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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. It is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo.[1] The company got its name because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM".[2] The company is most famous for the Kirby, Mother, and Super Smash Bros. series.

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
  • Masayoshi Tanimura (Chairman)
  • Shigefumi Kawase (President)
  • Satoshi Mitsuhara (Director of Laboratory)
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.[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, a North American subsidiary of the company led by Yash Terakura.[6] HAL owns 50% of Warpstar, Inc., the production company that created the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime series.[1]


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[8]/Commodore 64Edit

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


  • 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


  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. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (29 January 2011). "Nintendo Unveils New Wii Titles". Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  8. ^ "The Ultimax Collection". Commodore 64 Preservation Project. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2012.

External linksEdit