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Tetsuya Takahashi

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Tetsuya Takahashi
高橋 哲哉
Born (1966-11-18) November 18, 1966 (age 57)
Occupation(s)CCO and Director of Monolith Soft
Employer(s)Nihon Falcom (1988–1990)
Square (1990–1999)
Monolith Soft (1999–present)
Notable workXeno
SpouseSoraya Saga

Tetsuya Takahashi (高橋 哲哉, Takahashi Tetsuya) (born November 18, 1966, in Shizuoka Prefecture) is a Japanese video game designer, writer and director. Takahashi worked at Square in the 90s as a graphic designer and graphic director, participating on some of their most well-received titles such as Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, before directing and co-writing Xenogears. He left Square in 1999 to co-found Monolith Soft, where he would develop the Xenosaga and Xenoblade Chronicles series with Namco and Nintendo respectively, being the executive director of Xenoblade since the first entry in the series.

He is married to Soraya Saga, who also worked with him at Square Enix, as well as on Xenosaga and Soma Bringer.

Takahashi is one of the founders of Monolith Soft, senior director and chief creative officer at the company, as well as part of its board of directors.


Takahashi was born on November 18, 1966, in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. He began his career in video games in the 1980s working with Nihon Falcom.


Takahashi worked on Final Fantasy VI, including the design of the Magitek armor from the opening scene of the game. He also was the graphics director on Chrono Trigger.

In 1995 he married his Squaresoft coworker Kaori Tanaka, better known by her pen name Soraya Saga.


Originally submitted as a potential plot for Final Fantasy VII, it was made into its own project after being judged too dark and complicated for a fantasy game by others at Squaresoft.

Monolith Soft

While at Squaresoft, Takahashi realized that the company intended to focus on the Final Fantasy series, and that sequels to the Xenogears series were becoming unlikely. He then decided to leave and start his own software development company. In October 1999 he left Squaresoft to start a new company, Monolith Soft, together with Hirohide Sugiura.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Following a meeting about the game Soma Bringer, Takahashi imagined what a game would be like where the world was actually the body of a "giant god". Takahashi attempted a more "mature" writing style for the game, and said he expects to continue in the same vein in the future. The game references both Japanese and Western RPG styles, referring to the western style in some cases "without thinking about it". In this way, the game is designed to appeal to fans of "text-based" JRPGs and western RPGs at the same time. Minor localizations were made for the American and European release, as well as bug fixes and game balancing. Originally Takahashi tried a more traditional turned based combat system, but he later incorporated a battle system where the protagonist can see into the future as a gameplay mechanic.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Takahashi and Monolith Soft were revealed to be working on a new game for the Wii U in September 2012. It was later revealed in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct under the tentative title X, and shown further at E3 2013. For E3 2014, it was announced with the title Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Video games

Year Title Role
1989 Ys III: Wanderers from Ys Monster graphics
Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes Artist
1991 Final Fantasy IV Battle graphics
1992 Romancing SaGa Field map design
Final Fantasy V Field map
1994 Final Fantasy VI Graphic director
1995 Front Mission Graphic design
Chrono Trigger Graphic director
1998 Xenogears Director, scenario, character faces colorization, lyricist
2002 Xenosaga Episode I Director
2004 Xenosaga Episode II Original author, supervisor
Xenosaga: Pied Piper Story writer
2006 Xenosaga I & II Scenario, supervisor, original author
Xenosaga Episode III Author, music coordinator, supervisor of scenario and database
2008 Soma Bringer Producer, game designer
Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier Staff
2010 Xenoblade Chronicles Executive director, scenario, concept, lyricist, Japanese voice director
2015 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Development support
Xenoblade Chronicles X Executive director, concept
2017 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Executive director, scenario, concept, lyricist
2018 Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country Executive director, scenario, concept, lyricist, Japanese voice director
2020 Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Executive director, Japanese voice director
2022 Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Executive director, scenario, concept, lyricist, Japanese voice director
2023 Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed


  1. ^ "Ask the Developer Vol. 6, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – Chapter 1". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  2. ^ "Reunion After Eight Years". Nintendo. 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  3. ^ "Six Musicians Together". Nintendo. 2011-01-01. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  4. ^ Spencer (2010-06-11). "Soraya Saga On Xenogears And Xenosaga". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2013-11-16. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  5. ^ a b Ike Sato (2001-11-08). "Xenosaga Interview". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  6. ^ Anoop Gantayat (2010-02-17). "First Details: Xenoblade". andriasang. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  7. ^ Joe Juba (2012-03-06). "Five Questions With Xenoblade Chronicles' Executive Director". Game Informer. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  8. ^ a b Ben Gilbert (2012-04-06). "Xenoblade Chronicles director naturally influenced by Western design; details changes for NA/EU version". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  9. ^ "Xenoblade designed to appeal to Japanese and western RPG fans - Video". 2011-08-16. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  10. ^ Spencer (2012-04-07). "Monolith Soft Tried Using A Turn Based Battle System For Xenoblade Chronicles". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  11. ^ Brian Ashcraft (2012-09-13). "The Folks Behind Xenoblade Are Making a Wii U Game". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  12. ^ Dyer, Mitch. "E3 2014: XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X COMING IN 2015". IGN. Retrieved 2014-06-10.

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