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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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 from a variety of angles 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.


BOX=ART covers the box art history behind Konami’s premier stealth romp Metal Gear.



BOX=ART series

>Metal Gear

Notable Metal Gear box arts.


Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 1987.

Designed for the worldwide market.  MSX version pictured.

Also available on: Commodore 64, DOS, Famicom, Gamecube, NES.


The series debut box art, Metal Gear, would paint it’s portrait of hero Snake reminiscing the all American, silver-screen action hero of the day. This G.I Joe look-alike would in fact be modeled on actor Michael Biehn in his role as Kyle Reece from the original Terminator movie, and lacked the resemblance of who Snake was to become in the Solid series.  

The box art would be used across all territories, a feat still uncommon at the time, and possibly due to its western-friendly look. Its artist, whose unknown at present, was likely Japanese due to it being published on the MSX and Famicom before the NES, and if so is an early example of an American model being used to promote a Japanese game.  

The box art would get a re-release in Japan when it was included as an extra in the Gamecube’s Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes console pack.

Metal Gear




Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 1999.

Designed for the European PlayStation market.  

Also available on: na.


The first box art to launch Yoji Shinkawa’s iconic style that would dominate cover arts for the next nine years.

The Japanese and North American version would remove the character art and instead settle for a mere logo.

Metal Gear Solid by Yoji Shinkawa



Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2001.

Designed for the EU/ NA PlayStation 2 markets.  

Also available on: na.


The first cover to truely depict Solid Snake. Much like the original box art the movie pastiche would remain with the newly grizzled anti-hero taking clues from Carpenter’s: Snake Plissken, whilst sharing the physical look of both Jean Claude Van Damme and Christopher Walken.  Even with all the western influence Snake’s chartacter art would now be firmly Japanese in style.

Yuji would turn Snake into the shadowy figure he always was with his Pentel brush pen artisry. His flowing, freestyle complemented the character’s rugged, worn persona perfectly.  

Metal Gear Solid 2 by Yoji Shinkawa



Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2004.

Designed for the EU/ JP Gamecube market.  

Also available on: na.


The Japanese version would be coloured grey instead of red.

The North American version would discard Yoji’s art and instead opt for in-game character renders, a first for the series.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes by Yoji Shinkawa



Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2005.

Designed for the EU/ JP PSP market.  

Also available on: na.


The offshoot series would have a change in art direction adopting a more colourful, anime look.    

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 by Maseo Tsubasa



Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2013.

Designed for the Japanese PlayStation 3 market.  

Also available on: na.


Yoji’s final box art using the classic ‘Solid’ style of art.

The standard edition adopted a computer render model instead.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Special Edition by Yoji Shinkawa


Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2015.

Designed for the worldwide market.  Xbox One version pictured.  

Also available on: PlayStation 4


The Japanese version for Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Edition uses a modified, character heavy verion of this.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain by Takeya Inoguchi



Metal Gear Series box arts

1987

>Metal Gear (worldwide) Commodore 64, DOS, Famicom, MSX, NES.

1990

>Snake’s Revenge (EU/ NA) NES. (TD)

>Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (JP) MSX. (YT)

1998

>Metal Gear Solid (NA/ JP) PlayStation.

1999

>Metal Gear Solid (EU) PlayStation. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (NA) PlayStation.  (YS)

2000

>Metal Gear: Ghost Babel/ Solid (EU/ JP) Game Boy Color. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid (NA) Game Boy Color. (YS)

2001

>Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (EU/ NA) PlayStation 2. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (JP) PlayStation 2. (YS)

2002

>Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (worldwide) PlayStation 2, Xbox. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (NA) PlayStation 2, Xbox. (YS)

2004

>Metal Gear Ac!D (JP) PSP. (MT)

>Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (JP) PlayStation 2. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (NA) PlayStation 2. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes  (EU/ JP) Gamecube. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes  (NA) Gamecube.

2005

>Metal Gear Ac!d (EU/ NA) PSP. (MT)

>Metal Gear Ac!d 2 (EU/ JP) PSP. (MT)

>Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (EU) PlayStation 2. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid 3: Substance (worldwide) PlayStation 2. (YS)

2006

>Metal Gear Ac!d 2 (NA) PSP. (MT)

>Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (JP) PSP.

>Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (NA) PSP.





2007

>Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (EU) PSP.

>Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (worldwide) PSP.

2008

>Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (JP/ NA) PlayStation 3.

>Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (EU) PlayStation 3. (YS)

>Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Special Edition (EU/ NA)   PlayStation 3. (YS)

2010

>Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (JP) PSP.

>Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (EU/ NA) PSP.

2011

>Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD (JP) PS3.

2012

>Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (JP) 3DS.

>Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (EU/ NA) 3DS.

2013

>Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (JP) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.

>Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (EU/ NA) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.

>Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Special Edition (JP) PlayStation 3. (YS)

2014

>Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros (JP) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox   360, Xbox One, Windows. (TI)

>Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros (EU/ NA) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4,   Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows. (TI)

2015

>Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (worldwide) PlayStation 3,   PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows. (TI)

2016

>Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience (EU/ NA) PlayStation 4,   Xbox One. (PU)

>Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience (JP) PlayStation 4, Xbox One.   (TI)


Series box artists

>Masao Tsubasa (MT)

>Pablo Uchida (PU)

>Takeya Inguchi (TI)

Related BOX=ART pages.





Sources and further reading

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear   

>http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=27983


>http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/06/07/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-gets-new-key-art-by-pablo-uchida/                          




>Tom Dubois (TD)

>Yoji Shinkawa (YS)

>Yoshiyuki Takani (YT)

Phala nx review page

Phalanx box art review page| BOX=ART

Categories: American artist| Konami| Metal Gear

Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 2016.

Designed for the EU/ NA markets.  PlayStation 4 version pictured.  

Also available on: Xbox One


BOX=ART review HERE.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience by Pablo Uchida


Metal Gear Solid V: Definitive Edition box art review page| BOX=ART

Metal Gear Solid V: TDE review page

Japan gallery page

Japanese box art page| BOX=ART Tom Dubois box art artist page| BOX=ART

Tom Dubois artist page

North American artwork, first published by Ultra Games in 1990.

Designed for the EU/ NA NES markets.  

Also available on: na.


Snake’s Revenge would be the unofficial sequal to Hideo Kojima’s original Metal Gear and at the request of Konami of America.  With it only getting a release in North America and later Europe, the choice of American artist Tom Dubois who had an established relationship with Konami was natural.

The artist would mimick the Kyle Reese character of the original and with it being released a few months before the official game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake it is the first box art in the series to depict a Metal Gear.     

Dubois would be to date the only western artist to design a series cover.

Snake’s Revenge by Tom Dubois


Japanese artwork, first published by Konami in 1990.

Designed for the Japanese MSX2 market.  

Also available on: na.


The official follow up to Metal Gear would artistically elevate the series with the help of TAMYA illustrator Yoshiyuki Takani.  It would be the final cover until Yoji Shinkawa would take over art direction for the Solid series in 1999.

Takani would later provide an artwork for the Japanese exclusive Metal Gear Solid 3: Premium Edition.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake by Yoshiyuki Takani


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Published in 2011 by Konami, exclusively for the Japanese market .

metal-gear-solid-peace-walker-hd-PS3-big.jpg

Updated - 13/05/17, by Adam Gidney

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