Tetsuya Nomura is a 42 year old director and graphic designer from Kochi Prefecture in Japan. He currently works for Square Enix
, where most gamers know him from his character designs in the Final Fantasy
and Kingdom Hearts
Squaresoft originally hired him as a debugger to work on Final Fantasy IV
. He moved on to graphic designing for the subsequent two games, as well as several other RPG games for the Super Nintendo
. His employer approached him to do character designs for Final Fantasy VII
. The game succeeded in becoming the definitive game of the Playstation
, and he would go on to design characters in subsequent games, succeeding the previous designer Yoshitaka Amano
, as well as a number of other properties.
Nomura advanced to a directing role when Disney
and Square Enix joined forces to develop the Kingdom Hearts
series. He has directed all the games in the series, as well as designing the characters, concepts, and base stories to go with them. He has also worked in the animation field, directing Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
and supervising Last Order
. Nomura has also been put at the helm of the much anticipated Final Fantasy XV
The designer is best known for his use of zippers
. While he can produce simple and practical belts, as can be seen on his first iteration of Cid, he has a tendency to go for elaborate designs. These can range from the mildly practical, such as in Sora's case, to the downright improbable mesh of Lulu's skirt (which is seemingly made of belts
This Creator's portfolio includes:
- Final Fantasy Series
- Kingdom Hearts Series
- Parasite Eve Series
- Brave Fencer Musashi Series
- Other Series
This Creator provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: His art style changed starkly from Final Fantasy VII to VIII and then changed again for the first Kingdom Hearts. He's undergone another change since then and seems to have settled down for now.
- Author Appeal:
- Worked sea-salt ice cream into Kingdom Hearts II as the Trademark Favorite Food of Ansem when he tried it on a trip to Disney World and discovered he liked it. Subverted with Luxord, his favorite Organization XIII member who easily has the smallest role of them all.
- He's a fanboy of Kain Highwind, and Riku of Kingdom Hearts mirrors Kain's character growth and relationships with the other heroes in many ways. Nomura really wanted Kain in Dissidia, even suggesting at one point he be in over Golbez as IV's representative villain when plans for Kain as a bonus character were axed. He promised in the Ultimania for the game that if Dissidia got a sequel, Kain would definitely be included, and come Dissidia 012 he kept his word.
- Bishōnen: He has designed many of these types of characters. It got to the point of a certain webcomic spoofing it as "Nomura Syndrome".
- Breakthrough Hit: He became a big influence as a character designer thanks to his work on Final Fantasy VII
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: In a couple of instances—Squall's fur collar and Lulu's belt skirt—he has done this to challenge the graphics team.
- No Export for You: Somewhat averted because, despite International Versions, Final Mixes and Universal Tunings, he stated that he doesn't like the trope when talking about Kingdom Hearts coded. Although, to be fair, this was because it would have been a brand new KH game released only in Japan instead of a simple Updated Re-release. Still, this suggests that he does care about worldwide fans after all. (Really; this says a lot considering other developers ignore everyone else.)
- And he's finally found a loophole regarding the Kingdom Hearts series. With the games getting PS3 Remasters, the updated versions are finally making it outside the shores of Japan.
- Older Than He Looks: Does the page picture look like a 40-year old guy to you?
- Only Six Faces: Increasingly being accused of falling into this as his designs are starting to look like Expies of characters from earlier projects. There's often in-story explanations for the more blatant look alikes in the Kingdom Hearts and Compliation of Final Fantasy VII, such as being a sort of clone or duplicate.
- Rummage Sale Reject
- Signature Style: Beyond "beltanzipper", he was primarily brought on to be lead designer for Final Fantasy VII because his blocky, comic-bookish designs would survive the transition to 3D models easier than the Design Student's Orgasm that was Yoshitaka Amano's work. This was pre-Art Evolution though.
- Too Many Belts
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Actually, he did come up with Coded while he was drunk.
Have we mentioned he likes belts?