Takaya Imamura is an artist who worked at Nintendo between 1989 and 2021. He is mostly notorious for being the main art director and character designer of the Star Fox and F-Zero franchises during his career. 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 comic that appeared in the game manual. Afterwards he also worked on Star Fox, where he handled non-polygonal graphics and character designs, including a few other titles.
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 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.
On January 20th, 2021, Imamura announced via Twitter that he was retiring from Nintendo after 32 years at the company. It appears he will be going freelance.
- 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/Wii U (2014) - Supervisor (Original Games)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) - Original Game Supervisor
- Star Fox Development Interview
- F-Zero X Staff Interview
- Iwata Asks: Steel Diver
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (Nintendolife)
- Super NES Classic Interviews: Star Fox
- Super NES Classic Interviews: F-Zero
- 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.
- 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.