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 © 2013-2021 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.

BOX=ART directory


Box art index - A

Box art directory: G - Gy


G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero | Taxan USA Corp. | 1991 | by Greg Winters | NES.

G-Loc: Air Battle | Sega | 1990 | JPN ver. | by Yoshiaki Yoneshima | Game Gear.

G-Loc: Air Battle | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Marc William Ericksen | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Gain Ground | Renovation | 1991  | NA ver. | by Frank Cirooco | Genesis.

Gain Ground | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Sohhei Oshiba | Mega Drive.

Galactic Adventures | SSI | 1983 | by Louis Hsu Saekow & Doo Woo | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Galactic Blitz | Tronix Publishing | 1982 | by Marc William Ericksen | VIC-20.

Galaga | Atari | 1987 | by Marc William Ericksen | Atari 7800.

Galaxians | Softec Software | 1983 | by Tony Roberts | ZX81, ZX Spectrum.

Galaxy | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1981 | by Charles Kibler | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, MS-DOS, TI-99, TRS-80.

Galaxy Force 2 | Sega | 1992 | NA ver. | by Greg Winters | Genesis.

Gale Racer | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991 | by Akira Watanabe | Saturn.

Galivan | Ocean Software | 1986 | by Bob Wakelin | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Game ABC game Programming Master | Sony | 1984 | by Susumu Matsushita | MSX.

Game & Watch Gallery 4 | Nintendo | 2002 | with Yasuko Takahashi | by Yoiche Kotabe | Game Boy Color.

Game, Net and Match | Blue Byte Studio | 1998 | by Tom Thiel | Windows.

Ghost Pilots | SNK | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Shinkiro.

One of Shinkiro’s early period box arts and distinguished for being one of a handful that don’t have the artist’s distinctive character art emblazoned across the cover. It is also one of the artists personal favorite covers.

The lettering looks like it was shamelessly ripped of from Nintendo’s F-Zero game, released two months previous.

Green Beret | Imagine Software | 1986 | EU ver. | by Bob Wakelin | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Green Beret’s character art would be a shameless copy of 1986 comic The Punisher #5: Final Solution Part 2’s cover - by artist Mike Zeck. Bob certainly wasn’t alone when it came to ‘paying homage’, with box artists worldwide in the 1980’s ripping off popular character art from various art forms (see, Metal Gear and Navy Moves).

Golden Axe II | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Boris Vallejo | Genesis, Mega Drive.

One of great Vallejo box arts, painted in oils and full of the high detail he was made famous for. The Japanese version of Golden Axe II would loose the high gloss look and instead go for a muted pastel composition.

Gitaroo Man | Koei | 2001 | EU/ NA ver. | by 326 | PS2.

Gitaroo Man follows what is seemingly a consistent trend within the rhythm game genre of employing impossibly wacky and exaggeratedly freaky looking individuals (see, PaRappa the Rapper, Elite Beat Agents and Space Channel 5). The series artist, 326, known for his ‘super kawaii’ or ‘cute’ characters would be drafted in on design duties for both promotional and in-game art. He’d come up with a cover brimming with childish innocence but devilishly laced with nightmarish robotic and patch worked details.

The artist’s self-taught style has always been shocking in its subtleties. The odd exposed brain here or randomly drawn genitalia there are mischievously woven amidst soft toy characters, and can be somewhat difficult to absorb.  In comparison, Gitaroo Man’s cover was a more toned down affair, but at some level still maintains these difficult and unsettling juxtapositions.

Guardian Legend, The | IREM | 1988 | JPN ver. | by Naoyuki Katoh | Famicom.

The Japanese exclusive box art by famed illustrator Naoyuki Kato would prove an artistically complex and mature effort within the Famicom’s catalogue.  The Guardic cyborg’s design would take inspiration from the fetish, steampunk world of H. R Giger and Europe’s pantheon of artist’s that made up the roster of 70’s magazine, Métal Hurlant.  It would interestingly pay little homage to the in game character design, and because of this, could well have been a recommisioned job rather than an original. The title banner’s vibrant pallette and metallic sheen added to the composite well, but would have benefited from being smaller and not drawing the eye so much.

North America and Europe would both adopt a different box art on release - probably due to the different publisher in each region - with the later's characterisation crossing the game’s heroine and Katoh’s design.  Neither would compare to the Japanese original.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | U.S. Gold | 1989 | EU ver. | by Ian Naylor | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Naylor’s cover would be a reworking of the North American arcade flyer by Frank Cirocco, but with the comic book look replaced with a fantasy paint job more in line with what European box artists in the 1980’s were designing.

Games Pack 1 | AcornSoft | 1981 | Acorn Atom.

Games Pack 1 would be the start of 11 video game packs that AcornSoft released for its short lived Atom machine.  Pack 1’s box art is an early example of European graphic design being used on cover arts.  Its look would fall in line with other software releases - outside of gaming - that AcornSoft also produced at the time.  

The lack of art to promote the Pack might seem odd, but the little competition at this point in the European home-computer scene meant that there was hardly a need to stand out from the crowd.  Also, these packs were not sold in shops but rather by mail order, again adding to lack of need to have an attention grabing artwork.  This attitude would change through with the painterly artworks that publisher Quicksilva started to produce for the ZX Spectrum in 1982.    

Game Over | Dinamic Software | 1987 | by Luis Rojo | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, PC Booter, Thomson MO/ TO, ZX Spectrum.

The game is best known for a controversy regarding the image of Queen Gremla where a visible nipple that can be seen in its advertising and inlay artwork (which had originally appeared on the cover of Heavy Metal (May 1984 - Vol.8 No.2) called Cover Ere Comprimee and is attributed to Luis Royo). Oli Frey, the art editor for Crash magazine, painted over the original bare-breasted image with a thin grey corset so that it could be printed, but retailers still demanded that logos be placed over the nipples.

Game Over won the awards for best advert and best inlay of the year, according to the readers Crash (Wikipedia). It is possibly the artist’s first cover art.

Gungrave | Sega | 2002 | NA ver. | by Yasuhiro Nightow | PS2.

Red Entertainment would contact mangaka Nightow with the offer of designing a game that he really wanted to make. He would would be responsible for the games story and character designs. The game would spawn a sequel and a popular anime that Nightow also worked on.

Europe and Japan would both receive different cover arts by the artist. Concept art.

Golden Axe | Sega | 1989 | JPN ver. | by Yoshiaki Yoneshima | Mega Drive.

Debut box art for the series. The box art would be heavily influenced by the ‘swords and sorcery’ genre made popular by Hollywood in the 1980’s, blending both western characters with eastern dragon designs.

The North American version (by an, at present, unknown artist) would be a weaker effort both styalistically and artistically.

Gradius II: GOFER no Yabō | Konami | 1988 | by Akira Nishimura. | Famicom, PC Engine, Sony PSP, X68000.

Gradius II is at present Nishimura’s only known box art. It’s vibrant use of colour would be a profound statement after the cooler shades found on the original Gradius cover. The art design is based upon the opening level.

    Index - 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

Directory - 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

Golden Axe | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990 | by Dermot Power | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

The European cover art would be penned by famed comic artist Dermot Power whose CV includes artworks for comic book 2000 AD’s barbarian character Slaine.  Slaine’s unashamed aping of Conan would make Power an excellent choice, and the box art ended up as a thoroughly European take bereft of the glossiness seen on the console versions.

North America’s home computer version would comically pay a rather unfortunate lip service to the Master System’s box art complete with terrible photography, replacing terrible art.

Gradius/ Nemesis (グラディウス) | Konami | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Famicom, Game Boy, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC Engine, Sharp X-1, X68000, ZX Spectrum.

The series debut box art and the most widely used.  It would start the trend within the series of the original cover art being used across the globe unaltered.  The inspiration clearly came from Star Wars and would go on to inspire many other covers within the space-shooter genre.

Original sketch.

Gods | Mindscape | 1991| EU/ JPN ver. | by Simon Bisley | Amiga, Atari ST, Mega Drive.

Strikingly thematic as if resembling some well-preserved Grecian plaque, Gods’ boldness, detail and palette fitted the in-game’s artistic direction perfectly.  But it was the cover art’s portrayal of strength that worked so brilliantly, with the hulking protagonist, weighty, brutal and iron clad, dealing death so effortlessly.  

Gods’ art style would standout from realism found in so many fantasy box arts in the early 90’s. Artist Simon Bisley would instead draw upon the stylised look of his comic book work found in 2000 AD and most prominently his depiction of warrior king Slaine - a character not far removed from the game’s protagonist.  

With Simon’s preferred medium being acrylic, chances are Gods was created using it along with anything from coloured pencils, to oils and car spray paint.

Golden Axe III | Sega | 1993 | by Sohhei Oshiba | Mega Drive.

The finished box art would take a rather transatlantic route, in that it was a reimagining of a Boris Vallejo original called ‘Silver Sword’.  

At some point Golden Axe III was set to be released in North America and so Sega of America commissioned Vallejo - who had already done Golden Axe II’s cover. The game was then canned but Vallejo’s artwork went on to be used as the basis for Japan’s cover art version.  It is likely that the Japanese didn’t have the rights to Boris’ art.

As with many Vallejo paint jobs, the female warrior is his wife and fellow artist Julie Bell.

Grand Theft Auto III | Rockstar Games | 2001 | EU ver. | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Windows.

Loaded with American blaxploitation and cop movie clichés, Grand Theft Auto III’s (GTA) European box art would be a throwback to explosive 1970’s film poster art. Stephen’s caricatured characters, full of gross societal parodies, would interestingly be at odds with GTA’s gritty realism depicted in game. It’s 1970’s look would also disagree with the game’s early 2000’s setting, but the chaotic mash up of villains, fast cars and explosions would bridge the game and box art perfectly.

The movie poster look can also be seen to parallel the game’s filmic qualities, and it’s Americanisation would have an obvious appeal with European audiences. The cover’s look would be a one off for the series with all subsequent box arts worldwide using the North American version’s montage style.

Gunspike | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver. | by Bengus | Dreamcast.

Gunstar Heroes | Sega | 1993 | JPN ver. | by HAN | Mega Drive.

Gunstar Super Heroes | Sega | 2005 | by HAN | Game Boy Advance.

Gutz | Ocean Software | 1988 | by Bob Wakelin | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Gyroscope | Melboure House | 1985 | by Steinar Lund | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Electron, ZX Spectrum.

Gyruss | Konami | 1988 | by Tomo Yamamoto | NES, Nintendo Disk System.

Guderian | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1986 | by George I. Parrish Jnr. | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Guerillia War | SNK Corp | 1989 | NA ver. | by Marc William Ericksen | NES.

Gulf Strike | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1985 | by Jim Talbot | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Gun-Dec | Sammy | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Yasushi Torisawa | Famicom.

Gun Smoke | Capcom | 1988 | NA ver. | by Frank Cirooco | NES.

Gunbird 2 | Capcom | 2000 | by Masato Natsumoto | Dreamcast.

Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes | Bandai | 1999 | JPN ver. | by Yoshiyuki Takani | Dreamcast.

Gunfright | Ultimate - Play the Game | 1986 | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum.

Green Berets | Take-Two | 2001 | by Kurt Miller | Macintosh, Windows.

Gremlins | Atari | 1984 | by Greg Winters | Apple II, Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 5800, Commodore 64, PC Booter.

Gridrunner | Human Engineered Software | 1982 | by Marc William Ericksen | Commodore 64.

Groove on Fight: Gōketsuji Ichizoku 3 | Atlus | 1997 | by Range Murata | Saturn.

Ground Zero Texas | Sony Imagesoft | 1993 | NA ver. | by Roger Loveless | Sega CD.

Gryphon | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1985 | by Jim Talbot | Commodore 64.

Gryphon | Quicksilva | 1984 | by Rich Shenfield | Commodore 64.

Gryzor | Ocean Software | 1987 | EU/ NA ver. | by Bob Wakelin | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, NES, ZX Spectrum.

Guardian Heroes | Sega | 1996 | EU/ JPN ver. | by HAN | Saturn.

Grand Theft Auto III | Rockstar Games | 2001 | JPN/ NA ver. | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Windows.

Grand Theft Auto: IV | Rockstar Games | 2008 | by Stephen Bliss | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Grand Theft Auto V | Rockstar Games | 2013 | by Anthony Macbain with Roxie Viscarra & Colin Synder (logo) | PS3, PS4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars | Rockstar Games | 2009 | by Stephen Bliss | Nintendo DS, Sony PSP.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City | Rockstar Games | 2010 | by Stephen Bliss | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories | Rockstar Games | 2005 | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Sony PSP.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas | Rockstar Games | 2004 | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Windows, Xbox.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy | Rockstar Games | 2005 | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Windows, Xbox.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City | Rockstar Games | 2002 | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Windows.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories | Rockstar Games | 2006 | by Stephen Bliss | PS2, Sony PSP.

Grand Prix Simulator 2 | Codemasters | 1989 | by Gavin MacLeod | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Great Escape, The | Ocean Software | 1986 | by Bob Wakelin | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Gradius V | Konami | 2004 | by Hidetaka Tenjin | PS2.

Gradius Gaiden | Konami | 1997 | by Yoshihiro Hashizume | PS1.

Grand Theft Auto | Take-Two | 1997 | EU/ NA ver. | by The Designers Republic | Game Boy Advance, MS-DOS, PS1, Windows.

Golden Axe: The Duel | Sega | 1996 | NA ver. | by Taku Makino | Saturn.

Golf | Mattel Electronics | 1980 | by Jerrol Richardson | Intellivision.

Goonies, The | U.S. Gold | 1985 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg Winters | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Goonies, The | Konami | 1986 | JPN ver. | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | Famicom, PC-98, Sharp X-1.

Golden Axe II | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | Jun Satoh | Mega Drive.

Golden Axe | Sega | 2002 | by Taku Makino | WonderSwan.

Golden Axe | Telenet Japan | 1990 | by Yasushi Torisawa | PC Engine.

Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters | Toho | 1991 | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | NES.

Gojira: Kaiju Dai Ranto - Chikyu Saishu Kessen | Atari | 2004 | by Hideaki Ebihara | Windows.

Gold Fever | Tronix Publishing | 1983 | by Marc William Ericksen | VIC-20.

Gitaroo Man Lives! | Koei | 2006. | by 326 | Sony PSP.

Glass | Quicksilva | 1985 | by David John Rowe | ZX Spectrum.

Glass Rose | Capcom | 2004 | by Shinkiro | PS2.

God Hand | Capcom | 2006 | JPN ver. | by Hiroaki | PS2.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | NEC Avenue | 1990 | by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu | PC Engine.

Gift From the Gods | Ocean Software | 1984 | by Bob Wakelin | ZX Spectrum.

Gilligan’s Gold | Ocean Software | 1984 | by Bob Wakelin | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Ginga Eiyū Densetsu II: Space War Simulation | Bothec Inc. | 1990 | by Naoyuki Katoh | MSX, PC-88, PC-98, X68000.

Gitaroo Man | Koei | 2001 | JPN ver. | by 326 | PS2.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins | Capcom | 1999 | by Raymond Fung | Game Boy Color.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts | Capcom | 1989 | by Yuji Kaida | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Gargoyles Quest II | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg Winters | NES.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Corp. | 2000 | by TONKO | Dreamcast (NA ver.), Neo Geo AES.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Corp. | 2001 | JPN ver. | by TONKO | Dreamcast.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Playmore | 2005 | by TONKO | PS2.

Gauntlet | Tengen Inc. | 1987 | by Joseph Chiodo | Genesis, NES.

Gauntlet III: The Final Quest | U.S Gold | 1991 | by Peter Andrew Jones | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Gatecrasher | Quicksilva | 1984 | by Steinar Lund | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Electron, ZX Spectrum.

Gdleen : Digan no Maseki | Artec | 1989 | by Naoyuki Katoh | MSX, PC-98.

Gemfire | KOEI | 1991 | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, Super Famicom, X68000.

Gemstone Healer | SSI | 1981 | by Joseph Chiodo | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Gemstone Warriors | SSI | 1984 | by Louis Hsu Saekow & James C. Summerville | NA ver. | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh.

Genghis Khan | KOEI | 1987 | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | Amiga, Famicom, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, X68000.

Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Grey Wolf | KOEI | 1992 | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | Famicom, FM Towns, Genesis, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, PC Engine, PS1, Sega CD, SNES, Super Famicom. X68000.

Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion | Zoom Inc | 1991 | by Yoshiyuki Takani | Super Famicom, X68000.

Genpei Gassen | KOEI | 1994 | by Noriyoshi Ohrai | PC-98, Windows.

Germany 1985 | SSI | 1983 | by Louis Hsu Saekow | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Gettysberg: The Turning Point | SSI | 1986 | by Joseph Chiodo | Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Gex | Crystal Dynamics | 1995 | by Peter Bollinger | 3DO, PS1, Saturn, Windows.

Giant Gram: Zen Nihon Pro Wrestling 2 | Sega | 1999 | by Hideaki Ebihara | Dreamcast.

God of War: Chains of Olympus | Sony | 2006 | JPN/ NA ver. | by Andy Park | Sony PSP.

God of War, The Trilogy | Sony | 2010 | by Andy Park | PS3.

Ghost Battle | Thalion Software | 1991 | by Michael Hellmich | Amiga, Atari ST.

Ghost Hunters | Sony | 2003 | EU ver. | by Jason Wilson | PS2.

Game Over II | EA | 1988 | by Luis Rojo | Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.