Star Fox, Captain Falcon, & Tingle Designer Takaya Imamura retires from Nintendo

During his 32 years as producer, artist, and director at Nintendo, Imamura had a portfolio that ran the gamut from the iconic to the downright eccentric.

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A long era of one of the best creative minds Nintendo has ever had in its history has come to a close after 32 long years. Takaya Imamura, who began as a graphical designer on the first F-Zero, has announced his retirement and exit from Nintendo. Imamura’s career included work as artist, producer, and director on many prominent games and saw the first official designs of characters like Captain Falcon, the Star Fox team, and Tingle from Legend of Zelda to name a few.

Takaya Imamura officially announced his retirement via his personal Twitter account on January 20, 2021. Imamura closed out his final day, expressing gratitude to the company for his many years there.

“This is my last day going to work. I took a selfie with the empty office. I guess I won’t be coming in here anymore. As you’d expect, I’ll miss it,” Imamura wrote.

Imamura’s work at Nintendo created some of the most prominent and occasionally fantastically weird icons of the company’s history. He designed Captain Falcon for F-Zero, as well as the entire main crew of Star Fox, which were all based on his co-workers. He also designed Tingle, the strange mapmaker with aspirations of being a fairy throughout the Zelda games. Imamura would go on to a Supervisor role in further F-Zero games, and even directed the Steel Diver submarine combat games. His 32-year tenure eventually arrived at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he was the game’s original Supervisor even as he still continued to contribute at the company.

With over three decades behind him, Imamura had a huge hand in shaping some of our favorite gaming franchises. For F-Zero, Star Fox, The Legend of Zelda (even Tingle), and so much more, we have him to thank. Have a good rest Imamura. Fans of Nintendo around the world cannot thank you enough.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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