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Takaya Imamura - The creator of Nintendo's best characters named after Majora's mask - Feature

Takaya Imamura – The creator of Nintendo’s best characters named after Majora’s mask – Feature

Takaya Imamura Nintendo characters© Nintendo

On January 20, 2021, Nintendo artist, designer, producer and director Takaya Imamura announced in his first tweet that he was leaving the company after thirty-two years. Imamura is not retired – he is 54 years old, but his departure marks the end of an interesting Nintendo career that will transform the 16-bit era.

Symbols such as the Mario and Link are Nintendo’s PR. , Zelda ‘Dingle Series.

Imamura’s first project, an upgraded SNES racing and starting game in Mode 7 F-Zero, Provided an immediate challenge when he joined Nintendo in his early twenties in 1989. Inspired by Tim Burton, he developed sports vehicles with wheels in the beginning before the team moved on to crafts and future decor. Batman It appeared in the modern blockbuster comic book movie model during game development.

After finishing work on the game, Imamura focused on creating characters for use in packaging and promotional materials. Imamura revealed that Captain Balkan began life as a potential symbol for the SNES console, as described in an F-Zero interview at the time of the launch of the Super NES Classic Mini:

At first he was Captain Something-or-others, but as we began to discuss what to do with F-Zero’s packaging, I tried to draw something in an American comic style.

The idea snowed after it responded positively to the Nintendo comic book idea in the US, and it was included in the game’s manual, although the designs and layouts of Imamura’s characters affect the look and style of subsequent entries in the original game. Then, of course, players are more likely to browse through the manuals for instructions, details of a story and characters not in the game. Nowadays, if you get anything other than a basket in your gaming case it’s new – it’s not even guaranteed.

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The Motley team of Captain Falcon and the aggressive racers felt a part of the spirit of F-Zero without really being in the game.

After F-Zero, Imamura helped Link to the past Before designing the characters Star Fox. On the advice of Shigeru Miyamoto, he began drawing animal characters and inspired most actors from Japanese folk tales. All four team members were based on Nintendo employees at the time, he explained in an interview. Star Fox 2:

Fox has a fox face like Miyamoto… Falco is Vathanabe. After that, we laughed as his nose popped out like a crane! Director Katsuya Ekuchi has a rabbit-like mouth, so he became a rabbit, Peppy. Planner Yochi Yamada has big round eyes, so he became a slippery toad.

Imamura’s maps for the Star Fox and Star Wolf teams.

Imamura, who stopped short before naming the model of rival Lord Andros, pointed out that he may have been inspired by the abusive attitude of then-Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamachi:

Imamura: And the villain Andros… I should not say. (Laughs)

Miyamoto: Yes, you can not say this! (Laughs)

Imamura: (quietly) Andros was my boss at the time. (Laughs)

Continuing assignments Stunt Race FX And Star Fox 64 (Who re-used many of the designs and ideas that entered the then-unseen Star Fox 2), Imamura returned to the F-Zero universe as a leading designer (and of course designer) F-Zero X, His characters will feature prominently in the game.

F Zero X Menu ScreenNintendo Life

What. A game.

After finishing work on F-Zero X, Imamura took over as art director The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora. He oversaw the dark tone of the sequel and not only created a continuous dingle character, but was also responsible for the name of the game. According to series director EG Anuma, Ibamura just crushed his own name with the movie title Robin Williams and created the nickname of the named mask (Mujura in Japanese). Jumanji.

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Polarization as the original character may have been in his early days (“mostly in the United States” for some reason, according to Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe), Dingle continued to be a cult figure for many years, and every Zelda game since that character appeared (or mentioned). He also played in his own games starting in Europe and Japan Rosie took Rubiland from Dingle freshly.

“A middle-aged man who dreams of becoming an angel,” Danabe described Dingle, apparently “very relaxed.” [Imamura]”, Which has always struck us as a strange phrase – may be alien to translation – but it fits very well with Imamura’s unusual character. We crossed our fingers to see Dingle return. Breath of Wild 2 (As opposed to having it Wild breath).

"Shy, shy!  Cool-limba!"“Shy, shy! Cool-limba! ”(Image: Nintendo)

Since the beginning of the Millennium and his last major involvement in the Legend of Zelda series, Imamura has focused primarily on overseeing the owners’ gateways he helped create: the F-Zero Series (which has been AWOL since 2004). F-Zero Climax, Unfortunately) and Star Fox games. Most recently, he has been involved with the good Star Fox content added to the switch version of Ubisoft. Starling: The Battle for Atlas.

Elsewhere, he was the director of two small projects. Steel plunger 3DS is a subtitle derived from a DS technology demo (cited by Miyamoto Imamura for his background in game development with vehicles). And Tank players 3DS is a fun and relatively simple (yes, more vehicles) local multiplayer mini tank battle game to find on eShop.

After working at Nintendo for more than thirty years, it is clear that Takaya Imamura has left indelible fingerprints on some of the company’s greatest products. As a specific fan of F-Zero games, it’s disappointing to think that a new entry in the series – coming at some point in the next decade or two! – may not make its direct contribution to the design. While looking for opportunities outside of Nintendo’s Kyoto headquarters, I hope we ask a lot more questions from him in the future.

Regardless of his future endeavors, Imamura’s contribution to Nintendo games and character actors makes him one of the most important and influential figures in the company’s history, with a legacy of art and design that we will continue to cherish for decades to come. During the aforementioned F-Zero chat, he joked about his product early in his Nintendo career:

For a guy in his first year in business, I did a good job, didn’t I?

We could not agree more.

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Takaya Imamura Nintendo© Nintendo