As far as important people related to The Legend of Zelda go, the first man most fans will think of is probably going to be Shigeru Miyamoto. Which is pretty fair, given that he was the one responsible for the creation of the series. But more important to the legendary franchise is probably Eiji Aonuma, who has been the lead designer, director, and now producer for the series since 1998.

Aonuma grew up in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, and graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1988 with a degree in design. During his interview with Nintendo, he met Miyamoto, who put him to work on graphic design (mainly sprites) for early Nintendo Entertainment System titles like Open Tournament Golf. By the mid-‘90s, Miyamoto had recruited Aonuma to join the development team for Zelda.

Aonuma ended up as the lead designer on Ocarina of Time – largely considered one of the most influential games of all time – and immediately went on to direct the sequel, Majora’s Mask. He later directed Winder Waker and Twilight Princess before shifting his role to that of a producer. He has also been a supervisor on Zelda spinoff titles such as Link’s Crossbow Training and Hyrule Warriors.

Besides his actual work on the games, he has also performed as a percussionist with the Wind Wakers, an ensemble made up entirely of Nintendo employees that is named after The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

In November 2016, Aonuma received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Joystick Awards, a video game award ceremony held annually since 1983. His latest work was as the producer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which released on March 3, 2017 for the Wii U and Switch. It has received universal acclaim, and has been called one of the greatest video games of all time.