HAL Laboratory

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HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Native name
Romanized name
Kabushiki kaisha haru kenkyūjo
Industry Video game industry
Founded 21 February 1980; 38 years ago (1980-02-21)[1]
Founder Mitsuhiro Ikeda
Headquarters Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan[1]
Key people
  • Masayoshi Tanimura (Chairman)
  • Shigefumi Kawase (President)
  • Satoshi Mitsuhara (Director of Laboratory)
Number of employees
153[1] (2018)
Subsidiaries Warpstar, Inc. (50%)[1]
Website www.hallab.co.jp

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 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 developed

Nintendo systems

Home console

Family Computer Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Super NES
Nintendo 64
Wii U
Nintendo Switch


Game Boy
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS

Other systems

Commodore VIC-20

Commodore MAX Machine[8]/Commodore 64

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

Coleco Vision

  • 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 Animation


  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". nintendolife.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "What was Japan for Commodore?". commodore.ca. 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 September 2, 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". GamesIndustry.biz. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  7. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (29 January 2011). "Nintendo Unveils New Wii Titles". andriasang.com. 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.

See also

External links

  • Official website
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