HAL Laboratory, Inc.,[b] formerly shortened as HALKEN (derived from its native name), is a Japanese video game developer founded on 21 February 1980. While independent, it has been closely tied with Nintendo throughout its history, and is often referred to as a second-party developer for Nintendo. The company is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, and it also has a building at Kai, Yamanashi. The company got its name because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM". The company is most famous for their work on the Kirby and Mother series, as well as the first two Super Smash Bros. games.
|Kabushiki gaisha Haru Kenkyūjo|
|Founded||21 February 1980Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japanin Kanda,|
|Headquarters||Kanda Square, 2-2-1 Kandanishiki-cho, |
Number of locations
|2 studios[a] (2019)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Warpstar, Inc. (50%)|
|Footnotes / references|
The logo, dubbed Inutamago[c] depicts a dog incubating eggs, which has been in use since 1998.
HAL Laboratory started off making games for the MSX system and the Commodore VIC-20. After financial strain brought on from the development of Metal Slader Glory (1991) for the Famicom, 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. Iwata later became president of Nintendo.
The logo 'Inutamago' was commissioned in 1998 by then HAL Laboratory president, Satoru Iwata. This was handled by Shigesato Itoi who went through many different ideas. He went with the theme of 'an unexpected bond...one that brings the birth of something new' which would lead to the idea of a dog incubating eggs in a nest. The actual design was created by Mr. Akiyama of HAL. The design was indoctrinated by HAL Laboratory in 1998 although the reception at first was lukewarm.
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.
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 works with license and supervision of the character in games, merchandise and other media.
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 restructuration 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 unaffected by the changes of the company.
In 2017, HAL Laboratory announced that they would develop and self-publish 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. The company released a miniature version of the MZ-80C computer in October 2017 and a miniature version of the PC-8001 in October 2019
In 2020, HAL Laboratory updated their employee numbers from 169 to 195 and the company came back to the new Nintendo Tokyo Building with its main office and the Tokyo development studio, being on the same building along with Nintendo EPD Tokyo, Nintendo PTD Tokyo, 1-Up Studio and Game Freak like a keiretsu. With that said, the Yamanashi studio continues on the same location as before and was not transferred to the Nintendo building.
List of gamesEdit
- Lot Lot – (1985) JP
- Othello – (1986) JP, (1988) NA
- Air Fortress – (1987) JP, (1989) NA, PAL
- Vegas Dream – (1988) JP, (1990) NA
- Rollerball – (1988) JP, (1990) NA
- Millipede – (1988) JP, NA
- Adventures of Lolo – (1989) NA, (1991) EU
- Adventures of Lolo 2 – (1990) JP, NA, (1991) PAL
- Adventures of Lolo 3 – (1990) JP, (1991) NA, (1992) EU
- New Ghostbusters II – (1990) JP, (1991) PAL
- Kabuki Quantum Fighter – (1991) NA (1992) EU
- Metal Slader Glory – (1991) JP
- Day Dreamin' Davey – (1992) NA
- Kirby's Adventure – (1993) JP, NA, PAL
- Satsui no Kaisou: Power Soft Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
- Jumbo Ozaki no Hole in One Professional
- Uchuu Keibitai SDF
- Defender II
- World Rally Championship
- Joy Radar (RF hardware unit for wireless Audio/Video from the game unit to the monitor)
- Gall Force: Eternal Story (1986)
- Eggerland (1986)
- Fire Bam (1988)
- Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally (1988)
- Eggerland: Souzouhe no Tabidachi (1989)
- Revenge of the 'Gator – (1989) JP, NA, EU
- Shanghai – (1989) JP, (1990) NA
- Ghostbusters II – (1989) EU (1990) JP, NA
- Trax – (1991) EU, JP, NA
- Kirby's Dream Land – (1992) JP, NA, EU
- Kirby's Pinball Land – (1993) JP, NA, EU
- Adventures of Lolo – (1994) JP (1995) EU
- Vegas Stakes – (1995) NA, EU
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 – (1995) JP, NA, EU
- Kirby's Block Ball – (1995) JP, NA, EU
- Kirby's Star Stacker – (1997) JP, NA, EU
- HAL's Hole in One Golf (1991)
- SimCity (1991)
- Hyper Zone (1991)
- Arcana (1992)
- NCAA Basketball (Super Dunk Shot in Japan and World League Basketball in Europe) (1992)
- Vegas Stakes (1993)
- Alcahest (1993)
- EarthBound (Mother 2 in Japan) (1994)
- Kirby's Dream Course (1994)
- Kirby's Avalanche (1995)
- Kirby Super Star (1996)
- Shigesato Itoi's No. 1 Bass Fishing (1997)
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997)
- Kirby no Kirakira Kizzu (1998)
- Metal Slader Glory: Director's Cut (2000)
- Pokémon Stadium (1998) JP
- Pokémon Snap (1999)
- Pokémon Stadium (1999)
- Super Smash Bros. (1999)
- SimCity 64 (2000) JP
- Shigesato Itoi's No. 1 Bass Fishing: Definitive Edition (2000)
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)
- Pokémon Stadium 2 (2000)
- Mother 3 – (cancelled)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
- Kirby Air Ride (2003)
- Kirby Tilt n Tumble 2 (cancelled)
- Kirby (cancelled)
- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land – (2002) JP, NA (2003) EU
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (co-developed with Flagship) – (2004) JP, NA, EU
- Mother 3 (co-developed with Brownie Brown) – (2006) JP
- Battland – (cancelled)
- Luna Blaze – (cancelled)
- Kirby Canvas Curse – (2005) JP, NA, EU (2006) AUS
- Common Sense Training – (2006) JP
- Kirby Squeak Squad (co-developed with Flagship) – (2006) JP, NA (2007) EU, AUS
- Pokémon Ranger (co-developed with Creatures Inc.) – (2006) JP, NA, AUS (2007) EU
- Kirby Super Star Ultra – (2008) JP, NA, AUS (2009) EU
- Picross 3D – (2009) JP (2010) NA, EU
- Face Pilot (DSiWare) – (2010) JP, NA, AUS, EU
- Kirby Mass Attack – (2011) JP, NA, AUS, EU
- Minna no Joushiki Ryoku TV
- TV no Tomo G Guide for Wii
- Kirby's Epic Yarn (co-developed with Good-Feel) (2010) JP, NA (2011) AU, EU
- Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)
- Kirby's Dream Collection (2012)
- Face Raiders (2011)
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe (2014)
- Kirby Fighters Deluxe (2014)
- Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe (2014)
- BoxBoy! (2015)
- Picross 3D: Round 2 (2015)
- BoxBoxBoy! (2016)
- Kirby: Planet Robobot (2016)
- Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (2017)
- Team Kirby Clash Deluxe (2017)
- Kirby's Blowout Blast (2017)
- Kirby Battle Royale (2017)
- Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn (2019) (co-developed with Good-Feel)
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)
- Kirby Star Allies (2018)
- Super Kirby Clash (2019) (co-developed with Vanpool)
- BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! (2019)
- Kirby Fighters 2 (2020) (co-developed with Vanpool)
- Part Time UFO (2020)
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land (2022)
- Avenger (Space Invaders clone)
- Jelly Monsters (Pac-Man clone)
- Jupiter Lander (Lunar Lander clone)
- Mole Attack
- Money Wars
- Pin Ball (Cutie Q clone)
- Radar Rat Race (Rally-X clone)
- Road Race (Night Driver clone)
- Slot Machine
- Star Battle (Galaxian clone programmed by Satoru Iwata; ex-CEO of Nintendo and Hal Laboratory)
- Jupiter Lander
- Le Mans
- Max Basic
- Mini Basic Max
- Mole Attack
- Money Wars
- Music Composer
- Music Machine
- Omega Race
- Pinball Spectacular
- Radar Rat Race
- Road Race
- Ski (aka Slalom)
- Super Alien
- Wizard of Wor
- 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
- Space Maze Attack
- Space Trouble
- Step Up
- Super Billiards
- Super Snake
- Swimming Tango
- The Roving Planet Styllus
- Hole in One Special
- Zukkoke Yajikita Onmitsudoutyuu
- Mr. Ninja – Ashura's Chapter
- Eggerland Episode 0: Quest of Rara
- Egger Land for Windows 95
- Revival! Eggerland
- Part Time UFO (2017)
- Housuu de Shoubu! Kame Sanpo (2019)
- Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (CG Tool Development)
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- "社長の夢から生まれた1／4サイズのマイコン名機「PasocomMini MZ-80C」 開発秘話と今後をハル研究所三津原社長に聞いた".
- "ハル研「PasocomMini PC-8001」の単体販売が決定". 28 September 2019.
- "企業情報 | Company | ハル研究所". 2 November 2020.
- "The Ultimax Collection". Commodore 64 Preservation Project. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2012.