Fine Art: Remember, Classic Box Art Was Marvellous

Fine Art is normally in the business of covering current video game artists, but today we're going to wind back the clock and look at some stuff from one of the greats from the '80s and '90s. Tom Dubois did a lot of work for Konami in the earlier days of home console gaming. As such he's responsible for the iconic cover art of everything from Sunset Riders to Lethal Enforcers to Castlevania and TMNT games.

He recently did an interview with BOX=ART that covers some fascinating stuff if you're into video game history; his early work with Konami, for example, didn't include him being sent any games. Instead he'd receive VHS tapes of gameplay footage, in Japanese, and have to go from there.

Below you'll find some examples of work Dubois did between 1988-94.

Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios.


    Oh Top Gun. I'd forgotten all about you and the frustration of playing you.

    I'd also forgotten about the tingle I feel when seeing SNES game boxes.

    Ahhh, back when Konami knew what in the hell they were actually doing. On that note, here is some amazing box art for Prince of Persia on the SNES (still one of my favourite games of all time):

    Last edited 27/07/16 8:19 am

    Then the crushing disappointment you knew was coming when you flipped the box over and looked at the postage stamp sized screenshots on the back.

    Whats with the REV-A on the NES boxes? Did later versions come as REV-B with bugs fixed? Is this an early form of patching?

    I owned a Master System, so unfamiliar with NES

    God i miss old-school game art. It was so amazing...

      I miss manuals even more. Got Sword Art Online: Lost Song a while ago and actually took notes as there is no manual in either the box nor in game.

      There is basically only a tutorial at the start of the game but if one forgets the only way to access it again is to start a new game and the damn thing only keeps one save.

      This is on the PS4 so I don't know if it's the same on the Vita version. All I know is there is a manual for the Vita version of the prior game Hallow Fragment but none for the PS4 version.

        Oh man - how good were full art/story manuals.
        The one that came with Eldar Scholls arena is one of my favorites.

          Depends on where the manual came from. As many still to this day think Australia a British Colony accessible over the Sydney Harbour bridge (I wish I was making this up!) we have to suffer the same as in the UK (present events aside).

          Long story short, up there manuals have to be in several languages; at least English, French and Spanish from memory. In some cases they also have to be in Italian and German.

          Besides holding up release to keep costs down the manuals are often in black and white because the content and screenshots are repeated multiple times.

          Get the US version and often it was in full blazing colour. Just compare the EU version of the Grandia II manual with the US version. The US version has full colour illustrations of the characters and even background art while the EU version is just bland white pages and most of the character illustrations have been removed.

          Sadly this is the time we live in now where everything is all about penny pinching down to the point where even the boxes disintegrate if one so much as sneezes within 300 feet of the.. the... *CHOO*


          &*%$! Just ruined my whole collection!

          Last edited 27/07/16 3:01 pm

    Next time we complain about modern game trailers being misleading, we should remember old-school box art.

    "See this awesome action scene? Now imagine it with 23 pixels. That's our game."

    Showing my age here - but I've still got my old Gold Box AD&D originals in a box somewhere. As a kid in the early 90's, those were always worth waiting for.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now