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Is it still considered fan art when you’re the pro who created one of the two video game icons crossing swords?

As one of the highest-ranking members of video game developer Square Enix, Tetsuya Nomura is no doubt busy running the Kingdom Hearts franchise and maing important directorial decisions regarding the remake of Final Fantasy VII. But despite his loft position in the company today, Nomura’s original claim to fame was as a character designer, with his big break being the 2-D illustrations of the cast of the original version of Final Fantasy VII.

But even though he doesn’t produce as many drawings as he used to, it’s not like Nomura’s skills have dulled, nor has he forgotten how instrumental Final Fantasy VII’s hero Cloud was in rocketing him to video game industry stardom.

It was recently announced that Cloud would appear in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, the flagship fighter in the domain of PlayStation parent company Sony’s video game rival Nintendo. Perhaps feeling a little nostalgic, Nomura created a new illustration of not just Cloud, but several other regular members of the Super Smash Bros. cast, most notably The Legend of Zelda’s Link.

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Actually, there’s a double-dose of cloud, as he appears in both his Final Fantasy VII costume as well as his outfit from the Advent Children CG film. Also leaping into the fight are Nintendo stars Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Mr. Game & Watch.

It’s too bad that Batman and Hatsune Miku aren’t part of the hospitably inclusive Smash Bros. roster, since we would have loved to see Nomura’s designs for those two characters taking part in the ensuing melee, but this is still about as much awesomeness as you cram into a single piece of artwork.

Source: Twitter/@aibo_ac7
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