toad, Bowser, Koopers, Goombas and Peach. The character heavy art design would be replicated for both Famicom sequals - penned by Yoiche Kotabe - and would also influence the original Game Boy Mario covers.  Further influencing can be found in Rock Man’s Famicom box arts.

Nintendo of Japan’s (NOJ) debut console the Family Computer (Famicom) along with Sega’s first the SG-1000 (both released on the same day) would properly herald the beginning of Japan’s box art scene. Beforehand, early Japanese home computer video games had being published - mainly adventure/ RPG’s - along with a handful of American imports (see the Epoch/ Atari 2600 and Commodore MAX ranges), but the scene was more a hobbyist one and in its infancy. The Famicom would change the scene, bring video games to the masses and helped captivate a generation of gamers with the Famicom’s diminutive cases and vibrantly designed box arts.

Debut games Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye (all 1983) would all be published by NOJ and were designed with distinctively clean and colourful character arts that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a 1950’s Archie comic. NOJ would adopt this style of art design and overall box layout (an early range of games coined the ‘pulse-line’ series because of the pulse-line art decal used on the cartridges) up until 1984’s Devil World when artworks could now be more painterly efforts. In general through, much of NOJ’s published cover arts (and many third-party box arts also) stuck to the bright and simple cartooned look throughout 1984 and up until late 1985. Super Mario Bros. shipped in September 1985 and proved to be a cultural revolution in design and branding. It’s Japanese/ European cover by Shigeru Miyamoto also broke the mould with the Mushroom kingdom’s characters bursting across it, all scrambling for attention. This cluttered character showcasing style of art would be seen time and time again on Japanese box arts (see, Rockman, Ghost’s ‘n Goblins and Street Fighter series).

NOJ in 1986 released the Famicom Disk System and much of the publishers output in Japan to the end of the decade would end up on the add-on (see, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Super Maro Bros. The Lost Levels, and Kid Icarus). Casings were smaller than the Famicoms and more square shaped. Notable and exclusive Famicom box arts from 1986-1989 included Punch-Out!, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mother. Also in 1985 Nintendo released the NES on the US market and single handedly helped kick start that regions video game industry after its collapse in ‘83. To differentiate NES video games from other American ones (Atari 2600, Intellivision etc...) Nintendo of America (NOA) would come up with the iconic black-box design that proliferated Nintendo’s first and second party output from debut games of 1985 until 1987’s Rad Racer. These early box arts were key in explaining to initial adopters exactly would kind of game they were purchasing. You had a graphical example, the type of game listed and the famous Nintendo Seal of Quality emblazoned in gold - authenticating the product as of Nintendo quality (see, Super Mario Bros. Donkey Kong, Slalom etc).

NOA started to move away from this design style with The Legend of Zelda’s iconic box art being the first, and in doing so started to compete with the other Japanese publisher’s US subsidiaries such as, Data East, Capcom, Bandai and Konami, who since late 1986 had been producing their own North American box arts. The company behind The legend of Zelda would be design and marketting studio GIRVIN, headed up by Tim Girvin. GIRVIN would be responsible for all of NOA’s packaging designs and box arts that weren’t of Japanese origin. Nintendo of Europe debuted the NES in late 1986. Early video game releases would interestingly adopt both NOA’s ‘pixel-art’ covers for countries such as the UK and France, and NOJ’s original ‘pulse-line’ box arts for Germany and Spain (also Hong Kong). The latter came in smaller black boxes with added shading and colour to the original Famicom artworks. Devil World (1987) has the distinction of being the only western release to not get a ‘pixel-art’ cover. At the end of 1989 Nintendo released the Game Boy in Japan and North America. Notably, Yoiche Kotabe’s Super Mario Land cover (1989) would be the first Nintendo published game to see a global release without any changes made to it.

>Box art history

>Select box art catalogue, 1983-1989






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Ninja Gaiden. Koei Tecmo video game series from 1988-2014.

>Box art catalogue

Ninja Gaiden | Hudson Soft | 1992 | JPN ver. | PC Engine.

Ninja Gaiden | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Dave McMacken | Game Gear, Master System. (1)

Ninja Gaiden | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Jun Satoh | Game Gear. (2)

Ninja Gaiden | Tecmo | 1988 | JPN ver. | by Runmaru | Famicom.

Ninja Gaiden/ Ninja Gaiden Shadow | Tecmo | 1989 | NA ver. | by Runmaru | Game Boy, Lynx, MS-DOS, NES. (3)

Ninja Gaiden | Tecmo | 2004 | by  Tomonobu Itagaki & Hiroaki Matsui | Xbox. (4)

Ninja Gaiden II | Tecmo | 2008 | Xbox 360.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos | Tecmo | 1990 | by Runmaru | Amiga, Famicom, MS-DOS, NES. (5)

Ninja Gaiden 3 | Tecmo Koei | 2012 | PS3, Xbox 360.

Ninja Gaiden 3 (Collectors Edition) | Tecmo Koei | 2012 | PS3, Xbox 360.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge | Nintendo | 2012 | Nintendo WII U, PS3. Xbox 360.

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom | Tecmo | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Runmaru | Famicom.

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom | Tecmo | 1991 | NA ver. | Lynx, NES.

Ninja Gaiden Black | Tecmo | 2005 | Xbox.

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword | Tecmo | 2008 | by Mariko Hirokane | Nintendo DS. (6)

Ninja Gaiden Shadow | Tecmo | 1991 | JPN ver. | Game Boy.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma | Tecmo | 2007 | PS3, PS Vita. (7)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma (Collector's Edition) | Tecmo | 2007 | PS3.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma II | Tecmo | 2013 | by Mariko Hirokane | PS3, PS Vita.

Ninja Gaiden Trilogy | Tecmo | 1995 | JPN ver. | Super Famicom.

Ninja Gaiden Trilogy | Tecmo | 1995 | NA ver. | by Runmaru | SNES.

Shadow Warriors | Tecmo | 1991 | EU ver. | Game Boy, NES.

Shadow Warriors | Ocean Software | 1991 | EU ver. | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z | Koei Tecmo Games | 2014 | PS3, Xbox 360. (8)

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z - Special Zombi Pack | Koei Tecmo Games | 2014 | PS3, Xbox 360.







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Nigel Fletcher.  English box artist from 1986-1989.

>Box art catalogue


ATV Simulator | Codemasters | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

BMX Freestyle | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

BMX Simulator 2 | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Death Stalker | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Dizzy the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure | Codemasters | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Fast Food | Codemasters | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

International Rugby Simulator | Codemasters | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Mig-29 Soviet Fighter | Codemasters | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, NES, ZX Spectrum.

Moto X Simulator | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Mission Jupiter | Codemasters | 1987 | Amstrad CPC.

Ninja Massacre | Codemasters | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Poltergeist | Codemasters | 1988 | Commodore 64.

Race Against Time, The | Codemasters | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

SAS Combat Simulator | Codemasters | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Star Runner | Codemasters | 1987 | ZX Spectrum.

Super G-Man | Codemasters | 1987 | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Terra Cognita | Codemasters | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 16, Plus/4, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Vampire | Codemasters | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.



Treasure Island Dizzy | Codemasters | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (1)

Treasure Island Dizzy saw resident Codemasters artist Nigel Fletcher take the reigns again after also designing the previous and debut cover for Dizzy the Ulitimate Cartoon Adventure (1987).  In comparison to that cover, Treasure would drop the distinctly airbrushed look and instead adopt a more cartooned approach - that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80’s Beano strip. It would inspire all other Dizzy box arts.

Nick Stathopoulos. North American box artist from 1987-1997.

Carriers at War | SSG | 1992 | MS-DOS. (1)

Carriers at War II | SSG | 1993 | Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Carriers at War: Construction Kit | SSG | 1993 | MS-DOS.

Complete Carriers at War, The: Fleet Carrier Operations in WWII | SSG | 1996 | MS-DOS.

Decisive Battles of WWII: Ardennes Offensive | SSI | 1997 | Windows.

Fire King | SSG | 1989 | Commodore 64, MS-DOS. (2)

Halls of Montezuma: A Battle History of the United States Marine Corps | SSG | 1987 | Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Reach for the Stars: The Conquest for the Stars | SSG | 1988 | Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS. (3)

Rommel: Battles for North Africa | SSG | 1988 | Apple II, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS.

MacArthur’s War: Battles for Korea | SSG | 1988 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Warlords | SSG | 1990 | Amiga, Macintosh, MS-DOS. (4)

Warlords II | SSG | 1993 | Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Warlords II Deluxe | SSG | 1995 | Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Warlords II Scenario Builder | SSG | 1994 | MS-DOS.

>Box art catalogue




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Neo Geo AES.  SNK hardware from 1990-2004.

3 Count Bout | SNK | 1993 | by Shinkiro.

Alpha Mission II | SNK USA | 1991 | NA ver. | by Marc William Ericksen.

Art of Fighting | SNK | 1992 | by Shinkiro.

ASO II: Last Guardian | SNK | 1991 | by Shinkiro.

Burning Fight | SNK | 1991 | by Shinkiro.

Cyber-Lip | SNK | 1990.

Double Dragon | Technos Japan | 1995 | by Tsuguyuki Kubo.

Eightman | SNK | 1991 | by Shinkiro.

Fatal Fury (グリーンベレー) | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Shinkiro.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory | SNK | 1995 | by Shinkiro.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK | 1999 | by TONKO.

Ghost Pilots (ゴーストパイロット) | SNK | 1991 | NA ver. | by Marc William Ericksen.

King of Fighters ‘94 | SNK | 1994 | by Shinkiro.

King of Fighters 2001 | SNK Playmore | 2001 | by Nona. (3)

Last Blade, The | SNK | 1998 | by Shinkiro.

Magician Lord | SNK | 1990.

Metal Slug | SNK | 1996.

Metal Slug 2 | SNK | 1998 | by Higuchita.

Metal Slug 3 | SNK | 2000 | by Shinkiro.

Metal Slug 5 | SNK Playmore Corp | 2003 | by TONKO. (4)

Ninja Master’s | ADK | 1996.

Pulstar | SNK | 1995. (6)

Puzzled | SNK | 1991 | by Nao Q.

Robo Army | SNK | 1991 | by Shinkiro. (7)

Samurai Shodown | SNK | 1993 | by Shinkiro.

Samurai Shodown III: Blades of Blood | SNK | 1995 | by Eiji Shiroi.

Samurai Shodown V Special | Yuki | 2004 | by Satoshi Itoh.

Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku Tōkon: Matrimelee | SNK Playmore | 2003 | by Range Murta.

SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos | SNK Playmore | 2003 | by Falcoon.

Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy | SNK | 1994 | bu Nao Q. (8)

Twinkle Star Sprites | ADK | 1996 | by Mimoli Fujinomiya.

In 1990 the Neo Geo AES exploded onto the Japanese and North American video game scenes (it didn’t make it to Europe), bringing with it the most power gaming hardware you could play at the time and a wealth of rich character led cover arts. Neo Geo’s first year would see many of its Japanese designed games release in America and rather impressively all hit the States with their original Japanese box arts. It started with Ghost Pilots (1991, by Marc William Ericksen) that SNK of American began to out source cover art duties to American artists (also see, Fatal Fury by Robert Motzkus) but in general the original eastern artworks would still prevail - uncommon for the era.

Ghost Pilots (JPN ver.) and Sengoku (1991) would be the first covers to be designed by long term SNK artist Shinkiro (now an artist for Capcom). The artist would by far and away be the most used illustrator for cover art duties within SNK’s art team. His distinct penciling line work, along with hyper-realistic and anime styled character arts would make him a hit with gamers then and now. His final cover for the company would be 2000’s Metal Slug 3.

With the system playing host to a majority of fighting games it is unsurprising that character led covers populated Neo Geo releases. Some of Japan’s brightest character designers such as Shinkiro, TONKO, Eiji Shiroi and Falcoon would all cut their teeth on SNK properties. Box arts from the first half of the 90’s were likely designed using traditional media and then much of the rest of Neo Geo’s catalogue being made up of digital art compositions,with a few CG designed covers (see, Pulstar, Overtop, both 1996 and Blazing Star, 1998).

With the games coming on large cartridges meant large cases. North American cases would ship with a thick black boarder and coloured strips, with the game’s amount of ‘megs’ proudly displayed in the lower left corner. Japanese cases would do away with borders and use the circular Neo Geo logo.   

The final cover for the system would be Samurai Shodown V Special (2004).  A typically confident and bold effort but arguably not the best the series offered.


Fatal Fury (グリーンベレー) | SNK America Corp | 1991 | NA ver. | by Robert Motzcus. (1)

Robert’s debut box art and a fine example of the realistic style of character art that was becoming popular in the early 90’s (also see Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell’s early 90’s work). Robert’s cover would be used exclusively on the North American AES release with the Japanese version being designed by SNK artist Shinkiro. Shinkiro’s cover was arguably a little too styalised for what American kids were used to at the time and was understandably replaced.

Interestingly, instead of using Robert’s art for the US Genesis and SNES versions another Japanese illustrator took over duties: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.    

Ghost Pilots (ゴーストパイロット) | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Shinkiro. (2)

One of Shinkiro’s early period box arts and distinguished for being one of a handful that don’t have the artist’s distinctive character art emblazoned across the cover. It is also one of the artists personal favorite covers.

The lettering looks like it was shamelessly ripped of from Nintendo’s F-Zero game, released two months previous.

NAM-1975 (グリーンベレー) | SNK | 1990. (5)

NAM-1975 would help launch the Neo Geo in Japan and the US with both regions shipping with the same cover. The cover would be cause mild controversy with some western distributors who took offence with the gun-wielding woman’s clevage and exposed thigh. They would go to the extreme’s of covering up the offending art with black pen on both the box and cart.

The artwork is a great example of the bombastic and grandeous art designs that Neo Geo AES games have famously become known for. It displays a truely Hollywood movie poster look, with a impressive use of color, plus light and shade. The character art and use of a biped-mech in the background points towards a Japanese artist designing it.

>Select box art catalogue








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Natsuki Sumeragi.  Japanese box artist from 1998-1999.

Sokaigi | Squaresoft | 1998 | PS1. (1)

Xuanyuan Jian 3: Yun he Shan de Bi Duan | Softstar Entertainment | 1999 | Windows.

>Box art catalogue




Naoyuki Katoh.  Japanese box artist from 1988-1993.

Gdleen : Digan no Maseki | Artec | 1989 | MSX, PC-98.

Ginga Eiyū Densetsu II: Space War Simulation | Bothec Inc. | 1990 | MSX, PC-88, PC-98, X68000.

Laser Squad - Uchuu Kaiheitai | C2 Bros | 1993 | PC-98.

Legion | Telenet Japan Co. | 1990 | PC Engine.

R-Type | IREM Corp. | 1988 | MSX. (2)

Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos | Epic/ Sony | 1990 | JPN ver. | Famicom.

Super Aleste | Toho Co. | 1992 | JPN ver. | Super Famicom. (3)

>Box art catalogue





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Guardian Legend, The (ガーディック外伝) | IREM | 1988 | JPN ver. | Famicom. (1)

The Japanese exclusive box art by famed illustrator Naoyuki Kato would prove an artistically complex and mature effort within the Famicom’s catalogue.  The Guardic cyborg’s design would take inspiration from the fetish, steampunk world of H. R Giger and Europe’s pantheon of artist’s that made up the roster of 70’s magazine, Métal Hurlant.  It would interestingly pay little homage to the in game character design, and because of this, could well have been a recommisioned job rather than an original. The title banner’s vibrant pallette and metallic sheen added to the composite well, but would have benefited from being smaller and not drawing the eye so much.

North America and Europe would both adopt a different box art on release - probably due to the different publisher in each region - with the later's characterisation crossing the game’s heroine and Katoh’s design.  Neither would compare to the Japanese original.

Nao Q (Naohisa Yamaguchi). Japanese box artist from 1991-2000.

Metal Slug 2nd Mission | SNK | 2000 | Neo Geo Pocket. (1)

Puzzled | SNK | 1991 | Neo Geo AES.

Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy | SNK | 1994 | Neo Geo AES. (2)

>Box art catalogue



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    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