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Intelligent Systems

Intelligent Systems is a Japanese video game developer based in Kyoto, Japan. They are closely affiliated with Nintendo and are best known for developing some of Nintendo’s most popular series such as Paper Mario, WarioWare, Nintendo Wars and Fire Emblem.

The roots of Intelligent Systems go back to 1986 when Nintendo hired programmer Toru Narihiro to port Famicom Disk System software to the standard ROM-cartridge format that was being used by the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan. Their history is similar to the origins of HAL Laboratory where the team soon became an extension of Nintendo by providing supplementary programming.

Famicom Wars BoxIn the beginning the team provided system tools and programming to fix and or port Nintendo games that were developed by Nintendo R&D1 and Nintendo EAD. As the company grew and developed a strong working relationship with Nintendo, the team programmed their first original game, Famicom Wars. Famicom Wars is a turn-based tactics war game that was co-developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo R&D1. The game was successful within Japan and spawned many sequels evolving into Advance Wars and Battalion Wars. The group of games are known as the Nintendo Wars series.

Intelligent Systems Logo
TypeJoint-stock company
LocationKyoto, Japan
DeveloperIntelligent Systems
FoundedDecember, 1986
Number of EmployeesApproximately 150
FoundersToru Narihiro

Following the release of Famicom Wars, Intelligent Systems designer Shouzou Kaga wanted to combine the strategic elements found in Famicom Wars with the characters and story of a role-playing game, thus conceiving Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light was written and conceived by Kaga and co-developed by the Intelligent Systems team along with Nintendo R&D1.

Fire Emblem - Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light BoxThe game was released on April 20, 1990 near the end of the Famicom’s life cycle and received extensive criticism from Japanese publications regarding the games poor graphics and that it was difficult to understand resulting in low review scores. As a result, sales for the game were low for the first two months, however the customer base felt differently about the game and word of mouth spread. The positive reception from the user base grabbed the attention of a notable journalist who wrote an article for Famitsu on the game prompting sales to pick up months after the game was released. Despite the slow start, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light proved to be successful enough to warrant a sequel, Fire Emblem Gaiden.

Fire Emblem would evolve into a major franchise for Nintendo and cemented Intelligent Systems relationship with Nintendo. Because of the team success, Intelligent Systems began to hire graphic designers, programmers, musicians, etc. to extend the company beyond a supplementary system tool developer and additional programming support to a full fledged development studio. They continued to develop new entries in the Nintendo Wars and Fire Emblem series as the sole developer while still contributing to co-develop games with Nintendo R&D1 such as Metroid and Super Metroid.

Paper Mario BoxIntelligent Systems built upon the Mario RPG concept and developed a spiritual successor with Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64. The role-playing game featuring the Super Mario Bros. characters was a huge success spawning yet another franchise for Nintendo. Intelligent Systems has been responsible for the development of the Paper Mario series since and has proven time and again to be an asset for Nintendo.

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1986Mario Bros NES BoxMario Bros.Nintendo Entertainment SystemPlatformerNintendo
1985Tennis BoxTennisNintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Disk System
1985Wild Gunman BoxWild GunmanNintendo Entertainment SystemLight GunNintendo
1985Duck Hunt BoxDuck HuntNintendo Entertainment SystemLight GunNintendo
1985Hogan's Alley BoxHogan's AlleyNintendo Entertainment SystemLight GunNintendo
1986Donkey Kong 3 BoxDonkey Kong 3Nintendo Entertainment SystemShooterNintendo
1987Devil World BoxDevil WorldNintendo Entertainment SystemMazeNintendo
1985Soccer BoxSoccerNintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Disk System
1985Wrecking Crew BoxWrecking CrewNintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Disk System
1985Stack-up BoxStack-UpNintendo Entertainment SystemPuzzleNintendo
1985Gyromite BoxGyromiteNintendo Entertainment SystemAction
1986Metroid Famicom BoxMetroidFamicom Disk SystemAction-AdventureNintendo
1988Famicom Wars BoxFamicom WarsFamicomTurn-based TacticsNintendo
1988Mario Bros. Returns BoxMario Bros. ReturnsFamicom Disk SystemPlatformerNintendo
1989Alleyway BoxAlleywayGame BoyActionNintendo
1989Baseball BoxBaseballGame BoySports
1989Yakuman BoxYakumanGame BoyBoard GameNintendo
1989Golf BoxGolfGame BoySports
1990Fire Emblem - Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light BoxFire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of LightFamicomTactical RPGNintendo
1991SimCity Box Hideki KonnoSimCitySuper NintendoSimulationNintendo
1991Game Boy Wars BoxGame Boy WarsGame BoyTurn-based TacticsNintendo
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1993Metal Combat - Falcon's Revenge BoxMetal Combat: Falcon's RevengeSuper NintendoLight GunNintendo
1994Fire Emblem - Mystery of the Emblem BoxFire Emblem: Mystery of the EmblemSuper FamicomTactical RPGNintendo
1994Super Metroid BoxSuper MetroidSuper NintendoAction-AdventureNintendo
1995Galactic PinballGalactic PinballVirtual BoyPinballNintendo
1995Panel de Pon BoxPanel de PonSuper FamicomPuzzleNintendo
1996Fire Emblem - Genealogy of the Holy War BoxFire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy WarSuper FamicomTactical RPGNintendo
1996Tetris AttackTetris AttackSuper NintendoPuzzleNintendo
1998Super Famicom WarsSuper Famicom WarsSuper FamicomTurn-based TacticsNintendo
1999Fire Emblem - Thracia 776Fire Emblem: Thracia 776Super FamicomTactical RPGNintendo
2000Trade & Battle - Card Hero BoxTrade & Battle: Card HeroGame Boy ColorRPGNintendo
2000Paper Mario BoxPaper MarioNintendo 64RPGNintendo
2000Pokémon Puzzle Challenge BoxPokémon Puzzle ChallengeGame Boy ColorPuzzleNintendo
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2003Fire Emblem BoxFire EmblemGame Boy AdvanceTactical RPGNintendo
2003Advance Wars 2 - Black Hole Rising BoxAdvance Wars 2: Black Hole RisingGame Boy AdvanceTurn-based TacticsNintendo
2003WarioWare, Inc. - Mega Party Games! BoxWarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games!GameCubePartyNintendo
2004Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door BoxPaper Mario: The Thousand-Year DoorGameCubeRPGNintendo
2004Fire Emblem - The Sacred Stones BoxFire Emblem: The Sacred StonesGame Boy AdvanceTactical RPGNintendo
2004WarioWare - Twisted! BoxWarioWare: Twisted!Game Boy AdvanceAction
2004WarioWare - Touched! BoxWarioWare: Touched!Nintendo DSAction
2005Fire Emblem - Path of Radiance BoxFire Emblem: Path of RadianceGameCubeTactical RPGNintendo
2005Advance Wars - Dual Strike BoxAdvance Wars: Dual StrikeNintendo DSTurn-based TacticsNintendo
2006WarioWare - Smooth Moves BoxWarioWare: Smooth MovesWiiParty
2007Fire Emblem - Radiant Dawn BoxFire Emblem: Radiant DawnWiiTactical RPGNintendo
2007Super Paper Mario BoxSuper Paper MarioWiiRPGNintendo
2007Planet Puzzle League BoxPlanet Puzzle LeagueNintendo DSPuzzleNintendo
2007Face Training BoxFace TrainingNintendo DSMiscNintendo
2007Kousoku Card Battle - Card HeroKousoku Card Battle: Card HeroNintendo DSCard Battle RPGNintendo
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2008Fire Emblem - Shadow Dragon BoxFire Emblem: Shadow DragonNintendo DSTactical RPGNintendo
2008WarioWare - Snapped!WarioWare: Snapped!Nintendo DSAction
2009WarioWare D.I.Y. BoxWarioWare D.I.Y.Nintendo DSAction
2009WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase BoxWarioWare D.I.Y. ShowcaseWiiAction
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2009Link 'n' Launch BoxLink 'n' LaunchNintendo DSiPuzzleNintendo
2009Spotto! BoxSpotto!Nintendo DSiPuzzleNintendo
2010Fire Emblem - New Mystery of the EmblemFire Emblem: New Mystery of the EmblemNintendo DSTactical RPGNintendo
2011PushmoPushmoNintendo 3DSPuzzleNintendo
2012Fire Emblem Awakening BoxFire Emblem AwakeningNintendo 3DSTactical RPGNintendo
2012Crashmo BoxCrashmoNintendo 3DSPuzzleNintendo
2012Paper Mario - Sticker Star BoxPaper Mario: Sticker StarNintendo 3DSRPGNintendo
2013Game & Wario BoxGame & WarioWii UPartyNintendo
2013Daigasso! Band Brothers P BoxDaigasso! Band Brothers PNintendo 3DSMusicNintendo
2014Pushmo World BoxPushmo WorldWii UPuzzleNintendo
2015Code Name - S.T.E.A.M. BoxCode Name: S.T.E.A.M.Nintendo 3DSTurn-based StrategyNintendo
2015Stretchmo BoxStretchmoNintendo 3DSPuzzleNintendo
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2017Fire Emblem Heroes BoxFire Emblem HeroesAndroid
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Toru NarihiroToru NarihiroFounder
Profile PlaceholderRyouichi KitanishiChairman
Former President
Toshiyuki NakamuraToshiyuki NakamuraPresident
Kouhei MaedaKouhei MaedaDirector and Adaptation2001-Present
Masahiro HiguchiMasahiro HiguchiProject Manager1994-Present
Ryota KawadeRyota KawadeChief Game Designer1994-Present
Profile PlaceholderToshitaka MuramatsuDirector
Shouzou KagaShouzou KagaWriter
Naohiko AoyamaNaohiko AoyamaDesigner
Kenji NakajimaProgrammer
Profile PlaceholderKaoru KitaProgrammer
Sound Effects
Yuka TsujiyokoYuka TsujiyokoComposer
Sound Director
Profile PlaceholderKenichi NishimakiSound Composer
Sound Director
Mitsuru MatsumotoMitsuru MatsumotoProgrammer1993-Present
Profile PlaceholderJunya KadonoProgrammer1998-Present
Profile PlaceholderTadao NakayamaProgrammer1998-Present
Profile PlaceholderMakoto KatayamaProgrammer1992-2008
Motomu ChikaraishiMotomu ChikaraishiProgrammer2001-2012
Kenji ImaiKenji ImaiProgrammer1986-Present