Retronauts Explores HAL and Satoru Iwata's Legacy

Retronauts Explores HAL and Satoru Iwata's Legacy

We pay proper tribute to Nintendo's late leader by digging into the history of the first company he helped build: Developer HAL Laboratory.

Where were you when you learned that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had passed away? Myself, I was with fellow USgamer editor Bob Mackey, recording an episode of Retronauts.

As promised during that episode, we've circled back around to explore the history of HAL in greater depth. After all, it was Iwata's formative work with HAL — he joined as the company's third employee — that brought him into Nintendo's orbit in the first place. And even now, after all these years, HAL remains practically a second party to Nintendo. There's surprisingly little in the way of comprehensive histories of the company out one the web, so much of this was cobbled together from Iwata's own conversations and bits of info we've picked up over the years. This isn't a perfect historical survey, but hopefully it should help paint a picture of precisely what makes the studio so remarkable, and what a key role Iwata played.

Joining us for this episode we have regular guests Christian Nutt and Henry Gilbert, who help us fill in the gaps and share their own personal experiences with HAL creations both classic (e.g. EarthBound, Adventures of Lolo, Arcana) and current (Box Boy, everything Kirby).

Download Links

Libsyn (1:26:01) | MP3 Download | SoundCloud

Episode Description

Jeremy, Bob, Henry Gilbert, and Christian Nutt convene to look back at the history of HAL Laboratories in tribute to the late Satoru Iwata.

Music in this episode comes from various HAL creations throughout the years. If you don't recogize it, you haven't been playing enough games by HAL!

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Related articles

"The Biggest Concern with Stadia is That It Might Not Exist"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | As Google streaming service preps for a bare bones launch, Microsoft positions Project xCloud as a compelling alternative

"If You See Someone Running Around and Screaming, You're Going to Run Around and Scream"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | VR news, lawsuits, and a big splash on mobile from Nintendo mark a busy week for games in America (and for America, generally).

Starting Screen | NeoGAF's Fall is a Sign of the Times in More Ways Than One

STARTING SCREEN | On the sudden end of a long-standing gaming community.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.