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HAL Laboratory

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HAL Laboratory
HAL logo.png
HAL Laboratory's logo since 1998
Founded: February 21, 1980
Founder: Mitsuhiro Ikeda
President: Shigefumi Kawase
Parent / owner: N/A
Divisions / subsidiaries: Warpstar Inc. (50%), HAL America, HAL Egg

HAL Laboratory, Inc. (株式会社ハル研究所 Kabushiki gaisha Haru Kenkyūjo) is a development studio partnered and closely affiliated with Nintendo. For many of their projects they in the early to mid-1990's the company went under the name HALKEN, and published many of their early titles through HAL America. The name "HAL" was at first thought to be derived from HAL 9000, the AI villain of the 2001 A Space Odyssey film, as stated by Satoru Iwata himself[1], though he later stated that the name was actually decided upon because "each letter put us one step ahead of IBM"[2]. The HAL logo is a dog incubating a group of eggs; according to president Masayoshi Tanimura, the logo represents the thought put into "completely new ideas that eventually hatch into incredibly fun games."[3]

HAL was founded by a group of friends in 1980 that simply wanted to develop games. The group started off creating titles for the MSX and Commodore VIC-20[4] and later started developing exclusively for Nintendo. Satoru Iwata was made president of the company in 1993 until 2000, when he became CEO of Nintendo. Masayoshi Tanimura was later promoted to president of HAL.

HAL is most well known as being the developer for the Kirby series, created by ex-employee Masahiro Sakurai. While under HAL Sakurai also began the Super Smash Bros. series. HAL has also helped in developing the EarthBound / Mother series.

In August of 2017, HAL announced the opening of a new subsidiary named HAL Egg, which will focus on the development of smartphone titles.[5]

Games published by Nintendo

List of games
Game Year Console
F-1 Race 1984 / 1990 NES, Game Boy
Adventures of Lolo[note 1] 1989 NES, Game Boy
Family Computer Golf: Japan Course 1987 FDS
Family Computer Golf: US Course 1987 FDS
Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally 1988 Famicom, FDS
Kirby's Dream Land 1992 Game Boy
Kirby's Adventure 1993 NES
Vegas Stakes[note 2] 1993 / 1995 SNES
Game Boy
Kirby's Pinball Land 1993 Game Boy
EarthBound 1994 SNES
Kirby's Dream Course 1994 SNES
Kirby's Avalanche 1995 SNES
Undake30 Same Game 1995 Satellaview
Kirby's Dream Land 2 1995 Game Boy
Kirby's Block Ball 1995 Game Boy
Special Tee Shot 1996 Satellaview
Kirby Super Star 1996 SNES
Kirby no Omochabako 1996 Satellaview
Itoi Shigesato no Bass Tsuri No. 1 1997 SNES, Nintendo 64
Kirby's Star Stacker 1997 Game Boy
Kirby's Dream Land 3 1997 SNES
Super Smash Bros. 1999 Nintendo 64
Pokémon Snap 1999 Nintendo 64
Pokémon Pinball 1999 Game Boy Color
SimCity 64 2000 Nintendo 64DD
Pokémon Stadium 2000 Nintendo 64
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards 2000 Nintendo 64
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2000 Game Boy Color
Metal Slader Glory: Director's Cut 2000 Super Famicom
Pokémon Stadium 2 2000 Nintendo 64
Super Smash Bros. Melee 2001 Nintendo GameCube
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land 2002 Game Boy Advance
Mother 1+2 2002 Game Boy Advance
Kirby Air Ride 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror 2004 Game Boy Advance
Kirby: Canvas Curse 2005 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Ranger 2006 Nintendo DS
Mother 3 2006 Game Boy Advance
Kirby: Squeak Squad 2006 Nintendo DS
Kirby Super Star Ultra 2008 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia 2009 Nintendo DS
Picross 3D 2009 Nintendo DS
Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera! 2010 DSiWare
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs 2010 Nintendo DS
Face Raiders 2011 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby Mass Attack 2011 Nintendo DS
Kirby's Return to Dream Land 2011 Wii
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition 2012 Wii
Kirby: Triple Deluxe 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby Fighters Deluxe 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe 2014 Nintendo 3DS
BoxBoy! 2015 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse 2015 Wii U
Picross 3D Round 2 2016 Nintendo 3DS
BoxBoxBoy! 2016 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby: Planet Robobot 2016 Nintendo 3DS
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby's Blowout Blast 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby: Battle Royale 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Kirby Star Allies 2018 Nintendo Switch
BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! 2019 Nintendo Switch
Kirby Fighters 2 2020 Nintendo Switch
Part Time UFO[note 3] 2020 Nintendo Switch
Kirby and the Forgotten Land 2022 Nintendo Switch
Kirby's Dream Buffet 2022 Nintendo Switch
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe 2023 Nintendo Switch
  1. NES version published by Nintendo for Virtual Console release.
  2. SNES version published by Nintendo outside of Japan.
  3. Originally released for mobile devices in 2017, published independently. The Nintendo Switch port of the game, released in 2020, was published by Nintendo.


External links

HAL Laboratory on other NIWA Wikis:
Bulbapedia logo.png
SmashWiki logo.png
Super Mario Wiki logo.png
Super Mario Wiki
WikiBound logo.png
WiKirby logo.png


  1. GDC 2005: Iwata Keynote Transcript. IGN. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  2. Iwata Explains Where The Name HAL Laboratory Came From Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  3. NP Interviews HAL Laboratories about Kirby Air Ride! IGN Boards. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  4. Michael Tomczyk: Commodore VIC-20 History & What went Wrong. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  5. HAL Laboratory Begins Making Smartphone Titles, First Title Releases in Fall 2017. NintendoSoup (August 22, 2017). Retrieved August 23, 2017.

Nintendo logo.png
1st & 2nd Party / Owned
Internal divisions
Owned / Affiliated Seattle Mariners* • The Pokémon Company • Warpstar Inc.
* – Former / Defunct
3rd Parties / Partners
8-4 • AlphaDream* • Ambrella* • Argonaut Games* • Arika • Artoon* • Arzest • AS Tokyo Studios • Bandai Namco • Capcom • Camelot • Cing* • Creatures Inc. • DeNA • DigiNin* • DigitalScape • Eighting • Flagship* • Fuse Games* • Game Freak • Ganbarion • Genius Sonority • Good-Feel • Grezzo • HAL Laboratory • Hatena • Hudson Soft* • indieszero • iNiS • Intelligent Systems • Jamsworks • Jupiter • Koei Tecmo • Kuju • Left Field Productions* • Level-5 • Mistwalker • Monster Games • Noise • Paon • PlatinumGames • Q-Games • Rare* • Red Entertainment • Sega (Atlus) • Sora Ltd. • skip • Softnica • Spike Chunsoft • Square Enix • St.GIGA* • Syn Sophia • TOSE • Treasure • Vanpool* • Vitei
* – Former / Defunct
Key employees
Managers, etc. Internal
  • NNSD: Yusuke Beppu
  • Monolith Soft: Hirohide Sugiura, Tetsuya Takahashi
  • 1-Up Studio: Gen Kadoi
  • ND Cube: Hidetoshi Endo
  • Retro: Michael Kelbaugh
  • NERD: Alexandre Delattre