Alternate History

HAL Laboratory (Ohga Shrugs)

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Hal Laboratory
Founded 1980
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Industry Developer
Employment 150

Hal Laboratory is a Japanese developer. It is a subsidiary of Nintendo, and has made many exclusive games for their systems.


HAL Laboratory was founded by a group of retail workers and department store regulars in 1980. One of these people were Satoru Iwata, the future President of Nintendo. The company's early games included MSX titles such as Eggerland. A port of this game to the Famicom in 1987 would be the first time the company partnered with Nintendo.

Although independent in its early days, publishing its own games in Japan and America, HAL Laboratory would partner with other companies on multiple occasions. One of the results of these projects was NES Pinball, an early Famicom game started by Nintendo. This ultimately culminated in several Nintendo-published products, including the original Kirby's Dream Land, which was created by Masahiro Sakurai.

However, due to a combination of poor sales of several titles and over-expansion, HAL Laboratory found itself in financial straits by the early 90's. Thus, the company agreed to become a subsidiary of Nintendo, with Nintendo paying for their debts in exchange for future exclusivity.

Kirby Pop Up

Kirby Story for the GameCube.

Since then, HAL Laboratory has become one of Nintendo's most recognized developers. They are renowned for their work on the Kirby and Super Smash Bros series, as well as single or spinoff projects such as Mother 2 and 3 and various Pokemon games.

List of Major Games

  • Adventures of Lolo (1989)
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1992)
  • Kirby's Adventure (1993)
  • Mother 2 (1994)
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995)
  • Kirby Super Star (1996)
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997)
  • Pokemon Snap (1999)
  • Super Smash Bros (1999)
  • Mother 3 (2000)
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)
  • Pokemon Stadium (2000)
  • Pokemon Stadium 2 (2001)
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (2002)
  • Kirby Air Ride (2003)
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (2004)
  • Kirby Story (2006)
  • Kirby: Squeak Squad (2006)
  • Pokemon Ranger (2006)
  • Kirby Super Star Ultra (2008)
  • Super Smash Bros. Rumble (2010)
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)
  • Kirby Mass Attack (2011)

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