Tetsuya Nomura was born in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. He was at a vocational school creating art for advertisements before he began his career in the game industry at Squaresoft.
Career as a Character Designer
In the early 1990s, Square hired Nomura to work as a debugger for Final Fantasy IV. He later took the role of designing battle graphics for Final Fantasy V in 1992, and then served as graphics director in 1994 for Final Fantasy VI. He contributed to other games similar roles such as Chrono Trigger.
In 1995 Square asked him to be the character designer for Final Fantasy VII. He has subsequently worked as the primary character designer on most primary entries in the Final Fantasy series. He has additionally served as character designer in non-Final Fantasy titles such as Parasite Eve and Brave Fencer Musashiden.
Nomura's work as a character designer continues to the present day. He has contributed designs to games ranging from Parasite Eve II and The Bouncer to Final Fantasy X and X-2 to Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
Career as a Game Designer
Nomura's first game as the lead designer was the Disney/Final Fantasy crossover action RPG Kingdom Hearts. He also served as character designer for the game's original characters including Sora, Kairi, and Riku. Nomura continues to hold creative control over the direction of the Kingdom Hearts series to this day.
In addition to Kingdom Hearts, Nomura also oversaw the development of the DS game The World Ends With You, an action RPG set in modern-day Shibuya.
Other Career Notes
Nomura directed the CGI animated film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, released on September 14, 2006 in Japan and on April 25, 2006 in America. He also worked on the the redesigned characters featured in the film and wrote some of the lyrics which appear on the soundtrack. Additionally, Nomura also provided new character designs for games in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII including Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.