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HAL Laboratory, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社ハル研究所 Hepburn: Kabushiki Gaisha Haru Kenkyūjo?) is a Japanese developer that was founded on February 21, 1980 that is closely affiliated with Nintendo. It is headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.[1] HAL was named as such because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM".[3] The company is most famous for its character Kirby, the eponymous protagonist of the series of games; the Mother series (otherwise known as EarthBound); and the Super Smash Bros. series.

HAL Laboratory started off making games for the MSX system and the Commodore VIC-20.[4]

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.[5]Hal owns 50% of Warpstar, Inc., the production company that created the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime series.[1]

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