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


Video game box art and artist history database




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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.

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Box art index - P

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Panzer Dragoon (パンツァードラグーン) by Moebius (Jean Giraud).

French artwork. Published by Sega in 1995 for the Japanese Saturn market.  

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>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.  

Phalanx by Yoshiuki Takani.

Japanese artwork. Published by Kemco in 1991 for the Japanese X68000 market.  

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>The veteran illustrator of TAMIYA military model-kit box arts would beautifully depict Phalanx’s star-fighter in an uncommonly calm setting for a shoot ‘em up cover art.

Very much in line with the style of illustartor Shigeru Komatsuzaki, Yoshiyuki’s delicate brush strokes, soft pallet and detailed realism would be a welcome artistic change to the more common anime style seen in the Super Famicom’s equivalent release.

In the US, publisher Kemco would infamously create the equivalent SNES box art. Bereft of any quality, it depicted a banjo-playing hick. Whilst certainly achieving the tongue-in-cheek recognition, and notoriety, the publisher set out to garner, it was a depressing alternative when Takani’s artwork was available.

A hidden gem of a box art, Phalanx is another classic work from one of Japan’s old guards in the art of painted war.


Prince of Persia (プリンスオブペルシャ) by Katsuya Terada.

Japanese artwork. Published by Masaya in 1992 for the European and Japanese markets.

Super Famicom ver. pictured. Also available on: SNES.  


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Perfect Assassin by Kev Walker.

English artwork. Published by Grolier Interactive Inc. in 1997 for the European market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: PlayStation.  


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Pablo Uchida.  Japanese box artist in 2016.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience.

Published by Konami in 2016 for the European and North American markets.  

PS4 ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Xbox One.

>Paying homage to the classic movie poster montage (popularised by the Blaxploitation subgenre of the 1970’s and still used today for the likes of the Star Wars series and the Marvel cinematic universe), Pablo’s cover oozes explosive beauty, through character heavy detailing and striking colour.

Cool grey tones colour protagonist Snake as he merges into Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, a subtle reinforcement of the symbiotic relationship between Snake’s and Gears.  Only to be jarringly cut by the game’s roster intent on injecting vivid colour and chaos.

The artwork was originally designed to promote the Japanese release of The Phantom Pain in 2015, where its deliberate movie poster quality stood out all the more and pronounced the horse’s symbolic flaming V to fuller effect.  

Japan’s box art version is worth noting.  Taking Takeya Inguchi’s original Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain cover, it near destroys all colour and fills Snake’s head with characters as if to illustrate the burdening weight his mind carries.

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Peter Andrew Jones.  English box artist from 1983-1992.

Even before his graduation from St. Martins School of Art in 1974 Peter had started to make a name for himself as a fine painter.  With the encouragement of a visiting lecturer he would secure his first commercial cover art job through Puffin Books and Penelope Farmer’s ‘A Castle of Bone’.

He would continue to provide commissioned artworks throughout the 70’s and into the 80’s for various sci-fi authors before turning his attentions to a different form of publishing; the role play book. His cover for Fighting Fantasy’s the ‘Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ would radically eschew cover art traditions and give the artist an even greater international presence due to the book’s success. It led to further role-play book commissions in the Lone Wolf and Kult series’. 

By the early 80’s Peter would start commissioning artworks for the fledgling UK video game scene with one of his first box arts being for Llamasoft’s space shooter Laser Zone (1983). It would be an early example recommissioned art being used for cover arts, and help pave the way for this European trend that lasted a decade longer. 

1989 saw the artist team up with software house Psygnosis where he would contribute such classic works as Blood Money (1989), Matrix Marauders (1990) and Spellbound (1990). It would also be a period of exclusive cover arts with fine examples including Artura (1989), Black Tiger (1989) and Knights of Crystallion (1990) sitting comfortably alongside previous works, along with stylistically lighter and more ‘arcadey’ looking box arts such as Last Duel (1989), Badlands and Venus the Flytrap (both 1990).  

As with so many box artists of his generation Peter would move on by the mid 90’s with his last video game cover being possibly either Cytron or Shadowlands (both 1992).

With inspiration from such varied, and eclectic artists, as Peter Blake, Salvador Dali and James Bama, as well as visually formative and inspiring media including 60’s Star Trek, Doctor Who and DC’s comics, Peter’s lasting passion for otherworldly landscapes and bold central figures clothed in dramatic colour is understandable. Box arts for Blood Money, Black Tiger, Omnicron Conspiracy (1990) and Targhan (1989) all brilliantly show these traits, and how suggestive and fitting both his commissioned and exclusive artworks are. 

All known box arts would certainly have been primarily created using his favoured media; hand-mixed oil paint, but with a penchant for mixing applications of oils and acrylics and using airbrush, a single box art could have been diversely produced

Today Peter keeps his artwork alive through his published books and website where you can check out the history from one of Europe’s finest painters.  

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Omnicron Conspiracy.

Published by Star Software in 1990 for the European and North American markets.

Atari ST ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, DOS.  

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Laser Zone big.jpg

Laser Zone.

Published by Llamasoft in 1983 for the European market.

C64 ver. pictured. Also available on: VIC-20.  

Blood Money.

Published by Psygnosis in 1989 for the European and North American markets.  

Atari ST ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Amiga, C64, DOS.

>One of Peter’s finest from an already bulging portfolio of exceptional box art by this prolific artist.

Blood Money like many of Psygnosis’ early box arts started life elsewhere, in this case as the cover to 70’s sci-fi novel: Protector by Larry Niven. It would continue Psygnosis’ trend of commissioning artworks from Europe’s hottest sci-fi and fantasy painters, following on from such great works as: Baal, Terrorpods and Menace.  

The in-game’s graphics share the box art’s other-worldly look up to a point but the connection is slight at best.

Blood Money today is one of Peter’s most popular artworks and can be found in his Solar Winds collection.

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Published by Psygnosis in 1990 for the European and North American markets.  

Atari ST ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Amiga.

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>Peter Andrew Jone’s Stryx would carry on the Psygnosis/ Psyclapse tradition of using already completed artsworks and re-commissioning them.  Originally created in 1970, Stryx was classic sci-fi pulp complete with diabolic robot and death rays: something straight out of 50’s cinema.  

As with many of Peter’s earlier box arts, such as Laser Zone, Blood Money and Alien Legion, they originally found life on the cover of a 70’s novel.  So far Stryx can not be found published elsewhere but it is highly unlikely it went unused.

The lettering is most definitely by Roger Dean who would be responsible for many of Psygnosis’ title designs as well as the classic Shadow of the Beast box arts.