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. HAL was named as such because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM". 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.
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.Hal owns 50% of Warpstar, Inc., the production company that created the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime series.