Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Making of Mega Man 10's "Retro" Cover Art

Back in 2008, Capcom heavily marketed Mega Man 9 as if it were a game released in 1987. To achieve this, they hired iam8bit artist Gerald de Jesu sto design a cover for the game reminiscent of the iconic North American cover of the original series' first game.

A few years later, when Mega Man 10 was released, Capcom repeated this approach, but with distinct covers for the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 versions. Once more, the designs were crafted by Gerald de Jesus. He later offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the cover design process on his blog, which was shared many years ago.

To preserve this piece of history for those who missed it, you can find this behind-the-scenes process after the break below!

"Hey it's been a while!  So this is probably old news, but here is the Mega Man 10 cover I did way back in November.  Initially, it was supposed to be three different boxes with each one for the Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.  In the end I wanted to do something on a more ambitious scale and decided to do one huge image, or a tryptic as they say."

"So this is the first sketch I came up with as the "main" cover to get approved by Capcom.  I wanted to keep it in the realm of the amazing painted covers they did for movies back in the 1980's... seriously, movie posters are kind of lame nowadays.  When I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was to open up the Friday edition newspaper and look at the movie section and just stare at all the cool posters they had.   If the painted poster was a guy fighting aliens or monsters or dragons, I HAD to see that movie, even if they were R-rated and I was only 8 years old!  So for the Mega Man 10 poster, I wanted to invoke that feeling.  So I took inspiration from the posters of "Star Wars", "Transformers: The Movie", "Excalibur" and "Escape From New York".  I just wanted this thing to look EPIC."

"So here is the first version of the tryptic.  The robots and the sizes / positioning of the characters were really different.  At the time, I didn't know who any of the bosses were for the game, so after this initial sketch was sent to Capcom, the major notes were to add bosses from the game as well as make Mega Man more prominent in each section of the poster."

"So here is the final approved sketch before I went into color / paints.  As you can see, I made Mega Man more of a focal point in each section of the tryptic as well as made Proto Man more of a background character.  I updated my old robot designs to sort of match the characteristics of the ones in the video game, but not exact replicas.  And yes that is Dr. Wiley on the far right, fully transformed into a robot like his creations.  And that bird thing on his shoulder?  I ripped it off from the cover of Mega Man 6!  I just wanted to continue with the spirit of the bad interpretation of Mega Man covers."

"So here's how it looks when I start painting!  I come from a traditional painting background and I pretty much approach it the same way when I work digitally.  I make a layer and just color it with burnt sienna, then I make a layer with my sketch on it and set it to "multiply" and I start my underpainting.  This is where most of the heavy lifting is done, just messing with colors, pushing back stuff, bringing it forward.   As you can see, my main problem was trying to knock back Proto Man since he was wearing red and thus getting the most attention.  So I dimmed his red a bit and also added some rim lighting to Mega Man's body with that obnoxious turquoise color from his laser."

"Here you can see some of my sketch showing through and some more progress on the overall painting."

"Oh yeah, these paintings were HUGE.  Each part of the tryptic had to be 18" x 24" with enough room for bleed.  So the final image had to be 55" x 25" at 300 dpi, which is pretty monstrous if you add in all the layers I make in Photoshop.  So I had to work on each part of the poster individually and stitch them back together once all the pieces were finished and flattened.  I would import a little piece of the finished middle painting into the side I was working on to make sure everything hooked up."

"...and here is the finished piece.  I was pretty excited when I stitched the whole image all together.  This was such a fun and awesome project to work on!"


  1. I'm impressed, it's amazingly cool.

  2. The design reminds me more of a "what if" bad box art Mega Man X. I do kind of want a poster of this though.

  3. Wonder if he or someone else added the Bass elements later

  4. Personally I like the version with bass in it but it's pretty cool to see the early sketches!

  5. i just went back and looked at the cover of mm6 - what “bird thing” is gerald referring to…?

    1. Maybe he doesn't know the name of Beat? It's a bit strangely-worded. Unless he means the black thing near the purple robot's shoulder.


Keep it friendly. Disparaging, belittling and derogatory comments are not permitted.