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After working with Nintendo for nearly 32 years, Takaya Imamura – the artist behind some of the company’s most iconic characters including Fox McCloud, Captain Falcon, and Tingle – has retired. In a post made on his personal Facebook page, Mr. Imamura left a message and photo of himself standing outside of Nintendo’s main Kyoto headquarters.



As translated by Kotaku, Imamura’s caption states “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 joined Nintendo in 1989 as a graphic artist where he rigorously aimed to design the futuristic-looking characters, cars, and atmospheres of the Super Nintendo’s F-Zero. He later went on to handle the non-polygonal graphics of Star Fox. After his grand success with the two titles, Imamura later went on to spearhead the art direction of both series Nintendo 64 iterations along with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. 

When he wasn’t working as an artist, Imamura notably took on the roles of directing multiple Nintendo titles such as the 3DS premiere Steel Diver entry and supervising the Super Smash Bros. series (except for its debut game, yet he’s listed under the Special Thanks section of the credits.)

Takaya Imamura leaves Nintendo in good spirits. While he may no longer be designing and creating characters for the company, his work will certainly impact fans for years to come as his creations make more appearances in future titles.


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Written by Marc Kaliroff

Ever since owning a cobalt blue Game Boy Advance, Nintendo is his preferred way of gaming. Marc is a journalist, creative writer, and video producer. While his focus may be on providing news, he spends his days preparing reviews for games of the present and past.