Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya?) is a video game director and character designer at Square Enix. He joined the company, then known as Square Co. Ltd., in the early 1990s, and gained prominence when he was selected as the main character designer for Final Fantasy VII (1997).
Nomura's first job with Square was as a debugger for Final Fantasy IV, back in 1990. He then went on to be the monster designer for Final Fantasy V. In the next game in the series, Final Fantasy VI, Nomura was the graphic director in charge of the monster designs; he also designed the characters Shadow and Setzer Gabbiani, and was in charge of storyboarding some of the cutscenes. Nomura's biggest success was his character design work on Final Fantasy VII, which rose to become one of the most well-known RPGs of all time and a defining game for the series as a whole. Nomura ended up contributing a large amount to the characters' stories (such as Red XIII's name), although the majority of the storyline was not written by him.
With his talent acknowledged, Nomura worked on other projects, such as Parasite Eve. Another huge success for Nomura was the release of Final Fantasy VIII, as the lead character designer and battle visuals director. Other games with characters designed by Nomura include Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIII. Other than Final Fantasy, Nomura also directed the Square Enix/Disney series Kingdom Hearts, as well as the CGI sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He was also character designer for The World Ends with You together with Gen Kobayashi. He spent most of the last decade helming production on Final Fantasy XV, having come up with the original concept and base story. He was set to direct the project until recently, with his role as director replaced by Hajime Tabata. Nomura has worked on several Square Enix projects, such as Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Nomura's style has been defined by the vibrant colors and amalgamation of eastern and western influences. Compared to other character designers, Tetsuya Nomura's Final Fantasy games tend to be more "modern" and "sci-fi" than the first installments set in a medieval worlds. Nomura's games in particular also tend to have storylines that are darker in tone. His character names tend to draw inspiration from physical science and weather, in particular, the sky, land, and sea; the central character almost always has the sky-based name. He was thinking of dropping that tradition for Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, but the other creative figures behind the character chose a sky-based name. Nomura also creates character names inspired by their personalities.
Tetsuya Nomura's style is similar to the traditional anime style of drawing, but he also draws upon western influences. In Final Fantasy VII, Nomura used a traditional anime-like style seen by the large anime-esque eyes and Cloud Strife's gravity-defying hair. In Final Fantasy VIII, the character designs are more realistic to fit the tone, Final Fantasy VIII being the first 3D Final Fantasy to use anatomically proportioned characters. In Final Fantasy X Nomura's designs became more and more realistic, although the coloring of the characters allowed his style to retain anime-like qualities. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Dissidia Final Fantasy feature more mature looking designs and are defined by a detailed shading.
In July 2012, Tetsuya Nomura said that four people are his biggest influences: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase, Hiroyuki Ito, and Tetsuya Takahashi. In another interview published in March 2014, Nomura stated that Ito was the one that taught him about game design.
Works within the series
|Final Fantasy IV||1991||Debugger (uncredited)|
|Final Fantasy V||1992||Battle Graphics Design, Monster Design|
|Final Fantasy VI||1994||Graphic Director, Monster Design, Character Design (Setzer, Shadow and SD design)|
|Final Fantasy VII||1997||Character Design, Monster Design, Scenario Concept, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy VIII||1998||Character Design, Monster Design, Battle Visual Director|
|Final Fantasy X||2001||Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XI||2002||Hume, Elvaan, and NPC Character Design|
|Final Fantasy X-2||2003||Main Character Designer|
|Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-||2004||Concept, Character Design|
|Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-||2005||Supervisor|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children||2005||Director, Character Design, Base Story|
|Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-||2006||Character Design|
|Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode -Final Fantasy VII-||2006||Character Design|
|Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-||2007||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Dissidia Final Fantasy||2008||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete||2009||Director, Character Design, Base Story|
|Final Fantasy XIII||2009||Main Character Design|
|Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy||2011||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy Type-0||2011||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XIII-2||2011||Main Character Design|
|Theatrhythm Final Fantasy||2012||Creative Producer|
|Final Fantasy All the Bravest||2012||Creative Producer, Original Concept|
|Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII||2013||Main Character Design|
|Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call||2014||Creative Producer|
|Final Fantasy Record Keeper||2014||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy VII G-Bike||2014||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy Type-0 HD||2015||Character Design|
|Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015)||2015||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy XV||2016||Original Concept, Main Character Design|
|World of Final Fantasy||2016||Creative Producer, Character Design|
|Final Fantasy Dimensions II||2017||Special Thanks|
|Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers||2019||Gaia and Eden's Promise Character Designs|
|Final Fantasy VII Remake||2020||Director, Character Design|
- In Final Fantasy Type-0 a support character named "Nomura CP" was found dual wielding guns and saying, "Sorry to have kept you waiting".
- In March 2014 Nomura judged a Lightning fanart contest for deviantART and chose three favorites among the submissions.
- (May 15, 2012) Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese Translation). Enterbrain, Inc..Invalid citation format.
- (2007) Studio BentStuff Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary (in Japanese), 8–13, Square Enix.Invalid citation format.
- (2008-02-08) Famitsu (in Japanese), 42–45, Enterbrain.Invalid citation format.
- Best Lightning Fan Art As Chosen By Tetsuya Nomura