Takaya Imamura, designer of Tingle, Fox McCloud, Captain Falcon, retires

Takaya Imamura, designer of Tingle, Fox McCloud, Captain Falcon, retires

Takaya Imamura has on Facebook announced his retirement from Nintendo, over three decades after he joined the company. Imamura worked on some of Nintendo’s biggest franchises over the years, including F-Zero, Star Fox, and The Legend of Zelda, and he provided character designs for Captain Falcon and Fox McCloud. However, the designer is also known for one character in particular from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Takaya Imamura designed Tingle, the Zelda character who just keeps returning following his appearance in Majora’s Mask.

From having his own Japan-exclusive games to even appearing in Hyrule Warriors as DLC, Tingle is a memorable character, for better or worse. However, even if Tingle himself might stick around forever, his designer is indeed leaving.

Via Gematsu translation, Takaya Imamura offered the following in his Facebook message: “Today is my last day coming to work. I took a selfie with the empty office building. It feels pretty sad to think about not coming here anymore… Hats off to myself for 32 years of hard work!” The designer’s post is indeed accompanied by a selfie from outside Nintendo’s offices, which are empty due to COVID-19 and the world’s shift to working from home.

Imamura first joined Nintendo in 1989 as a graphic designer, and fans will be seeing the characters and worlds he designed for many more times to come. Let’s see if Tingle continues to appear in mainline Zelda games or maybe even gets another spin-off title.


Ben Kerry
Freelance Writer. Work seen elsewhere at Eurogamer & Gamereactor. Fan of action, racing and straight up walkin' in any video game he can get his hands on. When he's not gaming, Ben spends his time listening to way too much Guns N' Roses, watching football and probably eating somewhere...