- "It means more responsibility for me, but this time we can't let things go wrong."
- — Eiji Aonuma
Eiji Aonuma (青沼 英二 Aonuma Eiji?, born 1963) is a Japanese video game designer and video game director. He currently works for Nintendo, and has overseen several installments in the Legend of Zelda series of video games.
Aonuma attended the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where he majored in design, working on moving mechanical figures (whose members were articulated), which were essentially marionettes. He graduated in 1988 and then acquired his job at Nintendo, with whom he has remained since.
Aonuma began work on the Super Famicom game Marvelous: Mōhitotsu no Takarajima, which was only released in Japan and was influenced by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. His first direction on a Zelda game was with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was developed for the Nintendo 64. He was also the director of the following games in the Legend of Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the Nintendo 64 sequel to Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the first Zelda game for the Nintendo GameCube.
After The Wind Waker, Aonuma considered moving onto other projects, but was convinced by Shigeru Miyamoto to continue with the Legend of Zelda series. He later finished work on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the second major Zelda game to be released for the GameCube and a launch game for the Wii. He was voted Designer of the Year for his work on Twilight Princess in Electronic Gaming Monthly's 2006 1Up Network Awards. He then completed work on a sequel to The Wind Waker for the Nintendo DS, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. He also helped develop Link's Crossbow Training, which is the first game to use the Wii Zapper.