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: X - Xe

Hardware index: X68

BOX=ART index



X-Out by Celal Kandemiroglu.

German artwork. Published by Rainbow Arts in 1989 for the European market.

Amiga ver. pictured. Also available on: Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64, DOS, ZX Spectrum.  

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Xanadu: Dragon Slayer II (ザナドゥ Zanadu) by Masaki Okumura.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nihon Falcom in 1988 for the Japanese market.

PC-8801 ver. pictured. Also available on: X1.  

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Xardion (超攻合神サーディオン Chou Kou Gasshin Sādion) by Hajime Katoki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Asmik in 1992 for the Japanese Super Famicom market.  

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Xenoblade Chronicles by Kunihiko Tanaka.

Japanese artwork. Published globally by Nintendo in 2010 for the Wii market.

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X-Men: Children of the Atom (エックス・メン チルドレン・オブ・ジ・アトム) by Akiman (Akira Yasuda).

Japanese artwork. Published by Capcom in 1995 for the Japanese Saturn market.

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X68000.  Sharp hardware from 1987-2009.

Released in 1987 and exclusively for the Japanese market, the X68000 would play host to a plethora of arcade smashes, running near pixel-perfect ports due to the machine’s powerful hardware setup. Developers, Capcom (who used the X68000 as its CPS system development machine), Taito, Sega and Konami would all lead the way with arcade ports such as Super Hang On, Castlevania, Bubble Bobble and Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition. These companies’ box arts would either use the equivalent arcade flyer art (Final Fight, Salamander, Strider and Gradius II) or encompass the arcade’s loud and brash nature in an original composition.  

Unlike Nintendo and Sega’s stricter policies on appropriate imagery used on box arts, the X68000 (along with home computers the PC-98, MSX2 and FM Towns) would have a more relaxed attitude towards censorship.  It led to a genre of video game little seen in the West but popular in Japan: Eroge/ Hentai games - erotic/soft-porn game. Cover arts depicting excitable young Manga-imagined girls such as Cyberblock Metalorange, Asuka 120% Burning Fest and Lipstick Adventure would rampantly stock the shelves.

>Notable and influencial X68000 box arts.

Asuka 120% Burning Fest | Family Soft Co. | 1994.

Baraduke | Micomsoft | 1995 | by Yūichirō Shinozaki. (1)

Castlevania X68000 | Konami | 1993. (8)

Emerald Dragon | Glodia | 1990 | by Akihiro Kimura. (3)

Final Fight | Capcom | 1992 | by Akiman. (2)

Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion | Zoom Inc. | 1993 | by Yoshiyuki Takani.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1994.

Gradius II | Konami | 1988 | Akira Nishimura. (6)

Phalanx | Kemco | 1991 | by Yoshiyuki Takani. (7)

Populous | EA | 1989 | NA ver | by David John Rowe.

R-Type | IREM | 1991 | Naoyuki Kato.

Road Blaster | Jitensha Sōgyō | 2009.

Scorpius | Shinseisha | 1991. (4)

Signatory: Chouinsha | Tenky | 1991.

Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition | Capcom | 1991 | by Shoei.

Strider | Capcom | 1991 | by Shinichi Yoshimoto.

Ys | Dempa Shinbunsha | 1991 | by Yoshitaka Amano. (5)


When the eroticism became too much, fan boys were instead shooting things and the platform would become popular with shoot ‘em up aficionados. Titles: Code Zero, Parodius, KU2, and Image Fight would all ship with varied and excellent box arts for the genre, with special mention needed for Yoshiyuki Takani’s Phalanx, Sol-Feace and Naoyuki Kato’s R-Type.

For a machine exclusive to Japan the small amount of foreign cover art available is hardly surprising. Strategy games Powermonger and Populous would cross over to Japan with their European box arts intact but Mega lo mania would be less lucky. US platformer Prince of Persia would adopt the Sega CD/ Mega CD box art (possibly of US origin but more likely Japanese) but other than these western covers little else was made available.

Due to the size of the X68000’s 5.25” floppy disks, its casings would be on the large side. They made an appealing alternative to the Famicom’s diminutive casings and would not only allow for a more detailed box art but also for the inclusion of extras such as art books and comic strips. Exclusive box arts such as Phalanx, Baraduke and Scorpius would thankfully not make the console transition and the extreme cropping that would have ensued.









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