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: Za - Zo

Artist index: Za

BOX=ART index

 >Za - Zo

ZEN: Intergalatic Ninja by Jim Fletcher.

North American artwork. Published by Konami in 1993 for the North American NES market


Click to enlarge


Zero Gravity by Celal Kandemiroglu.

German artwork. Published by EAS Software in 1988 for the European market.

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

Click to enlarge

ZEN: Intergalatic Ninja by Jim Fletcher.

North American artwork. Published by Konami in 1993 for the North American Game Boy market

Zavier Leslie Cabarga.  North American box artist in 1986.

Donkey Kong | Ocean Software | 1986 | C64, MSX, ZX.

Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders by Steve Purcell.

North American artwork. Published by Lucasfilms Games in 1988 for the European and North American markets.  

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

>The artist’s debut box art.  

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Zool: Ninja of the "Nth" Dimension by Alan Batson.

English artwork. First published by Gremlin Graphics in 1992 for the the European market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga.

Click to enlarge

>As with many gaming characters designed from the 8-bit generation to the 16-bit generation (1983-1996) they were first imagined as an in-game sprite, taking into account the host machines sprite size and colour pallette limitations (in Zool’s case a sprite size of 48x48 pixels and 16 colours). Once determined what would be possible a more detailed character art could then be designed.  

Zool’s character art would be deliberately simple so easy to animate, with designer Adrian Carless visulising a bodyshape of two basic geometrical spheroids with a few sticks - much like Hudson’s Bomberman character. But it was Zool’s large eyes that set the ninja-alien apart from his comtemporaries. They were overly large so the player could see his determined look. Zool’s colouring was also deliberate. Black - like a ninja; green - like an alien and so at speed the character didn’t turn into a black mass; red to help track his limbs and yellow so his eyes were the standout feature.

The final designs were then turned over to artist Alan Batson who would be responsible for the games promotional art.

The Amiga version of  Zool is the original cover with the majority of ports receiving a alternative box art.

>Pictures from top - original cover and alternative box art.


Click to enlarge


Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner  (Anubis: Zone of the Enders) by Masao Tsubasa and Nobuyoshi Nishimura.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami globally in 2003 for the PS2 market.

Click to enlarge

>Director Shuyo Murata would team up newcomer Masao with veteran Nobuyoshi (character designer on the first Zone of the Enders) in a partnership that proved difficult.  Masao created the character designs, whilst Nobuyoshi finished them in an anime look, but the two artist’s divergent styles led to clashes on how the character art seen on the box art ending up - Nobuyoshi looks to have won the battle though.  



Abbreviation guide

EU - European version | JPN - Japanese version | NA - North American version.

Available on... C64 - Commodore 64 | MSX - MSX | ZX - Sinclair ZX Spectrum.