Streets Of Rage 3 Cover Artist Finally Identified 30 Years On 1
Image: Sega

When Streets of Rage 3 launched in 1994, it was unique in that all three regional variants came with exclusive artwork.

While the North American and Japanese covers tried to showcase the full cast of playable characters in the game, the European version was different in that the cybernetically-enhanced newcomer Dr Zan is the main focus, with series stalwart Blaze standing directly behind him.

It's long been known that this piece of art was also used as a cover image for Mean Machines Sega magazine in the UK – in fact, it appeared there first before the game was released. However, outside of the initials 'SW' on the image, the identity of the artist has remained unknown for 30 years – until now.

OriginalVideoGameArt has finally linked the art with a name: Steve Weston.

Weston created much of the box artwork for Hewson Consultants during the years of 1986 and 1989, including Uridium, Exolon, Nebulus, Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine, Eliminator and Cybernoid II: The Revenge. He also created the infamous original art for Hewson's Astaroth: The Angel of Death, which featured a female alien with a bare chest. When retailers stated they wouldn't stock the game due to the cover, Hewson replaced it.

Weston also created the cover artwork for games from other publishers, including The Pawn (Rainbird), Starglider 2 (Rainbird), Silicon Dreams (Firebird) and Subterranean (Rack-It, Hewson's budget label).

Tragically, Weston's connection with Streets of Rage was never made public during his lifetime; he passed away on December 29, 2010, at the age of 62. It seems there may be many other pieces of art out there by Weston which are yet to be properly identified; according to his son Sam, he didn't keep a list of his works, nor did he choose to preserve his original illustrations.