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.

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BOX=ART index

 >Yu

Artist index: Yu

Yusuke Nakano.  Japanese box artist from 1994-2016.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link Between Worlds | Nintendo | 2013 | 3DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time | Nintendo | 1998 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Twilight Princess | Nintendo | 2006 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo Wii. (3)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Twilight Princess | Nintendo | 2006 | JPN ver. | Nintendo Wii.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Twilight Princess HD | Nintendo | 2016 | EU/ JPN ver. | Nintendo Wii U. (2)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Twilight Princess HD | Nintendo | 2016 | NA ver. | Nintendo Wii U.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker | Nintendo | 2002 | JPN ver. | GameCube.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker | Nintendo | 2002 | EU/ NA ver. | GameCube.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker HD (Limited Edition) | Nintendo | 2013 | Nintendo Wii U.

Super Mario 64 | Nintendo | 1996 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo 64. (1)

Super Mario 64 | Nintendo | 1996 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 | Nintendo | 1994 | Game Boy.





Super Mario 64 (スーパーマリオ64)

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo globally in 1996 for the Nintendo 64 market.  




This cover would be the first in Super Mario series to use computer generated art and also to be designed by Nakano.  Both computer art and Yusuke have been linked to Mario cover arts ever since.

The character art and background scenery deliberately emphasize depth and the third dimension, both of which would help revolutionise Super Mario 64’s gameplay.

mario-64-N64-big.png

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Pages - Ya-Yo  Yu-Ys

Pages - Ya-Yo  Yu-Ys

Yū Kinutani.  Japanese box artist in 1990.

Dinosaur | Falcom | 1990 | FM Towns, PC-88, PC-98. (1)





>Box art catalogue

Yu Yamamoto. Japanese box artist in 2017.

ARMS | Nintendo | 2017 | Nintendo Switch. (1)





ARMS (グリーンベレー)

Published by Nintendo in 2017 for the global Nintendo Switch market.




ARMS was Yu’s first box art. The artist would be responsible for the overal character design models, logotype and promotiom art accompanying the game.

The artist has explained that because ARMS was a new Nintendo property the character art was changing daily, and so a close working relationship with the development team was required.

The artwork took into account the Switch’s vertical case dimentions (that were still undecided when the game’s graphic design had started) and was designed to show depth, that the game is a 3D fighter and to promote a ‘hot competition’ (the artist’s words).  

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Yuji Kaida.  Japanese box artist from 1989-1993.


ESWAT: City Under Siege | Sega | 1990 | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Ghouls n’ Ghosts | Capcom | 1989 | Genesis, Mega Drive. (2)

Kiaidan 00 | Telenet Japan Co. | 1992 | PC Engine.

Nexzr | Naxat Soft | 1992 | PC Engine.

Snatcher | Konami | 1994 | Mega CD/ Sega CD.

Soldier Blade | Hudson Soft | 1992 | PC Engine.

Ultra Seven | Bandai Co. | 1993 | Super Famicom. (1)

Whip Rush | Renovation Products | 1990 | Genesis, Mega Drive.




The famous Godzilla and mechanical designer would start a long career in the video game industry by creating the promo poster for a young Hideo Kojima’s cyber-punk adventure Snatcher (Yuji’s art would also be used on the instruction manual for the 1988 releases and as box art for the 1994 Sega CD version).  

His first high profile cover which saw a globally release on the still new Sega Mega Drive would be Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (1989). A generation of gamers would would be inducted into Yuji’s art through this cover and its masterful take on gothic-horror.

Into the 1990’s he would do a slew of mechanical themed covers that would be Japanese exclusives and finish, thus far, as a box artist with UItra Seven (1993) - a re-issued original piece of his.  

Throughout the rest of the ’90’s he would be involved in arcade and magazine illustrations, and post 2000 he would do a glut of card illustrations (popular in Japan, see Culdcept and Ateil series) and monster designs for various browser and IOS games.

Ultra Seven (ウルトラセブン)

Published by Bandai in 1993 for the Super Famicom market.




Originally a promotional piece for the Ultra Seven brand and then re-issued for the Super Famicom box art.

It is Kaida’s final box art to date.

ultra-seven-SF-big.jpg

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Yuji Uekawa.  Japanese box artist from 1998-2007.

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg | Sega | 2003 | GameCube.

Samba de Amigo | Sega | 2000 | Dreamcast.

Samba de Amigo | Sega | 2008 | Nintendo Wii.

Samba de Amigo ver. 2000 | Sega | 2000 | Dreamcast.

Sonic 3D: Flickies Island | Sega | 1999 | Saturn. (3)

Sonic Advance | Sega | 2001 | Game Boy Advance.

Sonic Advance 2 | Sega | 2002 | Game Boy Advance.

Sonic Advance 3 | Sega | 2004 | Game Boy Advance.

Sonic Adventure | Sega | 1998 | Dreamcast. (2)

Sonic Adventure 2 | Sega | 2001 | Dreamcast.

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle | Sega | 2001 | GameCube.

Sonic Adventure DX | Sega | 2003 | GameCube.

Sonic Heroes | Sega | 2003 | GameCube, PS2, PS3, Windows, Xbox.

Sonic Mega Collection/ Plus | Sega | 2002/ 2006 | GameCube.

Sonic Rush | Sega | 2005 | Nintendo DS.

Sonic Rush Adventure | Sega | 2007 | Nintendo DS.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega | 2006 | PS3, Xbox 360. (1)

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure | Sega | 1999 | Neo Geo Pocket Color.












Sonic Adventure (ソニック アドベンチャー)

Published by Sega globally in 1998 for the Dreamcast market.




Sonic Adventure’s character art would be the first major revision that Sega had made to the hedgehog. He was now more slender with long, exaggerated limbs and arguably depicted in a more Japanese-anime style. 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.  

sonic-adventure-DC-big.jpg

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Yukio Kitta.  Japanese box artist in 1991.

Illusion City: Gen’ei Toshi | Micro Cabin Corp | 1991 | FM Towns, MSX, PC-98, X68000. (1)



Illusion City: Gen’ ei Toshi (幻影都市)

Published by Micro Cabin Corp. in 1991 for the Japanese market.  

MSX ver. pictured.




Yukio’s grandiose and melancholic window into the future, would be imposingly possible due to the space available on Japan’s home computer casings.  It wouldn’t represent the in-games bleak artistic direction, but, the lamenting architectural facade would sorrowfully tell the game’s fated tale brilliantly.

Illusion’s artistry melded both classic anime with delicate ligne claire styles of art.  Inspiration can be seen from artist’s Moebius and Jean Giraud, and even though sci-fi isn’t Yukio’s normal genre, Illusion does still sit comfortably within the artists portfolio.

Sega’s Mega CD would be only console graced with a port, and also the only version to switch front and back covers - complete with 1980’s style Manga characterisation by Mangaka Koji Nakakita - but in doing so offered a far inferior box art both visually and emotionally.

Illusion-city-MSX-big.jpg

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Yusuke Kozaki.  Japanese box artist from 2007-2015.

Fire Emblem: Awakening | Nintendo | 2012 | 3DS. (2)

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright | Nintendo | 2015 | 3DS.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest | Nintendo | 2015 | 3DS.

No More Heroes | Marvelous Entertainment | 2007 | EU/ JPN ver. | Nintendo Wii. (3)

No More Heroes | Ubisoft | 2008 | NA ver. | Nintendo Wii.

No More Heroes 2: Desparate Struggle | Marvelous Entertainment | 2010 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo Wii.

No More Heroes 2: Desparate Struggle | Marvelous Entertainment | 2010 | JPN ver. | Nintendo Wii. (1)

No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise | Marvelous Entertainment | 2010 | PS3, Xbox 360.

No More Heroes: Red Zone | Marvelous Entertainment | 2011 | PS3.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together | Square Enix | 2011 | PSP.



Fire Emblem: Awakening (ファイアーエムブレム 覚醒)

Published by Nintendo globally in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS market.




>Pictures from left to right - Original box art and panoramic promotional artwork.

fire-emblem-awakening-big.jpg fire-emblem-original-promo-big.jpg

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

>Box art catalogue

>Box art catalogue

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