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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 review

 >Final Fantasy

Box art by Yoshitaka Amano

Japanese artwork, first published by Square in 1987.

Originally designed for the Japanese Nintendo Famicom market.

Also available on: MSX, PlayStation.

The box art that debuted the enduring Final Fantasy series , would also be the start of Illustrator Yoshitaka Amano’s career in the video game industry.

Yoshitaka would bring Final Fantasy’s delicate ink and water colour to life through it’s wispy lines and vibrant colours, whilst flavouring it with the artist’s trademark eastern romanticism.  It is a cover art seeped in sorrow and anguish, perfectly setting the tone for one of gaming’s great adventures.

Yoshitaka’s artistry would speak volumes and be a central part of the game’s - and series’ - success’.  Amano would complement Square’s vision of explaining how video games could emotionally appeal to their audience through story and art, and helped promote the Famicom to enormous levels of success.  

Amano’s style of fine art was interestingly at odds with a great deal of Manga/ anime inspired Japanese box art of the period.  This is especially apparent when you compare the cover art to Final Fantasy’s main competitor Dragon Quest.

Unfortunately, as with much Japanese artwork from the late 1980’s, Final Fantasy’s cover art would be replaced for the western release, deemed too unsuitable for the American market in 1990. It would finally be used overseas in Europe for the PlayStation’s Final Fantasy. Origins (2002).

Other notable Yoshitaka Amano box arts


>First Queen (JP) PC-98, X68000.


>Final Fantasy III (JP) Famicom.


>Final Fantasy VI (JP) Super Famicom.


>Front Mission: Gun Hazard (JP) Super Famicom.

If you like Final Fantasy you’ll love…


>Barbarian (EU/ NA) Amiga, Atari ST.


>Blue Almanac (JP) Mega Drive.

Sources and further reading:




Related BOX=ART pages.


>Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (JP) Saturn.

Updated - 2/7/17, by Adam Gidney

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Yoshita ka Amano artist page

Yoshitaka Amano box art artist page| BOX=ART Box art from publisher Square page| BOX=ART

Square publish er page

North American artwork, first published by Nintendo in 1990.

Designed for the North American NES market.  

Also available on: na.

The American version of Yoshitaka’s box art would fall in line with western RPG covers of the day - swords, axes etc... (see The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Adventure and Dragon Warrior IV), but is arguably a far weaker effort to the Japanese original.   

Final Fantasy

Re-released in 2002 for the European PlayStation market by Squaresoft.

This release of the first two Final Fantasy games would mark the time Yoshitaka’s debut cover was used in a western market.

The American version would use Yoshitaka’s original Final Fantasy II cover, again the first time this cover was used over seas.

Final Fantasy. Origins by Yoshitaka Amano

1987 unreleased alternate cover and original sketch.

Final Fantasy alternate cover & original sketch by Yoshitaka Amano

Japan gallery page

Japanese box art page| BOX=ART 80's gallery page| BOX=ART

80’s gallery page