Takashi Tezuka (born November 17, 1960) is an Executive Officer at Nintendo and a Senior Officer at Nintendo EPD. He was the general manager of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development along with Shigeru Miyamoto, and directed many of the original titles Mario and The Legend of Zelda series in the NES and SNES. Particularly, he has produced various titles in the 2D Mario, Yoshi, and Animal Crossingseries, among various others.

Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that he was glad when Takashi Tezuka took control of Nintendo EAD because it was the first time someone younger than him took control of a department within Nintendo.


After graduating from the Osaka University of Arts, Takashi Tezuka was introduced to Nintendo by a friend who also applied to the company (although his friend never made the cut). In 1984, after assisting part-time with some of the graphics of Super Punch-Out!!, Tezuka was hired at the company, originally belonging to the Creative Department under Shigeru Miyamoto.

According to Tezuka, he went into the business hardly knowing anything about it. He apparently never even heard of Pac-Man prior to being hired, though he would wind up being an assistant director on Devil World, a maze game very similar to Pac-Man. Afterwards, he worked alongside Miyamoto on Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda, the NES' most recognizable titles. As Miyamoto became a producer at Nintendo EAD, Tezuka kept on a directorial role on Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Super Mario Bros. 3. The qualities of Boo from Super Mario Bros. 3 were influenced by Takashi Tezuka's wife, according to an interview with Nintendo Power. Throughout his work on the NES, Tezuka also drew most of the pixel images by himself.

Following the NES era Takashi Tezuka went on to lead the direction of the SNES's primary launch title Super Mario World. He can be attributed to the creation of such concepts as Yoshi and other features that were introduced in the game. After Super Mario World he tackled another daunting task as the director of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which like Super Mario World is often considered one of the best of its series. Following that game he went on to create the next entry in the Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, in which he also served as director. His next game was one of his favorites: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Because of this, he stated in Nintendo Power that Yoshi is his favorite character. Tezuka also supervised the Yoshi's Island designs used in Tetris Attack for the SNES.


Tezuka has worked on almost every The Legend of Zelda game.

Right after Yoshi's Island was finished Miyamoto's team had to start work on the Nintendo 64's launch game Super Mario 64. Takashi Tezuka's role was the assistant director, which he shared with Yoshiaki Koizumi. After this, he took on a supervisory role in various other titles of the Nintendo 64 era including Star Fox 64, Super Smash Bros., Paper Mario, the two Nintendo 64 The Legend of Zelda titles, and Yoshi's Story (which was the first project that he worked on as a producer), among various others.

Takashi Tezuka later became the general manager of all five of the Nintendo EAD studios along with Shigeru Miyamoto. He still plays a major role in the development of games, but he no longer directs them. His recent works include the Yoshi, Animal Crossing, Pikmin, Big Brain Academy and New Super Mario Bros. series, among various others. To date, Takashi Tezuka has worked on almost every single The Legend of Zelda game; even in the Wii Zapper enabled title Link's Crossbow Training, he served as producer.

In 2013, he was replaced by Katsuya Eguchi for the position of deputy general manager; instead, he was promoted to Senior Officer of EAD as a new supervisory role. He kept that position into the transition into Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Development. In 2018, he joined Nintendo's executive board as an Executive Officer.

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