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HAL Laboratory, Inc. is a Japanese video game developer founded on 21 February 1980. While it is officially independent, it has been closely affiliated with Nintendo throughout its history. The company is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, and it also has a building at Kai, Yamanashi.[1] The company got its name because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM".[2] The company is most famous for their work on the Kirby and Mother series, as well as the first Super Smash Bros. game.

HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Native name
Kabushiki kaisha haru kenkyūjo
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded21 February 1980; 39 years ago (1980-02-21)[1]
FounderMitsuhiro Ikeda
Key people
Number of employees
169[1] (2019)
SubsidiariesWarpstar, Inc. (50%)[1]


HAL Laboratory started off making games for the MSX system and the Commodore VIC-20.[3] After financial strain brought on from the development of Metal Slader Glory (1991) for the Famicom,[4] Nintendo offered to rescue HAL from bankruptcy on the condition that HAL employee Satoru Iwata was appointed as its president, which he became between 1993 and 2000.[5] Iwata later became president of Nintendo.

In many of its games during the early to mid-1990s it used the name HALKEN, derived from their Japanese name. Some of its early titles were also released as HAL America Inc. (HAI), a North American subsidiary of the company led by Yash Terakura and based in Beaverton, Oregon, USA.[6]

In August 2001, Hal Laboratory and Nintendo established Warpstar, Inc. in a joint venture (where each part owns 50% of the company) with the objective to manage the Kirby IP along with its copyright, which the decision for the creation of the company was mainly for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime series. After the end of the anime, the company still exists and now work with license and supervision of the character in games, merchandise and other media.[1][7]

For years, the company's development center at Tokyo was located within the eighth floor of the Nintendo Tokyo Prefecture Building which itself is located Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, but in August 2003, the company announced that a restrutuction was happening and that the development center at the building would be relocated to HAL's main office building in Kanda Suda-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. While this change happened on the Tokyo based company, the Yamanashi part of Hal was unnafected by the changes of the company.[8]

In 2017, Hal Laboratory announced that they would publish and develop games for mobile devices with the brand Hal Egg and focusing on completely new characters and franchises, with different types of design than what the developers of the company usually do. The first title launched by them was Part Time UFO.[9]

The logo, Inutamago (Japanese: 犬たまご "Dog Eggs") depicts a dog incubating eggs.

List of games developedEdit

Nintendo systemsEdit

Home consoleEdit

Family Computer Disk SystemEdit
Nintendo Entertainment SystemEdit
Super NESEdit
Nintendo 64Edit
Wii UEdit
Nintendo SwitchEdit


Game BoyEdit
Game Boy ColorEdit
Game Boy AdvanceEdit
Nintendo DSEdit
Nintendo 3DSEdit

Other systemsEdit

Commodore VIC-20Edit

Commodore MAX Machine[11]/Commodore 64Edit

  • Pool
  • Billiards
  • Bowling
  • Jupiter Lander
  • Le Mans
  • Mole Attack
  • Money Wars
  • Pinball Spectacular
  • Road Race
  • Slalom

Coleco VisionEdit

  • Mr. Chin


  • Balance
  • Butamaru Pants
  • Cue Star
  • Dragon Attack
  • Dunk Shot
  • Eggerland Mystery
  • Eggerland 2
  • Fruit Search
  • Gall Force
  • Heavy Boxing
  • Hole in One
  • Hole in One Professional
  • Inside the Karamaru
  • Inspecteur Z
  • Mobile Planet Stillus/The Roving Planet Stillus
  • Mr. Chin
  • Pachipro Densetsu
  • Picture Puzzle
  • Rollerball
  • Space Maze Attack
  • Space Trouble
  • Step Up
  • Super Billiards
  • Super Snake
  • Swimming Tango
  • Tetsuman
  • The Roving Planet Styllus


  • Hole in One Special
  • Zukkoke Yajikita Onmitsudoutyuu
  • Mr. Ninja – Ashura's Chapter



  • Part Time UFO

Computer AnimationEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Corporate Info". HAL Laboratories. Retrieved 17 September 2007.
  2. ^ Madden, Orla (30 November 2012). "Iwata Explains Where The Name HAL Laboratory Came From". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "What was Japan for Commodore?". 16 February 2004. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  4. ^ Crimmins, Brian (21 November 2017). "Why Does HAL Laboratory Only Make Nintendo Games?". Waypoint. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Satoru Iwata – 1999 Developer Interview". Used Games (in Japanese). 1999. (Translation Archived 12 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine)
  6. ^ "Yash Terakura joins Throwback Entertainment as Chief Technology Officer". 11 May 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (29 January 2011). "Nintendo Unveils New Wii Titles". Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  11. ^ "The Ultimax Collection". Commodore 64 Preservation Project. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2012.

External linksEdit