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

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BOX=ART copyright ©2013 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

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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


Artist index: Sa - So


Hardware index: Sg

Publisher series index: Sq

Video game series index: So

Sam Yeates.  North American box artist from 1994-1996.

Crusader: No Regret | ORIGIN Systems | 1996.

Jane's Combat Simulations: AH-64D Longbow | EA | 1996.

Privateer 2: The Darkening | EA | 1996 | NA ver.

Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger | EA | 1994.

Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom | EA | 1996.

Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga | EA | 1996.








Sasha Shor.  North American box artist from 1996-2000.

Daikatana | Eidos Interactive | 2000.

Quake | id Software | 1996.






SG-1000/ SG-3000.  Sega hardware from 1983-1987.

In 1983 Sega entered the home console market with the little remembered SG-1000, launching the same day as Nintendo’s Family Computer (Famicom).  The console would prove to be an awkward and unsuccessful first step for the Japanese giant.

The covers for launch-year games would be a mix of painterly art (see Yamoto and N-Sub) and cartooned styled illustrations (see Pacar and Congo Bongo) that oddly borrowed little from Japan’s cultural Manga and anime scenes of the time. They would also bare little similarities with the Famicom’s first round of Nintendo published covers, which took some influence from E. C. Segar’s art, and were themselves designed in a vibrant, simple style and bold palette.

Toe to toe with the Famicom’s colourful box arts the SG-1000’s couldn’t help but look rather demure and joyless in comparison, not helped by the engulfing black borders used to mount the artworks.

The border situation in Japan would be revised and improved upon through three iterations from 1983 - 1985.  ‘Type A’, the original box design, had a thick black border, title in English and Japanese and smallish artwork; ‘type B’, a thinner border, title in English and Japanese and a larger artwork, and ‘type C’, no border, full width artwork and title in Japanese.  

The type C box would make for a more appealing cover and was later used as standard on the Sega My Card releases from 1985 – 1987. The only difference  now being the change to blue boxes for card games, so to differentiate them from the black cartridge boxes.

From the SG-1000’s modest beginnings Sega appeared to have had an international plan for it - the Mark I released in New Zealand in 1983, the Mark II Australia and Europe in 1984, whilst early game manuals shipped in both Japanese and English. It may well of been a priority that box arts appealed to overseas markets. If so, this could account for the more western style of art used and the US references found within many covers (see Borderline, Zippy Race and Space Slalom).

That’s not to say overtly looking Japanese art wasn’t still used and exported.  Orguss was a great example of an anime box art that published across PAL regions. It is the earliest known video game cover to use this style of art in the West. Bar one cover - Championship Tennis - all games published abroad shipped with their original Japanese artworks.  This entailed that for the first time Japanese designed cover arts were being released in the West, a feat that would take Nintendo some years to equal with its NES in the States.

The final SG-1000 game to be released on cartridge would be Loretta no Shouzou: Sherlock Holmes (1987).  It used the gold décor design that adorned the boxes for Sega’s follow up console the Mark III, one of only two SG-1000 games to do so (the other being The Castle, 1987). One can only speculate that this rather deceptive decision on Sega’s part was due to the company not wanting to associate these two games with the SG-1000 - having already been discontinued for a year or so.

>Notable and influencial SG-1000/ SG-3000 box arts.

Champion Boxing | Sega | 1984.

Championship Lode Runner | Sega | 1985.

Exerion | Sega | 1983.

Girl’s Garden | Sega | 1984.

Loretta no Shouzou: Sherlock Holmes | Sega | 1987.

Mikie | Sega | 1985.

N-Sub | Sega | 1983.

Orguss | Sega | 1984 | by Kazutaka Miyatake.

Pascar | Sega | 1983.

Sega-Galaga | Sega | 1983.

Sega Ninja | Sega | 1986.

Sinbad Mystery | Sega | 1983.

Space Invaders | Sega | 1985.

Wonder Boy | Sega | 1986.







Box art index: Sa - Sp


>Squaresoft (now Square Enix) had always made a habit of producing poignant and thought provoking box arts (see, Final Fantasy, Alcahest and Romancing SaGa), and Mana was no different. For a game so geographically lush and a story centred on mother nature, the choice of artist, the late Hiroo Isono, would be inspired.

Hiroo’s penchant for painting forests and paradise would bring the longing world of Mana to life, and the cover art for the Super Famicom version would beautifully depict the scale and gravity of the world around those marvelling heroes.

The western release would thankfully and surprisingly retain the Japanese original, but due to the SNES’s landscape box shape, it would unfortunately crop the magnitude and awesomeness of the tree.


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Secret of Mana (聖剣伝説2) by Hiroo Isono.

Japanese artwork. Published by Squaresoft globally in 1993.  

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




Shadow Dancer (シャドー・ダンサー ザ・シークレット・オブ・シノビ) by Jun Satoh.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1990 for the Japanese Mega Drive market.


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Sam & Max: Hit the Road by Steve Purcell.

North American artwork. Published by LucasArts in 1993 for the European and North American markets.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Linux, Mac, Windows.  



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Shadow of the Beast by Roger Dean.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis globally in 1989.

Amiga ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari ST, FM Towns, Master System, Mega CD, Mega Drive, PC Engine, ZX Spectrum.



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Slaine: The Celtic Barbarian by Glenn Fabry.

North American artwork. Published by Martech in 1987 for the the European market.

C64 ver. pictured. Also available on: Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.



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>The box art appears to have been originally designed for the game (over to been a reused 2000AD comic cover - as is often the case).

It is Glenn’s earliest know cover art and is a particularly detailed and realistic depiction of the character for the artist.

Some inspiration can perhaps be found in Glenn’s cover for 2000AD prog #448 (1985) and its equally intense close-up profile.

>Pictures from top - Box art and prog #448.

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Sleeping Dogs by Tyler Stout.

North American artwork. Published by Square Enix in 2012 for the European and North American markets.  

Xbox 360 ver. pictured.  Also availble on: PS3, Windows.




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>Publisher Square Enix what hire the poster artist with the brief of providing a movie-poster style cover inspired by films such as The Departed, Internal Affairs and Point Break.

Tyler would also have access to the game’s script and the artist has stated, “Square Enix asked for something cinematic feeling in scope, something that felt like it told a bit of the story of the game. They wanted to emphasis the duality of the main protagonist, who lives in both the criminal underworld and law enforcement worlds. They wanted to show contemporary Hong Kong, with its traditional roots, as well as hinting at the violence and action within this game world”.

The artwork would go through a number of colour variants throughout the design process and took about three weeks to complete.

>Pictures from top - Original box art and two colour variants.

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Sokaigi (双界儀) by Natsuki Sumeragi.

Japanese artwork. Published by Squaresoft in 1998 for the Japanese PS1 market.




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Solar Storm by Michael Becker.

North American artwork. First published by Imagic in 1983 for the North American Atari 2600 market.




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Slot Racers by John Enright.

North American artwork. Published by Atari in 1978 for the North American Atari VCS market.




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Sonic Adventure (ソニック アドベンチャー) by Yuji Uekawa.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega globally in 1998 for the Dreamcast market.




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>Sonic Adventure would mark the start of Sega’s final foray as a publisher on it’s own hardware. The character art would be the first major revision that Sega had made to Sonic. The hedgehog was now more slender, with long, exaggerated limbs and with arguably a more Japanese-anime look to boot.  

Sonic Adventure also marked the first time in the series that the cover art was used across the globe and unchanged in anyway - a testimony to the confidence Sega had in Uekawa’s designs.

Uekawa’s Sonic art would go on to be used for the best part of a decade after this, and well into Sega’s new phase as a developer/ publisher only.  

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Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood by Joy Ang.

North American artwork. Published by Sega in 2008 for the European and North American Nintendo DS markets.




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Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) by Greg Wray.

North American artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the North American Genesis market.




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>Debut North American box art. Wray’s Sonic design would add a slight edginess to Akira Watanabe’s original and would take the step of placing the hedgehog within the game’s world over a graphic design as seen on both Europe’s and Japan’s covers.

Wray’s background as a Hanna Barbara and Disney artist would perfectly compliment Japan’s original and deliberate vision of Sonic foremostly appealing to the North American market. The chararter art would arguably not look out of place in a Mickey Mouse cartoon and was designed using air brush.

It would end up being Wray’s only series cover, as duites passed to the equally talented Greg Martin for Sonic 2.


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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2) by Greg Martin.

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

Game Gear ver. pictured. Also available on: Master System.



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>Debuting a few days before its Genesis/ Mega Drive brother, the Game Gear box art would not only be the first time Sonic’s wingman Tails was depicted but also arch-enemy Dr. Robotnic.  

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Sorcerian (ソーサリアン) by Hitoshi Yoneda.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1990 for the Japanese Mega Drive market.




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Spitfire ‘40 by George I. Parrish Jnr.

North American artwork. Published by The Avalon Game Company in 1986 for theNorth American markets.

Atari ST ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 8-bit, C64.  



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Spell Bound by Peter Andrew Jones.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1990 for the European market.

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



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Shadows of Tusk (シャドウズ・オブ・ザ・タスク) by Susumu Matsushita.

Japanese artwork. Published by Hudson Soft in 1998 for the Japanese Saturn market.



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Shadow of the Beast III by David John Rowe.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1992 for the European Amiga market.  





>The final Beast box art would see veteren box artist David Rowe take the reigns from fantasy painter Roger Dean who’d painted the first two. It would be one of Davids more complex pieces and one the artist looks back at fondly.   

The lettering would retain Roger Dean’s font.

>Pictured from top - original box art, outline sketch and colour rough.  

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Slalom by Tim Stamper.

English artwork. Published by Nintendo in 1987 for the European and North American NES market.




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Skyfox II: The Cygnus Conflict by Dan Quarnstron.

North American artwork. Published by EA in 1987 for the European and North American markets.

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



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Sonic CD by Kazuyuki Hoshino.

Japanese artwork. First published by Sega in 1993 and for the European and Japanese markets.

Mega CD ver. pictured. Also available on: Windows (chararter art only).



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>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.

>Pictures from the top - Japanese box art, European box art and North American box art.

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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. Published by LucasFilm Games globally in 1990.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, Atari ST, FM Towns, Mac, Mega CD/ Sega CD.  



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Shoei.  (Shoei Okano) Japanese box artist from 1993-2006.

Rising to fame in the early 90’s as one of Capcom’s leading artists for Street Fighter 2, Shoei has enjoyed a long career for the company providing scores of promotional artworks and character designs mainly within the company’s arcade department.  

He has also been responsible for the title lettering and logo’s of many of Capcom’s highest profile releases.

Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition | Capcom | 1993 | EU/ JPN ver.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 2006 | with Shinkiro.





Simon Bisley.  English box artist from 1991-2001.

Blade Warrior | Image Works | 1991.

Fur Fighters: Viggo’s Revenge | Acclaim | 2001 | PS2 ver.

Gods | Mindscape | 1991| EU/ JP ver.

Heavy Metal F.A.K.K 2 | Gathering of Developers | 2000.

Heavy Metal: Geomatrix | Capcom | 2001.

Judge Dredd | Gremlin Interactive | 1997 | EU ver.

Terminator, The: Rampage | Bethesda Software | 1993.

Weaponlord | Namco Hometec | 1995.



Sohhei Oshiba.  Japanese box artist from 1991-1993.

Gain Ground | Sega | 1991.

Golden Axe III | Sega | 1993.

Pro Yakyū Super League CD | Sega | 1992.





Sonic the Hedgehog - platform series.  Sega video game series from 1991-2017.

Chaotix | Sega | 1994 | JPN 32X ver.

G Sonic | Sega | 1996 | JPN Game Gear ver.

Knuckles’ Chaotic | Sega | 1995 | EU/ NA 32X ver | by Greg Martin.

Shadow the Hedgehog | Sega | 2005.

Sonic 3D Blast | Sega | 1996 | NA Mega Drive ver.

Sonic 3D Blast | Sega | 1996 | NA Saturn ver.

Sonic 3D: Flickies Island | Sega | 1996 | EU Saturn ver.

Sonic 3D: Flickies Island | Sega | 1999 | JPN Saturn ver | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Advance | Sega | 2001 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Advance 2 | Sega | 2002 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Advance 3 | Sega | 2004 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Adventure | Sega | 1998 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Adventure 2 | Sega | 2001 | Dreamcast ver | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle | Sega | 2001 | GameCube ver | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Adventure DX | Sega | 2003 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic and Knuckles | Sega | 1994 | EU/ NA Mega Drive/ Genesis ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic and Knuckles | Sega | 1994 | JPN Mega Drive ver.

Sonic and Tails | Sega | 1993 | JPN Game Gear ver.

Sonic and Tails 2 | Sega | 1994 | JPN Game Gear ver.

Sonic and the Black Knight | Sega | 2009.

Sonic and the Secret Rings | Sega | 2007.

Sonic Blast | Sega | 1996 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver.

Sonic Boom: Rise of the Lyric | Sega | 2014.

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal | Sega | 2014.

Sonic CD | Sega | 1993 | EU Mega CD ver | by Kazuyuki Hoshino.

Sonic CD | Sega | 1993 | JPN Mega CD ver | by Kazuyuki Hoshino.

Sonic CD | Sega | 1993 | NA Mega CD ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic Chaos | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic Chaos | Sega | 1993 | EU/ NA Master System ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic Colors | Sega | 2010.

Sonic Forces | Sega | 2017.

Sonic Heroes | Sega | 2003 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Labyrinth | Sega | 1995 | NA ver.

Sonic: Lost World | Sega | 2013.

Sonic Rush | Sega | 2005 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic Rush Adventure | Sega | 2007 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | NA Genesis ver | by Greg Wray.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | JPN Mega Drive ver | by Akira Watanabe.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | EU Mega Drive ver | by Akira Watanabe.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | JPN Game Gear ver | by Akira Watanabe.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 2006 | PS3 ver | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | JPN Game Gear ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | EU/ NA Mega Drive/ Genesis ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega | 1992 | JPN Mega Drive ver | by Akira Watanabe.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sega | 1994 | EU Mega Drive ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sega | 1994 | JPN Mega Drive ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sega | 1994 | NA Genesis ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure | Sega | 1999 | by Yuji Uekawa.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble | Sega | 1994 | EU/ NA Game Gear ver | by Greg Martin.

Sonic Unleashed | Sega | 2008.











Shinya Edaki - see Edayan.

>Notable and influencial Square/ Squaresoft box arts.

Alcahest | 1993.

Bahamut Lagoon | 1996 | Akira Watanabe. (3)

Chrono Trigger | 1995 | JPN ver | Akira Toriyama.

Death Trap, The | 1984.

Final Fantasy | 1987 | JPN ver | by Yoshitkaka Amano.

Final Fantasy II | 1988 | JPN ver | by Yoshitkaka Amano.

Final Fantasy III | 1990 | by Yoshitkaka Amano. (1)

Final Fantasy IV | 1994 | by Yoshitkaka Amano.

Final Fantasy VII | 1997 | EU/ JP ver | by Yoshitaka Amano. (8)

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance | 2003 | by Nao Ikeda.

Front Mission | 1995 | Yoshitaka Amano.

Front Mission: Gun Hazard | 1996 | by Yoshitaka Amano. (4)

King’s Knight | 1986.

Kingdom Hearts | 2002 | EU/ NA ver | by Tetsuya Nomura. (7)

Live a Live | 1994 | Ryogi Minagawa. (5)

Romancing SaGa | 1992 | Tomomoi Kobayashi.

Secret of Mana | 1993 | by Hiroo Isono. (6)

Sokaigi | 1998 | by Natsuki Sumeragi.

Vagrant Story | 2000 | by Akihiko Yoshida. (2)





Square (Squaresoft).  Publisher from 1984-2003.

The company was founded in 1983 by Masashi Myamoto and released it’s first title The Death Trap on Japan’s home computers in 1984.  The cover art was a peculiar western inspired  “commando” design, that wouldn’t have looked out of place as a VHS cover art for an 80’s action movie. The two sequels (Will: The Death Trap II and Alpha. 1985 and 1986 respectively) would resort to more familiar manga style box arts.

Very few Square games prior to Final Fantasy (1987) would make it overseas, but interestingly the first to do so, King’s Knight (1986), released in North America and retained its original Japanese box art. King’s Knight’s cover would sit out of place as the later Squaresoft, Inc. (Square’s US subsidiary) set about replacing the majority of the Japanese cover arts with more regionally “appealing” versions in the US and EU. 

This disparaging lack of confidence for the original Japanese cover arts became glaringly obvious when the Final Fantasy series shipped in the States (1990) and without the covers by the famed illustrator Yoshitaka Amano. His exquisite character art would not be seen on a western box art until towards the end of the 1990’s. Instead of Amano’s art, weapon and shield-littered box arts proliferated (see Final Fantasy NES 1990 and Final Fantasy Adventure/ Mystic Adventure, Game Boy 1991).


Square of Japan realising the strength in quality fine art would hire a broad spectrum of Japan’s masters of illustration to bring their characters to life. Box arts for Romancing SaGa series (Tomoni Kobayashi) 1993 onwards, Front Mission series (Yoshitaka Amano) 1995-99 and Secret of Mana (Hiroo Isono) 1993 and Sokaigi (Natsuki Sumeragi) 1998, had Square showcasing more painterly works, whilst more anime themed box arts, Live a Live (Ryogi Minagawa) 1994 and Chrono Trigger (Akira Toriyama) 1995, showed the publisher’s lighter side.

Whereas Square’s homeland competition such as Konami (Metal Gear), Capcom (Resident Evil) and Sega (Golden Axe) were westernising their characters and subsequently their Japanese box arts also, Square on the whole would retain a truely Eastern feel. This would be due to a majority of its games not making it overseas - and so not needing to artistically cater to American and European markets. It could also be argued that Square’s characters and story lines were always rooted in some sort of Japanese culture, and subsequently demanded regional specific characterisation.

With Final Fantasy VII’s major global success, the West finally started to wake up to the Yoshitaka’s wonderful art as later released anthologies and remakes started to use his original art. Meanwhile, European and Japanese Final Fantasy releases would use striking titles and silhouetted figurines to push the series forwards, while North America opted for character-driven CG art.   

In 2003 Square merged with Enix becoming the Square Enix we know today. They would go out in style with the excellent box art, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance by Nao Ikeda, who drew upon Yoshitaka’s legacy while pushing the series ever forward.



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Shinkiro (Toshiaki Mori).  Japanese box artist from 1991-2018.

Born in 1962, Shinkiro would study technical drawing after being inspired by America artist Frank Frazetta.  For many years he free-lanced as an illustrator working on commercial product magazines whilst dabbling in cartooning. He would join SNK’s design department in 1990 amidst the dawn of the Neo Geo age, where he would work alongside the company’s founder/ producer Eikichi Kawasaki. His first box art design would be for ASO II: Last Guardian, 1991 (Alpha Mission II) and he would finish that busy year with further cover arts for games; Sengoku, Robo Army and Eightman amongst others.  

These early box arts would be created using traditional mediums such as oils, gouache and spray paint, before he made the transition to digital artwork using Apple Macs and paint package Photoshop in the mid-90’s. Interestingly an interview from around 2001 has him state that his favourite personally designed cover art is Ghost Pilots (1991). It’s a wonderfully charming artwork with an interesting colour pallet and a cool title (complete with Grim Reaper), although it does lack what makes a Shinkiro cover art so great: characters.

Looking at his box arts from 1991 you could be forgiven for thinking they were done by another artist.  Comparing Sengoku, Ghost Pilots, Robo Army and ASO II the difference in style, technique and the mediums used is diverse, ranging from anime (Robo Army) to traditional 80’s sci-fi (ASO II). The only box art instinctive of the art style to come would be in Sengoku with it’s unmistakeably heavy shading, chiselled jaw lines and confident look to it’s characters. This box art would also start a trend for the artist whereby he juxtaposed characters: the background ones coloured in distinctly darker bluish hues. Check out Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury Special, King of Fighters ’97 and Psi-Ops for further examples. You can also see the influence that N. C. Wyeth, one of Shinkiro’s favourite artists, has had on these box arts when you study his character posture and shadowing.


3 Count Bout | SNK | 1993.

Art of Fighting | SNK | 1992.

Art of fighting 2 | SNK | 1994.

ASO II: Last Guardian | SNK | 1991.

Biohazard: Gun Survivor 4 | Capcom | 2003.

Burning Fight | SNK | 1991.

Capcom Fighting Evolution | Capcom | 2004.

Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO | Capcom | 2001 | JPN Dreamcast ver.

Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO | Capcom | 2002 | EU GameCube ver. (1)

Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium | Capcom | 2001 | NA PS2.

Dead Rising | Capcom | 2006.

Dead Rising 2 | Capcom | 2010.

Dead Rising: Chop till you Drop | Capcom | 2009.

Dinostalker | Capcom | 2002 | EU/ JPN ver.

Dinostalker | Capcom | 2002 | NA ver.

Eightman | SNK | 1991.

Fatal Fury | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. (6)

Fatal Fury 2 | SNK | 1993 | NA ver.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory | SNK | 1995 | Neo Geo AES ver.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory | SNK | 1996 | Neo Geo CD ver.

Fatal Fury Special | SNK | 1993.

Final Fight One | Capcom | 2001.

Ghost Pilots | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. (2)

Glass Rose | Capcom | 2004.

King of Fighters ‘94 | SNK | 1994. (3)

King of Fighters ‘95 | SNK | 1995 | Saturn ver.

King of Fighters ‘95 | SNK | 1995 | Neo Geo AES ver.

King of Fighters ‘95 | SNK | 1996 | EU/ NA ver.

King of Fighters ‘95 | SNK | 1996 | JPN ver.

King of Fighters ‘96 | SNK | 1996.

King of Fighters ‘96 | SNK | 1997.

King of Fighters ‘97 | SNK | 1997 | Neo Geo AES ver.

King of Fighters ‘97 | SNK | 1997 | Neo Geo CD.

King of Fighters ‘97 | SNK | 1998 | PS1 ver.

King of Fighters ‘97 | SNK | 1988 | Saturn ver.

King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest | SNK | 1998 | Neo Geo AES ver.

King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest | SNK | 1998 | Neo Geo CD ver.

King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest | SNK | 1999.

King of Fighters : Dream Match 1999 | SNK | 1999.

King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle | SNK | 1999 | Neo Geo AES ver.

King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle | SNK | 1999 | Neo Geo CD ver.

King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle | SNK | 2000 | JPN ver.

King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle | SNK | 2000 | NA ver.

Last Blade, The | SNK | 1998.

Metal Slug 3 | SNK | 2000. (4)

Metal Slug X | SNK | 1999.

Mutation Nation | SNK | 1992.

Psi-Ops | Capcom | 2004.

Real Bout Fatal Fury | SNK | 1996.

Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers | SNK | 1998.

Real Bout Fatal Fury Special | SNK | 1997.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence | Capcom | 2006 | EU/ NA ver.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence | Capcom | 2006 | JPN ver. (5)

Robo Army | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. (8)

Samurai Shodown | SNK | 1993.

Samurai Shodown II | SNK | 1994.

Sengoku | SNK | 1991.

Sengoku | SNK | 1993.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection | Capcom | 2018.

Street Fighter V: Special Shoryuken Edition | Capcom | 2016.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 2002.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross  Generation of Heroes | Capcom | 2008.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars | Capcom | 2010. (7)

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 2006 | with Shoei.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 | Capcom | 2011.
















Artistically we move into more familiar territory the following year with two of SNK’s first big series,  Art of Fighting, and Fatal Fury and again in 1993 with Samurai Showdown and the delightfully camp 3 Count Bout. All would have the characteristics detailed above and would exemplify a common complaint made about Shinkiro’s art: that his faces whether masculine or feminine all looked samey.

By 1998 box arts for Metal Slug X and King of Fighters ’98 completed his transition to digital art.  He would do well in maintaining his style after the jump to digital. His lines would become cleaner, box arts more cluttered and washed in garish background colours but style of content would remain largely unchanged.

SNK in 2000 would fold (later becoming SNK  Playmore) and Shinkiro would be quickly hired by rival Capcom.  His box arts for them would start to look more realistic with Biohazard: Gun Survivor 4, Dead Rising and Glass Rose, but he would still create more stylised works with Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Final Fight One (albeit all three are directed towards a younger/ retro audience). He would also produce works for Marvel with the Unlimited Spiderman comics and UDON’s Street Fighter comics.

Still going strong today, but alibi not in such large volumes of work, his more recent covers have been within the Street Fighter universe.



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Serious Sam: The Second Encounter by Lee Macleod.

North American artwork. First published by Take-Two Interactive globally in 2002 for the Windows market.




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>The second artwork shows a number of changes to the box art released at retail and points towards it being the original submission. It is a remarkably complete composition for the amount of changes it went through (it’s hardly a prelim) and was probably redesigned using some paint package.

>Pictures from the top - Original box art and possible first submission.

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Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) by Akira Watanabe.

Japanese artwork. First published by Sega in 1991. For the Japanese and European markets.

Mega Drive ver. pictured. Also available on: Game Gear, Master System.



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>Akira would take Sonic character designer Naoto Ohima’s sketches and produce one of Japan’s iconic box art designs of the 1990’s. Sonic would take clues from American characters such as Mickey Mouse, whilst the background’s pop art look would fit within the period’s popular culture, apping the likes of MTV’s graphic design.

The JPN Game Gear cover would reuse Akira’s character art, as did Europe’s Mega Drive and Master System box arts. Europe also has the distinction of enjoying Akira’s character art before native Japan got the chance to, with the EU Mega Drive version releasing a month before Japan’s  - a rather unusual situation.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Play the World by Steve Chorney.

North American artwork. Published by Infogrames in 2002 for the North American Windows market.


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Sky Diver by Greg Vance.

North American artwork. Published by Atari in 1978 for the North American Atari VCS market.




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Silver Surfer by Joe Jusko.

North American artwork. Published by Arcadia Systems Inc. in 1990 for the North American NES market.




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Sin & Punishment: Star Successors (罪と罰 宇宙の後継者) by Yasushi Suzuki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 2009 for the Japanese Wii market.


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>Programming whiz Ray Tobey would team up with comic book artist Jackson “Butch” Guice who would be responsible not only for the box art but also the inlay/ comic strip the game shipped with. Looking like the cover to a classic bronze age comic book with its heavy lines and bold colours, the scene is set as our hero embarks his fighter amidst an invasion.

The Skyfox title lettering was credited to a Rick Parker and is a well done example, complimenting the action without being too prominent.

Following on from this commission Butch would have a successful career with both Marvel and DC comics, but Skyfox at present appears to be his only penciled cover art.

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Skyfox by Jackson “Butch” Guice.

North American artwork. Published by Electronic Arts in 1984 for the European and North American markets.  

Amiga ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Amstad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, C64, Mac, ZX Spectrum.




SimCity 2000 by David Schleinkofer.

North American artwork. First published by Maxis Software in 1993 and for the global market.

N64 ver. pictured. Also available on: Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, DOS, Game Boy Advance, Mac, Super Famicom, Windows.  



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