The banjo playing old man who appears on the cover of the North American release was played by Bertil Valley. Valley had been a volunteer Santa Claus for over 25 years, who prior to Phalanx appeared as a Santa on the cover of the Christmas album "Christmas in the Northwest". He had also owned his own successful construction company for over 20 years. Valley had passed away in 2004.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
The North American SNES cover of the game depicts an old bearded man playing a banjo with a spaceship flying in the background, an unusual departure for a side-scrolling space-themed Shoot 'em up.

According to Matt Guss of Kemco's American Advertising team, they wanted to make the game stand out more-so than other games of the same genre, saying they all had "monsters or spaceships or something [...] We wanted to create shock value so someone would have to pick the game up. We called it the 'Heavy Huh?!' factor." Art director Keith Campbell says they did the photo shoot themselves, hiring a model for the role of the "80-something hayseed."
Contributed by G-Haven