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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.

History

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.

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