Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd. (JP)(CN) is a Nintendo partner best known for the Metroid, Fire Emblem, Nintendo Wars, Paper Mario, and WarioWare game series. They also develop several development tools for Nintendo hardware.


Intelligent Systems is a company with a very close history with Nintendo. It was established in 1986 with only 13 staff. However, they had notable work early on thanks to Tohru Narihiro being hired to convert Metroid and Kid Icarus to the standard NES format for outside of Japan.

Like HAL Laboratory, they were also hired to bolster the NES titles with titles like Tennis and Soccer and ports of a few Nintendo arcade titles. 1990 marked their first breakout title in the first Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.

In 2010, Ryouichi Kitanishi stepped down from the president to chairman with Toshiyuki Nakamura taking up his former position. In October 2013, Intelligent Systems moved offices to its own separate building new Nintendo's new headquarters at the time.

Development teams

Intelligent Systems has developed many classic games.

Throughout its history, Intelligent Systems has divided itself into many smaller groups in order to work on specific projects. Each group has or had its own head, with the now deceased Gunpei Yokoi overseeing all of the groups. When Gunpei Yokoi left Nintendo, he was replaced with the director of Team Shikamaru, Takehiro Izushi.

Team Emblem

Team Emblem is the creator of the Fire Emblem series and began development on Famicom even when the rest of Nintendo was beginning Super Famicom development. The Fire Emblem series was not released outside of Japan until Fire Emblem on Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Team Emblem is also responsible for the development of Paper Mario on Nintendo 64.

Team Shikamaru

Team Shikamaru is known for Mario Paint, Sim City, Tetris & Dr. Mario, and Super Play Action Football on Super Famicom, Tetris 2 on the Famicom and Game Boy, and Mario's Excitebike and Wrecking Crew '98 on Satellaview.

The team also assisted in the creation of Wario Land II and Wario Land 3 on Game Boy, and also assisted Nintendo EAD in the creation of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Game Boy. Team Shikamaru also assisted in Virtual Boy development, working on 3D Tetris, Mario Clash, Galactic Pinball, Mario's Tennis, and most significantly, Virtual Boy Wario Land.

Perhaps most significantly, however, Team Shikamaru is the creator of Game Boy Camera.

Team Battle Clash

Team Battle Clash is responsible for the creation of the Super Scope 6 peripheral for Super Famicom, as well as the games Battle Clash, Metal Combat 2: Falcon's Revenge, and Panel de Pon (known outside of Japan as Tetris Attack) for Super Famicom. The team began creating a sequel to Panel de Pon on Nintendo 64 before Nintendo scrapped it, (It was later recompiled for Nintendo Puzzle Collection in Japan) only to give the engine to Nintendo Software Technology Corporation, where it was turned into Pokemon Puzzle League.

Team Deer Force

Composed of members from Team Shikamaru and Game Boy R&D, Team Deer Force created Super Metroid, one of the most revered games of all time. The team began creating a 3rd-person version of Metroid for the Nintendo 64, which was ultimately scrapped, and they collaborated years later on Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission for Game Boy Advance.

Games developed