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Tetsuya Nomura.

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 KH

Nomura in 2013.

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.

In March 2014 Nomura judged a Lightning fanart contest for deviantART and chose three favorites among the submissions.[3]


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.[4] Nomura also creates character names inspired by their personalities.[5]

Tifa Early Sketch

An early sketch of Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII by Tetsuya Nomura.

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. Many of Nomura's character designs prominently feature belts and zippers, originally because of his own aesthetic preferences, and then because other people teased him about his previous character designs.[6]


Sakaguchi and Nomura in 2017

Nomura with Hironobu Sakaguchi in 2017.

In July 2012, Tetsuya Nomura said that four people are his biggest influences: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase, Hiroyuki Ito, and Tetsuya Takahashi.[7] In another interview published in March 2014, Nomura stated that Ito was the one that taught him about game design.[8]

Nomura has stated his character wardrobes and accessory designs in later Final Fantasy installments and Square works are based on real life fashion and trends.[citation needed] Tattoos are a design element frequently featured in his character designs.

Works within the series[]

Game Release Work
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 1999 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 Designer
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, Character Design, Lyrics ("Somnus") and ("Omnis Lacrima")
World of Final Fantasy 2016 Creative Producer & Character Designer
Final Fantasy Dimensions II 2017 Special Thanks
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers 2019 Guest Creator (Gaia and Eden's Promise Character Designs)[9][10]
Final Fantasy VII Remake 2020 Director & Concept Design[11]
War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius 2020 Special Thanks
Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier 2021 Creative Director
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin 2022 Concept & Creative Producer & Character Design
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion 2022 Creative Director & Character Designer
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line 2023 Creative Director
Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis 2023 Creative Director
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth 2024 Creative Director

In-game appearances[]

Final Fantasy Type-0[]

FFT0 Tetsuya Nomura

Tetsuya Nomura.

Tetsuya Nomura appears as a Support Personnel of Akademeia. He shares the character model with King.




External links[]