Takaya Imamura is an artist who worked at Nintendo between 1989 and 2021. He is mostly notorious for being the main art director, character designer and storywriter of the Star Fox and F-Zero franchises during his career at the company. Some of his most notorious creations include Captain Falcon, Fox McCloud, and Tingle, among many other characters.
Imamura originally joined Nintendo in 1989 as a graphic artist, where his first project was F-Zero; in this title he designed the cars, the pilot racers and the draft of the comic that appeared in the game manual. Afterwards, he designed most of the bosses of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and all of the characters and 2D graphics of Star Fox.
On the Nintendo 64, Imamura became the main art director of Star Fox 64 and F-Zero X, following his work on the SNES titles; he also helped on writing the plot and building the characters' backstory on both franchises. He was also the art director of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, where he helped settle the dark atmosphere of the title and also designed characters such as Tingle, the Moon and the Majora's Mask itself.
Since the GameCube era, Imamura became the main producer or supervisor of various F-Zero and Star Fox titles developed by outside companies. Later on, he became one of the main directors of the Nintendo EAD Group No. 5, where directed the Steel Diver series (where he also drew the captains) and Tank Troopers, as well as some undisclosed prototypes.
On January 20th, 2021, Imamura announced via Twitter that he was retiring from Nintendo after 32 years at the company. Currently, he works as a professor at the International Professional University of Technology in Osaka, although he is still open to work as a freelance artist and developer.
- F-Zero (1990) - Graphic Designer
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) - Object Designer
- Star Fox (1993) - Graphic Designer
- Stunt Race FX (1994) - CG Designer
- Donkey Kong (Game Boy) (1994) - CG Designer
- Star Fox 64 (1997) - Art Director
- F-Zero X (1998) - Chief Designer, Course Design
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000) - Art Director
- Star Fox Adventures (2002) - NCL Supervisor
- F-Zero GX (2003) - Supervisor
- F-Zero: GP Legend (2003) - Supervisor
- F-Zero Climax (2004) - Supervisor, Character Design
- Star Fox: Assault (2005) - Co-Producer
- Star Fox: Command (2006) - Producer
- Steel Diver (2011) - Director
- Star Fox 64 3D (2011) - Supervisor
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (2014) - Director
- Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins (2016) - Supervision
- Star Fox Zero/Star Fox Guard (2016) - Supervisor
- Tank Troopers (2016) - Director
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas (2018) - Star Fox Team
- Star Fox 2 (1995)
- Super Smash Bros. (1999) - Original Game Staff (Fox, C. Falcon Original Design)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) - Original Game Staff (Character Design: Star Fox, F-Zero)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)
- Donkey Kong Country (GBA) (2003)
- Donkey Kong Country 2 (GBA) (2004)
- Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland (2006)
- Wii Play (2006)
- Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (2007)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) - Supervisor (Original Games)
- Wii Music (2008)
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition (2012) - Collaboration Contents Advisor
- Bayonetta 2 (2014)
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014) - Supervisor (Original Games)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) - Original Game Supervisor
- Star Fox Development Interview
- F-Zero X Staff Interview
- Nintendo Dream: Star Fox Adventures (translated by shumplations)
- N.O.M.: F-Zero GX/F-Zero AX (translated by shumplations)
- Iwata Asks: Steel Diver
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (Nintendolife)
- Super NES Classic Interviews: Star Fox
- Super NES Classic Interviews: F-Zero
- IGN (2021)
- Imamura based the Star Fox characters on members of the development team; Fox McCloud was Shigeru Miyamoto, Falco Lombardi was Tsuyoshi Watanabe, Peppy Hare was Katsuya Eguchi, and Slippy Toad was Yoichi Yamada.
- Also, Andross was based on an unspecified higher-up at Nintendo.
- On the 2017 release of Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic Edition, Imamura designed the promotional package mockup.
- As the art director for Majora's Mask, Imamura named Mujura (the titular mask's Japanese name) after his own name, combined with the name of the movie Jumanji.